Art for episode 1260

1260: Pre-Decisional

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 8m
July 16th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Sir Steiner, the expat from Spokanistan, Sir Addison, CEO of shitposts, Trevor Massey, Sir Dave, Duke of America's Heartland and the Arabian Peninsula, Benjamin Naidus, Steve BB, John Shattles

Associate Executive Producers: Steve Sprague, Grand Duke of the Pacific Northwest Sir Dwayne Melancon, Colin O, Dave from IPF Ohio

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
0:37
Adam Experiences Windows Security Glitch
Guest producer
2:27
Florida's 100% Positive Testing Rate for COVID-19 Correction
Guest producer
5:55
Hospitals Ordered to Bypass CDC When Reporting COVID-19 Numbers
Guest producer
11:38
COVID-19
Guest producer
18:24
COVID-19 Vaccine
Guest producer
21:14
Plans to Reopen Schools After COVID-19
Woodstock
27:07
BBC: 'Fertility Rate: "Jaw-Dropping" Global Crash in Children Being Born'
Woodstock
28:51
Scott Jensen on Masks
Guest producer
33:00
Orange Man Bad
Guest producer
49:03
Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization
Guest producer
1:09:18
Uighars in China
Guest producer
1:19:14
China's Influence on The Vatican
Guest producer
1:25:10
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Lifts Sanctions Exemption From Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
Guest producer
1:28:43
Credits
Guest producer
1:56:44
Adam's Appearance on The Tom Woods Show
Guest producer
2:00:55
NGO Updates
Guest producer
2:03:05
Podcasts for Kids
Guest producer
2:15:55
Elder Abuse /w Joe Biden
Guest producer
2:16:35
End of Show Clips
Guest producer
2:18:33
Laundry from Pedo Island
Guest producer
2:26:03
Angela Davis on Supporting Joe Biden: "Far More Likely To Take Mass Demands Seriously"
Guest producer
2:28:56
Kanye 2020
Guest producer
2:32:58
Coronavirus Phase 4 Stimulus Package
Guest producer
2:35:38
Donations
Guest producer
2:41:01
Birthdays & Title Changes
Woodstock
2:43:06
Meetups
Woodstock
2:48:29
No Agenda Cooking Tips: Goya Edition
Guest producer
2:54:27
Explanation of Political Donation Matching Scheme
Guest producer
2:58:51
Karen at Walmart Accosts Non-Mask Wearer
Ndragonawa
3:01:07
Doing The Work
Guest producer
3:02:44
End of Show
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
CHINA
The President's Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization | The White House
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:25
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-393), the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 (Public Law 116-76), the Hong Kong Autonomy Act of 2020, signed into law July 14, 2020, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, determine, pursuant to section 202 of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, that the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong (Hong Kong) is no longer sufficiently autonomous to justify differential treatment in relation to the People's Republic of China (PRC or China) under the particular United States laws and provisions thereof set out in this order. In late May 2020, the National People's Congress of China announced its intention to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. This announcement was merely China's latest salvo in a series of actions that have increasingly denied autonomy and freedoms that China promised to the people of Hong Kong under the 1984 Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong (Joint Declaration). As a result, on May 27, 2020, the Secretary of State announced that the PRC had fundamentally undermined Hong Kong's autonomy and certified and reported to the Congress, pursuant to sections 205 and 301 of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, as amended, respectively, that Hong Kong no longer warrants treatment under United States law in the same manner as United States laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1, 1997. On May 29, 2020, I directed the heads of executive departments and agencies (agencies) to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions under United States law that give Hong Kong differential treatment in relation to China.
China has since followed through on its threat to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. Under this law, the people of Hong Kong may face life in prison for what China considers to be acts of secession or subversion of state power ''- which may include acts like last year's widespread anti-government protests. The right to trial by jury may be suspended. Proceedings may be conducted in secret. China has given itself broad power to initiate and control the prosecutions of the people of Hong Kong through the new Office for Safeguarding National Security. At the same time, the law allows foreigners to be expelled if China merely suspects them of violating the law, potentially making it harder for journalists, human rights organizations, and other outside groups to hold the PRC accountable for its treatment of the people of Hong Kong.
I therefore determine that the situation with respect to Hong Kong, including recent actions taken by the PRC to fundamentally undermine Hong Kong's autonomy, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. I hereby declare a national emergency with respect to that threat.
In light of the foregoing, I hereby determine and order:
Section 1. It shall be the policy of the United States to suspend or eliminate different and preferential treatment for Hong Kong to the extent permitted by law and in the national security, foreign policy, and economic interest of the United States.
Sec. 2. Pursuant to section 202 of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 (22 U.S.C. 5722), I hereby suspend the application of section 201(a) of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, as amended (22 U.S.C. 5721(a)), to the following statutes:
(a) section 103 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (8 U.S.C. 1152 note);
(b) sections 203(c), 212(l), and 221(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1153(c), 1182(l), and 1201(c), respectively);
(c) the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.);
(d) section 721(m) of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. 4565(m));
(e) the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (50 U.S.C. 4801 et seq.); and
(f) section 1304 of title 19, United States Code.
Sec. 3. Within 15 days of the date of this order, the heads of agencies shall commence all appropriate actions to further the purposes of this order, consistent with applicable law, including, to:
(a) amend any regulations implementing those provisions specified in section 2 of this order, and, consistent with applicable law and executive orders, under IEEPA, which provide different treatment for Hong Kong as compared to China;
(b) amend the regulation at 8 CFR 212.4(i) to eliminate the preference for Hong Kong passport holders as compared to PRC passport holders;
(c) revoke license exceptions for exports to Hong Kong, reexports to Hong Kong, and transfers (in-country) within Hong Kong of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR Parts 730-774, that provide differential treatment compared to those license exceptions applicable to exports to China, reexports to China, and transfers (in-country) within China;
(d) consistent with section 902(b)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991 (Public Law 101-246), terminate the export licensing suspensions under section 902(a)(3) of such Act insofar as such suspensions apply to exports of defense articles to Hong Kong persons who are physically located outside of Hong Kong and the PRC and who were authorized to receive defense articles prior to the date of this order;
(e) give notice of intent to suspend the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Hong Kong for the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders (TIAS 98-121);
(f) give notice of intent to terminate the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Hong Kong for the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TIAS 99-418);
(g) take steps to end the provision of training to members of the Hong Kong Police Force or other Hong Kong security services at the Department of State's International Law Enforcement Academies;
(h) suspend continued cooperation undertaken consistent with the now-expired Protocol Between the U.S. Geological Survey of the Department of the Interior of the United States of America and Institute of Space and Earth Information Science of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Concerning Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Earth Sciences (TIAS 09-1109);
(i) take steps to terminate the Fulbright exchange program with regard to China and Hong Kong with respect to future exchanges for participants traveling both from and to China or Hong Kong;
(j) give notice of intent to terminate the agreement for the reciprocal exemption with respect to taxes on income from the international operation of ships effected by the Exchange of Notes Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Hong Kong (TIAS 11892);
(k) reallocate admissions within the refugee ceiling set by the annual Presidential Determination to residents of Hong Kong based on humanitarian concerns, to the extent feasible and consistent with applicable law; and
(l) propose for my consideration any further actions deemed necessary and prudent to end special conditions and preferential treatment for Hong Kong.
Sec. 4. All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person, of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
(a) Any foreign person determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(i) to be or have been involved, directly or indirectly, in the coercing, arresting, detaining, or imprisoning of individuals under the authority of, or to be or have been responsible for or involved in developing, adopting, or implementing, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Administrative Region;
(ii) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following:
(A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Hong Kong;
(B) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, or autonomy of Hong Kong;
(C) censorship or other activities with respect to Hong Kong that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of Hong Kong, or that limit access to free and independent print, online or broadcast media; or
(D) the extrajudicial rendition, arbitrary detention, or torture of any person in Hong Kong or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights or serious human rights abuse in Hong Kong;
(iii) to be or have been a leader or official of:
(A) an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, any of the activities described in subsections (a)(i), (a)(ii)(A), (a)(ii)(B), or (a)(ii)(C) of this section; or
(B) an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(iv) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section;
(v) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section; or
(vi) to be a member of the board of directors or a senior executive officer of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the date of this order.
Sec. 5. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the types of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 4 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 4 of this order.
Sec. 6. The prohibitions in section 4(a) of this order include:
(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 4(a) of this order; and
(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 7. The unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 4(a) of this order, as well as immediate family members of such aliens, or aliens determined by the Secretary of State to be employed by, or acting as an agent of, such aliens, would be detrimental to the interest of the United States, and the entry of such persons into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, is hereby suspended. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions). The Secretary of State shall have the responsibility of implementing this section pursuant to such conditions and procedures as the Secretary has established or may establish pursuant to Proclamation 8693.
Sec. 8. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 9. Nothing in this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.
Sec. 10. For the purposes of this order:
(a) the term ''person'' means an individual or entity;
(b) the term ''entity'' means a government or instrumentality of such government, partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization, including an international organization;
(c) the term ''United States person'' means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States; and
(d) The term ''immediate family member'' means spouses and children of any age.
Sec. 11. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to section 4 of this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 4 of this order.
Sec. 12. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to me by IEEPA as may be necessary to implement this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions within the Department of the Treasury. All departments and agencies of the United States shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to implement this order.
Sec. 13. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).
Sec. 14. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 15. If, based on consideration of the terms, obligations, and expectations expressed in the Joint Declaration, I determine that changes in China's actions ensure that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to justify differential treatment in relation to the PRC under United States law, I will reconsider the determinations made and actions taken and directed under this order.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,July 14, 2020.
China Vows to Retaliate After Trump Signs Hong Kong Sanctions Bill - The New York Times
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:15
Asia Pacific | China Vows to Retaliate After Trump Signs Hong Kong Sanctions BillBeijing accused the United States of ''gross interference in Hong Kong affairs'' and promised a response.
President Trump at the Rose Garden on Tuesday. Credit... Doug Mills/The New York Times July 15, 2020Updated 10:00 a.m. ET
China on Wednesday sharply criticized President Trump's moves to strip Hong Kong of its preferential trading status with the United States and clear the way for new sanctions on officials and companies there, vowing to retaliate with punitive measures of its own.
The response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing promised to continue a pattern of tit-for-tat punishments that have accompanied the sharp downward turn in relations between the two countries on a variety of fronts, from trade to technology to human rights.
China was swift to criticize Mr. Trump's latest actions, which he announced at a rambling White House news conference on Tuesday. Those moves, along with his remarks, underscored the extent to which relations with Beijing have become intertwined with the American presidential election.
Mr. Trump said he had issued an executive order revoking the special trading status that Hong Kong had enjoyed for more than two decades, following the Chinese government's imposition of a sweeping new national security law there.
The law came into force on June 30, and its chilling effect on political freedoms in the city '-- which, under a formula called ''one country, two systems,'' is supposed to have a high degree of autonomy from China '-- has already been evident in a series of arrests and police raids.
Image Protesters in Hong Kong on July 1, after China's national security law for the city went into effect. Credit... Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times Mr. Trump also signed legislation, adopted overwhelmingly in May by Congress, that authorizes the administration to impose sanctions on officials or institutions, including banks, that were found to have undermined Hong Kong's semiautonomous status.
His executive order, besides revoking the territory's special trading status, calls for sanctions against people deemed to have been involved in a variety of acts in Hong Kong, including arrests made under the new security law and actions that undermine democratic processes or limit the news media's freedoms.
Officials in Beijing had clearly anticipated the moves, but they reacted harshly nonetheless.
''The act on the United States side maliciously denigrates Hong Kong's national security legislation, threatens to impose sanctions on China and gravely violates international law and basic rules of international relations,'' the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on Wednesday morning in China, not long after Mr. Trump finished speaking.
''It is gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs,'' the ministry said.
The Hong Kong government said in a statement that the United States was ''using human rights, democracy and autonomy as an excuse'' to introduce measures aimed at attacking China.
The impact of the new powers detailed in the American law and Mr. Trump's executive order remain to be seen. Congress has authorized similar measures before, only to have the administration delay imposing them as it weighed other foreign policy considerations, including Mr. Trump's signature trade deal with China.
With relations deteriorating badly and the pandemic's toll mounting in the United States, the administration has acted more aggressively in recent weeks.
When the United States imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials over China's crackdown on Uighurs and other Muslims in the far western region of Xinjiang, Beijing reciprocated by announcing travel bans and sanctions on prominent Republican members of Congress.
Image Banners on a barge in Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong welcomed the national security law. Credit... Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times Lau Siu-kai, a senior adviser to the Chinese government on Hong Kong policy, said the American actions would have limited effect on Hong Kong and would, contrary to the intent of the United States, drive the territory closer to mainland China.
''The overall damage to Hong Kong and to China is rather minimal and can be absorbed,'' said Mr. Lau, a former senior Hong Kong government official who is now with the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies.
He said Hong Kong was becoming ''increasingly detached from the United States and the West, and increasingly attached to China and Asia.''
Others said the American actions could have more significant effects by hurting the city's reputation for openness and rule of law. That could affect companies as well as academia.
''The only way we can regain the respect and favorable conditions that we deserve is if Beijing fulfills its original promise to the world and Hong Kong people, which is the genuine implementation of 'one country, two systems' and our high degree of autonomy,'' said James To, a pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmaker.
Reporting and research were contributed by Keith Bradsher and Claire Fu in Beijing and Elaine Yu in Hong Kong.
Scientists from the Wuhan virus lab have 'defected' to the West, reveals Steve Bannon | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 02:42
Experts from the Chinese laboratory at the centre of global suspicion over the coronavirus pandemic have 'defected' and are in the hands of Western intelligence, the architect of Donald Trump's presidential victory claimed last night.
Steve Bannon, who was Trump's White House chief strategist and retains close links to the administration, told The Mail on Sunday that spies were building a case against Beijing on the basis that the global pandemic had been caused by a leak from the Institute of Virology in Wuhan and that the subsequent cover-up had amounted to 'pre-meditated murder'.
In an exclusive interview, Mr Bannon also urged Boris Johnson to scrap plans to allow the Chinese communications firm Huawei to play a role in the UK's new 5G network.
Staff are pictured above at the Wuhan Institute of Technology. Speaking to this newspaper from a yacht off the East coast of America, Mr Bannon said that defectors were talking to the intelligence agencies in America, Europe and the UK
The Prime Minister is due to make an announcement within days over Huawei's future, which is expected to lead to the company's equipment being stripped from the 5G programme within the next decade.
Mr Bannon, 66, who worked as a naval officer, investment banker and film producer before becoming chief executive officer of Trump's presidential campaign, describes himself as an 'ultra-hawk' on China, arguing that Western countries should work together to bring down the 'brutal, authoritarian' regime.
His incendiary claims about the source of the virus, which has so far claimed more than 560,000 lives worldwide, came as Western governments gather growing evidence to challenge Beijing's original claim that the infection first spread from a market
His incendiary claims about the source of the virus, which has so far claimed more than 560,000 lives worldwide, came as Western governments gather growing evidence to challenge Beijing's original claim that the infection first spread from a market.
Even the Chinese government's own Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recently admitted that the virus had been brought in to the market, rather than originating there.
Mr Bannon, who has been tipped by the US media for a return to Trump's inner circle to shore up his faltering campaign for re-election, said: 'I know that certain defectors are working with the FBI here to try to knit together what happened' in the Wuhan institute, which he said was 'horribly run and terribly mismanaged'.
He claimed: 'They are not talking to the media yet, but there are people out of the Wuhan lab and other labs that have come to the West and are turning over evidence of the culpability of the Chinese Communist Party. I think people are going to be shocked'.
Mr Bannon, who sat on the US National Security Council during his time in the White House, says spies are trying to assemble a case that the virus spread as the result of an accident involving experiments to develop vaccines and therapeutic drugs to deal with Sars-style viruses.
Speaking to this newspaper from a yacht off the East coast of America, Mr Bannon said that defectors were talking to the intelligence agencies in America, Europe and the UK.
He said: 'I think that they [spy agencies] have electronic intelligence, and that they have done a full inventory of who has provided access to that lab. I think they have very compelling evidence. And there have also been defectors.
'People around these labs have been leaving China and Hong Kong since mid-February. [US intelligence] along with MI5 and MI6 are trying to build a very thorough legal case, which may take a long time. It's not like James Bond.'
Mr Bannon even suggested that the French government, which helped to build the institute, had left behind monitoring systems after Beijing shut them out of the project before it opened in 2017.
He said: 'The thing was built with French help, so don't think that there aren't some monitoring devices in there. I think what you are going to find out is that these guys were doing experiments which they weren't fully authorised [for] or knew what they were doing and that somehow, either through an inadvertent mistake, or on a lab technician, one of these things got out.
'It's not that hard for these viruses to get out. That is why these labs are so dangerous.
'You essentially had a biological Chernobyl in Wuhan, but the centre of gravity, the Ground Zero, was round the Wuhan lab, in terms of the casualty rates. And like Chernobyl, you also had the cover-up '' the state apparatus reports to itself and just protects itself.'
Mr Bannon, who has close links to Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese billionaire, told this newspaper: 'Regardless of whether it came out of the market or the Wuhan lab, the Chinese Communist party's subsequent decisions hold them guilty of pre-meditated murder.
'We know this because Taiwan formally informed the WHO on December 31 that there was some sort of epidemic coming out of Hubei province [where Wuhan is]. The CDC in Beijing was informed on January 2 or 3, and they decided to withhold that information and then sign a trade deal [with the US on January 15].
'If they had been straightforward and truthful in the last week of December, 95 per cent of the lives lost and the economic carnage would have been contained.
'That is the tragedy here. They used the time to scoop up all the world's personal protective equipment. This is a murderous dictatorship. The blood is [also] on the hands of the world's corporations '' the investment banks, the hedge funds and the pension funds '' and it is time to start calling it out before it leads to the destruction of the West.
In an exclusive interview, Mr Bannon also urged Boris Johnson to scrap plans to allow the Chinese communications firm Huawei to play a role in the UK's new 5G network
'We are in the most extraordinary crisis in modern American history, more than Vietnam, the Cold War, even the Second World War. A global pandemic and an economic inferno. I have no faith in the WHO, the leadership should face criminal charges and be shut down.'
The Chinese government dismisses claims of a laboratory leak as a 'conspiracy theory' and denies any cover-up. The WHO denies any complicity in a cover up.
When he was asked whether Mr Johnson should scrap plans to allow Huawei into the UK's 5G system, Mr Bannon said that the company was part of the 'military wing of the Chinese communist party' and the deal should be axed.
'We could cut off Huawei and return British Telecom to its former glory,' he said. 'The President thinks that it is a huge issue. To me, Huawei should be shut down throughout the world in every country, and their assets liquidated. I say to Boris Johnson '' shut down Huawei, and keep calm and carry on.'
US warship challenges China in South China Sea after claims rejection - Business Insider
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:37
The USS Ralph Johnson. US Navy A US Navy destroyer challenged China in the South China Sea with a freedom-of-navigation operation on Tuesday.The USS Ralph Johnson sailed near the disputed Spratly Islands, the Navy said, adding in a statement that "unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas."The operation, one of at least six such operations this year, comes after the US State Department officially rejected most of China's sea claims, declaring its maritime efforts to assert sovereignty unlawful.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.After the US State Department declared Beijing's maritime claims in the South China Sea and efforts to assert dominance unlawful, the US Navy destroyer USS Ralph Johnson further challenged China with a sail-by operation Tuesday.
The Navy released a couple photos on Tuesday of the destroyer sailing near the contested Spratly Islands, and a Navy spokesman confirmed the ship conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the area.
The USS Ralph Johnson conducting maritime security operations near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anthony Collier "This freedom of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging the restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan," the Navy said in a statement.
"Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas," the service added.
"The United States upholds freedom of navigation as a principle," the Navy said later in its statement. "As long as some countries continue to claim and assert limits on rights that exceed their authority under international law, the United States will continue to defend the rights and freedoms of the sea guaranteed to all. No member of the international community should be intimidated or coerced into giving up their rights and freedoms."
The US is aligning its South China Sea policy with a 2016 international arbitration tribunal ruling and officially rejecting many of China's claims to the contested waterway, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.
"Beijing's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them," Pompeo said, adding, "The PRC's predatory world view has no place in the 21st century."
While China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei all have overlapping claims to the strategic South China Sea, China is among the most aggressive in enforcing its claims. Chinese military outposts can be found in the disputed Paracel and Spratly islands, despite a 2016 arbitration tribunal ruling that discredited many of China's claims.
Beijing rejected the ruling by the international Permanent Court of Arbitration, which made the decision at the request of the Philippines after China's seizure of Scarborough Shoal, and has continued to pursue its interests.
The USS Ralph Johnson near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anthony Collier Much to China's frustration, the US routinely challenges Beijing's restrictions on innocent passage and excessive claims through regular freedom-of-navigation operations.
The Navy has conducted at least six such operations this year alone, as well as multiple presence operations. The Air Force also routinely conducts bomber overflights in the region.
Earlier this month, the US sent two carrier strike groups into the South China Sea to conduct dual carrier operations at the same time the Chinese military was conducting exercises in the area.
In recent months, the US military has stepped up its activities in the South China Sea in response to what the Pentagon described as "increasing opportunistic activity by the PRC to coerce its neighbors and press its unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea while the region and the world is focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic," a global crisis that has triggered an apparent escalation in US-China tensions.
David Stillwell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, strongly criticized China's efforts to enforce its will in the South China Sea as "gangster tactics" at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Tuesday. He said the US "will not let China claim the South China Sea as its own," USNI News reported.
Pompeo's statement Monday provided clarity on the US position in the South China Sea, where Stillwell said the US will not remain neutral. The statement clears the way for potentially tougher US responses.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the US statement on the South China Sea "irresponsible."
"It violates and distorts international law, deliberately stokes territorial and maritime disputes, and undermines regional peace and stability," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday.
He later stated: "We strongly deplore and firmly oppose the wrong move by the US and urge it to stop stirring up trouble on the South China Sea issue and stop continuing down the wrong path."
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Coronavirus and Regime Change: Burundi's Covid Coup '' OffGuardian
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 04:01
While the people of the western world occupy themselves wearing masks, pointing fingers and using so much hand sanitizer it literally kills them, the big world of Geo-Politics still ticks along, following the same tired old patterns with only slight variations in method. A modern twist, if you will.
Here's a little summary of Burundi's recent history:
The president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, dismissed covid19 as nonsense.The president of Burundi was vilified in the Western press.The president of Burundi expelled the World Health Organization from his country.The president of Burundi died suddenly of a ''heart attack''.The NEW president of Burundi immediately reversed his predecessor's Covid19 policies.And now for the long version'...
6th May 2020The Council on Foreign Relations blog posts an article titled ''COVID-19 is Coinciding with Dangerous Trends in Burundi's Democracy''.
At that time Burundi was listed as having 7 'active cases' of COVID-19.
President Pierre Nukurunziza's reluctance to impose policies aimed at stopping the virus from spreading is converging with his enthusiasm for democratic authoritarianism, putting not only Burundi, but Burundi's neighbors at risk.['...]Burundi's trajectory has been apparent for some time. But the pandemic now raises the stakes for neighboring states whose attempts to control the virus are threatened by Burundi's insistence on moving ahead with electoral theater regardless of the public health risks involved.['...]Just as the EAC's attempts to advance dialogue in Burundi did nothing to stave off the closing of political space, today the organization seems helpless at best as Burundi and neighboring Tanzania refuse to take COVID-19 seriously.
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14th May 2020Reuters reports that Burundi's government expels the WHO:
Burundi is expelling the national head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and three members of his team as it prepares for a presidential election that is being held next week despite concern about health risks during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government confirmed on Thursday that a May 12 letter from the foreign ministry was sent to WHO country head Walter Kazadi Mulombo and three others of the U.N. body's health experts, ordering them out by Friday. Bernard Ntahiraja, the foreign affairs assistant minister, said the officials had been declared ''persona non grata'' but did not give reasons.['...]Burundi has so far reported relatively few cases of the COVID-19 disease: 27 infections and one death. But testing remains very low: the nation of 11 million people has carried out only 527 tests, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).['...]Large crowds have been gathering during the election campaign in Burundi, which has no lockdown measures in place at all, unlike many other African nations.['...]Some Burundians say privately they believe COVID-19 infections are higher than officially stated but they say they fear to say so publicly because they could be targeted and punished. Léonce Ngendakumana, a presidential candidate for the opposition FRODEBU party, called the expulsion regrettable. ''The country alone won't be able to contain the pandemic,'' he told Reuters.
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10th June 2020The Guardian reports the death of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza of ''suspected Covid19'' [our emphasis]:
The outgoing president of Burundi has died of a sudden illness, suspected by many to be Covid-19.
The cause of Pierre Nkurunziza's death was described as a heart attack in a government statement. The 55-year-old was due to stand down in August following elections last month.
It was unclear exactly when he died. A government statement said the president, a keen sports enthusiast, had attended a game of volleyball on Saturday but fell ill that night and was taken to hospital.
The former footballer's health improved on Sunday but ''surprisingly, on morning of Monday June 8, 2020, his health suddenly deteriorated and he had a heart attack''. The statement described Nkurunziza's death as ''unexpected'' and asked people to remain calm.
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15th June 2020The Financial Times runs an article titled ''Coronavirus stalks Burundi's political elite after president's death''. It's behind a paywall, but here's a screenshot:
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1st July 2020The Daily Monitor publishes an article from AFP headlined ''Burundi changes tack as president declares COVID-19 'biggest enemy''' [our emphasis]:
Burundi's new President Evariste Ndayishimiye has declared the coronavirus the country's ''biggest enemy'', in a major about-turn for a nation which has largely ignored the dangers of the virus.
Former president Pierre Nkurunziza, who died suddenly last month, and even Ndayishimiye himself, had until now downplayed the gravity of the pandemic, saying God had spared Burundi from its ravages. Burundi held a full-blown campaign ahead of a May election, and unlike its neighbours which have imposed lockdowns and curfews, has taken few measures to combat the spread of the virus.
Officially the country has reported only 170 cases and one death in two months. Ndayishimiye was speaking late Tuesday after the swearing in of his new government in parliament. ''From tomorrow (Wednesday), I declare the COVID-19 pandemic the biggest enemy of Burundians, because it is clear it is becoming their biggest concern,'' he said.
''We firmly commit ourselves to fight this pandemic.'' He called for ''the strict respect for preventative measures which the health ministry will from now on display across the country''.
He reminded citizens that coronavirus tests were free, as was treatment, warning those who did not get tested when they had symptoms.
''If in future someone does not go and get tested in such a case, it means he wants to contaminate others voluntarily'... and he will be considered a sorcerer and treated as severely as one would be,'' he said.
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14th July 2020 As of today, Worldometers.info lists 1 single death & 269 ''Total Cases'' of Covid19 for Burundi:
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It seems Covid19 is a disease of rare complexity. Not only is it able to understand the importance of some social protests and avoid them entirely, it's also able to sense when the world leader is inconvenient and take him out.
Many thanks to commenter Stinky, who collated, researched and sent in these links, as well as Edwige and Mucho.
Details on SpaceX Starlink beta emerge along with photos of user terminals | Ars Technica
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 10:53
Starlink user terminals '-- Starlink beta trials will start in Northern US and parts of Canada, new FAQ says. Jon Brodkin - Jul 15, 2020 8:42 pm UTC
As SpaceX readies beta-testing for its Starlink broadband service, Internet users have dug into the Starlink website and found new details on the upcoming beta tests and images of the user terminals that will be installed outside customers' homes.
Reddit users yesterday said they did some data mining of the Starlink support website and main site, uncovering an FAQ about the beta trials, terms of service, and images of the satellite dish from different angles.
Here are the photos:
A SpaceX Starlink user terminal/satellite dish.
Another view of the user terminal at sunset.
The dish placed at an angle on a roof.
Another image of the satellite dish.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter last night that the latest version of the dish (also called a user terminal) looks slightly different than what is seen in the photos. "Small note: latch on post near base is gone & powered Ethernet wire is less obtrusive in production version," Musk wrote.
Musk has previously described the terminal as a "UFO on a stick." SpaceX received Federal Communications Commission approval to deploy 1 million of them. The terminal's size is 0.48 meters (almost 19 inches), according to an FCC filing.
Beta testsSpaceX recently updated the Starlink website with a form you can fill out to "get updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area." Public beta tests are expected to begin in the fall.
The Starlink FAQ posted on Reddit says that "Starlink Beta will begin in the Northern United States and lower [i.e. southern] Canada, with those living in rural and/or remote communities in the Washington state area. Access to the Starlink Beta program will be driven by the user's location as well as the number of users in nearby areas."
Describing the current satellite network and the need for beta testers to have a clear view of the sky from their homes, the FAQ says, "The Starlink system is currently made up of nearly 600 satellites orbiting the Earth that can provide Internet service in a very specific range'--between 44 and 52 degrees north latitude. Your Starlink dish requires a clear view of the Northern sky in order to communicate with the Starlink satellites. Without the clear view, the Starlink dish cannot make a good connection and your service will be extremely poor."
In another tweet yesterday, Musk noted that the "Starlink terminal has motors to self-orient for optimal view angle," eliminating the need for an expert installer. The terminal can be placed "in garden, on roof, table, pretty much anywhere, so long as it has a wide view of the sky," Musk wrote. He also wrote that once service is available, it "will take less than a minute to order on Starlink.com."
Beta testers are asked to "dedicate an average of 30 minutes to 1 hour per day testing the Starlink Services and providing feedback on a periodic basis," according to the terms of service. "Feedback requests from SpaceX will come in the form of surveys, phone calls, emails, and other means. Not participating can result in termination of your Beta Program participation and you must return your Starlink Kit." Beta testers will not be allowed to share anything about their use of the service publicly.
Router approved by FCCBesides the user terminals that receive signals from space, Starlink customers will need a router to supply Wi-Fi in their homes. SpaceX this week got FCC approval for its Starlink router, but photos of the router are not yet public because of a confidentiality request.
An FCC filing says the router is dual-band, supporting 2.4GHz and 5GHz transmissions. It supports the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard with data-transfer rates of up to 866.7Mbps, in addition to older standards including 802.11b, 802.11a/g, and 802.11n.
Listing image by SpaceX
Experts Say China Hid Spyware in Mandatory Tax Software
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:48
July 14th 20__Dan Robitzski__ Filed Under: Hard Science
Mandatory BackdoorAny company doing business in China is required to file for taxes using software called Golden Tax Invoicing. And now, security researchers have an idea why the Chinese government likes it so much: they say it's riddled with spyware.
Installing Golden Tax Invoicing infects computers with spyware called GoldenHelper, Ars Technica reports, which essentially grants backdoor access into the system. First revealed by the cybersecurity firm Trustwave, the sophisticated malware campaign reveals a troublingly-widespread level of digital infiltration.
Take TwoTrustwave revealed the Golden Tax spyware just three weeks after uncovering a similar malware campaign, GoldenSpy, which also hid in Golden Tax, Ars reports. The two programs are functionally similar and sneak behind a computer's security systems using the same mechanisms.
GoldenSpy seemed to disappear after it was outed. But it's not clear whether the new spyware was meant to replace it or if it had already existed alongside GoldenSpy.
Missing PieceTrustwave's investigation is still ongoing: Ars reports that the company's researchers have yet to find GoldenHelper's actual payload, which they say is called ''taxver.exe.''
So that means that it's not entirely clear what information it can take from an infected system '-- only that a big problem is out there.
READ MORE: Malware stashed in China-mandated software is more extensive than thought [Ars Technica]
More on hacking: US Officials: Chinese Hackers Are Targeting Vaccine Research
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Biden cites quote made famous by Mao Zedong during fundraiser
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:01
| July 13, 2020 09:17 PM
J oe Biden cited a quote made famous by Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong during a digital fundraising speech with former Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.
"We've got to get real economic relief into women's hands now,'' Biden said on Monday evening to the 14 wealthy donors who attended the digital fundraising session.
According to the pool reporter who watched the event, Biden then cited the Chinese proverb, "Women hold up half the sky."
The phrase comes from a proclamation by Mao in the mid-20th century that helped grant certain rights to women in China. The phrase became commonplace in China at the time, often appearing on pieces of propaganda in factories or other industrial areas.
Biden's remarks came as he championed women entering the labor force, citing the high percentage of college valedictorians who are women.
''Unless you take advantage of half or more of your brain power, you are never going to be in the position where you're going to be able to compete internationally,'' he said. ''Women. Women. Women.''
The fundraiser was co-hosted by Jarrett and John and Marcia Goldman, two wealthy financiers.
'Brave New World' Arrives in the Future It Predicted - The New York Times
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:01
On Wednesday, Peacock premieres an adaptation of Aldous Huxley's 1932 science fiction novel. The world the book anticipated '-- designer drugs, casual sex, near-instant gratification '-- is already here.
Jessica Brown Findlay, left, and Kylie Bunbury in ''Brave New World,'' a new TV adaptation of the novel, unfolding in a society that seems to have cured all social ills. Credit... Steve Schofield/Peacock Ready for a thought experiment?
Imagine a society that has solved the problems of overpopulation and environmental collapse. Crime is a nonissue, as are homelessness and hunger. Racism? Sexism? Homophobia? Sorted. Science has conquered disease and disability. Everyone has useful work, perfect skin, total emotional equilibrium. Every day is a pleasure. Every night is a party.
Pop quiz: Is this a paradise? Or a prison?
Answer: It's the social science backdrop for ''Brave New World,'' the flagship drama from Peacock, NBC's streaming service. All nine episodes are available on Wednesday. Based on Aldous Huxley's alarmingly prescient 1932 novel of free love and social control, it's a dystopia dressed up as a utopia. Or vice versa.
''It seems perfect,'' said Jessica Brown Findlay, who plays the geneticist Lenina Crowne. ''But the minute you scratch the surface, you start to discover stuff.''
''But yeah, a couple of days there?'' she added. ''That would be great.''
Prestige television likes its glimpses of the future and those futures usually skew dark: ''Westworld,'' ''Black Mirror,'' ''The Handmaid's Tale.'' But ''Brave New World,'' which most viewers will remember '-- vaguely if at all '-- from some high school or college syllabus, presents a more ambivalent prospect and particular challenges.
Here's one: How do you take a nearly 90-year-old novel, a literary crystal ball so dead-on that many of its predictions (chemical birth control, mood stabilizers, genetic engineering) have already come true, and still make it feel like the future?
A collaboration between Universal Content Productions, which acquired the rights to the novel, and Amblin Entertainment, brought on for their world-building chops, ''Brave New World'' began at Syfy, then moved to USA, before landing at Peacock, shedding story and concept and the occasional writer along the way.
''What often happens when you have big IP, you keep swinging until you get it right,'' said Dawn Olmstead, the president of Universal Content Productions.
The showrunner David Wiener (''Homecoming,'' ''Fear the Walking Dead'') apparently had the solution, situating the social theory within a love triangle. The theory part he explained this way: ''Huxley,'' he said, ''was very afraid of a world in which people would become so sexually stimulated, so pharmacologically numb and so distracted by entertainment and media, that they would fail to look within and beyond themselves in uncomfortable ways.'' So the future is now?
As for the love triangle: Lenina, a scientist inclined to zip-up minidresses, lives in New London, a city-state that has eliminated all social ills. Family, privacy and social mobility have been jettisoned, too. When uncomfortable feelings arise, citizens pop soma '-- think psychoactive Skittles '-- and drug them away.
Image Harry Lloyd as Bernard Marx. One of the novel's more resonant points is that entertainment is its own drug. ''That's something that we definitely recognize today,'' Lloyd said. Credit... Steve Schofield/Peacock Eager for a holiday, Lenina accompanies Bernard Marx (Harry Lloyd), an administrator with a thing for turtlenecks, on a pleasure tour of the Savage Lands. A living history park for the upper classes, the Savage Lands offer playlets based on antiquated customs '-- marriage, consumerism. Did I mention that everyone in New London speaks in clipped British accents while the Savage Lands dialect is strictly American?
When the holiday goes wrong '-- the Savage Lands has a sedition issue '-- Bernard and Lenina escape with the help of a sweaty, stubbly John (Alden Ehrenreich) and his raspy, bottle-blond mom (Demi Moore). John returns with them to New London and he, Lenina and Bernard, each of them grasping for greater human connection, form the basic geometry. (No prize for guessing who she chooses, but here's a hint: His genes still encode body hair.)
To envision New London and the Savage Lands and optical interfaces between (in New London, everyone plugs into the internet via biomorphic contact lenses), the show hired the production designer David Lee (''Watchmen''). ''Huxley's world, I mean, it's a design opportunity beyond belief,'' Lee said.
He and his team wanted to avoid the look of other films and series, though they did reference ''Blade Runner'' for its scale, he said, and ''Gattaca'' for its sleek modernism. Mostly, Lee looked to Brutalism '-- Oscar Niemeyer's Bras­lia, Carlo Scarpa's elegant interiors, Soviet monuments that stretch heavenward.
Built of gently curved concrete, which can glow warm or cool depending on the lighting, New London's buildings look both seductive and unyielding, as though Le Corbusier's studio had taken on a commission for a high-end spa (in a good way). The visual references for the Savage Lands: trailer parks and decayed Walmarts.
There's plenty of C.G.I. involved, though less than you might think. The Savage Lands were shot in Dungeness, England. Lee cheerfully described the found location as a ''flat, barren wasteland'' that needed only set dressing. At Dragon Studios, just outside Cardiff, Wales, construction outgrew the buildings and spilled into the backlot and then into another studio, totaling 38 distinct sets and hundreds of thousands of square feet. Brown Findlay remembered stepping into Dragon Studios for the first time and finding ''this great big concrete church almost,'' she said.
Image Demi Moore as Linda, a resident of the Savage Lands. Credit... Steve Schofield/Peacock The costumes, at least a thousand of them, also split the difference between modernism and futurism. Huxley had an obsession with zippers, and the costume designer Susie Coulthard honored it. But she embedded those zippers in vanguard materials, partnering with the Swiss textile innovators Jakob Schlaepfer on fabrics that have an oily or glassine appearance. A few outfits are made of balloon latex.
''I felt so immersed in what I was doing by what I was wearing,'' Brown Findlay, a veteran of period shows like ''Downton Abbey'' and ''Harlots'' said. ''That's saying something when you've worn a lot of huge giant corseted dresses.''
Huxley's technology needed updates even beyond textiles, mostly because a lot of what he imagined (videoconferencing, television, test-tube babies) has already come to pass. Even his self-driving aircraft are in the works.
The novel's utopian vision, with its ugly flares of racism and misogyny, also required renovation. ''The book's hugely problematic,'' Wiener said. So the show pivoted toward equality, race-bending and gender-flipping several of the supporting characters.
''It turns out there's nothing about those characters that necessarily needed to be white or male,'' Wiener said.
The main characters have undergone some changes, too. Lenina, a cheerful sex bunny in the book, has been granted interiority. Pompous Bernard has softened. In the novel, John is prissy and deeply neurotic, anti-sex and anti-fun.
''It'd be a little like taking Mike Pence to New London,'' Wiener quipped. ''No one would want to watch that.''
So Ehrenreich's John has loosened up and muscled up, though he remains extremely emo. Ehrenreich, best known as the titular swashbuckler in ''Solo,'' prefers to describe John as romantic.
''The only thing he has to hold onto in is his ardent belief in a deep, emotional love,'' he said.
If the novel traffics mostly in satire, the tone here is more ambivalent. It gets to have its promiscuity '-- what is prestige TV, after all, without the occasional orgy? '-- and moralize about it, too.
Maybe you will share that ambivalence. After all, a society organized around pleasure '-- consequence-free sex, party drugs, renewable fashion '-- doesn't sound terrible. ''There were definitely moments on set where we were like, this is pretty good,'' Ehrenreich said.
But possibly that's just the prop soma talking. One of the novel's spikier and more resonant points is that entertainment is its own drug, numbing us against discomfort. ''That's something that we definitely recognize today,'' Lloyd, who plays Bernard, said. ''The moment where you sit on your own in the darkness to question what it's all about, there's so many things to do on your phone.''
''Brave New World'' '-- available soon on the Peacock app! '-- is one more of them. Yes, it traffics in philosophy and muses upon ''the relationship between happiness and freedom, and what you're willing to risk of each for the other,'' Lloyd said.
But as Olmstead, the Universal Content president, told me '-- twice '-- the show shouldn't feel like homework. How much thinking will you do while you watch the buildings, the clothes, the toned bodies, the glowing skin? How well do sex and social critique actually mix? Well enough for more seasons, Wiener hopes.
Huxley didn't foresee this exact moment. (Very few of us had both a global pandemic and an overdue racial reckoning on our 2020 bingo card.) But the idea of a computer in every pocket, a social media feed for every mood, entertainment on demand and life as livestream wouldn't have surprised him.
Perhaps he can even imagine us now, pulling up Peacock, clicking on one ''Brave New World'' episode and then another. Bingeing while the world burns.
EXCLUSIVE: US College Entrance Exam Board Gets Chinese Communist Party Cash to Push Propaganda
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:10
College Board, the organization which oversees college entrance exams in the United States, is helping to embed Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institutes in American high schools, granting the Chinese government the ability to dictate what is taught in classrooms, The National Pulse can reveal. The organization, which has existed for over 120 years, has partnered with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) groups, including the notorious propaganda front known as Hanban, or Confucius Institutes, on conferences, delegations to China, and curricula decisions.
The National Pulse can today reveal that College Board, which receives hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Education, offers a ''Chinese Guest Teacher Program'' for K-12 institutions in partnership with the Confucius Institutes, the CCP-funded, controversial operation that purports to be a language and culture initiative. Every year, the program ''serves hundreds of K''12 schools and districts nationwide and reaches tens of thousands of U.S. students.''
In reality, Confucius Institutes launder propaganda for the Chinese government, and in the words of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, are replete with ''undisclosed ties to Chinese institutions, and conflicted loyalties.''
Confucius Institutes have also been linked with intellectual property theft, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Despite this, College Board President David Coleman has extolled the virtues of Hanban, the colloquial Chinese abbreviation for the Confucius Institutes, with his comments amplified by Chinese state media:
''Hanban is just like the sun. It lights the path to develop Chinese teaching in the US. The College Board is the moon. I am so honored to reflect the light that we've gotten from Hanban.''
The Guest Teacher Program also notes that Confucius Institute teachers ''assist in curriculum development,'' bridging the gap between Chinese propaganda and American schools.
Confucius Institute teachers are encouraged to use textbooks written by a part of the Chinese Communist Party called the ''Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council (OCAO).''
OCAO is part of a committee identified by the U.S. government's China Economic and Security Review Commission as seeking to ''mobilize'' American to ''advocate for the interests of the CCP and marginalize its opponents.''
Hanban, an official arm of the CCP, is bankrolling the program; the site, however, fails to mention its Chinese government links. They simply suggest:
Made possible through a collaboration between College Board and Hanban, the program has grown to be the largest Chinese visiting teacher program in the U.S.
In addition to the Guest Teacher Program, College Board also collaborates with Hanban on an annual Chinese Bridge Delegation to China a ''weeklong program in China to help educators start or strengthen their institution's Chinese programs and partnerships.''
College Board's website notes, in a similar fashion to the aforementioned Teacher Program, that ''this program is made possible by Hanban, committed to the development of multiculturalism and providing Chinese language and cultural teaching resources worldwide.''
A third level of partnership between the College Board and the Chinese Communist Party has existed since 2007, in the form of an annual National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC), again in collaboration with Hanban.
In addition to featuring panels such as ''Race, Sex, and Gender in the Chinese Language Classroom'' and other progressive subjects, the conferences routinely feature CCP members and high-ranking professors and CCP-funded institutions such as Peking University. A panel at the 2020 NCLC, ''How to Talk to Young Students About Racism, Protests, and Their Role in Shaping the Future,'' for example, ''invited Chinese language teachers to engage in a candid conversation addressing race and social injustice within the United States.''
The conference, which has enjoyed participation from former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, aims to amplify the reach of Confucius Institutes by ''enhancing the capacity for teaching and learning of Chinese language culture by sharing cutting''edge practices and examples with educators and policymakers.''
The multi-layered relationship between College Board '' which also manages assessments such as Advanced Placement (AP) exams which play a determinative role in college admissions '' is egregious in light of China's routine hacking and cheating of American academic testing.
Countless tutoring centers in China have exploited the College Board's practice of reusing test materials, circulating answer keys to students before the corresponding exams are administered.
Despite documents revealing College Board officials were aware China had ''compromised'' at least four exams in one year, as Reuters notes, the College Board ''took no steps to restrict testing in China, the SAT's largest international market by far, even as it tightened security in smaller countries where exams had leaked.''
With these partnerships, College Board is going a step beyond the usual U.S. academic approach of turning a blind eye to the aggression by the Chinese Communist regime against American interests.
And just like U.S. universities have become increasingly reliant upon the billions provided by foreign students, College Board appears to be focused solely on raising revenue from the Chinese Communist Party.
Vatican
Pope Francis has already signed 'ambitious' Roman Curia reform document: Vatican observer | News | LifeSite
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 17:23
VATICAN CITY, July 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) '-- According to a report by the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, Pope Francis's long-awaited document reforming the Roman Curia has already been signed and is currently being translated into various languages. The new constitution will lead to dozens of new appointments within the Vatican bureaucracy.
The La Croix article, written by Robert Mickens, did not provide any significant details of the new constitution, which it says is titled ''Praedicate Evangelium'' (''Preach the Gospel'').
''It is perhaps the most ambitious project of the current pontificate,'' wrote Mickens. Based only on ''a source at the Vatican'' who claimed the document is done, Mickens spent the bulk of the article talking about ''more than two-dozen Rome-based cardinals [having to be] sent into retirement.''
He admitted himself that it is unlikely for the document to be published during the summer. ''Naturally, this would be extremely out of the ordinary,'' he wrote. ''The middle of Roman summer is not usually the time for launching major Vatican documents or important events. But this is not an ordinary pontificate.''
''No matter when the new text is unveiled, the ramifications will be manifold and likely historic,'' he added. ''One of the first and most visible of these will be a massive personnel shake-up.''
In any case, a number of cardinals heading various congregations and other parts of the Roman Curia are older than 75, which has been the ''traditional'' retirement age among bishops for several decades. At that point, they are expected to submit their resignation. However, Pope Francis left several leaders in place. La Croix speculates that with the reform of the Roman Curia to be released soon, those heads will roll.
Mickens specifically mentioned Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. While put in his position by Pope Francis himself, the pope has rebuked the cardinal several times for his statements on the liturgy.
''This is the third time that Pope Francis has publicly corrected Cardinal Sarah for giving an alternative interpretation to his instructions on the liturgy,'' wrote the dissident Jesuit publication America Magazine. ''On previous occasions, the pope corrected the cardinal after Sarah misrepresented the pope's instruction on the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, and again after Sarah publicly advocated that the Eucharist should be celebrated with the priest facing east ('ad orientem').''
PETITION: Support priest who was suspended for calling out the Black Lives Matter organization! Sign the petition here.
Further cardinals to be replaced, according to Mickens, include Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; and Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
Mickens also pointed to several positions at a lower level of the Vatican's bureaucracy, for instance on the Council for the Economy, headed by German cardinal Reinhard Marx. However, the archbishop of Munich and Freising will probably stay, Mickens speculated.
As pointed out by Mickens, the draft of the new constitution ''was completed over a year ago, but the pope wanted to give national episcopal conferences, select heads of religious orders and certain theologians the opportunity to offer more suggestions.''
In January 2020, canon lawyer Ed Condon said in an analysis piece for the Catholic News Agency (CNA) that the reform of the Roman Curia could lead to a validation of the Synodal Path in Germany, calling for significant changes to Catholic teaching on sexual morality.
''In what would be a significant innovation, the draft constitution specifically refers to the 'genuine doctrinal authority' of national bishops' conferences,'' explained Condon. Further, according to the draft, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith '''will apply the principle of subsidiarity' on any measures related to 'protecting the faith.'''
In Condon's article, ''multiple sources familiar with the drafting process'' are cited as saying the document ''was heavily informed by the wishes of Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, [former] head of the German bishops' conference, and a key member of the Pope's council of cardinal advisors.'' This, added Condon, ''was the focus of sustained criticism in feedback offered by bishops around the world last summer.''
Officials working for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Bishops told CNA ''that, if the provision remains in the final text of the constitution, it would essentially validate the German synodal process, whatever the curia's stated objections to it.''
In his piece for La Croix, Robert Mickens also mentioned a rumor that ''the Vatican recently ordered 15 rings to be made for an upcoming consistory'' creating new cardinals. ''Again, it would be highly unusual, especially at a time when even churchgoers have to respect social distancing and wear facemasks.''
''But there is no Church canon that says the red hat ceremonies must be the elaborate galas that they've turned into over the years,'' he concluded.
A reformed Roman Curia and a new batch of cardinals
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 17:27
Strange as it sounds, there's word the new constitution is signed and the rings have been ordered
It is perhaps the most ambitious project of the current pontificate: attempting to truly reform the mentality and structures of the Catholic Church's central '' and, up until Francis arrived, centralizing'' bureaucracy known as the Roman Curia.
Exactly one month after his election in March 2013, the Argentine pope established the "Council of Cardinals".
Originally made up of eight and then nine senior churchman from different parts of the world, the members of this C-9 were given the task of helping Francis in his governance of the Universal Church.
They were also given the very specific project of drawing up a plan to reform the curia by revising the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus, which currently regulates this Vatican structure.
A draft of the new constitution was completed over a year ago, but the pope wanted to give national episcopal conferences, select heads of religious orders and certain theologians the opportunity to offer more suggestions.
Early in the year there was talk that the final document would be released on the Feast of the Chair of St Peter in February or, at latest, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul at the end of June.
Praedicate Evangelium has already been signedBut then the pandemic hit and the remnant of the C-9, now reduced to just six cardinal-members, cancelled its last three meetings.
So is the project on hold? Not according to a source at the Vatican who claimed the new constitution, Praedicate Evangelium, is done and Pope Francis has already signed it.
It appears the text is currently being carefully translated into the major languages. And once that is done, it will be officially published.
Naturally, this would be extremely out of the ordinary. The middle of Roman summer is not usually the time for launching major Vatican documents or important events. But this is not an ordinary pontificate.
No matter when the new text is unveiled, the ramifications will be manifold and likely historic.
One of the first and most visible of these will be a massive personnel shake-up.
It will take months and even years to implement the changes the new constitution mandates and Francis will have to find the people he can trust and who are on the some page as him to oversee the implementation of the constitution.
Heads will rollThe reformed Roman Curia will require new leadership, as more than two-dozen Rome-based cardinals are sent into retirement.
Pope Francis will name a new prefect at the Congregation for Bishops to replace Cardinal Marc Ouellet. The 76-year-old Ratzinger prot(C)g(C) has held this extremely important post the past ten years.
One of the consequences of the French-Canadian's retirement is that it will significantly diminish his candidacy in a future conclave.
In the post-Vatican II era, when it became normal for bishops to retire at or shortly after 75 years of age, all the men who have been elected pope were still in office at the time of the conclave.
Francis will also be replacing Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, 75, who has exceeded his five-year term as head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. John Paul II brought the then-rather inconspicuous Sarah to Rome in 2001 to be the No. 2 (archbishop-secretary) at Propaganda Fide.
Once Benedict XVI promoted him and gave him the red hat in 2010, the cardinal has increasingly become one of the Vatican's leading traditionalists and social conservatives.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, a 76-year-old Argentine who spent his whole ecclesiastical career in service of the Holy See, will be replaced at the Congregation for Eastern Churches.
A key figure in John Paul II's pontificate, he has been in his current job since 2007. But Sandri will be staying in Rome since he was recently elected vice-dean of the College of Cardinals.
The Congregation for Catholic Education will be getting a new prefect, too.
The present office-holder, Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, has already completed his quinquennium and will be 77 at the end of this month. After spending five years as a diocesan bishop in northern Italy, he came to the Vatican in 2011 during Benedict XVI's pontificate.
Pope Francis will also have to replace Cardinal Beniamino Stella, who has been prefect at the Congregation for the Clergy since the beginning of the pontificate.
A native of Italy's Veneto region, the life-long Vatican diplomat with extensive experience in Latin America, turns 79 in August.
The No. 2 official in Cardinal Stella's office, Archbishop Joel Mercier, is also likely to be replaced.
The Frenchman turned 75 at the beginning of the year, just a few days before completing his five-year term as the congregation's secretary.
The pope is expected to accept the resignation of the secretary at Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as well. Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci has been in that job a bit more than ten years. And the Assisi native recently turned 76 years of age.
There had been rumors that Francis was going to fill the No. 2 position at Saints with Archbishop Georg G¤nswein, the personal secretary and housemate of Benedict XVI.
But that was before the pope relieved the German prelate, who turns 64 on July 30, from his day-to-day duties as prefect of the Papal Household.
It had something to do with G¤nswein's role in Benedict co-authoring a controversial book against married priests with Cardinal Sarah'...
Pope Francis will have to find new management for Vatican City State, as well.
The current "governor" is Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, a career papal diplomat who has been in the post since 2011 and is just three months shy of his 78th birthday.
And the secretary general (since 2013) is Archbishop Fernando V(C)rgez Alzaga, a 75-year-old Spaniard and Legionary of Christ. Both Bertello and V(C)rgez will be replaced.
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, one of Benedict's oldest and staunchest Vatican allies, will be relieved of his duties, as well. A priest from Genoa in the mold of the late conservative Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, Piacenza is currently head of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
Francis put him there soon after becoming pope in 2013, removing the Italian from his post as prefect of the Congregation for Clergy just three years into a five-year term.
Other top officials that are 75 years of age or older, and who are going to be replaced or simply retired once the new constitution on the Roman Curia is published, include Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
The popular Italian scripture scholar, who moved from Milan in 2007 to take up this Vatican post, turns 77 in October.
And Cardinal Angelo Comastri, an Italian who became Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica just a couple of months before John Paul II's death in 2005, will be 76 in September.
Bishop Brian Farrell, who has done outstanding work since 2002 as secretary at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is already 76 years old.
If Francis is thinking of totally revamping the Roman Curia, it is likely he will accept the Legionary of Christ's resignation.
And while the president of this pontifical council, Cardinal Kurt Koch, is only 70, the German-speaking Swiss prelate has been in this job since 2010. Look for him to be moved or given early retirement.
There are a couple of other cardinals who have already reached retirement age and whose future is not certain.
Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, Archpriest of Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major, just turned 75 on July 4. A priest from Krakow, he was brought to the Vatican in 1987 by the man who ordained him presbyter, John Paul II.
As part of the so-called "Polish Mafia", Rylko spent his entire Roman career at the now-defunct Pontifical Council for the Laity, eventually reigning as president from 2003-2016.
That's the office responsible for approving the new ecclesial movements John Paul so favored. It would be unusual for Francis to remove him from his largely ceremonial post at St. Mary Major, but -- again -- he is not your usual pope'...
The other man in red who is already beyond retirement age is Cardinal Luis Ladaria, currently prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Spanish Jesuit turned 76 this past April, but he's been head of the "Holy Office" for only three years. Francis seems to trust him, but does he have enough confidence that Ladaria is the right man to implement the reform that the doctrinal office will be slated to undergo?
The fate of Archbishop Rino Fisichella is still unknown.
The 69-year-old Italian theologian has been president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization since 2010 when Benedict XVI created the office.
But Francis is shutting it down and folding its work into what is currently called the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide).
But the congregation is also going to be transformed and the pope has recently brought the 63-year-old Filipino Cardinal Luis Tagle to Rome to head up that new enterprise.
Five or six of the eight cardinals that make up the Council for the Economy are also expected to be replaced, namely because they are over 75 and already retired from their primary jobs as diocesan bishops.
They include Cardinals John Tong Hon, former Bishop of Hong Kong, soon to be 81;
Agostino Vallini, 80, former Vicar of Rome;
Wilfrid Napier OFM, 79, soon to retire as Archbishop of Durban;
Norberto Rivera Carrera, 78, former Archbishop of Mexico City;
Juan Luis Cipriani, 76, former Archbishop of Lima;
and Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard,75, former Archbishop of Bordeaux.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, 71, of Galveston-Houston, will likely remain on the Council for the Economy with its 66-year-old coordinator, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, 66, of Munich.
And, naturally, the Council of Cardinals '' the body that has helped Francis draw up the curial reform '' will also have to be replenished.
It's possible that some of them are not even cardinals yet. But that they could be getting the red hat sooner than anyone could have imagined.
The word is that the Vatican recently ordered 15 rings to be made for an upcoming consistory. Again, it would be highly unusual, especially at a time when even churchgoers have to respect social distancing and wear facemasks.
But there is no Church canon that says the red hat ceremonies must be the elaborate galas that they've turned into over the years.
Making new cardinals in a small, more sober setting, at a time one least expects?
Unusual, yes. But not beyond Pope Francis.
Follow me on Twitter @robinrome
Cdl Zen: Vatican has delivered Church in China into 'hands of the madness of our government' | News | LifeSite
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 17:30
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) '• Cardinal Zen, the retired bishop of Hong Kong, told a popular EWTN news host that the Vatican deal with China is a ''betrayal of the real Church.''
Zen, 88, appeared on EWTN's The World Over with Raymond Arroyo show on July 10 to discuss China's new ''security law'' for Hong Kong. The measure was imposed upon the former British colony on June 30.
Pope Francis was expected to comment last Sunday on the unhappy situation in Hong Kong and speak in defence of religious freedom. The remarks were in copies of his speech distributed to journalists, but he dropped them from his Angelus address.
''I have seen the text, which is very mild, in no way offensive to the Chinese government,'' said Zen.
''Some say maybe the Holy Father thought it was better not to say [something], or some say he may have received some word from the Chinese Embassy in Italy.''
''It's not an isolated episode. It's already a long-standing policy of the Vatican not to offend the Chinese government.''
Cardinal Zen also repeated his misgivings about the secret deal between the Holy See and the communist government of China, noting that after the concordat was signed, circumstances for Catholics in China became much worse. Seven bishops of the schismatic Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association who had challenged Church doctrine were legitimized in the wake of the agreement, and even now, they show no sign of repentance or gratitude to Pope Francis, Zen said.
''They went around singing triumph,'' he said. ''Now they are winners. They have been clever to follow the government.''
Because of the failings of these seven bishops and the fact that good underground Catholic bishops loyal to Rome were asked to step aside for two of them, Zen believes he is justified in saying, as he has said previously, that Pope Francis ''is giving the sheep to the wolves.''
''If you knew those seven people, [you would ask] how could they become bishops? Two of them are not observing the law of celibacy[.] ... Everybody knows. I may be a big sinner, but they are public sinners,'' he said. ''So it's a scandal to make them bishops.''
Zen is even more distressed by the supplanting of the two faithful underground bishops by bishops from the Patriotic Association.
''It's a betrayal of the real Church,'' he declared.
The new national security law imposed on Hong Kong purports to outlaw secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreigners. Hong Kong will also have to appoint its own national security commission, which will be controlled by mainland China. Zen believes that the national security law will override the provisions of Hong Kong's Basic Law.
''With this so-called national security law, we are back to the Cultural Revolution,'' Zen said. ''We are at the mercy of this new commission.''
The cardinal said he went through the whole text of the law and said he could sum it up in one sentence: ''Now they can do anything.''
''We need your prayers because we are in the hands of the madness of our government,'' he said.
Cardinal John Tong Hon, the apostolic administrator of Hong Kong, has said he believes that the national security law will not interfere with freedom of religion. Tong trusts that Hong Kong's Basic Law will continue to guarantee freedom of religion.
Cardinal Zen does not agree.
''I am a good brother to Cardinal Tong, but he has to be obedient to the instructions of the Vatican,'' the cardinal said. ''And now to be with the Vatican almost means to be full of respect for the Chinese government.''
''For me the Vatican is constantly pursuing a policy of submissiveness to the Chinese government,'' Zen continued. ''I cannot explain the meaning of what Cardinal Tong said because for me the Basic Law is finished.''
Hong Kong has not had a bishop of its own for a year and a half, and Zen believes that this is because the successful candidate will need ''a blessing'' from Beijing.
Cardinal Zen refused to make a distinction between churchmen like himself and all the citizens of Hong Kong, whose freedoms he believes are under threat. Zen stated that anyone who protests the new national security law is in danger, and he is no exception.
PETITION: Support Cardinal Zen's plea to stop the "murder of the Church in China"! Sign the petition here.
''I think we bishops, even a bishop emeritus, have a duty to defend freedoms because by our episcopal ordination we are now responsible for the sustaining of the doctrine of the Church,'' he added.
