1268: Quarantine Bonking

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 13m
August 13th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Geoffrey Rozen, Anonymous, Jeffrey Gunnar Walter, Sir Dave, Duke of America's Heartland and the Arabian Peninsula, Michael Harrington, Cory Sherman, Sir Gomberg of the Northeast Legal Isles, Baron Oleg Rakitine, Sir Kappo of Gunya Beach, Downunder

Associate Executive Producers: Keith Larson, Anonymous, Baron Sir Stephen of Oswego,, Sir Mr Peabody, LeeAnn Webb, Jeffrey Baker, Sir Rodric of Flavortown, Jethro Jones, Martin Williamson, Sir Thatbt the black knight of Braves Country, Henry Claeys

Cover Artist: Jordan 33


Start of Show
Kamala Harris Selected as Joe Biden's Vice President Pick
Second Half
Guest producer
Flying Cars
Guest producer
International Updates
Guest producer
Noodle Gun
Guest producer
Black Lives Matter
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
Harris identifies as African American and considers her experience to be American
Trump donor Louis DeJoy named head of U.S. Postal Service - CBS News
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:58
A businessman who is a major donor to President Trump and the Republican Party will be the next head of the U.S. Postal Service, the agency's board of governors announced Wednesday. Louis DeJoy will take over a service that the president has criticized constantly, while it is struggling for financial survival during the coronavirus pandemic.
DeJoy is set to become the next postmaster general on June 15. He will replace Megan Brennan, who became the first female postmaster general in 2015 under former President Barack Obama.
DeJoy is the former CEO of New Breed Logistics, a North Carolina company that worked with Postal Service mail processing facilities and won awards from the Postal Service for being a top supplier. He sold the company in 2014 and retired as its CEO a year later.
"Postal workers are the heart and soul of this institution, and I will be honored to work alongside them and their unions," DeJoy said in a statement.
Louis DeJoy Kim Walker / AP DeJoy has donated more than $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Fund, as well as millions of dollars to the Republican National Committee and various GOP candidates over the past three decades, according to Federal Elections Commission records. He is also overseeing fundraising for the Republican National Convention, which is supposed to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August.
DeJoy's wife, Aldona Wos, was nominated by Mr. Trump to be ambassador to Canada, and served as ambassador to Estonia under former President George W. Bush.
Mr. Trump has often attacked the Postal Service during his presidency, demanding that it raise rates for companies such as Amazon '-- another frequent Trump target. The president said in the Oval Office last month that the "Postal Service is a joke" and that it should quadruple its shipping prices.
But Mr. Trump said on Twitter last month, "I will never let our Post Office fail. It has been mismanaged for years, especially since the advent of the internet and modern-day technology. The people that work there are great, and we're going to keep them happy, healthy, and well!"
The Postal Service has faced financial difficulties for years as the volume of mail has plummeted. The current postmaster general warned in April that USPS could run out of money by October due to a "devastating" drop in business caused by the coronavirus.
Congress approved a $10 billion loan for the Postal Service last month, which must be approved by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration sees tough stipulations on the loan as a way to take more control of the Postal Service and change the way it does business.
Shipments of 20,000+ Fake US Driver's Licenses From China Intercepted at Chicago Airport - Big League Politics
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:29
President Donald Trump delivered a full-throated defense of American heritage, traditions, and history during his Independence Day celebration event at Mount Rushmore on Friday, pledging to defend icons of American civilization from the onslaught of a fanatical cultural Left intent on destroying and pillaging them.
The President pledged that the American monument at which he spoke would ''never be destroyed'' by the cultural fanatics determined to destroy images of other American Presidents, such as Andrew Jackson and Ulysses Grant.
''I am here as your President to proclaim before the country, and before the world,'' pledged the President, ''this monument will never be desecrated. These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacies will never ever be destroyed. Their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.''
An attempt to prevent the event by left-wing rioters by barricading off the public access road to Mount Rushmore failed, with law enforcement towing away sabotaged vehicles they planted on the road to prevent Americans from participating in political expression.
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The President spoke against the insidious agenda of the cultural left, calling out the major corporations and societal institutions that have cheered on the recent attack throughout American society against patriotic traditions.
Trump: "Our children are taught in school to hate their own country"
'-- Scott Greer (@ScottMGreer) July 4, 2020
''And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled and bled, to secure. Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.''
MAGA conservatives and America First Nationalists largely saluted the speech as one of the greatest of Trump's presidency, speaking with clarity in defense of American identity in an era where liberal fanaticism threatens the fabric of the American way of life.
Watch: Donald Trump Mt. Rushmore 4th of July Speech '-- Greatest Speech of the Presidency
'-- Jake Lloyd (@JacobCLloyd) July 4, 2020
The President also announced the creation of a new ''Garden of American Heroes,'' a patriotic public park that will honor the legacies and memory of American patriots such as George Patton, Amelia Earheart, and Benjamin Franklin.
Watch the full speech here:
BREAKING: Kamala Harris unfollows Joe Biden on Twitter as VP announcement approaches | The Post Millennial
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 23:33
Vice-Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has appeared to unfollow Joe Biden on Twitter.Vice-Presidential candidate Kamala Harris unfollowed Joe Biden on Twitter. Alex Salvi of OAN tweeted the news Monday night:
NEW: Sen. Kamala Harris has unfollowed the campaign account of @JoeBiden ahead of his VP announcement.
'-- Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) August 10, 2020Kamala Harris is thought to be one of the frontrunners in the race to become Joe Biden's Vice-Presidential candidate. The unfollowing of Biden might be considered a sign that he is leaning in another direction.
In addition to Harris, Obama-era United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice is also considered to be a favourite to be Joe Biden's running mate.
Other candidates include Karen Bass, Stacey Abrams, Val Demings, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
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NBC News on Twitter: "Joe Biden in email to supporters: "I've decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021."" / Twitter
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 21:08
NBC News : Joe Biden in email to supporters: "I've decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to'... https://t.co/dLCcMdEXve
Tue Aug 11 20:16:54 +0000 2020
Ep. 126 '' Heard The One About Kamala Harris and The Knights Templar? And, The Real Reason Progressives Fear Howard Schultz '' The Propaganda Report
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:16
Have you heard the one about Kamala Harris and a group that claimed to be descendants of the Knights Templar? Plus, the real reason Progressives fear Howard Schultz. All on this episode of the Propaganda Report Podcast. Source links, videos, and images below.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the show via Paypal, Patreon, and in a variety of other ways. It is your continued support that enables us to continue doing the show.
Anyone who interested in donating and helping us keep the show going can do so via , or you can Become a Patreon.Every little bit helps. If you can't currently donate but want to help out in other ways, you can help us grow by sharing the show with a few friends or by leaving us a rating on iTunes. Subscribe to the Propaganda Report podcast on iTunes or if you're an android user, you can subscribe on Google Play
L.A.'s fake police case captivates, confounds '' and captures Kamala Harris community liaison
Bizarre fake police force included Kamala Harris aide, prosecutors say
'Masonic Fraternal Police' Member ID'd As Calif. Attorney General Aide
Kamala Harris aide, 2 others arrested for allegedly running fake Masonic police department
Top hats and gold cuffs: the curious case of California's fake masonic police force
Alleged Member Of 'Masonic Police' Dies Hours After Court Appearance
Case against 3 who ran fake police force collapses; phony chief dies
State Justice Department Employee One of Alleged 'Knights Templar' Impersonators
Kiel's name is mentioned under the ''Special Thanks'' section of a 2014 report on truancy from Harris' office
California Attorney General 2014 Report on Truancy Crisis
''Special ThanksThis report benefits from the counsel and support of the Special Project Team and many other contributors involved with the California Attorney General's Truancy project. Thanks to the following individuals from the Attorney General's office for their contributions to this report: Brian Nelson, Special Assistant Attorney General; Juan Rodriguez, Special Assistant Attorney General; Brandon Kiel, Deputy Director for Community Affairs''
Masonic Fraternal Police DepartmentGRANDMASTER DAVID HENRY Google Plus Page
David Henry and Brandon Kiel giving Maxine Waters an award.David HenryDavid Henry with Bill Clinton and with California Governor Jerry Brown.David Henry and Brandon Kiel posing in their Illuminati outfits.The video below is David Henry claiming that a hit had been put out on his life by the detective that worked his and Kiel's case. The description of the video further elaborates.
In the video below, David Henry is asking for threats against him by the detective on his and Kiel's case to stop. He says he reached out to the United Nations, Barak Obama, Maxine Waters, and Kamala Harris. He says some of this in the video. The rest is in the description of the video.
Brandon Kiel Twitter Page
From 2011, A Starbucks pilot program will share profits of two stores with the neighborhoods they serve.
From 2011, Starbucks: Helping Communities One Cup at a Time
President Barack Obama has lost Starbucks on health care
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz donates $30M to U.S. troops
BREAKING: Wikileaks Posts 137 Documents on Kamala Harris Hours After She Is Named Joe Biden's Running Mate
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 17:11
Joe Biden chose California Senator Kamala Harris as his Vice President nominee.
Politico reported:
Joe Biden has selected Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate, elevating a charismatic blue-state senator, former prosecutor and onetime 2020 primary rival who has built a reputation as an unyielding antagonist of the Trump administration.
Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, was the wire-to-wire frontrunner for Biden's No. 2 job. Her experience as a battle-tested presidential contender, her efforts leading major law enforcement offices and her political track record of three election wins in California helped her overcome a crowded list of contenders.
TRENDING: California Black Lives Matter Leader Charged with Five Felonies, Faces 15 Years in Prison (VIDEO)
Biden also made the announcement on his official Twitter account.
Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I'm proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.
'-- Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
Hours after today's announcement Wikileaks released 137 documents on Kamala Harris.Could you ever vote for Kamala?
0% (1 Votes)
100% (500 Votes)
Via Jack Posobiec.
137 documents from @WikiLeakson newly announced Vice Presidential Running Mate Kamala Harrishttps://t.co/M5BfZXOjlm pic.twitter.com/MzFJlWK2xb
'-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 11, 2020
Wikileaks published their list on Kamala Harris on Tuesday.
On the Meaning of ''Natural Born Citizen'' - Harvard Law Review
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:27
We have both had the privilege of heading the Office of the Solicitor General during different administrations. We may have different ideas about the ideal candidate in the next presidential election, but we agree on one important principle: voters should be able to choose from all constitutionally eligible candidates, free from spurious arguments that a U.S. citizen at birth is somehow not constitutionally eligible to serve as President simply because he was delivered at a hospital abroad.
The Constitution directly addresses the minimum qualifications necessary to serve as President. In addition to requiring thirty-five years of age and fourteen years of residency, the Constitution limits the presidency to ''a natural born Citizen.''1— U.S. Const . art. II, § 1, cl. 5. All the sources routinely used to interpret the Constitution confirm that the phrase ''natural born Citizen'' has a specific meaning: namely, someone who was a U.S. citizen at birth with no need to go through a naturalization proceeding at some later time. And Congress has made equally clear from the time of the framing of the Constitution to the current day that, subject to certain residency requirements on the parents, someone born to a U.S. citizen parent generally becomes a U.S. citizen without regard to whether the birth takes place in Canada, the Canal Zone, or the continental United States.2— See, e.g., 8 U.S.C. § 1401(g) (2012); Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, Pub. L. No. 82-414, § 303, 66 Stat. 163, 236''37; Act of May 24, 1934, Pub. L. No. 73-250, 48 Stat. 797.
While some constitutional issues are truly difficult, with framing-era sources either nonexistent or contradictory, here, the relevant materials clearly indicate that a ''natural born Citizen'' means a citizen from birth with no need to go through naturalization proceedings. The Supreme Court has long recognized that two particularly useful sources in understanding constitutional terms are British common law3— See Smith v. Alabama, 124 U.S. 465, 478 (1888). and enactments of the First Congress.4— See Wisconsin v. Pelican Ins. Co., 127 U.S. 265, 297 (1888). Both confirm that the original meaning of the phrase ''natural born Citizen'' includes persons born abroad who are citizens from birth based on the citizenship of a parent.
As to the British practice, laws in force in the 1700s recognized that children born outside of the British Empire to subjects of the Crown were subjects themselves and explicitly used ''natural born'' to encompass such children.5— See United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 655''72 (1898). These statutes provided that children born abroad to subjects of the British Empire were ''natural-born Subjects . . . to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever.''6— 7 Ann., c. 5, § 3 (1708); see also British Nationality Act, 1730, 4 Geo. 2, c. 21. The Framers, of course, would have been intimately familiar with these statutes and the way they used terms like ''natural born,'' since the statutes were binding law in the colonies before the Revolutionary War. They were also well documented in Blackstone's Commentaries,7— See 1 William Blackstone , Commentaries *354''63. a text widely circulated and read by the Framers and routinely invoked in interpreting the Constitution.
No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were ''natural born Citizens.'' The Naturalization Act of 17908— Ch. 3, 1 Stat. 103 (repealed 1795). provided that ''the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States . . . .''9— Id. at 104 (emphasis omitted). The actions and understandings of the First Congress are particularly persuasive because so many of the Framers of the Constitution were also members of the First Congress. That is particularly true in this instance, as eight of the eleven members of the committee that proposed the natural born eligibility requirement to the Convention served in the First Congress and none objected to a definition of ''natural born Citizen'' that included persons born abroad to citizen parents.10— See Christina S. Lohman, Presidential Eligibility: The Meaning of the Natural-Born Citizen Clause, 36 Gonz. L. Rev. 349, 371 (2000/01).
The proviso in the Naturalization Act of 1790 underscores that while the concept of ''natural born Citizen'' has remained constant and plainly includes someone who is a citizen from birth by descent without the need to undergo naturalization proceedings, the details of which individuals born abroad to a citizen parent qualify as citizens from birth have changed. The pre-Revolution British statutes sometimes focused on paternity such that only children of citizen fathers were granted citizenship at birth.11— See, e.g., British Nationality Act, 1730, 4 Geo. 2, c. 21. The Naturalization Act of 1790 expanded the class of citizens at birth to include children born abroad of citizen mothers as long as the father had at least been resident in the United States at some point. But Congress eliminated that differential treatment of citizen mothers and fathers before any of the potential candidates in the current presidential election were born. Thus, in the relevant time period, and subject to certain residency requirements, children born abroad of a citizen parent were citizens from the moment of birth, and thus are ''natural born Citizens.''
The original meaning of ''natural born Citizen'' also comports with what we know of the Framers' purpose in including this language in the Constitution. The phrase first appeared in the draft Constitution shortly after George Washington received a letter from John Jay, the future first Chief Justice of the United States, suggesting:
[W]hether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a . . . strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american [sic] army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.12— Letter from John Jay to George Washington (July 25, 1787), in 3 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 61 (Max Farrand ed., 1911).
As recounted by Justice Joseph Story in his famous Commentaries on the Constitution, the purpose of the natural born Citizen clause was thus to ''cut[] off all chances for ambitious foreigners, who might otherwise be intriguing for the office; and interpose[] a barrier against those corrupt interferences of foreign governments in executive elections.''13— 3 Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States § 1473, at 333 (1833). The Framers did not fear such machinations from those who were U.S. citizens from birth just because of the happenstance of a foreign birthplace. Indeed, John Jay's own children were born abroad while he served on diplomatic assignments, and it would be absurd to conclude that Jay proposed to exclude his own children, as foreigners of dubious loyalty, from presidential eligibility.14— See Michael Nelson, Constitutional Qualifications for President, 17 Presidential Stud. Q . 383, 396 (1987).
While the field of candidates for the next presidential election is still taking shape, at least one potential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, was born in a Canadian hospital to a U.S. citizen mother.15— See Monica Langley, Ted Cruz, Invoking Reagan, Angers GOP Colleagues But Wins Fans Elsewhere, Wall St. J. (Apr. 18, 2014, 11:36 PM), http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303873604579494001552603692. Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a ''natural born Citizen'' within the meaning of the Constitution. Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a ''natural born Citizen'' even under the Naturalization Act of 1790. Similarly, in 2008, one of the two major party candidates for President, Senator John McCain, was born outside the United States on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone to a U.S. citizen parent.16— See Michael Dobbs, John McCain's Birthplace, Wash. Post: Fact Checker (May 20, 2008, 6:00 AM), http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/05/john_mccains_birthplace.html [http://perma.cc/5DKV-C7VE]. Despite a few spurious suggestions to the contrary, there is no serious question that Senator McCain was fully eligible to serve as President, wholly apart from any murky debate about the precise sovereign status of the Panama Canal Zone at the time of Senator McCain's birth.17— See, e.g., Laurence H. Tribe & Theodore B. Olson, Opinion Letter, Presidents and Citizenship, 2 J.L . 509 (2012). Indeed, this aspect of Senator McCain's candidacy was a source of bipartisan accord. The U.S. Senate unanimously agreed that Senator McCain was eligible for the presidency, resolving that any interpretation of the natural born citizenship clause as limited to those born within the United States was ''inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the 'natural born Citizen' clause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congress's own statute defining the term 'natural born Citizen.'''18— S. Res. 511, 110th Cong. (2008). And for the same reasons, both Senator Barry Goldwater and Governor George Romney were eligible to serve as President although neither was born within a state. Senator Goldwater was born in Arizona before its statehood and was the Republican Party's presidential nominee in 1964,19— See Bart Barnes, Barry Goldwater, GOP Hero, Dies, Wash. Post , May 30, 1998, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/may98/goldwater30.htm [http://perma.cc/K2MG-3PZL]. and Governor Romney was born in Mexico to U.S. citizen parents and unsuccessfully pursued the Republican nomination for President in 1968.20— See David E. Rosenbaum, George Romney Dies at 88; A Leading G.O.P. Figure, N.Y. Times , July 27, 1995, http://www.nytimes.com/1995/07/27/obituaries/george-romney-dies-at-88-a-leading-gop-figure.html.
There are plenty of serious issues to debate in the upcoming presidential election cycle. The less time spent dealing with specious objections to candidate eligibility, the better. Fortunately, the Constitution is refreshingly clear on these eligibility issues. To serve, an individual must be at least thirty-five years old and a ''natural born Citizen.'' Thirty-four and a half is not enough and, for better or worse, a naturalized citizen cannot serve. But as Congress has recognized since the Founding, a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent is generally a U.S. citizen from birth with no need for naturalization. And the phrase ''natural born Citizen'' in the Constitution encompasses all such citizens from birth. Thus, an individual born to a U.S. citizen parent '-- whether in California or Canada or the Canal Zone '-- is a U.S. citizen from birth and is fully eligible to serve as President if the people so choose.
* Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of Law, Georgetown University. ** Distinguished Lecturer in Law, Georgetown University; Partner, Bancroft PLLC.
About | PowerNomics® Corporation of America, Inc.
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 21:27
Dr. Claud Anderson
Dr. Claud Anderson is president of PowerNomics Corporation of America, Inc. and The Harvest Institute, Inc. PowerNomics is a company that publishes his books and produces multimedia presentations in which he explains his concept, PowerNomics. PowerNomics is the package of principles and strategies he developed to explain the concept of race and to offer a guide for Black America to become a more economically and politically competitive group in America.
Dr. Anderson's book, PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America, incorporates and reflects his past experiences: his academic research, business experience, both as an owner and a capital provider, and his varied political positions. He has held the highest positions in federal and state government and politics. He was State Coordinator of Education for Florida under Governor Reubin Askew during the tumultuous period of the 1970s. After successful social reform projects in Florida and leading President Jimmy Carter's Florida campaign to a win in the state, Carter appointed Anderson as the Federal Co-Chairman for a Commission of governors in the southeast states. In that position (rank of assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce), he chaired the commission, funded and directed economic development projects for the governors in those states. The projects he funded created jobs and businesses in those states. As executive director of two economic development corporations for the city of Miami, Florida, he oversaw funding of more than 30 businesses. Although he has been a political independent for many years, he was a major planner and coordinator for the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta and has taught at all levels of education.
Dr. Anderson is also president of The Harvest Institute, a nationally recognized think tank that does research, policy development, education and advocacy to increase the self-sufficiency of Black America. Dr. Anderson's books, Black Labor, White Wealth: A Search for Power and Economic Justice and PowerNomics: The National Plan, are the foundation for Harvest Institute programs.
His books, including his most recent, More Dirty Little Secrets about Black History , which he authored with his son Brant, have all been best sellers and are used as textbooks in many universities and high schools.
Download PDFThe concept of PowerNomics® was created by Dr. Claud Anderson and is described in his book PowerNomics®: The National Plan to Empower Black America (www.powernomics.com). The PowerNomics® concept and plan teach Blacks how to pool resources and aspects of power so that they can produce, distribute and consume in a way that creates goods and wealth.
Black Americans made extraordinary contributions to American society despite the astonishing, unusual and unconscionable treatment they have endured in America. Blacks were the engines that drove the political-economic development of this nation for centuries. They should, therefore, value their exceptionality and let that sense of worth, guide their group behavior. They should require that any business, political party or political candidate who seeks or benefits from Black support, always identify Blacks by name, commit and in reciprocity, deliver tangible, measurable benefits to Black Americans. They should never allow themselves to be grouped with or equated to broad and ambiguous classes such as minorities, immigrants, people of color, diversity, poor people or similar defining terms. The nation is indebted to Blacks and equating them to fabricated classes adds insult to injury, hides their special history and promotes the myth that all people have been created and treated equally and that all groups have contributed equally to the building of the nation. Nothing is further from the truth.
See Dr. Claud Anderson's Bio
Is Kamala Harris eligible to be Joe Biden's VP? - American Thinker
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 21:25
August 10, 2020
Is Kamala Harris a natural born citizen?
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It is no secret that Harris wants to be Joe Biden's vice president. The junior senator from California clearly sees an opening to her real objective: the presidency of the United States. With Biden surprisingly outlasting the other anti-American socialist candidates, Harris recognizes that Biden's age and declining cognitive abilities pose a glorious opportunity to resurrect her presidential ambitions. After all, there is an good chance that the bumbling, incoherent Biden might have to resign or be removed in his first term and his V.P. would succeed him. Even if Biden managed to miraculously finish his first term, it is unlikely that he would or could run for a second.
Harris would love to "back door" her way into the presidency, especially given the fact that her vacuous campaign was an unmitigated disaster, and any future presidential ambitions looked to be a virtual impossibility only a few months ago.
But not so fast. Harris is constitutionally ineligible to be VPOTUS (12th Amendment) or POTUS (Article 2). She is not '-- nor can she ever be '-- a natural born citizen, the highest standard of citizenship mandated by the Constitution for the president and commander-in-chief. The Founding Fathers wanted a higher standard of citizenship for the POTUS because they did not want any competing allegiances with foreign governments.
'); googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1567099776462-0'); }); } Harris was born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964, to an Indian citizen mother and a Jamaican citizen father. Thus, Harris is a native-born American citizen, or a citizen pursuant to what I refer to as the anchor baby provision of the 14th Amendment.
I wrote to Senator Harris on Dec. 4, 2017, expressing that the presidential eligibility clause, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 mandates that the president must be a natural born citizen. She and her campaign replied with a form letter that purposely ignored the issue.
But wait, there is more! Harris may be a native-born American citizen by the accident of her birth and in my opinion an erroneous 14th Amendment interpretation, but she is also a citizen of Jamaica.
Under Chapter 2 of the Constitution of Jamaica, a person born in Jamaica after August 5, 1962, or born outside Jamaica after that date to a parent who is a Jamaican citizen, is automatically considered a Jamaican citizen at birth. Furthermore, under current Jamaican legislation, citizens of Jamaica can hold multiple nationalities. And this status does not prohibit serving in the legislature of Jamaica!
Imagine that: a vice president or president of the United States with concurrent citizenship with another foreign government '-- a person with clearly divided loyalties and an ability and opportunity to participate in governmental proceedings of another country, travel on another country's passport, and legally take up residence in that country.
Specifically, Chapter 2 (entitled Citizenship) of the Jamaica Constitution, Section 3C states:
Every person born outside Jamaica shall become a citizen of Jamaica -
on the sixth day of August 1962, in the case of a person born before that date; or on the date of his/her birth, in the case of a person born on or after the sixth day of August 1962, if, at that date, his/her father or mother is a citizen of Jamaica by birth, descent, or registration by virtue of marriage to a citizen of Jamaica.
Harris was born Oct. 20, 1964, and her father was a citizen of Jamaica at the time of her birth. Therefore, the law of Jamaica is clear: Kamala Harris is a citizen of Jamaica, pursuant to Section 3Cb of the Constitution of Jamaica.
And what about citizenship of India? Harris's mother was a citizen of India and, to the best of my knowledge, never actually became an American citizen. Does Kamala qualify for Indian citizenship, too?
No, she does not. Under Indian law, dual citizenship is not allowed. However, Indian law does allow persons of Indian origin certain benefits and privileges. A PIO (persons of Indian origin) card may be issued to those holding U.S. passports, who can prove their Indian origin up to three generations before along with spouses of Indian citizens or persons of Indian origin.
The PIO card is valid for fifteen years and provides the following benefits:
· exemption from registration at a Foreigners' Regional Registration Office (FRRO) for periods of stay less than 180 days
· enjoy parity with non-resident Indians in economic, financial, and educational fields
· acquire, hold, transfer, or dispose of immovable properties in India, except for agricultural properties
· open rupee bank accounts, lend in rupees to Indian residents, and make investments in India, etc.
· being eligible for various housing schemes under the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) or the central or State governments
· their children can obtain admission in educational institutions in India in the general category quota for non-resident Indians
It should be noted that PIO card''holders are not entitled to the following:
· the exercise of any political rights
· visits to restricted or protected areas without permission
· mountaineering, research, and missionary work without permission.
It would be interesting to find out if Harris ever held or currently holds a PIO card.
Thus, Kamala Harris, United States senator, former candidate for the president of the United States, and current prospective candidate for vice president in the upcoming election, has competing foreign citizenship with the country of Jamaica and preferential status with the country of India.
If Harris is picked by Biden, what does that say about the vetting process? Americans would be asked to vote for a ticket that has a foreign citizen candidate '-- precisely the type of candidate that the Founding Fathers were trying to preclude. What sense does that make? The whole purpose of Article 2 and the natural born citizen requirement is to ensure that the president and commander-in-chief have no foreign influence whatsoever.
Clearly, Kamala Harris has no respect for the Constitution. Her lack of transparency regarding her background combined with her naked political ambition is an affront to all law-abiding citizens and those who seek to uphold the Constitution. Others from both parties have chosen to subvert Article 2 in the past three election cycles. As I said to Senator Harris in my letter more than two and a half years ago, it is time for the American people to be fully informed as to how the elite media and our complicit so-called representatives have subverted the intent and true meaning of the Constitution.
Image: Mobilus In Mobili via Wikimedia Commons.
Is Kamala Harris a natural born citizen?
It is no secret that Harris wants to be Joe Biden's vice president. The junior senator from California clearly sees an opening to her real objective: the presidency of the United States. With Biden surprisingly outlasting the other anti-American socialist candidates, Harris recognizes that Biden's age and declining cognitive abilities pose a glorious opportunity to resurrect her presidential ambitions. After all, there is an good chance that the bumbling, incoherent Biden might have to resign or be removed in his first term and his V.P. would succeed him. Even if Biden managed to miraculously finish his first term, it is unlikely that he would or could run for a second.
Harris would love to "back door" her way into the presidency, especially given the fact that her vacuous campaign was an unmitigated disaster, and any future presidential ambitions looked to be a virtual impossibility only a few months ago.
But not so fast. Harris is constitutionally ineligible to be VPOTUS (12th Amendment) or POTUS (Article 2). She is not '-- nor can she ever be '-- a natural born citizen, the highest standard of citizenship mandated by the Constitution for the president and commander-in-chief. The Founding Fathers wanted a higher standard of citizenship for the POTUS because they did not want any competing allegiances with foreign governments.
Harris was born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964, to an Indian citizen mother and a Jamaican citizen father. Thus, Harris is a native-born American citizen, or a citizen pursuant to what I refer to as the anchor baby provision of the 14th Amendment.
I wrote to Senator Harris on Dec. 4, 2017, expressing that the presidential eligibility clause, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 mandates that the president must be a natural born citizen. She and her campaign replied with a form letter that purposely ignored the issue.
But wait, there is more! Harris may be a native-born American citizen by the accident of her birth and in my opinion an erroneous 14th Amendment interpretation, but she is also a citizen of Jamaica.
Under Chapter 2 of the Constitution of Jamaica, a person born in Jamaica after August 5, 1962, or born outside Jamaica after that date to a parent who is a Jamaican citizen, is automatically considered a Jamaican citizen at birth. Furthermore, under current Jamaican legislation, citizens of Jamaica can hold multiple nationalities. And this status does not prohibit serving in the legislature of Jamaica!
Imagine that: a vice president or president of the United States with concurrent citizenship with another foreign government '-- a person with clearly divided loyalties and an ability and opportunity to participate in governmental proceedings of another country, travel on another country's passport, and legally take up residence in that country.
Specifically, Chapter 2 (entitled Citizenship) of the Jamaica Constitution, Section 3C states:
Every person born outside Jamaica shall become a citizen of Jamaica -
on the sixth day of August 1962, in the case of a person born before that date; or on the date of his/her birth, in the case of a person born on or after the sixth day of August 1962, if, at that date, his/her father or mother is a citizen of Jamaica by birth, descent, or registration by virtue of marriage to a citizen of Jamaica.
Harris was born Oct. 20, 1964, and her father was a citizen of Jamaica at the time of her birth. Therefore, the law of Jamaica is clear: Kamala Harris is a citizen of Jamaica, pursuant to Section 3Cb of the Constitution of Jamaica.
And what about citizenship of India? Harris's mother was a citizen of India and, to the best of my knowledge, never actually became an American citizen. Does Kamala qualify for Indian citizenship, too?
No, she does not. Under Indian law, dual citizenship is not allowed. However, Indian law does allow persons of Indian origin certain benefits and privileges. A PIO (persons of Indian origin) card may be issued to those holding U.S. passports, who can prove their Indian origin up to three generations before along with spouses of Indian citizens or persons of Indian origin.
The PIO card is valid for fifteen years and provides the following benefits:
· exemption from registration at a Foreigners' Regional Registration Office (FRRO) for periods of stay less than 180 days
· enjoy parity with non-resident Indians in economic, financial, and educational fields
· acquire, hold, transfer, or dispose of immovable properties in India, except for agricultural properties
· open rupee bank accounts, lend in rupees to Indian residents, and make investments in India, etc.