''The Church is on the side of the persecuted, and so we are bound to say something which may be taken as an offense against the new law.''
Zen said he knows that American Catholics are praying and doing ''many things'' to help the Church in China, and that he hopes that the whole Church will awaken.
''Now we can see the real face of the Chinese Communist Party, and now [we have] spiritual warfare between the Lie and the Truth, between the selfish desire of power, of domination, and concern for other people,'' he said.
''So it is warfare between good and evil. I hope the whole world will stand up.''
A year ago, Zen made an emergency trip to Rome in an attempt to warn Pope Francis about the Vatican's just-released pastoral document that gives priests in China reasons why they should register with the communist government.
The cardinal marked the anniversary this July by noting on his blog and Twitter that Pope Francis had still not responded to his several ''dubia'' or criticisms of the document that Zen described as ''the most cruel thing'' the Vatican has done concerning the Catholic Church in China, ''absolutely against the doctrine of the Church, because it encourages people to be part of a schismatic Church.''
With the ''Pastoral guidance for the civil registration of clergy in China,'' Parolin ''murdered the Church in China,'' Zen wrote.
After reading the document, the retired bishop of Hong Kong immediately flew to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis.
Zen also questioned the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization and the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the document. The former said he was not asked to sign off on the guidance, and the latter told Zen, ''Now everything about China is exclusively in the hands of the Secretary of State.''
Once he arrived in Rome, Zen sent a letter to the pope asking him to be present ''at a dialogue between me and Cardinal Parolin, the obvious author of the document.''
He described how after receiving no answer, he sent Pope Francis another letter on July 1 along with ''my 'dubia' about the document, which I judged to be absolutely against the doctrine of the Church, because it encourages people to be part of a schismatic Church.''
On July 2, Francis advised Zen by letter to talk to Parolin, at which point the cardinal told the message-bearer: ''It would be completely useless; so, please, tell the Holy Father I'm going back empty-handed.''
But the pontiff then invited Zen to a July 3 supper '• but with another guest: Parolin himself. During the supper, Parolin didn't have much to say. Pope Francis showed ''great affection'' to Zen, the Chinese cardinal recalled, but also ''some embarrassment.''
Zen wrote that he realized that Parolin had planned the dinner to make it clear that the Holy Father listened to him, not Zen, and that Parolin had no intention of talking about the pastoral guidelines to Zen.
''So I did not come back empty-handed. I had a chance to see with my eyes that Parolin is manipulating the Holy Father,'' he wrote.
Pope Skirts Hagia Sophia in Six Words
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 16:54
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Sign up today!VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis broke his silence on Hagia Sophia at the end of his Angelus address Sunday to deliver a six word non-condemnation of Islam's takeover of the world's greatest Byzantine basilica.
"I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened," is how Vatican News translated Francis' statement from the Italian: "Penso a Santa Sofia, e sono molto addolorato."
Pope Francis with President Erdoğan at the VaticanFrancis began his post-Angelus address offering greetings for International Sea Day and after addressing seafarers for a few minutes, said: "And the sea takes me a little far with my thoughts: in Istanbul."
The Holy Father then dropped in six words '-- not counting a single letter preposition and conjunction '-- almost in parenthesis, on the historic crisis facing Hagia Sophia.
Francis added further greetings and ended his address wishing the audience "a good lunch."
Speaking to Church Militant, distinguished Islamic historian Robert Spencer blasted Francis' equivocation.
"The pope's tardy statement manifests a studied ambiguity," Spencer said. "What exactly is he saddened about? He doesn't say."
"Is he saddened because what was the foremost church in the Christian world for nearly a millennium, and the center of Eastern Christianity, has been made a mosque?" Spencer asked.
Or is he saddened because this act harms the dialogue he has so ardently pursued with the Islamic world '-- even at the price of silence over the Muslim persecution of Christians '-- and demonstrates that his dialogue partners are not remotely as interested in tolerance, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence as he likes to pretend that they are?
The author of the bestselling The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS continued: "Has he made this unclear statement because he doesn't wish to say anything clearly in support of maintaining Hagia Sophia's status as a museum, for fear of offending those Muslim dialogue partners?"
The pope's tardy statement manifests a studied ambiguity. What exactly is he saddened about? He doesn't say.
"The conversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque should be the occasion of some introspection on the pope's part, leading him to reconsider the value of a Muslim-Christian dialogue that has not prevented this expression of Islamic triumphalism and supremacism. But it almost certainly will not be," Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, concluded.
Church Militant has repeatedly called out Pope Francis for his silence on Hagia Sophia, pointing out the failure of the pontiff's controversial "Human Fraternity" pact with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb signed in February 2019.
Hagia Sophia's Islamic takeover, violates the Abu Dhabi declaration, which calls for "the protection of places of worship '-- synagogues, churches and mosques" as "a duty guaranteed by religions, human values, laws and international agreements."
Greece described Islam's occupation of Hagia Sophia as a "provocation to the civilized world" with culture minister Lina Mendoni pointing out that "the nationalism shown by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan takes his country back six centuries."
Francis, an unrelenting critic of Western nationalism, has never rebuked Erdoğan for his rabid Islamic nationalism.
Muslims offer prayer outside Hagia SophiaInstead, in February 2018, the pope invited Erdoğan to the Vatican and gifted him with a symbol of peace at a time when Turkish forces were continuing their military offensive against Kurds in Syria.
The pontiff presented Erdoğan with a bronze medallion portraying an angel embracing the world while battling a dragon.
"For the first time since his election, I actually pity Francis," Catholic academic John Zmirak told Church Militant. "This timid squeak of distress about the profanation of one of Christendom's holiest places ... it might even come from the heart."
"Francis recalls to me one of the lost souls in C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, who may leave Hell if they wish. But they've built inextricable traps of pride, sloth, wrath, or other vices," the author of the The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism lamented.
"Francis has trapped himself in the Woke ideology of the post-Christian left. He cannot condemn abuses unless they're the fault of Designated Villains. That is, white, straight, orthodox Christian males," Dr. Zmirak explained.
"When Islamist Turks, or Chinese Communists, or secular abortion activists victimize the weak, Francis' mouth is stuffed. His Manichaean hatred of the West and its past renders him a moral idiot," Zmirak excoriated.
Earlier on Friday, the Orthodox Times ran a scorching editorial on the Vatican's failure to speak out: "The unjustified silence of the Holy See and personally of Pope Francis on the burning issue of the conversion of the emblematic church of Hagia Sophia into a mosque causes concern and sadness in the Christian world."
When Islamist Turks, or Chinese Communists, or secular abortion activists victimize the weak, Francis' mouth is stuffed.
"At a time when the whole world, both religiously and politically and academically, has taken a clear stand against Turkey's intention to once again defile the temple of the Wisdom of God, the loquacious and ever-sensitive bishop of Rome is '... silent," it remonstrated.
This "is the second time in the history of Hagia Sophia that a global appeal has been made for its protection, and unfortunately Rome prefers not to get involved," the editorial observed, recalling Constantinople's conquest by Muslim invaders in 1453.
Justin Welby hosts Grand Imam Al-Tayyeb at Lambeth Palace"Today, 560 years later, unfortunately, history repeats itself," the Orthodox journal lamented.
On June 18, Turkey's Catholic bishops expressed reluctance to speak out on the Muslim takeover of the museum.
"We are a Church that lacks legal status, so we cannot give advice on the internal affairs of this country," the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Turkey said.
"Although we would like the Hagia Sophia to maintain its character as a museum, we are not in position to intervene or even express our opinion on a decision that concerns exclusively the Turkish Republic," the bishops added.
Global religious and secular leaders condemned the verdict of Turkey's highest administrative court which paved the way for Hagia Sophia to return to its conquered status as a mosque.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew earlier warned if Hagia Sophia was made a mosque it would "push millions of Christians around the world against Islam" and "cause a break between the two worlds" of East and West.
"The concern of millions of Christians was not listened to," lamented Moscow Patriarchate's spokesman Vladimir Legoida.
The loquacious and ever-sensitive bishop of Rome is '... silent.
Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church called it "a blow to world orthodoxy," while Archpriest Nikolai Balashov said the event "could have serious consequences for the entire human civilization."
Even the liberal World Council of Churches (WCC) denounced Turkey's decision, conveying "the grief and dismay" of its 350 member churches.
"By deciding to convert the Hagia Sophia back to a mosque you have reversed that positive sign of Turkey's openness and changed it to a sign of exclusion and division," a WCC statement said.
Pope Francis reticence on Hagia Sophia has been matched only by the silence of Anglican archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, a close ecumenical partner of the pontiff. On a visit to Istanbul in 2014, Welby categorically stated: "It [Hagia Sophia] should not become a mosque." But Welby, who hosted Grand Imam Al-Tayyeb at Lambeth Palace in 2018, has been tight-lipped on the Islamization of the basilica.
"Both Pope Francis and Abp. Welby claim to have established terrific relations with the world's most important Sunni Muslim leader. President Erdoğan is a Sunni Muslim. Why, then, have neither of them used their interfaith partnership with Al-Tayyeb to bring pressure on Erdoğan?" Church Militant asked a Shariah scholar.
"Because Islam, following the teaching of its prophet Muhammad, doesn't believe in honoring treaties with infidels," the scholar responded.
On Friday, the Council of State, Turkey's top court, annulled the 1934 decision of president Kemal Atat¼rk's cabinet to turn Hagia Sophia into a museum as part of his secularist reforms.
Immediately afterwards, President Erdoğan announced the resumption of Muslim prayers in Hagia Sophia from July 24.
Emperor Justinian the Great dedicated the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople to the Wisdom of God in 537. Sultan Mohammed II conquered Constantinople and converted the basilica into a mosque in 1453.
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Cardinal Zen: Vatican Is 'Giving Everything' to China's Communists
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 22:15
ROME '-- Cardinal Joseph Zen said this week that the Vatican seeks compromise with China's Communist Party (CCP), but they want ''complete surrender.''
Zen '-- the former bishop of Hong Kong '-- has been a vocal critic of the Vatican's rapprochement with the CCP, insisting that Pope Francis is ''na¯ve'' in dealing with a country he knows little about.
In September, 2018, the Vatican signed a secret agreement with China regarding the appointment of future Catholic bishops in the country. The provisions of the deal have never been made public but Vatican observers unanimously assume that the Holy See yielded some authority in the naming of bishops to the CCP.
''The pope doesn't know much about China. And he may have some sympathy for the Communists, because in South America, the Communists are good guys, they suffer for social justice,'' Zen told Catholic News Agency (CNA). ''But not the [Chinese] Communists. They are persecutors.''
''So the situation is, humanly speaking, hopeless for the Catholic Church: Because we can always expect the Communists to persecute the Church, but now [faithful Catholics] don't get any help from the Vatican,'' he said.
''The Vatican is helping the government, surrendering, giving everything into their hands,'' Zen said.
Last December, Cardinal Zen said that Pope Francis' policies in dealing with the CCP are ''killing'' the underground Church in that country.
''Unfortunately, my experience of my contact with the Vatican is simply disastrous,'' the cardinal said, noting his particular distress over the Vatican's deal with Beijing over the naming of bishops and a subsequent Vatican document allowing Catholic clergy to register with the state-run pseudo-church.
''A secret agreement, being so secret you can't say anything,'' Zen said of the deal. ''We don't know what is in it. Then the legitimization of the seven excommunicated bishops. That's incredible, simply incredible.''
''But even more incredible is the last act: the killing of the underground,'' he said.
''Now they finished their job,'' the cardinal said in reference to a document bearing the title ''Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China'' regarding Catholic priests enlisting in the state-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), which does not recognize the authority of Rome.
The document offered Chinese clergy the opportunity to register with the CPA in good conscience as long as they specify that they are acting without failing in their duty ''to remain faithful to the principles of Catholic doctrine.''
While hastening to insist it ''understands and respects the choice of those who, in conscience, decide that they are unable to register under the current conditions,'' by explicitly authorizing membership in the CPA, the Vatican has removed its support for those who do not wish to do so.
This last act is ''simply incredible,'' Cardinal Zen said. ''The document says, 'To minister openly, you need to register with the government.' And then you have to sign. To sign something in which it says that you have to support the independent church.''
''The document contains something against our orthodoxy and they are encouraged to sign,'' he said. ''When you sign, you accept to be a member of that church under the leadership of the communist party. So terrible, terrible.''
The next time I see the pope, ''I'm going to tell him 'you are encouraging a schism. You are legitimizing the schismatic church in China,''' Zen said. ''Incredible.''
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Head of papal household says he did not favour election of Francis
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 21:09
In an interview on German television to mark the first anniversary of Pope Francis' pontificate, Archbishop Georg G¤nswein, head of the papal household, revealed how he did not favour the election of Pope Francis.
Asked on ZDF on 13 March whether the election of Pope Francis at the conclave last year had surprised him, Archbishop G¤nswein said, ''Well, yes, as I had favoured other candidates '' I was wrong '' but then so were other people.''
He went on to say that at the moment the Pope is the darling of the media ''but that won't always be the case''. The Pope is not ''everybody's darling'', he said, using the English phrase.
Asked about his two jobs '' he is also secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict '' he describes how Pope Francis asked him to give Benedict the text of the interview Francis gave to Antonio Spadaro, the Italian Jesuit and editor of La Civilt Cattolica. The Pope pointed out that he'd left a blank page right after the table of contents for Benedict to make any comments, should he wish to.
''So I took the text to the Holy Father [sic], explained what the Pope had said and showed him the blank page. Three days later Benedict handed me four pages of reflections, notes and supplements concerning certain questions '' things one might go into in more detail elsewhere '' most interesting - but I'm not of course going to reveal them. I then took this booty back to the Pope," G¤nswein said with a chuckle.
What the Pope Emeritus wrote on the pages has not been revealed.
Have your say on Elena Curti's blog: G¤nswein: the mask slips
Photo: Pope Benedict XVI is assisted by Archbishop Georg G¤nswein, prefect of the papal household and the pope's personal secretary, as he arrives to attend a meeting with seminarians at the major seminary of the Diocese of Rome in February 2013 Image: CNS
Did Bill Gates ask Bergoglio to shut down the Catholic Church? | FromRome.Info
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 00:57
by Br. Alexis Bugnolo, Editor
As a reader of FromRome.Info, you may have noticed that I try to emphasize reports which connect the dots '-- that is, which show the relationships between cause and effect, and try to discern the cause of effects and demonstrate the effects of causes.
I do this, because as as student in middle school, I recognized that only when you understand causes and effects do you really begin to understand.
Investigating the Corona HypeAt the beginning I believed the hype on Coronavirus. Because like most people, you just do not hold as a default that everyone in the Media would all lie about something in the same way at the same time for some purpose. But thanks to you readers, I took a look at the facts and that opened my eyes.
For that reason, I have recently published for you a series articles about the Corona Hype, which show that the panic being pushed by the World Health Organization and National leaders is not based on the real threat of COVID-19, the natural mortality of which world wide is much lower than the normal winter flue in the principle nations of the earth. For all the articles on Corona Virus, see here.
This led me to take the editorial position against the hype, on March 16, in my Editorial pledging to oppose it.
Reflecting on this, I began to recognize the true story here was the universal, unquestioning and dogmatic hype regarding a phenomenon which medically did not deserve such panic-mongering.
As an anthropologist '-- B. A. University of Florida, Gainesville, 1986 '-- I know that in such human events, the causes are human beings. Specifically, the causes arise among individuals asking or advising one another to act in response to certain events. For this reason, I owe a big thanks to the lady who goes by the Nick, The Amazing Polly, for encouraging me to question what was going on, from the point of view of the human event of the Corona Hype.
As a son of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, I know that when it comes to the manipulation of the masses, one must look at Freemasonry and the many organizations which are founded upon promoting lies so as to rule by mendacity. For this reason, I already knew much of what Alex Jones reported more than 10 years ago, about the Bilderberg Group. But his report was prophetic, in a sense, because therein he explains in a way easily understood, just what the global network of elites want to do and how they are achieving their plans. See his movie, the End Game, a link to which you can find here in the middle of the Article.
Did the Bilderberg Meeting in 2019 plan Corona Hype?One of the important lessons you can learn from Jone's, Endgame, is that the Bilderberg Group plans world events in advance and executes them through a myriad of organizations each of which is controlled by a Bilderberg agent in that organization, whether private, national, or ecclesiastical.
If you want to understand, then, the ultimate cause of the Corona Panic, it pays to take a look at last year's agenda for the Bilderberg Meeting in 2019. Let me quote from their official press release, on the agenda for their 2019 meeting. Their words, not mine:
MONTREUX, 28 MAY 2019 '' The 67th Bilderberg Meeting will take place from 30 May '' 2 June 2019 in Montreux, Switzerland. About 130 participants from 23 countries have confirmed their attendance. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia, labour and the media has been invited. The list of participants is available on bilderbergmeetings.org.
The key topics for discussion this year are:
1. A Stable Strategic Order2. What Next for Europe?3. Climate Change and Sustainability4. China5. Russia6. The Future of Capitalism7. Brexit8. The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence9. The Weaponisation of Social Media10. The Importance of Space11. Cyber Threats
As far as the Corona Hype is concerned, there are on that agenda several topics which explicitly speak about key components of that hype: China, The Weaponization of Social Media, the Future of Capitalism, Climate Change and Sustainability, What is Next for Europe? But if you think about all of those talking points, then you can see that they all can be put into one sentence:
To achieve our goals of world domination which consist in a Stable Strategic Order controlled by ourselves, we need to make happen the What is next for Europe?, using as a fundamental ideological basis Climate Change and Sustainability, by tasking China to release its bio-engineered SARS virus to create, by means of the Weaponization of Social Media a world wide panic, but especially in Europe and the West, which will induce a fundamental end game for the Future of Capitalism by destroying national economies and making Europe in particular, dependent upon China, in the name of protecting the planet and public health: and this to suborn China to our goals by giving them a central role in the world economy in exchange for loyalty to ourselves.
I wrote what is in italics. I used my training in Archeology to assemble the facts and put them together in a working hypothesis which from multiple aspects best fits the events which happened and are happening.
Seeing that the Agenda for the 2019 Bilderberg Group mentions key factors which are showing themselves to be part of the Corona Panic and seeing that it is not difficult to construe the overall agenda as something in line to what actual happened, I return to what Alex Jones said in his movie, Endgame, namely, that those who become public faces or rulers of nations, first attend a Bilderberg Group meeting, and then are rolled out on the public stage.
So I find interesting that Bill Gates attended the Bilderberg Group Meeting in 2010, simply because in the 2020 Corona Hype Event, his fingerprints are on every major actor, as David Kaftal demonstrates in today's report, entitled, Bill Gates: God Father of the Worldwide Coronavirus Panic. (Please note that I did not entitle the article God-Father because of a typo. The lack of the hyphen was intentional.)
David's article gives a lot of reasons to suspect that Bill Gates is a major player in the Hype on Coronavirus, from the point of view of his personal contacts, the financial or moral backing he has chosen to grant every group involved, or his pre-existing personal relationships.
Who and where did the Hype begin?But, as you may have learned from Sherlock Holmes '-- a character I admire greatly for his promotion of the science of forensic analysis '-- in his battle with the crime-mastermind, Doctor Moriarty, to prove anything you need to show that chronologically the suspect or his agents was involved from the beginning.
So here is some backstory on the course of events which led to the Corona Hype. I quote from the notes of FromRome.Info's investigative reporter to me, the other day:
The first news report I could find mentioning coronavirus was from Dec. 31, 2019, which was before the the virus was reportedly identified or named. It was from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy of the University of Minnesota , an article at http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/12/news-scan-dec-31-2019.
It cited its source for the story as the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health in Hong Kong (https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201912/31/P2019123100667.htm).
Most media reports just say that on Dec. 31, 2019 Chinese state officials contacted the WHO and reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.
Except for the two links above, every other reference to the occurrence I could find was posted after the fact in a retrospective timeline. Later releases of information, such as took place when the virus was isolated and named, and when the first fatality occurred, seemed to have been issued either by the ChiComs or the WHO, picked up by the AP, and distributed throughout the MSM.
Bill Gates seems to be the central figure in all this. He's funded the Pirbright Institute, which holds the patent on an earlier iteration of the live coronavirus and is working on developing a vaccine for the current one, which is almost identical (https://coercioncode.com/2020/01/24/unbelievable-gates-foundation-predicted-65-million-deaths-via-coronavirus-3-months-ago/), and donated 20 million dollars to Johns Hopkins (https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/1999/05/Johns-Hopkins-University-School-of-Public-Health).
He has also donated many millions of dollars to WHO. As recently as Feb 5, in response to WHO's request for $675 million dollars in global donations to fight the virus, he announced that he is donating $100 million for vaccine research (https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/02/05/bill-and-melinda-gates-donate-100-million-to-coronavirus-vaccine-research/#2109657c6e9e).
Bill Gates wants to use his fortune to ''better mankind,' through vaccinations which he has repeatedly said will aid with population reduction (his alleged reasoning: much overpopulation is caused by people in third world countries needing to have too many children because some of their children will die due to lack of vaccines) and with direct donations to Planned Parenthood and other organizations devoted to population reduction
The public face of Johns Hopkins' role in Event 201 is Lauren Gardiner, Co-director, Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. The media keeps quoting Johns Hopkins figures because of their ''Dashboard,'' a sophisticated tracking website that uses statistics from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, and Dingxiangyuan, a social networking site for health care professionals that provides real-time information on cases. (https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/01/23/coronavirus-outbreak-mapping-tool-649-em1-art1-dtd-health/). Since then the sources of their data has reportedly changed to WHO, the CDC, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, China's National Health Commission, and ncov.dxy.cn, an independent data source maintained by Chinese physicians. (https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/publichealth/84698).
As you can see from those notes, the first organization to sound the alarm about the Wuhan Virus was in the USA: The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, at the University of Minnesota.
Why Minnesota? You would think the first to sound the alarm would be an organization in China or someone in the World Health Organization. But if you are making up a narrative, you have to launch it from where it would be considered an authentic crisis and not directly from any main player which would, in subsequent weeks, take the lead in steering and weaponizing the crisis.
So my hunch was that this University of Minnesota Center was controlled by Gates somehow, and upon request, my investigator found the following:
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/universal-influenza-vaccine-technology-landscape : University of Minnesota 's Center for Infectious Disease and Policy is developing the '' Universal Influenza Vaccine Technology Landscape'' with support from the Global Funders Consortium for Universal Influenza Vaccine Development, which was established in 2017 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bingo. Now we have substantial indications that Bill Gates is in fact behind the engineering of the hype.
Corona Hype shut down of the Catholic ChurchPart of the Corona Hype, for us Catholics, was the decision of Bergoglio to shut down masses at Rome, then get the Italian Bishops' Conference, and the Bishops' Conferences of much of the planet to shut down the Catholic religion. This shut down consists in ending the public celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass and all public Sacramental functions. But not only that, it consists in ending all priestly ministry, for the most part, and closing down all social services the Church renders to the poor through parishes.
This shut down is the dream of dreams of Freemasonry and Satanists and of the Chinese Marxist Tyrrany of China. It is inexplicable on the basis of Catholic teaching, and thus, its motive must be sought outside the Catholic Religion.
So, with all the facts assembled so far, we must take a careful look at the Vatican's relations with Bilderberg and Bill Gates.
The Vatican Secretary of State at Bilderberg 2018The first thing to take note of is the scandalous event in 2018, when the Vatican Secretary of State attended the Bilderberg meeting that year. To understand how this could happen you have to understand first of all the coup d'etat which took place in 2013, when Pope Benedict XVI read a statement about his desire to resign, but did not resign. And how the Cardinals interpreted it as a resignation to get him out of the way and open the path to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Cardinal Archbishop of Buenas Aires, and notorious adherent of international socialism and globalism.
Thus, as far as Catholics are concerned, Bergoglio never was nor could be the Pope, because the Church can only have one pope, and until the first one renounces every aspect of his office and dignity, the second one is nothing but a usurper and anti-pope.
From the get-go, Bergoglio showed himself to be an agent of globalism and aped the political positions of Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton, who had openly advocated before 2013, a Catholic ''Spring'' to remove Pope Benedict XVI form power.
So that Bergoglio sends his de facto Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, was not surprising to Catholics, but was shocking to those who bought the big lie in February 2013, because they could not understand how the Vatican, the arch-enemy for 200 years of the Masonic Lodge would even be invited let alone attend one of the high councils of world Freemasonry.
Ominously too, the Bilderberg meeting of 2018 was held in Turin, Italy, which is one of the capitals of satanism in Europe.
Edward Pentin '-- who is the former secretary to a leading Socialist of the United Kingdom '-- wrote an article in the National Catholic Register ( formerly owned by the Legionaries of Christ, who were investigated by Benedict XVI, but now by EWTN which now collaborates with Opus Dei for Vatican news coverage) '-- wrote an article attempting to explain Parolin's presence at the 2018 Bilderberg Conference. It was entitled, Vatican Official Explains why Cardinal Parolin attended Bilderberg meeting.
In that article, Pentin reports the crucial fact, speaking of Bergoglio:
The Pope was certainly aware of the cardinal's participation, the official said, and that the cardinal was ''fully aware of the controversial nature'' of the event but felt encouraged by having already met many of the participants in ''other contexts.''
''He already knew some of the people, prime ministers and so on,'' the official said.
Following the 2018 Bilderberg Meeting, Bergoglio signed in October, an Accord with China surrendering the Church there to the hands of Peking, and then in the following Janaury traveled to the United Arab Emirates to sign an accord for a One World Religion Initiative, which effectively denied that the Catholic Religion is uniquely willed by God for the salvation of all. It is hard, then, to deny that there was no effect resulting from Cardinal Parolin's attendance.
Did Bill Gates ask Bergoglio to shut down the Catholic Church?At last we come to the point where we can ask the key question of the day, and attempt to answer it: Is the world-wide shutting down of the Catholic Church, the suspension of the public sacrifice, something which Bill Gates, as part of the role given him by the Bilderberg Meeting in 2010, and planned in the Meeting of 2019, played a central role?
Of course it is possible. Gates simply could have called Bergoglio on the phone and asked him. And only the US Government, which intercepts all phone calls, would have the evidence. But obviously, a request so momentous would have to require previous negotiations. Bergoglio would have to sign on and get something out of it. And what would that be? because by shutting down the churches and dioceses you risk destroying the financial support of the Church and alienating a massive amount of the faithful.
So let us take a look at the agenda of the 2018 Bilderberg Meeting to see if Cardinal Parolin, as the Vatican representative, was invited to discuss anything pertinent to the present affair. Interestingly enough, Wikipedia which has an article on the 2017 and 2019 Meetings has no article in English on the 2018 meeting. For that you have to go to the Bilderberg official website. It was their 66th meeting and held immediately after 06/06/2018, but let us not be superstitious!
TURIN, 5 JUNE 2018 '' The 66th Bilderberg Meeting to take place from 7 '' 10 June 2018 in Turin, Italy.
TURIN, 5 JUNE 2018 ''The 66th Bilderberg Meeting is set to take place from 7 '' 10 June 2018 in Turin, Italy. As of today, 131 participants from 23 countries have confirmed their attendance. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media has been invited. The list of participants is available on http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org.
The key topics for discussion this year include:
Populism in EuropeThe inequality challengeThe future of workArtificial intelligenceThe US before midtermsFree tradeUS world leadershipRussiaQuantum computingSaudi Arabia and IranThe ''post-truth'' worldCurrent eventsSince, Christ says of Himself, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, as a Catholic I am able to understand that n. 11, can very well mean a world without Christ. And since Christ is present on Earth through the Church, His Mystical Body, a world without the truth, is theologically a world without the Church. I know too, from my training in theology, that the Church is defined as the public assembly of those who believe in Jesus as God. It focuses on the Mass, but also on the other Sacraments. To shut down the Church as Bergoglio has done, is therefore, to establish as Post-Truth world.
The other topics such as Populism, which Bergoglio has railed against strongly since 2018; inequality, which Bergoglio is constantly harping on as the reason why socialism must be imposed on the masses, and US World leadership, which Bergoglio sees as a threat to humanity and fraternity, all are key reasons why Bergoglio may have sent Parolin to the Bilderberg Meeting.
They are all reasons, too, for which Bergoglio would be motivated to comply with the plans of Bilderberg 2019 if they included attacking his enemies.
Bill Gates and Bergoglio agreed in 2014 to save the world together?I can guess, too, that if Bergoglio was to be given by the Bilderberg group the leading role as the head of world religion they are planing to unveil, that such a price would certainly convince him to do anything.
But there is more to this story than speculation, because Bill Gates and Bergoglio seem to have already pledged in 2014 to save the world together. Market Watch reported on this in an detailed expos(C) written by Paul B. Farrel and published on June 14, 2014. Farrel's words were significant:
Pope Francis has already warned us of the three self-destructive trends: First: unsustainable global warming and climate change on Planet-Earth. Second: The pope says the global economy is ''near collapse'' as inequality increases, fueling revolutions. Third: Earth's natural resources will be unable to feed the 10 billion people living in 2050. The three go hand-in-hand, merge, with trigger mechanisms cross-linked to ignite simultaneously.
True, Pope Francis, Bill Gates and many other billionaires are already working on philanthropic projects of personal interest. Now it's time to combine forces, see the world as one entity, search for common solutions. For as Ben Franklin put it during the signing of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776: ''We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.''
Read that final sentence again.
Farrel understood that Bill Gates and Bergoglio were not only ideologically but historically impelled to collaborate. What was the enemy they sought to eradicate? I summarize Farrel, by citing the headers of his article:
Unsustainable climate change destroying the planetGlobal economy collapsing fueled by widening inequality gapEarth's natural resources cannot feed 10 billion in 2050If you know one thing about Marxists, of the Gramescian variety, they seek to cause governmental or societal collapse by incrementalism. And if they cannot achieve it that way, they seek to create crises to push the nation to collapse. The Corona Virus Panic is the perfect engineered crisis for such a work. Bill Gates and Bergoglio already publicly endorsed the goal of the agenda. So why would Bergoglio not be willing to see those goals achieved by any means?
Yes, Farrel's story is a cover. He speaks about what should and might happen in the future, not of any signed agreement. But when a major news site such as Market Watch publishes such a ridiculous piece of propaganda about men with a lot of political influence, and fawns over them, it is clearly a propaganda willed by the men mentioned for publicity reasons. Call it a trial balloon or advance notice to the inner circles.
But there are other ties, which cannot be ignored.
Jeffry Dorfman, writing for the highly influential Forbes.com, on January 9, 2014 was more explicit than Farrel. His article is entitled, The Pope Wants More People like Bill Gates not President Obama. Forbes is not uninformed about what is really going on. Their family made their fortune pushing the fake news which caused the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
In 2015, The Vatican hosted a fireworks show funded by the co-founder of Microsoft, according to Sandro Magister, writing on March 9, 2016. It is events like this, where money can flow for reasons other than stated. Just as might have happened earlier this year of 2020, when the Vatican sent 600,000 medical masks to China.
Gates and Bergoglio seem to have kept their collaboration going on other score since 2014, with the Global Education Pact, which is let by Sachs but seeks funding from Gates. The suspension on March 3 of this meeting at the Vatican, scheduled for this spring, was te efirst indication that Bergoglio would sign on to the Corona Hype.
So we all need to ask the question: Did Bill Gates suggest to Bergoglio that the Sacraments are unhealthy occasions of viral transmission and that it would be best to shut down the Catholic Church to stop the spread of Coronavirus?
This would be the crowing achievement of the Corona Hype, because in this way you insure that 1 Billion Catholics stay at home daily and on Sundays and be deprived of the graces by which they could resist the Hype and network against it.
Bill Gates' name, as I demonstrated the other day, has the decimal ASCII value of 666. So does the name Bergoglio, but not in the same way. According to the Fathers of the Church, the Anti-Christ will be a Jew who would end the public sacrifice of the Mass for 1260 days. I am not saying either Gates, whose 4 grandparents have surnames used by Jews or Bergoglio, who seems to have no Jews in his linegage, is the Antichrist, but I do recognize that the prophetic value of the Book of Revelations, written by the Apostle Saint John can not only apply to the actual end of this world, but also to all pre-figurements, or dry runs, of that end.
I leave it to you, to ask the questions which now must be asked.
But I do think that the Coronavirus Stunt might very well be the instrument whereby the Bilderberg group co-opts into their world plan for domination both the Catholic Church and Marxist China, which already signed a mutual secret alliance in 2018, following the 2018 Bilderberg Meeting which Parolin attended.
As a final note, Bill Gates is investing in technology which will track by finger print who has and who has not been vaccinated by which vaccines. Will a future world, post corona virus, require that everyone be so registered with Bill Gate's technology, so as to be able to buy and sell in a healthy hygienic manner? This would ominously fulfill another prophesy of Saint John, in Rev. 13:17.
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Corona Virus arrived at Vatican at AI Conference | FromRome.Info
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 04:31
by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
As reported yesterday, the Head of the Vatican Press Office, Matteo Bruni, the Corona Virus has officially arrived at the Vatican.
Bruni confirmed that ''there has been temporarily suspended all the walk-in services of the Office for the Direction of Health and Hygene to enable the sterilization of offices. However, there remains in operation the station for Emergency care.''
The Corona Virus arrived, ironically, via the Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Those attending have been informed of possible infection. Patient 0 was a priest from Bergamo, in Northern Italy, who unwittingly arrived infected. Ironically, the Conference was held from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, marking the 7th anniversary of the departure of Pope Benedict. The news, this Thursday, that the infection was positively identified as the Corona Virus means that the contagion has had 7 days to spread at the Vatican unnoticed.
As a consequence, Vatican authorities ordered the sterilization of the offices of the Secretary of State (the Vatican Foreign Office), the I.O.R. (the Vatican Bank), the Apostolic Archives and the Vatican Bookstore.
This last place is widely visited by many pilgrims to the Vatican.
Those who might be infected have been notified by email, according to the Vatican spokesman. But panic is reigning in the micro-state, as Ambulances were hear running to and fro in the narrow streets of Saint Peter's Patrimony all day yesterday.
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CREDITS: The Featured Image is of Saint Peter's Basilica seen from the end of the Via Conciliazione, near the Castel Sant'Angelo. Photo by Br. Bugnolo.
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Where Bergoglio Buried His Communist Mentor | The American Spectator
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 04:39
''I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended,'' Pope Francis has said in response to the charge that he is a communist. As I've reported before but bears repeating in this context, Pope Francis grew up in socialist Argentina, an experience seared in his mind:
He told the Latin American journalists Javier Camara and Sebastian Pfaffen that as a young man he ''read books of the Communist Party that my boss in the laboratory gave me'' and that ''there was a period where I would wait anxiously for the newspaper La Vanguardia, which was not allowed to be sold with the other newspapers and was brought to us by the socialist militants.''
The ''boss'' to whom Pope Francis referred is Esther Ballestrino de Careaga. He has described her as a ''Paraguayan woman'' and a ''fervent communist.'' He regards her as one of his most important mentors. ''I owe a huge amount to that great woman,'' he has said, saying that she ''taught me so much about politics.'' (He worked for her as an assistant at Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory in Buenos Aires after he got the equivalent of a high school degree in chemistry.)
''She often read Communist Party texts to me and gave them to me to read. So I also got to know that very materialistic conception. I remember that she also gave me the statement from the American Communists in defense of the Rosenbergs, who had been sentenced to death,'' he has said. Learning about communism, he said, ''through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized a few things, an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church.''
In other words, he found in his warped conception of Church teaching the communism to which Ballestrino introduced him.
As the archbishop of Buenos Aires, he took pride in helping her hide the family's Marxist literature from the authorities who were investigating her. According to the writer James Carroll, Bergoglio smuggled her communist books, including Marx's Das Kapital, into a ''Jesuit library.'' (I am hoping to visit it.)
After Ballestrino found herself on the wrong side of the state in 1977, she was tossed out of a plane, and her body eventually washed ashore. Vatican correspondent John Allen has reported what happened next:
''Almost three decades later, when her remains were discovered and identified, Bergoglio gave permission for her to be buried in the garden of a Buenos Aires church called Santa Cruz, the spot where she had been abducted. Her daughter requested that her mother and several other women be buried there because 'it was the last place they had been as free people.' Despite knowing full well that Ballestrino was not a believing Catholic, the future pope readily consented.''
On Monday, I visited that grave at Santa Cruz church. It was an illuminating visit. The pope's communist mentor is pictured throughout the church and is given pride of place in its cemetery.
The church itself has become a shrine to her and other communist radicals, whose pictures and relics pervade it. I noticed that the stations of the cross in the church have been comically politicized, placing Jesus Christ in contemporary settings. He is depicted as a communist martyr, crucified by militarists and greedy capitalists.
Once a striking 19th-century church, Santa Cruz is now just a propaganda prop for Pope Francis's gang of communist clerics. It is pitiful and puts me in mind of what a precocious teenager said to me the other day after I asked her what she thought of the pope: ''He is so bad and ridiculous I don't think he is the pope. Nothing he does is like what other popes have done.''
That is a common refrain in conservative circles here. I asked one traditionalist professor why Bergoglio copped to his tutelage under an outr(C) radical like Ballestrino. He replied, ''Bergoglio wanted to impress global leftists, especially at a time when reports surfaced about how he had let the state kill two commie Jesuits during the Dirty War.''
The latter matter is too complicated for me to resolve. But I take his point. In 2013, Bergoglio was eager to play up his left-wing credentials to dilute the impression he was a toady to Argentine thugs. Clearly, as a power-hungry cleric who instinctively sided with the Argentine deep state, Bergoglio was capable of some crude compromises.
But as pope, he wants the public to see him as a heroic, principled socialist. Again, from my 2017 column on Pope Francis' communist influences:
''I must say that communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian,'' he said outrageously in 2014. Such a comment would have disgusted his predecessors. They didn't see communism as a benign exaggeration. They saw it as a mortal threat to God-given freedom, as it urges governments to eliminate large swaths of individual freedom, private property, and business in order to produce the ''equality'' of a society without economic classes.
In the early 20th century, as Marx's socialism spread across the world, Pope Pius XI declared the theory anathema. ''No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist,'' he said. Pope Francis believes the reverse: that no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and an opponent of socialism.
''Inequality is the root of evil,'' Pope Francis wrote on his Twitter account in 2014. Karl Marx would agree. But past popes would have dumped a bucket of water on any priest foolish enough to say that. According to traditional Catholic theology, the root of all evil came not from inequality but from Satan's refusal to accept inequality. Out of envy of God's superiority, Satan rebelled. He could not bear his lesser status.
He was in effect the first revolutionary, which is why the socialist agitator Saul Alinsky '-- a mentor to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and countless other public nuisances '-- offered an ''acknowledgment'' in his book, Rules for Radicals, to Satan. Alinsky saw him as the first champion of the ''have nots.''
During Pope Francis's visit to Bolivia in July 2015, he received from Evo Morales, Bolivia's proudly Marxist president, a sacrilegious crucifix of Jesus Christ carved atop a hammer and sickle. Morales described the gift as a copy of a crucifix designed by a late priest, Fr. Luis Espinal, who belonged to the Jesuit order (as does Pope Francis) and had committed his life to melding Marxism with religion. (Pope Francis honored Espinal's memory upon his arrival in Bolivia.)
Had John Paul II been given such a grotesque cross, he might have broken it over his knee. Not Pope Francis. He happily accepted the hammer-and-sickle cross, telling the press on the plane ride back to Rome that ''I understand this work'' and that ''for me it wasn't an offense.'' After the visit, Morales gushed, ''I feel like now I have a Pope. I didn't feel that before.''
I thought about all of this as I walked through Santa Cruz church. Littered with communist polemics '-- a Leonardo Boff book on liberation theology greets visitors in the pastor's office '-- the parish is proof of the communist infiltration of Holy Mother Church '-- an infiltration that landed a disciple of Esther Ballestrino on the chair of St. Peter.
Reposted by moral necessity: #TOLDYA: Jorge Bergoglio's ''Other Gustavo'': Why Bergoglio Elevated, Placed and Now Protects Zanchetta | Barnhardt
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 04:44
''Come give us a kiss, you naughty, naughty girl!''
(Originally penned and posted in January of ARSH 2019. Gustavo Zanchetta now has an international arrest warrant on his head for multiple sodomitical sexual assaults.)
(Addendum June ARSH 2020. Antipope Faggoglio-Weinstein just re-installed his ''boy'' Zanchetta at the Vatican Bank. Faggot mafia in FULL MANIFESTATION. Zanchetta SEXUALLY ASSAULTED seminarians. It was part of his compensation package to be placed at a seminary. These prelatial faggots like their prey YOUNG. The ultimate rush for these demoniacs is to corrupt the young.)
The Associated Press' Rome correspondent Nicole Winfield REALLY hates child molesters. Hence her relative zeal for reporting on Antipope Bergoglio's corruption.
Today she has broken the completely not-shocking news that Antipope Bergoglio knew of the formally lodged complaints of sodmitical predation (complete with naked selfies!) of one of his very favorite Argentinian prelates, Gustavo Zanchetta, for YEARS. Of course he did. Antipope Bergoglio elevated Zanchetta to the episcopacy almost immediately upon usurping the Petrine See in ARSH 2013. And where did Antipope Bergoglio send his beloved Gustavo Zanchetta upon naming him a bishop? To Oran, a backwater diocese Northwest of Buenos Aires on the Bolivian border, nestled at the base of the Andes.
So? Antipope Bergoglio sent one of his pet sodomites to a backwater. Why is that of any significance?
Because, as I have reported here and tried unsuccessfully to get actual journalists to pick up, Jorge Bergoglio, through his very, Very, VERY intimate ''friend'' Gustavo Vera (it is widely known in Argentina that Bergoglio and Vera were sodomite lovers '' hence Bergoglio's installation of Vera in the luxury hotel that Bergoglio lives in in the Vatican '' a choice made not out of ''humility'', but in order to facilitate ''encounters of exquisite tenderness and caressing'') is up to his eyebrows in the trafficking of child sex slaves. Gustavo Vera is known to essentially hold the monopoly on boy prostitutes working the gay bars of Buenos Aires. Vera uses his racketeering front of heading an NGO dedicated to '' wait for it '' fighting child traffficking, and his drifting in and out of government office to A.) protect his monopoly pimping boys to sodomites in the gay bars by cracking down on freelance rent boys working in the streets outside the bars and B.) facilitate running his pipeline of children which are essentially bought from destitute Bolivian Indian peasants living in remote, high Andean mountain villages in Bolivia.
The fact that Antipope Bergoglio IMMEDIATELY put the boy-chasing sodomite (but I repeat myself) Gustavo Zanchetta in Oran, the critical bordertown on the Gustavo Vera child trafficking pipeline between Bolivia and Buenos Aires, is no surprise whatsoever. The fact that there was a seminary there that Zanchetta was given license to use as his own personal harem/hunting ground was just a consolation for Zanchetta being sent to a backwater town.
Once Zanchetta's flaming sodomite activities reached critical mass, with PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE, Antipope Bergoglio brought Zanchetta to Rome and installed him in a very plush position overseeing the Vatican's massive real estate holdings in Rome. Zanchetta now lives a life of luxury and no doubt gets as much sodomy as he wants with whatever AGE he wants. Why? Because he could blackmail the crap out of Bergoglio.
Why don't Zanchetta and all of the rest of the filth blackmail Bergoglio? Well, A.) in a sense, they already are. They live in protected luxury and get all the sodomy (and drugs) that they want, so why jeopardize this form of mutually agreeable blackmail/quid pro quo? And B.) Bergoglio is well-known in Argentina for enforcing his rule with contracted physical violence and being involved in political assassinations. In short, like Archbishop Vigan², they all know that to cross Antipope Bergoglio is to take your life in your own hands.
I spoke to some journalists about picking up the Argentinian aspects of Jorge Bergoglio's criminality, but all declined giving the extremely weak excuse that the whistleblowers are people with morally dubious backgrounds. AS IF WHISTLEBLOWERS FROM THE CHILD PROSTITUTION SCENE IN BUENOS AIRES ARE GOING TO BE CLOISTERED CARMELITE NUNS????
The reason that Antipope Bergoglio has so very conspicuously NEVER traveled to Argentina as the ''heroic son returning in glory'' since usurping the papacy is because he is known as a wildly corrupt criminal and is HATED by the Argentinian people. Bergoglio's criminal and sodomitical activity is discussed OPENLY on Argentinian television.
But, as with so much these days, the preferred way to deal with this is to TURN A BLIND EYE.
Turning a blind eye is one of the most ubiquitous manifestations of effeminacy today, because confronting sin is perceived to be something that would ''reduce one's own personal pleasure or comfort'' even though it is the right thing to do. Turning a blind eye is also one of the NINE ways of cooperating in sin.
JUST DON'T TALK ABOUT IT. IGNORE IT, AND IT WILL GO AWAY. IT'S JUST A FEW AMERICAN CRANKS TALKING ABOUT IT. JUST DISMISS THEM AS ''INSANE'', AND THEN WAIT FOR IT TO BLOW OVER. JUST KEEP SAYING, ''THERE IS NO EVIDENCE'', EVEN WHEN THERE IS. THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO, ANYWAY. JUST WAIT FOR HIM TO DIE, AND THEN MAYBE SOMETHING CAN BE DONE, BUT NOT BY US.
Huh. I just noticed'.... The talking points above are EXACTLY the same as those used by the people who refuse to acknowledge the substantially erroneous nature of Pope Benedict's attempted partial abdication. EXACTLY. THE. SAME.
Funny, that.
Here is a short compendium of posts I made last year, all sourced from Argentine readers (''The Argentine Armada'') who desperately want the truth about Antipope Bergoglio, which is so widely known and discussed in Argentina, to make it into the English-speaking world.
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/08/31/is-antipope-bergoglio-a-sodomite-i-dunno-but-his-child-pimping-boyfriend-sure-as-hell-is/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/10/antipope-bergoglios-pet-name-for-his-child-pimp-boyfriend-gustavo-vera-gods-trotsky/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/10/antipope-bergoglio-used-physical-violence-against-people-whistleblowing-on-his-pedophile-comrades-fear-for-pope-benedict-xvis-physical-safety-no-longer-crazy/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/08/antipope-bergoglio-and-his-child-pimping-boyfriend-gustavo-vera-openly-discussed-in-argentine-media/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/09/expanded-notes-from-argentinia-on-the-gustavo-vera-natacha-jaitt-tv-interview-on-vera-and-antipope-bergoglios-pedophile-ring/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/15/full-natacha-jaitt-interview-now-subtitled-in-english/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/12/nuclear-bombshell-argentinian-whistleblower-interview-bergoglio-allows-the-catholic-elite-in-rome-to-have-access-to-gustavo-veras-child-sex-slaves/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/14/institutional-cannibalism-fascinating-insight-from-argentina-on-antipope-bergoglio/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/16/argentine-pedo-bishop-caught-on-tape-being-sodomized-by-a-taxi-driver-no-worries-tio-jorge-will-take-care-of-everything/
https://www.barnhardt.biz/2018/09/22/that-time-antipope-bergoglio-blessed-a-bunch-of-cocaine-leaves-to-be-used-in-the-satanic-drug-fuelled-rituals-of-an-lgbt-group/
Is the Vatican about to abandon Roman Catholics in China? | Fox News
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 09:21
Feb. 4, 2018: Pope Francis delivers a blessing from his studio's window overlooking St. Peter's Square on the occasion of the Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican. (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
It should be a matter of concern to everyone'--not just Roman Catholics-- that Pope Francis I is considering an agreement with Beijing that would give the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) effective control over all Roman Catholics in mainland China and Hong Kong. Every governmental and private organization that values religious freedom '' especially our American Catholic bishops '' need to urge him to reverse course and join in defending religious freedom.
This is just the latest of the Communist Party's attempts to remove religion as an independent force in China'--but the first in which the Vatican has cooperated, after decades of resistance to state-controlled religion.
Currently there are two communities in China with the word ''Catholic'' in their name. One is the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), led by bishops appointed by the Chinese government with neither input nor approval from the Vatican. Indeed, these self-anointed bishops have all been excommunicated in Rome.
The CPA toes the line for the government that, among other things, forbids all attempts at evangelization'--that is, spreading the word of God that is the Church's fundamental mission. Instead, the CPA allows the government to register places of worship and membership lists and to manage theological content'--and gives China's secret police a means of keeping tabs on those who consider God a higher moral authority than the party.
The true Catholic Church in China, in communion with the Holy See and in the line of apostolic succession '' things that are crucial to Catholics '' is an underground church led by bishops who have been consecrated and sent to it from the Vatican. It meets in secret and under constant threat of suppression and jail time for its priests.
The violent persecution of all Christians by the Communist regime drove it underground 70 years ago, and its estimated 10 million members have preferred to remain faithful to the pope rather than accept the government's counterfeit.
During the time of Mao Zedong, churches were leveled and priests and members of religious orders were regularly tortured and executed. These practices have largely been replaced these days by administrative discrimination and penalties for those who practice their faiths outside the structures and ways approved by the government.
Nevertheless, persecution of Church leaders who refuse to acknowledge the authority of the illegitimate bishops continues. During his ordination as auxiliary bishop of Shanghai in July, 2012, for example, Bishop Ma Daqin allowed the three consecrating bishops who are in communion with the Holy See to lay hands on him, but refused to be touched by an illegitimate, state-supported bishop. He then announced his resignation from the CPA, to hearty applause from the large congregation.
Shortly thereafter Bishop Ma was arrested. He was reportedly detained in an official Catholic seminary and ''re-educated.''
Recently the CPA released photos of a show Mass that Bishop Ma had been coerced into concelebrating with an excommunicated ''bishop.''
According to Reuters, the Vatican is agreeing to appoint previously excommunicated bishops chosen by the Chinese government to replace two bishops chosen and consecrated by the Vatican. Going further, the Vatican would pardon and legitimize all current government-appointed bishops.
In exchange the Chinese government would give the replaced bishops lower-level official positions in the state-controlled CPA, and in the future give the Vatican some unspecified say in negotiations over the appointment of bishops.
It is hard to see what the Roman Catholic Church gains from this agreement. It grants to the state-sponsored organization the very recognition that the heroic Bishop Ma refused to give it.
What it gives away is immense'--the spiritual assets of the Church in China, which are, after all, its only real patrimony.
The spiritual authority of a recognized Roman Catholic bishop over his flock is absolute, subject only to his removal by the Vatican. Bishops chosen for loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party and outside Vatican authority could deny the sacraments to anyone seen as a political dissident, an extraordinary power over faithful Catholics. They could create their own catechisms and establish an order for the Mass that taught Communist values rather than the faith that has been handed down by the Church.
This almost happened in Nicaragua, where dissident priests tried to set up a People's Church to support the Russian-backed Sandinistas, until Pope St. John Paul II stepped in.
We remember Saint Thomas More for putting his loyalty to the teaching of the Catholic Church and the pope above his life and loyalty to his King, yet the Vatican is agreeing to an arrangement in which Henry VIII could have appointed his own bishop to get the divorce he wanted'--the basis of a separate Church known as Anglican.
But at least Henry VIII and his bishops and archbishops believed in God. China's communists believe the opposite'--a fact that just as much as Vatican authority has played a historic role in the Church's opposition to a puppet Chinese church.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, former bishop of Hong Kong, has sharply criticized the bruited agreement: ''So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all they are doing in recent years and months.''
''Maybe the pope is a little naive, he doesn't have the background to know the Communists in China,'' Zen continued. ''The pope used to know the persecuted Communists [in Latin America], but he may not know the Communist persecutors who have killed hundreds of thousands.''
Putting all Catholics under the control of the CPA seems a betrayal of those martyrs who suffered Mao's atrocities, as well as the priests and bishops who were jailed and tortured for maintaining allegiance to the Pope rather than the CCP.
The Vatican needs to be told by those who value religious freedom that allowing Chinese Communists to choose who will run the Roman Catholic Church in China is a violation of the most basic of human rights'--and of the spiritual history of the Church itself.
The Vatican Surrenders to China
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 09:00
With a recent agreement signed between the Vatican and China's regime, Pope Francis surrendered partial control of the Chinese Catholic Church to the Chinese Communist Party. Pictured: The Sacred Heart Cathedral in Guangzhou, China. (Image source: Zhangzhugang/Wikimedia Commons)
Pope Francis has surrendered partial control of the Chinese Catholic Church to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). His Holiness agreed to grant the Party considerable authority over personnel matters. After decades of refusing to give China the right to appoint Catholic bishops, as a condition for normalization of relations, the Vatican finally conceded to the regime's demand to allow the CCP a decisive role in the selection of bishops to head Catholic dioceses.
The Vatican's concession came despite the CCP's continued persecution of the unofficial, independent, underground Catholic Church in China. Yet the Vatican probably does not view this as a defeat but rather as a means to an end. The diplomatic hierarchy of the Catholic Church may be confident that the truth of its spiritual message will endure long after the CCP dissolves into the same historical trash bin as other totalitarian ideologies have done.
The Church's consenting to fold its independent political posture into the Chinese regime's Communist Party apparatus gives Beijing the authority to appoint bishops politically acceptable to the CCP. In granting China this right, the Vatican implicitly is recognizing the legitimacy of the regime's CCP instrument to infiltrate and control Roman Catholicism in China, which is the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA).
Pope Francis has also reinstated several pro-regime bishops whom the Vatican had once excommunicated because they willingly agreed to follow Communist China's directives, while forsaking their loyalty to the Church in Rome. Finally, the Holy See's bureaucracy also accepted Beijing's demand to reduce and restructure the Catholic Church's 137 dioceses across China.
This last Vatican concession may shred the religious authority of several bishops secretly appointed to some of these eliminated dioceses by Pope Francis and previous popes. For almost 70 years, after the CCP's successful takeover in China, Catholics have either attended churches approved by the government's Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association or churches aligned with the Vatican. Some Catholics even attend Mass in private homes to avoid surveillance by agents of the regime.
After a series of recent meetings between the Holy See and China's State Administration for Religious Affairs, Pope Francis dispatched a delegation in mid-December to meet with leading bishops of the pro-Vatican "Underground Church" and Chinese government officials. The delegation was ostensibly in China to pursue "practical steps" to implement the provisional agreement the Holy See had reached with China.
In reality, the Papal delegation may have been sent to China to make certain that the agreement's final implementation proceeded smoothly. The delegation included the Vatican's President-Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli. The Archbishop carried a document signed by the Holy See's Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The delegation's Papal directive instructed at least two prominent Catholic bishops of the "Underground Church" to retire or share their official duties with bishops approved by the CCP. While the exact wording of the Holy See's letter remains secret, some Vatican observers, presumably reflecting the Pope's decision to reverse years of resisting Beijing's demands, cited a few reasons for giving in. First, the Church probably needs to eliminate confusion among Catholics in China over the schism between Vatican-approved and regime-approved bishops. Another possible reason for the Vatican's apparent flexible stance is that a Church-state compromise would be necessary to improve pastoral care for existing Catholic faithful. The decision by the Vatican not to publish the letter, however, may suggest that the regime is also demanding that the Holy See break relations with Taiwan before it can normalize diplomatic ties to China. This supposition is based on the character of Beijing's previous agreements establishing bilateral relations with other countries, including Panama. Other countries that cut ties to Taiwan in order to open up embassies in China include the tiny African country of S£o Tom(C) and Pr­ncipe as well as El Salvador. The prerequisite that states desiring formal ties with China must first sever formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan rests on Beijing calls its "One China" policy.
Communist China considers Taiwan an integral part of China, and thus rejects Taiwan's claim that it represents the legitimate government of China.
The Vatican's public relations officers seem to have tried to put the best face on the agreement with Beijing. Gregory Burke, the recently resigned Director of the Holy See's Press Office, suggested that this pact with the CCP was designed to be pastoral, not political, implying that it would help unify Chinese Catholics. The Vatican, however, in a seeming effort to douse speculation, has refused to reply to inquires whether the agreement is a first step in establishing diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China. About half of the 98 dioceses have no Vatican-approved bishops, thereby often leaving their parishes without clerics to administer to believers. It is clear from Beijing's anti-Catholic harassment campaign that the Communist Party leadership is determined to co-opt, if not destroy, the independence of the Church in China. Regime harassment includes the dispatch of internal security police to strip churches of their statues, and the removal of crosses from steeples. Sometimes bibles are confiscated if seen in public. Masses are often celebrated in private homes to avoid being monitored by the state. On one occasion in early 2018, an entire Catholic Church was demolished, prompting a street demonstration by parishioners.
Perhaps the Vatican might be privately concerned that the CCP's continued opposition could complicate evangelization efforts among the Chinese people. The Vatican's desire to reach an agreement with Beijing may also be, in part, a reaction to the regime's efforts to sow dissent in the Church by supporting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association as an alternative church. With President Xi Jinping's endorsement, at the October's 19, 2018 Chinese Communist Party Congress, Beijing launched a "Sinicization" campaign to bring all religions in line with Chinese culture and values. This government tactic is probably designed to co-opt or to curb the growth of an independent Catholic Church, thereby enhancing Communist Party control of religion in China. One report alleges that Catholic evangelization of the Chinese people is stagnating in marked contrast to the rapid expansion of Protestant Christianity in the country. This disparity underscores the significance of Cardinal Filoni's presence in the Vatican delegation to China's Catholic Bishops: Filoni is responsible for the Vatican's worldwide evangelizing campaigns.
The Vatican's pact with Beijing is evoking a good deal of intense criticism from both leading Catholic intellectuals and human rights crusaders. Retired Cardinal of Hong Kong Joseph Zen bitterly critiqued the agreement as "an incredible betrayal," tantamount to giving "the flock to the wolves." The China Director of Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson, stated that "the Pope has effectively given Chinese leader President Xi Jinping a stamp of approval when the latter's hostility to religious freedom couldn't be clearer."
Even while Beijing and the Vatican were negotiating the future status of the Catholic Church in China, the Communist regime continued its pressure on the Underground Catholic Church to go along with its efforts to get the Vatican to comply with the state's wishes on the administration of the Catholic Church in China. The government harassed and arrested Bishop Joseph Guo Xijin during the years-long negotiations between the Holy See and China. During the talks, another Catholic prelate, 88 year-old pro-Vatican Bishop Peter Zhuang, was hauled before China's State Administration for Religious Affairs. Although Bishop Zhuang was released into the custody of a Vatican delegation, the event was held in the presence of Chinese Party officials, where he was coerced to retire in light of the Vatican-China deal.
Perhaps the true intention of the Communist regime was best characterized by Jesuit China expert at Santa Clara University, Father Paul Mariani, in December, 2018:
"The government has not given up its hope for control. They want the Church to be another tool of the state. That's common in China, across labor unions or NGOs '-- they all have to fall under the party at some level."
The Vatican may learn the hard way that the Communist Chinese government does not honor its agreements. Beijing might well attempt to extort even more concessions from the Vatican just as the Chinese regime demands ever more surrender of sovereignty from western companies that do business in China. These demands can include a requirement to form joint ventures with a Chinese company, with China holding a majority interest, the demand that all critical data be stored locally, and scrubbing any language to which Beijing objects.
It is also highly dubious that the Vatican will purchase peace by this pact: the regime will continue to persecute the Church. If the Communist regime is true to form, thousands more crosses will be taken down from Christian churches, especially in areas that have a high Christian population. In 2015, in Zhejiang Province, in the southeastern city of Wenzhou, where one in eight citizens are Christian, approximately 1,200 crosses were forcibly torn from their moorings.
The only likely benefit that the Vatican could derive from this Munich-style pact with the Chinese regime may be an official invitation to Pope Francis to visit China. That privilege, however, might well be outweighed by the potential harm for the future of Catholicism in China. The courageous elders of Chinese Catholicism, who have endured decades of government persecution and regime efforts to divide the Church, may be seen by their flocks as having been bypassed by the Vatican. Many Chinese Catholics, realizing that their hierarchy was reluctantly fused by the Vatican into a union with the state-controlled church, might retreat into private homes to attend Catholic services. Many, if not most, Chinese Catholics are likely to view this agreement as a cynical political betrayal by the Vatican rather than a faith-based decision.
The eminent American Catholic author George Weigel sums up the Vatican's past failed policies of negotiation with totalitarian regimes:
"In light of this dismal record, it seems that prudence and caution would seem to be the order of the day in Vatican negotiations with the totalitarians in charge in Beijing, at whose most recent Party Congress religion was once again declared the enemy of Communism."
Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve. He is also a practicing Catholic.
(C) 2020 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.