· being eligible for various housing schemes under the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) or the central or State governments
· their children can obtain admission in educational institutions in India in the general category quota for non-resident Indians
It should be noted that PIO card''holders are not entitled to the following:
· the exercise of any political rights
· visits to restricted or protected areas without permission
· mountaineering, research, and missionary work without permission.
It would be interesting to find out if Harris ever held or currently holds a PIO card.
Thus, Kamala Harris, United States senator, former candidate for the president of the United States, and current prospective candidate for vice president in the upcoming election, has competing foreign citizenship with the country of Jamaica and preferential status with the country of India.
If Harris is picked by Biden, what does that say about the vetting process? Americans would be asked to vote for a ticket that has a foreign citizen candidate '-- precisely the type of candidate that the Founding Fathers were trying to preclude. What sense does that make? The whole purpose of Article 2 and the natural born citizen requirement is to ensure that the president and commander-in-chief have no foreign influence whatsoever.
Clearly, Kamala Harris has no respect for the Constitution. Her lack of transparency regarding her background combined with her naked political ambition is an affront to all law-abiding citizens and those who seek to uphold the Constitution. Others from both parties have chosen to subvert Article 2 in the past three election cycles. As I said to Senator Harris in my letter more than two and a half years ago, it is time for the American people to be fully informed as to how the elite media and our complicit so-called representatives have subverted the intent and true meaning of the Constitution.
Image: Mobilus In Mobili via Wikimedia Commons.
FAR-LEFT MELTDOWN: Democrats Severely Limit AOC's Speaking Role At Convention | The Daily Wire
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:05
The Democrat Party is giving Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) 60 seconds to speak at the Democratic National Convention next week, triggering the far-left.
''Ocasio-Cortez will be given just 60 seconds to deliver a pre-recorded message at the Democratic National Convention next week,'' The New York Post reported. ''The party's progressive firebrand has been afforded the limited role while Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, will get to deliver live, virtual speeches at the coronavirus-revamped event.''
The move comes as Democrats try to change the narrative surround the far-left ideology of both Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). Biden has already said that if elected he will go down as one of the most far-left presidents in history and Harris is ranked as the most far-left Senator in the U.S. Senate.
''I only have a minute.Sixty seconds in it.Forced upon me, I did not choose it,But I know that I must use it.Give account if I abuse it.Suffer, if I lose it.
Only a tiny little minute,But eternity is in it.''
'' Dr. Benjamin E. Mays(and recited by Elijah Cummings) ðŸ'' https://t.co/ul9CE7NriV
'-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 12, 2020
The news caused many on the far-left to lose their minds on social media, decrying the Democrat Party as ''arrogant scumbags.''
''Y'all gone fuck around and make @AOC shake the foundations of this entire democracy in 60 seconds just because you arrogant scumbags tried to diminish her impact,'' far-left commentator Benjamin Dixon tweeted.
Y'all gone fuck around and make @AOC shake the foundations of this entire democracy in 60 seconds just because you arrogant scumbags tried to diminish her impact.
'-- Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) August 13, 2020
Another leftist journalist tweeted: ''Wow'....the Democratic Party is basically telling progressives to go elsewhere at this point. Bad strategy toward 40-45% of the party.''
One fringe activist wrote on Twitter: ''I voted for AOC. Our whole district voted for AOC. She won 75-18. Giving her 60 seconds when a Republican gets a prime time slot is a slap in the face to us, not just her.''
''AOC gets 60 seconds to address the DNC. Rashida nor Ilhan speaking,'' another wrote. ''Meanwhile, Jeffrey Epstein's pal Bill Clinton & his partner who gave us Trump in the first place will get to babble to their hearts' content. The Democrats hate progressives more than they want to win.''
AOC gets 60 seconds to address the DNC. Rashida nor Ilhan speaking. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Epstein's pal Bill Clinton & his partner who gave us Trump in the first place will get to babble to their hearts' content. The Democrats hate progressives more than they want to win.
'-- Michael Salamone (@MichaelSalamone) August 13, 2020
Another far-left activist wrote, ''Progressive AOC getting 60 seconds to speak at the DNC compared to Republican John Kasich's headliner spot is a good summary of how the Democrats will, even in the most fascistic of times, ally more with the Right that brought us Trump than progressives or the Left.''
'' 60 seconds for AOC ?! What?!'' another far-left activist wrote. ''BS How much time do Bill Clinton and John Kasich get? Cuz I could do without hearing from either of them.''
The Daily Wire highlighted Harris's and Biden's political views in in-depth profile pieces last fall:
HARRIS: Harris is a full-spectrum progressive who supports a far-left economic, social, and national security agenda. She is fiercely defensive of abortion rights, supports curtailing Second Amendment rights, supports single-payer/''Medicare for All'' health insurance, supports marijuana legalization, and favors sanctuary cities and other sovereignty-undermining, pro-amnesty immigration policies.BIDEN: Although Biden now presents himself as a moderate, centrist figure, the totality of his political career, overall, suggests that he is a firm leftist. Biden has dabbled at times in moderation, including previous support for tough-on-crime legislation and his longstanding stance that he is ''personally pro-life'' despite his support of legalized abortion. However, he has long been a progressive on legal issues, economic issues, and foreign policy issues, and even preempted President Obama's ''evolution'' when, in 2012, he confirmed that he was ''absolutely comfortable'' with same-sex marriage.This piece has been updated to include additional information.
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member .
A $65-million publishing contract and Obama can't make a deadline? - American Thinker
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:42
August 12, 2020
Like exorbitant speaking fees, book publishing contracts are one of those ways bribes can be paid to politicians undetected. Just ask Russia's former first deputy prime minister, Anatoli Chubais, whose political career ended with that one.
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So when President Obama and his wife Michelle Obama got a $65-million his-'n'-hers book publishing contract, eyebrows were raised. It wasn't a normal number. Oh, sure, it might have been justified by the likely volume of sales, some said. But Michelle turned her book in on time. And eighteen months past his deadline, Obama has not. Squirreled away in retirement with multiple luxury mansions to choose from, he hasn't exactly been busy. Yet even with that kind of money at stake, he still can't make a deadline, or even come close.
This kind of suggests that maybe getting the book from him in exchange for the cash wasn't important?
Maybe. But now the word is rolling out that he's "underperforming." According to this delicious item in the American Spectator:
'); googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1567099776462-0'); }); } Michelle's book, Becoming, was released by PRH's Crown division on schedule in November 2018 and has exceeded expectations. Barack's book will be released at least two years behind schedule with no publication date in sight.
"The delay is wreaking havoc with print scheduling and of course budget planning," one publishing insider told me. "The enormous advance is starting to 'raise' concerns within the publisher. While Michelle's book performed well, Obama needs to deliver the book and sales to make the overall deal worthwhile."
So they really do need to get the book from him. And they needed it 18 months ago. And they cut him some slack by letting it go a year past deadline some six months ago. And another six months has drifted past. And now they're getting ready to scream.
It's not as if this should be a surprise to them. He's burned publishers before with the same problem.
It's part and parcel of being Obama, who, number one, can't write. That was the conclusion reached by American Thinker contributor Jack Cashill, who had some pretty interesting circumstantial evidence that Obama's mentor, Bill Ayers, wrote his early books well for him. See here.
Two, Obama can't manage time. He's been called lazy time and again from all quarters, based on his White House term of office.
The lazy charge has been dismissed as "racism," but Obama himself has weighed in and claimed that yes, he is indeed lazy, and it's all because he was raised in Hawaii. Here's something gushy published by the Atlantic Monthly back in 2011:
"You're lazy?" Barbara Walters incredulously asked Obama, sitting alongside the first lady, in an interview scheduled to air on Friday night but previewed ahead of time.
"It's interesting.... Deep down underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me," Obama said. "It's probably from growing up in Hawaii, and it's sunny outside. Sitting on the beach."
He cites the Hawaiian weather as the reason, but if anyone was being racist, well, it was probably he, blaming the Hawaiian culture and calling it the weather. San Diego, where I am, also has nice weather and nice beaches, and nobody calls us lazy. And that certainly wouldn't explain why Obama tried to complete his earlier book in Bali, would it? If Hawaii is lazy by Obama's reckoning, Bali would be a hundred times lazier by pretty culture (except that the Balinese are famously industrious).
But here we are, with Obama saying he is lazy, and then blaming Hawaii.
More likely, he's been coddled all his life, allowed to slide, allowed to pass through without putting in the work and then let it become "who he was."
Seriously '-- he's got a $65-million book deal, from a publisher who will probably take literally anything from him, and in the midst of his retirement, never having to work another day in his life, he can't make a deadline, or even a grace period beyond it? Too many billionaire vacays? He hasn't said.
Sounds like this guy has a character flaw. And suddenly his publishers are expressing discomfort, many moons out from when there was supposed to be a crisis. Bribe? Hard to say. Just call him "Mr. Underperformance." Sounds a lot like his presidency.
Image credit: Obama White House photo via Papahānaumokuākea.gov, public domain.
Like exorbitant speaking fees, book publishing contracts are one of those ways bribes can be paid to politicians undetected. Just ask Russia's former first deputy prime minister, Anatoli Chubais, whose political career ended with that one.
So when President Obama and his wife Michelle Obama got a $65-million his-'n'-hers book publishing contract, eyebrows were raised. It wasn't a normal number. Oh, sure, it might have been justified by the likely volume of sales, some said. But Michelle turned her book in on time. And eighteen months past his deadline, Obama has not. Squirreled away in retirement with multiple luxury mansions to choose from, he hasn't exactly been busy. Yet even with that kind of money at stake, he still can't make a deadline, or even come close.
This kind of suggests that maybe getting the book from him in exchange for the cash wasn't important?
Maybe. But now the word is rolling out that he's "underperforming." According to this delicious item in the American Spectator:
Michelle's book, Becoming, was released by PRH's Crown division on schedule in November 2018 and has exceeded expectations. Barack's book will be released at least two years behind schedule with no publication date in sight.
"The delay is wreaking havoc with print scheduling and of course budget planning," one publishing insider told me. "The enormous advance is starting to 'raise' concerns within the publisher. While Michelle's book performed well, Obama needs to deliver the book and sales to make the overall deal worthwhile."
So they really do need to get the book from him. And they needed it 18 months ago. And they cut him some slack by letting it go a year past deadline some six months ago. And another six months has drifted past. And now they're getting ready to scream.
It's not as if this should be a surprise to them. He's burned publishers before with the same problem.
It's part and parcel of being Obama, who, number one, can't write. That was the conclusion reached by American Thinker contributor Jack Cashill, who had some pretty interesting circumstantial evidence that Obama's mentor, Bill Ayers, wrote his early books well for him. See here.
Two, Obama can't manage time. He's been called lazy time and again from all quarters, based on his White House term of office.
The lazy charge has been dismissed as "racism," but Obama himself has weighed in and claimed that yes, he is indeed lazy, and it's all because he was raised in Hawaii. Here's something gushy published by the Atlantic Monthly back in 2011:
"You're lazy?" Barbara Walters incredulously asked Obama, sitting alongside the first lady, in an interview scheduled to air on Friday night but previewed ahead of time.
"It's interesting.... Deep down underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me," Obama said. "It's probably from growing up in Hawaii, and it's sunny outside. Sitting on the beach."
He cites the Hawaiian weather as the reason, but if anyone was being racist, well, it was probably he, blaming the Hawaiian culture and calling it the weather. San Diego, where I am, also has nice weather and nice beaches, and nobody calls us lazy. And that certainly wouldn't explain why Obama tried to complete his earlier book in Bali, would it? If Hawaii is lazy by Obama's reckoning, Bali would be a hundred times lazier by pretty culture (except that the Balinese are famously industrious).
But here we are, with Obama saying he is lazy, and then blaming Hawaii.
More likely, he's been coddled all his life, allowed to slide, allowed to pass through without putting in the work and then let it become "who he was."
Seriously '-- he's got a $65-million book deal, from a publisher who will probably take literally anything from him, and in the midst of his retirement, never having to work another day in his life, he can't make a deadline, or even a grace period beyond it? Too many billionaire vacays? He hasn't said.
Sounds like this guy has a character flaw. And suddenly his publishers are expressing discomfort, many moons out from when there was supposed to be a crisis. Bribe? Hard to say. Just call him "Mr. Underperformance." Sounds a lot like his presidency.
Image credit: Obama White House photo via Papahānaumokuākea.gov, public domain.
Some Questions for Kamala Harris About Eligibility | Opinion
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:51
Editor's note: Some readers reacted strongly to this essay, seeing it as an attempt to ignite a racist conspiracy theory. That is entirely inaccurate, as this Note explains.
The fact that Senator Kamala Harris has just been named the vice presidential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has some questioning her eligibility for the position. The 12th Amendment provides that "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States." And Article II of the Constitution specifies that "[n]o person except a natural born citizen...shall be eligible to the office of President." Her father was (and is) a Jamaican national, her mother was from India, and neither was a naturalized U.S. citizen at the time of Harris' birth in 1964. That, according to these commentators, makes her not a "natural born citizen"'--and therefore ineligible for the office of the president and, hence, ineligible for the office of the vice president.
"Nonsense," runs the counter-commentary. Indeed, PolitiFact rated the claim of ineligibility as "Pants on Fire" false, Snopes rated it simply "False," and from the other side of the political spectrum, Conservative Daily News likewise rated it "False." All three (and numerous others) simply assert that Harris is eligible because she was born in Oakland'--and is therefore a natural-born citizen from location of birth. The 14th Amendment says so, they all claim, and the Supreme Court so held in the 1898 case of U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark.
But those claims are erroneous, at least as the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment was originally understood'--an error to which even my good friend, renowned UCLA School of Law professor Eugene Volokh, has fallen prey.
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The language of Article II is that one must be a natural-born citizen. The original Constitution did not define citizenship, but the 14th Amendment does'--and it provides that "all persons born...in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens." Those who claim that birth alone is sufficient overlook the second phrase. The person must also be "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States, and that meant subject to the complete jurisdiction, not merely a partial jurisdiction such as that which applies to anyone temporarily sojourning in the United States (whether lawfully or unlawfully). Such was the view of those who authored the 14th Amendment's Citizenship Clause; of the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1872 Slaughter-House Cases and the 1884 case of Elk v. Wilkins; of Thomas Cooley, the leading constitutional treatise writer of the day; and of the State Department, which, in the 1880s, issued directives to U.S. embassies to that effect.
The Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Wong Kim Ark is not to the contrary. At issue there was a child born to Chinese immigrants who had become lawful, permanent residents in the United States'--"domiciled" was the legally significant word used by the Court. But that was the extent of the Court's holding (as opposed to broader language that was dicta, and therefore not binding). Indeed, the Supreme Court has never held that anyone born on U.S. soil, no matter the circumstances of the parents, is automatically a U.S. citizen.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) Toni Sandys-Pool/Getty ImagesGranted, our government's view of the Constitution's citizenship mandate has morphed over the decades to what is now an absolute "birth on the soil no matter the circumstances" view'--but that morphing does not appear to have begun until the late 1960s, after Kamala Harris' birth in 1964. The children born on U.S. soil to guest workers from Mexico during the Roaring 1920s were not viewed as citizens, for example, when, in the wake of the Great Depression, their families were repatriated to Mexico. Nor were the children born on U.S. soil to guest workers in the bracero program of the 1950s and early 1960s deemed citizens when that program ended, and their families emigrated back to their home countries.
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So before we so cavalierly accept Senator Harris' eligibility for the office of vice president, we should ask her a few questions about the status of her parents at the time of her birth.
Were Harris' parents lawful permanent residents at the time of her birth? If so, then under the actual holding of Wong Kim Ark, she should be deemed a citizen at birth'--that is, a natural-born citizen'--and hence eligible. Or were they instead, as seems to be the case, merely temporary visitors, perhaps on student visas issued pursuant to Section 101(15)(F) of Title I of the 1952 Immigration Act? If the latter were indeed the case, then derivatively from her parents, Harris was not subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States at birth, but instead owed her allegiance to a foreign power or powers'--Jamaica, in the case of her father, and India, in the case of her mother'--and was therefore not entitled to birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment as originally understood.
Interestingly, this recitation of the original meaning of the 14th Amendment Citizenship Clause might also call into question Harris' eligibility for her current position as a United States senator. Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution specifies that to be eligible for the office of senator, one must have been "nine Years a Citizen of the United States." If Harris was not a citizen at birth, we would need to know when (if ever) she became a citizen. Her father's biographical page at Stanford University identifies his citizenship status as follows: "Jamaica (by birth); U.S. (by naturalization)." But there is some dispute over whether he was in fact ever naturalized, and it is also unclear whether Harris' mother ever became a naturalized citizen. If neither was ever naturalized, or at least not naturalized before Harris' 16th birthday (which would have allowed her to obtain citizenship derived from their naturalization under the immigration law, at the time), then she would have had to become naturalized herself in order to be a citizen. That does not appear to have ever happened, yet without it, she could not have been "nine Years a Citizen of the United States" before her election to the U.S. Senate.
I have no doubt that this significant challenge to Harris' constitutional eligibility to the second-highest office in the land will be dismissed out of hand as so much antiquated constitutional tripe. But the concerns about divided allegiance that led our nation's Founders to include the "natural-born citizen" requirement for the office of president and commander-in-chief remain important; indeed, with persistent threats from Russia, China and others to our sovereignty and electoral process, those concerns are perhaps even more important today. It would be an inauspicious start for any campaign for the highest offices in the land to ignore the Constitution's eligibility requirements; how else could we possibly expect the candidates, if elected, to honor their oaths to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and...to the best of [their] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?"
Dr. John C. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori professor of law & community service and former dean at Chapman University's Fowler School of Law. He is also the 2020-21 visitor scholar in conservative thought and policy at the Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization, University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Eastman is also a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute and founding Director of the Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.
The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.
Let us out!
NY School teacher BOTG
Hi Adam
I have been enjoying the show so much lately, especially the COVID coverage. I liked your discussion on the last episode with John about teachers and schools.
I am a teacher in a large public NY high school. The day we closed, I felt in my bones that it was the wrong move. I teach teens, and I am the parent of teens, and I could see no good in keeping teens locked up and out of school.
Around April or May, I realized that we would not be going back before summer, and would be lucky to be back in the fall. I began to harbor intense dislike for Andrew Cuomo, who is now a de facto dictator in our state. Every decision is made by him. In May, he mentioned in a press conference that he would be working with Gates to improve remote learning. He said something to the effect of "why have all these buildings? The days of kids sitting in a class with a teacher are over." I began to sound the alarm on Facebag among other parents and teachers.
We suffered through the summer not knowing if our kids would be educated, despite the sky-high property tax we all pay here, most of which goes to schools. Schools sent out surveys that showed that 60-70% of parents want their kids back in school full-time.
Finally, Governor Meatball announced that he would allow schools to open. But with his insane guidelines, most districts can only offer every-other-day school for kids in grades 6-12. Everyone will have to be masked, all day. I teach French, so you can imagine how doing that in a mask to a bunch of masked kids will work out. We keep hearing from grinning, moronic administrators that we "will probably be closed again by October." (I think they rather enjoy earning their 6 figures from their cozy kitchens and home offices.)
Now, I have been a teacher for awhile, and two things were always VERY important to administrators: student attendance (kids should be in school, they are safe there and engaged in learning) and EQUITY (we must do all we can to help disabled children, children living in poverty, etc to succeed)
Both concepts are now thrown out the window. They let kids disappear for six months. They have no idea what life was like for those kids. Now they are only allowing them in the buildings 2-3 times a week. They can never enforce attendance again.
Equity? LOL. Kids who are disadvantaged will find now a gap between them and the more privileged kids that will only continue to expand and deepen. My daughter's boyfriend, whose family is of modest means, lives in a small house. Both his parents are essential workers. When schools are shut, he must babysit two young sisters, one of whom is autistic. There is no time, nor quiet place in his house for him to work. He ended up failing his exams. This is but one example, but you can imagine how bad things could be for disadvantaged kids when school is only open one out of two days. My own son, who has ADHD, learned nothing, even though I sat right next to him trying to teach him everything. In fact I think he learned less than nothing...he actively unlearned, if that is possible. Meanwhile, rich parents are enrolling kids in private schools or are hiring tutors. Some of the wealthy districts here have found a way to open all days for all kids.
Teachers! Ugh, it has been frustrating watching the unions and some really uptight karen-types advocate for remote learning and no return to school. They don't get what John said and what I have been screaming into the void since March: online teaching devalues teachers. It won't end well for us.
I think I mentioned that I took students to Milan in February and to the United Nations in March. A few of us got a bit sick, especially after the European trip, but guess what! We survived. I have no fear of the Rona, but I do fear Meatball and politicians like him, as well as our unimaginative, no-fight-in-them school leaders.
We are thinking of leaving the state if school goes to hell because we pay dearly to live here. I would walk away from a great career, but I need my kids to get a real education. Not sure where to go though?
Anyway, thought you might find a boots-on-the-ground report interesting. I have been so depressed since this all began. Thank you for your show, and Moe Factz as well.
Teacher on Home Schooling
You were talking on Sunday's show about how many school districts were going to or talking about going to online learning. There are two groups who this doesn't work for. The first is the poor who can't afford or don't have broadband or even dial-up Internet access. As for the second...
30+ years ago, when I lived in Silicon Valley, I had a girlfriend who taught kids with learning disabilities. This included having been a principal at one that only taught kids with problems like severe dyslexia using a unique system developed by a woman in Seattle. At one point, we set up an office at our home so she could do one-on-one consulting work with some of them.
If there was one thing that was clear it was that kids with dyslexia (and there are others who have far worse problems) require in-person, hands-on, one-on-one teaching to get any benefit from school at all. Many were behind their peers before the pandemic, so imagine where they are now with schools closed. "Standard" on-line teaching for them just isn't going to work.
Before I retired, I spent the last 8 years working in the training department of a company that made slot machines and software for running casinos. I created hundreds of on-line learning courses and videos for employees and customers. As useful as they were, the need for in-person training kept our classrooms filled. If adults without learning disabilities didn't find on-line courses sufficient for their needs, what does that say about kids with or without learning issues?
Austin mayor says COVID-19 infectivity rate must be below 5% for sustained reopening of schools, businesses | kvue.com
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:37
In his newsletter Sunday morning, Mayor Steve Adler also touched on the city council's upcoming budget discussion.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- On Sunday morning, Austin Mayor Steve Adler warned that while the city appears to be in a COVID-19 plateau, Austinites must not get complacent.
"The virus is real and the infectivity in our community is still too high," Adler said in his weekly newsletter. "With the school year fast approaching and businesses eager to reopen, it is tempting to disregard our health officials and pretend the virus doesn't exist. We have already seen that that does not work."
Adler said that as of Sunday morning, Austin's infectivity rate is between 10 and 15% but that it must be below 5% for the sustained reopening of schools and businesses.
In the newsletter, Adler also touched on the State of the City address he delivered last week, reiterating that Austin is "anxious, troubled and hurting" but also "so much more than that." He said he believes Austin is hopeful.
"Some greater power has reinvented us all. This much change, all around, in almost everything, gives us an almost infinite sense of freedom to do what it takes to actually become all that we aspire to be," Adler said.
Adler also mentioned the city council's unanimous vote to approve a commitment to voters for how tax dollars for Capital Metro's Project Connect will be used. Next week during the City's budget adoption process, the council is expected to adopt an 8.75-cent tax rate as part of the budget and order the transit proposal to go to the November ballot, giving voters the final say.
In relation to the City's upcoming budget discussions, Adler also touched on the proposed cuts and overall "re-imagining" of the Austin Police Department. He said he supports removing certain elements from APD's budget and putting them into a "transition budget category" of items to be evaluated for re-imaging. Adler said that looks like that will contain well over $100 million in elements currently in the regular police budget.
Ader also said that he supports only authorizing expenditures out of the police budget and the transition budget for six months, requiring the council and community to reconvene on these issues mid-year.
"I'm anxious for us to put the politics and hyperbole aside and actually think through the choices surrounding the desire to make us all more safe, their implications and the pathways for whatever we want to do," Adler said. "I look forward to continue to review the budget, especially as it pertains to public safety, with my fellow city council members, guided by your input."
WATCH: After 'State of City' address, Austin Mayor Steve Adler joins KVUE Daybreak
WALSH: Teachers Openly Fret That Parents Might Hear Them Brainwashing Children, Call Parents 'Dangerous' | The Daily Wire
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:32
In one of the creepiest yet most revealing Twitter threads ever to be posted on the platform, a teacher recently fretted out loud that virtual classes might allow parents to hear him brainwashing their kids. Matthew R. Kay, an educator and author of a book on ''how to lead meaningful race conversations in the classroom,'' worried that ''conservative parents'' would be able to interfere with the ''messy work'' of indoctrinating children into critical race theory, gender theory, and other left-wing dogmas.
Here's the entire thread, which has since been set to private:
So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators '-- parents, siblings, etc. '-- in the same room. We'll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?
How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability? How many of us have installed some version of ''what happens here stays here'' to help this?
While conversation about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment '-- I am most intrigued by the damage that ''helicopter/snowplow'' parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality. And while ''conservative'' parents are my chief concern '-- I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid's racism or homophobia or transphobia '-- how much do we want their classmates' parents piling on?
It's important to note that while some teachers responded to Kay's comments with the appropriate level of horror and disgust, many others chimed in to share their own strategies for brainwashing during a pandemic. One teacher said she'd also been ''thinking about'' the problem Kay described, and had decided that she'd ask students about their preferred pronouns via survey '-- though she still worries that ''caregivers'' might see it and learn something about their children that they weren't supposed to know.
Another teacher said that students last semester would sometimes ''type secrets into the chat'' whenever the discussion turned to ''anti-racism and gender inclusive content.'' Another complained that a white parent'-- she made sure to specify ''white'' '-- in her district recorded a Zoom class and ''filed a complaint against the teacher for an anti-racist read aloud (saying the teacher's commentary was inappropriate and biased).'' This, the teacher says, ''is going to be an issue.''
A ninth grade teacher shared in the commiseration, saying that her class required students to ''read and respond to a news article,'' but that participation in this exercise is stunted now because ''outsiders'' are ''listening.'' The ''outsiders,'' to be clear, are the children's parents. A teacher with pronouns listed in her Twitter handle said that she plans to use the chat function more than voice lectures because she wants children to share ''information'' with her in a ''parentless way.'' A science teacher agreed with all of the sentiments expressed here and summarized it bluntly: ''Parents are dangerous.''
And these are just the comments that were captured in screenshots before the tweets were all made private. Presumably, there is more where this came from. A lot more.
Several points must be made in response.
First, classrooms are certainly not ''safe places'' for children to be ''vulnerable.'' Students may say and do things when they are with their peers in school that they would not say and do at home, but only a fool who doesn't understand the first thing about child psychology and the effects of peer pressure would assume that the child's at-school version of himself is the most authentic, much less the most healthy. The pressure to conform to the values and opinions of your peers in the classroom is immense, and often suffocating. There is a reason why rejection and alienation by peers has contributed to a true epidemic of suicide among young people.
The very same people who extol the classroom as a ''safe place'' for vulnerability will also tell us, on different days and in different contexts, that bullying is a major problem for today's youth and many of them are driven to self-destruction because of it. So, which is it? Is the classroom a place for open and genuine dialogue, where children can safely express their truest feelings and beliefs, or is it a place rife with bullying and mockery, where rigid conformity is demanded and those who fail to meet the demands are severely punished? It certainly can't be both.
Second, an adult keeping a secret with a child, and helping the child conceal that secret from his parent '-- especially when the secret has anything to do with sexuality '-- is acting in a way that is nothing short of predatory. If you heard a strange man on the playground whisper to your child, ''this will just be our little secret,'' you would assume that the man is some kind of sex offender. Does this behavior suddenly transform from disturbing to admirable if the strange man is a teacher? No, it doesn't. But this is the sort of license society has given to teachers, on the the theory that they cannot do the work of educating unless they have more power over, and intimate knowledge of, their students than the students' own parents.
That brings us, finally, to point three, which is that a public school teacher is not supposed to be, and should not try to be, educator, parent, shaman, spiritual guide, therapist, friend, confidant, and sex counselor, all rolled into one. He or she is meant to fill only the first role on that list, and only in the subject the teacher has been assigned to teach. A child's actual parents only come to be viewed as ''dangerous'' interlopers and intrusive ''outsiders'' when teachers begin to view themselves and the school system as the true guardians and conservators of the children that are temporarily in their care. And that, ultimately, is the problem with the modern education system.
Children are not old enough to be emancipated. They cannot yet go out and live their own lives. They cannot make every decision for themselves. They must belong to someone '-- not owned like objects but cared for and protected like the vulnerable human beings they are. The fundamental question is who do they belong to. Different cultures in different times and places have had different answers to this question.
Here, in contemporary American society, there are generally two ways of looking at it: children belong to their parents, or they belong to the school system (which is to say, the government). In one vision, a child is a son or daughter, in the other, the child is a ward of the state.
Only one of these visions is healthy, natural, and humanizing. Only one can properly facilitate a child's emotional, mental, intellectual, and spiritual growth. The school system doesn't just have a wrong and harmful idea of what education is '-- it has a wrong and harmful idea of what a child is, and what its fundamental role in a child's life is supposed to be. And that is why I will not send my kids into its clutches. Neither should you.
More from Matt Walsh: George Floyd Body Cam Footage Is Out. The Story Is Far More Complicated Than Media Led Us To Believe.
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GeenStijl: DIT ZIJN DE NAMEN. Deze Kamerleden renden gisteren weg voor stemming over zorg
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 13:45
Sorry, niet onze schuld: Je blokkeert onze kudtcookiewall
Masks and Muzzles
Do neck gaiters spread coronavirus more easily? Not exactly - CNET
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:59
Getty Images For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the
WHO website.
Which face covering is the most effective at slowing the spread of the coronavirus? Maybe not neck gaiters. Stories have been making the rounds about how these fabric tubes worn over the face don't offer any protection against spreading the coronavirus, quoting a study published in Science Advances from researchers at Duke University. But, according to the study's authors, those reports don't tell the whole story.
The researchers sought to create and test a method for evaluating the efficacy of various types of face coverings , from N95 masks to bandanas, in stopping the spread of respiratory droplets in the air. Current research suggests that coronavirus is spread through those respiratory droplets, which we expel when we talk, yell, sneeze, cough or sing.
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They tested 14 different face coverings in all, most of which were fabric masks just like the ones you can buy basically anywhere right now. They also tested one fleece neck gaiter and one bandana. The results from their tests show that the bandana and fleece gaiter transmitted as many or more respiratory droplets as not wearing any kind of face covering.