How Xi Jinping destroyed religion and made himself God
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 08:57
Catholic churches torn down or denuded of their crosses and statues. Images of the Madonna and Child replaced with pictures of ''People's Leader'' Xi Jinping . Signs posted outside evangelical churches forbidding anyone under the age of 18 from entering. The Ten Commandments painted over with quotes from Xi.
These are just some of the ways that the Chinese Communist Party is persecuting Christians in China.
But it's not just Christians. In China's Far West, over a million Muslims languish in concentration camps '-- Beijing cutely calls them ''vocational training centers'' '-- while mosques are being torn down, religious signs removed and ancient cemeteries leveled.
Elsewhere in China, Buddhist temples are being turned into shrines celebrating Xi Jinping, China's President For Life. His picture adorns the walls, his recorded voice booms out of the loudspeakers, and it is his ''Thought'' '-- not Buddha's '-- that the monks are now required to meditate upon.
Not even the Taoists, China's ancient folk religion, have escaped this new Cultural Revolution. Temples that have stood for over 1,000 years have been closed and ancient statues smashed, all on the orders of ''Religious Affairs'' officials.
Perhaps some of those who are concerned about protecting cultural sites in Iran could spare a thought for the daily demolition derby now going on in China.
A demolition derby that is about to get worse, a lot worse.
On Feb. 1, 2020, new restrictions on all forms of religious activity came into force.
The ''Control Measures for Religious Groups,'' as the 41 new rules are called, deal with everything from the holding of rites and rituals, to the selection of leaders and annual meetings, to the hiring of staff and the handling of funds. All of these must be reported '-- in advance, no less '-- to the comrades at the ''Religious Affairs'' office for their approval.
The Golden Lampstand Church was one of China's largest Protestant evangelical places of worship until police officers blasted it with dynamite on January 9, 2018. China Aid via APIn other words, without the permission of the authorities, you can't organize a Bible study. And if you do get permission, you'd better hold it in a Party-approved religious venue, at a Party-approved time, with a Party-approved leader and using the new Party-approved Bible, which contains quotations from Confucius and, of course, Xi Jinping.
No Communist directive would be complete without a Catch-22 and the ''Control Measures'' contain a doozy: ''Religious groups must also report to the appropriate government authorities any and all other matters that should be reported.''
Translation: We can shut you down at any time for any reason.
The ''Control Measures'' are part of Xi Jinping's New Cultural Revolution, one goal of which is to stamp out all religious groups that the Communist Party cannot co-opt and control. ''A religious group cannot carry out any activities,'' warns the new rules, ''without registration with the Civil Affairs office and the approval of the Religious Affairs office of the people's government.''
Some religious groups will never be allowed to register, no matter how innocent their activities. The Early Rain Covenant Church and the Falun Gong have already been declared to be ''heretical cults'' and their followers will continue to suffer arrest, imprisonment and, in some cases, torture. The Early Rain pastor, for example, has just been sentenced to nine years in prison.
Members of other groups are being forced to join existing Party-controlled organizations. In the case of the bishops, priests and laity of the underground Catholic Church, for instance, this is the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, whose leaders are handpicked Party followers.
But, like Mao's Cultural Revolution, Xi's copycat version has an even more ambitious goal. It is to extinguish faith in God altogether, replacing it with faith in the Chinese Communist Party and the Party's own ''small-g'' god of the moment, who is Xi Jinping himself.
Mao Zedong Getty ImagesAnd it perversely intends to enlist China's churches, mosques, shrines and temples into this effort.
The new rules order all ''religious groups'' to ''propagandize the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party, along with national laws and regulations, to all of their religious staff and followers'' and to ''educate and guide all religious staff and followers to embrace the Chinese Communist Party's leadership, to embrace the socialist system, to uphold the path of 'Socialism with Chinese Characteristics' .'‰.'‰. and to maintain the overall policy of sinicization of religion.''
If all this sounds like the Party wants to use religious groups and leaders to promote the official ideology and strengthen its own hold on power, that's because it does. Any group that refuses to be subverted by the Party in this way will be declared heretical, and their churches or temples will be shuttered or torn down. Pastors or priests who refuse to serve the Party in this way '-- as junior political commissars, as it were '-- will be sent home or, if they resist, to prison.
As far as the ''overall policy of sinicization of religion'' is concerned, we know exactly what this portends. It is a policy of replacing the worship of God with the worship of the Communist Party leadership. Hitler and the Nazis attempted something similar in the 1930s with their Nazification program, which was an effort to turn the Catholic and Protestant churches of Germany into ardent supporters of National Socialism and the Nazi leadership.
That is exactly what the Chinese Communist Party is trying to do today in China to every Christian church, Islamic mosque, Taoist shrine and Buddhist temple in China.
The end goal is to one day purge them from the Chinese cultural landscape altogether so that the Communist Party and its now deified leader, Xi Jinping, can reign supreme.
Steven W. Mosher is the president of the Population Research Institute and the author of ''Bully of Asia: Why China's 'Dream' is the New Threat to World Order.''
AFP news agency on Twitter: "#PHOTO: Lightning strikes St Peter's dome at #Vatican on day the #Pope announced resignation, by Filippo Monteforte http://t.co/FehVjFYP" / Twitter
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 09:32
AFP news agency : #PHOTO: Lightning strikes St Peter's dome at #Vatican on day the #Pope announced resignation, by Filippo Monteforte http://t.co/FehVjFYP
Mon Feb 11 21:06:44 +0000 2013
Abp Vigan² denounces Benedict's secretary for 'abusive and systematic control' of Pope Emeritus | News | LifeSite
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 09:36
ROME, January 16, 2020 ( LifeSiteNews) '-- In the wake of the controversy surrounding the genesis of Cardinal Robert Sarah's new book with Benedict XVI on priestly celibacy, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan² has released a testimony denouncing Archbishop Georg G¤nswein for what he calls his ''abusive and systematic control'' of the pope emeritus.
''It is time to reveal the abusive and systematic control exercised by Archbishop Georg G¤nswein over the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI since the beginning of his pontificate,'' Archbishop Vigan² writes in the one-page testimony released on January 16 (see official English text below).
LifeSite has reached out to Archbishop G¤nswein, and will update readers if he responds.
Archbishop Vigan²'s testimony follows several days of fierce backlash against the pope emeritus and the cardinal, portraying them as opposed to Pope Francis and undermining his widely anticipated apostolic exhortation on the Amazon Synod. It also comes after the Archbishop G¤nswein openly contradicted Cardinal Sarah's official account of the genesis of the book, claiming instead that Benedict ''did not approve a project for a co-authored book and he had not seen or authorized the cover.''
In the new testimony, Archbishop Vigan² asserts that ''G¤nswein habitually filtered information, arrogating to himself the right to judge how opportune or not it was to send it to the Holy Father.''
Archbishop G¤nswein, who currently serves as personal secretary to Benedict XVI and as prefect of the papal household in the current pontificate, has worked alongside the pope emeritus for over two decades. In 1996, G¤nswein joined the staff of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and in 2003, he replaced Josef Clemens as Ratzinger's secretary.
When Cardinal Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005, G¤nswein was appointed his principal private secretary. In 2012, he replaced Cardinal James Michael Harvey as prefect of the papal household. In this post, the German prelate oversaw the majority of Pope Benedict XVI's public and private events, correspondence, visitors, and apostolic journeys.
In his January 16 statement, Archbishop Vigan² offers two personal experiences he had of G¤nswein's alleged ''control'' of Benedict, the first as a high-level official in the Vatican Secretariat of State and the second as apostolic nuncio to the United States.
He says what has moved him to take this step is Archbishop G¤nswein's ''sensational and slanderous insinuation'' against Cardinal Robert Sarah following the release of the new co-authored book, titled From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy, and the Crisis of the Catholic Church.
In comments to the ANSA news agency on Tuesday, Archbishop G¤nswein said he has ''acted on instructions from the pope emeritus and asked Cardinal Robert Sarah to contact the book's publisher and request that they remove Benedict XVI's name as co-author of the book, and remove his signature from the introduction and conclusion.''
''The pope emeritus knew that the cardinal was preparing a book and he sent him a text on the priesthood authorizing him to use it as he wished,'' G¤nswein continued. But contrary to an official statement released by Cardinal Sarah earlier on Tuesday, the German prelate claimed that Benedict ''did not approve a project for a co-authored book, and he had not seen or authorized the cover.''
''It is a misunderstanding that does not raise questions about Cardinal Sarah's good faith,'' he said.
Just a short time after, Cardinal Sarah openly said he stood by his official statement, affirming that it '' remains my one and only version of the course of events.''
Ignatius Press, which is publishing the book in English, has stood by the co-authorship and cover.
Here below is the official English text of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan²'s testimony.
* * *
Testimony by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan² It is time to reveal the abusive and systematic control exercised by Archbishop Georg G¤nswein over the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI since the beginning of his Pontificate.
G¤nswein habitually filtered information, arrogating to himself the right to judge how opportune or not it was to send it to the Holy Father.
I can testify that, when Pope Benedict summoned me in audience on April 4, 2011, a few days after I had sent him my first letter (that was later illegally published during Vatileaks), I said to the Pontiff: ''I will not speak to you about the situation of corruption in the management of the Papal Villas, since I assume that you have already taken note of the memo on the matter, which I delivered to your secretary for you, in view of this audience.''
The Holy Father, in all simplicity and innocence, and without showing any surprise, said to me: ''No, I didn't see anything.''
I also testify to another event that shows how Monsignor G¤nswein controlled information for the Holy Father and conditioned his freedom of action. On the occasion of the canonization of Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha, having requested in writing to the then-prefect of the papal household, Archbishop James M. Harvey, to be received in audience by the Pope, and having received no response, I went to the same Prefect on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, asking him why I had received no response to my request for an audience.
I remember perfectly the circumstance, because Archbishop Harvey suggested that I attend the general audience the next day, so that I could at least greet the Holy Father personally, with the other bishops who were present. Archbishop Harvey answered me with the following words: ''G¤nswein said to me: 'Archbishop Vigan² is the last person who can approach Pope Benedict!'''
He then added that, at the beginning of his pontificate, Benedict XVI, indicating G¤nswein to him with his index finger, exclaimed: ''Gestapo! Gestapo!''
This unscrupulous attitude was revealed from the very beginning of his pontificate, also in the determination with which G¤nswein managed to distance from the pope his precious assistant and secretary, Ingrid Stampa, whom then-cardinal Ratzinger had wanted at his side for well over a decade after the death of his sister Maria Ratzinger.
Furthermore, it is known that to escape this total control exercised over his person by G¤nswein, Pope Benedict often went to visit his previous special secretary, Bishop Josef Clemens, inviting Ingrid Stampa to these familial gatherings.
I am issuing this statement following what Archbishop G¤nswein asserted in recent days to the ANSA news agency, contradicting what Pope Benedict himself had written in his correspondence with Cardinal Sarah. This statement is a sensational and slanderous insinuation against the most eminent Cardinal Robert Sarah, which he swiftly denied.
Translation by Diane Montagna of LifeSiteNews.
PETITION: Support Cardinal Sarah's Defense of Priestly Celibacy" Sign the petition here.
Islam: Conquer Rome After Constantinople
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 04:34
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Sign up today!ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - A distinguished Italian historian is warning that radical Islam's goal is to conquer Rome now that it has reoccupied the ancient Byzantine basilica of Hagia Sophia.
"The goal of Islam is clear '-- after Saint Sophia, Saint Peter," Professor Roberto de Mattei told Church Militant, following Pope Francis' six word non-condemnation of Turkey's inflammatory decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Pope Francis visiting Istanbul in 2014On Sunday, after mounting international pressure to condemn the Islamic takeover of Hagia Sophia, Pope Francis said: "I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened" '-- a statement that was criticized as "manifesting a studied ambiguity."
"Pope Francis said he was saddened by the transformation of the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, but what else should he have expected from Sultan Erdoğan?" asked de Mattei, author of Turkey in Europe: Benefit or Catastrophe?
For years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been insisting that Turkey enter Europe in order to Islamize it, the Catholic historian emphasized.
Erdoğan, a radical Muslim, was "developing a 'neo-Roman' political strategy throughout the geopolitical belt of the former Soviet Union's Islamic republics," de Mattei noted.
Rome is the 'Red Apple'"The ultimate goal of the Turkish conquests, according to an ancient tradition, is called 'the Red Apple' (Kizil-Elma). This is the name used to denote the golden globe supported by the statue of the Emperor Constantine in Constantinople."
Pope Francis said he was saddened by the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, but what else should he have expected from Sultan Erdoğan?
"After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Rome became the 'Red Apple,' the ultimate objective of the Muslim Ottomans and the symbol of the triumph of Islam over Christianity. This demand has not weakened over time," he warned.
"Pope Francis visited Hagia Sophia in November 2014 on his trip to Turkey. Shortly before, he visited the Sultan Ahmet '-- also known as the Blue Mosque '-- in Istanbul with the Grand Mufti, to pray in silence and barefoot."
"Could it be that the pontiff hasn't learned anything from this trip?" asked de Mattei, director of the Lepanto Foundation.
Professor de Mattei cited world-renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and media celebrity, "who has been hugely influential on large swaths of contemporary Islam through his appearances in the media and on the internet.
'Occupied Europe' UnderwaySheikh al-Qaradawi recalled on Dec. 2, 2002 that when the prophet Muhammad was asked which city would be conquered first, Rome or Constantinople, he replied: 'The city of Hirquid (Constantinople) will be conquered first.'
Mehmet entering Constantinople in 1453 (Benjamin-Constant)Qaradawi explains: "The city of Hirquid was conquered in 1453 by the young Ottoman emperor of 23 years of age, Mohammed bin Murad, known to history as Mohammed the Conqueror. The other city, Rome, remains and we believe and hope [that she too will be conquered]."
He adds: "This means that Islam will return to Rome conquering and victorious after having been expelled twice, once from the South, from Andalusia, and a second time from the East when it knocked several times at the gates of Athens."
According to de Mattei, "The same al-Qaradawi, in a fatwa promulgated on Feb. 27, 2005, declared: 'Notwithstanding the pessimism among Muslims, in the end Islam will govern and will be the head of the whole world.'"
"One of the signs of the victory will be that Rome will be conquered, Europe will be occupied, the Christians will be defeated and the Muslims will grow in number and become a force which will control the whole of the European continent," al-Qaradawi announced.
Islam 'Coming for the West'Meanwhile, historian of Islam Robert Spencer is also alerting the West to Erdoğan's plans for Islam's march on the West.
"Erdoğan is signaling his aspiration to restore the caliphate, the single unified Islamic government to which, in Sunni Islam, all Muslims owe allegiance," Spencer wrote in a column for PJ Media.
Erdoğan is signaling his aspiration to restore the caliphate, the single unified Islamic government to which, in Sunni Islam, all Muslims owe allegiance.
"The last caliphate was abolished by the secular Turkish government in 1924. Now that Erdoğan has just about completed his work of destroying Turkish secularism, he is moving more directly than ever to re-establish the caliphate that the secularists themselves destroyed," observed Spencer, author of Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West.
Spencer added:
Hagia Sophia stood as a symbol of the triumph of Islam over Christianity, and of the power of the Ottoman Empire. Erdoğan is positioning himself as a new Mehmet [the Conqueror], destroying the monument to secularism that the Hagia Sophia museum has been since 1935, and emulating his illustrious predecessor by converting it to a mosque once again.
Following the Council of State verdict Friday to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Erdoğan vowed to "liberate al-Aqsa mosque" from Israel.
"The resurrection of Hagia Sophia is the footsteps of the will of Muslims across the world to come ... the resurrection of Hagia Sophia is the reignition of the fire of hope of Muslims and all oppressed, wrong, downtrodden and exploited," Turkey's president said in a victory speech.
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Erdogan Boasts Turkish Military Intervention 'Saved' Libya From Haftar | Zero Hedge
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:18
Via AlMasdarNews.com,
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Ankara's stance in Libya foiled the plans of the Libyan National Army's commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
According to Erdogan, Turkey's intervention saved the city of Tripoli from falling to the Libyan National Army (LNA) and their commander.
Prior image of Turkish troops and artillery deploying to Libya, via Anadolu Agency.Erdogan continued in his interview with the Turkish magazine that ''the Government of National Accord managed to get the revolutionaries out of Tripoli in a short time and these field gains heralded peace and security in all Libyan lands.''
He then boasted that it was ultimately Turkish military support to Tripoli, was had endured for much of the past year, that thwarted Haftar's advance:
''Turkey's determined stance stifled the plans of Haftar and his supporters to occupy Tripoli.''
He said, ''Strengthening Libya politically and economically will comfort North Africa and Europe.''
Following the airstrikes on the Turkish base of Al-Watiya, #Turkey oficially announced that it will violate #Egypt's red lines and attack #Jufra and #Sirte, these areas control almost all of #Libya's oil fields, a regional war is expected. pic.twitter.com/Efmsh7jny1
'-- Nic 🇬🇷 (@NicAthens) July 6, 2020Regarding the eastern Mediterranean crisis, Erdogan stressed that he does not want tension in the region, and said that Ankara is ''open to all proposals based on cooperation and fair sharing in the Mediterranean and ready to work with everyone on the basis of these principles.''
''We do not want tension in the Mediterranean,'' he said at a moment both Turkey and Egypt, who support opposite sides of the conflict, are holding war games as a 'show of force' in the region.
Four Dead as Fighting Resumes on Azerbaijan-Armenia Border '-- Naharnet
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:18
by Naharnet Newsdesk 13 July 2020, 14:06
Four soldiers were killed as troops from Azerbaijan and Armenia clashed on their border for a second day Monday in a new escalation of their decades-long territorial dispute.
Four Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed in the artillery fire that erupted on Sunday near Tavush region, Azerbaijan's defense ministry said, with three deaths on Sunday and one on Monday.
Armenia's defense ministry said Azerbaijan resumed shelling its positions on Monday morning after a night of clashes.
The countries have traded accusations over which side started the fighting.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a cabinet meeting that Azerbaijani "provocations will not be unanswered."
His defense minister David Tonoyan warned that Yerevan "will be reacting to Azerbaijani actions, including by taking advantageous positions" in their territory.
He said Armenian forces "do not shell civilian targets in Azerbaijan and only target the engineering infrastructure and technical facilities of the Azerbaijani armed forces."
Armenia's foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed the crisis over the phone with the head of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Moscow-led military bloc.
Referring to the military alliance, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's office said on Sunday that Armenia's "military adventure" was aimed at drawing CSTO into the fighting.
Turkey's foreign ministry issued a statement, backing its Turkic-speaking ally Baku.
"Turkey will continue, with all its capacity, to stand by Azerbaijan in its struggle to protect its territorial integrity," the ministry said.
All-out war between the two countries could drag in regional powers including Armenia's military ally Russia and Azerbaijan's patron Turkey, which compete for geopolitical influence in the strategic region.
Former Soviet republics Armenia and Azerbaijan have for decades been locked in a simmering conflict over Nagorny Karabakh, a breakaway territory which was at the center of a bloody war in the 1990s.
The ongoing clashes are far from Karabakh and are directly between the two Caucasus states, which happens rarely.
The St. Gallen connection to those snarky Vatican ATMs | FromRome.Info
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:30
by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
One of the intriguing historical events associated with the events of Pope Benedict XVI's apparent renunciation, was the decision by Deutch Bank to shut down the ATMs of Vatican City prior to Pope Benedict's removal from power. The New York Times reported on this on January 4, 2013. It is an incontrovertible historical event.
But, this one event has been the source of a lot of speculation about possible force or coercion placed on the Holy Father to renounce. And the reason for the importance of this, is that Canon 188 declares all resignations of office, invalid, when obtained through coercion.
An Old Story gets some powerful helpI have recently come upon important information which leads me to say, that this theory has some very strong circumstantial basis, and one which leads directly back to the St. Gallen Mafia, who even during the very ceremony in which Benedict XVI bade farewell to the Cardinals, on Feb. 27, 2013, seemed to be already in control of the Vatican administration (cf. during the ceremony the camera pans to Bergoglio & Tagle).
Here is the evidence which supports that line of investigation.
The Raiffeisen BanksIn 1899, Father Johann Traber, a Catholic priest in Bichelsee, Switzerland, founds the first Raiffeisen Bank in Switzerland. This bank was inspired by the teachings of Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, who argued that financial institutions should serve the people. A Raiffeisen Bank is a rural credit union. They are found not only in Switzerland, but in Austria, Romania, Luxembourg and Germany.
In 1902, the 10 banks of this kind, in Switzerland, founded the Swiss Raiffeisen union.
In 1912, the unofficial headquarters of this Union is established in St. Gallen, Switzerland, 41 KM to the east of Bichelsee. This would make St. Gallen a center of banking, and an important one during the Second World War, because rural credit unions generally have poor security and are easily used for money laundering. In Fact, in 2019, a Raiffeisen Bank in Austria was implicated in a Russian money laundering scheme.
St. Gallen: A Rampolla PowerbaseBut St. Gallen, Switzlerland, was also Diocese controlled for nearly 70 years by Rampolla allies and members. Here is that history
On September 26, 1938, Father Joseph Miele becomes the new Bishop St. Gallen. He is co-consecrated by Bishop Laurenz Matthias Vincenz, the Bishop of Chur, Switzerland, who according to his episcopal lineage, is a direct descendant of Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, from whom the lineage of the St. Gallen Mafia members also descends. Father Miele was consecrated principally by Eugenio Maria Giovanni Cardinal Pacelli, who would shortly become Pope Pius XII and sign the Concordat with Nazi Germany, which guaranteed the liberty of the Catholic Church in return for the submission and dissolution of the Catholic Centre Party into the National Socialist Party of Germany. This union with the Nazi party gave Hitler the votes to be declared Dictator for Life by the enabling act.
In 1957, Bishop Miele is succeeded by Msgr. Joseph Hasler, who was principally consecrated by a disciple of Bl. Alfredo Ildefonso Cardinal Schuster, who himself was co-consecrated by a Rampolla Bishop and who was notable in arranging the escape of Nazi war criminals from allied territories at the end of World War II, as the Dossier on Father Albert Hartl, records.
In 1976, on March 25, Bishop Miele is succeeded by Otmar M¤der, who like his three predecessors is a priest of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and who is consecrated by Bishop Miele. This tradition continued on March 29, 1995, with the consecration of Ivo F¼rer, former secretary of the European Bishop's Conference and intimate promoter and member of the St. Gallen Mafia, as FromRome.Info has reported previously.
Home of the St. Gallen MafiaWe know from that report on Bishop F¼rer, that Cardinal Kasper and others formed the St. Gallen Group as early as 1991, and from the Biography of Cardinal Daneels, that this group met at St. Gallen up until 2006, and called themselves, The St. Gallen Mafia.
But why St. Gallen, Switzerland?St. Gallen was a notorious hotbed of Nazi sympathizers. It is sufficient to cite the case of their chief of police, Paul Grueninger, who for the ''crime'' of assisting hundreds of Jews escape from Nazi Germany, was demoted and fired from his position. He received an apology posthumously a stunning 55 years later! (source: here)
But St. Gallen is also a center of Corporate networking on account of the 18,000 alumni of a very influential Business school, located there.
St. Gallen University Campus (bottom), is a short walk from St. Gallen Monastery (Church above), where the Mafia met.In fact, St. Gallen Switzerland is the home not only of the Raiffesen Bank HQ, but of a Business School of international profile: the University of St. Gallen, which not only has ties to the Raiffesent Banks, trough the CEO since 2015 of the Reifesen Banks, Patrik Gisel, graduated from the St. Gallen University in 1993, but more significantly, through the Chairman of the Board of DeutchBank since May 31, 2012, Paul Achleitner and its CEO from 2002-2012, Josef Ackermann, are graduates, and 1977 respectively of the University of St. Gallen.
And this is where it gets interesting. Because the ATM machines which were shut down in January 2013 at the Vatican, were operated by DeutchBank.
Perhaps it is just a coincidence that the two most senior and powerful officers of DeutchBank who undoubtedly were the ones who made the decision to shut down the ATMs at the Vatican, were graduates of a University in the same town where the St. Gallen Mafia met for nearly 15 years?
Oh, and on Feb. 12, 2013, DeutchBank lifed its block on the Vatican ATMs. The very day after Benedict XVI appeared to have abdicated. How nice of them!
That is the evidence. I leave it to you to draw the conclusions.
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Masks & Muzzles
Q&A: Masks and COVID-19
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 11:30
Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19. You should also maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, frequently clean your hands and avoid touching your face and mask.
Medical masks can protect people wearing the mask from getting infected, as well as can prevent those who have symptoms from spreading them. WHO recommends the following groups use medical masks.
Health workersAnyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, including people with mild symptoms People caring for suspect or confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of health facilitiesMedical masks are also recommended for these at-risk people, when they are in areas of widespread transmission and they cannot guarantee a distance of at least 1 metre from others:
People aged 60 or overPeople of any age with underlying health conditionsNon-medical, fabric masks are being used by many people in public areas, but there has been limited evidence on their effectiveness and WHO does not recommend their widespread use among the public for control of COVID-19. However, for areas of widespread transmission, with limited capacity for implementing control measures and especially in settings where physical distancing of at least 1 metre is not possible '' such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments '' WHO advises governments to encourage the general public to use non-medical fabric masks.
WHO recommends that people always consult local authorities on recommended practices in their area.
If there is widespread community transmission, and especially in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained, governments should encourage the general public to wear a fabric mask. WHO also provides details on the composition of a fabric mask and how to safely wear one.
For countries that are considering the use of masks, WHO advises decision-makers to apply a risk-based approach to decide where, when and what type of masks should be used. WHO advises decision makers to consider the following:
Purpose of mask use: if the intention is preventing the wearer transmitting infection to others (source control) or to offer protection to the wearer against infection (prevention).
Risk of exposure to COVID-19 to the population or individual:
Population level exposure measured by the amount of COVID-19 circulation in the community: that is, if there is known or suspected community transmission occurring. Individual level exposure depending on a person's occupation: e.g., individuals working in close contact with the public (e.g., community health worker, cashier). Vulnerability of the mask wearer/population: for example, if supplies are adequate, medical masks should be used by people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, immunocompromised patients or diabetes mellitus of any age, or people aged 60 and over.
Setting in which the population lives: settings with high population density (e.g. refugee camps, those living in cramped conditions) and settings where individuals are unable to keep a safe distance (e.g. crowded buses or other transport).
Feasibility: availability and costs of masks, access to clean water to wash non-medical masks, and ability of mask wearers to tolerate adverse effects of wearing a mask.
Type of mask: medical mask versus non-medical mask. Medical masks should be prioritized for health workers, symptomatic people and their caregivers.
In addition to these factors, potential advantages of the use of masks by the general population in the community setting include reducing potential exposure risk from an infected person during the 'pre-symptomatic' period or if an infected person is asymptomatic (that is when they may not have symptoms).
There are potential risks and disadvantages that should be taken into account in any decision-making process on the use of masks:
Non-medical or fabric masks could increase potential for COVID-19 to infect a person if the mask is contaminated by dirty hands and touched often, or kept on other parts of the face or head and then placed back over the mouth and nose Depending on the type of mask used, could cause difficulty in breathing They can lead to facial skin breakdown They can lead to difficulty with communicating clearly They can be uncomfortable to wear It is possible that mask use, with unclear benefits, could create a false sense of security in the wearer, leading to diminished practice of recognized beneficial preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene. Medical masks (also known as surgical masks): these are made from a minimum of three layers of synthetic nonwoven materials, and configured to have filtration layers sandwiched in the middle. These masks are available in different thicknesses, have various levels of fluid-resistance and two levels of filtration. These medical masks reduce the respiratory droplets from the wearer to others and to the environment. They also prevent transmission of the virus from others to the wearer.
Hands should be cleaned with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water before putting on a clean mask and after removing the mask. These masks should be worn tightly on the face. The wearer should avoid touching the mask while it is on the face and the mask should be immediately discarded if it becomes moist. Importantly, wearing a mask must be combined with other preventive measures including performing frequent hand hygiene and physical distancing of at least 1 metre.
When and how to use masks
Respirators (also known as filtering facepiece respirators - FFP) and available at different performance levels such as FFP2, FFP3, N95, N99): these are specifically designed for healthcare workers who provide care to COVID-19 patients in settings and areas where aerosol generating procedures are undertaken. Healthcare workers should be fit tested before using a respirator to ensure that they are wearing the correct size.
Non-medical masks (also known as fabric masks, home-made masks, DIY masks) can act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.
They can be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardized like medical masks. There are numerous types of fabric masks, they should cover the nose, mouth, and chin and be secured with elastic loops or ties, include multiple layers, be washable and reusable.
Remember, the use of a fabric mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, frequently clean your hands and continue to avoid touching your face and the mask.
WHO will be referring to non-medical masks as fabric masks.
When and how to use masks
It is important to remember that the use of masks should be combined with other key infection prevention and control measures such as hand hygiene and physical distancing, as they do not protect against COVID-19 on their own.
WHO recommends the use of medical masks for the following individuals:
Health workersWhy? Health workers are the most likely to be exposed to the COVID-19 virus because they are in close contact with patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and their surrounding environment. However, there are also reports of many health workers who are infected with the COVID-19 virus outside of the health facilities.
In areas where there are many people infected with COVID-19 in the community, health workers and caregivers should wear a medical mask while in clinical areas throughout the shift (apart from eating and drinking or needing to change the mask for specific reasons). This includes any clinical area, and in particular, triage and emergency rooms, family physician/GP practices, outpatient departments, COVID-19 dedicated units, haematological, cancer and transplant units, long-term health and residential facilities. It includes doctors, nurses, midwives, cleaners, and others working in clinical areas.
This is in addition to the previously WHO recommended practices that health workers caring for suspect or confirmed COVID-19 patients should follow droplet/contact precautions where a medical mask is part of the PPE package of recommendations, that includes: surgical gown, gloves, medical mask, and eye protection.
Please note, this is different from respirators, which are recommended for use in the context of where aerosol generating procedures are performed in health settings for a suspect/confirmed COVID-19 patient. In these settings, WHO recommends the use of airborne and contact precautions.
Link to how safely put on and remove PPE for droplet/contact precautions for COVID-19.
COVID-19: How to put on and remove personal protective equipment (PPE)
More information can be found in the guidance document on Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected.
Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected
People who are sick and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or may suspect they have COVID-19Why? Anyone who is sick, even with mild symptoms such as muscle aches, slight cough, sore throat or fatigue, should isolate at home and use a medical mask. Coughing, sneezing or talking can generate droplets that can spread the infection. These droplets can reach the face of others nearby or land on the surrounding environment. If an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks wearing a medical mask, this helps to protect those nearby from infection. Sick people needing to go to a health facility should wear a medical mask.
Anyone taking care of a person at home who is sick with COVID-19Why? Those caring for individuals who are sick with COVID-19 should wear a medical mask for protection. Close and frequent contact with someone with COVID-19 can put those caring for them at high risk.
People 60 years old and over or anyone with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or cancer) Why? These people should wear a medical mask for protection because they are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with the disease and dying.
Remember, the use of a fabric mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, frequently clean your hands and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose while wearing a mask.
WHO recommends that people always consult local authorities on recommended practices in their area.
Medical masks should only be used by:
Health workersAnyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, including mildly ill people People caring for suspect or confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of health facilitiesPeople aged 60 or overPeople with underlying health conditionsHow to put on and take off a medical mask:Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water Inspect the mask for tears or holes; do not use a mask that has previously been worn or is damaged. Verify which side is the top '' this is usually where the metal strip is Then, identify the inside of the mask, which is usually the white side. Place the mask on your face covering your nose, mouth and chin, making sure that there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Pinch the metal strip so it moulds to the shape of your nose. Remember, do not touch the front of the mask while using it to avoid contamination; if you accidentally touch it, clean your hands. How to take off a medical mask:Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water Remove the straps from behind the head or ears, without touching the front of the mask. As you remove the mask, lean forward and pull the mask away from your face. Medical masks are for single use only; discard the mask immediately, preferably into a closed bin. Clean your hands after touching the mask.Be aware of the condition of the mask; replace it if it gets soiled or damp.When and how to use masks
Remember, a mask alone cannot protect you from COVID-19. It must be combined with other measures, including maintaining at least one metre distance from each other, washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face while wearing a mask.
Stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19!
At the present time, the widespread use of masks everywhere is not supported by high-quality scientific evidence, and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.
However, there are some settings in which it may not be possible to keep physical distancing and the use of a mask could be helpful to provide a barrier to limit the spread of potentially infectious droplets from someone who is infected. In addition, there is some evidence which suggests that some infected people without showing symptoms may be able to transmit the virus others.
For this reason, WHO advises that governments should encourage the use of non-medical fabric masks, which can act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others where there are many cases of COVID-19, for people in the general public where physical distancing of at least 1 metre is not possible '' such as, on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.
It is important to note that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive strategy. Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19. People should also clean their hands frequently and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others.
WHO is actively studying and encouraging research on the science of masks. New research findings identified the following preferable types of fabrics, number of layers and the composition of a non-medical, fabric mask:
an inner layer of absorbent material such as cottona middle layer of non-woven material such as polypropylene an outer layer of non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend More information on the types of materials and their effectiveness can be found in the updated mask guidance document -
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) technical guidance: Infection prevention and control / WASH
Make sure to construct or purchase a mask that lets you breathe while talking and walking briskly.
Remember, the use of a fabric mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently clean your hands.
WHO recommends that people always consult local authorities on recommended practices in their area.
Using a fabric mask:
Clean your hands before putting on the mask. Inspect the mask for tears or holes, do not use a mask that is damaged.Adjust the mask to cover your mouth, nose, and chin, leaving no gaps on the sides.Avoid touching the mask while wearing it.Change your mask if it gets dirty or wet.Clean your hands before taking off the mask.Take off the mask by removing it from the ear loops, without touching the front of the mask.Clean your hands after removing the mask.Caring for a fabric mask:If your fabric mask is not dirty or wet and you plan to reuse it, put it in a clean plastic, resealable bag. If you need to use it again, hold the mask at the elastic loops when removing it from the bag.Wash fabric masks in soap or detergent and preferably hot water (at least 60 degrees) at least once a day.If hot water is not available, wash the mask in soap/detergent and room-temperature water, followed by either boiling the mask for 1 minute OR; by soaking the mask in 0.1% chlorine for 1 minute and thoroughly rinsing the mask with room temperature water (there should not be any toxic residue of chlorine on the mask).Make sure you have your own mask and do not share it with others.When and how to use masks
Remember, the use of a fabric mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently clean your hands.
No, WHO does not recommend the use of gloves by people in the community. The wearing of gloves may increase risk of infection, since it can lead to self-contamination or transmission to others when touching contaminated surfaces and then the face.
Therefore, in public places such as supermarkets, in addition to physical distancing, WHO recommends the installation of public hand hygiene stations at the entrance and exit.
By widely improving hand hygiene practices, countries can help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
WHO recommends that people always consult local authorities on recommended practices in their area.
It is an important reminder that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone, regardless of the use of masks, should:
avoid groups of people and crowded spaces;maintain physical distance of at least 1 meter from other people, especially from those who are sick;clean your hands frequently, using an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty, or soap and water;cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately after use;refrain from touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.Above all, stay informed of the progress of the disease, pay attention to local authorities and their recommendations, and follow and encourage best practices.
Dining out with Rob Balon What the Hell Is Wrong With Austin Restaurant Customers? - Dining out with Rob Balon
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 11:54
Since local restaurants have been allowed to at least partially reopen, all in all it has not been a particularly pleasant sight.
Our restaurants are literally busting their asses to keep their stores safe, sanitized and hospitable but many customers, it seems, are not rewarding the effort.
I've heard from dozens of servers, managers and owners who are dismayed, disappointed, and outraged by the almost complete disdain by the local public for dining safety.
Complaints have ranged from customers coming in unmasked, in large groups, and refusing to acknowledge safety rules. They are putting their own lives as well as the restaurant employees' in danger by ignoring social distancing and expecting to dine as they always have.
Many have been demanding, rude, and have shown little regard for the challenges facing the servers.
''If we don't start seeing customers behave in a reasonable manner, we're going to get closed down or we'll have to shut down, whichever comes first,'' said the GM of a popular restaurant at the Domain.
The financial demands being placed on Austin restaurants who offer inside dining and are being asked to operate below 50% of occupancy capability is an enormous strain on cash flow. Customers who totally ignore dining and the COVID-19 issues are only exacerbating the problem. On top of that I've heard that tipping is substantially down too.
''This is a perfect storm and our worst nightmare,'' said a local owner. ''Our business has declined by 60% and our margins (already thin in the industry) are getting hammered. People have got to accept that indoor or even outdoor dining can't continue, at least for now, as it has in the past.''
His sentiments are shared by dozens of local restaurant operators, many of whom are gloomily watching their colleagues around the city shutter stores and dreading the moment when they may have to do the same.
I've also heard from more than several servers who are totally frustrated. ''Frankly, I was earning more on unemployment than I am now since we've reopened'' said one veteran server. ''I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. I have loved and lived this business for a long time,'' she said, ''and now, I just don't know.''
The message here for Austin restaurant customers is brutally simple: support your favorite spots by acting responsibly, safely following the rules (which have been imposed on restaurants by circumstances beyond their control), tipping generously, and getting your collective heads out of the sand and realizing that we may be at the precipice of a local dining disaster!
Face masks critical in preventing spread of COVID-19: Study found that wearing a face mask stopped person-to-person spread of the virus -- ScienceDaily
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:08
A study by a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor has found that not wearing a face mask dramatically increases a person's chances of being infected by the COVID-19 virus.
Renyi Zhang, Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and the Harold J. Haynes Chair in the College of Geosciences, and colleagues from the University of Texas, the University of California-San Diego and the California Institute of Technology have had their work published in the current issue of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
The team examined the chances of COVID-19 infection and how the virus is easily passed from person to person. From trends and mitigation procedures in China, Italy and New York City, the researchers found that using a face mask reduced the number of infections by more than 78,000 in Italy from April 6-May 9 and by over 66,000 in New York City from April 17-May 9.
"Our results clearly show that airborne transmission via respiratory aerosols represents the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19," Zhang said. "By analyzing the pandemic trends without face-covering using the statistical method and by projecting the trend, we calculated that over 66,000 infections were prevented by using a face mask in little over a month in New York City. We conclude that wearing a face mask in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent inter-human transmission.
"This inexpensive practice, in conjunction with social distancing and other procedures, is the most likely opportunity to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Our work also highlights that sound science is essential in decision-making for the current and future public health pandemics."
One of the paper's co-authors, Mario Molina, is a professor at the University of California-San Diego and a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in understanding the threat to the Earth's ozone layer of human-made halocarbon gases.
"Our study establishes very clearly that using a face mask is not only useful to prevent infected coughing droplets from reaching uninfected persons, but is also crucial for these uninfected persons to avoid breathing the minute atmospheric particles (aerosols) that infected people emit when talking and that can remain in the atmosphere tens of minutes and can travel tens of feet," Molina said.
Zhang said that many people in China have worn face masks for years, mainly because of the bad air quality of the country.
"So people there are sort of used to this," he said. "Mandated face-covering helped China in containing the COVID-19 outbreak."
Zhang said the results should send a clear message to people worldwide -- wearing a face mask is essential in fighting the virus.
"Our work suggests that the failure in containing the propagation of COVID-19 pandemic worldwide is largely attributed to the unrecognized importance of airborne virus transmission," he said. "Social-distancing and washing our hands must continue, but that's not sufficient enough protection. Wearing a face mask as well as practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing will greatly reduce the chances of anyone contracting the COVID-19 virus."
The study was funded by the Robert A. Welch Foundation.
Story Source:
Materials provided by Texas A&M University. Original written by Keith Randall. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
De mondkapjesplicht rukt op in Europa | RTL Nieuws
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 04:03
Tsjechi voerde het op 18 maart al in, Oostenrijk volgt deze week en nu gaat ook de Duitse stad Jena overstag: burgers worden verplicht mondkapjes te dragen. De maatregel moet de verspreiding van het coronavirus tegengaan.
JenaDe stad Jena in het oosten van Duitsland heeft ruim 100.000 inwoners. Vanaf volgende week moeten de inwoners hun gezicht bedekken als ze een winkel of een openbaar gebouw ingaan of als ze met het openbaar vervoer reizen.
Andere Duitse steden gaan zover niet, vooral omdat er een tekort is aan mondkapjes. Maar in Jena is het ook toegestaan om een sjaal of een handdoek te gebruiken. Als mond en neus maar bedekt zijn.
OostenrijkGisteren besloot Oostenrijk al tot een dergelijke maatregel. Vanaf morgen, als de mondkapjes worden uitgedeeld aan winkelend publiek, is het in heel het land verplicht.
TsjechiHeel anders denken ze daarover in Tsjechi. Daar zijn mondkapjes al verplicht sinds 18 maart. En ze gaan er nog veel verder dan in Oostenrijk. Iedereen die zijn huis verlaat en de straat opgaat, moet al een mondkapje dragen. Veel mensen hebben er thuis zelf een gemaakt, bijvoorbeeld van oude T-shirts.
Tsjechische data-analisten zeggen dat de groeicurve van het coronavirus in het land is afgevlakt sinds de mondkapjesplicht is ingevoerd.
Lees ook: 'Overheid onnodig traag met aanschaf mondkapjes'
WHOVolgens de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie WHO is er geen enkel bewijs dat het massaal dragen van mondkapjes zin heeft. Sterker nog, er zijn aanwijzingen dat het bij verkeerd gebruik juist een negatief effect heeft. Alleen mensen die ziek zijn en mensen in de zorg zouden mondkapjes moeten dragen, aldus de WHO.
Een mondkapje tegen corona, dat gebruik je zo In Nederland wordt gebruik vooralsnog alleen voorgeschreven aan voornamelijk mensen die vanwege hun werk risico lopen op besmetting. Hier zie je hoe je een mondkapje opdoet.Altijd weten wat er speelt?Download de gratis RTL Nieuws-app en blijf op de hoogte.
Mask Facts - AAPS | Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:03
curated by Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., J.D.
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Note: A COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) particle is 0.125 micrometers (μm); influenza virus size is 0.08 '' 0.12 μm; a human hair is about 150 μm.
*1 nm = 0.001 micron; 1000 nm = 1 micron; Micrometer (μm) is the preferred name for micron (an older term)
1 meter is = 1,000,000,000 nm or 1,000,000 microns
Droplets
Virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Larger respiratory droplets (>5 μm) remain in the air for only a short time and travel only short distances, generally <1 meter. They fall to the ground quickly. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30245-9/fulltextThis idea guides the CDC's advice to maintain at least a 6-foot distance.Virus-laden small (<5 μm) aerosolized droplets can remain in the air for at least 3 hours and travel long distances. https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMc2004973?articleTools=trueAir currents
In air conditioned environment these large droplets may travel farther.However, ventilation '-- even the opening of an entrance door and a small window can dilute the number of small droplets to one half after 30 seconds. (This study looked at droplets from uninfected persons). This is clinically relevant because poorly ventilated and populated spaces, like public transport and nursing homes, have high SARS-CoV-2 disease transmission despite physical distancing. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30245-9/fulltextObjects and surfaces
Person to person touchingThe CDC's most recent statement regarding contracting COVID-19 from touching surfaces: ''Based on data from lab studies on Covid-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible that a person can get Covid-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes,'' the agency wrote. ''But this isn't thought to be the main way the virus spreads. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0522-cdc-updates-covid-transmission.html. Chinese study with data taken from swabs on surfaces around the hospitalhttps://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0885_article?deliveryName=USCDC_333-DM25707The surfaces where tested with the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, which greatly amplifies the viral genetic material if it is present. That material is detectable when a person is actively infected. This is thought to be the most reliable test.Computer mouse (ICU 6/8, 75%; General ward (GW) 1/5, 20%)Trash cans (ICU 3/5, 60%; GW 0/8)Sickbed handrails (ICU 6/14, 42.9%; GW 0/12)Doorknobs (GW 1/12, 8.3%)81.3% of the miscellaneous personal items were positive:Exercise equipmentMedical equipment (spirometer, pulse oximeter, nasal cannula)PC and iPadsReading glassesCellular phones (83.3% positive for viral RNA)Remote controls for in-room TVs (64.7% percent positive)Toilets (81.0% positive)Room surfaces (80.4% of all sampled)Bedside tables and bed rails (75.0%)Window ledges (81.8%)Plastic: up to 2-3 daysStainless Steel: up to 2-3 daysCardboard: up to 1 dayCopper: up to 4 hoursFloor '' gravity causes droplets to fall to the floor. Half of ICU workers all had virus on the bottoms of their shoesFilter Efficiency and Fit
*Data from a University of Illinois at Chicago review
https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data
HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters '' 99.97 '' 100% efficient. HEPA filters are tested with particles that are 0.125 μm.Masks and respirators work by collecting particles through several physical mechanisms, including diffusion (small particles) and interception and impaction (large particles)N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are constructed from electret (a dielectric material that has a quasi-permanent electric charge. An electret generates internal and external electric fields so the filter material has electrostatic attraction for additional collection of all particle sizes. As flow increases, particles will be collected less efficiently.N95 '' A properly fitted N95 will block 95% of tiny air particles down to 0.3 μm from reaching the wearer's face. https://www.honeywell.com/en-us/newsroom/news/2020/03/n95-masks-explained.But even these have problems: many have exhalation valve for easier breathing and less moisture inside the mask.Surgical masks are designed to protect patients from a surgeon's respiratory droplets, aren't effective at blocking particles smaller than 100 μm. https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:VLXWeZBll7YJ:https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/957730O/respirators-and-surgical-masks-contrast-technical-bulletin.pdf+&cd=13&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=usFilter efficiency was measured across a wide range of small particle sizes (0.02 to 1 µm) at 33 and 99 L/min.N95 respirators had efficiencies greater than 95% (as expected).T-shirts had 10% efficiency,Scarves 10% to 20%,Cloth masks 10% to 30%,Sweatshirts 20% to 40%, andTowels 40%.All of the cloth masks and materials had near zero efficiency at 0.3 µm, a particle size that easily penetrates into the lungs.Another study evaluated 44 masks, respirators, and other materials with similar methods and small aerosols (0.08 and 0.22 µm).N95 FFR filter efficiency was greater than 95%.Medical masks '' 55% efficiencyGeneral masks '' 38% andHandkerchiefs '' 2% (one layer) to 13% (four layers) efficiency.Conclusion: Wearing masks will not reduce SARS-CoV-2.N95 masks protect health care workers, but are not recommended for source control transmission.Surgical masks are better than cloth but not very efficient at preventing emissions from infected patients.Cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as personal protective equipment (PPE).''Masks may confuse that message and give people a false sense of security. If masks had been the solution in Asia, shouldn't they have stopped the pandemic before it spread elsewhere?''
*The first randomized controlled trial of cloth masks. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577
Penetration of cloth masks by particles was 97% and medical masks 44%, 3M Vflex 9105 N95 (0.1%), 3M 9320 N95 (<0.01%).Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection.The virus may survive on the surface of the face- masksSelf-contamination through repeated use and improper doffing is possible. A contaminated cloth mask may transfer pathogen from the mask to the bare hands of the wearer.Cloth masks should not be recommended for health care workers, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.*A study of 4 patients in South Korea
https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-1342
Known patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 wore masks and coughed into a Petrie dish. ''Both surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS''CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface.''
*Singapore Study '' Few people used mask correctly
https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/publichealth/86601
Overall, data were collected from 714 men and women. About half the sample were women and all adult ages were represented. Only 90 participants (12.6%, 95% CI 10.3%-15.3%) passed the visual mask fit test. About three-quarters performed strap placement incorrectly, 61% left a ''visible gap between the mask and skin,'' and about 60% didn't tighten the nose-clip.
*A 2011 randomized Australian clinical trial of standard medical/surgical masks
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1750-2659.2011.00198.x?fbclid=IwAR3kRYVYDKb0aR-su9_me9_vY6a8KVR4HZ17J2A_80f_fXUABRQdhQlc8Wo
Medical masks offered no protection at all from influenza.
Conclusions from Organizations
The World Health Organization (WHO):
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331693/WHO-2019-nCov-IPC_Masks-2020.3-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
''Advice to decision makers on the use of masks for healthy people in community settings
As described above, the wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks.''
''Medical masks should be reserved for health care workers. The use of medical masks in the community may create a false sense of security, with neglect of other essential measures, such as hand hygiene practices and physical distancing, and may lead to touching the face under the masks and under the eyes, result in unnecessary costs, and take masks away from those in health care who need them most, especially when masks are in short supply.''
''Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.''
WHO acknowledges that most people do not use masks properly.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases:
https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/t0131-2019-novel-coronavirus.html
''We don't routinely recommend the use of face masks by the public to prevent respiratory illness,'' said on January 31. ''And we certainly are not recommending that at this time for this new virus.''
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/maskguidance.htm
In March 5, 2019 regarding the flu: ''Masks are not usually recommended in non-healthcare settings; however, this guidance provides other strategies for limiting the spread of influenza viruses in the community:
cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing,use tissues to contain respiratory secretions and, after use, to dispose of them in the nearest waste receptacle, andperform hand hygiene (e.g., handwashing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, and alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.From the New England Journal of Medicine
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372
''We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.''
Final Thoughts
Surgical masks '' loose fitting. They are designed to protect the patient from the doctors' respiratory droplets. The wearer is not protected from others airborne particlesPeople do not wear masks properly. Most people have the mask under the nose. The wearer does not have glasses on and the eyes are a portal of entry.The designer masks and scarves offer minimal protection '' they give a false sense of security to both the wearer and those around the wearer.**Not to mention they add a perverse lightheartedness to the situation.If you are walking alone, no mask '' avoid folks '' that is common sense.Remember '' children under 2 should not wear masks '' accidental suffocation and difficulty breathing in someIf wearing a mask makes people go out and get Vitamin D '' go for it. In the 1918 flu pandemic people who went outside did better. Early reports are showing people with COVID-19 with low Vitamin D do worse than those with normal levels. Perhaps that is why shut-ins do so poorly. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.08.20058578v4If you are sick, stay home!
Additional Resource: Healthy People Wearing Masks, Should They or Shouldn't They? This ER nurse with over two decades of experience took a deep dive into the science to find out: https://jennifermargulis.net/healthy-people-wearing-masks-during-covid19/
Mask or £100 fine: Boris Johnson's government ORDERS Britons to cover up for Covid-19 after saying it wouldn't '-- RT UK News
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:05
After cabinet minister Michael Gove said wearing masks in shops is 'good manners' and won't be mandatory, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that it will be, with those in England who refuse facing a £100 fine.
''The prime minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24,'' a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said on Monday. The measure applies to England; Scotland has already made face coverings mandatory.
''How can anyone respect this government or follow their diktats?''wondered commentator and RT columnist Neil Clark, pointing out that on Sunday, Cabinet Office Minister Gove was saying the exact opposite.
''I don't think mandatory, no,'' Gove told the BBC's Andrew Marr, adding he would ''encourage'' people to mask up inside, as that was ''basic good manners, courtesy and consideration'' in protecting others from the coronavirus.
March, when virus at its peak: ´The public could be putting themselves more at risk by wearing face masks'. Late July, when virus all but gone: £100 fine if you don't wear a face mask. And we're expected to just obey unquestioningly. pic.twitter.com/LzQOJDMa56
'-- Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) July 13, 2020Clark also highlighted the irony of a German supermarket chain Lidl offering the ''first proper resistance to the tyrannical 'New Normal''' by saying it won't enforce the face mask mandate in Scotland.
The opposition Labour Party was also displeased but for different reasons, criticizing Johnson for not mandating masks when it advised in favor of wearing them back in May, and ''why it'll take another 11 days before these new guidelines come into force,'' according to the party's health spokesman Jonathan Ashworth.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has criticized Johnson's coronavirus response as ''slow,'' saying that the PM is ''good on the rhetoric but he is not good on governing.'' Starmer said there will inevitably be an inquiry into Downing Street's handling of the pandemic.
Also on rt.com 'Good on rhetoric, not on governance': Labour leader Starmer says coronavirus inquiry into BoJo is 'inevitable' The mask mandate is not the first time the Johnson cabinet has indulged in mixed messaging. Their initial strategy was reportedly to let the virus spread to generate ''herd immunity,'' before suddenly reversing course and imposing a lockdown on March 23. Johnson himself was sidelined for several weeks after contracting the virus in April.
The PM then urged Britons to go out and enjoy themselves in nature, only to threaten to close the beaches at the end of June amid a new spike in cases. This caused an uproar among the general public, with many noting that the police wasn't nowhere near that zealous in cracking down on illegal parties, or mass protests in London and several other cities.
Also on rt.com 'But protests are OK?' UK government raises eyebrows with threat to close beaches at height of summer The UK has recorded almost 300,000 cases of Covid-19 and nearly 45,000 deaths attributed to the virus, the third-highest in the world after the US and Brazil. Face coverings are already mandatory on public transport in England and Wales, with the same £100 ($126) fine, which gets cut in half if paid within 14 days.
Editor's note: The article was updated as it stated that Wales will also be subject to the new mask law.
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Data & Models
Trump Administration Strips C.D.C. of Control of Coronavirus Data - The New York Times
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:28
Hospitals have been ordered to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all patient information to a central database in Washington, raising questions about transparency.
A scientist at Houston Methodist Hospital last month preparing patient samples to be tested for the coronavirus. Credit... Erin Schaff/The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.
The new instructions were posted recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department '-- not the C.D.C. '-- will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
Officials say the change will streamline data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and remdesivir, the first drug shown to be effective against the virus. But the Health and Human Services database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions.
''Historically, C.D.C. has been the place where public health data has been sent, and this raises questions about not just access for researchers but access for reporters, access for the public to try to better understand what is happening with the outbreak," said Jen Kates, the director of global health and H.I.V. policy with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
''How will the data be protected?'' she asked. ''Will there be transparency, will there be access, and what is the role of the C.D.C. in understanding the data?''
News of the change came as a shock at the C.D.C., according to two officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Michael R. Caputo, a Health and Human Services spokesman, called the C.D.C.'s system inadequate and said the two systems would be linked. The C.D.C. would continue to make data public, he said.
''Today, the C.D.C. still has at least a week lag in reporting hospital data,'' Mr. Caputo said. ''America requires it in real time. The new, faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus, and the C.D.C., an operating division of H.H.S., will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it.''
But the instructions to hospitals in the department guidance are explicit and underscored: ''As of July 15, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site,'' the C.D.C.'s system for gathering data from more than 25,000 medical centers around the country.
Public health experts have long expressed concerns that the Trump administration is politicizing science and undermining its health experts, in particular the C.D.C.; four of the agency's former directors, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, said as much in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post. The data collection shift reinforced those fears.
''Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,'' said Dr. Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. ''It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.''
The shift grew out of a tense conference call several weeks ago between hospital executives and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator. After Dr. Birx said hospitals were not adequately reporting their data, she convened a working group of government and hospital officials who devised the new plan, according to Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who participated in the group's meetings.
While she said she understood Dr. Lurie's concern, Dr. Orlowski said the administration had pledged in ''a verbal discussion'' to make the data public '-- or at least give hospitals access to it.
''We are comfortable with that as long as they continue to work with us, as long as they continue to make the information public, and as long as we're able to continue to advise them and look at the data,'' she said, calling the switch ''a sincere effort to streamline and improve data collection.''
The change exposes the vast gaps in the government's ability to collect and manage health data '-- an antiquated system at best, experts say. The C.D.C. has been collecting coronavirus data through its National Healthcare Safety Network, which was expanded at the outset of the pandemic to track hospital capacity and patient information specific to Covid-19.
In its new guidance, Health and Human Services said that going forward, hospitals should report detailed information on a daily basis directly to the new centralized system, which is managed by TeleTracking, a health data firm with headquarters in Pittsburgh. However, if hospitals were already reporting such information to their states, they could continue to do so if they received a written release saying the state would handle reporting.
Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, has raised questions about the TeleTracking contract, calling it a ''noncompetitive, multimillion-dollar contract'' for a ''duplicative health data system.''
Both the C.D.C. network and the TeleTracking system set up by Health and Human Services rely on so-called push data, meaning hospital employees must manually enter data, rather than the government tapping into an electronic system to obtain the information.
''The whole thing needs to be scrapped and started anew,'' said Dr. Dan Hanfling, an expert in medical and disaster preparedness and a vice president at In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit strategic investment firm focused on national security. ''It is laughable that this administration can't find the wherewithal to bring 21st-century technologies in data management to the fight.''
Dr. Hanfling and others agree that information does need to be centralized, but they disagree on how that should happen. Dr. Hanfling called for a new ''national data coordination center'' that would be used for ''forecasting, identifying, detecting, tracking and reporting on emerging diseases.''
Updated July 7, 2020
Is the coronavirus airborne?The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It's unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.
What's the best material for a mask?Scientists around the country have tried to identify everyday materials that do a good job of filtering microscopic particles. In recent tests, HEPA furnace filters scored high, as did vacuum cleaner bags, fabric similar to flannel pajamas and those of 600-count pillowcases. Other materials tested included layered coffee filters and scarves and bandannas. These scored lower, but still captured a small percentage of particles.
Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise ''comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort'' and requires ''balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.'' Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. ''In my personal experience,'' he says, ''heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.'' Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.
I've heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.
What is pandemic paid leave?The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don't typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country's largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was ''very rare,'' but she later walked back that statement.
What's the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus '-- whether it's surface transmission or close human contact '-- is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
How does blood type influence coronavirus?A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.
How can I protect myself while flying?If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
What should I do if I feel sick?If you've been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
Representative Donna E. Shalala of Florida, who served as health secretary under former President Bill Clinton, said the C.D.C. was the proper agency to gather health data. If there were flaws in the C.D.C.'s systems, she said, they should be fixed.
''Only the C.D.C. has the expertise to collect data,'' Ms. Shalala said. ''I think any move to take responsibility away from the people who have the expertise is politicizing.''
Hospitals say the previous reporting requirements were cumbersome, partly because they frequently changed.
''It has been an administrative hassle and confusing to constantly be shifting gears on reporting while hospitals are on the front lines during a pandemic,'' Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Hospital Association, wrote in an email.
At Rush University Medical Center in Chicago as the pandemic raged, the hospital had four full-time employees reporting coronavirus data to four different agencies, said Dr. Bala N. Hota, the hospital's chief analytics officer. Rush collected more than 100 different measures, some of which determined how much money it would receive under different federal programs.
But while Dr. Hota said he supported streamlining the process and the involvement of state and local agencies in reporting, he was also concerned that months into the pandemic, the United States still did not have an established system of collecting the kind of information it needed to seamlessly move patients from a full hospital to one with available beds.
''The C.D.C. is the right agency to be at the forefront of collecting the data,'' Dr. Hota said.
The C.D.C. has been criticized for its data collection, however. In May, the agency acknowledged that in tracking the spread of the virus, it had been combining tests that detect active infection with those that detect recovery from Covid-19. That system muddied the picture of the pandemic but raised the percentage of Americans tested as President Trump was boasting about the number of tests the United States was conducting.
Similar complaints about coronavirus data have bubbled up around the country.
In Florida, a former data manager for the Health Department accused one of her superiors of directing her to ''manipulate'' data used in the state's plan to lift stay-at-home orders this spring. Ms. Shalala said the mayor of Miami-Dade County ''was so concerned about the state data that he has the hospitals reporting their data directly to him as well.''
And Arizona ended its partnership with a university modeling team whose projections showed a rising caseload, prompting pushback from Will Humble, the executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association and a former director of the state's Health Services Department.
''Trust and accountability and transparency '-- all three go together,'' Mr. Humble said. Of the federal government's new system, he said: ''They'd better keep it transparent, or else people are going to think that it was an ulterior motive.''
Reed Abelson contributed reporting from New York.
Hospitals Stock Up on Covid-19 Drugs to Prepare for Second Wave in Fall - WSJ
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:00
Hospitals across the country are stocking up on drugs for treating Covid-19, hoping to avoid another scramble for critical medications should a second wave of the virus threaten new drug shortages.
Hospitals in New York, New Jersey and other areas that faced high numbers of Covid-19 patients earlier this year, bought and used large amounts of drugs, including painkillers and sedatives for the sickest patients on mechanical ventilators. Those buys siphoned medicines already in short supply from the market, with the result that some preferred drugs became unavailable, or hospitals had to turn to alternatives.
Many of those drugs, typically used in intensive-care units, remain in short supply, even as coronavirus hot spots flare up in places like Florida, Texas and California, and hospitals compete for limited resources. Meanwhile, many hospitals elsewhere are looking ahead to secure supplies of other medications that have recently been found effective for some patients, including the generic steroid dexamethasone and the antiviral remdesivir.
''Now it's like, what are we going to do going forward in the future?'' said Indu Lew, chief pharmacy officer at RWJBarnabas Health, which operates 11 acute-care hospitals in New Jersey. ''When we look at a surge, we don't know when it's going to happen, we don't know what factors are going to cause it to happen, and we don't know what our volume will be.''
Demand for many drugs commonly used by hospitals shot up in April.
Hospitals' purchases of sedatives and analgesics increased nearly fourfold in April versus January, according to Vizient Inc., which buys medications on behalf of hospitals. As demand exceeded supply, only about half of hospital orders were filled in April, compared with nearly all such orders in January.
Doctors also used higher doses for Covid-19 patients than for ordinary surgeries and procedures, further straining the system, hospital officials said. To replenish quickly, hospitals sometimes bought directly from drugmakers instead of from wholesalers'--potentially leading to higher costs.
Now, hospitals are preparing for a possible surge in the fall, although the size is unknown.
About 90% of hospitals and health systems are building safety stocks of about 20 critical medications, according to Premier Inc., one of the nation's largest group-purchasing organizations. Premier says more than half are trying to build at least one month's supply of medications, including those for patients on mechanical ventilation.
Such drugs, including sedatives like propofol and painkillers like fentanyl, are a priority, hospital officials said in interviews, even as some of them remain on allocation, meaning they aren't immediately delivered in full because of tight supply. The U.S. government has made it easier for some controlled substances, like painkillers for Covid-19 related treatment, to be shipped.
Hospital officials concede they might not need the drugs if a second wave doesn't materialize.
And as providers have become more experienced at treating Covid-19, revising treatment guidelines to reflect new research, they are in some cases relying less on ventilators, reducing the need for related medications.
Drugmakers, meanwhile, have ramped up production, and wholesalers have expanded caps on how much hospitals may order, according to industry officials.
Still, RWJBarnabas Health is trying to secure a two-week supply of propofol and ventilator medications at the level used during the height of its patient surge, or 70% higher than normal, Ms. Lew said. And it is building a cold-storage room for some ICU medicines at its warehouse. RWJBarnabas Health cared for more than 1,700 individuals for Covid-19 related reasons at its peak on April 13.
''If we had a week's supply a few months ago, I wouldn't have as much gray hair as I have right now,'' Ms. Lew said. ''We were operating in a 24- to 48-hour capacity of meds.''
One of the most-sought medications is cisatracurium, a generic muscle-relaxant given to ventilated patients, bought by hospitals at rates 45 times higher than normal, said Paula Gurz, senior director of pharmacy contracting at Premier. The medication is listed as in shortage by the Food and Drug Administration.
''Everybody is working to recover supply on that one,'' Ms. Gurz said. ''It sold out very quickly during Covid.''
Also in demand are common medications shown to be effective for Covid-19. University Hospitals, a Cleveland-based health system, is ordering more blood thinners, such as heparin, which are helpful in reducing Covid-19 complications, said Shawn Osborne, who oversees pharmacy and supply-chain services. Heparin supply has been challenged in recent years.
Mr. Osborne said he also has ordered more dexamethasone, which wasn't a major treatment during the first wave. Researchers last month found the steroid to be effective in treating the sickest patients, and it is now part of the hospital's treatment protocol.
Mr. Osborne wants a three-week supply of medications, including three dozen ICU drugs and common medications like acetaminophen. Certain dose amounts of the sedative midazolam were unavailable earlier this year, forcing him to purchase alternatives, he said.
''We're taking wave two seriously, knowing we're not coming from nearly the challenging position that we were in with wave one, where everybody got caught off guard,'' Mr. Osborne said.
New York's Northwell Health, a 23-hospital system on Long Island, treated more than 3,400 Covid-19 patients in early April. Officials there are calculating future needs of dexamethasone or remdesivir by looking at how much they would have used had those drugs been part of treatment protocols months ago, said Onisis Stefas, Northwell's chief pharmacy officer.
Many hospitals have been rationing remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences Inc. Federal and state officials are for now deciding which hospitals get the drug, which has emergency-use authorization.
One challenge isn't only how hospitals are competing for limited drug supply, but also how the needs shift as the virus spreads, said Stephen Schondelmeyer, a professor of pharmaceutical economics at the University of Minnesota.
''A lot of what happens will depend on the patterns of the Covid rollout,'' he said. ''Each manufacturer, each wholesaler and each hospital can hoard as much as they want until it runs out, and then the people who are late to the table don't have the drug.''
Write to Jared S. Hopkins at jared.hopkins@wsj.com
The CDC Could Make a Major Change to How It Classifies Coronavirus
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 16:56
(C) Provided by Best Life Coronavirus has made international news for months, but there could soon be an important change in how we talk about it. That's because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has suggested that our current health crisis is on the verge of being downgraded from qualifying as an "epidemic."
The news was featured as part of the CDC's "Key Updates for Week 27" of the coronavirus epidemic. As reasoning for the possible change, they cited the "decrease in overall percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2," along with a decrease in deaths over the pas week. "Mortality attributed to COVID-19 decreased compared to last week and is currently at the epidemic threshold," the report stated.
However, there are some serious caveats to the possibility of downgrading. The CDC was quick to point out that while it could be downgraded if rates continued to drop, the organization expected rates of infection and death to increase over the following week. Week 27 happened to end with July 4th weekend, a disruption that "could impact both testing and reporting," and give a false sense that things are improving.
In fact, many health authorities warned that Fourth of July celebrations could send infection rates soaring and cause new spikes around the country. Given that the virus can incubate for up to two weeks within the body before presenting with symptoms, it's possible that the consequences for our cookouts and holiday gatherings still lay ahead.
Importantly, even if the CDC does downgrade its classification of the virus, the fact remains that our nation's new cases are rising at an alarming rate. This week, we broke yet another record for highest single day case count: The New York Times reported a surge of over 68,000 new American cases in just one day.
So, regardless of how we classify it, we need to take coronavirus seriously. It's up to us to flatten the curve and save lives that are still very much in danger. And find out why you should take proper precautions, even if you're feeling healthy: Even Without COVID Symptoms You Can Infect This Many People, CDC Says.
Video: Dr. Amesh Adalja on US coronavirus case surge (FOX News)
Texas Readies Morgue Trucks in Preparation for Virus Surge - Bloomberg
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 23:43
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Dozens arrested in patient-brokering scheme connected to Lake Park lab - News - The Palm Beach Post - West Palm Beach, FL
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 13:32
Eliot Kleinberg @eliotkpbpJorge Milian @caneswatchTuesday Apr 2, 2019 at 6:10 PM Apr 3, 2019 at 11:51 AM
Lake Park lab billed insurance companies $141 million in two years for urine tests, authorities said.
WEST PALM BEACH -- A Lake Park laboratory is at the center of a multimillion dollar patient-brokering scheme that has led to the arrest of 35 people in Florida and Pennsylvania, state attorney Dave Aronberg said Tuesday.
Among those arrested are the owners of Coastal Laboratory, a drug-testing laboratory on Prosperity Farms Road in Lake Park, which billed insurance firms a staggering $141 million over two years for urine tests, according to authorities.
Thomas Stanley and Jesse Peters, identified as Coastal's owners during a news conference Tuesday at the state attorney's office, are among 15 people that have been arrested or are sought in Palm Beach County on patient brokering and conspiracy charges. The remaining 13 individuals ran 10 drug treatment centers between Miami and Fort Pierce, Aronberg said.
Coastal also had dealings with a drug treatment center in eastern Pennsylvania, leading to state and federal charges against 20 people, officials said.
Prosecutors said more than $6 million was kicked-back to operators of treatment centers for referring patients' urine specimens to Coastal, Aronberg said. The 15 people in Florida named in the case face a combined 206 felony counts.
Under Florida law, it is illegal for a lab or a health care provider to offer or to pay a sober home or a drug-treatment center a commission, bonus or bribe for the referral of patients. Drug tests done on the urine of patients who have health insurance can reap thousands of dollars per week in reimbursement.
In terms of defendants and amount billed, Aronberg said, the case marks the largest kickback scheme involving a laboratory since the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Sober Homes Task Force was created in July 2016 to crack down on sober homes and medical facilities that engage in illegal activity. Aronberg said 85 people have been arrested since the task force went into operation.
''They were sending the cups to the lab and the lab was generally doing two tests on every cup so they could bill twice,'' said Sober Homes Task Force Investigator Mark Berry. ''They were billing initially at rates of $2,000 to $3,000 per test, and then remitting 30 to 50 percent of the proceeds they got back, to treatment centers that were providing those urine cups to them.''
Among those arrested are a Boca Raton woman and her daughter charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from Coastal.
Coastal Laboratory billed insurance firms more than $10.7 million just for patients of Boca Raton-based Treatment Alternatives, the firm linked to the two arrests, reports say.
Alana Nicole Manko, 58, and Irene Kelly Manko, 30, both of Boca Raton, were booked Monday at the Palm Beach County Jail. Both left hours later after each posted $9,000 bail.
Each of the two women is charged with two counts of patient brokering and one count of conspiracy to commit patient brokering.
A PBSO report, dated March 18, said there's probable cause also to charge Steven Arnold Manko, 74, Alana's husband and the co-manager of Treatment Alternatives, but no charges appear in jail or court listings.
Aronberg said that one of the 15 people named Tuesday has not been arrested. His office did not say if Steven Manko was that person.
A call to a phone number for Irene Kelly was not returned. Calls to numbers for Alana Manko and Steven Manko were not answered. A Tampa attorney who represented Manko and Treatment Alternatives in a 2014 Palm Beach County civil case did not return a call.
In April 2017, the report said, two men who'd done business with Coastal, and who eventually acquired the lab, went to authorities to report they'd discovered possible patient brokering, the PBSO report said.
Coastal is also connected to an eastern Pennsylvania drug treatment center, Liberation Way, that led to the arrest of 20 people last week in that state.
Federal prosecutor Nancy Winter said Liberation Way's ''founders saw this [opioid] crisis as an opportunity to exploit the vulnerable, the desperate and to profit from fraud and deceit."
Also arrested in Florida, according to Aronberg, were Elizabeth Slayne, Shaye Slayne, Josh McAlees, Ali Ahmed, Ron Trautman, Adam Adler, James Kigar, Matthew Driscoll, Kevin Koshi and Brian Mangines.
Mangines released a statement through Guy Fronstin, his Boca Raton-based attorney, that read: "Mr. Mangines has not committed any crimes and he is not guilty of the charges for which he was arrested. Mr. Mangines invested in a treatment center that retained a health care attorney and Mr. Mangines made sure the treatment center strictly followed all the advice of the health care attorney.''
jmilian@pbpost.com
@caneswatch
ekleinberg@pbpost.com
@eliotkpbp
Trump Aides Undercut Fauci as He Speaks Up on Virus Concerns - The New York Times
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 11:38
Updated July 11, 2020
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Fauci sidelined by Trump as he talks bluntly about pandemic - The Washington Post
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 11:39
In recent days, the 79-year-old scientist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has found himself directly in the president's crosshairs. During a Fox News interview Thursday with Sean Hannity, Trump said Fauci ''is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes.'' And when Greta Van Susteren asked him last week about Fauci's assessment that the country was not in a good place, Trump said flatly: ''I disagree with him.''
Fauci no longer briefs Trump and is ''never in the Oval [Office] anymore,'' said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Fauci last spoke to the president during the first week of June, according to a person with knowledge of Trump's calendar.
For some administration officials, such developments have been an early sign their job was on the line. But Trump cannot directly fire Fauci, a career civil servant with more than 50 years in government service who enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress. In any case, the president has no plans to get rid of him, said the official.
As for Fauci himself, although he is frustrated by the turmoil and the state of the outbreak, friends say he has no plans to abandon his post, which includes a critical role in the development of a coronavirus vaccine and treatments.
Fauci has found other ways to get his message out, from online Facebook chats to podcasts and print media interviews. And in recent days, with coronavirus cases slamming hospitals in the South and West, he has been frankly critical of the U.S. response '-- and implicitly, of the president.
''As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean, we're just not,'' Fauci said in a podcast interview with FiveThirtyEight last week.
Fauci did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this story.
A White House official released a statement saying that ''several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things'' and included a lengthy list of the scientist's comments from early in the outbreak. Those included his early doubt that people with no symptoms could play a significant role in spreading the virus '-- a notion based on earlier outbreaks that the novel coronavirus would turn on its head. They also point to public reassurances Fauci made in late February, around the time of the first U.S. case of community transmission, that ''at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you're doing on a day-by-day basis.''
Fauci's supporters acknowledge those early mistakes, attributing them to the challenges posed by a new, largely unknown pathogen. They agree he downplayed the possibility of the virus spreading from person to person in January and early February even as it quietly seeded itself in communities on the East and West coasts. And, like several other public health officials, he initially said the public shouldn't wear masks, but now strongly recommends it, especially when individuals can't maintain distances of at least six feet from other people.
Fauci has said he was worried early in the outbreak about a shortage of masks and wanted to reserve them for health care workers. And he has said from the start that scientists' knowledge of a brand new virus would evolve and recommendations could change based on new information.
The tension between the White House and Fauci was on full display last Sunday, when CBS host Margaret Brennan told millions of viewers that ''Face the Nation'' had tried for three months to interview him.
White House communications officials, who must approve television appearances related to the coronavirus, responded by allowing Fauci spots this week on PBS NewsHour, a CNN town hall with Sanjay Gupta and NBC's ''Meet the Press'' during the prime Sunday morning slot, according to one person familiar with the situation.
Then Fauci joined a Facebook Live event on Tuesday with Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), disputing Trump's assertions that a lower death rate showed the country's progress against the pandemic. Fauci called it ''a false narrative'' and warned, ''Don't get yourself into false complacency.''
Fauci did not end up making any of the scheduled appearances. The White House canceled them after his Tuesday remarks, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relate behind-the-scenes conversations.
The episode underscores the deteriorating relationship between a scientist and a president who once bonded over their shared New York City roots and love of sports, but whose rapport has long since disintegrated over their differences on face mask policy, state reopening strategies and the use of antimalarial drugs to treat covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal deliberations, said the White House has asked Fauci to do certain media appearances but is not approving all of his requests.
''Our bigger issue with Fauci is stop critiquing the task force .'‰.'‰. and try to fix it,'' the official said.
But that may be an impossible order given his strong differences with the White House over how the federal government should respond to the accelerating infection rate that's pushing up the death toll after months of decline.
Fauci has argued that parts of the country experiencing surges should shut down, ''but there is no buy-in for that,'' said an official with direct knowledge of the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Four months ahead of Election Day, Trump wants to ''reopen and move on,'' said another senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal deliberations. Those who disagree with that approach are out of favor, the official said.
Fauci has also expressed concern about the administration's plan to reopen schools, but White House officials see keeping children home as having even more deleterious effects. Fauci has also called on state and local officials to mandate that people wear masks in public.
Even though his suggestions have been largely ignored, Fauci has not complained that he does not get in to see the president, according to one of the officials.
Trump is also galled by Fauci's approval ratings. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed that 67 percent of voters trusted Fauci for information on the coronavirus, compared with 26 percent who trusted Trump.
The internal turmoil and troubled national response have taken a toll on Fauci, those close to him say. He is exasperated that states and individuals are not following the recommendations of experts, such as social distancing and wearing face coverings, said David Barr, a longtime HIV/AIDS activist who has known Fauci for 30 years.
Three or four weeks ago, Barr said, he and Fauci spoke about the troubling signs they were seeing as cases began to tick upward.
''You could just feel from Tony .'‰.'‰. how unsettled it made him,'' Barr said. ''He didn't know what to do to change that, to stop it, but if the leadership isn't there, and it's clearly not there, then it's really difficult to set the tone for the country.''
''What he cares most about is not his influence, but what's happening '-- that things are going so badly and it's going to cause so much disease and death,'' Barr added.
People who are close to Fauci say the public undermining of scientists and public health experts has frustrated and saddened him because it adds to the chaos the country is already experiencing from the pandemic.
Despite the repeated pushback from Trump and the White House, however, Fauci has told those close to him that has no plans to do anything differently.
''For somebody like Tony, who tries to deal with people honestly and in a very open and generous way '-- that's how he's tried to approach his personal interactions with the president '-- it's immensely frustrating and depressing. And there's not much he can do about it,'' said Peter Staley, a longtime HIV/AIDS activist who has known Fauci for more than 30 years.
''He's going to continue being himself, which is always talking honestly about a public health crisis and a new infectious disease,'' Staley added. ''If things are looking more in conflict, it's because this administration is going further and further adrift from a pro-science approach.''
White House communications officials say they have told government scientists and doctors that their job is to educate the public by talking about best practices to contain the virus and what the administration is doing to help the states.
Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo, a longtime Trump ally, approves Fauci's television appearances, with input from the White House, said one of the senior administration officials. Several White House aides view Fauci's interviews as unhelpful and say they're frustrated he has expressed interest in appearing on programs such as MSNBC's ''Rachel Maddow Show,'' which are hostile to the administration. That one was rejected.
''The speculation game doesn't serve the public in any particular way,'' the same official said. ''When it gets to handicapping and what's going to happen next, get a cable news gig. We've conveyed that down to all the doctors.''
White House officials generally favor White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, one of the senior administration officials said. Both Birx and Fauci have expressed frustration that their concerns have not gotten to the president, although Birx is working with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law, to ensure better communication, the official said.
The administration also plans to have Brett Giroir, an assistant HHS secretary, and FEMA Administrator Peter T. Gaynor do more appearances related to coronavirus.
Among those crusading against Fauci internally is Peter Navarro, the president's trade adviser, who has clashed with Fauci over his opposition to adopting the use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, to treat covid-19 before its effectiveness had been proved.
When Trump and Navarro repeatedly touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for coronavirus, Fauci pushed back both internally and at task force briefings, arguing there was only anecdotal evidence about the drug's efficacy. The Food and Drug Administration eventually revoked its temporary authorization after evidence showed it was not effective against covid-19 and could be dangerous for some patients.
''Dr. Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on,'' Navarro said. ''Now Fauci is saying that a falling mortality rate doesn't matter when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening. So when you ask me if I listen to Dr. Fauci's advice, my answer is only with caution.''
Friends and allies say Fauci doesn't quit because he loves his job and also feels a great sense of responsibility about helping to develop coronavirus vaccines and treatments '-- the biggest challenge of his career and the only way the country can truly begin to move past the pandemic. He has long said he does not want to retire before there is an AIDS vaccine.
''He recognizes if he doesn't intercede, things could fall apart very quickly '-- even more so than they have already,'' said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. ''He does it because he cares about the country and realizes he is uniquely positioned to help in this.''
Although his message is regularly at odds with the president, Fauci is naturally conflict-averse and has sought to establish a personal relationship with the six presidents he has served over his career.
''He'll try to be accommodating except for principles that are truly not something he can compromise on,'' said one former senior administration official who has worked closely with Fauci for years. ''He will try to really accommodate and fulfill your reality, but he's bound by the laws of science.''
In the previous five presidential administrations, Fauci has almost always played a key role in public health emergencies and infectious-disease responses by advising the president and serving as a chief spokesman for both Republican and Democratic administrations.
In many ways, he was shaped by the HIV/AIDS crisis that emerged during his first years as NIAID director when the Reagan administration remained largely silent about a disease afflicting mostly gay men.
Amid fear of the virus and the stigma associated with having the infection, Fauci learned the importance of communicating with the public about new diseases that were little understood. He found out it was critical to speak honestly about the risks, and help people differentiate between valid concerns and unfounded fears, according to several people who have worked with him.
As the face of the HIV/AIDS response, Fauci also developed a thick skin, experiencing the ire of activists who felt an uncaring federal government was not doing enough to make treatments available for dying patients. But over the years, he forged friendships with some of those who had begun as adversaries, activists said.
Three decades before coronavirus, Anthony Fauci took heat from AIDS protesters
The lessons learned from the HIV/AIDS outbreak have had an impact on how he has handled almost every public health crisis since. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, the Obama administration made Fauci its chief spokesperson to explain to people the actual risk of the virus.
Fauci briefed Obama about three times a week and had unlimited access to him if something came up, said Ron Klain, the Obama administration's Ebola czar and now an adviser to the Biden campaign.
But in the coronavirus pandemic, Klain said Fauci is facing a new challenge: He's the only member of the administration willing or able to speak plainly about the threat of the virus, in Klain's view.
Fauci ''respects the public,'' Klain said. ''He has this view that the public can handle the truth, whether it's good news or bad news and the most important thing is to give people the best information he has at the time. Tony is left being the one person having to carry the weight of speaking honestly about all this stuff.''
White House official claims Fauci is 'wrong about everything' - Business Insider
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 14:58
U.S. President Donald Trump exits after speaking and not taking any questions during a press briefing with the White House Coronavirus Task Force team in the press briefing room of the White House March 9, 2020. Dr Anthony Fauci is pictured in the center right, and Peter Navarro on the centre left. Drew Angerer/Getty Images Peter Navarro, a White House trade adviser, criticised Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force. "Dr. Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on," Navarro said in a statement to The Washington Post.In recent weeks a rift has opened between Fauci and the White House, with the expert in interviews bluntly criticising errors in the US response to the pandemic. According to the Post, Navarro has been lobbying against Fauci since the doctor refused to endorse unproven drug hydroxychloroquine, which had been touted by Navarro and Trump. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to President Donald Trump, claimed that Dr Anthony Fauci is "wrong about everything" as the White House steps up its bid to discredit its own top infectious diseases expert.
"Dr. Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on," Navarro said in a statement to The Washington Post for a story about Fauci being sidelined.
He continued: "Now Fauci is saying that a falling mortality rate doesn't matter when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening. So when you ask me if I listen to Dr. Fauci's advice, my answer is only with caution."
The president has claimed that a continuing decline in the proportion of the US population dying from the coronavirus is proof that his strategy has worked, despite an alarming increase in infections.
But in a live-stream press conference last week Fauci warned that "It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death."
"There's so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don't get yourself into false complacency."
Last week, the death rate began to climb in several US states for the first time in several months. There is usually a lag between an increase in infections and death rates.
Navarro's statement Sunday came as the White House began circulating a list of mistakes committed by Fauci to news outlets, in a seeming bid to undermine one of the most trusted US government officials.
In recent weeks Fauci has delivered blunt assessments of US failings in response to the coronavirus, calling for states where infection rates are climbing to reintroduce restrictions.
His statements have contrasted with the upbeat message that Trump has delivered as he seeks to stimulate the US economy ahead of November's presidential election.
Navarro has long called for the government to rapidly lift the restrictions advocated by public health officials such as Fauci, He warned in an interview with The New York Times in April that the damage done by the lockdown could ultimately exceed that of the virus.
Navarro is one of several White House officials to lobby against Fauci, according to the Post. The two fell out, according to the report, over the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which Trump and Navarro touted as a coronavirus cure.
Fauci, in public statements and internally, refused to endorse it, saying it had not been proven to be effective.
The Food and Drugs Administration withdrew its permission for the drug to be used to treat emergency patients after studies found it was dangerous for some, particularly those with underlying heart conditions.
Navarro, a China hawk, has also been accused of spreading political misinformation about the virus, claiming that China sought to deliberately spread the illness.
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Swine Flu Cases Overestimated? - CBS News
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:05
If you've been diagnosed "probable" or "presumed" 2009 H1N1 or "swine flu" in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn't have H1N1 flu.
In fact, you probably didn't have flu at all. That's according to state-by-state test results obtained in a three-month-long CBS News investigation.
The ramifications of this finding are important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Britain's National Health Service, once you have H1N1 flu, you're immune from future outbreaks of the same virus. Those who think they've had H1N1 flu -- but haven't -- might mistakenly presume they're immune. As a result, they might skip taking a vaccine that could help them, and expose themselves to others with H1N1 flu under the mistaken belief they won't catch it. Parents might not keep sick children home from school, mistakenly believing they've already had H1N1 flu.
Why the uncertainty about who has and who hasn't had H1N1 flu?
Attkisson Blogs: Freedom of Information Stalled at CDC
CBSNews.com report on H1N1
In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu, and stopped counting individual cases. The rationale given for the CDC guidance to forego testing and tracking individual cases was: why waste resources testing for H1N1 flu when the government has already confirmed there's an epidemic?
Some public health officials privately disagreed with the decision to stop testing and counting, telling CBS News that continued tracking of this new and possibly changing virus was important because H1N1 has a different epidemiology, affects younger people more than seasonal flu and has been shown to have a higher case fatality rate than other flu virus strains.
CBS News learned that the decision to stop counting H1N1 flu cases was made so hastily that states weren't given the opportunity to provide input. Instead, on July 24, the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists, CSTE, issued the following notice to state public health officials on behalf of the CDC:
"Attached are the Q&As that will be posted on the CDC website tomorrow explaining why CDC is no longer reporting case counts for novel H1N1. CDC would have liked to have run these by you for input but unfortunately there was not enough time before these needed to be posted (emphasis added)."
When CDC did not provide us with the material, we filed a Freedom of Information request with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). More than two months later, the request has not been fulfilled. We also asked CDC for state-by-state test results prior to halting of testing and tracking, but CDC was again, initially, unresponsive.
Watch CBS News Videos Online
Video above: A CBS News producer asks the director of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden, for this information at a press conference on Sept. 19.
While we waited for CDC to provide the data, which it eventually did, we asked all 50 states for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. The results reveal a pattern that surprised a number of health care professionals we consulted. The vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico.
(CBS/Gordon Donovan)
It's unknown what patients who tested negative for flu were actually afflicted with since the illness was not otherwise determined. Health experts say it's assumed the patients had some sort of cold or upper respiratory infection that is just not influenza.With most cases diagnosed solely on symptoms and risk factors, the H1N1 flu epidemic may seem worse than it is. For example, on Sept. 22, this alarming headline came from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.: "H1N1 Flu Infects Over 250 Georgetown Students."
H1N1 flu can be deadly and an outbreak of 250 students would be an especially troubling cluster. However, the number of sick students came not from lab-confirmed tests but from "estimates" made by counting "students who went to the Student Health Center with flu symptoms, students who called the H1N1 hotline or the Health Center's doctor-on-call, and students who went to the hospital's emergency room."
Without lab testing, it's impossible to know how many of the students actually had H1N1 flu. But the statistical trend indicates it was likely much fewer than 250.
CDC continues to monitor flu in general and H1N1 through "sentinels," which basically act as spot-checks to detect trends around the nation. But at least one state, California, has found value in tracking H1N1 flu in greater detail.
"What we are doing is much more detailed and expensive than what CDC wants," said Dr. Bela Matyas, California's Acting Chief of Emergency Preparedness and Response. "We're gathering data better to answer how severe is the illness. With CDC's fallback position, there are so many uncertainties with who's being counted, it's hard to know how much we're seeing is due to H1N1 flu rather than a mix of influenza diseases generally. We can tell that apart but they can't."
After our conversation with Dr. Matyas, public affairs officials with the California Department of Public Health emphasized to CBS News that they support CDC policy to stop counting individual cases, maintaining that the state has the resources to gather more specific testing data than the CDC.
Because of the uncertainties, the CDC advises even those who were told they had H1N1 to get vaccinated unless they had lab confirmation. "Persons who are uncertain about how they were diagnosed should get the 2009 H1N1 vaccine."
That's unwelcome news for a Marietta, Georgia mom whose two children were diagnosed with "probable" H1N1 flu over the summer. She hoped that would mean they wouldn't need the hastily developed H1N1 flu vaccine. However, since their cases were never confirmed with lab tests, the CDC advises they get the vaccine. "I wish they had tested and that I knew for sure whether they had it. I'm not anxious to give them an experimental vaccine if they don't need it."
Speaking to CBS' "60 Minutes," CDC Director Dr. Frieden said he has confidence that the vaccine will be safe and effective: "We're confident it will be effective we have every reason to believe that it will be safe."
However, the CDC recommendation for those who had "probable" or "presumed" H1N1 flu to go ahead and get vaccinated anyway means the relatively small proportion of those who actually did have H1N1 flu will be getting the vaccine unnecessarily. This exposes them to rare but significant side effects, such as paralysis from Guillain-Barre syndrome.
It also uses up vaccine, which is said to be in short supply. The CDC was hoping to have shipped 40 million doses by the end of October, but only about 30 million doses will be available this month.
The CDC did not response to questions from CBS News for this report.
Washington Unplugged: H1N1 Cases Exaggerated?H1N1 Misdiagnoses Could Have Consequences
Watch CBS News Videos Online
Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything with me: Peter Navarro
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:04
When you ask me whether I listen to his advice, my answer is only with skepticism and caution: Opposing view
Tuesday evening online and Wednesday morning in print, the Editorial Board published an Our View editorial that praised Dr. Anthony Fauci as a ''national treasure'' and sharply criticized recent White House efforts to undermine or sideline him.
As is our longstanding tradition, to give our readers another point of view, we reached out to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who has been critical of Fauci. Navarro provided a response that was published as an Opposing View paired with our editorial. We dealt directly with Navarro and do not know whether he spoke to anyone else at the White House about his statement.
Navarro's response echoed comments made to other news outlets in recent days. We felt it was newsworthy because it expanded on those comments, put an on-the-record name to the attacks on Fauci, and contradicted White House denials of an anti-Fauci campaign.
However, several of Navarro's criticisms of Fauci '-- on the China travel restrictions, the risk from the coronavirus and falling mortality rates '-- were misleading or lacked context. As such, Navarro's op-ed did not meet USA TODAY's fact-checking standards.
'-- Bill Sternberg, USA TODAY editorial page editor
Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.
In late January, when I was making the case on behalf of the president to take down the flights from China, Fauci fought against the president's courageous decision '-- which might well have saved hundreds of thousands of American lives.
When I warned in late January in a memo of a possibly deadly pandemic, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was telling the news media not to worry.
OUR VIEW: Muzzling Fauci amid COVID-19 would be hazardous
TODAY'S NEWS: Attacks on Fauci reflect Trump's problem with high-profile adviser
When I was working feverishly on behalf of the president in February to help engineer the fastest industrial mobilization of the health care sector in our history, Fauci was still telling the public the China virus was low risk.
When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks.
And when Fauci was telling the White House Coronavirus Task Force that there was only anecdotal evidence in support of hydroxychloroquine to fight the virus, I confronted him with scientific studies providing evidence of safety and efficacy. A recent Detroit hospital study showed a 50% reduction in the mortality rate when the medicine is used in early treatment.
Now Fauci says a falling mortality rate doesn't matter when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening. The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open.
So when you ask me whether I listen to Dr. Fauci's advice, my answer is: only with skepticism and caution.
Peter Navarro, an assistant to the president, is the director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. (Parts of this statement were shared with other news organizations. The Food and Drug Administration has revoked its approval for treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine.)
If you can't see this reader poll, please refresh your page.
Lockdowns
Google News - America shuts down again -- choosing reality over Trump's false claims
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 11:49
Language & region English (United States)
Popular Uprising against 2nd Covid Lockdown. Belgrade Liberated! The Govt Backs Down [VIDEO] |
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 11:59
The relentless advance of coronavirus terror has been broken. Recalcitrant Serbs rebelled against their President when he ordered them back under house arrest. After two days of street battles with dozens of policemen hospitalised, the sturdy protesters won; the authorities surrendered and gave up their plans to lock Belgrade down. Shops, pubs and restaurants in Belgrade will have an early evening curfew; but this is much better than the full lockdown they intended. Prime Minister Ms Brnabic complained that she could not understand why her people were protesting. She must be uncommonly dense, this lady, if after two days of protests she could not understand that people do not want lockdowns. This is a rare reversal by the authorities, said the BBC correspondent in Belgrade. This is an understatement in the best English manner. I think it is a precedent.
Until now, there were countries that avoided lockdown altogether (Japan, Sweden, Belarus), but there wasn't a country where people demanded and then obtained their freedom. Serbia is the first one. This small (pop. 7 million) country in the Balkans has a long history of resistance '' they fought the Turks for centuries; they resisted Nazi Germany longer than France; they had the strongest guerrilla movement outside of Belarus, and yes, they fought mighty NATO for quite a long time. The Germans bombed Belgrade in April 1941, followed not long afterwards by America (aided by the British of course). In 1944, on Easter Day, six hundred American bombers carpet-bombed Belgrade, destroying its palaces, theatres, railway stations, and hospitals. That was America's Easter Bunny gift to the Serbs.
In 1999 Bill Clinton bombed Belgrade again, for three months, killing a lot of Serbs and causing immense destruction. The Serbian president was seized and murdered in the court cells underneath The Hague. My American friends, if you are in the mood to apologise, you can ''take a knee'' for the Serbs, for the crimes more recent and more tangible than the 18th century horrors of your ancestors. The US chose to lob bombs at the Serbs for good reason: Serbs do not surrender easily. These strong-willed giants have guts, more than the rest of the Balkans put together. No doubt today many of the evil geniuses at Coronavirus HQ are regretting that Serbia wasn't completely erased from the face of the earth, so that it would not have become such a troublesome example to a rather pliable and docile global populace.
But it's too late; we have absorbed the lesson. The only way to avoid a renewed lockdown is a popular uprising, for nothing less will convince our authorities to refrain from locking us up. Like a boy who finds the candy jar, they just can't help themselves. Lockdown makes life too easy for our rulers: the subjects stay indoors; they fearfully venture out only for shopping; they are obedient; they are on the dole and so they are dependent on the good will of the state. Unemployment rises steadily with every week of lockdown. Small companies go down. Only the digital giants will survive the deluge. People are disposable, a burden on the economy. Even their labour is no longer needed. Soon, independent, hard-working folk will be replaced by a new species dependent on government subsidy and demanding only more entertainment; a modern version of the panem et circenses (bread and circuses) mob the proud Romans were reduced to, as Juvenal wrote circa 100AD.
Why did the Serb government decide to lock their people up? Ostensibly, it's because of 13 deaths ''linked'' to the Covid. That's 13 too many, the President recited piously. Bear in mind that hundreds of people die every day in a country of millions like Serbia, and that this is perfectly normal. What's so special about 13 people who died of pneumonia and may have been carriers of a new coronavirus? It was only a few years ago that thousands of Serbs fought and died for their freedom '' that's what they were fighting for, at least. Now their rulers do not think so much of freedom. Good thing that the people (as opposed to their rulers) are made of different, sterner stuff.
The Serbs I spoke to do not think this was an independent decision of their president; rather, an order sent down from some obscure Covid HQ, probably via the WHO. There is a covert guiding hand that devises new hardships and pressures governments to lock down economies and people. The authorities are naturally keen to return to the lockdown. It's inertia, the great force of inertia. After they, and so many bureaucrats enacted the global culture of coronavirus, established ZOOM-based education, painted spots for 2m distance, ordered millions of masks with a decent profit for themselves, trained an army of civil servants and disciplined the people, they are loathe to drop it. They are used to it now and enjoy its fruit.
Peter Hitchens wrote about this in his column:
''When this madness began, I behaved as if a new and fanatical religion was spreading among us. Be polite and tolerant, I thought. It may be crazy and damaging but in time it will go away. Now it is clear that a new faith, based on fear of the invisible and quite immune to reason, has all but taken over the country. And it turns out to be one of those faiths that don't have much tolerance for those who don't share it. Its evangelists will not leave you and me alone, but constantly seek to force us to join. This is why I make such a fuss about the demand to make us all wear muzzles. This is not about health. This is about power and freedom, and has less and less to do with Covid-19. This obsession with telling us how to look, and turning us from normal humans into submissive, mouthless flock animals all decked out in a compulsory uniform is, in my view, part of an unprecedented assault on our personal liberty in general. Stay at home. Stop working. Don't see your friends or relatives. Submit, submit, submit. Get used to being told what to do. It seems we really have become a nation of surrendered masochists.''
In the US, a new wave of the alleged Covid pandemic is supposed to remove President Trump, after RussiaGate and the impeachment fiasco failed to do the job. They manufactured the new wave without 're-seeding' the country (as Larry Romanoff suggested) by the simple expedient of newspaper reporting. ''New Cases in the U.S. Soar Past 68,000, Shattering Record'' '' screamed The New York Times. They do not tell you that this number means nothing. The new cases are not sick people: it is predominantly perfectly healthy people who, by faulty and dubious methods, were declared Covid carriers. The more you test for a virus, the more positive results you will get. George Floyd carried the new virus; still he was healthy enough to fight the police.
A Russian virologist correctly said: if we were to test healthy people for any flu virus, we would get enormous numbers of 'infected' results. Everyone carries some virus, this or that. But we never check healthy people because we never, until now, had the need to create the illusion of a pandemic. In 2020, the need for such an illusion became paramount, for the Covid operators intend to destroy the world economy, break our stamina and unseat Trump. It is worrisome that Texas and Florida, previously Trump bastions, gave in and began to enforce the masks because of these spurious tests.
There is nothing new about the disease. The first husband of Scarlett O'Hara, Charles Hamilton, died of pneumonia, and nobody checked him for the new coronavirus. Perhaps if they had checked Sherman's army for viruses, it would've never gotten to Atlanta, let alone Savannah.
The only novelty is the insistence of its promoters. The imagery of the Covid adepts grows more and more military. ''The ring of steel'' is how Australians proudly describe the quarantine around Melbourne. You'd believe that their dead were lying in the streets, but nothing of the sort! It is the same threat of ''new cases'', meaning nothing at all '' but it is enough to compel Aussies to agree to this tyranny.
I would be despondent and broken, if not for the Belgrade Uprising. What Serbs can do, we all can aspire to. There is an urgent need for rebellion against Covid dictatorship, the need to revolt until we are free. And to covid-believers, I'll say do not despair! This is not the last disaster we shall witness. There are still locusts, asteroids, Carrington events, and newer and better diseases. There are still chances for mankind to follow the dinosaurs to oblivion. Don't be in such a hurry!
************
Original articleThis article was originally published on The Unz Review
https://www.thelibertybeacon.com/popular-uprising-against-2nd-covid-lockdown-belgrade-liberated-the-govt-backs-down-video/
Gates Foundation nearly doubles Wal-Mart holdings - MarketWatch
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 03:45
(Adds information on Coca-Cola and Expedia)
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation profited from bets on several blue-chip stocks in the first quarter, nearly doubling its stake in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, -0.00% , purchasing over three million shares of Coca-Cola Co. KO, +1.15% and adding two million shares of McDonald's Corp. MCD, +0.55% , according to a regulatory filing late Monday.
However, the foundation's portfolio didn't give the health of the consumer a ringing endorsement, as it unloaded stakes in both Home Depot Inc. HD, +0.00% and Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. DKS, +4.31% .
For the second straight quarter, the foundation also significantly boosted its stake in Grupo Televisa SAB (TV, TLEVISA.MX), adding more than four million shares. It now owns 16.6 million shares valued at $328 million. Overall, the foundation, one of the world's largest private philanthropy funds, reported holdings valued at $12.7 billion, as of March 31, up from $10.4 billion as of Dec. 31, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Seattle-based charity endowment purchased 4.5 million shares of Wal-Mart during the quarter. It now owns 9.2 million shares of the consumer giant, valued at $514.5 million. The foundation boosted its stake in beverage giant Coca-Cola to 10.2 million shares, up from 6.7 million in the prior quarter. The position's value is now $560 million. The Gates Foundation also increased its stake in McDonald's and now owns 9.4 million shares of the fast-food restaurant, valued at $625.3 million as of March 31.
Within the energy sector, the foundation disclosed an increased stake in Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +1.27% , adding two million shares. The foundation owns 6.3 million shares of the stock, valued at $421 million.
The charity endowment reported no stake in Home Depot and Dick's, selling all of its 1.4 million shares and 1.3 million shares, respectively, in the first quarter.
One notable new position was online travel company Expedia Inc. EXPE, +9.40% , in which the foundation reported a stake of 1.5 million shares, valued at $37.4 million. The foundation also disclosed owning more than 76.4 million Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK.B, +0.44% valued at $6.2 billion as of March 31. The foundation owned 76.8 million Class B shares of Berkshire in early March, according to a separate filing.
Many investors that manage more than $100 million are required to file 13-Fs with their stock holdings 45 days after the end of a given quarter, giving the public its freshest possible glimpse into the portfolios of well-known money managers. The first-quarter deadline was Monday.
Vaccines and Such
COVID-19 Treatment - Analysis of 53 global studies showing high effectiveness for early treatment
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 17:30
Positive (meta)
Early, Late Raoult et al. (Preprint) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Hydroxych loroquine and Azithromycin as a Treatment of COVID-19: Results of an Open-Label Non-Randomized Clinical Trial: Response to David Spencer (Elsevier)Updated meta analysis showing significant reductions in mortality and viral shedding. Mortality OR 0.53 [0.4-0.71] for clinical studies, 0.92 big data studies, 18,211 patients. Persistent viral shedding OR 0.47 [0.28-0.79], 4,540 patients.Positive (meta)
Early, Late
Early, Late
Raoult et al. (Preprint) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Hydroxych loroquine and Azithromycin as a Treatment of COVID-19: Results of an Open-Label Non-Randomized Clinical Trial: Response to David Spencer (Elsevier)Updated meta analysis showing significant reductions in mortality and viral shedding. Mortality OR 0.53 [0.4-0.71] for clinical studies, 0.92 big data studies, 18,211 patients. Persistent viral shedding OR 0.47 [0.28-0.79], 4,540 patients.Meta studies are not included in the percentages or study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late An et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.07.04.20146548 (Preprint)Treatment Response to Hydroxych loroquine and Antibiotics for mild to moderate COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study from South KoreaRetrospective of hospitalized patients with 31 HC Q patients and 195 standard treatment patients, not showing a significant difference in terms of viral clearance or recovery. There was no mortality in either group. "It is notable that HQ plus antibiotics group had worse baseline clinical profiles (i.e. higher percentage of moderate severity patients, more patients with fever >=37.5C, higher average body temperature) and prognostic indicators such as age, LDH, lymphocyte count, and CRP". We note that propensity score matching removed almost all of the male patients in the control group (40% -> 5%) but increased the percentage of male patients in the treatment group. This provides a large advantage to the control group because there is a very large difference in severity and mortality based on gender [1]. In terms of viral RNA clearance we note that other research has found that "active viral replication drops quickly after the first week, and viable virus was not found after the second week of illness despite the persistence of PCR detection of RNA'' [2].Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
An et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.07.04.20146548 (Preprint)Treatment Response to Hydroxych loroquine and Antibiotics for mild to moderate COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study from South KoreaRetrospective of hospitalized patients with 31 HC Q patients and 195 standard treatment patients, not showing a significant difference in terms of viral clearance or recovery. There was no mortality in either group. "It is notable that HQ plus antibiotics group had worse baseline clinical profiles (i.e. higher percentage of moderate severity patients, more patients with fever >=37.5C, higher average body temperature) and prognostic indicators such as age, LDH, lymphocyte count, and CRP". We note that propensity score matching removed almost all of the male patients in the control group (40% -> 5%) but increased the percentage of male patients in the treatment group. This provides a large advantage to the control group because there is a very large difference in severity and mortality based on gender [1]. In terms of viral RNA clearance we note that other research has found that "active viral replication drops quickly after the first week, and viable virus was not found after the second week of illness despite the persistence of PCR detection of RNA'' [2].Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
PrEP Zhong et al. Lancent Rheumatology, 10.1016/S2665-9913(20)30227-7 (Peer Reviewed)COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic disease in Hubei province, China: a multicentre retrospective observational studyRheumatic disease patients on HC Q had a lower risk of COVID-19 than those on other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, OR 0.09 (0.01''0.94), p=0.044 after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, systemic lupus erythematosus, infection in other family members, and comorbidities. 43 patients with rheumatic disease and COVID-19 exposure.Positive
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
Zhong et al. Lancent Rheumatology, 10.1016/S2665-9913(20)30227-7 (Peer Reviewed)COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic disease in Hubei province, China: a multicentre retrospective observational studyRheumatic disease patients on HC Q had a lower risk of COVID-19 than those on other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, OR 0.09 (0.01''0.94), p=0.044 after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, systemic lupus erythematosus, infection in other family members, and comorbidities. 43 patients with rheumatic disease and COVID-19 exposure.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Scholz et al., Preprints 2020, 2020070025, doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0025.v1 (Preprint)COVID-19 Outpatients '' Early Risk-Stratified Treatment with Zinc Plus Low Dose Hydroxych loroquine and Azithromycin: A Retrospective Case Series StudyEarly treatment with HC Q+AZ+Z results in 84% lower hospitalization and 80% lower death - hospitalization OR 0.16 (pPositive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Scholz et al., Preprints 2020, 2020070025, doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0025.v1 (Preprint)COVID-19 Outpatients '' Early Risk-Stratified Treatment with Zinc Plus Low Dose Hydroxych loroquine and Azithromycin: A Retrospective Case Series StudyEarly treatment with HC Q+AZ+Z results in 84% lower hospitalization and 80% lower death - hospitalization OR 0.16 (pSource Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Arshad et al. Int. J. Infect. Dis., July 1 2020, doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.099 (Peer Reviewed)Treatment with Hydroxych loroquine, Azithromycin, and Combination in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19HC Q decreases mortality from 26.4% to 13.5% (HC Q) or 20.1% (HC Q+AZ). Propensity matched HC Q HR 0.487, p=0.009. Michigan 2,541 patients retrospective. Before propensity matching the HC Q group average age is 5 years younger and the percentage of male patients is 4% higher which is likely to favor the treatment and the control respectively in the before-propensity matching results.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Arshad et al. Int. J. Infect. Dis., July 1 2020, doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.099 (Peer Reviewed)Treatment with Hydroxych loroquine, Azithromycin, and Combination in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19HC Q decreases mortality from 26.4% to 13.5% (HC Q) or 20.1% (HC Q+AZ). Propensity matched HC Q HR 0.487, p=0.009. Michigan 2,541 patients retrospective. Before propensity matching the HC Q group average age is 5 years younger and the percentage of male patients is 4% higher which is likely to favor the treatment and the control respectively in the before-propensity matching results.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Mikami et al. J. Gen. Intern. Med., doi:10.1007/s11606-020-05983-z (Peer Reviewed)Risk Factors for Mortality in Patients with COVID-19 in New York CityHC Q decreases mortality, HR 0.53 (CI 0.41''0.67). IPTW adjustment does not significantly change HR 0.53 (0.41-0.68). Retrospective 6,000 patients in New York City.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Mikami et al. J. Gen. Intern. Med., doi:10.1007/s11606-020-05983-z (Peer Reviewed)Risk Factors for Mortality in Patients with COVID-19 in New York CityHC Q decreases mortality, HR 0.53 (CI 0.41''0.67). IPTW adjustment does not significantly change HR 0.53 (0.41-0.68). Retrospective 6,000 patients in New York City.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
PrEP Ferreira et al., J. Medical Virology, July 9, 2020, doi:10.1002/jmv.26286 (preprint 6/29) (Peer Reviewed)Chronic treatment with hydroxych loroquine and SARS-CoV-2 infectionChronic treatment with HC Q provides protection against COVID, odds ratio 0.51 (0.37-0.70). Note that patients with SLE, RA, and other autoimmune conditions have a significantly increased susceptibility to and incidence of infections, so the actual benefit may be significantly higher [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].Positive
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
Ferreira et al., J. Medical Virology, July 9, 2020, doi:10.1002/jmv.26286 (preprint 6/29) (Peer Reviewed)Chronic treatment with hydroxych loroquine and SARS-CoV-2 infectionChronic treatment with HC Q provides protection against COVID, odds ratio 0.51 (0.37-0.70). Note that patients with SLE, RA, and other autoimmune conditions have a significantly increased susceptibility to and incidence of infections, so the actual benefit may be significantly higher [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Lagier et al. Travel Med. Infect. Dis. 101791, Jun 25, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101791 (Peer Reviewed)Outcomes of 3,737 COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxych loroquine/azithromycin and other regimens in Marseille, France: A retrospective analysisEarly treatment leads to significantly better clinical outcome and faster viral load reduction. Matched sample mortality HR 0.41 p-value 0.048. Retrospective 3,737 patients.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Lagier et al. Travel Med. Infect. Dis. 101791, Jun 25, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101791 (Peer Reviewed)Outcomes of 3,737 COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxych loroquine/azithromycin and other regimens in Marseille, France: A retrospective analysisEarly treatment leads to significantly better clinical outcome and faster viral load reduction. Matched sample mortality HR 0.41 p-value 0.048. Retrospective 3,737 patients.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
In Vitro Wang et al. BioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.06.22.164665 (Preprint) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Ch loroquine and hydroxych loroquine as ACE2 blockers to inhibit viropexis of COVID-19 Spike pseudotype virusIn vitro study, not included in the study count or percentages. C Q and HC Q inhibit the entry of COVID-19 spike pseudotype virus using ACE2 high expressed HEK293T cells.In Vitro
In Vitro
In Vitro
Wang et al. BioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.06.22.164665 (Preprint) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Ch loroquine and hydroxych loroquine as ACE2 blockers to inhibit viropexis of COVID-19 Spike pseudotype virusIn vitro study, not included in the study count or percentages. C Q and HC Q inhibit the entry of COVID-19 spike pseudotype virus using ACE2 high expressed HEK293T cells.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Chen et al. medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.06.19.20136093 (Preprint)Efficacy and safety of ch loroquine or hydroxych loroquine in moderate type of COVID-19: a prospective open-label randomized controlled studySignificantly faster clinical recovery and shorter time to RNA negative (from 7.0 days to 2.0 days (HC Q), p=0.01. 67 patients with mild/moderate cases.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Chen et al. medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.06.19.20136093 (Preprint)Efficacy and safety of ch loroquine or hydroxych loroquine in moderate type of COVID-19: a prospective open-label randomized controlled studySignificantly faster clinical recovery and shorter time to RNA negative (from 7.0 days to 2.0 days (HC Q), p=0.01. 67 patients with mild/moderate cases.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (news)
PrEP SMSH Sawai Man Singh Hospital, India (News) (not included in the study count)HC Q beneficial as preventive drug: SMS doctors told ICMRPrEP with 4,300 very high risk healthcare workers in a hospital with up to 500+ COVID patients at a time, only 1% cases, all recovered.Positive (news)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
SMSH Sawai Man Singh Hospital, India (News) (not included in the study count)HC Q beneficial as preventive drug: SMS doctors told ICMRPrEP with 4,300 very high risk healthcare workers in a hospital with up to 500+ COVID patients at a time, only 1% cases, all recovered.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative (news)
Late NIH , study not available yet (News) (not included in the study count)NIH halts clinical trial of hydroxych loroquineNIH halts late stage trial reporting no harm and no benefit. 470 patients.Negative (news)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
NIH , study not available yet (News) (not included in the study count)NIH halts clinical trial of hydroxych loroquineNIH halts late stage trial reporting no harm and no benefit. 470 patients.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Sbidian et al. medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.06.16.20132597 (Preprint)Hydroxych loroquine with or without azithromycin and in-hospital mortality or discharge in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 infection: a cohort study of 4,642 in-patients in FranceRetrospective of 4,642 hospitalized patients in France showing significantly faster discharge with HC Q and HC Q+AZ. No significant effect is seen on 28-day mortality, however many more control patients are still in hospital at 28 days suggesting there will be a significant improvement when extending past 28 days. Note that the median age is higher in the group not treated with HC Q or AZ. For other issues with the adjustments see [1]. Also see the analysis here [2]. We received feedback from one person that thinks the trial should be considered negative because the control patients still in hospital should be disregarded. However, based on other studies, it seems very likely that a significant number of deaths in the control group occurred past 28 days whereas no treated patients remained in hospital. This should be simple for the authors to resolve by extending the analysis. Even if we ignore this, it still shows significantly faster discharge for treatment, so we do not see how we can consider it negative. We note that the substantial reduction in hospital time is a very large cost reduction and may lower mortality in general by reducing the chance of exceeding maximum capacity. Additional feedback is welcome.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Sbidian et al. medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.06.16.20132597 (Preprint)Hydroxych loroquine with or without azithromycin and in-hospital mortality or discharge in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 infection: a cohort study of 4,642 in-patients in FranceRetrospective of 4,642 hospitalized patients in France showing significantly faster discharge with HC Q and HC Q+AZ. No significant effect is seen on 28-day mortality, however many more control patients are still in hospital at 28 days suggesting there will be a significant improvement when extending past 28 days. Note that the median age is higher in the group not treated with HC Q or AZ. For other issues with the adjustments see [1]. Also see the analysis here [2]. We received feedback from one person that thinks the trial should be considered negative because the control patients still in hospital should be disregarded. However, based on other studies, it seems very likely that a significant number of deaths in the control group occurred past 28 days whereas no treated patients remained in hospital. This should be simple for the authors to resolve by extending the analysis. Even if we ignore this, it still shows significantly faster discharge for treatment, so we do not see how we can consider it negative. We note that the substantial reduction in hospital time is a very large cost reduction and may lower mortality in general by reducing the chance of exceeding maximum capacity. Additional feedback is welcome.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsInconc.
Late Paccoud et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases, doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa791 (Peer Reviewed)Compassionate use of hydroxych loroquine in clinical practice for patients with mild to severe Covid-19 in a French university hospitalRetrospective of 89 hospitalized patients, survival HR 0.89 [0.23-3.47], not statistically significant. Authors note that unmeasured confounders may have persisted and the study may be underpowered.Inconc.