However, the researchers say these results should not be extrapolated to all bandanas and neck gaiters out there. Dr. Martin Fischer, one of the authors of the study, told CNET, "Our work focused on developing a technique that can be replicated at other labs, rather than a comprehensive mask test. As we stated in the paper, our work was a preliminary study that included one fleece mask (also called gaiter mask, or neck gaiter) only -- we did not do a systematic study involving many masks, speakers and wear conditions. More studies are needed to make specific use recommendations."
Researchers tested 14 types of masks, including one neck gaiter.
Emma Fischer/Duke University Neck gaiters have become a popular face covering because they can be worn many different ways and typically don't pull on your ears like a face mask does. Prior to the pandemic, they were typically worn to protect your face and neck from cold weather or to wick sweat away from your face and neck. Many of them are made of a single layer of thin fabric, and they were not originally designed to block respiratory droplets or slow the spread of viruses.
Because of that, Dr. Fischer points out that they might not be as protective as other types of cloth masks. "The fleece mask we demonstrated was a polyester/spandex mask. Typically, these masks are pretty thin to provide breathability, which is likely the reason for lots of particles getting though, broken into smaller pieces," he said. "However, we expect that there are variations of performance for different masks (even of the same type), and different users wearing identical masks."
Given that there are different types of neck gaiters made from a variety of different fabrics, we cannot say that all neck gaiters either don't slow the spread of the coronavirus, or are worse than not wearing any kind of face covering.
More research still needs to be done before we can definitively prove what kinds of nonmedical face coverings are the best to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We know that N95 respirator masks are among the most protective , but those masks are being reserved for medical professionals only. For the rest of us, reusable cloth masks are currently the best option we have, and for now, that still includes neck gaiters.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Mask Force
Mysterious Face Masks From China Are Being Shipped To Random Americans | 99.1 WQIK
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 13:51
People from all over the country have been receiving strange packages from China with items they never ordered. Last month, people reported mysterious packets of seeds being delivered to their doorstep. This month, the mystery packages contained face masks.
Shan Sharp of Clearwater, Florida, told WFLA she was worried when the package arrived at her home.
"I looked at the label, and it had Shanghai, China from a certain district," she said. "All of this information, including my cell phone number, (was) on there."
She carefully opened the box and found two packages of face masks, which she immediately threw in the trash.
"I was afraid to even open it after I saw it," she said. "I didn't want to keep it in my house."
One woman in North Carolina was creeped out after she received a package with just a single face mask inside.
"There's no note, nothing, and all I got is a faded tracking address and some tracking numbers," Angela Osborne told WCPO.
Authorities in Tazewell County, Virginia, advised residents to throw out the masks after they received multiple reports of the unsolicited packages.
"Have you received face masks from China that you didn't order? Members of our community have begun receiving these packages, our recommendation is if you didn't order it throw it away. Just like with the seeds that have been sent it is not recommended using the mask sent to you, throw the mask away."
The masks are likely being sent as part of a brushing scam, in which a seller creates fake accounts using somebody else's personal information. They then order their own items and have them shipped to unsuspecting people. Once the packages are delivered, the account is considered a verified buyer and the positive reviews and comments that can then be left are weighted more heavily by online shopping sites.
Photo: Tazewell County Sheriff's Office
Models and Data
Down Under
Australia by the numbers BOTG
Australia is in winter, and naturally flu-deaths go up in winter.
900 Australians died of flu in 2019.
We're half way through August and the media "COVID crisis" accounts for only 1/3 of last year's death toll.
Here's the shocking news from May 2019:
The latest figures show there have been nearly 59,000 laboratory confirmed notifications of influenza in Australia for 2019, while close to 100 deaths have been recorded across NSW, South Australia and Victoria.
That's deaths from only 3 states' deaths, not the whole country, but other states will be minimal, as witnessed by COVID numbers.
And from February 2020: Last year there were over 900 influenza linked deaths in Australia.
This is NO DIFFERENT than 2019, "except there's a test" to quote that German doctor on YouTube.
The Victorian government appears to be claiming the normal flu figures as COVID, for financial gain.
We've had no boots on the ground, "this is BS" leakers, and that's disappointing.
The federal government and 'business' are ganging up on the Victorian government over the ridiculous situation that's occurred. They can't SAY it's BS, but you get the impression that they wish they could.
It's all about money. Victoria is Australia's economic basket-case state, particularly Melbourne.
Melbourne used to be a centre of power for a century, but Sydney stole all the investment away, and Melbourne continues on with grand ambitions, massive egos, and...
interestingly, the Australian media is still headquartered in Melbourne - newspapers, television, radio.
The Victorian situation perception is the result of an all-out media assault, and government figures that haven't been challenged by anyone, much less the media.
Australia had 100 claimed deaths in 3 months
then 1 claimed death in the next month, and Victoria reimposed stage 3 restrictions
No claimed deaths for a few weeks, then 3 deaths in one day... all over 90 years of age.
And all of a sudden, it was open slather -
in 2 weeks, Victoria added another 100 claimed deaths
In the next week, another 100 claimed deaths
In less than a month, Victoria alone had tripled the Total claimed deaths over the previous 3 month total for the whole country.
And nobody is questioning the Victorian government's figures.
What's being claimed MAKES NO SENSE. To quote ABC News website "Nearly all of the deaths in Australia since May 23 have been in Victoria."
My figures come from the ABC News website, which runs a facts & figures account - without fear or manipulation.
You only need to look at the graph to see that something's not right, and we need to be questioning the data.
Oz Bob on what he's been seeing - official narrative
Summary. Virus was almost beaten here. It has been in NZ. It was coming in from overseas travelers. Initially the Govt asked these travellers to self-isolate. It was quickly discovered they weren't. So, the Govt forced them into hotel quarantine for 2 weeks at the Govts expense. This was the magic answer. Everything was working perfectly in every State – and still does. Apart from VIC – Melbourne. It is now clear that the job was outsourced to companies (lowest bid style). Guards were fraternising with hotel patrons. Guards were lower class trying to earn money. Many were also Uber drivers, etc. Others States had Police (and Army) enforcing these hotels, but not here in Melbourne. Lots of stories on why this happened – from trying to appease desperate hotel 'prisoners', to lowest cost bidding for guards, to 'inclusion' policy to hire all ethnic types. Who knows the real reason(s). There is now an enquiry into all of this – and being cynical many think it is avert the calls for resignation of the Premier. No one has taken the full blame yet. [First wave, the Premier had the backing of the people. Now, since everyone is angry, they initially didn't give him backing (and there was more traffic on the streets than before). Now, I think people are just sad at the state of affairs – and have been forced into Stage 4 (whilst the rest of the Country parties on).] The virus spread to the suburbs of these families – yes, many Muslims (and feast of Eid where big family gatherings helped to spread it), and Indian (subcontinent) people who generally take up these jobs (Uber, Guards, etc). and BLM protests didn't help. Lower class suburbs first got hit (and also housing commission big blocks of apartments were hit and went into forced lock down prior to the entire city). And then it got into the Aged Care system. Spread by staff who were working in many company related sites (you can see it affecting the sites run by the same private company). Govt run Aged Care sites are pretty clear. It's the privately run ones that are in trouble. So multiple scandals at once. All the same time whilst other Australian States are generally clear of the virus. So, they have closed the borders. Enforced Stage 4 in VIC. Curfew 8pm. And on and on. So, please don't represent all of this with some crank, Katie Hopkins from the UK, who just wants headlines – which you seem to want to promote. And then blame me for not producing – Sheesh.
Australia covid BOTG Report
And jealousy of other States - Qld + WA + SA (and NZ) all virus free - the football all moved to those States and is playing - they all fled early (they had the inside word of the upcoming shutdown - which was obvious at the time - football is a all important in Melb - and so they are all very connected to decision makers). There has always been fierce rivalry between the States - and whilst that was usually just banter - it did rear it's head more between State Governments (which I have personally seen). This pandemic and the actions of the States will take a long time to recover from - people have long memories about this stuff. VIC is now seen as a pariah.
During the 1st wave, everyone was scared - just because of the unknown. There was no hard lockdown - no curfew - but everyone acted as if it were Stage 5 - streets were empty. Then after everyone got the 'all clear' it was party time - 'back to normal' - all the while it was spreading like crazy. My pharmacist insisted to me it wasn't over - and I just laughed at her...we had beaten it! I had started not to wear the mask on more occasions - but still wore it. Hotel quarantine was the answer - it worked - we were an island free to party whilst the world burnt around us.
The 2nd wave - many more people on the roads and everywhere - even with Stage 3 (and the harder initial lock down in specific suburbs and the Stage 5 imposed for 2 weeks on specific housing commission flats). That's because the Govt - both State and Fed had lost the will and co-operation of the people. They were (and getting more) angry. No heads rolled. Just an inquiry. Another one. So many damn inquiries - that's all they do. The police? They are pretty much good at only issuing fines. Not imposing quarantine at the hotels. So, Stage 4 was imposed to force the slow down of people. Generally the people in Melb are much more compliant than the people in Sydney. I grew up in Sydney and travel there often as most family are still there (although now I cannot travel there). Sydney will have a real problem if the same is imposed there as in Melbourne. They are partying on like there is no issue. Yet there are - though small - clusters every day. I even have immune compromised family members - no regard to this (yet first lockdown they were insane with fear). I personally have had a falling out with some family members over all of this (quite distressing - and will probably mean I never talk to them every again - long boring/sad story).
Yes - very fair to say - defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
PM was basking in victory. VIC Premiere was basking in victory - as he had gone longer and harder than the other States in 1st wave. Only to be bitten so hard by this failure. PM has run away from this - as he has lost control of the States imposing border restrictions (ie de facto cessation). Plus, there are arguments that quarantine of incoming travelers is actually a Fed Govt role (i.e. border control task) and should never have been left to the States to manage. Some of this was mentioned by the callers on the talk back show I sent the link to last night. And now there is finger pointing between the States and Fed as to when/if the Army was asked for help. The blame game is well and truly on.
So, the Vic Premiere setup an inquiry by a former Judge - so he wouldn't be seen to judge himself - but we all know this is just to buy time. And now the inquiry has itself been delayed due to the new Stage 4 restrictions. The current questioning going on is via another separate parliamentary question process.
I agree being locked up in a hotel is not nice for the travelers - with many of the rooms with no open windows and just hotel a/c. That may well be the problem - not discussed at all. Same problem seen with the cruise ship infections - Ruby Princess (another disaster, but that was early in in NSW - with about 22 deaths). But I've not heard the 2 joined as a theory. They just thought 2 weeks forced into a hotel - test them and then if OK you can go. If not, then get treatment etc. I'm sure you could make a case arguing this. Stories of how these guards were bribed, and others felt bad for the trauma of the travelers, others trying to avoid being sued as some tried to self-harm. It's a real tale of woe. Yet, other States managed to do it perfectly well (of course, still with lots of trauma).
Being locked in a hotel is terrible. Many considered it jail. Others (famously portrayed by the media) as it being a 5star holiday on the Govts expense.
Flu season which struck down 310,000 Australians 'worst on record' due to early outbreaks - ABC News
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:39
Researchers are warning little can be done to prevent future severe flu seasons, if a pattern of prolonged, year-round outbreaks continue.
Key points: More than 310,000 people presented to Australian health services with influenza in 2019, marking the country's worst flu season on record Researchers say that it was one of the most successful vaccination years to date but early outbreaks occurred before vaccines were given out With continued early outbreaks, 2020 could be similarLast year, Australia experienced its worst flu season on record, with more than 310,000 people presenting to hospital and health services nationwide.
The figure is seven times greater than Australia's previous 18-year average.
'Happens once every 10 years'World Health Organisation (WHO) influenza researcher, Ian Barr, said such aggressive seasons were generally a "one-in-every-10-year occurrence", but early flu outbreaks had seen Australia go through two in just three years.
He said it is an issue that is hard to predict and one difficult to address with vaccines.
"Definitely in terms of influenza seasons 2019 was the biggest Australia has had '... it was very unusual," Dr Barr said.
Ian Barr says last year's high numbers were due to a prolonged season and early outbreaks."I think one of the big reasons it was a such a severe season was that in most states, it was very prolonged.
"In Queensland it was reasonably long, but then in Victoria, Tasmania and, to a lesser extent, New South Wales, it was a very prolonged season which started much earlier than we would normally expect to see such high intensity activity.
"It lasted right through 'til October."
According to Dr Barr, last year's peak occurred almost two months earlier than normal and researchers have found it difficult to determine the cause.
He believes international travellers played a significant role, but said other factors were also at play.
"The whole business of influenza is a numbers game, so if you get enough people coming back to Australia with infections from overseas, that can happen," Dr Barr said.
"We put it down to higher tourist numbers, more Australians travelling overseas, climate conditions.
"But we actually believe that a number of last year's cases originated from some of the large outbreaks in the Northern Territory, which led to small outbreaks in the southern states '-- Queensland included.
"It's most likely a combination of those factors '... which is just plain unlucky."
Hospital beds full and staff sickQueensland Health Minister, Stephen Miles, said the intense season put a major strain on hospital and health services nationwide, which would have to incorporate early outbreaks into future planning.
"Certainly the levels we saw, it took a very high toll on the community and the health system," he said.
"We had a record number of summer cases and that elongated the impact on our hospitals through more months of the year, as well as many of our own staff ended up catching the flu.
Health Minister Steven Miles said hospitals and staff found it difficult to cope with last years flu season, due to it beginning earlier than normal.(AAP: Dave Hunt)"That itself has an impact on our ability to cover rosters and increase staffing when we really need to, it makes the job of running hospitals even harder."
According to Mr Miles, early preparation had aimed to deal with influxes in patients, but not for seasons which extend for nearly half the year.
"Every year we have a winter bed strategy that's designed to deal with that, but the peak last year we had to bring it forward substantially," he said.
"There's a lot of mysteries still about the flu and that's why we have a lot of people allocated to researching and working on it.
"Every year the virus is different and the way it impacts us is different, we do our best to predict it.
"It just demonstrates how serious a virus the flu is and how important it is to get vaccinated and stop it spreading even more."
But WHO's Dr Barr said he does not believe vaccinations would have much impact where early outbreaks of influenza are concerned, stating 2019 was one of their most successful vaccination years to date.
"I wouldn't say the vaccine had too much of an impact on that [severe season last year], the season was already in the starter gates and running before most vaccines were even given out," he said.
"Given the significant number of cases in March and April '-- the vaccine isn't even available during that time, and it normally takes a couple of weeks after being vaccinated to reach peak immunity.
"I wouldn't say this was a vaccine issue."
Longer lasting vaccines a long term solutionAccording to Dr Barr, vaccines are created based on strains circulating in the northern hemisphere, which meant it would be difficult to bring forward a release date in Australia.
He said current vaccines only last three to six months, so early immunisation would also mean they may not last through the peak months of July and August.
Coronavirus: What you need to know Here's a rundown of all the facts about coronavirus, and how you can make sure you're protected.
Read more
"You could bring it forward slightly and make some vaccines available a bit earlier, but early to late March, that's really about the best you could do," he said.
"If we could have some early vaccines available, especially in certain states, it may help out slightly.
"But perhaps there's also some learning opportunities in terms of having longer lasting vaccines, we're always trying to be better.
"There's a lot of work and money being invested in trying to improve influenza vaccines, we're taking a number of different approaches, but these things take time."
While 2019 saw the highest number of influenza cases across the country, 2017 still holds the record for the highest number of flu-related deaths, with over 1,100 cases.
Last year there were over 900 influenza linked deaths in Australia.
Hundreds of Australia's aged care residents will die of Covid because of government failure, expert warns | Royal commission into aged care quality and safety | The Guardian
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:56
Show caption Medical staff and a health commander are seen at the Eppings Gardens aged care facility in Melbourne, which has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus. The aged care royal commission has been told that Australia's rate of death in residential aged care from Covid is the second-highest in the world. Photograph: Reuters
Royal commission into aged care quality and safety An aged care expert has told the royal commission examining the sector that Covid-19 is ''the worst disaster that is still unfolding before my eyes'', and warned that hundreds of residents will die prematurely because of a failure of authorities to act.
Prof Joseph Ibrahim, head of the health law and ageing research unit at Monash University's forensic medicine department, also told the aged care royal commission on Wednesday morning he believes Australia's rate of death in residential aged care is more than 68% '' the second-highest in the world behind Canada at 80%.
The royal commission heard there were several issues regarding aged care staffing '' including that staff cuts had been ramped up during the pandemic, that more than 1000 aged care workers have so far contracted Covid-19, and that many workers were struggling to access personal protective equipment with some limited to using two face masks per shift.
There's no checking of where that money has gone '... aged care providers are actually cutting staff. Annie Butler, the federal secretary of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, told the commission a union survey showed aged care facilities had been ramping up staff cuts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said it took more than a month, and media attention, to be granted a meeting with the federal aged care minister, Richard Colbeck, to discuss the ''astonishing'' issue.
''There was supposed to be money dedicated specifically for increasing staffing and skills but there's no accountability. There's no checking of where that money has gone,'' Butler said.
''In Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and some parts of New South Wales, aged care providers are actually cutting staff.
''We were told at the time we did our survey that some providers had cut staff from 1 March but over the last month or two, the feedback from members and even from employers directly, is that their cutting [of] staff has increased.''
Butler also said members had reported ''incredible breaches of infection control'', with workers telling the union ''they could only use one glove rather than two'' to conserve PPE while others were ''told to reuse equipment - put it in collective plastic bags''.
Michael Lye, a deputy secretary at the federal health department, told the royal commission that advice - outlined by a subcommittee of the commonwealth's Australian Health Protection Principal Committee - to aged care providers to prepare for staff losses of 20%-30% during an outbreak were unrealistic.
Newmarch House head Grant Millard told the commission on Tuesday that 87% of staff were unable to work during its outbreak.
Ibrahim's comments about the magnitude of the disaster came after the aged care royal commission earlier this week heard evidence of a ''frustrating level of dysfunction'' between state and federal health authorities over whether to send infected residents to hospital, and a failure of the federal government and aged care regulator to develop a specific Covid-19 response plan for the sector.
Dr Brendan Murphy, the Department of Health secretary, requested he be allowed to respond to the allegation the federal government failed to develop a Covid-19 response plan sector, but was shot down by the commissioners. Rozen subsequently noted Murphy had only been added to the hearing schedule at the request of the Commonwealth hours after the allegation of a lack of a plan was first heard.
Earlier, Ibrahim criticised the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission for using a self-assessment survey for aged care homes.
There's a lack of empathy, a lack of urgency. There's an attitude of futility which leads to an absence of action ''Anyone with a child at school would know that if you ask someone to self-assess themselves they're either super confident and assess themselves as being fabulous or don't know enough about their own problems to say that they've got gaps.
''The system is broken. And what we've seen with Covid is that the system is broken at a high level because it's not the aged care workers that have failed us in this. It is our people who are in governance roles '' and I'm not going to call them leaders because they're not leading '' the people in governance positions who are accountable for what happens is where we have failed.''
''They have not recognised the magnitude of the problem staring them in the face.''
Asked about the self-assessment process, ACQSC commissioner Janet Anderson said she wasn't surprised that ''there did seem to be a large degree of confidence that providers were ready in the event of a pandemic''. When asked why the self-assessments didn't ask if a facility had a Covid-19 outbreak management plan, Anderson replied: ''I don't know.''
Ibrahim also said the so-called hospital in the home approach which aimed to keep residents in aged care facilities during outbreaks was ''wrong and inappropriate''. He said the general health department document the government proffered as an aged care Covid-19 response was not specific in detailing action and only acknowledged that aged care was a high-risk area.
"Hundreds of residents...will die prematurely": Professor Joseph Ibrahim, the head of health law and ageing research unit, at Monash University, kicks off the aged royal commission hearing on Wednesday. "(Covid-19) is the worst disaster...in my entire career" #auspol #agedcareRC pic.twitter.com/usb4koXTyQ
'-- Elias Visontay (@EliasVisontay) August 11, 2020 Ibrahim criticised ''people in governance positions'' within Australia's aged care sector, and governments, for not recognising ''the magnitude of the problem staring them in the face'' and said the fact different federal and state government bodies and regulators hadn't taken responsibility for aged care issues was causing confusion.
''The human misery and suffering must be acknowledged. This is the worst disaster that is still unfolding before my eyes and it's the worst in my entire career,'' Ibrahim said.
''In my opinion, hundreds of residents are, and will, die prematurely because people have failed to act. There's a lack of empathy, a lack of urgency. There's an attitude of futility which leads to an absence of action.''
Ibrahim said when he raised his concerns with governing authorities, both before and after the pandemic outbreak, he had received ''comments saying that everything is under control, that I'm simply overreacting and causing panic''.
''We fail because we have treated residents as second-class citizens. There's an absence of accountability. There still is and there is no consequences for failing to deliver good care in aged care.''
On the failure to develop an aged care Covid-19 response plan by government and the aged care regulator '' claims since refuted by Colbeck and acting chief medical officer Prof Paul Kelly on Tuesday '' Ibrahim said there had been an absence of ''plan management that you teach to undergraduates''.
Referring to the Department of Health's Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus, released in February, Ibrahim said: ''I think any person reading it would see that it doesn't do that. It's Australia's health sector emergency response. It's not Australia's aged care sector response, just in the title.
''This health sector emergency response plan does not address what needs to happen in aged care. It simply says aged care is a high-risk area. There's fundamentally no gap analysis to prepare us. And that's the first step in, I guess, any situation around a problem. You know, what are the strengths, what are the weaknesses, where are the gaps? It's not there.''
Federal government had no Covid-19 aged care plan, royal commission hears ''I'm surprised that the minister [Colbeck] is relying purely on public health specialists and infection disease specialists to manage aged care when the department and the minister know full well the circumstances in aged care are quite different.''
Carolyn Smith, WA state secretary of the United Workers Union, said government guidance and policies for aged care during the pandemic were developed without consulting workers to understand their needs and infection risks.
''The absolute lack of involvement and communication with care staff who are doing the majority of work in the facilities, I think is negligent to the extreme,'' she said.
Newmarch House operator tells of Covid-19 'dysfunction' between state and federal officials When Diana Asmar, the secretary of the Health Workers Union, told the royal commission union members in the sector were struggling to get personal protective equipment including masks, and that some were making do according to an ''appalling'' two mask per shift guideline, commissioner Lynelle Briggs responded: ''oh god''.
Asmar earlier said the union believed more than 1000 workers '' including carers, kitchen staff, cleaners and clerical workers in aged care - had contracted Covid-19, based on calls the union had received and made to facilities experiencing outbreaks.
''Our members right now feel like they're on the bottom of the Titanic ship,'' she said.
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CDC Latest covid USA gone
COVID-19 Provisional Counts - Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 15:31
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Note: Provisional death counts are based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics as of August 5, 2020. Death counts are delayed and may differ from other published sources (see Technical Notes). Counts will be updated every Wednesday by 5pm. Additional information will be added to this site as available.
List of Topics Age and sex Race and Hispanic origin by jurisdiction and by age Place of death Comorbidities Excess deaths State and county data filesFor an index of all available Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Diseas (COVID-19), click here.
Age and sexTable 1 has counts of death involving COVID-19 and select causes of death by sex and age group for the United States. For data on sex and age at the state level,
. For data on sex and age by week,
Data on deaths involving COVID-19 among ages 0''18 are available here: .
Table 1. Deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), pneumonia, and influenza reported to NCHS by sex and age group. United States. Week ending 2/1/2020 to Updated Coronavirus deaths by sex and age groupNOTE: Number of deaths reported in this table are the total number of deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and do not represent all deaths that occurred in that period. Counts of death occurring before or after the reporting period are not included in the table.
*Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on the jurisdiction and cause of death.
1Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD''10 code U07.1
2Counts of deaths involving pneumonia include pneumonia deaths that also involve COVID-19 and exclude pneumonia deaths involving influenza.
3Counts of deaths involving influenza include deaths with pneumonia or COVID-19 also listed as a cause of death.
4Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, pneumonia, or influenza, coded to ICD''10 codes U07.1 or J09''18.9.
5Population is based on 2018 postcensal estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau
Race and Hispanic originData by race and Hispanic origin are available at the national, state, and county level. Data by race and Hispanic origin is also available by age at the national and state level. Click here to visit the NCHS Health Disparities: Race and Hispanic origin page.
Place of deathTable 2 presents death counts of COVID-19 and other select causes of death by the place of death. For data on place of death at the state level,
Table 2. Deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), pneumonia, and influenza reported to NCHS by place of death, United States. Week ending 2/1/2020 to .*Updated Coronavirus deaths by place of deathNOTE: Number of deaths reported in this table are the total number of deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and do not represent all deaths that occurred in that period. Counts of deaths occurring before or after the reporting period are not included in the table.
*Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on the jurisdiction and cause of death.
1Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD''10 code U07.1.
2Counts of deaths involving pneumonia include pneumonia deaths that also involve COVID-19 and exclude pneumonia deaths involving influenza.
3Counts of deaths involving influenza include deaths with pneumonia or COVID-19 also listed as a cause of death.
ComorbiditiesTable 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups.For data on comorbidities,
Table 3. Conditions contributing to deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), by age group, United States. Week ending 2/1/2020 to .*Updated NOTE: Number of conditions reported in this table are tabulated from deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and do not represent all deaths that occurred in that period. Data for this table are derived from a cut of the NVSS database taken at a particular time, separate from other surveillance tables on this page which are tabulated on the date of update. As a result, the total number of COVID-19 deaths in this table may not match other surveillance tables on this page.
*Data during the period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more.
1Conditions contributing to the death were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICDndash;10). Deaths involving more than one condition (e.g., deaths involving both diabetes and respiratory arrest) were counted in both totals. To avoid counting the same death multiple times, the numbers for different conditions should not be summated.
2Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19, coded to ICD''10 code U07.1
Excess deathsSee the NCHS Excess Deaths Data Visualization.
This data visualization presents data on weekly counts of all-cause mortality by jurisdiction of occurrence. Counts of deaths in the most recent weeks are compared with historical trends to determine whether the number of deaths in recent weeks is significantly higher than expected.
State and County Data FilesWeekly Counts of Deaths by State and Select Causes
Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts in the United States by County
This file includes deaths involving COVID-19 (coded to ICD''10 code U07.1) and total deaths per county. Counties included in this table had 10 or more COVID-19 deaths at the time of analysis.Provisional death counts deliver the most complete and accurate picture of lives lost to COVID-19. They are based on death certificates, which are the most reliable source of data and contain information not available anywhere else, including comorbid conditions, race and ethnicity, and place of death.
How it WorksThe National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) uses incoming data from death certificates to produce provisional COVID-19 death counts. These include deaths occurring within the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
NCHS also provides summaries that examine deaths in specific categories and in greater geographic detail, such as deaths by county and by race and Hispanic origin.
COVID-19 deaths are identified using a new ICD''10 code. When COVID-19 is reported as a cause of death '' or when it is listed as a ''probable'' or ''presumed'' cause '-- the death is coded as U07.1. This can include cases with or without laboratory confirmation.
Why These Numbers are DifferentProvisional death counts may not match counts from other sources, such as media reports or numbers from county health departments. Counts by NCHS often track 1''2 weeks behind other data.
Death certificates take time to be completed. There are many steps to filling out and submitting a death certificate. Waiting for test results can create additional delays.States report at different rates. Currently, 63% of all U.S. deaths are reported within 10 days of the date of death, but there is significant variation between states.It takes extra time to code COVID-19 deaths. While 80% of deaths are electronically processed and coded by NCHS within minutes, most deaths from COVID-19 must be coded by a person, which takes an average of 7 days.Other reporting systems use different definitions or methods for counting deaths.Things to know about the dataProvisional counts are not final and are subject to change. Counts from previous weeks are continually revised as more records are received and processed.
Provisional data are not yet complete. Counts will not include all deaths that occurred during a given time period, especially for more recent periods. However, we can estimate how complete our numbers are by looking at the average number of deaths reported in previous years.
Death counts should not be compared across states. Some states report deaths on a daily basis, while other states report deaths weekly or monthly. State vital record reporting may also be affected or delayed by COVID-19 related response activities.
For more detailed technical information, visit the Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Technical Notes page.
Coronavirus: Finland mandates quarantine for arrivals from high-risk countries | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:14
Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / LehtikuvaIn order to prevent the spread of new coronavirus infections, individuals arriving to Finland from countries with high infection rates will be required to quarantine under penalty of law, Minister for Basic Services and Health, Krista Kiuru (SDP), said at a joint conference on Monday evening.
The announcement was made on the same day news emerged that a large number of passengers who arrived on a flight from Skopje, Northern Macedonia, on Saturday in Turku, Southwest Finland, were confirmed to have coronavirus infections.
On Monday evening, the City of Turku's welfare department director Riitta Liuksa confirmed that 24 of the 157 passengers on the flight from Skopje had coronavirus infections.
Director of the Institute for Health and Welfare's (THL) health security department, Mika Salminen, was also at the press conference and underscored that the quarantine measures were no longer recommendations, but obligatory.
"This is no longer a matter of voluntary quarantine. For the first time Article 70 of the Communicable Diseases Act is being used," he said.
Kiuru noted that individuals who do not follow quarantine orders could face up to three months in jail or a fine.
Salminen said he was "disappointed" that people had travelled to high-risk countries, like the Balkans, more than the health authority had anticipated when travel restrictions were eased earlier this summer.
Salminen pointed out that the government has recommended that people should avoid travelling to countries where infectious rates are high.
Countries are considered by Finland to be high-risk if they record more than eight confirmed Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day.
He said that, in practice, most of the countries in the rest of the world are still considered to be at risk.
Covid "coming across the border"Nations that are currently considered "safe" by the THL include: South Korea, Georgia, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Rwanda, Germany, San Marino, Slovakia, Denmark, Thailand, Tunisia, Hungary, Uruguay, New Zealand, the Vatican and Estonia.
Representatives from the City of Vantaa and the THL as well as the health ministry also took part in the press conference. Finland's largest international airport, Helsinki Airport, is located in the city of Vantaa.
Vantaa's deputy mayor, Timo Aronkyt¶, said that the coronavirus enters Finland via Helsinki Airport "every day."
Late last month it was announced that Helsinki Airport would begin testing some arriving passengers for coronavirus infections.
"Coronavirus is currently coming from across the border. We've tested hundreds of passengers and some were found to have been infected," he said.