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Paccoud et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases, doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa791 (Peer Reviewed)Compassionate use of hydroxych loroquine in clinical practice for patients with mild to severe Covid-19 in a French university hospitalRetrospective of 89 hospitalized patients, survival HR 0.89 [0.23-3.47], not statistically significant. Authors note that unmeasured confounders may have persisted and the study may be underpowered.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Xue et al. J. Med. Virology (Peer Reviewed)Hydroxych loroquine treatment in COVID-19: a descriptive observational analysis of 30 cases from a single center in Wuhan, China30 hospitalized patients. Early use of HC Q is more effective, 43% reduction in progression from moderate to severe. "Early" is relative here, within 7 days of hospitalization.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Xue et al. J. Med. Virology (Peer Reviewed)Hydroxych loroquine treatment in COVID-19: a descriptive observational analysis of 30 cases from a single center in Wuhan, China30 hospitalized patients. Early use of HC Q is more effective, 43% reduction in progression from moderate to severe. "Early" is relative here, within 7 days of hospitalization.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative (news)
Late World Health Organization (News) (not included in the study count)''Solidarity'' clinical trial for COVID-19 treatmentsWHO stopped the Solidarity late stage trial of HC Q reporting no benefit. Later news reported "little or no reduction in mortality" [1]. The study has not been released yet and few details are available. This trial used an extremely high dose which may be related to the relatively poor results [2].Negative (news)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
World Health Organization (News) (not included in the study count)''Solidarity'' clinical trial for COVID-19 treatmentsWHO stopped the Solidarity late stage trial of HC Q reporting no benefit. Later news reported "little or no reduction in mortality" [1]. The study has not been released yet and few details are available. This trial used an extremely high dose which may be related to the relatively poor results [2].Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (news)
PrEP WHIP COVID-19 (News) (not included in the study count)Henry Ford Health System still moving forward with hydroxych loroquine studyOngoing WHIP COVID-19 HC Q PrEP study reports analyzing their data and seeing a significantly improved outcome in a group of COVID-19 patients who received HC Q. For more details on the study see [1].Positive (news)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
WHIP COVID-19 (News) (not included in the study count)Henry Ford Health System still moving forward with hydroxych loroquine studyOngoing WHIP COVID-19 HC Q PrEP study reports analyzing their data and seeing a significantly improved outcome in a group of COVID-19 patients who received HC Q. For more details on the study see [1].Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsTheory
Theory Scherrmann , AAPS J 22, 86 (2020). doi:10.1208/s12248-020-00465-w (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)Intracellular ABCB1 as a Possible Mechanism to Explain the Synergistic Effect of Hydroxych loroquine-Azithromycin Combination in COVID-19 TherapyTheory paper, not included in the study count or percentages. Proposes a new mechanism supporting the synergistic interaction between HC Q+AZ.Theory
Theory
Theory
Scherrmann , AAPS J 22, 86 (2020). doi:10.1208/s12248-020-00465-w (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)Intracellular ABCB1 as a Possible Mechanism to Explain the Synergistic Effect of Hydroxych loroquine-Azithromycin Combination in COVID-19 TherapyTheory paper, not included in the study count or percentages. Proposes a new mechanism supporting the synergistic interaction between HC Q+AZ.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late Giacomelli et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.06.05.20123299 (Preprint)Early administration of lopinavir/ritonavir plus hydroxych loroquine does not alter the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a retrospective cohort studyLate stage study of hospitalized patients comparing treatment starting within 5 days versus later. Note that "early" here is only relative - all patients are hospitalized so this is "late" and "very late". The "early" treatment group is significantly older. Severe adverse events attributed by authors to concurrent administration of LPV, making it difficult to make conclusions about HC Q.Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Giacomelli et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.06.05.20123299 (Preprint)Early administration of lopinavir/ritonavir plus hydroxych loroquine does not alter the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a retrospective cohort studyLate stage study of hospitalized patients comparing treatment starting within 5 days versus later. Note that "early" here is only relative - all patients are hospitalized so this is "late" and "very late". The "early" treatment group is significantly older. Severe adverse events attributed by authors to concurrent administration of LPV, making it difficult to make conclusions about HC Q.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Otea et al. medRxiv doi:10.1101/2020.06.10.20101105 (Preprint)A short therapeutic regimen based on hydroxych loroquine plus azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients with non-severe disease. A strategy associated with a reduction in hospital admissions and complications.80 moderate cases, HC Q+AZ appears to reduce serious complications and death. Moderate treated cases resulted in hospitalization at the same rate as mild untreated cases suggesting efficacy.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Otea et al. medRxiv doi:10.1101/2020.06.10.20101105 (Preprint)A short therapeutic regimen based on hydroxych loroquine plus azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients with non-severe disease. A strategy associated with a reduction in hospital admissions and complications.80 moderate cases, HC Q+AZ appears to reduce serious complications and death. Moderate treated cases resulted in hospitalization at the same rate as mild untreated cases suggesting efficacy.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Pirnay et al. Hosp. Pharm. and Clinician, doi:10.1016/j.phclin.2020.06.001 (Peer Reviewed)Beneficial effect of Hydroxych loroquine-Azithromycin combination in the treatment of elderly patients with Covid-19: results of an observational study68 very high risk nursing home residents, median age 86, HC Q+AZ early treatment within 2.5 days onset, 2 stopped due to QTc. Only 7 died, significantly less than other nursing homes in France and the same as the median death for the same period in 2019/2018.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Pirnay et al. Hosp. Pharm. and Clinician, doi:10.1016/j.phclin.2020.06.001 (Peer Reviewed)Beneficial effect of Hydroxych loroquine-Azithromycin combination in the treatment of elderly patients with Covid-19: results of an observational study68 very high risk nursing home residents, median age 86, HC Q+AZ early treatment within 2.5 days onset, 2 stopped due to QTc. Only 7 died, significantly less than other nursing homes in France and the same as the median death for the same period in 2019/2018.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
PrEP Bhattacharya et al. medRxix doi:10.1101/2020.06.09.20116806 (Preprint)Pre exposure Hydroxych loroquine use is associated with reduced COVID19 risk in healthcare workersHC Q reduced cases from 38% to 7%. 106 people. No serious adverse effects.Positive
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
Bhattacharya et al. medRxix doi:10.1101/2020.06.09.20116806 (Preprint)Pre exposure Hydroxych loroquine use is associated with reduced COVID19 risk in healthcare workersHC Q reduced cases from 38% to 7%. 106 people. No serious adverse effects.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (meta)
Early, Late Million et al. New Microbes and New Infections, doi:10.1016/j.nmni.2020.100709 (Peer Reviewed) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Clinical Efficacy of Ch loroquine derivatives in COVID-19 Infection: Comparative metaanalysis between the Big data and the real world[H]C Q effective and reduces mortality by a factor 3. Meta analysis of 20 studies.Positive (meta)
Early, Late
Early, Late
Million et al. New Microbes and New Infections, doi:10.1016/j.nmni.2020.100709 (Peer Reviewed) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Clinical Efficacy of Ch loroquine derivatives in COVID-19 Infection: Comparative metaanalysis between the Big data and the real world[H]C Q effective and reduces mortality by a factor 3. Meta analysis of 20 studies.Meta studies are not included in the percentages or study count.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative (news)
Late RECOVERY , study not available yet (News) (not included in the study count)No clinical benefit from use of hydroxych loroquine in hospitalised patients with COVID-19RECOVERY trial reports no significant benefit seen for very late stage very sick patients. Extremely high dosage [1, 2]. Extremely sick patients (average of 9 days post symptoms, 60% requiring oxygen and an additional 17% requiring ventilation/ECMO) and unusually high death rate in both arms.Negative (news)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
RECOVERY , study not available yet (News) (not included in the study count)No clinical benefit from use of hydroxych loroquine in hospitalised patients with COVID-19RECOVERY trial reports no significant benefit seen for very late stage very sick patients. Extremely high dosage [1, 2]. Extremely sick patients (average of 9 days post symptoms, 60% requiring oxygen and an additional 17% requiring ventilation/ECMO) and unusually high death rate in both arms.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (see notes)
PEP Boulware et al., NEJM, June 3 2020, doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2016638 (Peer Reviewed)A Randomized Trial of Hydroxych loroquine as Postexposure Prophylaxis for Covid-19COVID reduced by [49%, 29%, 16%] when taken within [2+, 3+, 4+] days of exposure. Very unlikely that the observed benefit and treatment delay-response relationship is due to chance, see [1]. PEP 2+ day delay RCT.Positive (see notes)
Post Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated after exposure to the virus)
Post Exposure Prophylaxis study
Boulware et al., NEJM, June 3 2020, doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2016638 (Peer Reviewed)A Randomized Trial of Hydroxych loroquine as Postexposure Prophylaxis for Covid-19COVID reduced by [49%, 29%, 16%] when taken within [2+, 3+, 4+] days of exposure. Very unlikely that the observed benefit and treatment delay-response relationship is due to chance, see [1]. PEP 2+ day delay RCT.Currently this is the only study where we have evaluated the result as positive while the authors indicate it is negative, however note that author comments also differ from the published conclusion - see detailed analysis.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Gu(C)rin et al. Preprints 2020, 2020050486 doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0486.v1 (Preprint)Azithromycin and Hydroxych loroquine Accelerate Recovery of Outpatients with Mild/Moderate COVID-19Mean recovery time reduced from 26 days to 9 days (HC Q+AZ) or 13 days (AZ). 88 patients. No cardiac toxicity.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Gu(C)rin et al. Preprints 2020, 2020050486 doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0486.v1 (Preprint)Azithromycin and Hydroxych loroquine Accelerate Recovery of Outpatients with Mild/Moderate COVID-19Mean recovery time reduced from 26 days to 9 days (HC Q+AZ) or 13 days (AZ). 88 patients. No cardiac toxicity.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Ayerbe et al. Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis doi: 10.1007/s11239-020-02162-z (Peer Reviewed)The association between treatment with heparin and survival in patients with Covid-192075 hospital patients in Spain. HC Q reduces mortality from 30% to 13%. Not adjusted for age and gender. HC Q group 10% more males and 6 years younger. Study primarily interested in Heparin.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Ayerbe et al. Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis doi: 10.1007/s11239-020-02162-z (Peer Reviewed)The association between treatment with heparin and survival in patients with Covid-192075 hospital patients in Spain. HC Q reduces mortality from 30% to 13%. Not adjusted for age and gender. HC Q group 10% more males and 6 years younger. Study primarily interested in Heparin.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Chamieh et al., medRxiv 2020.05.28.20114835; doi:10.1101/2020.05.28.20114835 (Preprint)Viral Dynamics Matter in COVID-19 Pneumonia: the success of early treatment with hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin in LebanonHC Q+AZ potentially explains 94.7% success in treating a fairly complex cohort.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Chamieh et al., medRxiv 2020.05.28.20114835; doi:10.1101/2020.05.28.20114835 (Preprint)Viral Dynamics Matter in COVID-19 Pneumonia: the success of early treatment with hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin in LebanonHC Q+AZ potentially explains 94.7% success in treating a fairly complex cohort.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
PrEP Chatterjee et al. Indian J. Med. Res. (Peer Reviewed)Healthcare workers & SARS-CoV-2 infection in India: A case-control investigation in the time of COVID-194+ doses of HC Q associated with a significant decline in the odds of getting infected, dose-response relationship exists.Positive
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
Chatterjee et al. Indian J. Med. Res. (Peer Reviewed)Healthcare workers & SARS-CoV-2 infection in India: A case-control investigation in the time of COVID-194+ doses of HC Q associated with a significant decline in the odds of getting infected, dose-response relationship exists.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Huang et al. National Science Review, nwaa113, doi:10.1093/nsr/nwaa113 (Peer Reviewed)Preliminary evidence from a multicenter prospective observational study of the safety and efficacy of ch loroquine for the treatment of COVID-19197 C Q patients, 176 control. Mean time to undetectable viral RNA and duration of fever significantly reduced. No serious adverse events.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Huang et al. National Science Review, nwaa113, doi:10.1093/nsr/nwaa113 (Peer Reviewed)Preliminary evidence from a multicenter prospective observational study of the safety and efficacy of ch loroquine for the treatment of COVID-19197 C Q patients, 176 control. Mean time to undetectable viral RNA and duration of fever significantly reduced. No serious adverse events.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (meta)
Early Risch , American Journal of Epidemiology, kwaa093, 27 May 2020 doi:10.1093/aje/kwaa093 (Peer Reviewed) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic CrisisFive studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant outpatient treatment efficacy.Positive (meta)
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Risch , American Journal of Epidemiology, kwaa093, 27 May 2020 doi:10.1093/aje/kwaa093 (Peer Reviewed) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic CrisisFive studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant outpatient treatment efficacy.Meta studies are not included in the percentages or study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (advisory)
PEP, PrEP ICMR Indian Council of Medical Research (Advisory) (not included in the study count)Revised advisory on the use of Hydroxych loroquine (HC Q) as prophylaxis for SARS-CoV-2 infectionHealthcare workers on HC Q prophylaxis less likely to get COVID. Significant dose-response relationship. Extends recommended HC Q prophylaxis to asymptomatic household contacts of cases and frontline workers. Degree of benefit not quantified.Positive (advisory)
PEP, PrEP
PEP, PrEP
ICMR Indian Council of Medical Research (Advisory) (not included in the study count)Revised advisory on the use of Hydroxych loroquine (HC Q) as prophylaxis for SARS-CoV-2 infectionHealthcare workers on HC Q prophylaxis less likely to get COVID. Significant dose-response relationship. Extends recommended HC Q prophylaxis to asymptomatic household contacts of cases and frontline workers. Degree of benefit not quantified.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsRetracted
Late Mehra et al. The Lancet, May 22, 2020 doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31180-6 (Peer Reviewed)Hydroxych loroquine or ch loroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysisIncorrect at first read (implausible death, ventilation, and population numbers). This paper was retracted.Retracted
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Mehra et al. The Lancet, May 22, 2020 doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31180-6 (Peer Reviewed)Hydroxych loroquine or ch loroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysisIncorrect at first read (implausible death, ventilation, and population numbers). This paper was retracted.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative (meta)
Late Chacko et al. medRxiv 2020.05.14.20101774; doi:10.1101/2020.05.14.20101774 (Preprint) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Hydroxych loroquine in COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysisMeta analysis of Chen, Tang, Zhaowei, Barbosa, Guatret, Geleris, Magagnoli, Mahevas, Mallat, Rosenberg, Yu et al. studies not seeing a significant effect other than time to resolution of chest CT. Limited by heterogeneous nature of studies, baseline severity varied, most studies have a small sample size, endpoints reported at varying times, dosage varied, and AZ, Zinc are not considered.Negative (meta)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Chacko et al. medRxiv 2020.05.14.20101774; doi:10.1101/2020.05.14.20101774 (Preprint) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Hydroxych loroquine in COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysisMeta analysis of Chen, Tang, Zhaowei, Barbosa, Guatret, Geleris, Magagnoli, Mahevas, Mallat, Rosenberg, Yu et al. studies not seeing a significant effect other than time to resolution of chest CT. Limited by heterogeneous nature of studies, baseline severity varied, most studies have a small sample size, endpoints reported at varying times, dosage varied, and AZ, Zinc are not considered.Meta studies are not included in the percentages or study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Kim et al. medRxiv 2020.05.13.20094193; doi:10.1101/2020.05.13.20094193 (Preprint)Treatment Response to Hydroxych loroquine, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, and Antibiotics for Moderate COVID 19: A First Report on the Pharmacological Outcomes from South KoreaRetrospective of 97 moderate cases. Time to viral clearance significantly shorter for HC Q+antibiotic. Preprint withdrawn pending peer review.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Kim et al. medRxiv 2020.05.13.20094193; doi:10.1101/2020.05.13.20094193 (Preprint)Treatment Response to Hydroxych loroquine, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, and Antibiotics for Moderate COVID 19: A First Report on the Pharmacological Outcomes from South KoreaRetrospective of 97 moderate cases. Time to viral clearance significantly shorter for HC Q+antibiotic. Preprint withdrawn pending peer review.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Ahmad et al. doi:10.1101/2020.05.18.20066902 (Preprint)Doxycycline and Hydroxych loroquine as Treatment for High-Risk COVID-19 Patients: Experience from Case Series of 54 Patients in Long-Term Care Facilities54 patients in long term care facilities. 6% death with HC Q+AZ compared to 22% using a naive indirect comparison.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Ahmad et al. doi:10.1101/2020.05.18.20066902 (Preprint)Doxycycline and Hydroxych loroquine as Treatment for High-Risk COVID-19 Patients: Experience from Case Series of 54 Patients in Long-Term Care Facilities54 patients in long term care facilities. 6% death with HC Q+AZ compared to 22% using a naive indirect comparison.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsInconc.
PrEP Macias et al., medRxiv, 10.1101/2020.05.16.20104141 (Preprint)Similar incidence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with rheumatic diseases with and without hydroxych loroquine therapyVery small retrospective study of rheumatic disease patients, sample size is too small for statistical significance (HC Q 0.5-4.0%, no-HC Q 0.4-2.7%). Confirmed cases were 1 HC Q and 2 no-HC Q, confimed+likely cases were 1 HC Q and 3 no-HC Q. 1 HC Q and 2 no-HC Q patients were admitted to hospital. We do not think a conclusion can be drawn based on these sample sizes. Further, there are very significant differences between the groups, for example 30% of the HC Q group have SLE vs. 2.5% of the no-HC Q group. SLE patients have a 5.7 times relative risk of pneumonia according to [1], whereas the relative risk with glucocorticoids and TNF-α inhibitors is significantly lower [2]. Two more recent studies with rheumatic disease/autoimmune condition patients provide higher confidence.Inconc.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
Macias et al., medRxiv, 10.1101/2020.05.16.20104141 (Preprint)Similar incidence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with rheumatic diseases with and without hydroxych loroquine therapyVery small retrospective study of rheumatic disease patients, sample size is too small for statistical significance (HC Q 0.5-4.0%, no-HC Q 0.4-2.7%). Confirmed cases were 1 HC Q and 2 no-HC Q, confimed+likely cases were 1 HC Q and 3 no-HC Q. 1 HC Q and 2 no-HC Q patients were admitted to hospital. We do not think a conclusion can be drawn based on these sample sizes. Further, there are very significant differences between the groups, for example 30% of the HC Q group have SLE vs. 2.5% of the no-HC Q group. SLE patients have a 5.7 times relative risk of pneumonia according to [1], whereas the relative risk with glucocorticoids and TNF-α inhibitors is significantly lower [2]. Two more recent studies with rheumatic disease/autoimmune condition patients provide higher confidence.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Yu et al. Sci China Life Sci. 2020 May 15;1-7. doi: 10.1007/s11427-020-1732-2 (Peer Reviewed)Low Dose of Hydroxych loroquine Reduces Fatality of Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19Retrospective, 550 critically ill patients. 19% fatality for HC Q versus 47% for non-HC Q.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Yu et al. Sci China Life Sci. 2020 May 15;1-7. doi: 10.1007/s11427-020-1732-2 (Peer Reviewed)Low Dose of Hydroxych loroquine Reduces Fatality of Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19Retrospective, 550 critically ill patients. 19% fatality for HC Q versus 47% for non-HC Q.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late Mah(C)vas et al., BMJ 2020 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1844 (Peer Reviewed)Clinical efficacy of hydroxych loroquine in patients with covid-19 pneumonia who require oxygen: observational comparative study using routine care dataObservational study of 181 patients with advanced disease requiring oxygen showing no benefit for HC Q. Power of study appears too low to support conclusions [1]. None of the 15 patients receiving HC Q+AZ were transferred to intensive care or died compared to 23% overall.Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Mah(C)vas et al., BMJ 2020 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1844 (Peer Reviewed)Clinical efficacy of hydroxych loroquine in patients with covid-19 pneumonia who require oxygen: observational comparative study using routine care dataObservational study of 181 patients with advanced disease requiring oxygen showing no benefit for HC Q. Power of study appears too low to support conclusions [1]. None of the 15 patients receiving HC Q+AZ were transferred to intensive care or died compared to 23% overall.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Davido et al. medRxiv preprint doi:10.1101/2020.05.05.2008875 (Preprint)Hydroxych loroquine plus azithromycin: a potential interest in reducing in2 hospital morbidity due to COVID-19 pneumonia (HI-ZY-COVID)?Retrospective of 132 hospitalized patients. HC Q+AZ significantly reduces death. Note that due to the controversy, authors withdrew this paper from medRxiv pending peer review.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Davido et al. medRxiv preprint doi:10.1101/2020.05.05.2008875 (Preprint)Hydroxych loroquine plus azithromycin: a potential interest in reducing in2 hospital morbidity due to COVID-19 pneumonia (HI-ZY-COVID)?Retrospective of 132 hospitalized patients. HC Q+AZ significantly reduces death. Note that due to the controversy, authors withdrew this paper from medRxiv pending peer review.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late Rosenberg et al. JAMA, May 11, 2020, doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8630 (Peer Reviewed)Association of Treatment With Hydroxych loroquine or Azithromycin With In-Hospital Mortality in Patients With COVID-19 in New York StateRestrospective observational late stage study showing no significant differences but calling for clinical trials.Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Rosenberg et al. JAMA, May 11, 2020, doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8630 (Peer Reviewed)Association of Treatment With Hydroxych loroquine or Azithromycin With In-Hospital Mortality in Patients With COVID-19 in New York StateRestrospective observational late stage study showing no significant differences but calling for clinical trials.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Carlucci et al. doi: 10.1101/2020.05.02.20080036 (Preprint)Hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin plus zinc vs hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin alone: outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patientsObservational retrospective. Addition of Zinc to HC Q+AZ reduces mortality.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Carlucci et al. doi: 10.1101/2020.05.02.20080036 (Preprint)Hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin plus zinc vs hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin alone: outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patientsObservational retrospective. Addition of Zinc to HC Q+AZ reduces mortality.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsTheory
Theory Derendorf , Int. J. Antimicrobial Agents, 7 May 2020, doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.106007 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)Excessive lysosomal ion-trapping of hydroxych loroquine and azithromycinDiscusses pharmacokinetic properties of HC Q+AZ as a potential underlying mechanism of the observed antiviral effects.Theory
Theory
Theory
Derendorf , Int. J. Antimicrobial Agents, 7 May 2020, doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.106007 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)Excessive lysosomal ion-trapping of hydroxych loroquine and azithromycinDiscusses pharmacokinetic properties of HC Q+AZ as a potential underlying mechanism of the observed antiviral effects.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late Geleris et al. NEJM, May 7, 2020. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2012410 (Peer Reviewed)Observational Study of Hydroxych loroquine in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19Observational study of 1446 hospitalized patients. No significant effect on a combined intubation/death outcome for late treatment. RCT recommended. No AZ or Zinc. HC Q group much sicker - patients already in mild/moderate ARDS, most of the control group not in ARDS. However, secondary analysis shows the success of HC Q was hidden by combining intubation and death - death / (combined death/intubation) for HC Q was 157 / 262 (60%) vs. control 75 / 84 (89%), for details see: [1]. Control cases received other therapeutics.Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Geleris et al. NEJM, May 7, 2020. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2012410 (Peer Reviewed)Observational Study of Hydroxych loroquine in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19Observational study of 1446 hospitalized patients. No significant effect on a combined intubation/death outcome for late treatment. RCT recommended. No AZ or Zinc. HC Q group much sicker - patients already in mild/moderate ARDS, most of the control group not in ARDS. However, secondary analysis shows the success of HC Q was hidden by combining intubation and death - death / (combined death/intubation) for HC Q was 157 / 262 (60%) vs. control 75 / 84 (89%), for details see: [1]. Control cases received other therapeutics.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (news)
N/A Sermo (News) (not included in the study count)Sermo reports: COVID-19 treatment trends over 6 weeks and 33,700 interviews: Usage, efficacy and safety perceptions of most-used therapiesHC Q used by 55% of physicians worldwide for COVID. Survey of 6,150 physicians.Positive (news)
N/A
N/A
Sermo (News) (not included in the study count)Sermo reports: COVID-19 treatment trends over 6 weeks and 33,700 interviews: Usage, efficacy and safety perceptions of most-used therapiesHC Q used by 55% of physicians worldwide for COVID. Survey of 6,150 physicians.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Membrillo de Novales et al. Preprints 2020, 2020050057 doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0057.v1 (Preprint)Early Hydroxych loroquine Is Associated with an Increase of Survival in COVID-19 Patients: An Observational Study166 patients hospitalised with COVID, HC Q increased survival 1.4 - 1.8 times when patients admitted in early stages. Early is relative to hospital admission here - all patients relatively serious condition.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Membrillo de Novales et al. Preprints 2020, 2020050057 doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0057.v1 (Preprint)Early Hydroxych loroquine Is Associated with an Increase of Survival in COVID-19 Patients: An Observational Study166 patients hospitalised with COVID, HC Q increased survival 1.4 - 1.8 times when patients admitted in early stages. Early is relative to hospital admission here - all patients relatively serious condition.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Million et al. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020 May 5;101738. doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101738 (Peer Reviewed)Early Treatment of COVID-19 Patients With Hydroxych loroquine and Azithromycin: A Retrospective Analysis of 1061 Cases in Marseille, FranceRetrospective 1061 patients. HC Q+AZ safe and results in a low fatality rate.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Million et al. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020 May 5;101738. doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101738 (Peer Reviewed)Early Treatment of COVID-19 Patients With Hydroxych loroquine and Azithromycin: A Retrospective Analysis of 1061 Cases in Marseille, FranceRetrospective 1061 patients. HC Q+AZ safe and results in a low fatality rate.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsInconc.
PrEP Gendelman et al. Autoimmunity Reviews, 19:7, July 2020, doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2020.102566 (Peer Reviewed)Continuous Hydroxych loroquine or Colchicine Therapy Does Not Prevent Infection With SARS-CoV-2: Insights From a Large Healthcare Database AnalysisVery small study of rheumatic disease/autoimmune disorder patients showing no significant difference but with only 3 chronic HC Q patient cases. Only considers people tested at a time when primarily symptomatic cases were tested. Note that patients with SLE, RA, and other autoimmune conditions have a significantly increased susceptibility to and incidence of infections [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], with this context the results suggest HC Q is effective, but this is still inconclusive with the small sample size. Two more recent studies with rheumatic disease/autoimmune condition patients provide higher confidence.Inconc.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
Gendelman et al. Autoimmunity Reviews, 19:7, July 2020, doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2020.102566 (Peer Reviewed)Continuous Hydroxych loroquine or Colchicine Therapy Does Not Prevent Infection With SARS-CoV-2: Insights From a Large Healthcare Database AnalysisVery small study of rheumatic disease/autoimmune disorder patients showing no significant difference but with only 3 chronic HC Q patient cases. Only considers people tested at a time when primarily symptomatic cases were tested. Note that patients with SLE, RA, and other autoimmune conditions have a significantly increased susceptibility to and incidence of infections [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], with this context the results suggest HC Q is effective, but this is still inconclusive with the small sample size. Two more recent studies with rheumatic disease/autoimmune condition patients provide higher confidence.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (news)
Late Seydi (News) (not included in the study count)Coronavirus: a study in Senegal confirms the effectiveness of hydroxych loroquinePreliminary results of Senegal trial with 181 patients showing faster recovery with HC Q, and even faster recovery with HC Q+AZ.Positive (news)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Seydi (News) (not included in the study count)Coronavirus: a study in Senegal confirms the effectiveness of hydroxych loroquinePreliminary results of Senegal trial with 181 patients showing faster recovery with HC Q, and even faster recovery with HC Q+AZ.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (meta)
Early Meo et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2020; 24 (8): 4539-4547, doi:10.26355/eurrev_202004_21038 (Peer Reviewed) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Efficacy of ch loroquine and hydroxych loroquine in the treatment of COVID-19Review of 9 articles supporting the efficacy of HC Q and C Q.Positive (meta)
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Meo et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2020; 24 (8): 4539-4547, doi:10.26355/eurrev_202004_21038 (Peer Reviewed) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)Efficacy of ch loroquine and hydroxych loroquine in the treatment of COVID-19Review of 9 articles supporting the efficacy of HC Q and C Q.Meta studies are not included in the percentages or study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
N/A Saleh et al. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, doi:10.1161/CIRCEP.120.008662 (Peer Reviewed)The Effect of Ch loroquine, Hydroxych loroquine and Azithromycin on the Corrected QT Interval in Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Infection201 hospitalized patients. No serious side effects of HC Q.Positive
N/A
N/A
Saleh et al. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, doi:10.1161/CIRCEP.120.008662 (Peer Reviewed)The Effect of Ch loroquine, Hydroxych loroquine and Azithromycin on the Corrected QT Interval in Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Infection201 hospitalized patients. No serious side effects of HC Q.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
In Vitro Andreani et al. Microbial Pathogenesis, doi:/10.1016/j.micpath.2020.104228 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)In vitro testing of combined hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin on SARS-CoV-2 shows synergistic effectHC Q and AZ has a synergistic effect in vitro on SARS-CoV-2 at concentrations compatible with that obtained in human lung.In Vitro
In Vitro
In Vitro
Andreani et al. Microbial Pathogenesis, doi:/10.1016/j.micpath.2020.104228 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)In vitro testing of combined hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin on SARS-CoV-2 shows synergistic effectHC Q and AZ has a synergistic effect in vitro on SARS-CoV-2 at concentrations compatible with that obtained in human lung.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Ashraf et al. medRxiv doi:10.1101/2020.04.20.20072421.t (Preprint)COVID-19 in Iran, a comprehensive investigation from exposure to treatment outcomes100 patients. HC Q improved clinical outcome.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Ashraf et al. medRxiv doi:10.1101/2020.04.20.20072421.t (Preprint)COVID-19 in Iran, a comprehensive investigation from exposure to treatment outcomes100 patients. HC Q improved clinical outcome.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late Magagnoli et al., Med (2020), doi:10.1016/j.medj.2020.06.001 (preprint 4/21) (Peer Reviewed)Outcomes of hydroxych loroquine usage in United States veterans hospitalized with Covid-19Retrospective 368 hospitalized patients, no significant reduction in mortality or the need for mechanical ventilation with HC Q or HC Q+AZ. Study notes HC Q was more likely to be prescribed to patients with more severe disease.Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Magagnoli et al., Med (2020), doi:10.1016/j.medj.2020.06.001 (preprint 4/21) (Peer Reviewed)Outcomes of hydroxych loroquine usage in United States veterans hospitalized with Covid-19Retrospective 368 hospitalized patients, no significant reduction in mortality or the need for mechanical ventilation with HC Q or HC Q+AZ. Study notes HC Q was more likely to be prescribed to patients with more severe disease.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
PEP Lee at al. Int J. Antimicrob. Agents. 2020 Apr 17;105988. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105988 (Peer Reviewed)Can Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for COVID-19 Be Considered as an Outbreak Response Strategy in Long-Term Care Hospitals?Post exposure prophylaxis of 211 people after major exposure event in LTCH, 0 positive for COVID after 14 days.Positive
Post Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated after exposure to the virus)
Post Exposure Prophylaxis study
Lee at al. Int J. Antimicrob. Agents. 2020 Apr 17;105988. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105988 (Peer Reviewed)Can Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for COVID-19 Be Considered as an Outbreak Response Strategy in Long-Term Care Hospitals?Post exposure prophylaxis of 211 people after major exposure event in LTCH, 0 positive for COVID after 14 days.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late Borba et al. JAMA Network Open doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.8857 (Peer Reviewed)Ch loroquine diphosphate in two different dosages as adjunctive therapy of hospitalized patients with severe respiratory syndrome in the context of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection: Preliminary safety results of a randomized, double-blinded, phase IIb clinical trial (CloroCovid-19 Study)Increased incidence of prolonged QT and death in high dose treatment arm. Patients >75 only enrolled in high dose arm, age of high dose arm significantly higher than low dose arm (p=0.02). Very sick at baseline, 43% in ICU, 88.9% on respiratory therapy prior to treatment.Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Borba et al. JAMA Network Open doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.8857 (Peer Reviewed)Ch loroquine diphosphate in two different dosages as adjunctive therapy of hospitalized patients with severe respiratory syndrome in the context of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection: Preliminary safety results of a randomized, double-blinded, phase IIb clinical trial (CloroCovid-19 Study)Increased incidence of prolonged QT and death in high dose treatment arm. Patients >75 only enrolled in high dose arm, age of high dose arm significantly higher than low dose arm (p=0.02). Very sick at baseline, 43% in ICU, 88.9% on respiratory therapy prior to treatment.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Esper et al. Prevent Senior Institute, S£o Paulo, Brazil (Preprint)Empirical treatment with hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin for suspected cases of COVID-19 followed-up by telemedicine636 patients. HC Q+AZ reduced hospitalization 79% when used within 7 days (65% overall). Non-randomized.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Esper et al. Prevent Senior Institute, S£o Paulo, Brazil (Preprint)Empirical treatment with hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin for suspected cases of COVID-19 followed-up by telemedicine636 patients. HC Q+AZ reduced hospitalization 79% when used within 7 days (65% overall). Non-randomized.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late Tang et al. BMJ 2020, 369 doi:10.1136/bmj.m1849 (Peer Reviewed)Hydroxych loroquine in patients with COVID-19: an open-label, randomized, controlled trial150 patients very late stage RCT. No significant difference. More symptomatic relief with HC Q. No safety concerns of HC Q. Treatment very late, average 16.6 days after symptom onset. Data favorable to HC Q was deleted in the second version, see analysis [1].Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Tang et al. BMJ 2020, 369 doi:10.1136/bmj.m1849 (Peer Reviewed)Hydroxych loroquine in patients with COVID-19: an open-label, randomized, controlled trial150 patients very late stage RCT. No significant difference. More symptomatic relief with HC Q. No safety concerns of HC Q. Treatment very late, average 16.6 days after symptom onset. Data favorable to HC Q was deleted in the second version, see analysis [1].Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
N/A Gao et al. Biosci Trends, 2020 May 21;14(2):156-158. doi: 10.5582/bst.2020.03072. Epub 2020 Apr 13 (Peer Reviewed)Update on Use of Ch loroquine/Hydroxych loroquine to Treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)Increasing evidence from completed clinical studies shows C Q and HC Q effective (HC Q more effective).Positive
N/A
N/A
Gao et al. Biosci Trends, 2020 May 21;14(2):156-158. doi: 10.5582/bst.2020.03072. Epub 2020 Apr 13 (Peer Reviewed)Update on Use of Ch loroquine/Hydroxych loroquine to Treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)Increasing evidence from completed clinical studies shows C Q and HC Q effective (HC Q more effective).Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Gautret et al. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101663 (Peer Reviewed)Clinical and microbiological effect of a combination of hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin in 80 COVID-19 patients with at least a six-day follow up: A pilot observational studyPilot study suggesting improvement with HC Q+AZ and recommending further study.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Gautret et al. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, doi:10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101663 (Peer Reviewed)Clinical and microbiological effect of a combination of hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin in 80 COVID-19 patients with at least a six-day follow up: A pilot observational studyPilot study suggesting improvement with HC Q+AZ and recommending further study.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Huang et al. Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, Volume 12, Issue 4, April 2020, Pages 322''325, doi:10.1093/jmcb/mjaa014 (Peer Reviewed)Treating COVID-19 with Ch loroquine22 patients. All C Q patients discharged by day 14 versus 50% of Lopinavir/Rotinavir patients. Symptom onset to treatment 2.5 days for C Q vs. 6.5 days for Lopinavir/Rotinavir.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Huang et al. Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, Volume 12, Issue 4, April 2020, Pages 322''325, doi:10.1093/jmcb/mjaa014 (Peer Reviewed)Treating COVID-19 with Ch loroquine22 patients. All C Q patients discharged by day 14 versus 50% of Lopinavir/Rotinavir patients. Symptom onset to treatment 2.5 days for C Q vs. 6.5 days for Lopinavir/Rotinavir.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Chen et al. medRxiv doi:10.1101/2020.03.22.20040758 (Preprint)Efficacy of hydroxych loroquine in patients with COVID-19: results of a randomized clinical trial62 patients. RCT showing significantly faster recovery with HC Q. 13% progressed to severe cases in the control group, versus 0% for the treatment group. Significant improvement seen in pneumonia on chest CT for 61% of treated patients and 16% of control patients.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Chen et al. medRxiv doi:10.1101/2020.03.22.20040758 (Preprint)Efficacy of hydroxych loroquine in patients with COVID-19: results of a randomized clinical trial62 patients. RCT showing significantly faster recovery with HC Q. 13% progressed to severe cases in the control group, versus 0% for the treatment group. Significant improvement seen in pneumonia on chest CT for 61% of treated patients and 16% of control patients.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
In Vitro Clementi et al., Front. Microbiol., 10 July 2020, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.01704 (preprint 3/31) (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Combined Prophylactic and Therapeutic Use Maximizes Hydroxych loroquine Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Effects in vitroIn vitro study, not included in the study count or percentages, showing greater inhibition for combined pre and post-exposure treatment for Vero E6 and Caco-2 cells.In Vitro
In Vitro
In Vitro
Clementi et al., Front. Microbiol., 10 July 2020, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.01704 (preprint 3/31) (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Combined Prophylactic and Therapeutic Use Maximizes Hydroxych loroquine Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Effects in vitroIn vitro study, not included in the study count or percentages, showing greater inhibition for combined pre and post-exposure treatment for Vero E6 and Caco-2 cells.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative (letter)
Late Molina et al. M(C)decine et Maladies Infectieuses, 50:4, June 2020, 10.1016/j.medmal.2020.03.006 (preprint 3/28) (Letter to the editor)No evidence of rapid antiviral clearance or clinical benefit with the combination of hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin in patients with severe COVID-19 infection11 patients with severe cases. No evidence of benefit for HC Q.Negative (letter)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Molina et al. M(C)decine et Maladies Infectieuses, 50:4, June 2020, 10.1016/j.medmal.2020.03.006 (preprint 3/28) (Letter to the editor)No evidence of rapid antiviral clearance or clinical benefit with the combination of hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin in patients with severe COVID-19 infection11 patients with severe cases. No evidence of benefit for HC Q.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (news)
Late Zhong Nanshan (News) (not included in the study count)Efficacy and safety of ch loroquine for treatment of COVID-19. An open-label, multi-center, non-randomized trial197 patients. HC Q effective. Viral RNA negative in 95.9% versus 79.6% control. Median time to negative tests 3 days versus 9 days for control.Positive (news)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Zhong Nanshan (News) (not included in the study count)Efficacy and safety of ch loroquine for treatment of COVID-19. An open-label, multi-center, non-randomized trial197 patients. HC Q effective. Viral RNA negative in 95.9% versus 79.6% control. Median time to negative tests 3 days versus 9 days for control.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsTheory
Theory Pagliano et al. Clin Infect Dis, 2020 Mar 24; ciaa320. doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa320 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory)Is Hydroxych loroquine a Possible Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Drug to Limit the Transmission to Health Care Workers Exposed to COVID19?C Q and HC Q inhibit replication at early stages of infection, no similar effect reported for other drugs which are only able to interfere after cell infection. Large volume of existing data on safety.Theory
Theory
Theory
Pagliano et al. Clin Infect Dis, 2020 Mar 24; ciaa320. doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa320 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory)Is Hydroxych loroquine a Possible Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Drug to Limit the Transmission to Health Care Workers Exposed to COVID19?C Q and HC Q inhibit replication at early stages of infection, no similar effect reported for other drugs which are only able to interfere after cell infection. Large volume of existing data on safety.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsTheory
Theory Hu et al., Nature Nanotechnology, 15, 247''249, 2020, doi:10.1038/s41565-020-0674-9 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)Insights from nanomedicine into ch loroquine efficacy against COVID-19C Q is known in nanomedicine research for the investigation of nanoparticle uptake in cells, and may have potential for the treatment of COVID-19.Theory
Theory
Theory
Hu et al., Nature Nanotechnology, 15, 247''249, 2020, doi:10.1038/s41565-020-0674-9 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)Insights from nanomedicine into ch loroquine efficacy against COVID-19C Q is known in nanomedicine research for the investigation of nanoparticle uptake in cells, and may have potential for the treatment of COVID-19.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (advisory)
PrEP ICMR Indian Council of Medical Research (Advisory) (not included in the study count)Advisory on the use of hydroxy-ch loroquine as prophylaxis for SARS-CoV-2 infectionRecommends HC Q for prophylaxis in asymptomatic healthcare workers as found effective in-vitro and in-vivo.Positive (advisory)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study (treated before exposed to the virus)
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis study
ICMR Indian Council of Medical Research (Advisory) (not included in the study count)Advisory on the use of hydroxy-ch loroquine as prophylaxis for SARS-CoV-2 infectionRecommends HC Q for prophylaxis in asymptomatic healthcare workers as found effective in-vitro and in-vivo.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (news)
Late Hu et al., Shanghai Combined Task Force on COVID-19 (News) (not included in the study count)Shanghai Experience of COVID-19 ManagementClinical studies of HC Q with 184 cases and 21 hospitals show HC Q is effective.Positive (news)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Hu et al., Shanghai Combined Task Force on COVID-19 (News) (not included in the study count)Shanghai Experience of COVID-19 ManagementClinical studies of HC Q with 184 cases and 21 hospitals show HC Q is effective.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
In Vitro Liu et al. Cell Discovery 6, 16 (2020). doi:10.1038/s41421-020-0156-0 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Hydroxych loroquine, a less toxic derivative of ch loroquine, is effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitroHC Q effective in vitro and less toxic than C Q.In Vitro
In Vitro
In Vitro
Liu et al. Cell Discovery 6, 16 (2020). doi:10.1038/s41421-020-0156-0 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Hydroxych loroquine, a less toxic derivative of ch loroquine, is effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitroHC Q effective in vitro and less toxic than C Q.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Early Gautret et al. Int. J. of Antimicrobial Agents, 17 March 2020, doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949 (Peer Reviewed)Hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an openlabel non-randomized clinical trialHC Q significantly associated with viral load reduction / elimination, enhanced with AZ.Positive
Early treatment study (treated soon after symptoms appear)
Early treatment study
Gautret et al. Int. J. of Antimicrobial Agents, 17 March 2020, doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949 (Peer Reviewed)Hydroxych loroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an openlabel non-randomized clinical trialHC Q significantly associated with viral load reduction / elimination, enhanced with AZ.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
N/A Todaro and Rigano (Preprint)An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19)Discussion of existing research, treatment guidelines, and mechanims of action for C Q and HC Q, recommending use.Positive
N/A
N/A
Todaro and Rigano (Preprint)An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19)Discussion of existing research, treatment guidelines, and mechanims of action for C Q and HC Q, recommending use.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsTheory
Theory Devaux et al., International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105938 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)New insights on the antiviral effects of ch loroquine against coronavirus: what to expect for COVID-19?Discusses mechanisms of C Q interference with SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle.Theory
Theory
Theory
Devaux et al., International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105938 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)New insights on the antiviral effects of ch loroquine against coronavirus: what to expect for COVID-19?Discusses mechanisms of C Q interference with SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (meta)
N/A Cortegiani et al. J Crit Care, 2020 Jun;57:279-283. doi:10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.03.005 Epub 2020 Mar 10 (Peer Reviewed) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)A Systematic Review on the Efficacy and Safety of Ch loroquine for the Treatment of COVID-19Review of six articles and 23 ongoing clinical trials in China recommending research and clinical use adhering to MEURI.Positive (meta)
N/A
N/A
Cortegiani et al. J Crit Care, 2020 Jun;57:279-283. doi:10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.03.005 Epub 2020 Mar 10 (Peer Reviewed) (meta analysis - not included in the study count)A Systematic Review on the Efficacy and Safety of Ch loroquine for the Treatment of COVID-19Review of six articles and 23 ongoing clinical trials in China recommending research and clinical use adhering to MEURI.Meta studies are not included in the percentages or study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
N/A Yao et al., Clin. Infect. Dis. 2020 Mar 9, doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa237 (Peer Reviewed) (not included in the study count)In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxych loroquine for the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)HC Q more potent than C Q in vitro.In Vitro
N/A
N/A
Yao et al., Clin. Infect. Dis. 2020 Mar 9, doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa237 (Peer Reviewed) (not included in the study count)In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxych loroquine for the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)HC Q more potent than C Q in vitro.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsNegative
Late Chen et al., J. Zhejiang University (Med Sci), doi:10.3785/j.issn.1008-9292.2020.03.03 (Peer Reviewed)A pilot study of hydroxych loroquine in treatment of patients with common coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19)30 moderate hospitalized cases, all recovered. Time to RNA negative comparable. Less frequent radiological progression with HC Q but not statistically significant. One HC Q patient developed to a severe case. Treatment group 4 years older and with higher incidence of hypertension.Negative
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Chen et al., J. Zhejiang University (Med Sci), doi:10.3785/j.issn.1008-9292.2020.03.03 (Peer Reviewed)A pilot study of hydroxych loroquine in treatment of patients with common coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19)30 moderate hospitalized cases, all recovered. Time to RNA negative comparable. Less frequent radiological progression with HC Q but not statistically significant. One HC Q patient developed to a severe case. Treatment group 4 years older and with higher incidence of hypertension.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
N/A Colson et al., Int J Antimicrob Agents, doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105932. Epub 2020 Mar 4. (Peer Reviewed)Ch loroquine and Hydroxych loroquine as Available Weapons to Fight COVID-19Recommending C Q and HC Q for COVID based on 20 clinical studies in China and strong rationale for use.Positive
N/A
N/A
Colson et al., Int J Antimicrob Agents, doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105932. Epub 2020 Mar 4. (Peer Reviewed)Ch loroquine and Hydroxych loroquine as Available Weapons to Fight COVID-19Recommending C Q and HC Q for COVID based on 20 clinical studies in China and strong rationale for use.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
N/A Jiang et al., Chin J Tuberc Respir Dis, 2020,43 doi:10.3760/cma.j.issn.1001-0939.2020.0019 (Peer Reviewed)Expert Consensus on Ch loroquine Phosphate for the Treatment of Novel Coronavirus PneumoniaC Q is an effective treatment for COVID.Positive
N/A
N/A
Jiang et al., Chin J Tuberc Respir Dis, 2020,43 doi:10.3760/cma.j.issn.1001-0939.2020.0019 (Peer Reviewed)Expert Consensus on Ch loroquine Phosphate for the Treatment of Novel Coronavirus PneumoniaC Q is an effective treatment for COVID.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive
Late Gao et al. BioScience Trends, 2020, doi:10.5582/bst.2020.01047 (Peer Reviewed)Breakthrough: Ch loroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studiesResults from 15 clinical trials in China show C Q is effective.Positive
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Gao et al. BioScience Trends, 2020, doi:10.5582/bst.2020.01047 (Peer Reviewed)Breakthrough: Ch loroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studiesResults from 15 clinical trials in China show C Q is effective.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (news)
Late Sun Yanrong, deputy head of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development (News) (not included in the study count)Antimalarial drug confirmed effective on COVID-19HC Q under clinical trials in >10 hospitals in China and has shown fairly good efficacy.Positive (news)
Late treatment study (serious condition requiring hospitalization)
Late treatment study
Sun Yanrong, deputy head of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development (News) (not included in the study count)Antimalarial drug confirmed effective on COVID-19HC Q under clinical trials in >10 hospitals in China and has shown fairly good efficacy.Currently no formal study is available so this is not included in the study count.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
In Vitro Wang et al. Cell Res 30, 269''271. doi:L10.1038/s41422-020-0282-0 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Remdesivir and ch loroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitroIn vitro study, not included in the study count or percentages. Remdesivir and C Q potently blocked virus infection in vitro.In Vitro
In Vitro
In Vitro
Wang et al. Cell Res 30, 269''271. doi:L10.1038/s41422-020-0282-0 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Remdesivir and ch loroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitroIn vitro study, not included in the study count or percentages. Remdesivir and C Q potently blocked virus infection in vitro.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
In Vitro Savarino et al., Lancet Infect. Dis. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(06)70361-9 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)New insights into the antiviral effects of ch loroquineUpdate to 2003 paper, not included in the study count or percentages. Hypothesis of C Q inhibiting SARS replication has been confirmed in two in-vitro studies. C Q affected an early stage of SARS replication.In Vitro
In Vitro
In Vitro
Savarino et al., Lancet Infect. Dis. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(06)70361-9 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)New insights into the antiviral effects of ch loroquineUpdate to 2003 paper, not included in the study count or percentages. Hypothesis of C Q inhibiting SARS replication has been confirmed in two in-vitro studies. C Q affected an early stage of SARS replication.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
In Vitro Vincent et al. Virol J 2, 69 (2005). doi:10.1186/1743-422X-2-69 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Ch loroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spreadIn vitro study, SARS-CoV-1, not included in the study count or percentages. C Q has strong antiviral effects on SARS CoV infection when cells treated either before or after exposure, suggesting prophylactic and treatment use. Describes three mechanisms by which the drug might work and suggests it may have both a prophylactic and therapeutic role in Coronavirus infections.In Vitro
In Vitro
In Vitro
Vincent et al. Virol J 2, 69 (2005). doi:10.1186/1743-422X-2-69 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)Ch loroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spreadIn vitro study, SARS-CoV-1, not included in the study count or percentages. C Q has strong antiviral effects on SARS CoV infection when cells treated either before or after exposure, suggesting prophylactic and treatment use. Describes three mechanisms by which the drug might work and suggests it may have both a prophylactic and therapeutic role in Coronavirus infections.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsIn Vitro
In Vitro Keyaerts et al. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 323:1, 8 October 2004, doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.08.085 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)In vitro inhibition of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus by ch loroquineIn vitro study, SARS-CoV-1, not included in the study count or percentages. IC50 of C Q for antiviral activity (8.8) significantly lower than cytostatic activity CC50 (261.3), selectivity index of 30. IC50 for inhibition of SARS-CoV in vitro approximates plasma concentrations of C Q reached during treatment of acute malaria. C Q may be considered for immediate use in the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV infections.In Vitro
In Vitro
In Vitro
Keyaerts et al. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 323:1, 8 October 2004, doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.08.085 (Peer Reviewed) (In Vitro) (not included in the study count)In vitro inhibition of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus by ch loroquineIn vitro study, SARS-CoV-1, not included in the study count or percentages. IC50 of C Q for antiviral activity (8.8) significantly lower than cytostatic activity CC50 (261.3), selectivity index of 30. IC50 for inhibition of SARS-CoV in vitro approximates plasma concentrations of C Q reached during treatment of acute malaria. C Q may be considered for immediate use in the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV infections.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsTheory
Theory Savarino et al., Lancet Infect. Dis. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(03)00806-5 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)Effects of ch loroquine on viral infections: an old drug against today's diseasesNot included in the study count or percentages. Discussion/review noting that C Q exerts antiviral effects, inhibiting the replication of several viruses including members of the flaviviruses, retroviruses, and coronaviruses. Notes that C Q has immunomodulatory effects, suppressing the production/release of tumour necrosis factor α and interleukin 6, which mediate the inflammatory complications of several viral diseases.Theory
Theory
Theory
Savarino et al., Lancet Infect. Dis. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(03)00806-5 (Peer Reviewed) (Theory) (not included in the study count)Effects of ch loroquine on viral infections: an old drug against today's diseasesNot included in the study count or percentages. Discussion/review noting that C Q exerts antiviral effects, inhibiting the replication of several viruses including members of the flaviviruses, retroviruses, and coronaviruses. Notes that C Q has immunomodulatory effects, suppressing the production/release of tumour necrosis factor α and interleukin 6, which mediate the inflammatory complications of several viral diseases.Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or CommentsPositive (news)
N/A Edwin Wiley Grove (News) (not included in the study count)Laxative Bromo QuinineQuinine has been used for respiratory infections since 1896. Not included in the study count or percentages, just as an interesting observation.Positive (news)
N/A
N/A
Edwin Wiley Grove (News) (not included in the study count)Laxative Bromo QuinineQuinine has been used for respiratory infections since 1896. Not included in the study count or percentages, just as an interesting observation.
Source Study Page Share Tweet Submit Corrections or Comments
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Induced Adverse Reactions In "More Than Half" Of Trial Participants | Zero Hedge
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 03:40
Authored by Daniel Payne via JustTheNews.com,
A highly anticipated clinical trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine managed in part by the American drug company Moderna has resulted in some adverse effects in more than half of the trial's participants, with one test group reporting "severe" symptoms.
The trial, which is also being sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, administered the vaccine "as a 0.5-ml injection in the deltoid muscle" in two shots spaced about one month apart. Two separate groups received 25-microgram and 100-microgram doses, respectively. A third group with a 250-microgram dose was subsequently added.
The vaccine "induced anti''SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in all participants," the research team reported Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers said that "no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified." Yet a majority of participants still reported at least one side effect.
"Solicited adverse events that occurred in more than half the participants included fatigue, chills, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site," the report states. Fever, joint pain and nausea were also reported.
Side effects grew more common with more (and larger) injections, the scientists write:
"Systemic adverse events were more common after the second vaccination, particularly with the highest dose, and three participants (21%) in the 250-μg dose group reported one or more severe adverse events."
Notably, every participant in the two larger-dose groups reported adverse reactions after their second injections. One study participant in the smallest-dose group, meanwhile, was removed due to having developed hives after the first round of injections.
The scientists said that due to the ongoing status of the project, they are not yet "able to assess the durability of the immune responses" generated by the vaccine, but that they intend to follow participants "for 1 year after the second vaccination" and examine regular blood samples to monitor the vaccine's effects.
A large trial "expected to evaluate a 100-μg dose" is "anticipated to begin during the summer of 2020," the report states.
When Will We Have a Covid-19 Vaccine? Fauci Says One Not Enough - Bloomberg
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:05
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Oxford's Covid-19 Vaccine Is the Coronavirus Front-Runner - Bloomberg
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:06
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In an upset to Big Pharma, the most promising coronavirus vaccine comes from the public sector | Salon.com
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:19
Oxford University of Oxford (Getty Images) The pharmaceutical industry is salivating over the prospect of a coronavirus vaccine. Oxford may beat them to itMatthew Rozsa- Keith A. SpencerJuly 15, 2020 10:54PM (UTC)Hundreds of pharmaceutical companies have mobilized thousands of workers and millions of dollars to produce a coronavirus vaccine as fast as humanly possible, lured by the promise of tremendous revenues for a vaccine that much of the populace would get. Yet the most promising vaccine candidate '-- "months ahead" of the competition (as Bloomberg Businessweek's headline blared) '-- comes from the public sector: specifically, the lab of researcher Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Gilbert is a professor of vaccinology at Oxford's Jenner Institute, and has already administered the vaccine candidate to her adult children (as well as many other human subjects).
The early-stage human trial data on the new vaccine, known as AZD1222, is expected to be published in the medical journal The Lancet on Monday, according to a Wednesday report from Reuters. The vaccine candidate is already in large-scale Phase III trials, meaning mass inoculations of thousands in multiple countries, although researchers have yet to disclose whether the Phase I trials demonstrated that it will be both safe and trigger an immune response. (Many coronavirus vaccine candidates use parallel processing, meaning multiple phases of trials happen simultaneously to speed research.)
Last month the World Health Organization's chief scientist said that AZD1222 may be the most developed COVID-19 vaccine. Indeed, Gilbert and her Oxford cohort are months ahead of their "competitors" in the private sector; Bloomberg News quoted the chair of the British Vaccine Taskforce as saying, "It's the most advanced vaccine anywhere." The university has struck a deal with AstraZeneca Plc, a pharmaceutical company, to potentially produce 2 billion doses '-- on a not-for-profit basis.
Oxford University's promising results constitute the fantasy of the for-profit pharmaceutical industry, currently salivating over such a vaccine. Yet the fact that the current vaccine frontrunner stems from a public institution is a testament to the power of open-ended scientific research over that which is purely profit-driven.
Recently, American news outlets have been fixated on the vaccine efforts of Moderna, a pharmaceutical company with a promising candidate. Yet as a for-profit company, much of the news around Moderna's vaccine is hard to separate from hype; the company's stock value shot up in May after it revealed promising early results from its vaccine candidate. And the Trump administration has a suspect connection to the company: Moncef Slaoui, President Trump's coronavirus "czar," held more than 150,000 stock options in Moderna before selling them off in May and was a former member of the company's board of directors.
That raises the question: If AZD1222 winds up being the vaccine that stops COVID-19, will American politicians and media admit the extent to which a public institution played a major role in making that happen?
As Oxford University states on its website, "'Translational medicine' - taking discoveries from the laboratory right through to treatments for patients '-- is a significant focus of medical research at Oxford. This 'bench to bedside' approach is aided by fruitful links with NHS [National Health Service] organisations."
This does not mean that private sector money has not played a role in helping develop AZD1222. Indeed, while Oxford's Jenner Institute is mostly UK government-funded, Advent Srl, a subsidiary of Italian research organization IRBM, provided some funding to the coronavirus vaccine research project, as is common with research grants. Still, one of the great myths perpetuated by free market fundamentalists (and their libertarian coevals) is that public sector financing is an unequivocal ill, that it does little if anything to benefit society and a great deal to hurt it. If that theory were correct, then an academy which receives generous funding from a government would not have made this much progress in developing a vaccine.
"Whether an innovation will be a success is uncertain, and it can take longer than traditional banks or venture capitalists are willing to wait," economist Mariana Mazzucato wrote in New Scientist in 2013. "In countries such as the US, China, Singapore and Denmark the state has provided the kind of patient and long-term finance new technologies need to get off the ground. Investments of this kind have often been driven by big missions, from putting a human on the moon, to solving climate change. This has required not only funding basic research '' the typical 'public good' that most economists admit needs state help '' but applied research and seed funding too."
Mazzucato elaborated on these thoughts in a 2015 interview with Salon, pointing out that public sector money has helped support basic research, applied research and early stage, high risk company finance in areas like the green economy, biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology. Mazzucato frequently notes how the iPhone is considered an icon of capitalism, while the technology comprising it was almost entirely publicly-funded.
"I often use the iPhone as an example of how governments shape markets, because what makes the iPhone 'smart' and not stupid is what you can do with it," Mazzucato told Salon. "And yes, everything you can do with an iPhone was government-funded. From the Internet that allows you to surf the Web, to GPS that lets you use Google Maps, to touchscreen display and even the Siri voice activated system '--all of these things were funded by Uncle Sam through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, the Navy, and even the CIA." Philosophically speaking, perhaps it makes sense that institutions working in the public interest and funded by the public would be best-suited to do research that benefits the public '-- without being hindered by ulterior profit motives.
Matthew RozsaMatthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.
MORE FROM Matthew RozsaKeith A. SpencerKeith A. Spencer is a senior editor for Salon. He manages Salon's science, tech, economy and health coverage. His book, "A People's History of Silicon Valley: How the Tech Industry Exploits Workers, Erodes Privacy and Undermines Democracy," was released in 2018. Follow him on Twitter at @keithspencer, or on Facebook here.
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UK to start huge vaccine test; China reports promising hints - NEWS 1130
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:59
LONDON (AP) '-- British researchers testing an experimental vaccine against the new coronavirus are moving into advanced studies and aim to immunize more than 10,000 people to determine if the shot works.
Friday's announcement came as Chinese scientists who are developing a similar vaccine reported promising results from their own first-step testing, seeing hoped-for immune reactions and no serious side effects in 108 vaccinated people.
Last month, Oxford University researchers began vaccinating more than 1,000 volunteers in a preliminary study designed to test the shot's safety. Those results aren't in yet but the Oxford team announced they're expanding to 10,260 people across Britain, including older people and children.
If all goes smoothly, ''it's possible as early as the autumn or toward the end of the year, you could have results that allowed use of the vaccine on a wider scale,'' predicted Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group.
But Pollard acknowledged there were still many challenges ahead, including how long it will take to prove the vaccine works '-- particularly since transmission has dropped significantly in Britain '-- and any potential manufacturing complications.
'Experimental vaccines'The Oxford shot is one of about a dozen experimental COVID-19 vaccines in early stages of human testing or poised to start, mostly in China, the U.S. and Europe. Scientists have never created vaccines from scratch this fast and it's far from clear that any will ultimately prove safe and effective.
Moving on to such a huge late-scale test doesn't guarantee Oxford will reach the finish line, either. Pollard couldn't provide any data from the first tests, but said an oversight board hasn't seen any indications of worrisome side effects.
A small study in monkeys offers a note of caution: Teams from Oxford and the U.S. National Institutes of Health found the vaccine protected against pneumonia but didn't eliminate the coronavirus in the nose. Pollard said it was still an open question whether the shot could make a dent in how the disease spreads.
Likewise, Friday's report about a similar vaccine being developed by China's CanSino Biologics couldn't address how protective the shot might be. All 108 test participants were quarantined in a hotel for 14 days after vaccination, to ensure they weren't exposed to the coronavirus during a study meant to track safety.
Most volunteers reported at least one reaction typical for vaccines such as pain at the injection site, fever or fatigue. But there were no serious side effects, researchers reported in the journal Lancet. A month after vaccination, researchers spotted important immune responses including antibodies needed to block infection. But those responses were lower in the small number of volunteers ages 45 to 60, the oldest tested.
''The ability to trigger these immune responses does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine will protect humans from COVID-19,'' lead researcher Wei Chen from the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology said in a statement provided by Lancet.
''This result shows a promising vision for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but we are still a long way from this vaccine being available to all,'' Chen said.
'Harmless virus carry genes'Both the CanSino and Oxford vaccines are made in a similar way: They use a harmless virus to carry genes for the ''spike'' protein that coats the coronavirus into the body, priming the immune system to react if the real infection comes along.
CanSino uses a weakened common cold virus called an adenovirus '-- and Friday's study showed people whose bodies recognized that cold virus didn't get as much of the presumed COVID-19 benefit. To avoid that problem, the Oxford vaccine uses an adenovirus that normally infects chimpanzees.
CanSino is awaiting results from 500 volunteers injected in a next-step study. In Britain's soon-to-begin larger tests, researchers will address how Oxford's shot will affect older adults, who are at high risk from COVID-19. Pollard noted that people over 70 often don't get as much protection from vaccines as younger people.
Earlier this week, drugmaker AstraZeneca said it had secured its first agreements to produce 400 million doses of the Oxford-developed vaccine, bolstered by a $1 billion investment from a U.S. government agency.
The AstraZeneca investment hopefully will make the vaccine available globally, including in developing countries, said Lawrence Young of the University of Warwick. But he cautioned the shot's effectiveness still is unclear, citing the monkey research.
''This raises serious questions about the ability of this vaccine to protect against infection in humans and to prevent virus transmission,'' he said in a statement. ''We need to be urgently exploring other vaccine candidates.''
Often, possible vaccines that look promising early fail after testing expands to thousands of people '-- one reason the crowded field is important. Many of the candidates work in different ways, and are made with different technologies, increasing the odds that at least one approach might succeed.
Other leading candidates '-- including one from the NIH and Moderna Inc., and another by Inovio Pharmaceuticals '-- simply inject a piece of the coronavirus genetic code that instructs the body itself to produce spike protein that primes the immune system.
Meanwhile, companies and governments are beginning to scale up production now, aiming for hundreds of millions of doses of the candidates they think might win the vaccine race.
It's a huge gamble that could waste a lot of money if their choices fail and must be thrown away. But if they get lucky and a stockpiled vaccine pans out, it could help mass vaccinations start a few months faster.
Think of the Children!
International students denied U.S. entry under new visa rules - court documents | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 19:17
Mon Jul 13, 2020 / 2:38 PM EDT
WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International students have already been denied entry to the United States under new Trump administration rules that bar them from the country if their schools hold all classes online amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a court document filed on Sunday.
The "friend of the court" brief, written by dozens of universities and colleges, was filed in support of a lawsuit brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) seeking to block immigration rules issued on July 6 that blindsided academic institutions across the country.
The brief said U.S. immigration authorities were "already preventing returning students from re-entering the country" and cited the case of a DePaul University student returning from South Korea who was denied at San Francisco International Airport.
DePaul declined to make the student available for an interview. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman did not comment about students being denied entry under the new rules.
The brief was just one of a flurry of filings in support of the lawsuit from major business associations, labor unions and tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter. They were joined by more than two dozen cities, towns and counties that decried the rule.
There are more than a million foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities, and many schools depend on revenue from foreign students, who often pay full tuition.
On Monday, the state of Massachusetts led a coalition of 16 other states and the District of Columbia in filing a lawsuit that called the new rules "cruel, abrupt, and unlawful."
The state of New York also filed a suit against the visa rules on Monday, following lawsuits by the state of California and others in recent days.
A federal judge in Boston is scheduled to hear arguments on Tuesday over a motion seeking to temporarily block the rule.
(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Additional reporting by Kristina Cooke and Mimi Dwyer in Los Angeles and Radhika Anilkumar and Shubham Khalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Steve Orlofsky)
Fertility rate: 'Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born - BBC News
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 03:57
Image copyright Getty Images The world is ill-prepared for the global crash in children being born which is set to have a "jaw-dropping" impact on societies, say researchers.
Falling fertility rates mean nearly every country could have shrinking populations by the end of the century.
And 23 nations - including Spain and Japan - are expected to see their populations halve by 2100.
Countries will also age dramatically, with as many people turning 80 as there are being born.
What is going on?The fertility rate - the average number of children a woman gives birth to - is falling.
If the number falls below approximately 2.1, then the size of the population starts to fall.
In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime.
Researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2.4 in 2017 - and their study, published in the Lancet, projects it will fall below 1.7 by 2100.
As a result, the researchers expect the number of people on the planet to peak at 9.7 billion around 2064, before falling down to 8.8 billion by the end of the century.
"That's a pretty big thing; most of the world is transitioning into natural population decline," researcher Prof Christopher Murray told the BBC.
"I think it's incredibly hard to think this through and recognise how big a thing this is; it's extraordinary, we'll have to reorganise societies."
Why are fertility rates falling?It has nothing to do with sperm counts or the usual things that come to mind when discussing fertility.
Instead it is being driven by more women in education and work, as well as greater access to contraception, leading to women choosing to have fewer children.
In many ways, falling fertility rates are a success story.
Which countries will be most affected?Japan's population is projected to fall from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century.
Italy is expected to see an equally dramatic population crash from 61 million to 28 million over the same timeframe.
They are two of 23 countries - which also include Spain, Portugal, Thailand and South Korea - expected to see their population more than halve.
"That is jaw-dropping," Prof Christopher Murray told me.
China, currently the most populous nation in the world, is expected to peak at 1.4 billion in four years' time before nearly halving to 732 million by 2100. India will take its place.
The UK is predicted to peak at 75 million in 2063, and fall to 71 million by 2100.
Image copyright BBC Sport However, this will be a truly global issue, with 183 out of 195 countries having a fertility rate below the replacement level.
Why is this a problem?You might think this is great for the environment. A smaller population would reduce carbon emissions as well as deforestation for farmland.
"That would be true except for the inverted age structure (more old people than young people) and all the uniformly negative consequences of an inverted age structure," says Prof Murray.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The world faces a shift from young to old The study projects:
The number of under-fives will fall from 681 million in 2017 to 401 million in 2100.The number of over 80-year-olds will soar from 141 million in 2017 to 866 million in 2100.Prof Murray adds: "It will create enormous social change. It makes me worried because I have an eight-year-old daughter and I wonder what the world will be like."
Who pays tax in a massively aged world? Who pays for healthcare for the elderly? Who looks after the elderly? Will people still be able to retire from work?
"We need a soft landing," argues Prof Murray.
Are there any solutions?Countries, including the UK, have used migration to boost their population and compensate for falling fertility rates.