Flu and pneumonia killed five times more than Covid last month | News | The Times
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:04
Flu and pneumonia are killing five times as many people as coronavirus at present, with Covid deaths at their lowest since the end of March, figures show.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that overall deaths were below average for the time of year for the seventh consecutive week, while deaths from Covid-19 were at a 19-week low.
There were 193 deaths reported in the week ending July 31 that had coronavirus mentioned on the death certificate, continuing three months of falls since a weekly peak of 8,758 in April. It is the lowest figure since 103 died in the week ending March 20, on the eve of lockdown.
By contrast, 928 people died of flu or pneumonia in the last week of July,
Flu and pneumonia have killed more people than Covid-19 in England and Wales for seven weeks in a row '-- RT UK News
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:53
Fresh statistics have revealed that dramatically more people in England and Wales have been killed by the flu and pneumonia than Covid-19 for seven weeks in a row.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, the combined death toll from influenza and pneumonia in the two constituent countries of the UK was five times higher than that from Covid-19 between June 19 and July 31.
Flu and pneumonia, which are usually combined to provide neater data for deaths as the result of serious respiratory illness, killed 6,626 people in England and Wales in the seven-week period in question. During the same time frame, 2,992 Covid-19 deaths were recorded.
These figures are subject to change and may even be revised upwards, given the new framework for recording coronavirus deaths, which was implemented after months of record keeping 'mishaps'.
Also on rt.com England to revise DOWN its Covid-19 death toll by up to 10 percent after bizarre 'counting mishap' It marked the first time since March that flu and pneumonia have been a more common cause of death for citizens in England and Wales than Covid-19.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the two nations recorded their highest number of new coronavirus cases within the seven-week period under scrutiny, with 1,148 infections and 102 deaths announced. Viewed another way, however, deaths from Covid-19 reached a 19-week low, despite the worrying new spike in cases, particularly among those aged under 65, the numbers of which have been rising since the lockdown was eased.
The total number of cases globally since the pandemic began has now climbed to over 312,000. The official death toll across the world currently stands at more than 46,600, but clearly this figure is fluid.
Also on rt.com Covid-19 pandemic numbers stabilizing around the world at last '' AFP tally Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Genomic sleuths track the true origins of COVID-19 infections
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:40
Jun 25, 2020 '' 6.58pm
Victoria is using world-leading genomic fingerprinting techniques to track infections and better identify cluster sources and super spreaders.
Researchers from Melbourne University's Doherty Institute have mapped the DNA of around 80 per cent of all of Victoria's COVID-19 infections since late January, using a technique known as genomic sequencing.
Doherty Institute researchers have mapped the DNA of three quarters of Victoria's COVID-19 infections. AAP
The COVID-19 virus mutates regularly, enabling Doherty researchers to work with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to track the source and transmission chains and to stamp them out.
Each mutation is unique and enables researchers to forensically track individual clusters and the true source of the infection.
Dr Norelle Sherry, a medical microbiologist at Doherty, said the sequencing data enabled clusters to be identified and to focus the public health interventions.
"By using the virus fingerprint we can create a map that links all the cases so we can identify where people have got the virus from," Dr Shelly said.
She said this meant health officials could with confidence focus on contacts from particular clusters and not waste time and resources chasing contacts in other clusters.
Dr Sherry said by comparing that information to a large global database researchers have been able to map where the viruses came from.
This will be increasingly important as internal and international borders are opened, enabling researchers to say whether new cases are appearing from travellers or whether they appear to be some lingering transmission in the community.
The technique was used in the initial outbreak and showed that despite a surprisingly high number of genomic clusters (76), most were "dead-end clusters", that didn't continue to spread. It also showed that the social distancing measures that were put in place were highly effective.
The results of that work have been published as a pre-print academic paper that has now been peer reviewed and expected to be published soon.
The Doherty Institute is working closely with local health officials to apply the same techniques to the current surge in cases. Victoria yesterday recorded its highest daily increase since April 7, prompting a massive increase in testing.
Dr Sherry said that by combining the genomic data with the epidemiological data, public health officials had a rich pool of insights to design their interventions.
By combining testing, genomic sequencing, aggressive contact tracing and reinforced social distancing, authorities are hoping to drive infection rates back to below levels where it is no longer reproducing at a rate to survive.
Bio-info mathematicians modelling the genomic data have also been looking at the genomic signatures of the virus to find undetected viruses, or whether most of the cases seem to be captured in the data.
The Victorian genomic sequencing is understood to be the most comprehensive sequencing coverage in the world for an infectious-disease outbreak. By comparison, 3 per cent of ebola infections were mapped.
The technique is also being used in New Zealand and other Australian states. Health agencies are following the Victorian work closely, with a view to building up enough genomic sequencing data of known infections, so they can use the same approach.
Political and health leaders have been emphasising that Australia's strategy of suppression, rather than eradication, means there will be increases in cases as the economy is reopened.
Doherty was the first research institute to clone the COVID-19 virus, after receiving an early version of the virus from Chinese researchers in Wuhan. Researchers took the decision then to try and sequence as many active infection samples as possible.
The Doherty genomic program has been under development for five years and is part of a global effort to track the many versions of the virus, which is being fed into a global site, called Nextstrain.
How the coronavirus is changing markets, business and politics.Coronavirus: Need to know. Our daily reporting, in your inbox.
Sign up now Tom Burton has held senior editorial and publishing roles with The Mandarin, The Sydney Morning Herald and as Canberra bureau chief for The Australian Financial Review. He has worked in government, specialising in the communications sector. He has won three Walkley awards. Connect with Tom on Twitter. Email Tom at tom.burton@afr.com Introducing your Newsfeed BetaFollow the topics, people and companies that matter to you.
Read MoreLatest StoriesCoronavirus pandemicVirus exposes vulnerability of SMEsQuarterly results in the US underline a divide between the small companies that have been squeezed by the COVID-induced recession and the bigger companies with the strength to ride out whatever is thrown at them.
12 mins agoLatest In FederalLiveCoronavirus pandemicVictoria's outbreak spreading to regionsVictorian virus is spreading to regions as state reports drop in new cases. New Zealand has a total of 17 cases of coronavirus from Auckland family cluster, as CBA's Matt Comyn said he understood concerns about JobKeeper "profiteering". Follow updates here.
Aug 13, 2020Mark Ludlow, Finbar O'Mallon, Natasha Rudra and Timothy Moore
Experts: COVID-19 is spreading in Hawaii at a faster rate than anywhere else in the nation
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:18
HNN Staff | August 10, 2020 at 3:18 PM HST - Updated August 11 at 2:45 PM HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is regularly seeing triple-digit increases in COVID-19 infections, a situation that underscores just how fast the virus is spreading in Hawaii.
Scientists actually track that rate of spread '• or reproduction rate.
And experts say that Hawaii now has the highest reproduction rate in the nation, at 1.6. In other words, every person who gets sick is passing the virus on to 1.6 other individuals on average.
''That is very, very high,'' said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
Anything above 1 means the virus is spreading quickly. The next closest state is South Dakota, at 1.2. In Texas, the number is 1.16.
Dr. Scott Miscovich, who has overseen mass testing events statewide and on the mainland, said Hawaii's reproduction rate is bad news.
''It's just a glaring example of how we need to be serious about this. We need to wear masks, we need to social distance,'' he said.
''We are spreading it in closed respiratory environments. Get outside. It's very serious.''
Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Joel Grover on Twitter: "The '...@NBCLA'(C) I-Team tested ''high touch'' surfaces across SoCal and found the virus that causes #COVID19 on shopping carts, ATMs, public bathrooms and more. See the stores and businesses where we found it, in the Channel 4 N
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:43
Joel Grover : The '...@NBCLA'(C) I-Team tested ''high touch'' surfaces across SoCal and found the virus that causes #COVID19 on shopping'... https://t.co/bqqrzOYN4z
Thu Aug 13 03:53:23 +0000 2020
MrGonzo : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA Quick!... let's close our businesses, fucc up our economy, hide in our houses, and wear stupid fa'... https://t.co/O9F0qJvIug
Thu Aug 13 07:12:39 +0000 2020
MrGonzo : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA https://t.co/c2lB1LVmq0
Thu Aug 13 07:10:05 +0000 2020
Possum Trotter : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA 2/2 I can't prove it. But I've never seen anyone cleaning carts at Food4Less. I have at Stater Br'... https://t.co/0NbKfDEa0X
Thu Aug 13 06:26:42 +0000 2020
#KnowYourRights : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA Bathrooms at #homedepot only get cleaned at 6am and 3pm.
Thu Aug 13 06:25:44 +0000 2020
Possum Trotter : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA Thanks for this report. I shop at Food4Less and I don't believe they have cleaned carts in a long'... https://t.co/pJMVtV56UF
Thu Aug 13 06:24:16 +0000 2020
Alex : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA Perhaps the stores are not doing what they're supposed to 🤨
Thu Aug 13 05:46:45 +0000 2020
Tezcacoatl Amazolli : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA I'm sure there are other substance traces there that we would be shocked to find(!)
Thu Aug 13 05:01:07 +0000 2020
Ray : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA There is all kinds of virus and bacteria there before this plandemic, ooppse, i mean pandemic sta'... https://t.co/LUK2QVJvac
Thu Aug 13 04:47:49 +0000 2020
Denice : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA What great scientists
Thu Aug 13 04:44:44 +0000 2020
CJ : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA That's why you wash your hands and you'll be fine!
Thu Aug 13 04:36:57 +0000 2020
J3PO : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA Omg shut everything down. Burn the city!
Thu Aug 13 04:19:28 +0000 2020
Izzy Presley : @JoelNBCLA @NBCLA https://t.co/0tlrQDqEUe
Thu Aug 13 04:02:08 +0000 2020
Renowned European scientist: COVID-19 was engineered in China lab, effective vaccine 'unlikely' | Blogs | LifeSite
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 13:21
PETITION: No to mandatory vaccination for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.
August 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) '' It will not be possible for the Dr. Fauci's of the world to dismiss Professor Giuseppe Tritto as a crank. Not only is he an internationally known expert in biotechnology and nanotechnology who has had a stellar academic career, but he is also the president of the World Academy of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies (WABT), an institution founded under the aegis of UNESCO in 1997.
In other words, he is a man of considerable stature in the global scientific community. Equally important, one of the goals of WABT is to analyze the effect of biotechnologies'--like genetic engineering'--on humanity.
In his new book, this world-class scientist does exactly that. And what he says is that the China Virus definitely wasn't a freak of nature that happened to cross the species barrier from bat to man. It was genetically engineered in the Wuhan Institute of Virology's P4 (high-containment) lab in a program supervised by the Chinese military.
Prof. Tritto's book, which at present is available only in Italian, is called Cina COVID 19: La Chimera che ha cambiato il Mondo (China COVID 19: The chimera that changed the world). It was published on August 4 by a major Italian press, Edizioni Cantagalli, which coincidently also published the Italian edition of one of my books, Population Control (Controllo Demografico in Italian) several years ago.
What sets Prof. Tritto's book apart is the fact that it demonstrates'--conclusively, in my view'--the pathway by which a PLA-owned coronavirus was genetically modified to become the China Virus now ravaging the world. His account leaves no doubt that it is a ''chimera'', an organism created in a lab.
He also connects the dots linking the Wuhan lab to France and the United States, showing how both countries provided financial and scientific help to the Chinese as they began to conduct ever more dangerous bioengineering experiments. Although neither American nor French virologists are responsible for the end result'--a highly infectious coronavirus and a global pandemic'--their early involvement may explain why so many insist that the ''chimera'' must have come from nature. The last thing they want to admit is that they might have had a hand in it.
Those of us who, early on, argued for a laboratory origin were dismissed as conspiracy theorists. Our articles were censored as ''fake news,'' often by American virologists who knew perfectly well what the truth was, but preferred to protect China, and themselves, from scrutiny lest they themselves be implicated.
Dr. Tritto's 272 pages of names, dates, places, and facts leaves such apologists with no place to hide. The story begins following the SARS epidemic of 2003, as the Chinese attempt to develop vaccines to combat the deadly disease. Dr. Shi Zhengli, about whom I have previously written, was in charge of the program at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In vaccine development, reverse genetics is used to create viral strains that have reduced pathogenicity but to which the immune system responds by creating antibodies against the virus. But reverse genetics can also be used to create viral strains that have increased pathogenicity. That is what Dr. Shi, encouraged by PLA bioweapons experts, began increasingly to focus her research on, according to Prof. Tritto.
Dr. Shi first solicited help from the French government, which built the P4 lab, and from the country's Pasteur institute, which showed her how to manipulate HIV genomes. The gene insertion method used is called ''reverse genetics system 2.'' Using this method, she inserted an HIV segment into a coronavirus discovered in horseshoe bats to make it more infectious and lethal.
The U.S. was involved as well, particularly Prof Ralph S. Baric, of the University of North Carolina, who was on the receiving end of major grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. This is, of course, Dr. Anthony Fauci's shop. Fauci was a big proponent of ''gain of function'' research, and when this was prohibited at Baric's lab because it was considered to be too dangerous, the research was shifted to China.
Prof. Tritto believes that, while Dr. Shi's research began as an effort to develop a vaccine against SARS, it gradually morphed into an effort to use ''reverse genetics'' to build lethal biological weapons. This was the reason that the Wuhan lab became China's leading center for virology research in recent years, attracting major funding and support from the central government.
I would add that the rule in Communist-controlled China is ''let the civilian support the military,'' which means that as soon as Dr. Shi's research showed any potential military uses the PLA would have begun exercising control of the research. This came out in the open with the outbreak, when China's leading expert on bioweapons, People's Liberation Army Major General Chen Wei, was immediately placed in charge of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. As for Dr. Shi Zheng-Li, she seems to have disappeared.
As Dr. Tritto explained in an interview with Italian media:
In 2005, after the SARS epidemic, the Wuhan Institute of Virology was born, headed by Dr. Shi Zheng-Li, who collects coronaviruses from certain bat species and recombines them with other viral components in order to create vaccines. In 2010 she came into contact with American researchers led by Prof. Ralph Baric, who in turn works on recombinant viruses based on coronaviruses. Thanks to the matrix viruses provided by Shi, Baric created in 2015 a mouse Sars-virus chimera, which has a pathogenic effect on human cells analyzed in vitro.
At that point, the China-US collaboration becomes competition. Shi wants to work on a more powerful virus to make a more powerful vaccine: it combines a bat virus with a pangolin virus in vitro and in 2017 publishes the results of this research in some scientific articles.
Her research attracts the interest of the Chinese military and medical-biological sector which deals with biological weapons used as a deterrent for defensive and offensive purposes. Thus Shi is joined by doctors and biologists who belong to the political-military sphere, such as Guo Deyin, a scholar of anti-AIDS and anti-viral hepatitis vaccines and expert in genetic recombination techniques. The introduction of the new engineered inserts into the virus genome is the result of the collaboration between the Shi team and that of Guo Deyin. The realization of this new chimera, from a scientific point of view, is a success. So much so that, once the epidemic has broken out, the two researchers ask WHO to register it as a new virus, H-nCoV-19 (Human new Covid 19), and not as another virus derived from SARS. It is reasonable to think that Shi acted only from the point of view of scientific prestige, without however taking into account the risks in terms of security and the political-military interests that her research would have aroused.
When asked why China has refused to provide the complete genome of the China Virus to the WHO or to other countries, Dr. Tritto explained that ''providing the matrix [source] virus would have meant admitting that SARS-CoV-2 [China Virus] was created in the laboratory. In fact, the incomplete genome made available by China lacks some inserts of AIDS amino acids, which itself is a smoking gun.''