However, this stops being the answer once nearly every country's population is shrinking.
"We will go from the period where it's a choice to open borders, or not, to frank competition for migrants, as there won't be enough," argues Prof Murray.
Some countries have tried policies such as enhanced maternity and paternity leave, free childcare, financial incentives and extra employment rights, but there is no clear answer.
Sweden has dragged its fertility rate up from 1.7 to 1.9, but other countries that have put significant effort into tackling the "baby bust" have struggled. Singapore still has a fertility rate of around 1.3.
Prof Murray says: "I find people laugh it off; they can't imagine it could be true, they think women will just decide to have more kids.
"If you can't [find a solution] then eventually the species disappears, but that's a few centuries away."
The researchers warn against undoing the progress on women's education and access to contraception.
Prof Stein Emil Vollset said: "Responding to population decline is likely to become an overriding policy concern in many nations, but must not compromise efforts to enhance women's reproductive health or progress on women's rights."
What about Africa?The population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to treble in size to more than three billion people by 2100.
And the study says Nigeria will become the world's second biggest country, with a population of 791 million.
Prof Murray says: "We will have many more people of African descent in many more countries as we go through this.
"Global recognition of the challenges around racism are going to be all the more critical if there are large numbers of people of African descent in many countries."
Why is 2.1 the fertility rate threshold?You might think the number should be 2.0 - two parents have two children, so the population stays the same size.
But even with the best healthcare, not all children survive to adulthood. Also, babies are ever so slightly more likely to be male. It means the replacement figure is 2.1 in developed countries.
Nations with higher childhood mortality also need a higher fertility rate.
What do the experts say?Prof Ibrahim Abubakar, University College London (UCL), said: "If these predictions are even half accurate, migration will become a necessity for all nations and not an option.
"To be successful we need a fundamental rethink of global politics.
"The distribution of working-age populations will be crucial to whether humanity prospers or withers."
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Texas teachers call on state leaders to delay school reopenings - News - Austin American-Statesman - Austin, TX
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:12
Teachers protest the state's planned return to school at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday. [LOLA GOMEZ/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]'–²
Teachers protesting Wednesday outside the Capitol say they're not convinced that they can keep students or themselves safe from the virus in the classroom. [LOLA GOMEZ/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]'–²
At the Capitol on Wednesday, Stone Wang protests the return-to-school plan announced by the Texas Education Agency. [LOLA GOMEZ/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]'–²
More than 100 teachers gathered outside the Texas Capitol on Wednesday to urge state education leaders to rethink plans to put teachers and students back in the classroom next month, saying that opening while coronavirus infections remain high will put lives at risk.
Educators lined the sidewalk in front of the Capitol, many wearing school T-shirts and holding signs calling for health and safety to be put first.
Since the Texas Education Agency announced its guidelines to reopen last week, educators across the state have expressed frustration and dismay. The agency will let parents choose between remote or in-person instruction for their students, but teachers were not given the same option.
Also Wednesday, an agency spokesperson confirmed that districts will not lose state funding if local public health officials order schools closed to in-person instruction, as long as schools continue to educate students remotely. That could allow districts to be completely online for the entire semester.
Since the agency announced its original plan, many districts have criticized the guidelines, calling for more local control and flexibility when it comes to reopening.
Earlier this week, Leander district officials sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and state agency officials requesting to offer online-only classes until counties show five or fewer hospitalizations in a seven-day period.
Darcy Vogt Williams, who teaches middle school band in Leander and who organized Wednesday's sit-in, said she understands the desire to return to the classroom but wants to wait until it's safe.
"We went into education because we love kids. We love watching the light bulbs turn on, and we miss that," Vogt Williams said. "But we also don't want to know that we are putting ourselves at risk and our families at risk, and our extended relationships at risk."
"Learning should be safe, and teaching should be safe," she added.
In its original guidance, the state agency said school districts would be able to take the first three weeks of the school year to phase in teachers and students.
The Round Rock school district plans to take those three weeks to teach virtually, saying Monday that it will delay in-person classes to September. On Tuesday, Austin school district leaders said they would do the same, and Austin city officials announced an updated public health order stating that school systems and private schools in Travis County cannot reopen schools for in-person classes until after Sept. 7. The Eanes school district also committed to total online learning for the first three weeks of classes.
At the Capitol on Wednesday, teachers said they're not convinced that they can keep students or themselves safe from the virus. They raised concerns about social distancing in classrooms, sanitizing common supplies between use, and simply keeping students from interacting or playing with each other.
"To put our kids at risk like this, I think is incredibly irresponsible," said Liz Love, a middle school band director in the Round Rock district. "It would break my heart into a million pieces if I ever found out that I got a kid sick."
Eanes district Superintendent Tom Leonard also demonstrated with teachers at the Capitol. Earlier this week, Leonard and other district leaders sent a letter to the state asking for more local control. Without it, he's not sure he can teach students safely.
"I don't know how, with our facilities, we can abide by the CDC guidelines. Mathematically, it just doesn't work. I can't triple the number of buildings, and I can't triple the number of staff," he said. "I'm not that good."
The Texas Education Agency did not immediately respond to questions from the American-Statesman about districts' concerns, but earlier this week, in an interview with Houston's KTRK-TV, Abbott said he expected TEA Commissioner Mike Morath to give schools more time to conduct classes online during the beginning of the school year.
Staff writer Nancy Flores contributed to this report.
Study from the New England Journal of Medicine Shows the Only Reason for Keeping Children Home from School is Politics
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:56
The results from a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine show that the only reason children are being kept from school due to the China coronavirus is politics.The New England Journal of Medicine released the results of a study on the China coronavirus that are shocking. Children have a very low risk of catching the China coronavirus.
Based on the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine , the senior author concluded that:
''[E]ven if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults. We have not found a single instance of a child infecting parents.''
TRENDING: BREAKING: Joe Biden and Barack Obama's Twitter Accounts HACKED... Along With Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Kanye West and MORE
This is huge.
The genetic analysis in this study is the most direct evidence of the direction of transmission. And this evidence shows that children must be less likely to transmit than adults.
No other way to view this. These datasets are basically irrefutable.
These results show the low risk children have for transmitting the virus:
First, there is almost no controversy that children's safety is not the concern from being in school
Their risks of becoming infected and severely unwell are incredibly low (even accounting for the extremely rare hyperinflammatory syndrome)
8/15https://t.co/pkSYrFF1KG pic.twitter.com/LPIYBj4xOw
'-- Alasdair Munro (@apsmunro) July 2, 2020
Let's get our children back in school.Hat tip Doug Ross
BLM
George Soros foundation announces $220 million push for racial justice
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:39
Hungarian-born US investor and philanthropist George Soros delivers a speech on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, on January 23, 2020 in Davos, eastern Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images
Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organization founded by liberal megadonor George Soros, announced Monday that it is investing $220 million into the push for racial justice.
The largest portion, $150 million, will be given in five-year grants to various civil rights and racial equality groups like Black Voters Matter and the Equal Justice Initiative, according to the foundation. The groups receiving these grants are tackling racial inequality in different forms, such as fighting for police reform and increased ballot access for people of color.
The money will be delivered over five years because "real progress requires sustained support over many years and letting leaders accountable to impacted communities shape the path forward," the foundation said.
The remaining $70 million will be divvied up among local initiatives that support the progression toward racial equality. Some of the money will be used to fund young people participating in internships and civic engagement, as well as "efforts to fight voter suppression and disinformation," according to the announcement.
The investment comes amid widespread protests for racial equality and calls for police reform that sprung after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day. Floyd, 46, died after being subdued during an investigation into whether he had used a counterfeit $20 bill.
"It is inspiring and powerful to experience this transformational moment in the racial justice movement," said Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard in a statement.
"We are honored to be able to carry on the vital work of fighting for rights, dignity, and equity for oppressed people the world over started by our founder and chair, George Soros."
The 89-year-old Soros has long supported marginalized groups. He has been a frequent target of anti-Semitic and right-wing groups, including in his native Hungary.
Benefactors:
Black Voters Matter Fund '' Staging Site
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:51
HOME admin 2020-06-30T03:29:06+00:00
OUR GOAL IS TO INCREASE POWER IN OUR COMMUNITIES. EFFECTIVE VOTING ALLOWS A COMMUNITY TO DETERMINE ITS OWN DESTINY.Learn More
COVID-19 AND VOTING RIGHTSJoin us TODAY AT 7 PM ET! In Wisconsin and in Georgia, voters faced a terrible decision: should they risk their lives to vote during a pandemic? Now Kentucky voters are facing the same impossible choice. Join us, We Build Progress, New Georgia Project, Civil And Human Rights, DC VOTE, and special guest Congressman Joe Kennedy III to discuss how to take the lessons learned from Georgia and Wisconsin to [...]
admin 2020-06-24T18:02:44+00:00 June 24th, 2020 | Wake County activists now focus on making sure protesters get out to voteRALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) '' Protestors gathered in Crabtree Valley Mall Tuesday afternoon were screaming Keith Collins' name. Collins was killed by a Raleigh police officer earlier this year. Stores shut down as shoppers joined in on the calls for reform. But what comes next? Many activists are hoping to turn the momentum from marches into votes. ''We're out in the streets. We're making our voices heard, but now we need [...]
admin 2020-06-25T15:22:59+00:00 June 24th, 2020 |
BVM Capacity Building Institute Inc - GuideStar Profile
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:48
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The goal of BVM (Black Voters Matter) Capacity Building Institute is to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. Effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny. We agree with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said, ''Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.'' Towards this end, we help to expand the capacity of community-based organizations that serve our community.
2018
Cliff Albright
LaTosha Brown
3390 STONEWALL TELL RD
ATLANTA, GA 30349 USA
movement building, organizational development, training, Black voters matter
82-3835203
0637282849
Management & Technical Assistance (R02)
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
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Update now What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
BVM supports community-based organizations with funding, strategy and technical assistance to help mobilize voters for elections at various levels (local, state, and federal)
Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Budget
BVM Capacity Building Institute Inc
Need more info on this nonprofit?
Address, website and contact informationForms 990 for 2018A Pro report is also available for this organization.See what's includedThis information is only available for subscribers and in Premium reports.
The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
Need more info? Address, website and contact informationForms 990 for 2018A Pro report is also available for this organization.See what's includedThis information is only available for subscribers and in Premium reports.
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This organization has no recorded board members.
Board Co-Chair Rukia Lumumba
Board Co-Chair Baye Adofo Wilson
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Not Applicable
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Not Applicable
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Not Applicable
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Not Applicable
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
Not Applicable
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Book LaTosha Brown for Public Speaking | Harry Walker Agency
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:56
LaTosha Brown
Co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, jazz singer, and fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
LaTosha Brown is an award-winning community organizer, philanthropic consultant, jazz singer and political strategist with over twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation and civil rights.
She is the co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, a power building southern based civic engagement organization that played an instrumental role in the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate race.
Ms. Brown is also principal owner of TruthSpeaks Consulting, Inc., a professional facilitation and philanthropy advisory consulting business based in Atlanta, GA. For more than 25 years, she has served as a consultant and advisor for individual donors, various public foundations and private donors. Former Director of a funder working group of Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG). GSP is comprised of Southern and national funders committed to improving the outcomes, conditions, and opportunities for those who are least well off socially, economically, and politically in the South.
She is a founding member of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors' Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health and also served as fund's first Executive Director. Under her leadership the Gulf Coast Fund gained national recognition, created strategic national partnerships and distributed over $6 million in re-granting dollars for community and coastal organizations in the gulf coast region.
Throughout her career, Ms. Brown has distinguished herself as a trusted expert and resource in community organizing, rural development and special programming for a number of national and regional philanthropies. She has consulted and advised foundations such as the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Black Belt Community Foundation, Friends of New Orleans, New World Foundation, Open Society Institute, Surdna Foundation, Community Foundation of South Alabama, Clinton Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, Ibis Partners Investment Group and the Tides Foundation to name a few.
As a native of Alabama, Ms. Brown has dedicated her life's work towards organizing resources and supporting the development of community-based institutions in the South, particularly in the Black Belt and Gulf Coast regions. She has also worked as a trainer, speaker and facilitator in the international arena. She has traveled and/or presented to more than 23 countries abroad. She is currently working with the Guyanese Black Women's Roundtable on a project that will provide training and increase funding and investment opportunities for women led institutions based in Guyana, South America.
Ms. Brown is a well-respected leader that has led numerous initiatives, campaigns and special projects to empower marginalized communities in the South. She is the founder of Saving OurSelves Coalition, a community-led disaster relief organization that helped hundreds of families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Southern Black Women Organizing Project that works to strengthen the network of Black women grassroots leaders in the South. She also currently serves as a board member for the National Coalition on Black Civic Engagement and the Southern Documentary Fund and is an active member of several national and international organizations.
She is the recipient of several national awards including the 2006 Redbook Magazine Spirit and Strength Award, 2007 Spirit of Democracy Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Louis E. Burnham Award for Human Rights, the 2008 Emory Business School MLK Service Award, 2010 Audubon Award, the 2011 White House Champion of Change Award, and most recently the 2020 Breakthrough Award for Thought and Strategy Leadership from the Philanthropy Women magazine. Ms. Brown currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Home | cjifund
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:58
Effective Monday, March 16th, CJIs operations have been shifted to all-remote work. Our offices located at 147 Prince Street in Brooklyn are closed to visitors. We have done this in order to adhere to the advice of New York State's public health experts to promote and support social distancing. For now, we have postponed all events hosted at our office or convened by us until further notice. We at the CJI embrace this sense of responsibility and accountability to all of our stakeholders, and, by working collectively, we aim to demonstrate the best of ourselves. We thank you for your unwavering commitment to justice, your patience, and cooperation. We couldn't do it without YOU. Learn more...
CIRCLE
for JUSTICE '‹
INNOVATIONS
Funding Grassroots Organizations to End Mass Incarceration & State Violence
OUR MISSION
CJI's mission is to end mass criminalization and incarceration by building and strengthening the infrastructure of the grassroots criminal justice movement to fundamentally transform the U.S. criminal legal system. We fund where the movement is developing, shifting and growing. We believe this movement should be led by those most impacted by the injustices of the current system, working in alliances across race, class, faith, gender, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status and age.
CJIs Statement on State Violence Against our Communities
Published June 8, 2020
CJI stands with all who are grieving, outraged, and lost in hopelessness after the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon "Sean" Reed, Tony McDade, and George Floyd. We stand with the families and all other victims of police terrorism and white supremacist vigilante violence. These murders are the manifestation of structural racism and the extraordinary levels of violence it encourages and condones against Black Americans and our immigrant brothers and sisters. CJI understands the most vicious manifestation of that violence to be the US prison system, which feeds on police brutality.
George Floyd's dying words, echoing those of Eric Garner six years ago, came in the midst of a pandemic in which Black and Brown people are providing essential front-line services, falling ill, losing life-sustaining employment, and dying in enormous and disproportionate numbers. We are moved by the masses, in cities across the country, who are invoking their right to protest against these persistent forms of structural violence. These protests, initiated by righteous Black and Brown people, have been joined by people of all races. It is intolerable that they are met with tanks, tear gas, and rubber bullets, as well as with white supremacists infiltrating their marches and attacking their community institutions.
CJI is taking action in two ways.
The criminalization of protest has reached new proportions. CJI's SOS Fund will provide immediate assistance for direct action, community healing, and strategic responses to state-sponsored violence, both covert and insidious. We will also organize with other funders to help cultivate additional support for our communities. If you are an ally, we ask that you make sure to be led by the people who are directly impacted, because the reaction to your protest will be unleashed on Black and Brown bodies.
The demands being raised for police reform and accountability have been made and ignored for generations. CJI's Leadership Circle will support organizing that engages fresh tactics and emerging leaders to meet these demands. We will also move beyond, to support the crucial work of building infrastructure that will replace the current system, indivisible as it is from its roots in structural inequity. Our support for groups taking on this important work will include those that develop alternatives to mass criminalization and incarceration, grounded in restorative practices and healing.
The pain of seeing our lives once again devalued is unbearable. Our lives are invaluable. Our bodies will never be disposable. We stand together. We stand for healing and transformation.
In Solidarity,
Circle for Justice Innovations
NEO Philanthropy - GuideStar Profile
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 17:00
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NEO Philanthropy , a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission brings together and strengthens the work of philanthropic institutions, nonprofit groups and other public interest organizations who share a vision of a society that ensures justice, dignity and opportunity for all people. It does this by leading large-scale collaborative grant-making funds on a range of social justice issues, providing fiscal sponsorship and management to projects and campaigns, and developing organization and field-focused capacity building initiatives.
1984
Michele Lord
45 West 36th Street 6th Floor
New York, NY 10018 USA
Public Interest Projects
Project management, grantmaking, fiscal sponsorship
13-3191113
6936727086
Public Foundations (T30)
Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)
Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
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Update now What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Grantmaking Collaboratives
Through 12 funds, including the Four Freedoms Fund and State Infrastructure Fund, NEO has designed and led large-scale collaborative grantmaking funds, connecting donors with aligned values to support work they could not fund as effectively on their own.NEO has helped a wide range of funders increase the impact of their grantmaking through our collaborative funds. NEO collaboratives awarded more than 2,500 grants totaling some $200 million to nearly 600 grantees across 44 states between 2006 and 2016.Our collaborative funds allow donors to join forces with other likeminded colleagues for a wider and more immediate impact. They are a platform for donors passionate about an underserved issue to rally other donors, expanding the overall funding pool. With expanded funds, we can invest in long-term capacity building resources for grantees, such as fundraising coaching, organizational management and communications training, to build a field into a truly successful and coordinated movement. Because of NEO's deep relationships with groups on the ground, our donors can more directly connect with potential grantees and efficiently engage in cutting edge and innovative grantmaking with like-minded colleagues.
Population(s) Served
General/Unspecified
Budget
As a fiscal sponsor, NEO acts as an umbrella organization for an individual or project's charitable work, and accepts and administers funds on its behalf. Fiscal sponsorship at NEO gives groups a non-profit ''home'' and allows them to focus on their programmatic work while NEO manages the financial, HR and legal elements, giving the projects the room they need to make a significant impact on the world.We see ourselves as partners with the organizations we support and our interactions with our projects go far beyond the transactional. NEO's fiscally sponsored projects have access to an entire team of highly experienced professionals and an array of services provided at a lower or more flexible cost than would be possible for these projects on their own. All fiscally sponsored projects at NEO have a mission-aligned focus on social justice and social change. We are nimble, flexible and bring significant value-added skills and resources to each project.
Population(s) Served
General/Unspecified
Budget
NEO offers donors a range of ways to work with us '' through donor advised funds, pooled funds, specialized grant programs and initiatives. All of these are customized programs that allow our donors to minimize their administrative costs in order to maximize their impact. They also get to leverage the expertise and depth of NEO's senior staff, as well as gain access and benefit from our extensive networks in the philanthropic and grantee communities.
Population(s) Served
General/Unspecified
Budget
Need more info on this nonprofit?
Address, phone, website and contact informationForms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015A Pro report is also available for this organization.See what's includedThis information is only available for subscribers and in Premium reports.
The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
Need more info? Address, phone, website and contact informationForms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015A Pro report is also available for this organization.See what's includedThis information is only available for subscribers and in Premium reports.
Need more info? Address, phone, website and contact informationForms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015A Pro report is also available for this organization.See what's includedThis information is only available for subscribers and in Premium reports.
Mallika Dutt
Patricia Bauman
Christopher Meyer
Christina Schatz
Mark Colon
John Gilroy
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Yes
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Yes
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Yes
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Yes
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
Yes
Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.
SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/23/2019
The organization's leader identifies as:
Race & Ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender Identity
Female, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability
Middle Eastern or North African
Help us get you more of the nonprofit information you need, including: More profile views Access to an industry expert Organization's full address Up to three years of Forms 990 Revenue and expense data for the current fiscal year CEO, Board Chair, and Board of Directors information Additional tools and resources And more... ! An account already exists for that email address
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NEO Philanthropy | Creative. Inspired. Philanthropy
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 16:59
Powerful Philanthropy with ImpactPassionate about its work as a funder intermediary, deeply committed to social justice and human rights, NEO Philanthropy has more than 30 years of experience helping nonprofit organizations and funders build movements for justice, equity and dignity.
About NEO
The Real Story Behind Margot Robbie's Wild Queen Elizabeth Makeup
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 20:10
Multiculturalism in Shakespeare's plays - The British Library
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 20:14
Andrew Dickson describes the position of racial and religious minorities in Renaissance England, and considers how this might have influenced Shakespeare's depiction of immigrants, outsiders and exiles.
One of the frustrating things about studying Shakespeare is that we have so little access to his working methods: nothing in the way of rehearsal or director's notes, and only patchwork evidence as to the way he revised his scripts.
But there is one incalculably precious document. Located deep in the bowels of the British Library is the manuscript of a late 16th-century playtext entitled 'The Booke of Sir Thomas Moore', written collaboratively by a number of authors, including the playwrights Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle. Their star subject was the scholar and politician Thomas More, author of Utopia, who resisted Henry VIII's separation from Rome and died a Catholic martyr.
The Book of Sir Thomas More: Shakespeare's only surviving literary manuscript In this handwritten play by several writers, Shakespeare has inserted a scene in which Thomas More suppresses an anti-French riot in London.
(4) Usage terms
Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.
In 1871, scholars discovered that this scrappy and unglamorous document also contained the handwriting of another author, altogether more famous: William Shakespeare.[1] Shakespeare, it was proposed, added a scene to the middle of the play, 164 lines long, in which the heroic More courageously and single-handedly puts down an anti-French race riot on the streets of London. The Lord Chancellor delivers a gripping speech to the aggressive mob, who are baying for so-called 'strangers' to be banished:
You'll put down strangers,Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,And lead the majesty of law in lyamTo slip him like a hound. Alas, alas! Say now the KingAs he is clement if th'offender mourn,Should so much come too short of your great trespassAs but to banish you: whither would you go?What country, by the nature of your error,Should give you harbour? Go you to France or Flanders,To any German province, Spain or Portugal,Nay, anywhere that not adheres to England:Why, you must needs be strangers. (Scene 6, ll. 134''45)[2]
More relies on human empathy to make his point: if the rioters were suddenly banished to a foreign land, they would become 'wretched strangers' too, and equally vulnerable to attack. In the words of critic Jonathan Bate: 'More asks the on-stage crowd, and by extension the theatre audience, to imagine what it would be like to be an asylum-seeker undergoing forced repatriation.'[3]
In their keen sympathy for the plight of the alienated and dispossessed, Shakespeare's words seem to prefigure the insights of great dramas of race such as The Merchant of Venice and Othello.[4] Whoever wrote them had a fine ear for the way rhetoric can sway a crowd '' it's hard not to think of Julius Caesar, too '' but also a sharp eye for the troubled relationship between ethnic minorities and majorities.
Boydell's Collection of Prints illustrating Shakespeare's works The 'warlike Moor, Othello' amongst white faces in Cyprus. Othello, Act 2, Scene 1 by Thomas Stothard.
(24) Usage terms Public Domain
An immigrant cityWhen Shakespeare arrived in London at some point in the late 1580s or early 1590s, the capital was expanding faster than anyone could remember: from 50,000 inhabitants in 1500, it had swelled to some 200,000 people, four times that number, a century later. Hungrily absorbing people from across the British Isles and overseas '' one of whom, of course, was an aspiring actor/playwright from Warwickshire '' London was pre-eminently a city of immigrants, both first- and second-generation.
A cramped medieval town that had somehow become a cosmopolitan metropolis, London also had the stretch-marks to prove it, particularly as the economic picture worsened during the 1590s. If Sir Thomas More was staged during Shakespeare's lifetime (theatre historians think not), audiences would have recognised with a shudder its scenes of people out on the streets, calling for 'strangers' to be thrown out.[5] On 5 May 1593, a handbill appeared on the wall of the Dutch churchyard in Broad Street, warning immigrants to 'fly, fly, & never returne'. Soon after the handbill was posted, gangs of apprentices were out in force, chanting bloodthirsty anti-foreigner slogans.[6]
Later in the decade, as inflation rocketed and taxes soared, disturbances became a weary reality. The price of flour more than tripled between 1593 and 1597, and London saw a huge surge in homelessness and vagrancy. A series of riots by apprentices culminated in 1595, when over 1,000 young men massed near Tower Hill and were violently put down. Afterwards, an obviously shaken Elizabeth I issued a proclamation condemning 'sundry great disorders ... by unlawful great assemblies of multitudes'.[7]
Rebellion by London apprentices in 1595 Around 1,000 apprentices rioted on Tower Hill to protest the appalling conditions in London. This woodcut from A Students Lamentation (1595) shows how they were punished by being hanged, drawn and quartered.
(1) Usage terms STC 23401.5 Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Though tensions were never quite so strained as in the troubled days of the mid-1590s, London was, as so often in its history, a city of conspicuous contrasts '' between poverty and obscene wealth, between rivalrous social classes, and above all between different racial groups. On the one hand inhabitants of different ethnicities and beliefs were accepted, and more openly than anywhere else in England; on the other, the line of acceptance was thin. Woe betide anyone who overstepped it.
Discussion of Venice and London in Florio's Italian language manual John Florio, the son of an Italian Protestant refugee, notes the many 'strangers' who attend foreign churches in London.
(20) Usage terms Public Domain
Sharing the Protestant religion with their English hosts, French Huguenots and other religious refugees from continental Europe were perhaps luckiest. Despite arriving in large numbers, perhaps as many as 15,000 during the 1590s, they assimilated quickly and found work, many in the textile or fashion industries, and formed close-knit communities. Small Jewish populations were also resident in London and Bristol, perhaps 150-strong, mainly Iberian 'Marranos', in addition to famous and well-rewarded court musician families such as the Bassanos, Comys and the Lupos. Many Jews practised their faith undisturbed, despite tough legislation to the contrary; yet, like recusant Catholics, they were forced to do so in secret, lest they become scapegoats and be forced to convert.[8]
Doctor Lopez is accused of poisoning Elizabeth I One Marrano, Roderigo Lopez, had the trusted role of physician to the Queen, but was later accused of trying to poison her.
(3) Usage terms Public Domain
The status of black people in Jacobethan England was hazier. Though England had no official slave trade, black Africans had been shipped to England during the 16th century, mainly from West and North Africa, and by the century's end perhaps a thousand people were resident across the country. Most were employed in domestic work; Elizabeth I even had a black maidservant. Yet when racial tensions rose, they were among the first groups to be targeted; Queen Elizabeth may have been content to be served by people of colour, but she issued numerous edicts ordering the expulsion of a group of black men captured from a Spanish colony in the West Indies, proclaiming in 1596 that 'there are of late divers blackmoores brought into this realm, of which kind of people there are allready here to manie'.[9] The call was repeated in 1601. For anyone of immigrant heritage in Jacobethan England, the situation appears to have been similar: you are tolerated here, but only just. It is a situation with which many migrants in present-day Europe will be only too familiar.
Draft proclamation on the expulsion of 'Negroes and Blackamoors', 1601 This manuscript asks for the deportation of black people from England, on the grounds that they are draining resources needed by the Queen's 'natural subjects'.
(2) Usage terms Reproduced courtesy of the Marquess of Salisbury, Hatfield House
Continental connectionsAs both resident and playwright '' and, technically, yet another kind of immigrant '' Shakespeare must have faced such questions about immigration daily. Literally so in the case of London's Huguenot population: from around 1602 he rented a room on Silver Street in Bishopsgate from a French wigmaker, Christopher Mountjoy, and his wife Marie, and seems to have become close to the family, judging by the fact that he testified in a court case regarding their daughter Mary long after he moved out.[10]
Shakespeare will also have rubbed shoulders with other people of French birth, notably Jacqueline Field, the French wife of his printer and possible schoolmate Richard Field (many Huguenots also found work in the publishing industry). While there is no proof, it is tempting to imagine Jacqueline or one of her compatriots at the Fields' Blackfriars printshop helping the playwright with his grammar for the script of Henry V, which features a scene largely in French.[11] It also might not be accidental that three plays Shakespeare wrote in the 1590s and early 1600s, Love's Labour's Lost, As You Like It and All's Well That Ends Well, are set in that country '' though judging by the heavy comic accent he gives the French Dr Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor, he was not above making a joke out of 'funny' Frenchmen. The lighthearted tone of these plays is even more striking when one considers the racial tensions of London in 1593, the year Love's Labour's Lost may well have been composed.
Shakespeare's connections with other immigrants and visitors are more speculative. It's possible he knew the musician Bassanos (there is a hoary legend that the 'Dark Lady' of the Sonnets is the writer Emelia Lanier, n(C)e Bassano), and he may also have been acquainted with John/Giovanni Florio, the Italian-born linguist and translator of Montaigne.[12] The city was changing around him, too: simply by walking around London's docks or the Royal Exchange, he could have heard half the languages of Europe. Once James I took the throne and the East India and Virginia Companies were founded to develop colonial settlements in America and capitalise on the spice trade to the 'Indies' (Indonesia and east Asia as well as the present-day subcontinent), London's horizons expanded still further. In the summer of 1603, remarkably, a group of Native Americans were shipped across from Chesapeake Bay and instructed to paddle their canoe up the Thames for the amusement of spectators.[13]
Paintings of London in the friendship album of Michael van Meer, c. 1614-1615 This intriguing miniature painting shows another Native American in London. The Virginian man in the picture was exhibited in St James's Park around 1615.
(23) Usage terms Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives licenceHeld by(C) The University of Edinburgh
Certainly many visitors from abroad came to see Shakespeare's plays. A tourist from Switzerland, Thomas Platter, visited the newly opened Globe in summer 1599 and saw 'an excellent performance of the tragedy of the first emperor Julius Caesar', and was especially impressed by the cast's dancing.[14] Eight years later, the Venetian ambassador witnessed an early performance of Pericles at the same venue.
Shakespeare's outsidersHow this changing city '' and world '' inflected Shakespeare's writing is a tantalising question. Most obviously, it is there in his fascination with setting plays in worlds other than his own, whether in those early French comedies or his passion for locations in Italy (Venice, Verona, Padua, Sicily). Travel is a propulsive driver of Shakespearean action, as are its numerous hazards, as witnessed by the catastrophic shipwrecks that dominate The Comedy of Errors, Pericles, Twelfth Night and The Tempest. So too is exile, a theme that crops up in texts as different as Sonnet 109 ('O never say that I was false of heart / Though absence seemed my flame to qualify') and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, where Julia is the first of many Shakespearean heroines to don disguise and set out on a journey of self-discovery.
The first illustrated works of Shakespeare edited by Nicholas Rowe, 1709 The frontispiece for The Tempest showing the shipwreck in the first scene, from Rowe's illustrated Shakespeare.
(74) Usage terms Public Domain
It is surely not accidental that Shakespeare is at his most geographically exploratory in the final phase of his career, from around 1608 to 1613, whether in the Levantine wanderings that fill his late romance Pericles or the colonial shadows that fall across The Tempest (the jester Trinculo's casual reference to 'dead Indian[s]' (2.2.33) on the streets of London must have reminded audiences of sights they had seen themselves).[15] The Jacobean world was expanding faster than ever before; it is perhaps inevitable that Shakespeare's plays expanded too.
Yet he kept an eye on tensions between different urban communities, and despite his manifest sympathy for outsiders, the worlds he conjures expose the fractured complexities of multiculturalism.[16] Othello, a play set at first in a cosmopolitan metropolis even more impressive than London, Venice, portrays a man of dark skin '' written, of course, to be played by a white actor blacking up '' murdering his white wife in a jealous rage, something that at face value only seems to live out the worst paranoid racist prejudices of Shakespeare's era. Only as we watch do we become aware how subtle the grain of the drama is: Othello, a widely respected general, is the play's victim as much as its villain; the real vortex of evil is Iago, a white (and racist) Italian.
Sympathies in The Merchant of Venice (c. 1596''97) are even more finely balanced. Primed by Marlowe's cackling anti-hero in The Jew of Malta (c. 1589), Shakespeare's audiences would probably have come to a play first printed as 'The Jew of Venice' expecting to detest Shylock, the miserly and unlikeable moneylender whose 'merry bond' of a pound of flesh comes agonisingly close to becoming tragic. Yet Shakespeare seems to make things substantially more complicated. 'Hath not a Jew eyes?' Shylock cries halfway through the play, when mocking gossip about his daughter's elopement with a Christian begins to run rife around the Rialto:
Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. (3.1.53''59)
As generations of readers and audiences have discovered, it is impossible to hear this great appeal for religious and ethnic compassion without responding to it, and the prospect of a Jew being forcibly converted to Christianity at the play's end remains profoundly, darkly disquieting. Shylock does not exit The Merchant of Venice as a saint, but nor is he the devil; that the play's first spectators would have expected precisely the opposite demonstrates how radical Shakespeare's portrayal of outsiders could be.
Henry Irving as Shylock and Ellen Terry as Portia Henry Irving became well-known for his sympathetic portrayal of Shylock in a ground-breaking production of The Merchant of Venice at the Lyceum Theatre, 1879.
(2) Usage terms Public Domain
Footnotes[1] The attribution was first suggested by Richard Simpson, 'Are there any Extant MSS. in Shakespeare's Handwriting?', Notes and Queries 183 (July 1871), 1''3.
[2] The second edition of the Oxford Shakespeare prints a full, edited text, attempting to identify authors of individual sections. See The Complete Works, 2nd edn, gen. eds Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
[3] Jonathan Bate, Soul of the Age: The Life, Mind and World of William Shakespeare, (London: Penguin, 2011).
[4] The lines are attributed to 'Hand D', assumed to be Shakespeare's; the arguments are rehearsed in Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 461''67, and extended in T H Howard-Hill (ed.), Shakespeare and 'Sir Thomas More': Essays on the Play and its Shakespearian Interest (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).
[5] For the play and its chequered history, see Vittorio Gabrieli and George Melchiori (eds), Sir Thomas More (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990).
[6] The 'Dutch Church libel', as it became known, is covered by Park Honan's biography, Christopher Marlowe: Poet and Spy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 334''35.
[7] For some facts, figures and contexts, see Mihoko Suzuki, 'The London Apprentice Riots of the 1590s and the Fiction of Thomas Deloney', Criticism 38 (1996), 181''217 (p. 182).
[8] The best short book-length account of 'outsiders' in Elizabethan society and their influence on Shakespeare's plays is Marianne Novy, Shakespeare and Outsiders (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).
[9] See Emily Bartels, 'Too many Blackamoors: Deportation, Discrimination, and Elizabeth I', Studies in English Literature 1500''1900 46 (2006), 305''22.
[10] The best and fullest account is by Charles Nicholl in The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street (London: Allen Lane, 2008).
[11] Nicholl offers suggestive details about Shakespeare's contacts with French culture; see The Lodger, pp. 175''80.
[12] On Lanier, see See A L Rowse, Shakespeare the Man (London: Macmillan, 1973), and Marshall Grossman, Aemilia Lanyer, Gender, Genre and the Canon (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998).
[13] See Alden T Vaughan, Transatlantic Encounters: American Indians in Britain, 1500''1776 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 42''44.
[14] The relevant sections of Platter's account are printed in 'Thomas Platter: A Swiss Tourist in London', excerpted from the Norton Anthology of English Literature <https://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/16century/topic_4/tplatter.htm>.
[15] For more on the colonial contexts of The Tempest, see the introduction to Virginia Mason Vaughan and Alden T Vaughan's Arden third edition of the play (London: Arden Shakespeare/Bloomsbury, 2011).
[16] See Novy, Outsiders, pp. 1''16.
Written by Andrew Dickson Andrew Dickson is an author, journalist and critic. A former arts editor at the Guardian in London, he writes regularly for the paper and appears as a broadcaster for the BBC and elsewhere. His book about Shakespeare's global influence, Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe, is out now in paperback. He lives in London, and his website is andrewjdickson.com.
The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License.
Venetian ceruse - Wikipedia
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 20:24
Venetian ceruse, also known as blanc de ceruse de Venise[1] and Spirits of Saturn,[2] was a 16th-century cosmetic used as a skin whitener. It was in great demand and considered the best available at that time. It is similar to the regular ceruse,[clarification needed ] although it was marketed as better, more exclusive and expensive than the regular ceruse variant.[3]
The regular ceruse white pigment is a basic lead carbonate of chemical formula 2 PbCO 3 ·Pb(OH) 2 while the mineral cerussite is a simple carbonate of lead ( PbCO 3 ).
A recipe from 1688 described the cosmetic as a mixture of water, vinegar, and lead.[3] The cosmetic's use of white lead as a pigment caused lead poisoning, damaging the skin and causing hair loss. Usage over an extended period could cause death.[2]
Users Edit Elizabeth I of England is popularly imagined to have been a notable user. An account[which? ] stated that after she died and her mask removed, the cosmetics used were revealed.[4] Critics such as Anna Riehl[5] and Kate Maltby[6] have argued that little historical evidence exists to support the claim that Elizabeth used ceruse.
Ceruse was also blamed for the death of Maria Coventry, Countess of Coventry, aged 27, in 1760. Coventry had been a frequent user of ceruse, and is believed to have died of lead poisoning.[2][7]
Another devout user of the cosmetic was Isabella d'Este; her appearance demonstrated how ceruse caused permanent damage and premature aging. In 1534, an account by Pietro Aretino described her "smeared face" as "dishonestly ugly and even more dishonestly made up."[8]
See also Edit CerussiteFashionReferences Edit
Amid Demands To Defund The Austin Police, Council Members Get First Look At The Budget | KUT
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 11:52
The front lawn of the City of Austin's highest-paid employee got some new lawn ornaments Thursday.
Organizations urging radical change to how the city spends money erected more than two dozen lawn signs outside Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk's house. One sign read, ''Increase funding for Austin Public Health to survive the pandemic and beyond,'' another ''Protect and create more low-income housing.''
''[We're here] to demand that the budget we see presented to City Council on Monday this time actually reflects a commitment to transformative change,'' Marisa Perales, a member of Communities of Color United, said as she stood outside Cronk's home in South Central Austin.
On Monday, Austin City Council members will get the first look at a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in October. While members of organizations like CCU show up every year during the budget process to demand change, typically the process, which includes meetings during the summer and a vote on a final budget in September, attracts little pomp.
This year promises to be different: The city has received 37,000 responses to its online budget survey, more than 10 times the typical response to the annual questionnaire.
The flood of responses follows protests across the country against police killings and systemic racism. In response, local elected officials in Austin and elsewhere have pledged to defund or even fully dismantle police departments.
Last year, the Austin City Council allocated $434 million '' roughly 10% of the city's entire budget '' to the police department. But that figure represents nearly 40% of what the city spends on its core operations, including public safety, parks and libraries.
The Austin Justice Coalition has asked the city to move at least $100 million from the police budget into social services, including mental health services. CCU's proposal goes further: Members are asking the city to halve the budget for police, transferring roughly $250 million into other services, and to continue cutting the police budget over the next four years until the department is dissolved.
While council members have not put a dollar amount on the changes they'd like to see, they voted June 11 to have city staff increase non-police employees to respond to mental health calls and to look into moving police positions into other city departments.
But city staff and the city manager, who each year put together a proposed budget that council members then tweak over several weeks, warned council members that substantive change would not be possible this year.
''We are not going to be able to implement a fully rethought, outcome-based, zero-based budget in time for fiscal year 2021,'' Deputy Chief Financial Officer Ed Van Eenoo told council members in June at the first-ever meeting of the Public Safety Committee. There just wasn't enough time, he said.
''But I am extremely excited about doing that as part of the fiscal year 2022 budget,'' he said.
In a memo sent to the mayor and council members last month, Cronk said the city would be eliminating roughly 100 yet-to-be filled positions in the police department: 30 new officers the city planned to hire and roughly 65 positions the department does not anticipate being able to fill.
Van Eenoo estimated this could save the city $6 million to $6.5 million.
Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza said she was disappointed to hear the staff would not be presenting more substantive changes.
''We have got to be presented with something that provides a significant move toward diverting funds from the way we used to do public safety and the way we used to respond in our police capacity,'' she said in June. ''We keep talking about this moment and the need for change, and we know that once a budget is approved it is incredibly hard to move stuff around.''
Got a tip? Email Audrey McGlinchy at audrey@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.
If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it. Your gift pays for everything you find on KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.
Mayors back reparations that could cost $6.2 quadrillion, or $151M per descendant
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 15:09
| July 13, 2020 11:43 AM
The nation's mayors on Monday backed a national call for reparations to 41 million black people, a program that could cost taxpayers $6.2 quadrillion.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a letter backing a Democratic plan to form a reparations commission to come up with a payment for slavery.
''We recognize and support your legislation as a concrete first step in our larger reckoning as a nation, and a next step to guide the actions of both federal and local leaders who have promised to do better by our black residents,'' said the letter from conference President Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville.
Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee have introduced legislation to create a commission, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act.
In introducing her bill to the House last year, Jackson Lee said, ''The commission aims to study the impact of slavery and continuing discrimination against African-Americans, resulting directly and indirectly from slavery to segregation to the desegregation process and the present day. The commission would also make recommendations concerning any form of apology and compensation to begin the long delayed process of atonement for slavery.''
Since then, reparations have continued to draw attention, and the issue was elevated further during the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
Long at the center of the debate has been the potential price tag of paying slavery descendants, for which studies broadly include most or all of the 41 million black people in the country.
A new study from three college professors said that the ultimate cost could be $6.2 quadrillion. Quadrillion comes after trillion, and one quadrillion has 15 zeros.
The study suggests a payment of $151 million each, and the cost to every person would be $18.96 million.
The calculation is somewhat complicated, but it essentially studies the unpaid hours slaves worked, calculates a price for massacres and discrimination, and adds in interest. It is titled "Wealth Implications of Slavery and Racial Discrimination for African American Descendants of the Enslaved." It was published last month in the the Review of Black Political Economy.
The authors concluded, ''We argue that the U.S. Government should have paid reparations for enslavement and de jure racial discrimination because [of] the ratification of the 5th Amendment in 1791. Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution established not only slavery but also the personhood of the enslaved, and the 5th Amendment applies to all persons. Had these reparations been paid, they would have had intergenerational wealth implications for African American descendants living today.''
CDC Employees Call on Agency to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 04:04
(C) Tami Chappell/Reuters Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. More than 1,000 employees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter calling on the agency to declare racism a public health crisis and to address ''ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination'' against the organization's black employees.
''At CDC, we have a powerful platform from which to create real change,'' the letter , obtained by NPR, reads. ''By declaring racism a public health crisis, the agency has an unprecedented opportunity to leverage the power of science to confront this insidious threat that undermines the health and strength of our entire nation.''
The letter, addressed to CDC Director Robert Redfield and dated June 30, cites the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks, as well as COVID-19's disproportionate impact on the black community '-- data, though incomplete, suggests black and Latino people in the U.S. are at least two times more likely than white people to die from COVID-19 and three times more likely to get sick '-- as ''just the most recent and tragic symptoms of the long-festering disease of racial discrimination and oppression in the United States.''
The failure to address racism's relationship to health problems is a key reason that the United States has seen little progress in addressing disparate care over the past 50 years, the letter says.
The authors call for change within the agency, acknowledging decades of ''well-meaning, yet under-funded'' diversity and inclusion efforts that have yielded ''scant progress in addressing the very real challenges Black employees experience at CDC'' including a ''lack of inclusion in the agency's senior ranks and leadership pipeline programs,'' a ''pernicious old boy/girl network that stifles Black talent and blocks our opportunities for professional advancement'' and a ''pervasive and toxic culture of racial aggressions, bullying and marginalization.''
The letter outlines seven demands for change, including declaring racism a public health crisis in the U.S., diversifying senior leadership '-- black employees represent only 10% of higher-ups, the letter says '-- and addressing the CDC's ''toxic culture of racial discrimination'' through mandatory implicit bias and culture sensitivity education training for all staff.
After the letter was sent to Redfield, it was circulated among the CDC's 11,000 employees for signatures. Nine percent of the workforce had signed as of Sunday, NPR reported, with signatures from at least one division head and 300 anonymous employees. Any current CDC employee could sign the letter.
In a statement to NPR, a CDC spokesman acknowledged that Redfield received the letter and responded to it, adding, ''CDC is committed to fostering a fair, equitable, and inclusive environment in which staff can openly share their concerns with agency leadership.''
Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones , who served as a medical officer at the CDC for 14 years and remains in contact with current employees, told NPR her understanding is that Redfield's response did not address the specific calls for change in the letter.
''I find that disheartening and disrespectful,'' she said.
More on National Review
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George Floyd's death: Police body camera footage emerges - BBC News
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:07
Image copyright Twitter/Ruth Richardson
Image caption George Floyd repeatedly told the police officers who detained him that he could not breathe New police body camera videos have been shown in which George Floyd is seen pleading with officers as they try to force him into their car, US media say.
They say Mr Floyd told the Minneapolis officers he could not breathe, asking if he could lie on the ground instead.
A district judge allowed news outlets to view the two videos, which show the clearest picture yet of Mr Floyd's last moments in Minneapolis on 25 May.
All four officers involved have since been fired and charged over his death.
Derek Chauvin, who in a separate video filmed by eyewitnesses was seen kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes, has been charged with second-degree murder.
The three other officers - Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao - have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.
The last 30 minutes of George Floyd's life What US police officers think of protests What's changed since George Floyd's death?The death of Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed African American, sparked huge protests across the US against police brutality and racism.
In a separate development on Wednesday, Mr Floyd's family sued Minneapolis and the four policemen for wrongful death.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said the suit was seeking monetary damages on behalf of Mr Floyd's children and siblings.
What did the videos show?The body camera recordings from Mr Lane and Mr Kueng form part of the ongoing case against all four police officers.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill allowed news outlets to view the videos, which have so far not been made public. Previously, only transcripts were made public.
Image copyright Minneapolis police
Image caption From left: Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane The videos begin as Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng are seen responding to a call over a fake banknote being used at a local market, according to CNN.
It says that just seconds after speaking with a store employee, the officers were at the door of the car Mr Floyd was in and, after an initial knock with a torch, Mr Lane points a gun at Mr Floyd and orders him to put his hands up.
Mr Floyd is seen sobbing and pleading with the officers, and is then pulled from the vehicle as the officers struggle to handcuff him.
A big struggle ensues when Mr Lane and Mr Kueng attempt to put him in the police car.
Eventually, Mr Floyd falls out of the car, and it is at this point that the other two officers, Mr Thao and Mr Chauvin, appear in the videos, CNN reports.
They all try to restrain the suspect, and Mr Chauvin is later seen kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck.
During this time Mr Floyd is heard more than 20 times telling the officers that he cannot breathe.
Video caption "I remember George Floyd as me" More on George Floyd's death VIEWPOINT: Tipping point for racially-divided nationWATCH: 'This is why we are protesting'TIMELINE: Recent black deaths at hands of policeCRIME AND JUSTICE: How are African-Americans treated?HOW IT HAPPENED: The last moments of his life
NOW, Feminist Majority Foundation and AAUW face allegations of racism from former employees - The Lily
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:13
Nov. 29, 2016, promised to be a lucrative day for the National Organization for Women. It was Giving Tuesday, exactly three weeks after Donald Trump was elected president. A staggering number of donations had already poured in. Stunned that the country had elected a leader with a long history of flagrant misogyny, who boasted on camera about sexual assault, liberals were rushing to back organizations dedicated to defending women's rights. And who better to support than the most storied feminist activist organization in the country?
To meet the moment, NOW chose to highlight the experiences of board member Barbara Miller, who has been active with NOW since the 1970s, when the organization led the charge on issues such as workplace equality and reproductive rights, firmly fixed at the center of feminism's second wave. In a mass email to potential donors, Miller, who is white, recalled her early days at NOW, fighting for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
''The concept of feminism was new to me and as I walked into my first NOW meeting I was taken aback by all the excitement. Strong, focused, and engaged women surrounded me speaking up and out against the injustices of the world,'' she wrote.
''I instantly knew this was where I was meant to be.''
Women of color have struggled to find that same sense of belonging at NOW. In the 54 years since the organization was founded, few women of color have risen to its highest ranks. The organization's leadership has always been dominated by white women, said Katherine Turk, a professor of history and gender at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who writes about NOW in her forthcoming book, ''A Dangerous Sisterhood.'' Ten of NOW's 11 presidents have been white women. Twelve of its current 17 board members are white.
Atima Omara used to serve in leadership at the National Organization for Women. (Andr(C) Chung for The Washington Post)
It's not just NOW. Veteran feminist organizations, led by white women with roots in the second wave, have not made room for women of color, especially black women, according to interviews with 20 former staffers from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) and NOW. Former employees say staffers of color are concentrated in lower level positions, with white leadership shaping organizational priorities that feel largely irrelevant to women who are not white, straight, cisgender, highly educated and upper-middle class. Employees of color were often made to feel like ''tokens,'' many said, rolled out to show diversity but derided and dismissed within the confines of the office.
The leaders of these organizations aren't the only source of the problem, staffers say: NOW and AAUW are built around a membership model, with approximately 500,000 and 60,000 members, respectively, scattered in state and local chapters across the country. At both NOW and AAUW, the membership helps determine the organization's mission and focus, voting on certain policy and leadership decisions. While neither organization conducts demographic surveys of their membership today, eight former staffers at NOW and four at AAUW say the vast majority are white. In 1974, when NOW conducted its last known demographic membership survey, white women made up 90 percent of NOW's membership. That data, analyzed by Turk for The Lily, was never released to the public.
''If something like that was out there, my hunch is that they knew it could be used against them,'' Turk said.
Toni Van Pelt, the president of NOW, was accused of sidelining and disparaging women of color in June, in a Daily Beast article by Emily Shugerman. Despite nine members of the NOW Board calling for Van Pelt to resign '-- including all of the board's members of color '-- she remains in office. (To force out Van Pelt, 12 board members must vote to remove her.) Twenty-four of NOW's 36 state presidents have also called for Van Pelt's removal.
''As a White woman, I know I will never fully understand the experiences of women of color,'' Van Pelt wrote in a statement to The Lily. ''I do understand it is critical to acknowledge my own privilege and strive to be a better ally. As the leader of NOW and a leader within the intersectional feminist movement, I must hold myself and our organization accountable to do more.''
Even if Van Pelt does resign, former NOW employees say removing her would not be enough to fix the systemic issues of racism within the organization.
''To say that it's just Toni or just NOW or just Feminist Majority or just AAUW '-- that's incorrect,'' said one former NOW employee, who is black and asked to remain anonymous because her current employer sometimes partners with NOW. ''There are millions of women, especially white women from the second wave, who still hold on to these regressive notions of feminism and progress. They see feminism through the lens of upper-middle-class, college-educated white women.''
When staffers of color tried to address issues of race at these organizations, white leadership would often shut them down, many former employees said, resisting the implication that they should address their own racism.
''They think because they're nice ladies who care about social justice issues, that means they don't have any work to do on race,'' said Raina Nelson, who worked at AAUW from 2017 to 2019 and uses they/them pronouns. Leaders at AAUW see themselves as feminist pioneers, Nelson says, fighting for equality for all women.
But in practice, they say, they really fight only for white women.
Every summer, approximately 500 college students apply for a handful of intern positions at NOW's national headquarters in Washington, D.C. They arrive bright-eyed and energized, excited to work for an organization known for its groundbreaking feminist activism, said former intern director Emily Imhoff, who is white.
''NOW was something we learned about in our political science and government classes as an organization at the forefront of women's rights,'' said Sydney Lopez, who is Latina and interned for NOW in the summer of 2017. When she was accepted, she said, it was an honor: ''Never in a million years did I think I would receive acknowledgment from an organization like this.''
Sydney Lopez. (Jessica Pons for The Washington Post)
Founded in 1966 by a cohort that included feminist icon Betty Friedan, author of ''The Feminine Mystique,'' NOW was originally created to hold employers accountable for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Turk said, specifically the clause that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex. Throughout the 1970s, NOW was wildly successful in combating sexism in this space, she said, particularly at the state and local levels.
Across the country, groups of women came together under NOW's umbrella to identify and root out gender discrimination in their communities, scoring victories like banning gender-specific job ads in newspapers and making Little League teams co-ed. In the mid-to-late '70s, NOW turned its attention to the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA, sent to states for ratification after passing in the Senate in 1972, promised ''legal equality of the sexes,'' aiming to outlaw any legal distinction between men and women on issues like divorce, property rights and the draft.
AAUW has its own historical cache. Founded in the late 1800s as an association for women with college degrees, the organization also played a major role in the second wave, drafting influential reports on discrimination against women on campus and pushing for Title IX, which passed in 1972, prohibiting schools from discriminating against students because of their gender.
''Oh my god, I was so impressed by their historic footprint,'' said Marie Piayai, who is Asian American and worked at AAUW from 2018 to 2019. When she got a job offer from AAUW, she thought, ''They are one of the largest, oldest women's empowerment groups: Why wouldn't I get behind this?''
While the Feminist Majority Foundation was not created until 1987, its founder, Ellie Smeal, was the president of NOW for seven nonconsecutive years and currently serves as NOW's board advisory co-chair, playing a significant role in dictating the priorities of that organization, according to NOW board member Nina Ahmad, who is South Asian American. Smeal, who has led FMF since its founding, created a mission for her organization that was similar to NOW's, prioritizing the ERA.
These organizations deeply affected many of the women who took part in them during the second wave, said Turk, upending how they saw themselves and what they could become. ''These were women who had never spoken in a public meeting '-- and they came out and demanded equality from men in the halls of power. Many women left their marriages,'' she said. ''This was life-changing.''
Enough women have left their estates to NOW that the organization has a web page instructing donors on how to ''make a bequest in your will.''
Black women were not so enamored with NOW. While the organization had several black women in leadership in the 1960s and '70s '-- including NOW co-founder Pauli Murray, a prominent civil rights activist '-- many black women felt NOW failed to prioritize the issues most important to them, said Ashley Farmer, a professor of black women's history at the University of Texas at Austin. Some of these black women left NOW and other predominantly white feminist organizations to start their own, Farmer said. The most notable were the National Black Feminist Organization, which was modeled on NOW's local chapter system, and the Combahee River Collective, whose founding document provides the foundation for our modern understanding of the term ''intersectionality.''
The ERA felt particularly irrelevant to black women, said Farmer. From 1972 to 1979, the deadline by which 38 states had to ratify the ERA for the law to take effect, NOW devoted the majority of its time and resources to passing the legislation, ignoring black women like NOW's second president Aileen Hernandez, who urged the organization to diversify its policy platform, Turk said. When Hernandez pushed for NOW to combat housing discrimination, Turk said, white leaders said that didn't qualify as a ''feminist issue.''
Upper-middle class white women believed the ERA would be instrumental in facilitating their ascent up the corporate ladder, said Turk. ''But black women don't think it's worth sacrificing a broad agenda that will appeal to a wide swath of women in order to promote pure legal equality,'' she said, especially when existing laws have so routinely failed to protect black women.
The ERA remains a top priority for NOW and FMF, despite failing to pass in the requisite number of states in 1979. NOW and FMF scored a major win in January, when Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the legislation more than 40 years later. (In order for the law to take effect, Congress must pass a resolution retroactively extending the deadline.)
On their websites, both organizations list ''constitutional equality'' as a core issue or principle. In Washington, the walls of the NOW office are plastered with ERA signs, said Lopez. Perhaps more than any other issue, the ERA highlights the racial and generational division at NOW and FMF between women in executive roles and women in entry-level positions, where women of color are concentrated. Some younger staff say they're baffled by the amount of time and money their organizations still devote to legislation that feels ''obsolete'' and irrelevant to communities of color.
Women of color have been having the same conversation with ''second wavers'' '-- older, white leaders at NOW, like Van Pelt '-- since at least the early 2000s, said Atima Omara, who is black and worked on various national NOW committees from 2004 to 2009, including the Young Feminist Task Force. (Omara has previously written first-person essays for The Lily.)
''You realize that the ERA doesn't apply to women who look like me,'' said Omara. The ERA ''doesn't solve me getting stopped by the police. It doesn't solve me getting killed in childbirth.'''
Atima Omara. (Andr(C) Chung for The Washington Post)
At NOW, Lopez said, ''It was the ERA or the highway.''
Van Pelt said she had ''not heard'' the criticism that the ERA resonates most with white women, alienating women of color. ''The ERA has been a focus of NOW since its inception,'' Van Pelt wrote in a statement to The Lily. ''It is crucial for us to have a constitutional amendment to give women and diverse persons equal rights.''
In 2017, NOW had the opportunity to back new ''Intersectional ERA'' legislation to be introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). The bill aimed to broaden the reach of the original ERA, articulating new protections specifically for historically marginalized groups, including communities of color. During the final stages of drafting the legislation, Van Pelt announced that NOW would no longer be supporting it, after backing the bill through its earlier stages, according to a 2018 letter to the NOW board from 15 former NOW staffers, outlining what they viewed as Van Pelt's ''morally reprehensible, dishonest, destructive, and frankly toxic behavior.'' Van Pelt took issue with the bill explicitly protecting women on the basis of ''faith,'' said Rachel Motley, who is white and worked at NOW from 2017 to 2018.
''She said she wouldn't support it because of that phrase,'' said Motley. ''When I pointed out to her that the Muslim community is being attacked by the Trump administration, she wasn't concerned.''
Calling Van Pelt to discuss why she pulled NOW's support, the president of the ERA Coalition, which was also supporting the bill, explained that the Intersectional ERA was meant to ''support all individuals who are vulnerable in the Trump administration, including Black men,'' according to the letter. In the letter, the former staffers said Van Pelt replied, ''I do not care about black men.'' Van Pelt forgot Jayapal's first name while discussing the legislation, Motley said, turning to the staff to ask, ''What's her name? Punjabi?'' Imhoff and another former employee also heard this comment.
The bill was never introduced to Congress.
(Van Pelt denies making any of these statements. ''To my knowledge, [the Intersectional ERA] was not introduced during my term,'' Van Pelt wrote. This directly contradicts three accounts from former staff members and an email obtained by The Lily, sent from Motley to Van Pelt, which confirm that Van Pelt did withdraw support for this legislation during her term.)
At AAUW, Nelson would often propose research projects that centered around women of color, they say, but the organization always chose to focus its major initiatives on issues most relevant to white women. It was particularly frustrating as a member of the research team, Nelson said, to see how much AAUW prioritized its salary negotiation workshops, largely irrelevant to women who work minimum wage jobs.
''My proposals never went anywhere,'' said Nelson. ''My understanding was that the folks that were funding us were less interested in research [on women of color] and more interested in more quote-unquote 'neutral' topics.''
On Black Women's Equal Pay Day, Nelson wrote a blog post about the significant wage disparity between black women and white men, 17 cents on the dollar wider than the gap between white women and white men. When they forwarded the blog post to a communications director at AAUW, Nelson said, they were asked to make it more ''evergreen,'' expanding it to discuss pay disparities for other women of color.
''She was like, 'I was hoping this was something we could use for all women of color so we don't have to rewrite it.''' (AAUW did not respond to a request for comment on this incident.)
AAUW chief executive Kimberly Churches said the organization does focus on issues central to women of color. ''Our research includes analyses and reviews of the disparities and drivers of structural racism and intersectionality,'' she wrote in a statement to The Lily. Asked to provide examples of major published research initiatives centered on women of color, Churches linked to two short articles: The first was 300 words, titled, ''Issues Affecting Female Students of Color.'' The second was Nelson's 700-word blog post on black women and the pay gap. Churches also cited a project focused on increasing the number of women of color in STEM fields, which is ''in phase 1 of a landscape and academic review of research'' and has not yet been announced online.
No one without a college degree is permitted to join AAUW, a requirement that can be changed only by a vote of the membership. In 2017 and again in 2018, various members and staff proposed eliminating this membership requirement. Both times, it was struck down, according to Churches.
Even when she worked at AAUW, Piayai chose not to be a member.
''My mother has a high school degree, not a college degree, so she wouldn't be able to join,'' she said. ''So of course I refused to join. It didn't match my values.''
Churches says she's aware that the organization has ''historically had a predominantly white membership'' and ''faces challenges when it comes to diversity and inclusion,'' according to a statement provided to The Lily. ''We don't run away from our problems or pretend they don't exist '-- we try to work on them in real time to improve our workplace.''
Sydney Lopez. (Jessica Pons for The Washington Post)
Leaders at NOW seem to understand the need to attract more women of color: They ''use all the right language'' said Imhoff, printing protest signs with slogans like ''trust women of color.'' NOW's website says it's an organization dedicated to a host of intersectional feminist issues, she said, including ''reproductive rights,'' ''racial justice'' and ''LGBTQIA+ rights.''
Soon after Trump was elected, Terry O'Neill, who was then president of NOW, doubled down on a major campaign primarily affecting women of color: NOW would mobilize to stem the ''sex abuse to prison pipeline,'' working to reduce the number of sex abuse victims who end up in prison. When Motley was assigned to develop this new campaign, along with a black employee, she said they couldn't wait to get started: It was finally a chance to work on an issue critical to communities of color.
But Motley and her colleague say they quickly discovered this campaign was not NOW's idea. The research and campaign name was lifted directly from Rights4Girls, an organization founded by two young women of color, with support from the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality.
''It's one thing if you reach out, ask if you can highlight their work and get involved. But no one at NOW ever had one conversation with them,'' said the black employee assigned to the project.
When Yasmin Vafa, co-founder of Rights4Girls, discovered that NOW had co-opted their campaign '-- from a Google alert she'd set for ''sex abuse to prison pipeline'' '-- she reached out and scheduled a meeting with O'Neill. While Rights4Girls now has significant national recognition, at the time the organization consisted only of Vafa and one other employee.
A few minutes into the meeting, O'Neill abruptly left the room to answer a phone call, saying she ''had to take it'' because it was a reporter, according to Motley, Vafa and the black employee, all of whom were present. ''It happened just as I was explaining why it was problematic for a white-woman-run organization to appropriate the work of a women-of-color-led organization,'' Vafa said.
The situation didn't improve when O'Neill returned, Motley said. Vafa asked if NOW might consider financially supporting the work of Rights4Girls; O'Neill refused. Vafa also asked for the opportunity to partner or collaborate with NOW in the future. O'Neill agreed, Vafa said, but never followed up after the meeting.
''Terry essentially talked down to them, pandered to them, belittled their work and their labor,'' said the black NOW employee. ''All while they were poaching the work of these young women of color.'' Vafa and Motley gave similar descriptions of the meeting.
O'Neill says she ''regrets'' how she acted. ''As a privileged white woman, I did not make the time and space to set aside my own perspective and really understand what the young women of color from Rights4Girls were trying to communicate to me.''
AAUW and FMF also seemed to recognize that they had to do more to diversify their platforms. At some point during their time at AAUW, Nelson said, leadership started to talk about the importance of ''intersectionality.'' Nelson would sometimes challenge the white people who brought up the term, asking them to define what it meant. There were many times, Nelson said, when they would end up explaining intersectionality to people who were making salaries ''five or 10 times as large'' as theirs.
One major Feminist Majority campaign did put women of color at the forefront. In 1997, FMF launched the ''Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls.'' The project highlighted the unique struggles that Afghan women faced under the Taliban and after its fall, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for education and other opportunities for women's empowerment in the region. Feminist Majority was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the campaign in 2002.
But FMF's efforts in Afghanistan were shaped primarily by white women, said Anushay Hossain, a South Asian woman who was brought on to lead the campaign in 2002. After leaving FMF in 2003, Hossain returned from 2007 to 2013 as the director of global programs, still involved in efforts related to Afghanistan.
''The whole campaign had a white woman dictating it,'' said Hossain, referring to Smeal, who by multiple accounts micromanaged the Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls. Smeal would regularly talk about how FMF was ''saving'' Afghan women, said Killian McDonald, who is white and worked at FMF as Smeal's executive assistant from 2018 to 2019.
The campaign is currently led by two Afghan women. But Afghan employees are given relatively little power to shape the campaign's priorities, McDonald said, seldom taken seriously in discussions about the issues Afghan women face. Afghan staffers would try to explain to Smeal that ''Afghan women have autonomy,'' frustrated that Smeal depicted them as victims ''who have no education,'' said McDonald, who overheard these conversations.
The Feminist Majority Foundation ''meets frequently with Afghan women in the U.S. and regularly speaks to Afghan women leaders in Afghanistan by phone,'' an FMF spokesperson wrote in a statement to The Lily. ''Ellie and FMF's staff have been in repeated and close partnership with Afghan women leaders from the beginning and have the utmost respect for them.''
Hossain sometimes questioned what was driving certain campaign initiatives, many of which came from Smeal and other white women in the organization. In one particular project, Hossain said, FMF sent out swatches of a blue burqa for $5 a piece. The idea was to ''make you remember the oppressed women,'' who Americans need to ''liberate,'' said Hossain.
''It was all about Americans going there, lifting the veil, freeing the women,'' she said. ''It was very much, 'Look how Muslims treat women.'''
Smeal resisted the idea that many Muslim women choose to wear hijab, according to three former employees. (An FMF spokesperson denied that Smeal criticizes women who choose to wear hijab, protesting only ''the forced covering of women.'') When Muslim women wearing hijab came to the office, Hossain said, Smeal would turn to her and say, ''Why are they wearing that? I don't like that.''
Hossain never knew exactly how to respond.
''A lot of Muslim feminists have interpreted that as their choice,'' Hossain said. ''And [FMF] is supposed to be all about empowering women.''
Employees of color say they rarely have power to shape the institutional priorities at NOW, AAUW and FMF. A similar dynamic played out across all three organizations, former employees say: People of color were concentrated in administrative and organizer roles, perpetuating an extreme power imbalance between the overwhelmingly white leadership and a far more diverse lower-level staff. Most staffers of color cycled in and out within a few years, former employees said, moving on to graduate school or a new job. Many say they were pushed out, forced from their roles for challenging white leadership, or chose to leave when they could no longer tolerate racist behavior from the top, a pattern which has preserved the white-dominated leadership structure of the second wave.
Two of five senior leadership roles at NOW, and two of the six at AAUW, are filled by women of color. (The fifth position at NOW is currently vacant.) Every one of FMF's six executive and director roles is currently filled by a white woman.
Women of color who do hold top positions are often sidelined and denied any real power, said Ahmad, the NOW board member. When Ahmad was appointed to chair NOW's committee on the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, coming up next month, she drafted a memo for potential partners that highlighted the racism inherent to the suffrage movement. Van Pelt and some white board members quickly vetoed the memo, Ahmad said, saying it ''needs to be more positive."
''That was just one example of how they give [women of color] something, without giving you any power,'' said Ahmad. ''While on the surface they use all the right vocabulary, when it comes to real power sharing and really centering women of color within the organization, they aren't able to do that.''
NOW had a mass exodus after Van Pelt was elected in the summer of 2017, with all but three employees who worked at NOW under the former president leaving the organization in the span of a year, including all of the people of color who worked there before Van Pelt took office. (With new leadership, this kind of turnover ''happens in similar situations and many organizations,'' Van Pelt said. ''Some staff decide to stay and some do not.'')
The last two vice presidents at NOW have been women of color, including current vice president Christian Nunes, who is black. But that position has not necessarily translated to real influence. ''I thought that I was really going to be able to help this organization,'' Nunes told the Daily Beast. ''But ultimately I feel like I've just been a token.'' When Nunes called out racism at NOW, she said, she faced retaliation. She has been kept out of executive meetings, she said, with many of her responsibilities reassigned to white women.
A similar dynamic played out with NOW's former vice president, Gilda Yazzie, who is Native American. While Yazzie was initially responsible for many budgetary matters, including payroll, Van Pelt slowly stripped her of those responsibilities, denying her access to the computer payroll program and trying to stop Yazzie from discussing payroll issues with other staff members, according to the board letter. Less than a year after taking office, Yazzie was asked to resign. She filed a lawsuit against NOW, claiming that she was racially harassed by Van Pelt '-- then forcibly pushed out by NOW's board when she tried to report the treatment. (''Gilda was removed by the board for not doing her job,'' Van Pelt wrote in a statement to The Lily.)
As a woman of color at FMF, it was hard to challenge white leadership, said Sherill Dingle, a black woman who worked there from 2017 to 2019. When FMF staffers would bring up instances of racism at the organization, Smeal would often deflect by citing her own participation in the civil rights movement, according to three former employees, reminding staffers that she ''marched with Coretta Scott King.''
Conversations about race quickly escalated to ''screaming matches,'' Dingle said. Five other former staffers said Smeal would often yell at her employees. Shivani Desai, who also worked for FMF from 2017 to 2019, and is South Asian American, says Smeal demonstrated ''particularly volatile reactions to young, black women.'' (Asked about Smeal's ''yelling,'' an FMF spokesperson said, ''We at the Feminist Majority Foundation do speak with vigor at times and we have encouraged a free exchange of ideas.'')
Sherill Dingle. (Andr(C) Chung for The Washington Post)
When news first broke about family separation along the U.S.-Mexico border and images of children in cages began to circulate, Smeal announced that Feminist Majority would take immediate action. To raise awareness, she told staff, a group of FMF employees, including Smeal, would get arrested while protesting. FMF had already discussed the plan with police in advance, Smeal explained, agreeing to the logistics of their arrest and release, according to Dingle and Desai.
Dingle, one of the few black women at FMF, did not immediately understand: Why would they speak with police beforehand? What made Smeal think the police would listen?
''That makes absolutely no sense,'' Dingle says she told Smeal and other FMF staff. ''In all my life, all the organizing I've done, I've never heard anything like that.''
Dingle refused to go to the protest. As a black woman, she said, she could not participate in an event where organizers relied on promises from the police. If she got arrested with the rest of the group, Dingle explained, things could go south for her in a way they wouldn't for Smeal or Dingle's white manager, Kelli Musick. Her manager wouldn't listen, Dingle said, telling her, ''This is what your job entails.'' (While Musick says she doesn't ''specifically remember'' saying this to Dingle, she did say that going to protests and rallies was ''part of the job'' at FMF.)
An FMF spokesperson denied Dingle's account, stating that Smeal and other FMF employees never spoke with police in advance of this protest. In addition, the spokesperson said, no employee would ever be ''impacted negatively'' for choosing not to participate. Musick and Desai both remember Smeal saying that she had orchestrated logistics of the arrest with the police.
''They didn't know their privilege,'' said Dingle. ''Do you really think I can go to the police right now and say, 'Hey I'm trying to do a march, I need to be arrested and let go.' Do you honestly think that would go well for me?''
In another argument, Dingle says she engaged Smeal on the unique ways in which black women experience oppression. She said Smeal responded by highlighting the ways that white women also feel ''powerless'' and unable to speak up, afraid they might be harmed because they're women.
''You're not understanding,'' Dingle remembers saying. ''I am black, I evoke nothing other than black. That's just how it is, since the day I came out of my mother's womb.''
Sherill Dingle. (Andr(C) Chung for The Washington Post)
An FMF spokesperson said, ''We agree that Black women experience more oppression and discrimination than white women. Black women experience racism, white supremacy, sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny. White women experience sexism, patriarchy and misogyny.''
Smeal would often try to highlight various oppression experienced by white women, frequently piping into conversations about women of color by saying, ''and white women, too,'' said Desai. Smeal regularly complained about the 2016 exit polls that showed 53 percent of white women voted for Trump, claiming that number was ''fake.'' She would ''scream''or ''yell'' at staffers who brought up this statistic, especially if they were women of color, according to four former employees.
''She hated that poll,'' said Monique Alcala, who is Latina and worked at FMF for five months in 2019. ''She really hated it.''
The women of color at FMF would talk openly among themselves about the racism they experienced there, said Desai. In August 2019, Desai and a few of her colleagues called a staff meeting to discuss racist incidents within FMF and plans for organization-wide anti-bias training. The women proposed bringing in a diversity expert, who could consult on race issues among employees. Sitting around a table in a conference room, Desai said, women of color shared their experiences, one by one. At least three were crying, Dingle said.
The Lily obtained an audio recording of the last 40 minutes of this meeting. At first, Smeal was receptive to what the women were saying, listening and taking notes, Desai said. But when the employees of color began pushing for Smeal to commit to the logistics around the anti-bias training '-- asking exactly when they could make it happen '-- Smeal's tone completely changed.
''We could talk and talk and talk for five hours a day, but if it doesn't have a sense of urgency, and people don't feel like ... 'We have to fix the racism today, or yesterday,' it's not going to get done,'' said Joy Ikekhua, a black woman who worked at FMF from January 2019 to January 2020.
''I'm an honest person in this way. We are trying to launch this Virginia campaign, which is a lot of work,'' Smeal says in the recording, referring to FMF's work to ratify the ERA in Virginia, led by both NOW and FMF. ''We're also redoing the website, and it's a very intense period.''
''I get what you're saying, Ellie,'' said Dingle. ''You're trying to survive and everything like that. But in order to bring new people in, and have the people who are already here feel comfortable, I think this needs to be a priority.''
''I'm just going to be honest,'' Smeal continued. ''My top priority right now is winning in Virginia. I've worked on this Godd--- thing for 50 years, and it's our only chance. Our only chance. And to not do that, I think, would be a disgrace.''
Several of the women present tried to interject, but Smeal kept going:
''The other thing is, I'm not sure what you want me to do. '... We are at war with the Trump administration every day.''
''We're not going to win the war if the fighters are tired and exhausted,'' said Desai. ''Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.''
''I've done everything I can,'' Smeal said, abruptly announcing an end to the meeting.
Desai and Dingle left FMF within one month. (FMF did not respond to a request for comment on this recording.)
''It was so insulting, so hurtful,'' said Desai. ''How many women of color have to cry at your organization in order for something to change?"
Desai, Dingle, Ikekhua, Alcala and Hossain all say that Smeal's behavior contributed to their decision to leave the organization.
It took two weeks to compile the final letter from former staffers to the NOW board. In mid-May 2018, Motley, Imhoff and a black colleague sent texts and made phone calls to a long list of former staffers and interns. Then they shared the Google Doc: a blank page that would become a comprehensive log of all the reasons the board should force Van Pelt to resign.
By the time they were done compiling, corroborating and editing, the document was 22 pages long.
When Imhoff sent the email '-- from a burner email account, on June 7, 2018 '-- she said she thought the board would take some kind of action: How could they ignore that kind of specificity?
A few emails trickled in later that day, and the next. Two board members of color thanked the former staffers for their efforts. One urged the board to discuss the issues outlined in the letter in an upcoming meeting.
But then nothing happened.
Many of NOW's board members have formed their own ''clique,'' said Ahmad, which includes Van Pelt, with relationships that stretch back decades. Van Pelt and Smeal, in particular, are ''good friends,'' three former NOW and FMF employees said, both active in the second wave. Working at FMF, Alcala says she avoided meetings attended by both presidents. Together, the two women seemed more empowered to cut off younger women in the room, she said, especially Alcala and other women of color.
''They reinforce each other's power,'' she said. Staffers say that many of Smeal and Van Pelt's most problematic comments were made at team meetings, so almost everyone was aware of their behavior, including other senior employees, who rarely did anything to stop it.
''These are the dynamics of toxic white feminism,'' Alcala said.
It's easy to list NOW's accomplishments from the 1960s and '70s, said Turk, the NOW historian: The organization had a clear set of goals and took tangible steps toward fulfilling them. NOW leadership was nationally recognized as a major force driving feminist reform, said Turk.
In 2020, NOW is far less prominent than it once was, she said, perhaps because it's ''harder to define an agenda.'' Many former staff members struggled to articulate exactly what NOW does today.
AAUW faces a similar problem, said Nelson: ''There isn't a clear vision of what the world looks like when their work is done.'' Originally, AAUW strove for women's liberation, Nelson said, but clearly focused on white women's liberation. Upper-middle-class white women no longer need the kind of help they once did, Nelson said.
''It's just not going to cut it to do things for well-off white women,'' they said. ''To be fair, it never cut it, but now it's just much more obvious.''
It was hard to see so much money flow into NOW after the 2016 election, said Rui Mulligan, who identifies as mixed race and worked at NOW from 2015 to 2018, overseeing some of the organization's fundraising. In the months following Trump's election, NOW brought in millions of dollars, according to three former employees, far above the usual fundraising revenue for that period. Donations swelled again in the spring of 2019, after states across the South and Midwest issued abortion bans.
People give to NOW because of its historic cache, said Mulligan. But donors ''don't know what was going on behind closed doors.''
There are so many women-of-color-led organizations making tangible change in marginalized communities, Imhoff said: Any of those organizations could have put that money to better use.
Working at NOW, young staffers said they'd often speculate on how the organization '-- which once did so much good for women '-- morphed into what it is today. A few have landed on one particular theory: In the 1960s and '70s, many of the white women now shaping these veteran feminist organizations '-- leaders such as Smeal and Van Pelt, but also members in local chapters across the country '-- felt deeply disempowered. And they were: A married woman could not get a credit card in her own name until 1974. Women could be legally fired for getting pregnant until 1978.
''They carry their own scars and their own feelings of marginalization,'' said a former NOW employee, who is black. ''But over time, they have not let that go. They have not made room for other women, for new progress, because they're holding on to the idea that [they are] the oppressed minority.''
Could these organizations change? Is it possible for NOW, FMF and AAUW to refashion themselves into true, fierce advocates for women of color?
Most people interviewed for this article say no. They are cultural relics, Imhoff said, best left to history.
A previous version of this story incorrectly said that a woman could not get a credit card in her own name until 1974. A married woman could not get a credit card in her name until that time. We regret the error.
Noodle Gun
Opinion Editor Bari Weiss Leaves The New York Times
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 15:32
Don Emmert/AFP, Getty Images
Bari Weiss has resigned from The New York Times.
The opinion editor and writer published a lengthy resignation letter on her website '-- alleging bullying by colleagues at the paper '-- after the news of her departure was first reported by Vice.
''My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views,'' Weiss wrote in a letter addressed to publisher A.G. Sulzberger.
She continued:
They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I'm ''writing about the Jews again.'' Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly ''inclusive'' one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.
There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I'm no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.
I do not understand how you have allowed this kind of behavior to go on inside your company in full view of the paper's entire staff and the public. And I certainly can't square how you and other Times leaders have stood by while simultaneously praising me in private for my courage. Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.
Weiss has been a subject of scrutiny since members of the Times staff attacked the editorial team's decision to publish a column by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). In a Twitter thread, Weiss detailed the newsroom as a ''civil war.'' Weiss also said the internal strife at the New York Times newsroom is the ''same one raging inside other publications around the country.'' She was ripped on social media and by her colleagues for those comments.
In her three-year tenure at the Times, Weiss has fended off accusations of racism and faced online criticism for several of her columns. Recently, Weiss was among one of the over 100 signees of a Harper's Magazine letter calling for ''open debate'' and an end to cancel culture.
The paper's acting editorial page editor, Kathleen Kingsbury, said in a statement, ''We appreciate the many contributions that Bari made to Times Opinion. I'm personally committed to ensuring that The Times continues to publish voices, experiences and viewpoints from across the political spectrum.''
The New York Times confirms Bari Weiss' departure, as first reported by Vice: https://t.co/S1PqOE2WC5 pic.twitter.com/xRYD6CQ2ld
'-- Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) July 14, 2020
Weiss joined the Times in 2017. Her last column for its opinion section came on May 25, where she dubbed Joe Rogan as the new ''mainstream media'' after a podcast deal with Spotify.
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De Niro-backed Nobu restaurants took more than a dozen PPP loans
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 14:11
Robert De Niro (L) and chef Nobu Matsuhisa appear during a preview for the Nobu Restaurant and Lounge Caesars Palace on February 2, 2013 in Las Vegas.
David Becker | Getty Images
The Nobu group of luxury sushi restaurants and hotels took 14 loans from the U.S. small business relief program for as much as $28 million, according to government filings.
The chain, founded by actor Robert De Niro, celebrity chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa and film producer Meir Teper, got funding for properties scattered across the country, from California to Texas and New York, according to data released Monday.
Restaurants were among the biggest recipients of the Paycheck Protection Program, a key component of the government's response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The news that big, well-funded chains like Shake Shack and Ruth's Hospitality Group had initially gotten loans set off a furor in April, prompting the administration to warn companies to make sure they qualified for the program.
Specifically, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that the program wasn't for companies that could reasonably tap other forms of capital, from equity markets to bank credit lines.
The Nobu group appears to be one of the bigger beneficiaries of the program, getting at least $11 million and as much as $28 million. The disclosures give a range for the loan sizes, making a precise tally impossible. The New York Business Development Corporation was listed as the bank that processed the loans.
Emails to Nobu representatives weren't immediately returned.
The data release, which revealed the broad nature of the $660 billion PPP effort, comes after Mnuchin initially resisted calls to disclose recipients in the program, saying that the information was "proprietary." Since it began in April, the effort has drawn attention, first for technical issues amid a mad scramble for access, and later when it was revealed that big companies took advantage of the emergency aid.
The administration eventually relented, saying it would disclose the identities of companies that received at least $150,000 in the program. While those bigger loans account for the majority of total dollars in the program, more than 85% of the loan participants requested less than $150,000, effectively shielding those companies from scrutiny.
Other recipients of multimillion-dollar loans included franchisees of chains including P.F. Chang's and Five Guys hamburgers. Australian-inspired cafe business Bluestone Lane was awarded a loan worth between $5 million and $10 million.
Franchisees of McDonald's and Wendy's appeared throughout the massive list and in some cases secured loans north of $150,000. The Southern California Pizza Company, which operates 224 Pizza Hut locations on the West Coast, got $5 million to $10 million, despite being owned by private equity as of 2012.
Companies returned more than $30 billion in loans after Mnuchin chided organizations like the Los Angeles Lakers for tapping the program. But the government is also withholding the identities of companies that returned funds.
2020
Kanye's Short-Lived Attempt to Get on the 2020 Ballot
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 13:51
Kanye West. Photo: Michael Wyke/Michael Wyke/AP/Shutterstock
On July 4, Kanye West tweeted that he was running for president. It was treated as one of his typical grandiloquent pronouncements. The tweet sparked a lot of opinion pieces, cable news segments, and even a question in an Oval Office interview with Donald Trump. But most people brushed it off. In a follow-up interview with Forbes, West pledged, if elected, to run the White House like the nation of Wakanda from Black Panther. That remark seemed to reinforce the notion that this was just a lark. After all, West had previously compared himself to figures varying from God to Willy Wonka without attempting to establish the Kingdom of Heaven or manufacture an Everlasting Gobstopper.
But this time may '-- at least for a moment '-- be different. According to multiple campaign professionals who spoke with Intelligencer, West took early steps last week toward getting his name on the ballot in Florida and other states as a third-party candidate running against Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, July 8, around the time West tweeted and deleted an image of a fetus at the six-month mark of gestation with the caption ''these souls deserve to live,'' I was connected with a source who had been approached to work for the rapper's presidential campaign. The source, who asked not to be named, was a political operative who had experience in this kind of work. I was extremely skeptical '-- but after talking with this person and others, I was convinced that West (or someone close to him) was at least toying with a real-life plan to build a campaign operation.
The source had been approached about going to Florida on West's behalf to help gather the signatures needed to make the ballot in the state by the July 15 deadline. This person was offered $5,000 for the week's work. In order to qualify for the ballot in the Sunshine State, West would need to gather 132,781 valid signatures from Florida voters in less than a week.
On the morning of July 9, TMZ reported that West's family was concerned that the billionaire rapper was suffering a bipolar episode based on his presidential aspirations. The well-sourced tabloid website added ''our sources say his family and those close to him are worried, but they believe things will stabilize as they have in the past.''
Later that day, I talked to Steve Kramer. He is a get-out-the-vote specialist who runs a firm that also helps candidates get on the ballot. Kramer, who has worked mostly for Democratic candidates but has also had some Republican clients, told me that he had been hired to help West get on the ballot in Florida and South Carolina. He added that his understanding was that West's team was ''working over weekend there, formalizing the FEC and other things that they've got to do when you have a lot of corporate lawyers involved.''
The signature-gathering process was described as ongoing, and Kramer said ''we had overwhelming support to get him on the ballot.'' He added, ''Whether anybody is going to vote for him or not is up to them.'' Kramer described the effort as including both paid and volunteer efforts to get signatures. ''They got a lot of people who they've got both on their volunteer side and their contracted side,'' said Kramer.
This all seemed real enough, and I reached out to West's publicist for a response. The initial response was to loop in another spokesperson on the email. West's team then went dark. As I waited for a response, I followed up with Kramer who told me, ''He's out.''
I asked what happened. ''I'll let you know what I know once I get all our stuff canceled. We had over 180 people out there today,'' Kramer said.
About an hour after that exchange, West posted a video on Twitter of the rapper registering to vote for the first time at the county clerk's office in Cody, Wyoming. The video started with West telling the audience, ''I want to show you how I just registered to vote.'' It then displayed the text ''I thank God and I am so humbled at the opportunity to serve. Vote,'' before showing West filling out his registration form. He then engaged in a brief conversation with a local official about felon disenfranchisement. When I finally connected with Kramer on Thursday night, he was philosophical. ''I have nothing good or bad to say about Kanye. Everyone has their personal decision about why they make decisions. Running for president has to be one of the hardest things for someone to actually contemplate at that level.'' He noted the obstacles that a first-time candidate faces, and ''any candidate running for president for the first time goes through these hiccups.''
Kramer noted that the staff he had hired were disappointed not just because they would be out of a job, but because they were excited about what a Kanye West campaign represented.
On Friday, West tweeted a text-message exchange with radio host Charlemagne Tha God, a song by Kid Cudi featuring Eminem, and a handwritten note captioned ''YEEZY SOUND ROSTER PROPOSAL.'' Meanwhile, the deadline to get on the ballot in Nevada passed.
It may not happen this year, but certainly West could run for president in the future. Donald Trump flirted multiple times with a presidential bid before his now infamous descent down the golden escalator in 2015. West's ambitions to be a presidential candidate should probably be taken more seriously than his ambitions to be Willy Wonka.
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Kanye West in 2020? Trump Says it Would Be 'a Great Trial Run' | RealClearPolitics
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 13:50
Donald Trump takes Kanye West seriously.
In an Oval Office interview Tuesday, the president told RealClearPolitics he has been watching intently as the music mogul mulls a bid for the White House. The two are friendly, and Trump welcomed him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue before the 2018 midterms. They haven't talked about presidential ambitions.
And West has not registered as a candidate or put together a campaign committee or taken any of the traditional steps involved with a run for office. He has only tweeted.
''We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future,'' West wrote on the Fourth of July. ''I am running for president of the United States,'' he declared before adding the hashtag ''2020Vision.''
This leaves everyone, including Trump, wondering whether West will actually do it.
''He may. It's very interesting,'' the president said from behind the Resolute Desk before noting that the artist, who famously and controversially donned a red MAGA hat in the Oval Office, has ''a real voice.''
West, shown above meeting with Trump in October 2018, needs to work on his timing, though.
As Trump noted, the window of opportunity may have passed: ''It'd have to be limited to certain states because in some states the deadline has been missed.''
But the celebrity president does not object to having another celebrity on the ballot in November 2020 and then again in November of 2024. ''If he did it,'' Trump said, ''he would have to view this as a trial run for what's going to happen in four years.''
It was retweeted more than half a million times, and liked more than a million times.
But presidential campaigns take time and planning, not just viral moments. Usually candidates begin laying the groundwork years before formally announcing a run. West would have just four months, and for that reason many are tempted to dismiss his political flirtation as a stunt. But his money and his name recognition, combined with political arithmetic, could make him a factor.
As some have already noted, Trump won his first term with a straight flush and by narrow margins in midwestern states. He won Michigan by 10,000 votes, while election officials recorded nearly 9,000 write-in ballots there. He also won in Wisconsin by 23,000 votes. Meanwhile, voters wrote in the name of another candidate 35,150 times.
If the rapper actually means what he tweets, then those numbers should make campaigns nervous. The president seemed relaxed Tuesday morning though, and likely with good reason.
While West has publicly backed Trump in the past, he isn't likely to steal away many voters on the right. He said in a May 2018 interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God that his presidency would be a mix of ''the Trump campaign, and maybe the Bernie Sanders principles.''
''I think both are needed,'' the rapper added.
At least in theory, an independent bid by West could also throw the youth vote into flux. While Millennials generally skew Democratic, a vocal contingent has made known its unhappiness with Joe Biden. This bloc could find an alternative in the popular musician, sapping votes away from the left in a close election.
This would certainly please the president, though he didn't address any strategic details other than to say that a Kanye West candidacy in 2020 ''would be a great trial run.''
Kanye West drops presidential bid: report | Fox News
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 13:49
Kanye West has dropped his 2020 presidential bid, according to a new report.
The 43-year-old rapper's campaign has reportedly been suspended less than two weeks after he shocked the nation with a tweet that confirmed his decision to run for president of the United States in November.
According to a new report from Intelligencer, a "get-out-the-vote specialist" named Steve Kramer claims West is already "out" after the Yeezy founder hired both "paid and volunteer" staff to help him secure signatures in Florida and South Carolina to get him on the ballot.
NINA TURNER BLASTS DEBRA MESSING FOR SAYING KANYE WEST 2020 BID WOULD 'TAKE BLACK VOTERS FROM BIDEN'
Kanye West announced his decision to run for president on July 4 in a tweet. (AP )
Kramer claimed West's team was "working over weekend there, formalizing the FEC and other things that they've got to do when you have a lot of corporate lawyers involved.''
The specialist claimed there was "overwhelming support" to get West on the ballot.
A separate source, who remained anonymous, claimed to the outlet that they were hired for $5,000 to help West gather signatures in Florida to meet the state's July 15 ballot deadline. The outlet claimed he needed "132,781 valid signatures from Florida voters in less than a week."
Intelligencer writer Ben Jacobs wrote on Tuesday that he reached out to West's publicist for confirmation on his recent efforts, when the musician's team suddenly "went dark."
KANYE WEST'S WIFE KIM KARDASHIAN 'HAS BEEN SUPPORTIVE' OF HUSBAND'S PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRATIONS: REPORT
"As I waited for a response, I followed up with Kramer who told me, 'He's out,'" Jacobs claimed.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 9, 2020 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Getty)
Kramer told the outlet that staff were "disappointed" that West has allegedly suspended his efforts. He also claimed to have "nothing good or bad to say about Kanye."
"Everyone has their personal decision about why they make decisions. Running for president has to be one of the hardest things for someone to actually contemplate at that level,'' Kramer added.
West initially shared his dreams of being the third candidate to run against President Donald Trump and Joe Biden in a tweet on the Fourth of July.
MARK CUBAN, ELON MUSK TWEET SUPPORT FOR KANYE WEST AFTER 'RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT' ANNOUNCEMENT
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States ! #2020VISION," he said.
Days later, West conducted a lengthy interview with Forbes in which he declared he no longer supported Trump and said that Biden was not "special."
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West's presidential dreams also sparked some debate after the rapper took to Twitter to share his pro-life stance, leading to a clash with Planned Parenthood. But West did continue to squash the doubt surrounding his decision, as he posted a video documenting him registering to vote in Wyoming to his Twitter account, which boasts nearly 30 million followers.
Reps for West did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Report: Kanye West officially listed as 2020 presidential candidate on Oklahoma ballot
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:24
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (WJW) '-- Kanye West is officially on the 2020 ballot in Oklahoma, according to Oklahoma Election Board documents obtained by TMZ on Wednesday.
A representative for West reportedly turned in an executed statement of candidacy and a $35,000 filing fee to the state. The statement of candidacy declares that West will be running as an Independent Candidate for President in the 2020 election.
Kanye West says he no longer supports Trump, is serious about running for presidentTMZ says West first filed documents with the Federal Election Commission but now appears to be filing in individual states as well, suggesting he is actually serious about the run.
The news outlet also reports that latest polls indicate West has 2% of the country's vote.
Kanye West announces run for president of the United States, says he has '2020 vision'Meanwhile, Steve Kramer, a political advisor who is close to West, told New York Magazine Tuesday that the rapper dropped his 2020 presidential bid.
Kramer says he was hired to help West get on state ballots by gathering signatures since he had already missed the deadlines to get on most states' ballots in the traditional manner.
''We had overwhelming support to get him on the ballot,'' Kramer told New York Magazine's Ben Jacobs. ''Whether anybody is going to vote for him or not is up to them.''
Northeast Ohio man gets President Trump's attention with lawn displayJacobs reached out to West's publicist for more information and heard no response. He followed up with Kramer who then reportedly told him, ''he's out.''
Kramer told Jacobs he would let provide more about why West allegedly dropped out once he learned more.
Later Wednesday, after reports surfaced that West was on the Oklahoma ballot, Jacobs took to Twitter saying, ''Ye's running.''
West first announced he was running for president on July 4. He broke the news on Twitter, saying he had a vision for 2020.
West has reportedly lost confidence in President Donald Trump, which he says fueled his decision to run. He also insisted that his run was not a publicity stunt and said he had no issue with the idea that his planned run could potentially take votes away from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and aid in the reelection of Trump.
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Report: Kanye West officially listed as 2020 presidential candidate on Oklahoma ballot
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 13:30
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (WJW) '-- Kanye West is officially on the 2020 ballot in Oklahoma, according to Oklahoma Election Board documents obtained by TMZ on Wednesday.
A representative for West reportedly turned in an executed statement of candidacy and a $35,000 filing fee to the state. The statement of candidacy declares that West will be running as an Independent Candidate for President in the 2020 election.
Kanye West says he no longer supports Trump, is serious about running for presidentPer Misha Mohr, the public affairs officer for the Oklahoma Board of Elections, a representative for Kanye West appeared at their offices to formally file to run for President in the past 45 minutes along with the necessary filing fee.
'-- Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) July 15, 2020TMZ says West first filed documents with the Federal Election Commission but now appears to be filing in individual states as well, suggesting he is actually serious about the run.
The news outlet also reports that latest polls indicate West has 2% of the country's vote.
Kanye West announces run for president of the United States, says he has '2020 vision'Meanwhile, Steve Kramer, a political advisor who is close to West, told New York Magazine Tuesday that the rapper dropped his 2020 presidential bid.
Kramer says he was hired to help West get on state ballots by gathering signatures since he had already missed the deadlines to get on most states' ballots in the traditional manner.
''We had overwhelming support to get him on the ballot,'' Kramer told New York Magazine's Ben Jacobs. ''Whether anybody is going to vote for him or not is up to them.''
Northeast Ohio man gets President Trump's attention with lawn displayJacobs reached out to West's publicist for more information and heard no response. He followed up with Kramer who then reportedly told him, ''he's out.''
Kramer told Jacobs he would let provide more about why West allegedly dropped out once he learned more.
Later Wednesday, after reports surfaced that West was on the Oklahoma ballot, Jacobs took to Twitter saying, ''Ye's running.''
West first announced he was running for president on July 4. He broke the news on Twitter, saying he had a vision for 2020.
We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States 🇺🇸! #2020VISION
'-- ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020West has reportedly lost confidence in President Donald Trump, which he says fueled his decision to run. He also insisted that his run was not a publicity stunt and said he had no issue with the idea that his planned run could potentially take votes away from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and aid in the reelection of Trump.
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White Fragility
Millard principals will read 'White Fragility' as district has conversations on race | Education | omaha.com
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 21:28
Millard Public Schools officials are launching several initiatives to improve race relations, including having principals read a book that argues that white people in America are racist and don't know it or won't admit it.
In light of the summer race protests, district officials are setting up student diversity councils to advise leaders at the high school and district levels.
Officials will also be reviewing curriculum to ensure that what's taught reflects multiple viewpoints, as well as working to recruit a diverse teaching staff and making sure board policies and administrative procedures are culturally responsive, officials said.
The social studies curriculum is up for review this year and it will be examined with an eye to whether marginalized groups are included, officials said.
About 77% of the district's students are white, 9.2% Hispanic, 5.8% Asian, 4.4% two or more races and 3.2% black. Less than 1% are American Indian, Alaska native, native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, according to the Nebraska Department of Education.
Officials said they want to be more receptive to concerns about race issues.
''Really, listening is the key,'' Heather Phipps, the district's associate superintendent for education services, told the school board last week.
About 70 Millard administrators, including principals and assistant principals, this fall will be reading the book, ''White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism.''
Author Robin DiAngelo, who is white, argues that white people are ''racially illiterate,'' that American culture is ''profoundly anti-black'' and that when white people get defensive about racism, their reaction works to ''retain our dominance within the racial hierarchy.''
Millard administrators will read the book and participate in a book study. Members of Superintendent Jim Sutfin's executive team already read the book, officials said.
Sutfin was unavailable for comment late last week.
Spokeswoman Rebecca Kleeman said district officials ''are engaging in conversations around this just like our community is.''
''As educators, we read books,'' Kleeman said. ''Our leadership wants to learn about different viewpoints.''
School board President Linda Poole said she hadn't read the book but said it is recommended in education circles.
Nationally, reviews of the book are mixed, but DiAngelo recently got invited to appear on one late-night comedy show.
A book reviewer in The New Yorker wrote, ''The value in 'White Fragility' lies in its methodical, irrefutable exposure of racism in thought and action, and its call for humility and vigilance.''
Another reviewer, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, called it ''pseudo-intellectual horse----.''
DiAngelo appeared on the ''Tonight Show'' with Jimmy Fallon on June 17 to discuss the book, a New York Times bestseller released in 2018. Fox News host Tucker Carlson took her to task for her theories a week later.
YouTube is replete with videos of her appearances in various interviews and forums discussing her views.
DiAngelo is an associate professor in the College of Education at the University of Washington in Seattle.
According to the university, she got her doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction in multicultural education from the university in 2004.
She has a graduate certificate in women's studies, feminist theory and methods.
Among the topics of her research and writings are microaggressions, ''white anti-racist parenting'' and heterosexism.
According to DiAngelo, white people have been insulated from racial stress, so confrontation about race makes them uncomfortable.
''Socialized into a deeply internalized sense of superiority, that we either are unaware of or can never admit to ourselves, we become highly fragile in conversations about race,'' DiAngelo said.
When white people are confronted about their racism, they consider it a challenge to their identities as good moral people, she says.
They get defensive and react in fear, anger or argument, or they withdraw, she says.
''White fragility is triggered by discomfort and anxiety,'' she says. ''It is born of superiority and entitlement.''
People who haven't thoroughly studied racism have only a superficial understanding of it, she says.
They don't understand racism as a system, she says.
As evidence of American racism against minorities, she points to employment discrimination, education discrimination, the ''school to prison pipeline,'' mass incarceration, biased laws and policing practices, white flight and biased media representation.
White people, she says, are ''unconsciously invested in racism.''
Photos: Our best staff images from July 2020
Bee A honey bee flies towards flowers on a milkweed plant at Lauritzen Gardens on Tuesday, July 07, 2020.
CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD Fishing Fishing was comfortable Tuesday morning at Carter Lake, with temperatures in the 70s '-- on their way to the 90s for the 21st time since June 1. The 22nd came Wednesday.
CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD Street hockey Jackson Ulffers, left, and his brother Colton play street hockey near their northwest Omaha home on Tuesday.
CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD Fourth of July fireworks 2020 William Mitchell, 4, front, reacts to the fireworks while watching with his brother, Wesley Mitchell, 4, and mom, Trish Mitchell, of Omaha, during the Independence Fireworks Spectacular at Werner Park in Papillion on Friday, July 03, 2020.
ANNA REED/THE WORLD-HERALD Fourth of July fireworks 2020 The Independence Fireworks Spectacular at Werner Park in Papillion on Friday, July 03, 2020.
ANNA REED/THE WORLD-HERALD Hydrant Party Valerey Aparicio gets a lift from her brother Benjamin Aparicio through a wall of water during a hydrant party at 32nd and Cass in Omaha.
ANNA REED/THE WORLD-HERALD Cornhole Pro Jackie Sayasone gets ready to throw her bag during a game of cornhole at 1912, a rooftop bar in Benson.
CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD Cornhole Pro Jackie Sayasone says she "kind of laughed at the sport before I came into it."
CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
African American History Museum Says 'Rational Linear Thinking,' 'Nuclear Family' Are Exclusive to White Culture | National Review
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 03:35
The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., May 22, 2020(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)The National Museum of African American History and Culture has published a graphic on its website that suggests concepts such as ''rational linear thinking,'' the ''nuclear family,'' and an emphasis on ''hard work'' are specific to ''white culture.''
The article, titled ''Talking About Race,'' delves into white privilege and ''the way that white people, their customs, culture, and beliefs operate as the standard by which all other groups'' are ''compared.''
''Whiteness and the normalization of white racial identity throughout America's history have created a culture where nonwhite persons are seen as inferior or abnormal,'' the article reads.
The accompanying graphic describes ''white culture'' as adopting certain aspects and assumptions, such a ''work before play'' attitude and the belief that ''hard work is the key to success.'' The ''nuclear family,'' described as a mother, father, and 2.3 children, is the ''ideal social unit'' embraced by white culture, the graphic says.
White culture also emphasizes respect for authority, delayed gratification, self-reliance, independence and autonomy, the value of property rights and ownership, progress, planning for the future, politeness, and decision-making, according to the graphic.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture wants to make you aware of certain signs of whiteness: Individualism, hard work, objectivity, the nuclear family, progress, respect for authority, delayed gratification, more. (via @RpwWilliams)https://t.co/k9X3u4Suas pic.twitter.com/gWYOeEh4vu
'-- Byron York (@ByronYork) July 15, 2020
The graphic cites data from a 1990 paper by Judith H. Katz titled, ''Some Aspects and Assumptions of White Culture in the United States.''
Since 2007, Katz has worked as an advisor for a nonprofit organization called Net Impact, which says it partners with some of the country's most powerful companies, including ExxonMobil, 3M, McDonalds, the Coca-Cola Company, Starbucks, Microsoft, the Walt Disney Company, Bank of America, Monsanto, and Nestl(C) Waters North America.
The company also partners with the U.S. National Park Service, which the group listed as having contributed more than $100,000 to the organization during fiscal year 2013.
Net Impact focuses on promoting ''equity and inclusion'' and ''working across sectors for a more just and sustainable world,'' and runs chapters across the globe on university campuses, in cities, and in companies.
''We believe in the power of the business sector to drive social and environmental change, and we welcome a variety of companies to partner with us,'' Net Impact says on its website.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture did not respond immediately to a request for comment on whether it stands by the assertions made in the graphic.
Send a tip to the news team at NR.
OTG
The antitrust case against Google is gathering steam - The Verge
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:40
Let's spend a few minutes today catching up on the antitrust inquiries into Google. There are investigations related to competition underway against most of the biggest tech giants '' Apple, Facebook, and Amazon face similar inquiries, and their CEOS are scheduled to join Sundar Pichai for a virtual hearing with the House of Representatives later this month. But there's reason to believe the case against Google will land the soonest of any of them '-- in May, the New York Times reported that charges could come ''as early as this summer.''
Scrutiny into the company's business practices has since accelerated. Politico reported last week that California, which sat out an investigation led by 48 attorneys general, is preparing to mount its own inquiry into Google's competition practices. As Leah Nylen noted in that report: ''Alabama is now the only state that is not investigating the company.''
At the same time, reporters are mounting their own investigations of their own, and everywhere they look, they find Google giving preference to its own products over those of its competitors.
In Bloomberg this week, Gerrit De Vynck looked at the company's decision to ad a fourth ad to the top of search results in 2015. The effect of all those extra paid links has been to reduce organic traffic to many businesses and publishers, making life more difficult for them. These days, when people visit Google, the majority of them get the information they sought from Google itself, and never touch the open web at all. That has strengthened the case of those who argue that the company's moves, whatever they have brought users in terms of convenience, have harmed competition.
De Vynck notes that Google, like any other company, has to manage the needs and wants of its customers and its businesses. ''Users want the best answers,'' he writes. ''Web developers need eyeballs. Shareholders demand growth.'' At the same time, some businesses are now arguing that the mix of extra ads and answers provided directly within Google is eroding the fabric of the web.
De Vynck writes:
Kevin Hickey, chief executive officer of Online Stores Inc., said these changes have forced him to spend more on Google search ads to keep traffic flowing to his e-commerce businesses. More than a decade ago, about two-thirds of Hickey's Google traffic came from free, or organic, listings. But as Google increased ad slots to the top of results, that mix flipped. Organic results account for about 20% of visitors to his sites now, and he spends about 10% to 15% of his revenue on Google ads. He has raised prices, but his profit margins have shriveled.
''The prices that consumers are paying are now higher because of Google's business model,'' Hickey said.
Google says consumers are simply no longer satisfied with the 10 blue links of days past, and that despite changes it continues to send a firehose of traffic to the open web. A large portion of searches are for commoditized information like weather and sports that hardly differ in their presentation on any one web page; why not just put it all in search results? On the other hand, the idea that Google search has gradually worsened is not new, and for many types of query I find it persuasive. (Search for ''shoes'' or ''furniture'' on Google, and then on Pinterest, and tell me which is more useful.)
Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Google searches for videos ranked YouTube clips higher than rivals, even when the same clips posted to Facebook, Dailymotion, and other outlets were first posted on those sites, and have many more views. (Google says it does not take into account the number of views a video receives when ranking them in search, which is ... weird?)
Sam Schechner, Kirsten Grind and John West write:
Engineers at Google have made changes that effectively preference YouTube over other video sources, according to people familiar with the matter. Google executives in recent years made decisions to prioritize YouTube on the first page of search results, in part to drive traffic to YouTube rather than to competitors, and also to give YouTube more leverage in business deals with content providers seeking traffic for their videos, one of those people said. [...]
A Google spokeswoman, Lara Levin, said there is no preference given to YouTube or any other video provider in Google search. ''Our systems use a number of signals from the web to understand what results people find most relevant and helpful for a given query,'' Ms. Levin said. She declined to comment on the specific examples cited in this article.
Why YouTube showed so strongly in this study is a matter of some debate. For example, if you go to your second-favorite search engine (Bing.com, duh) and query the Tasty videos that BuzzFeed made famous on Facebook, the top links are all from YouTube. Presumably this is not the result of Google interference.
On the other hand, Google can and does promote YouTube in many other ways throughout the product; click ''Google apps'' at the top of your Gmail inbox and you'll see it right there, for example. Over time, Google helped YouTube become synonymous with video, and so now it may not even seem suspicious that most searches for videos lead you directly to it. ''I'd click the YouTube [link] whether it was listed first or seventh on the screen b/c I trust YouTube more than those other sites,'' writes one of the commenters on the Journal story. He meant it as an indictment of the Journal's reporting '-- ''waste of time and resources,'' he called it '-- but I wonder if on some level he isn't making the reporters' point for them.
''Our systems use a number of signals from the web to understand what results people find most relevant and helpful for a given query,'' Google told me when I asked about the Journal's report. ''To ensure that these signals are used equally and fairly for all sites, we use signals that are not specific to any one site or platform. Therefore, the number of views, likes or comments a video has received on a given platform is not a factor in our ranking systems. Our video ranking systems use signals from all video sources in the same way'-- there is no preference given to YouTube or any other video provider.''
And yet, despite all those signals, YouTube still turns up the winner more often than not. Google often talks about search results as if they are naturally occurring phenomena, like gravity, rather than the result of editorial decision making. And yet it's hard to believe that had the Journal reached the opposite conclusion '-- that Google searches rarely, if ever, turned up YouTube links '-- that some Google product manager wouldn't be tasked with fixing it.
The underlying question here is to what extent Google should be given the freedom to present search results as it sees fit, no matter the cost to other businesses. The European Union has fined the company three times over the years for acting in ways it said had harmed competition, most recently for $1.7 billion this year. So far the US government has not formally stated its case. But it's hard to look at Google search in 2020 and conclude that it has proved conclusively helpful to competition. Whatever signals the company's algorithms might be taking into account as it ranks search results, it's somehow always Google that comes out on top.
PushbackIn Monday's email edition, I said that the United Kingdom has an advertising blackout in the days leading up to the election. That's not right, as many of you wrote in to point out. One reader put it this way: ''Our blackout is on radio and TV only. That means while the polling stations are open on the day of the election, they're not allowed to broadcast discussions and analysis of election issues.
Other campaigning, including online, is still allowed to happen though. Often, parties hold back a significant chunk of their digital ad spending for the last few days and hours '-- i.e., you could argue it's been a way of getting around the broadcast ban.''
A better example for what Facebook is considering might be Australia, which bans broadcasters from running ads from midnight on the Wednesday before polling day to the close of the poll on polling day.
The RatioToday in news that could affect public perception of the big tech platforms.
Trending up: YouTube is finally letting creators know exactly how they're making money on the platform. The company has a new metric called RPM (revenue per mille) which shows a creator's total revenue (both from ads and other monetization areas) after YouTube takes the cut. (Julia Alexander / The Verge)
Governing'­ Ben Thompson makes the case that the United States should take strong action now against TikTok '-- but also WeChat, Zoom, and other apps. It's a step necessary to confronting an ideological war that has been under way for 20 years now, he argues:
TikTok's algorithm, unmoored from the constraints of your social network or professional content creators, is free to promote whatever videos it likes, without anyone knowing the difference. TikTok could promote a particular candidate or a particular issue in a particular geography, without anyone '-- except perhaps the candidate, now indebted to a Chinese company '-- knowing. You may be skeptical this might happen, but again, China has already demonstrated a willingness to censor speech on a platform banned in China; how much of a leap is it to think that a Party committed to ideological dominance will forever leave a route directly into the hearts and minds of millions of Americans untouched?
Again, this is where it is worth taking China seriously: the Party has shown through its actions, particularly building and maintaining the Great Firewall at tremendous expense, that it believes in the power of information and ideas. Countless speeches, from Chairman Xi and others, have stated that the Party believes it is in an ideological war with liberalism generally and the U.S. specifically. If we are to give China's leaders the respect of believing what they say, instead of projecting our own beliefs for no reason other than our own solipsism, how can we take that chance?
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Department of Homeland Security have rescinded a policy that would require international students to take in-person classes in order to remain in the US. The agencies reached an agreement with Harvard and MIT, who filed a lawsuit on July 8th over the policy. Tech companies had spoken out against the negative effects of the draconian policy. (Monica Chin / The Verge)
COVID-19 contact tracing apps have only about a 9.3 percent adoption rate in the world's most populous countries. The analysis, by Sensor Tower, focused on government-endorsed apps in countries including Australia, France, Germany, and India. (Sensor Tower)
Google is negotiating to invest $4 billion in India's Reliance Jio. Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies have recently announced a collective $16 billion in the fast-growing telecom. (Baiju Kalesh, Anto Antony, Manuel Baigorri, and Saritha Rai / Bloomberg)
Trump's reelection campaign is complaining that Facebook's goal of registering 4 million voters in time for November's election is an attempt to swing the election in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden. The official position of the Republican party is now that voter registration is a partisan issue. (Eric Newcomer / Bloomberg)
President Trump is using Facebook to microtarget voters, while Joe Biden is using it increasingly to ask for donations. About 68 percent of the president's ads are seen fewer than 1,000 times '-- compared to 34 percent for Biden. (Bill Allison and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou / Bloomberg)
Amazon told employees at a New York warehouse that they won't be punished for taking extra time to wash their hands. The company also said workers wouldn't be disciplined for falling short of quotas based on how many tasks they complete each hour. It's basically a dream job now. (Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg)
Here's a map of more than 400 hyperpartisan sites masquerading as local news. Many are funded and operated by government officials, political candidates, PACs, and political party operatives. (Jessica Mahone and Philip Napoli / Neiman Lab)
Industry'­Black influencers are underpaid, at times making 10 times less than their white counterparts. An Instagram account called Influencer Pay Gap is exposing the pay disparities and pushing for change in the industry. Here's Ashley Carman at The Verge:
Influencer Pay Gap was created by Adesuwa Ajayi, a Black woman who works at the talent agency AGM and manages influencers. Through the account, Ajayi asks influencers to anonymously detail their past brand campaigns, sharing their engagement rate (what percentage of people interact with their content), how much they were paid, what they had to do, their race, and where they're based. Ajayi started the account about a month ago, and more than 30,000 people already follow it. She says she receives at least 100 DMs a day, which has led to multiple ''sleepless nights.''
''I think sometimes we forget that the influencer space is still in its infancy in comparison to different forms of maybe marketing or whatever it might be,'' she says. ''So it's very much unregulated to a large degree, and what has definitely become apparent from the page is just seeing how many influencers need help.''
Snapchat is testing a new navigation experience that allows users to move through public content with a vertical swiping motion '-- a gesture that's been popularized by TikTok. The test is focused on content that's published publicly to Snapchat Discover, not your friends' private Stories. (Sarah Perez / TechCrunch)
WhatsApp went down for an hour on Tuesday. The cause has not yet been reported. (Tom Warren / The Verge)
Facebook developed a robot to install fiber cables on medium-voltage power lines around the globe. The aim is to make it cheaper for internet service providers to build out their networks using super-fast and reliable fiber connections. (Shara Tibken and Queenie Wong / CNET)
Amazon is testing out a new smart shopping cart that lets you check out without a cashier. The Dash Cart automatically detects the items you've picked up. It's coming first to Amazon's grocery store in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Nick Statt / The Verge)
Taylor Lorenz explains the cake meme that took over Twitter this week. ''Watching a sharp knife slice cleanly through what appears to be an everyday object is surprising and somehow deeply gratifying,'' she writes. (Taylor Lorenz / The New York Times)
Here's a profile on Nikkia Reveillac, Twitter's new head of research from Trinidad and Tobago. (Narissa Fraser / Newsday)
The growing partisan divide between people who oppose shelter-in-place orders and those who think the restrictions are a public health necessity is playing out on two North Carolina Facebook groups. (Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Atlantic)
Apple told employees that a full return to US offices won't happen before the end of the year. Retail staff will work remotely as the company shuts down some of its stores again, due to the rising number of coronavirus cases. Apple is also shipping Covid-19 test kits to employees' homes. (Mark Gurman / Bloomberg)
Startups that never planned on going fully remote are changing their plans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some are letting leases expire or looking for ways to get out of longer contracts. (Ari Levy / CNBC)
Babysitters and camp counselors are trying to provide childcare on video calls due to the ongoing pandemic. Kids aren't that into it, though. (Julie Jargon / The Wall Street Journal)
Some of the wild stories on Reddit's r/relationships are fabricated. This article features stories of people who made up some of the recent viral myths. (Amelia Tait / Vice)
Things to doStuff to occupy you online during the quarantine.
Browse the Atlas of Surveillance. Compiled by students and volunteers, the atlas is a database of surveillance technologies used by law enforcement authorities across the United States '-- including drones, body cameras, facial recognition, and more.
Check out a new demo of mmhmm. The virtual camera, which I profiled earlier this month, will soon allow you to control your Zoom presence with a PlayStation controller.
Download all your old TikToks '-- while you still can!. A new site called FYP.rip does the trick.
Those good tweets Talk to usSend us tips, comments, questions, and suspicious Google search results: casey@theverge.com and zoe@theverge.com.
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Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:43
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Details on SpaceX Starlink beta emerge along with photos of user terminals | Ars Technica
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 10:53
Starlink user terminals '-- Starlink beta trials will start in Northern US and parts of Canada, new FAQ says. Jon Brodkin - Jul 15, 2020 8:42 pm UTC
As SpaceX readies beta-testing for its Starlink broadband service, Internet users have dug into the Starlink website and found new details on the upcoming beta tests and images of the user terminals that will be installed outside customers' homes.
Reddit users yesterday said they did some data mining of the Starlink support website and main site, uncovering an FAQ about the beta trials, terms of service, and images of the satellite dish from different angles.
Here are the photos:
A SpaceX Starlink user terminal/satellite dish.
Another view of the user terminal at sunset.
The dish placed at an angle on a roof.
Another image of the satellite dish.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter last night that the latest version of the dish (also called a user terminal) looks slightly different than what is seen in the photos. "Small note: latch on post near base is gone & powered Ethernet wire is less obtrusive in production version," Musk wrote.
Musk has previously described the terminal as a "UFO on a stick." SpaceX received Federal Communications Commission approval to deploy 1 million of them. The terminal's size is 0.48 meters (almost 19 inches), according to an FCC filing.
Beta testsSpaceX recently updated the Starlink website with a form you can fill out to "get updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area." Public beta tests are expected to begin in the fall.
The Starlink FAQ posted on Reddit says that "Starlink Beta will begin in the Northern United States and lower [i.e. southern] Canada, with those living in rural and/or remote communities in the Washington state area. Access to the Starlink Beta program will be driven by the user's location as well as the number of users in nearby areas."
Describing the current satellite network and the need for beta testers to have a clear view of the sky from their homes, the FAQ says, "The Starlink system is currently made up of nearly 600 satellites orbiting the Earth that can provide Internet service in a very specific range'--between 44 and 52 degrees north latitude. Your Starlink dish requires a clear view of the Northern sky in order to communicate with the Starlink satellites. Without the clear view, the Starlink dish cannot make a good connection and your service will be extremely poor."
In another tweet yesterday, Musk noted that the "Starlink terminal has motors to self-orient for optimal view angle," eliminating the need for an expert installer. The terminal can be placed "in garden, on roof, table, pretty much anywhere, so long as it has a wide view of the sky," Musk wrote. He also wrote that once service is available, it "will take less than a minute to order on Starlink.com."
Beta testers are asked to "dedicate an average of 30 minutes to 1 hour per day testing the Starlink Services and providing feedback on a periodic basis," according to the terms of service. "Feedback requests from SpaceX will come in the form of surveys, phone calls, emails, and other means. Not participating can result in termination of your Beta Program participation and you must return your Starlink Kit." Beta testers will not be allowed to share anything about their use of the service publicly.
Router approved by FCCBesides the user terminals that receive signals from space, Starlink customers will need a router to supply Wi-Fi in their homes. SpaceX this week got FCC approval for its Starlink router, but photos of the router are not yet public because of a confidentiality request.
An FCC filing says the router is dual-band, supporting 2.4GHz and 5GHz transmissions. It supports the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard with data-transfer rates of up to 866.7Mbps, in addition to older standards including 802.11b, 802.11a/g, and 802.11n.
Listing image by SpaceX
Twitter says hacking of high-profile Twitter accounts was a "coordinated social engineering attack" - CBS News
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:15
Some of the world's richest and most influential politicians, celebrities, tech moguls and companies were the subject of a massive Twitter hack on Wednesday. Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian West and Bill Gates were among the accounts pushing out tweets asking millions of followers to send money to a Bitcoin address.
Kim Kardashian West appeared to be one of several accounts hacked on Twitter. Twitter All of the tweeted messages from the accounts shared similar language. The tweet from Kanye West's account said he is "giving back to my fans"; the message from Bezos' account said he had "decided to give back to my community"; and Musk's account said "feeling greatful."
Bezos, Musk, and Gates are among the 10 richest people in the world, based on Forbes' calculations. According to the Associated Press, the three men have a combined worth of $362 billion.
Kanye west, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk Twitter accounts got hacked and this guys have made over 10M dollars
This will go down as the biggest heist on Twitter pic.twitter.com/q7mUXYzpt0
'-- ploqueðŸ--¥ (@_oluwatobiiiii) July 15, 2020Twitter said in a statement that the company detected what they believed to be "a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools."
"We're looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it," the company tweeted.
Twitter said that once they became aware of what happened, they "immediately locked down" hacked accounts and removed the tweets sent on their behalf. Twitter also limited functionality for all verified accounts, including those that showed no evidence of being compromised, while they investigated the issue.
"We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely," Twitter said. "Internally, we've taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues."
We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.
'-- Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted several hours later that it was a "tough day for us at Twitter."
"We all feel terrible this happened," Dorsey added. "We're diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened."
Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.
We're diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.
ðŸ' to our teammates working hard to make this right.
'-- jack (@jack) July 16, 2020A spokesperson for Bill Gates confirmed a tweet sent from his account was not sent by Gates himself. "This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing," the spokesperson said.
Joe Biden's campaign issued a similar statement, saying, "Twitter locked down the account immediately following the breach and removed the related tweet."
Companies, including Apple and Uber, were apparently hacked as well. Following the incident, all of Apple's tweets appeared to have been deleted.
There have been at least 363 transactions since the tweets were posted, according to tracking website blockchain.com. So far, the account has received more than $118,000.
Shortly after the incident, many verified users reported they could no longer tweet, including media companies.
Several National Weather Service accounts were affected amid inclement weather. According to The Weather Channel, they affected accounts for regions in Illinois and Missouri as tornado warnings were being issued.
Due to the recent nationwide Twitter hack Twitter has disabled ALL verified accounts, including @NWSAtlanta
Therefore, automated tweets regarding ongoing warnings cannot be distributed at this time.
For information regarding ongoing storm warnings go to https://t.co/Sw78Yd3qM3
'-- Kyle Thiem (@Kyle_Thiem) July 15, 2020Verified accounts who attempted to tweet received an error message that read, "To protect our users from spam and other malicious activity, we can't complete this action right now."
Twitter acknowledged that some users' features may have been disabled as it investigated: "You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident."
About three hours later, Twitter Support said that "most accounts should we able to tweet again."
"As we continue working on a fix, this functionality may come and go," they tweeted. "We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible."
Unverified Twitter users used the massive hack to rise to the center of attention on the social media site.
To all my unverified Twitter friends....
This is OUR moment!
'-- Amy Mek (@AmyMek) July 15, 2020Many users made fun of the situation, focusing on how verified accounts, or "blue checks," were forced to retweet other accounts in order to post anything on their profiles.
The hack also prompted Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri to write a letter to Dorsey on Wednesday, saying that some of the impacted accounts "alleged to have been protected by Twitter's two factor authentication."
"I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a coordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself. As you know, millions of your users rely on your service not just to tweet publicly but also to communicate privately through your direct message service," Hawley wrote. "A successful attack on your system's servers represents a threat to all of your users' privacy and data security."
Hawley prompted Dorsey to immediately work with the Department of Justice and FBI on the matter, and urged Dorsey to respond to a list of questions, including if the attack threatened the security of President Trump's account.
Outlook down? How to fix it | ZDNet
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:21
Outlook is hosed. Users around the globe are reporting that both Microsoft's Outlook mail service and application are failing for them.
By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for Between the Lines | July 15, 2020 -- 20:51 GMT (13:51 PDT) | Topic: Enterprise Software
Microsoft Outlook's AI features: Big help or Big Brother?
It was just another morning at work on July 15, 2020, for many Windows users. They turned on their computers -- some of them may have noted that they'd gotten an Outlook program update -- and then they tried to open their e-mail in Outlook'... Suddenly their day took a turn for the worst.
For many, Windows Outlook silently crashed when they tried to launch it. Many Office 365 business users also found that the Outlook mail service also launched only to immediately crash. Hours later, Microsoft admitted on Twitter there was a real problem.
We're investigating whether a recently deployed update could be the source of this issue. As a workaround, users can utilize Outlook on the web or their mobile clients. Additional details can be found in the admin center under EX218604 and OL218603.
Later, Microsoft tweeted it was "rolling out a fix for this issue, and we expect the mitigation to reach all customers over the next few hours."
This failure seems to have been the result of last night's Outlook update. These were meant to give Outlook, across all its different versions, all the same features. It failed.
According to suggestions on the Reddit Sysadmin forum, you can fix the problem on local PCs by rolling back to the monthly channel 20470 release. You do this with the following steps:
Go to the admin command prompt and:
cd "\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun"
Then run, as the administrator,
officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.12827.20470
At this time, there is no known Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) repair.
This is a stop-gap fix, but it's better than swearing at your computer. Once Microsoft has the problem fixed, which I expect in the short run, it will consist of rolling back the update. You'll want to use the official fix.
If you're using Outlook as a service, try, as Microsoft suggests, to use the Outlook web interface or a mobile app.
Related Stories:
Microsoft continues work to bring different versions of Outlook to parityOutlook not working? Microsoft works on fix for buggy June updateMicrosoft could add new 'Spaces' organizational tool to Outlook
Bob 🇺🇸 wear a mask dummy on Twitter: "@jason_koebler ...that an admin can change an e-mail addy for high profile accts so easily A) that shouldn't be allowed, B) it should be easy to identify & repair within minutes Twitter will try to blame the
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 13:09
Bob 🇺🇸 wear a mask dummy : @jason_koebler ...that an admin can change an e-mail addy for high profile accts so easily A) that shouldn't be all'... https://t.co/nbF6F4lRXx
Thu Jul 16 04:22:56 +0000 2020
Devon Chambers : @CA_bobby77 @jason_koebler For high profile accounts there should be very limited access. I'd say limit all high pr'... https://t.co/xWOk7kDx9j
Thu Jul 16 10:01:50 +0000 2020
A-Hole : @CA_bobby77 @jason_koebler They are cheap & lazy because it isn't their personal info being exposed. Many large cor'... https://t.co/XUYsa3iDRY
Thu Jul 16 09:53:09 +0000 2020
lexsion : @CA_bobby77 @jason_koebler Maybe but the hackers didn't attack through a 'lax software'ðŸ'They used social engineeri'... https://t.co/tfcNGnXAEW
Thu Jul 16 06:37:12 +0000 2020
Bob 🇺🇸 wear a mask dummy : @jason_koebler and it's ridiculous for Twitter to care who posts the screenshots of those panels. what's in those s'... https://t.co/h2PAhkxpRz
Thu Jul 16 04:27:21 +0000 2020
Hackers Take Over Apple, Uber, Prominent Crypto Twitter Accounts in Simultaneous Attack - CoinDesk
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:22
Jul 15, 2020 at 19:59 UTC Updated Jul 15, 2020 at 21:42 UTC
Compromised Twitter accounts shilled a sketchy link. (Twitter.com)
UPDATE: This is an ongoing situation. Click here for real-time updates.
Hackers pumping a crypto giveaway scam appear to have compromised the Twitter accounts of leading exchanges, individuals and at least one news organization.
The unknown attackers tweeted identical messages promising that they were "giving back 5000 BTC ($45,889,950) to the community" on Wednesday afternoon from the accounts of Gemini, Binance, KuCoin, Coinbase, Litecoin's Charlie Lee, Tron's Justin Sun, Bitcoin, Bitfinex, Ripple, Cash App, Elon Musk, Uber, Apple, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Barack Obama and CoinDesk.Their messages, sent within minutes of each other, prompted readers to claim their rewards at an included link associated with "Crypto For Health."Changpeng Zhao, Binance's CEO, attempted to warn Twitter users that the Tweet was a scam within five minutes of the hack. But the attackers appear to have hidden his response and hacked him too.Kucoin was also targeted in the hack. CoinDesk's account was as well.Attempts to reach the hacked entities were not immediately successful.At least some of the compromised accounts have multi-factor authentication enabled, including CoinDesk's.The address linked to the scam appears to have received more than 11.3 BTC, or roughly $103,960.Shares of Twitter fell as much as 3% in after-hours trading. At least four exchanges appear to have been hacked. DisclosureThe leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
Today's Twitter Hack Is New Take On ''Nigerian Prince'' Scam | Hackaday
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:20
Don't send bitcoin to celebrities'... or to random people for that matter. This afternoon a number of high profile Twitter accounts were taken over, including Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Apple, Jeff Bezos, and Kanye West, and the event appears to be ongoing. Each displayed a message saying they wanted to ''give back'' by doubling the bitcoin that they are sent. The messages all appear to have the same bitcoin wallet address.
This is reminiscent of the ''Nigerian prince'' scams, a form of advance-fee scam where an email asks for help with a small sum of money in order to obtain a larger sum. Those usually come in as spam emails which most people are wise to at this point. However, blindly following celebrities on Twitter may still deliver a good dose of na¯vet(C) when those platforms are misused.
Bitcoin transactions can be viewed publicly and this wallet is showing 11.8 BTC in and 5.8 BTC out in a total of 288 transactions. The net is roughly 6 bitcoin or $55k USD at the time of writing. Twitter's response appears to have locked down all verified accounts from publishing new tweets. They retain the ability to retweet and delete existing tweets.
Main image screenshot sources:
@Fiction49613028@isouravsethi@AbhishekKarnek
China Rocked By "Unprecedented" Surge In Bank Runs | Zero Hedge
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:17
At first, it was an unthinkable taboo - after all with a banking system that's twice as large as that of the US, the last thing Beijing wanted (or could afford) was doubts that the people's trillions in savings were safe as the alternative was not just a collapse of the financial sector but a breach of China's capital controls firewall as tens of millions scrambled to move their savings abroad, in the process obliterating the yuan. Then, starting in early 2019 after several banks quietly failed or were not so quietly nationalized...
... most notably the inner-Mongolia-based Baoshang Bank which was seized in the first state takeover since 1998, domestic confidence in China's banking system was suddenly - and perhaps irreparably - shaken, leading to scattered scenes such as these as depositor runs hammered several Chinese banks , forcing Beijing to unleash unprecedented damage control (and internet censorship) to keep the illusion that all is well.
Customers form lines in front of Yichuan bank; photo: WSJZhang Yanting, a 51-year-old farmer, walked away with a wad of cash from his savings account at Yichuan Bank Fast forward to today, when a confluence of the adverse trends that emerged in 2018 and 2019, coupled with the historic economic slowdown in China's economy, and accelerated by social media-fueled rumors about collapsing banks have sparked what Bloomberg called an "unprecedented" surge of bank runs, forcing regulators and even the police to step in to calm depositors.
According to Bloomberg, in just the past few weeks, worried savers have descended on three banks to withdraw funds amid rumors of cash shortages that were later dismissed as false.
Over the weekend customers rushed to a bank in the northern Hebei province to take out money, prompting local regulators to publicly vouch for the soundness of its lenders as the police halted the run.
Indeed, as Bloomberg adds, "after several bailouts and the first bank seizure in more than two decades last year, the coronavirus outbreak and its economic fallout have exacerbated an already shaky situation in the world's largest banking system" leading to a sharp erosion of confidence in the $43 trillion banking system among the nation's more than 1 billion account holders, threatening a cornerstone of China's rise into an economic powerhouse.
"The perception Chinese savers had of banks being risk free is changing even though in nearly all recent cases their deposits have been protected," said China International Capital Corp analyst Zhang Shuaishuai.
"Once a rumor like this spreads, it brings immediate liquidity risk to a bank."
There is probably a reason for why these "rumors" have led to such a dramatic response: they merely bring to the surface whatever most already know, namely that behind its sterling facade, China's banking system is rotten to the core, with lies upon lies about trillions in non-performing loans...
.. coupled with growing risks from billions parked at China's unregulated and unstable shadow banking system (best known recently for stories such as this one "Anxin Trust's $7 Billion Investment Black Hole")
While regular readers are all too familiar with the story, Bloomberg recaps quickly why it is so crucial for Beijing to preserve the illusions that Chinese savings are sacrosanct and why bank runs can never take hold:
For decades, deposit-taking has provided a stable and low-cost funding base for China's financial market, playing a key part in the rise of its economy to the second largest in the world. Chinese households hold about 90 trillion yuan ($13 trillion) of bank deposits, more than anywhere else in the world.
China's increasingly shaky banking system has also been cited as one of the reasons why Beijing has been aggressively seeking to blow another stock market bubble in hopes it leads to fund flows away from bank savings accounts: after all, it's politically safer and more palatable to store funds in capital markets rather than in banks, which are looking increasingly shaky by the day. Ultimately, if faced with a decision between another stock bubble-bust cycle, or a loss of confidence in its banks, Beijing will always pick the former.
In any case, regulators are now not only seeking to soothe nerves publicly, but are also raising the protection to preserve this cushion for banks. The run in Hebei came after authorities kicked off a pilot program to limit large transactions in the province. The two-year program, which Bloomberg explains is set to be expanded to Zhejiang and Shenzhen in October to encompass 70 million people, would require retail clients to pre-report any large withdrawals or deposits of 100,000 yuan ($14,000) to 300,000 yuan.
That could be problematic to say the least in a country whose own banking regulator, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, on Saturday again warned that lenders are facing a surge in bad debt as the economy sputters at its slowest pace in four decades.
While stopgap measures, which have included rolling over debt and delaying loan payments, have limited an immediate surge in bad debt, the regulator said the fundamental issues of poorly managed banks and the deteriorating ability of companies and individuals to repay loans are still far from solved. They are also asking banks to forgo 1.5 trillion yuan in profit this year by offering lower lending rates, cutting fees, deferring loan repayments, and granting more unsecured loans to small businesses to help the economy.
Alas for China's regulators, they are facing an uphill battle: with authorities overseeing more than 3,000 banks, most of which are small, rural entities without ready access to capital, their job equates to whack-a-mole - the moment they stop one bank run, several new ones take its place. And so, in another unprecedented move, China now plans to allow local governments to use about 200 billion yuan from bond sales to help smaller banks replenish their capital.
It gets worse.
According to S&P, China's industry may suffer a whopping 8 trillion yuan increase in bad debt this year. Even without this balance sheet "neutron bomb" small banks are facing a $349 billion shortfall in capital, according to UBS analysts, leading to even more small bank failures. Putting that figure at only $50 billion, the regulator said the shortfall could mean slower profit growth or even sliding profits at some institutions.
Meanwhile corporate bonds are also suffering, adding further pressure on banks and hurting corporate funding. According to Bloomberg data, about 80 billion yuan worth of Chinese bonds defaulted on and offshore so far this year, the most in at least three years.
The result of all this, predictably, has been a collapse in confidence in Chinese banks and its logical next step: bank runs.
In the most recent episodes, authorities stepped in last month to halt banks runs at two local lenders in Hebei and Shanxi. On July 11, savers rushed to withdraw money from Hengshui Bank, also based in Hebei, before the police put a stop to it.
In response, the local offices of the People's Bank of China and the CBIRC did what China does best: they scrambled to preserve confidence in the system, saying in a joint statement that Hengshui Bank and its branches are legitimate financial entities where any savings under half a million yuan are protected under China's deposit insurance regulation. They also reassured depositors that their money is safe and urged them not to ''blindly'' withdraw savings.
In fact, they also urged them not to withdraw savings at all.
When that did not work, police took people into custody, issuing reprimands to those spreading rumors, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, as Bloomberg adds, Hengshui Bank said in an emailed reply on Wednesday that the city government is actively dealing with the issue and called for less publicity for fear the incident leads to regional systemic risks. In other words, China is now aggressively censoring any online media that discusses China's questionably solvent banks.
Knowing this won't work, regulators have been working on a plan since last year that would see more small banks merge to shore up their strength, but so far little of that effort has come to fruition.
"China has too many banks," said Zhang. "Quite a few of them are weak in corporate governance and earnings capacity. A better option is to take a more proactive approach to restructuring those regional banks." He is, of course, correct, however any restructuring would require taking a very risk first step of admitting banks have a big problem, and with China having swept up its bank problems under the rug for years, it is anybody's guess how the world's largest depositor base reacts on learning that its money resides in the world's biggest house of cards.
Major US Twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam - BBC News
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:14
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Elon Musk's account was among those requesting Bitcoin donations Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are among many prominent US figures targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam.
The official accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kanye West also requested donations in the cryptocurrency.
"Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time," a tweet from Mr Gates' account said. "You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000."
The tweets were deleted just minutes after they were first posted.
Twitter took the extraordinary step of stopping many verified accounts marked with blue ticks from tweeting altogether.
There were reports that password reset requests were also being denied.
Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded cyber-security company CrowdStrike, told Reuters news agency: "This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet."
Twitter said it was looking into the incident and would issue a statement soon.
On the official account of Mr Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX chief appeared to offer to double any Bitcoin payment sent to the address of his digital wallet "for the next hour".
"I'm feeling generous because of Covid-19," the tweet added, along with a Bitcoin link address.
One such tweet from Musk's account was deleted, only for another one to appear, then a third.
As well as rapper Kanye West, his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former US President Obama, Mr Biden, who is the current Democratic presidential candidate, and media billionaire Mike Bloomberg, major companies Uber and Apple were targeted.
The Biden campaign said Twitter had "locked down the account within a few minutes of the breach and removed the related tweet".
A spokesman for Bill Gates told AP news agency: "This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing."
An unprecedented 'smash and grab' By Joe Tidy, Cyber-security reporter
These "double your Bitcoin" scams have been a persistent pest on Twitter for years but this is unprecedented with the actual accounts of public figures hijacked and on a large scale.
The fact that so many different users have been compromised at the same time implies that this is a problem with Twitter's platform itself.
Early suggestions are that someone has managed to get hold of some sort of administration privileges and bypassed the passwords of pretty much any account they want.
With so much power at their fingertips the attackers could have done a lot more damage with more sophisticated tweets that could have harmed an individual or organisation's reputation.
But the motive seems to be clear - make as much money as quickly as they can. The hackers would have known that the tweets wouldn't stay up for long so this was the equivalent of a "smash and grab" operation.
There are conflicting accounts of how much money the hackers have made and even when a figure is settled upon, it's important to remember that cyber-criminals are known to add their own funds into their Bitcoin wallets to make the scam seem more legitimate.
Either way, it's going to be very hard to catch the criminals by following the money. Law enforcement, as well as many angry users, will have some strong questions for Twitter about how this could have happened.
Cameron Winklevoss, who was declared the world's first Bitcoin billionaire in 2017 along with his twin brother Tyler, tweeted a message on Wednesday warning people not to participate in the "scam".
In the short time it was online, the link displayed in the tweets of targeted accounts received hundreds of contributions totalling more than $100,000 (£80,000), according to publicly available blockchain records.
The Twitter accounts targeted all have millions of followers.
Green New Deal
Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman now lobbies for nuclear power | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 13 Jul 2020 11:35
Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman Zion Lights quits green movement to become lobbyist for nuclear power saying: 'I changed my mind'Zion, 36, dramatically quit the group to join pro-nuclear Environmental ProgressMiss Lights said she felt she had been duped by anti-nuke activists around herNow she believes the energy source is the future to save the planetShe became worried about the environment after seeing an advert as a childBy Dan Sales For Mailonline
Published: 11:11 EDT, 25 June 2020 | Updated: 11:23 EDT, 25 June 2020
Extinction Rebellion's spokeswoman has quit the protest group to become a nuclear power campaigner.
Zion Lights, 36, has left the climate change cause, which brought London to a standstill last year, to join pro-nuke outfit Environmental Progress.
The former XR communications head said she had felt 'duped' after being surrounded by anti-nuclear campaigners until she read more into the radioactive fuel.
Zion Lights, pictured in mask and speaking at an event, has quit Extinction Rebellion after deciding nuclear power is the future
Mother-of-two Zion said: 'The facts didn't really change, but once I understood them I did change my mind.'
The switch took non-campaigners by surprise given her new role seems entirely at odds with her old position.
Zion, who was born in the West Midlands and given her unusual name as a baby, said: 'I have a long history of campaigning on environmental issues, most recently as a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion UK.
'Now, I have quit the organisation to take up a position as a campaigner for nuclear power.'
Extinction Rebellion protesting in London back in February earlier this year
The Light stuff: the bottom line on ZionZion Lights, 36, is best known for leading Extinction Rebellion's media team but has other strings to her bow.
She is the author of the The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting and has been dubbed Britain's Greenest Mother.
Zion, who is married with two children and lives in Devon, has also presented a TEDx talk on the importance of stargazing.
She also has a Masters Degree in Science Communication from The University of the West of England
The Environment Progress site suggests she joined their group on Sunday, with her profile dated that day.
Zion, who was grilled on the Andrew Neil Show last year, added to City Am: 'Surrounded by anti-nuclear activists, I had allowed fear of radiation, nuclear waste and weapons of mass destruction to creep into my subconscious. I realised I had been duped into anti-science sentiment all this time.'
It is an astonishing turnaround since her views in 2014 when she said there was no clear answer on the safety of nuclear power.
There was little reaction from Extinction Rebellion today after the news of her transfer was published.
Its website dodges the question on what it thinks about nuclear power saying it wanted to welcome 'a variety of views'.
The group continues: 'We believe a social movement is best built as a ''broad church'' and that respectful discussions should take place within the movement on a variety of topics.'
Zion has previously spoken about being worried about the environment since she was a child.
She was inspired after seeing an advert on television which said 'it is not too late'.
Recounting the experience, she said: 'I remember seeing it and having the horrible feeling of what if we are letting it be too late? "
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French Pedophile Accused Of Molesting 300 Kids Could Be Executed By Firing Squad
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 04:28
A French man who was traveling in Indonesia on a tourist visa was arrested by police in the capital city of Jakarta, after he was found sexually assaulting two young girls in a hotel room. The suspect, 65-year-old Francois Abello Camille, was accused of molesting and beating over 300 children, after video evidence was found in possession during the arrest.
In the raid of the hotel room, police found Camille's laptop computer, which contained hundreds of videos showing him sexually assaulting young children. Police were able to track down at least 17 victims and verify their ages, which range between 10 and 17. Based on the video evidence, investigators suspect that this abuse had been going on for years and that there are likely over 300 victims.
Camille recorded many of the encounters that he had with these young children with a hidden camera that he installed in the room.
Police say Camille visited Indonesia on a tourist visa many times over the past five years, and that he posed as a photographer, promising children that he would be able to get them a career in modeling. He would then pay them money and take them to his hotel room, which was fashioned to look like a photography and modeling studio. Once he had the children in his room, he would sexually assault them, and beat them up if they refused.
Photo: Screenshot
''He would approach children and lure them by offering them work as models. The ones who agreed to have sex with him would get paid between 250,000 and one million rupiah ($17-70),'' Jakarta police chief Nana Sudjana told reporters, according to the Jakarta Post.
''We arrested him while he was in the hotel with two minors, one already naked and one half-naked. We took him to the [Jakarta] police headquarters immediately,'' he added.
It is suspected that Camille has been committing these crimes in Indonesia for at least five years.
''It would be impossible to record hundreds of videos in one day. I believe it took him years to make them. Also, he has been living in Indonesia since 2015. I urge everyone who feel they were a victim of Frans to report it to us,'' Sudjana said.
Police say that most of the children approached by Camille were very poor and lived on the streets.
The Indonesian government is taking the matter very seriously, and if convicted of the charges against him, Camille may face the death penalty. At the very least, he will spend a minimum of 10 years in prison. If he receives the death penalty, the method of punishment will be firing squad.
''He [may] face the death penalty, with a minimum of 10 years or a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment,'' Sudjana said.
According to the global anti-trafficking network ECPAT International, an estimated 70,000 children are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation every year in Indonesia.
Last year, Anonymous News reported that a law was passed in Alabama that allows for the chemical castration of people who are found guilty of sex crimes against children.
Mark Horowitz is a graduate of Brandeis University with a degree in political science. Horowitz could have had a job at one of the top media organizations in the United States, but when working as an intern, he found that the journalists in the newsroom were confined by the anxieties and sensibilities of their bosses. Horowitz loved journalism, but wanted more freedom to pursue more complex topics than you would find on the evening news. Around the same time, he began to notice that there was a growing number of independent journalists developing followings online by sharing their in-depth analysis of advanced or off-beat topics. It wasn't long before Horowitz quit his internship with a large New York network to begin publishing his own material online.
Whistleblower: New Epstein Tapes Show Top Supreme Court Justice Being Blackmailed '' The Clover Chronicle
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 21:00
Early Tuesday morning, a whistleblower who allegedly works in the federal circuit revealed a Supreme Court justice was seen in various ''Epstein tapes'' that were recently recovered by investigators:
''One of the SCOTUS [justices] is in the Epstein tapes that were recovered yesterday. I'm sure you can guess which one.
''The shocking part is the canary is telling the feds a certain nation state has been blackmailing this gentleman since prior to his nomination to SCOTUS.
''What does this mean? This justice was hand picked at the highest levels specifically because he was being controlled via blackmail. A sheep in wolf's clothing appearing to be which he is not.
''Cat is out of the bag'... or I should say almost.''
The ''canary'' the whistleblower is referring to may very well be Jeffrey Epstein's former madam, Ghislaine Maxwell.
The ''nation state'' that has been blackmailing the justice was later confirmed to be ''one of the 5 eyes'':
'''...It's not Israel. It's not even Russia/China. One of the 5 eyes.''
After being prodded by readers to disclose the exact country, the whistleblower stated the following:
''I don't know which country, but UK was in bed with our deep state intelligence agencies trying to dig up dirt on Trump. I don't think that is even questioned anymore. Outside of my area of specific knowledge though.''
Also, since it was mentioned that the justice is a male (e.g. ''gentleman''), some have speculated how it might be the Chief Justice.
The name ''John Roberts'' reportedly appears in Epstein's infamous ''little black book'':
A screenshot from Jeffrey Epstein's ''little black book.'' (Source: Unknown / Unconfirmed)In 2019, the Daily Mail published an article that included information about a passenger identified as ''John Roberts'' flying with Epstein on at least two occasions. (Source / Archive link)The whistleblower continued:
''Here is the best part. The SCOTUS justice on the tapes '' it is being rumored in the federal court community '' has sat down with the FBI to roll on a previous president AND wife in an effort to keep his position, or more likely, be allowed to gracefully retire before the next SCOTUS term.
''If I were going to predict the future we are going to see a resignation in about 2-3 weeks as the last of the SCOTUS cases for this term are just about done.''
Read more here (Warning: may contain some NSFW content)
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Steve Bing: Conspiracy Theories as Democrat Donor, Liz Hurley's Ex and Clinton-Epstein Friend Dies
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 04:46
Hollywood producer and philanthropist Steve Bing, who shared a close bond with Democrats, died by suicide, aged 55. Reports said the political donor and philanthropist jumped from the 27th floor of the Century City neighborhood building where he stayed.
Bing, who inherited $600 million from his real estate tycoon grandfather, became popular after his relationship with Elizabeth Hurley became public in 2000-01. The couple share a son, Damian.
TwitterAccording to TMZ, sources revealed that Bing had been 'depressed' about being isolated during coronavirus. However, it is unclear if that had anything to do with his suicide.
Bing's Political Affinity and Philanthropic Works
Bing was known to share a close bond with former US President Bill Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Besides contributing at least $10 million to Bill Clinton's foundation he also helped Clinton by paying for the plane used by the former US President to rescue journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korea in 2009.
LA Mag reported that Clinton and Bing were part of a 'hard-partying' group that included convicted sex-offender late Jeffrey Epstein. Bing was also known for donating $1 million to the DNC to help fund a convention held in Los Angeles in 2000. He also spent an estimated $50 million to campaign for an oil production tax in 2006.
TwitterIn 1998 Bing donated $3.5 million to support and defend the initiative that imposed a 50-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund child-care and anti-tobacco programs for preschoolers, and was generous to Democratic candidates, reported the outlet.
Bing joined Giving Pledge, a program established by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to commit multi-millionaires and billionaires to donate most of their wealth to charity during their lifetimes, in April 2012.
Bing's Love Life and Hollywood Career
Bing, who generally kept a low profile, shot into limelight after his relationship with actress Elizabeth Hurley became public in 2000-01. The couple who kept their relationship non-exclusive, briefly broke up in March 2001, only to reunite again in August the same year.
However, following their split, Hurley informed Bing about being a father to her son Damian. In a statement issued soon after Bing said that they had not been in an exclusive relationship and that it was 'her choice to be a single mother, reported Daily Mail.
Bing, who initially refused to have fathered Damian, was proved wrong following a DNA test. In 2001, Bing was faced with a paternity suit from a second woman, professional tennis player Lisa Bonder, with whom he shares a daughter, Kira Bonder. Bing also had romantic escapades with Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman and Naomi Campbell.
Bing had written the 2003 film Kangaroo Jack. Besides producing the Rolling Stones film directed by Martin Scorcese, Shine A Light, Bing also pumped $100 million in Tom Hank's computer animated film, Polar Express.
In 2016, Bing invested in Warren Beatty' s Rules Don't Apply alongside Ron Burkle, Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan's New Regency, and James Packer's and Brett Ratner's RatPac Entertainment.
Twitter Raises Conspiracy Theories behind 'Suicide'
As soon as the news of Bing's death broke, conspiracy theorists raised questions over his death, including his close ties with Clinton and Epstein.
"Hard to believe a 55 year old billionaire #SteveBing suddenly decided to jump off a tall building because he "was depressed about social isolation during the Covid lockdown" which is over now anyway," wrote a user.
"Steve Bing won't be the last Epstein related death," tweeted a user.
"Three of four of the men in the lede are dead: "Epstein, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, film financier Steve Bing, and former president Bill Clinton...flying around on Epstein's jet, dubbed the Lolita Express, or Burkle's jet, dubbed Air Fuck One." Stay away from windows, Bill," tweeted another.
Steve Bing's late girlfriend 'urged him to expose paedophile pal Jeffery Epstein' - Mirror Online
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 04:45
Tragic Steve Bing was urged to speak out about what he knew of his paedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein's crimes, his late girlfriend's aunt has claimed.
Carrie Mitchum, aunt to Allexanne Mitchum - who died last year - has claimed that her niece urged him to speak out about "what he did know".
She wrote that while Steve and Epstein "weren't close", Allexanne "convinced Steve to make a statement via his attorneys telling what he did know".
Hollywood movie producer Steve fell to his death a week ago from a Los Angeles skyscraper at the age of 55.
Allexanne died in July last year of an accidental drug overdose, at the age of 28.
Steve took his own life last week (Image: WireImage for BWR Public Relations) Read MoreRelated ArticlesSteve Bing's 'final goodbye note to Liz Hurley's son Damian' hours before deathRead MoreRelated ArticlesDamian Hurley opens up about 'challenging time' after his dad Steve Bing's deathAmerican billionaire Epstein was arrested in that same month on sex trafficking charges involving underage girls, but died in August in jail while awaiting trial.
His death was ruled a suicide, but questions have been raised over the circumstances of his final moments after CCTV footage outside his jail cell went missing.
Carrie, who first introduced Steve to her niece, wrote that she had seen Steve shortly before lockdown.
She said in a Facebook post: "Steve also knew Jeffry Epstein. They weren't close and Steve didn't 'hang out' with him but a little over a year ago Allexanne convinced Steve to make a statement via his attorneys telling what he did know.
Epstein killed himself in jail (Image: REUTERS) Read MoreRelated ArticlesSteve Bing's 'crushing guilt' as he died days before anniversary of ex's death"Allexanne was such a staunch advocate for victims of the sex trade and felt any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could prove to be useful.
"That's it. No big mystery or conspiracy here."
Mirror Online has contacted the estate of Steve Bing for further comment.
It's said Allexanne convinced Steve to speak out about Epstein Read MoreRelated ArticlesSteve Bing sounded 'so positive' just two days before his death, says palThe Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said Steve's death was the result of multiple blunt trauma by suicide.
Steve's took his own life as the first anniversary of Allexanne's death drew near.
Carrie claimed Steve and Allexanne had had a spat on June 26 2019, and she had gone to stay at a pal's house.
Steve is said to have been wracked with guilt over Allexanne's death Read MoreRelated ArticlesTycoon Steve Bing's lonely life - cut off from his family and 'never meeting his kids'They had made up, but before returning to their shared home she took what she believed to be a Xanax pill.
It was laced with fentanyl, and caused her to overdose.
She later died in hospital.
Carrie recalled her time seeing Steve just prior to lockdown: "I went to his apartment in Century City, bought him a bunch of groceries, and we talked for hours.
Carrie claimed Allexanne had 'convinced Steve to make a statement via his attorneys' (Image: FilmMagic)"He was questioning God, the afterlife, the meaning of everything and anything.
"He got really quiet and his eyes filled with tears and he said...'and the guilt'...I knew exactly what he meant.
"Allexanne had died on his watch. Our watch. That guilt tears me up every single day.
"Intellectually, I know it wasn't his fault. Or my fault. It was a horrible accident. Emotionally, the guilt is crushing."
* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you're feeling, or if you're worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org
Steve Bing: Suicide spurred by money, drugs and mental health struggle
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 04:39
June 23, 2020 | 9:55pm
Hollywood and business mogul Steve Bing died by suicide following a yearslong battle with depression and financial woes after blowing much of his $600 million fortune, friends said.
Bing, 55, died after jumping from his 27th-floor apartment in LA's Century City on Monday. He was a notable philanthropist and Hollywood investor, including as a producer for the Sylvester Stallone remake ''Get Carter.''
Bing dropped out of Stanford after receiving a $600 million inheritance from his grandfather, a real estate developer. He is perhaps best known for being the father of Elizabeth Hurley's son, Damian, born in 2002.
Bing initially denied he was his father, but a DNA test proved otherwise.
While the Hollywood community remains shaken by his death, those close to Bing say his jet-set life was enviable on the surface '-- with close friendships with President Bill Clinton and billionaire Ron Burkle and relationships with a host of beautiful women '-- but in reality he was very troubled.
One friend, who asked not to be named, said, ''Steve was the most charming, caring and generous guy you could ever meet. Yes, he liked beautiful women, but it never worked out. He has gone through a dark time for years. He talked about battling mental illness, bipolar disorder. His close friends are devastated about his death but, sadly, not surprised.''
Steve Bing in 2019 HEDO / BACKGRIDThe source added, ''Steve did have a drug problem, but it was the mental issues that tormented him. He would often disappear for long periods of time. He didn't have a strong relationship with his kids, and he was sad about that.
''And, as surprising as this sounds, he had financial problems in the end. He made a lot of ill-advised investments. His latest film with Warren Beatty went upside down, and many people took him for a lot of money. People imagine it is impossible to run through $600 million, but he did. He was too generous.''
A second source added, ''Steve recently sold his jet, his home, and was very depressed.''
Steve Bing wrote notes for his kids before jumping to death
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 04:38
June 29, 2020 | 12:06pm
Hollywood mogul Steve Bing left a note for each of his two estranged children before he leaped to his death last week, according to a report.
The 55-year-old producer penned a letter to his 18-year-old son with actress Elizabeth Hurley, Damian, as well as Kira Kerkorian, his 21-year-old daughter with tennis player Lisa Bonder, according to Extra.
''One note for each kid,'' the entertainment news show's host Billy Bush said, citing mutual friends who live in the same Los Angeles high-rise from which Bing jumped to his death last Monday.
He didn't disclose what Bing had written in the notes.
Bing '-- who had inherited $600 million from his grandfather, a New York real estate developer '-- had a troubled history with both kids and only admitted he was their father after DNA tests.
Steve Bing Getty ImagesBut Hurley said they had grown ''close'' again and that her ex contacted them for Damian's 18th birthday in April.
Damian, meanwhile, thanked people for their ''overwhelming kindness,'' saying, ''Your love and support has helped me greatly during this challenging time.''
Bush said their mutual friends were shocked by the death '-- but the coronavirus lockdown ''really messed'' with Bing, adding to his existing problems.
''Steve Bing had depression with a capital D,'' Bush said on the show.
Ghislaine Maxwell Pleads Not Guilty in Sex-Trafficking Case
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 04:32
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Steve Bing, producer and philanthropist, dies in fall from building | Fox News
Wed, 15 Jul 2020 04:27
Steve Bing, the film producer and wealthy financier who fathered a child with actress Elizabeth Hurley, has died. He was 55.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office listed Bing as deceased on its website on Tuesday. His cause and manner of death are still pending an autopsy report.
"The decedent was pronounced dead at the scene on 06/22/2020 at 13:10 hours," a spokesperson for the coroner's office wrote to Fox News in a statement on Monday.
KRISTIN CAVALLARI SAYS EX JAY CUTLER HAS A 'HEART OF GOLD' IN SWEET FATHER'S DAY POST AMID DIVORCE
Steve Bing during the 34th Annual AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: A Tribute to Sean Connery - Arrivals at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. (Jason Merritt/FilmMagic/Getty)
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to Fox News on Monday that authorities were investigating the death of a man in his 50s in the 10000 block of Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City.
Early reports claimed Bing died in a fall from his posh Los Angeles, Calif. apartment building. The Los Angeles Times, citing a law enforcement source, reported that foul play is not expected.
Tributes for Bing began pouring in hours after the news broke.
"I loved Steve Bing very much. He had a big heart, and he was willing to do anything he could for the people and causes he believed in. I will miss him and his enthusiasm more than I can say, and I hope he's finally found peace," wrote former President Bill Clinton on Twitter.
JIMMY KIMMEL SLAMMED BY DONALD TRUMP, JR, SOCIAL MEDIA OVER N-WORD CONTROVERSY
Bing founded Shangri-La Entertainment, which produced and financed films such as "The Polar Express" starring actor Tom Hanks and 2007's "Beowulf." He also co-wrote the 2003 comedy, "Kangaroo Jack."
Bing was the ex of actress Elizabeth Hurley and father her son, Damian, based on a 2002 DNA test, which he denied at the time, according to PEOPLE. He had another child, Kira, born to professional tennis player Lisa Bonder.
At the age of 18, Bing inherited an estimated $600 million from his grandfather, Leo S. Bing, a real estate developer, which led him to drop out of Stanford University and use the money to invest in Hollywood.
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In 2009, Bing paid for the flight that carried Clinton and American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee home from North Korea, according to Deadline.
Fox News' Julius Young and Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.
It Turns Out Ghislaine Maxwell Is Also Allegedly Secretly Married | Vanity Fair
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 03:54
During and after Ghislaine Maxwell's videoconference arraignment on Tuesday afternoon, details of the prosecution's argument against granting her bail helped fill in a picture of her. It emerged that Maxwell, who pleaded not guilty on charges of enabling Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of minors and perjury, had allegedly pretended to be a journalist named Jen Marshall in order to buy the New Hampshire mansion where she was recently arrested by FBI agents. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said that Maxwell had wrapped her cell phone in tinfoil in a clumsy attempt to avoid detection. The federal judge Alison Nathan rejected Maxwell's proposal to serve her pretrial detention at a luxury Manhattan hotel, ruled that she is a significant flight risk, and denied her bail.
One detail, though, that seems to have escaped the first batch of news reports and Twitter dispatches from the hearing is that Maxwell allegedly has a secret spouse. In constructing the argument against Maxwell's claim to transparency, Moe said, ''the defendant also makes no mention whatsoever about the financial circumstances or assets of her spouse whose identity she declined to provide to Pretrial Services.'' Given the immense media and public intrigue Maxwell has generated, it was surprising that the statement appeared to go unnoticed. But the reason for the omission was banal, and somewhat familiar during the current surge of videoconferences:
The hearing began with Nathan and the prosecutors trying to resolve some technical difficulties on the call. In the large jury assembly room at Manhattan's U.S. District Court where reporters sat in socially distanced seats and watched the video projected onto a screen, it was hard at some points to make out what was being said. An additional phone line for listening in on the proceedings, initially meant to accommodate 500 callers and then expanded to 1,000, was crowded enough that some couldn't hear the entirety.
By nighttime, some of these virtual-arraignment hazards seemed to have been sorted out, if only because court transcripts got a closer look:
While Moe mentioned the allegation briefly, the development was of greater interest to onlookers. On Wednesday morning, the New York Post and The Telegraph were among the tabloids to report the additional information. On Tuesday, Maxwell's trial was set to begin on July 12, 2021. By then, perhaps, the attempts to identify her alleged spouse will have succeeded.
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Ghislaine Maxwell Allegedly Spotted In Photograph Of JonBenet Ramsey Shortly Before Her Death '' The Clover Chronicle
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:50
A photograph of child murder victim JonBen(C)t Ramsey that originated from the A&E Network and was later published in an article by The Sun shows what appears to be Ghislaine Maxwell, the embattled British socialite who was recently arrested, in the background:
JonBen(C)t Ramsey allegedly seen with Ghislaine Maxwell (Credit: A&E / The Sun)Here is a collage showing the same picture (upper left) and various angles of Maxwell's face for comparison:
Click to enlarge (Credit: 4chan)The Sun also published the last known photo of Ramsey with the following caption:
Six-year-old JonBenet smiles for the camera hours before she was murdered in her own home in Colorado.
Credit: A&EAlthough multiple theories exist explaining Ramsey's death, her case remains unsolved to this day.
UPDATE: It appears the same Denver, CO based law firm has represented members of the Ramsey family as well as Ghislaine Maxwell in the past ''
From The Denver Post:
Mom hires another lawyer
From Jewish Business News:
Lawyers For British Socialite Accused Of Pimping 'Sex Slave' To Jeffrey Epstein Push To Dismiss Defamation Lawsuit
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Image Credits: A&E, The Sun, 4chan
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Jeffrey Epstein: Deutsche Bank fined for oversight failures
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:06
New York state financial regulators said Tuesday that they have slapped Deutsche Bank with a $150 million penalty "for significant compliance failures" in the bank's dealings with accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, a now-dead investor, as well as with two client banks.
The New York State Department of Financial Services said that Deutsche Bank, which agreed to the payment under a consent order, "failed to properly monitor account activity conducted on behalf of the registered sex offender despite ample" public information about Mr. Epstein's earlier criminal misconduct.
The big settlement comes days after Epstein's alleged procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested on federal charges that accuse her of helping him get access to and groom underage girls so he could sexually abuse them.
The state said it was the first enforcement action by a regulator against a financial institution for dealings with Epstein.
The consent order covers Deutsche Bank's relationship with Epstein, and correspondent banking relationships with Danske Bank Estonia and FBME Bank.
Download Deutsche Bank's consent order here.
Deutsche Bank maintained a relationship Epstein, as well as with "related individuals and entities from August 2013 until December 2018," when the bank ended its dealings with him after the Miami Herald published a series of stories about a federal nonprosecution deal that Epstein obtained in 2008 in Florida. Over time, the German company handled more than 40 accounts related to Epstein and related people and entities.
The Financial Services Department said that because of the bank's oversight failure with Epstein, the "bank processed hundreds of transactions totaling millions of dollars that, at the very least, should have prompted additional scrutiny in light of Mr. Epstein's history."
Those transactions include payments to people who were publicly alleged to have been Epstein's co-conspirators in sexually abusing young women, and settlements totaling more than $7 million and payments to law firms of more than $6 million "for what appear to have been the legal expenses of Mr. Epstein and his co-conspirators," the department said.
Other payments were made "to Russian models, payments for women's school tuition, hotel and rent expenses, and (consistent with public allegations of prior wrongdoing) payments directly to numerous women with Eastern European surnames," according to the department.
Also noted were Epstein's "periodic suspicious cash withdrawals '-- in total, more than $800,000 over approximately four years," the department said.
All of these transactions occurred in the months and years after August 2013, when, in preparation for Epstein's accounts being shifted to Deutsche Bank, a junior relationship coordinator on the Epstein account prepared a memorandum for a relationship manager at the bank to be sent to the bank's then co-head of the wealth management Americas group and the chief operating officer of the wealth management Americas unit, the consent order notes.
That memo contained information about Epstein's prior state sex crime case in Florida, noting he was charged with soliciting an underage prostitute in 2007, that he served 13 months of his 18-month sentence, and that Epstein was accused of paying young women for massages in his Florida home, the consent order said.
"It also highlights that Mr. Epstein was involved in 17 out-of-court civil settlements related to his conduct in the 2007 conviction," the consent order said of the memo.
In an email to the two bank executives who included the memorandum as an attachment, the relationship manager "noted how lucrative the relationship could be, stating "[e]stimated flows of $100-300 [million] overtime [SIC] (possibly more)w/ revenue of $2-4 million annually over time," the consent order said.
"In the same email, [the bank's relationship manager] proposed that all Epstein-related accounts be for 'entities' affiliated with Mr. Epstein, 'not personal accounts,'" the consent order noted.
U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019.
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services | Handout | Reuters
The order noted that banks are required to have anti-money laundering controls in place, and that they are also required to monitor their customers to prevent them from facilitating criminal activity.
State Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell said in a prepared statement that "In each of the cases that are being resolved today, Deutsche Bank failed to adequately monitor the activity of customers that the Bank itself deemed to be high risk."
"In the case of Jeffrey Epstein in particular, despite knowing Mr. Epstein's terrible criminal history, the Bank inexcusably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions," Lacewell said.
The state Financial Services Department said it concluded that Deutsche Bank failed to monitor the activities of their bank clients, Danske Estonia and FBME, "with respect to their correspondent and dollar clearing business. "
The department noted that Danske Estonia is "at the center of one of the world's largest money laundering scandals" and had control failures that led to large amounts of money being transferred on behalf of Russian oligarchs.
"Over the course of the years-long relationship between Deutsche Bank and Danske Estonia, Deutsche Bank was repeatedly put on notice of these failings and of the fact that few improvements were undertaken by Danske Estonia," the department said.
"Despite the fact that Deutsche Bank assigned Danske Estonia its highest possible risk rating, Deutsche Bank failed to take appropriate action to prevent Danske Estonia from transferring billions of dollars of suspicious transactions through Deutsche Bank accounts in New York."
The regulator also said that Deutsche Bank's relationship with FBME represented a similar failure "to act on red flags" from a "high-risk client that required annual enhanced anti-money laundering checks."
"Despite these checks, there was little evidence that FBME improved the quality of its controls over several years," the Financial Services Department said
Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing, in an internal communication to all bank staff about the settlement said, "Today serves as a reminder of how vigilant we must remain."
"It not only marks the anniversary of our 'Compete to Win' strategy, but also our settlement just announced with the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), resolving investigations into our controls and processes in the fight against financial crime," Sewing said.He noted that "the settlement covers three issues: Danske Bank, the Federal Bank of the Middle East and our former business relationship with Jeffrey Epstein."
"Onboarding the latter as a client in 2013 was a critical mistake and should never have happened," the CEO said.
During a later interview on CNBC's "Closing Bell" with Wilfred Frost, Sewing said that his message to the bank's 86,000 employees was, "Thus must not happen again."
A Deutsche Bank spokesman said, "We acknowledge our error of onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weaknesses in our processes, and have learnt from our mistakes and shortcomings."
The spokesman said that immediately after Epstein's arrest on child sex trafficking charges in July 2019, the bank "contacted law enforcement and offered our full assistance with their investigation."
We have been fully transparent and have addressed these matters with our regulator, adjusted our risk tolerance and systematically tackled the issues," the spokesman said.
Epstein, 66, died last August in a federal jail in Manhattan from what authorities ruled was a suicide by hanging after being denied bail in his criminal case, where he was charged with child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking.
The multimillionaire investor was a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as of Britain's Prince Andrew.
Deutsche Bank has reportedly loaned more than $2.5 billion to projects run by Trump's company, the Trump Organization. The Supreme Court currently is considering arguments in case in which Trump has sued to block two House of Representatives Committees from getting financial records related to the president and related entities from Deutsche Bank pursuant to a subpoena.
At the time the bank began doing business with Epstein he was already a notorious registered sex offender, having pleaded guilty to the Florida state charges in 2008 in a case that was widely reported at the time.
Maxwell, who was a former girlfriend of Epstein as well as a one-time manager of his luxurious properties, was arrested last week on federal charges while holed up at a $1 million getaway in New Hampshire.
Prosecutors in New York say that in the mid-1990s, Maxwell helped Epstein get access to and groom underage girls so that they could be sexually abused by him, and sometimes with her participation.
At least one of the girls was 14 years old, court papers say.
Maxwell, 58, was transported by authorities to New York City. Her first court appearance in Manhattan federal court is set for July 14.
She is currently being held in a federal jail in Brooklyn pending a decision on whether she should be granted bail. Prosecutors want her held without bail, calling her an extreme flight risk.
War on Cash
Facts Matter: Coin shortage due to COVID-19, not conspiracy
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:34
Updated 7/13/2020 10:05 AM
A recent social media post falsely said a coin shortage in the U.S. was a sign of an impending one-world government.
The false claim included a photo of a sign in a grocery store asking customers to use exact change or noncash payments due to a "national coin shortage," according to PolitiFact.com.
The shortage "was done intentionally, the mint is no longer releasing coins into circulation aka this is the beginning of the end of paper money," the Facebook post read.
The shortage, the post claimed, is part of a plan to enable a one-world government that will track every private transaction. There was a recent slowdown in coin production, but it was due to the coronavirus pandemic as the lockdown prevented people from spending money in stores and banks were running low on nickels, dimes and quarters, PolitiFact said.
The reduction of workers at the U.S. Mint because of social distancing resulted in a 10% decrease in production in April and a 20% decrease in May, mint spokesperson Todd Martin told PolitiFact.
The organization went to full production last month and nearly 1.6 billion coins were produced in June, he said.
President's Daily Brief isn't a 'mini novel'The President's Daily Brief has been in the news following reports it warned President Donald Trump about a Russian threat to American troops in Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, Brian Kilmeade, a co-host of Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends," claimed the information was part of a report that is "like a mini novel, every single day."
Although the format and length of the daily brief can vary from one administration to another, it is "definitely not a mini novel," Matt Olsen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center told PolitiFact. "It's written for somebody who is a busy person."
Olsen, director for three years under President Barack Obama, said the report he worked with was divided into articles and bulleted points that "were very staccato, short-form. I'd say a page, sometimes a page and a half."
The daily report, prepared for each president since it began with President Harry Truman in 1946, is rarely less than one page or longer than 25 pages, David Priess, a former CIA intelligence briefer for presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told PolitiFact.
"My understanding is that the current PDB is comprised of very few words and mostly contains graphics to more effectively engage the president," former Obama administration intelligence official Derek Grossman told PolitiFact.
Don Knotts statue untouchedA satirical story about the removal of a statue of actor Don Knotts was shared on social media without saying it was a joke, "leading some to mistakenly believe that West Virginia was attempting to erase its TV history," according to Snopes.com.
Knotts, who died in 2006, was honored with a statue in 2016 in his hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia, according to MetroNews. The actor, known for playing Deputy Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s, is depicted sitting outside the Metropolitan Theatre, where he once performed.
The fake article claiming the statue was removed was published by satirical website Madhouse Magazine after groups protesting racial injustice called for Confederate monuments to be taken down.
' Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.
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VIDEO-Trump says he'd welcome former national security adviser Michael Flynn back to the White House - CBS News
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:56
Washington '-- Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn lasted less than a month on the job as President Trump's first national security adviser before being fired in February 2017 for lying to the vice president about his interactions with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.
On Tuesday, President Trump said he would welcome Flynn back to the White House.
"I would. I think he's a great gentleman," the president told CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge in an exclusive interview . "He's a great '-- he's been in the military for many, many decades, actually. Highly respected. What General Flynn went through is so unfair."
Flynn has spent the last three years in the throes of the justice system. He pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, but his sentence was delayed after he agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election.
Flynn has since tried to withdraw that guilty plea and the Justice Department moved to drop the criminal charge against him, citing records withheld from Flynn's defense team and saying Flynn's 2016 conversations with the Russian ambassador were not "material" to any legitimate counterintelligence investigation. A federal appeals court will soon decide Flynn's fate.
"I don't think he's going to need a pardon because he's been proven to be innocent," the president said. "I don't think he's going to need a pardon."
Mr. Trump has long claimed that Flynn was the victim of rogue federal agents conducting a politically motivated investigation. A second Justice Department investigation examining the origins of the Mueller probe is underway but has yielded no known indictments.
The president said he is letting that investigation, led by U.S. Attorney John Durham, proceed without intervening. "I've totally taken myself out of it," he said.
But Mr. Trump stopped short of saying he regretted firing Flynn, blaming others in his administration for providing faulty information.
"You have to understand. I was given information that he lied."
On Friday, the president commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, a longtime ally and advisor also indicted in the Mueller investigation. A jury convicted Stone of witness tampering and lying to Congress. He was sentenced to more than three years in prison before the president intervened.
Stone said he would campaign for Mr. Trump leading up to the November election. Asked whether he would allow that, the president said, "Hey, Roger's free."
VIDEO-Unplugged: H1N1 Cases Overestimated? - YouTube
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:28
VIDEO-Chicago Census 2020: Mayor Lori Lightfoot urges participation by introducing 'Census Cowboy' Adam Hollingsworth - ABC7 Chicago
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:08
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot made a new plea to Chicagoans Monday, urging them to take part in the 2020 Census.
RELATED: Chicago launches challenge encouraging residents to fill out census
The mayor said only about 55% of the city's residents have filled out the online questionnaire, however Illinois is said to have a more than 66% response rate.
The mayor spoke at an event on the city's West Side Monday where ward response rates are as low at 40%.
RELATED: Black Women's Expo webinar aims to get African American women counted in this year's censusLightfoot introduced the "Census Cowboy," who will be visiting neighborhoods with low response rates.
"If you see the Census Cowboy come into your neighborhood, that's not a good thing. That means you need to step up and do your part," Lightfoot said.
The cowboy is Adam Hollingsworth, also known as the Dreadhead Cowboy, who is often seen riding his horse through the streets of Chicago.
RELATED: 'Dreadhead Cowboy' rides along Chicago streets spreading positivity
Earlier this month Lightfoot also launched a citywide challenge to try an encourage residents in all 50 wards to take part in the 2020 census.
Each ward will compete to see who makes the most progress over the next ten days and starting on July 9, progress can be tracked on a virtual leaderboard at census2020.chicago.gov.
The winner of the challenge will get ice cream for all young people in the ward.
The mayor's office said the city could lose between $1,400-$1,800 every year for each resident missed by the census. For more information on completing the census, visit my2020census.gov.
Census workers will start going door to door later this month.
Copyright (C) 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Biden Gaffe: A Bold New Plan 'to get our kids to market swiftly' '' Sara A. Carter
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:51
Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a new bold plan on Tuesday to 'get our kids to market swiftly.' Of course, it was another one of his famous gaffes but at first I thought it was part of his efforts to cut back on gas emissions.
Seriously, however, his continued gaffes are raising concern about his health and whether or not he'll be able to debate President Donald Trump.
Only 54 percent of Americans believe he can actually debate President Donald Trump and it appears Democrats are so concerned that they are coming up with any excuse to keep him from doing so, as reported.
Other Biden gaffes have been the brunt of jokes on social media. In one major gaffe he described his 1962 encounter with a gang member who went by the name of 'Corn Pop.' In the same video, he rambled on about his blonde hair on his legs and how children liked to touch his glistening hair.
VIDEO-China's economy rebounds after steep slump, weak demand, U.S. tensions raise risks | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:16
Thu Jul 16, 2020 / 7:07 AM EDT
Gabriel Crossley and Kevin Yao
BEIJING BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy returned to growth in the second quarter after a deep slump at the start of the year, but unexpected weakness in domestic consumption underscored the need for more policy support to bolster the recovery after the shock of the coronavirus crisis.
Asian share markets and the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS fell, partly reflecting the broad challenges facing the world's second-largest economy as it grapples with the double-whammy of the pandemic and heightened tensions with the United States over trade, technology and geopolitics.
Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 3.2% in the second-quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, faster than the 2.5% forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, as lockdown measures ended and policymakers ramped up stimulus to combat the virus-led downturn.
The bounce was still the weakest expansion on record, and followed a steep 6.8% slump in the first quarter, the worst downturn since at least the early 1990s.
"As we previously highlighted, policy support is still needed despite recovering growth momentum," Betty Wang, ANZ bank's senior China economist.
"The possibility of resurgences in local COVID-19 cases, global economic uncertainty and the deteriorating China-U.S. relationship all pose downside risks to China's H2 growth outlook," Wang said.
Those risks were partly reflected in separate retail data that showed Chinese consumers kept their wallets tightly shut, pointing to a bumpy outlook at home and overseas, as many countries continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic - led by surging infections in the United States.
Though June indicators and GDP numbers largely beat expectations, Rodrigo Catril, a foreign exchange strategist at NAB in Sydney, said they also revealed "the China consumer remains behind in terms of the recovery story."
"It's very much a story of government stimulus-led recovery, which is very much focused on the industrial side. The consumer remains very cautious. That cautiousness is something the market is looking at in terms of countries where the consumer plays a bigger role, so that's obviously relevant for the U.S. as well."
Retail sales were down 1.8% on-year in June - the fifth straight month of decline and much worse than a predicted 0.3% growth, after a 2.8% drop in May.
Domestic job losses have been one of the worries for consumers, as many businesses struggled to stay in the black.
Wanda Film, for example, China's largest cinema chain operator which has more than 600 cinemas, on Tuesday warned of a first half net loss of 1.5-1.6 billion yuan ($214-228 million), after the coronavirus kept its cinemas shut for almost the entire period.
U.S. TENSIONS, STRUCTURAL ISSUES
In the first half of the year, the economy contracted 1.6% from a year earlier, underscoring the sweeping impact of the virus which first emerged in China late last year and has killed over 583,000 people worldwide.
The rising tensions with the United States and the pandemic have added to structural issues that China has been facing for years, including demographic changes, over-investment, low industrial productivity and high debt levels.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP jumped 11.5% in April-June, the NBS said, compared with expectations for a 9.6% rise and a 10% decline in the previous quarter.
The government is expected to offer more support on top of a raft of measures already announced, including fiscal spending boost, tax relief and cuts in lending rates and banks' reserve requirements.
But debt worries have kept a leash on China's stimulus tap. Net fiscal stimulus unveiled so this year amounted to just over 4 trillion yuan ($571.76 billion), much restrained compared the spending burst in other major economies including the United States and Japan.
The Institute of International Finance estimates China's total debt rose to 317% of gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2020, up from 300% in late 2019 and the largest quarterly increase on record.
The industrial economy offered some hope for the nation as it tries to regain its footing, with output in the vast sector rising 4.8% in June from a year earlier, the third straight month of growth, the data showed, quickening from a 4.4% rise in May.
Fixed asset investment fell a less-than-expected 3.1% in the first half from the same period in 2019, moderating from a 6.3% decline in the first five months, while real estate investment growth also quickened to 8.5% in June, thanks to the credit boost.
While the International Monetary Fund has forecast China to expand 1.0% for the full year, the only major economy expected to report growth in 2020, many analysts caution about the outlook.
"Domestic demand will drive China's recovery ahead, but external demand could be a risk to the growth outlook given the possibility of large second round of coronavirus infections overseas," said Oshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.
(Reporting by Kevin Yao, additional reporting by Stella Qiu and Yawen Chen; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
VIDEO-Interested in testing a COVID-19 vaccine? Austin-based research company is seeking participants | KXAN Austin
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 11:10
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Austin-based Benchmark Research is seeking participants for Phase III of clinical research trials involving a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
The company announced Wednesday that Austin has been selected as a site to test vaccines aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.
''Austin is also included [as a site] because we are having a surge in cases and they want to go where there's a surge in cases,'' said Mark Lacy, chief executive officer at Benchmark Research.
Researchers are looking for people 18 and older. Ideal study participants are highly likely to be and have been exposed to COVID-19 and those at risk for severe illness. They are also lookinig for individuals who are in the following occupations that put them in regular contact with the public:
Nurses and doctors Construction workers Teachers Retail staff Delivery drivers Other essential workersHigh-risk individuals including those above the age of 65 and those who suffer from health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and asthma are also eligible to participate.
The company is also looking for minorities to participate, as recent data shows COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting communities of color.
''The global effort to develop a vaccine has resulted in the need for thousands of study participants to join this historic fight,'' said Lacy. ''We know that Austinites and central Texans feel like the problem is bigger than themselves, and this is an ideal way to be a part of the solution.''
Over the course of the trial, participants will receive compensation for their participation, which will include a specified number of visits to the facility and answering periodic phone calls regarding the study. Many of the company's trials typically pay up to $1500. Travel expenses will be reimbursed and all lab work is complimentary. Insurance is not required to take part in the trial.
Benchmark is just one of many companies across the nation that is testing the vaccine and sharing the findings with pharmaceutical companies, that will then develop the vaccine.
''There are 23 vaccines in trials now, if four or five of them hit, then its good because there will be multiple options,'' said Professor Daniel Leahy, the Chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences at University of Texas.
Researchers from the Department of Molecular Biosciences at UT have played a critical role in the development of an experimental vaccine for COVID-19.
READ: COVID-19 Vaccine with UT Ties Arrived Quickly After Years in the Making
While many vaccines can take four or five years, sometimes even a decade to develop, the federal government has an accelerated timeline that could produce a vaccine by the end of the year. Experts say the vaccine is a two-shot regimen which means participants get a shot at the beginning and another one, four weeks later.
''It takes at least a month to have the immune response boosted properly. After the trial starts, it takes a month or two to get enough people enrolled, another month or two for them to get their shots and then its up to the virus to see how it goes,'' said Leahy. ''So I would say within three months would be the absolute earliest their might be a signal.''
The entire study for a vaccine is enrolling 30,000 participants across the entire nation. Patients who enroll in the study will participate for two years in the trial. Most of the trials should begin enrollment in the last week of July.
Experts say you need hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine.
''The government is actually sponsoring in its Warp Speed Program several companies, including Moderna, Inc., for which these latest results just came out, saying just make a lot of the vaccine now and stockpile it, even if it doesn't work. We will pay for it,'' said Leahy.
Leahy said companies will likely get Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and then the vaccine would first likely be given to ''high risk people'', including medical professionals, construction workers and food processing plants.
To learn more or register for the clinical trials, click here.
VIDEO-Coronavirus live updates: U.S. covid cases nearing 3.5 million, Georgia Gov. Kemp nullifies Atlanta mask mandate - The Washington Post
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 10:59
Please NoteThe Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. For more free coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter where all stories are free to read.
With the total number of reported U.S. coronavirus infections rapidly approaching 3.5 million, Walmart, Kroger, Kohl's, Alabama, Montana and the city of Tulsa came out in favor of mandatory face coverings Wednesday, suggesting that science was beginning to prevail over partisan debate.
But Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) issued a Wednesday-night order nullifying all local mask mandates '-- including one in Atlanta '-- and a Utah county commission meeting had to be postponed after anti-mask protesters caused it to devolve into chaos.
As the heated debate over