The key question, for those of us who are living through the pandemic, concerns the development of a vaccine. On this score, Prof. Tritto is not optimistic:
Given the many mutations of SARS-CoV-2, it is extremely unlikely that a single vaccine that blocks the virus will be found. At the moment 11 different strains have been identified: the A2a genetic line which developed in Europe and the B1 genetic line which took root in North America are more contagious than the 0 strain originating in Wuhan. I therefore believe that, at the most, a multivalent vaccine can be found effective on 4-5 strains and thus able to cover 70-75% of the world's population.
In other words, by withholding from the world the original genetic code of the China Virus that it created, the Chinese Communist Party is ensuring that no completely effective vaccine will ever be developed by the West.
In other words, China continues to lie, and people continue to die.
Steven W. Mosher @StevenWMosher 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.
Vaccines and such
De race om het vaccin: Farmaceuten krijgen immuniteit tegen rechtszaken voor schadelijke bijwerkingen '' Letselschade.NU '' Al het nieuws over letselschade
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 15:18
In de race om als eerste een coronavaccin aan het grote publiek te kunnen voorstellen, lijkt snelheid het te winnen van kwaliteit. Een topmanager van het farmabedrijf AstraZeneca bevestigde tegenover het persbureau Reuters dat de Britse farmareus immuniteit heeft gekregen tegen elke gerechtelijke klacht, mocht het coronavaccin van AstraZeneca uiteindelijk schadelijke bijwerkingen vertonen.
''We hebben te maken met een unieke situatie. Een bedrijf kan gewoon dat risico niet lopen. Stel dat er binnen vier jaar schadelijke bijwerkingen optreden''' Dat zegt Ruud Dobber van AstraZeneca. Hij is er sinds januari vorig jaar President van de BioPharmaceuticals Business Unit.
''Wanneer we contracten sluiten, vragen we om van mogelijke klachten te worden gevrijwaard. De meeste landen hebben daar geen probleem mee, want ze vinden dat het risico waard. Het is in hun nationaal eigenbelang.'' Volgens Dobber blijven veiligheid en tolerantie een topprioriteit. De betrokken landen noemt hij niet bij naam.
AstraZeneca is (C)(C)n van 25 farmabedrijven die zoeken naar geneesmiddelen en/of een vaccin tegen Covid-19. Volgens Europese officials vormt de aansprakelijkheid voor die geneesmiddelen een ''significante discussie in de zoektocht naar een vaccin van Pfizer, Sanofi en Johnson & Johnson''.
In de VS zijn farmabedrijven sowieso vrijgesteldIn de VS bestaat er al zoiets als de Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act van de US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Die stelt bedrijven vrij van vervolging mocht er iets misgaan.
Nu AstraZeneca en ook Amerikaanse farmaceutische bedrijven immuniteit zoeken voor eventuele bijwerkingen, stellen sommigen zich de vraag waarom overheden toelaten dat deze bedrijven van elke verantwoordelijkheid worden ontslagen, mocht iets verkeerd gaan.
Maar niet alle bedrijven lijken geneigd snelheid voorrang te geven op kwaliteit. ''Als je miljarden mensen een vaccin gaat toedienen weet je best wat dat vaccin exact doet'', zei Merck-CEO Kenneth Frazier vorige maand nog. ''Laat me dat even verduidelijken. De voorbije 25 jaar zijn er wereldwijd slechts zeven nieuwe vaccins ge¯ntroduceerd. Merck heeft er daar vier van, de rest van de wereld drie. Mijn standpunt is eenvoudig: als niet iedereen veilig is, is niemand veilig.''
(Bron: Business AM)
Why is COVID-19 so different person-to-person? Experts say it could be because of previous vaccines
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:48
(CNN) '-- As US leaders work to control the spread of coronavirus, researchers across the country '-- and globe '-- are working to answer the mysteries that remain around infections.
ICU doctor runs 22 miles in a face mask to prove that they are safeOne of those mysteries: why the experience can be so different from person to person. One expert says the answer may involve looking at previous vaccines individuals have had.
''When we looked in the setting of Covid disease, we found that people who had prior vaccinations with a variety of vaccines '-- for pneumococcus, influenza, hepatitis and others '-- appeared to have a lower risk of getting Covid disease,'' Dr. Andrew Badley, an infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday night.
It's what immunologists call immune training: how your immune system creates an effective response to fight off infections, Badley says.
''A good analogy is to think of your immune system as being a muscle,'' he said. ''The more you exercise that muscle, the stronger it will be when you need it.''
There's been no definitive evidence of any other vaccines boosting immunity against Covid-19. But some researchers have suggested it's possible.
In June, a team of researchers in the US proposed giving a booster dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to people to see if it helps prevent the most severe effects of coronavirus infections. And last month, researchers found that countries where many people have been given the tuberculosis vaccine Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) had less mortality from coronavirus, a finding that fits with other research suggesting the vaccine can boost people's immunity in general.
I-Team: Could EMS crew coming to you have COVID-19 and not know it?But once you're infected, how much of the virus made it into your body could also have an impact on what your experience is, another expert told CNN on Monday.
Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at University of California, San Francisco, has been working with a team of researchers to understand how more people could go through their infections with minimal or no symptoms. About 40% of people infected with the virus don't have symptoms, according to an estimate last month by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gandhi's team found masks make a difference.
''What the mask does is really reduce the amount of virus that you get in, if you do get infected,'' she said. ''And by reducing that '... you have a lower dose, you're able to manage it, you're able to have a calm response and you have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.''
So far, more than5 million Americans have tested positive for the virus and at least 163,473 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The average number of daily new cases in the US is more than 54,000, down from more than 65,000 per day in mid- to late-July.
Average daily Covid-19 deaths, however, have hovered above 1,000 for more than two weeks. The country had been below that level for seven weeks before that.
90% increase in child cases in a monthMore research is also emerging around children and coronavirus amid back-to-school season.
The number of coronavirus cases among children in the US rose by 90% over four weeks this summer, according to a report published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.
The report, expected to be updated weekly, said 179,990 new Covid-19 cases were recorded among US children from July 9 to August 6.
Hundreds of coronavirus cases linked to teens in Summit County; health department recommends schools start remotelyMore than 380,000 children had been infected as of August 6, according to the report, making up just over 9% of the total cases in states that report cases by age.
The report comes as recent studies suggest children could play an important role in transmission of the virus. One study said older children can transmit coronavirus just as much as adults, and another found children younger than 5 carried a higher load of the virus, which also raised questions about their role in its spread.
And while some US officials, including the President, have said the virus doesn't pose a big risk to children, experts say that's not the case.
''It's not fair to say that this virus is completely benign in children,'' Dr. Sean O'Leary, vice-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, said Monday. ''We've had 90 deaths in children in the US already, in just a few months. Every year we worry about influenza in children, and there are roughly around 100 deaths in children from influenza every year.''
Still, many schools and universities across the country are moving forward with plans to begin in-person instruction, despite protests nationwide from teachers who say a return to class could be deadly.
In Georgia, multiple school districts have reported cases of the virus after reopening. In the Cherokee County School District, more than 480 students have been quarantined since school began earlier this month. The district has reported at least 25 positive cases among students and six cases among staff.
In Mississippi, at least 22 schools across the state have reported positive cases, State Health Director Dr. Thomas Dobbs said this week. There have been 19 cases reported among students and 15 cases among staff.
More volunteers added to antibody therapy trialsTwo late-stage antibody therapy clinical trials are enrolling more volunteers through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Covid-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), giving the studies a wider number of sites and a larger pool of people.
Georgia school seen in viral photo to move to online learning after 9 cases of Covid-19 reportedThese therapies are antibodies created in the lab to target a particular infection or toxin. If they work, the treatments could provide protection against the virus immediately, compared to a vaccine, which can take a few weeks before it starts providing protection and can't provide protection once someone is already infected. But antibody therapies typically only work for a couple of months, while vaccines provide long-term protection.
In the first trial, volunteers are given a placebo or a dose of REGN-COV-2, an antibody treatment made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals that has shown success in lab and animal studies and shown to be safe in human trials.
The trial will test to see if the antibody cocktail provides protection against the disease and if someone is infected, if the treatment limits the number of symptoms and if it helps keep people out of the hospital.
Scientists hope to enroll 2,000 asymptomatic adults who have had contact with someone in their household who has an infection. Volunteers would get the treatment within a 96-hour window after they come in contact with the infected person and scientists will check back in with them for seven months to ensure the treatment was safe and effective.
The second trial will test to see how the Eli Lilly and Co.'s LY-CoV555 antibody treatment works with people who work or live at a nursing home or assisted living facility that's had a positive case.
That trial, looking for 2,400 volunteers, will test to see if the therapy prevents infections in this vulnerable population and will also test if the therapy prevents symptoms or reduces the severity of the illness.
Scientists uneasy as Russia approves 1st coronavirus vaccine - SUNSTAR
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:10
MOSCOW -- Russia on Tuesday, August 11, became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, a move that was met with international skepticism and unease because the shots have only been studied in dozens of people.President Vladimir Putin announced the Health Ministry's approval and said one of his two adult daughters already was inoculated. He said the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and was shown to provide lasting immunity to the coronavirus, although Russian authorities have offered no proof to back up claims of safety or effectiveness.
"I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity," Putin said. "We must be grateful to those who made that first step very important for our country and the entire world."
However, scientists in Russia and other countries sounded an alarm, saying that rushing to offer the vaccine before final-stage testing could backfire. What's called a Phase 3 trial - which involves tens of thousands of people and can take months - is the only way to prove if an experimental vaccine is safe and really works.
By comparison, vaccines entering final-stage testing in the US require studies of 30,000 people each. Two vaccine candidates already have begun those huge studies, with three more set to get underway by fall.
"Fast-tracked approval will not make Russia the leader in the race, it will just expose consumers of the vaccine to unnecessary danger," said Russia's Association of Clinical Trials Organizations, in urging government officials to postpone approving the vaccine without completed advanced trials.
While Russian officials have said large-scale production of the vaccine wasn't scheduled until September, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said vaccination of doctors could start as early as this month. Officials say they will be closely monitored after the injections. Mass vaccination may begin as early as October.
"We expect tens of thousands of volunteers to be vaccinated within the next months," Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund that bankrolled the vaccine, told reporters.
The vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow with assistance from Russia's Defense Ministry uses a different virus -- the common cold-causing adenovirus -- that's been modified to carry genes for the "spike" protein that coats the coronavirus, as a way to prime the body to recognize if a real Covid-19 infection comes along.
That's a similar technology as vaccines being developed by China's CanSino Biologics and Britain's Oxford University and AstraZeneca - but unlike those companies, Russian scientists haven't published any scientific information about how the vaccine has performed in animal tests or in early-stage human studies.
Dmitriev said even as Russian doctors and teachers start getting vaccinated, advanced trials are set to start Wednesday that will involve "several thousand people" and span several countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and possibly Brazil.
The Associated Press couldn't find documentation in the Russian Health Ministry's records indicating that permission to start the advanced trials was granted. The ministry has not responded to a request for comment.
Putin said one of his daughters has received two doses, and had minor side effects such as slight fever, and is now "feeling well and has a high number of antibodies." It wasn't clear if she was one of the study volunteers.
The Health Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that the vaccine is expected to provide immunity from the coronavirus for up to two years, citing its experience with vaccines made with similar technology.
However, scientists around the world have been cautioning that even if vaccine candidates are proven to work, it will take even more time to tell how long the protection will last.
"The collateral damage from release of any vaccine that was less than safe and effective would exacerbate our current problems insurmountably," Imperial College London immunology professor Danny Altmann said in a statement Tuesday.
The World Health Organization has urged that all vaccine candidates go through full stages of testing before being rolled out, and said Tuesday it is in touch with the Russian scientists and "looks forward to reviewing" Russia's study data. Experts have warned that vaccines that are not properly tested can cause harm in many ways - from harming health to creating a false sense of security or undermining trust in vaccinations.
Becoming the first country in the world to approve a vaccine was a matter of national prestige for the Kremlin as it tries to assert the image of Russia as a global power. Putin repeatedly praised Russia's effective response to the outbreak in televised addresses to the nation, while some of Moscow's top officials - including the country's prime minister and Putin's own spokesperson - became infected.
And the US, Britain and Canada last month accused Russia of using hackers to steal vaccine research from Western labs. Russia has denied involvement.
Russia has so far registered 897,599 coronavirus cases, including 15,131 deaths.
The Gamaleya Institute's director, Alexander Gintsburg, raised eyebrows in May when he said that he and other researchers tried the vaccine on themselves before the start of human studies.
Those trials started June 17 with 76 volunteers. Half were injected with a vaccine in liquid form and the other half with a vaccine that came as soluble powder. Some in the first group were recruited from the military, which raised concerns that servicemen may have been pressured to participate. The test was declared completed earlier this month.
"It's a too early stage to truly assess whether it's going to be effective, whether it's going to work or not," said Dr. Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at England's University of Southampton.
It's not Russia's first controversial vaccine. Putin has bragged that Russian scientists delivered an Ebola vaccine that "proved to be the most effective in the world" and "made a real contribution to fighting the Ebola fever in Africa." However, there is little evidence either of the two Ebola vaccines approved in Russia was widely used in Africa. As of 2019, both of those vaccines were listed by the WHO as "candidate vaccines." (AP)
Hong Kong police arrest media tycoon Jimmy Lai under national security law - Reuters
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:44
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai became the highest-profile arrest under a new national security law on Monday, detained over suspected collusion with foreign forces as scores of police searched the offices of his Apple Daily newspaper.
Media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of Apple Daily (C) is detained by the national security unit in Hong Kong, China August 10, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Lai, 71, has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.
His arrest comes amid Beijing's crackdown against pro-democracy opposition in the city and further stokes concerns about media and other freedoms promised to the former British colony when it returned to China in 1997.
It ''bears out the worst fears that Hong Kong's National Security Law would be used to suppress critical pro-democracy opinion and restrict press freedom,'' said Steven Butler, the Committee to Protect Journalists' Asia programme coordinator. ''Jimmy Lai should be released at once and any charges dropped.''
Ryan Law, Apple Daily's chief editor, told Reuters the paper would not intimidated by the raid.
''Business as usual,'' he said.
The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison. Critics say it crushes freedoms, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged pro-democracy protests last year.
Lai had been a frequent visitor to Washington, where he has met senior officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to rally support for Hong Kong democracy, prompting Beijing to label him a ''traitor''.
Hong Kong police said they had arrested seven men, aged 39-72, on suspicion of breaching the new security law, without naming them, adding that further arrests were possible.
Apple Daily, which posted on its Facebook page a livestream of dozens of police officers entering its premises, reported Lai was taken away from his home early on Monday. The paper said one of Lai's sons, Ian, was also arrested at his home.
In the live feed, officers were seen roaming through the newsroom, rifling through files.
Staff were asked to show identity documents. Some executive offices were sealed off with red cordons. The police later wheeled in stacks of empty plastic containers.
Lai himself was brought back to the office in handcuffs later. One Apple Daily reporter asked Lai what he thinks of his arrest, and Lai responded: ''They have to arrest me, what can I think?''
Police said they had a court warrant. The law allows police to search premises without one ''under exceptional circumstances,'' and also allows seizing documents, equipment and financial assets.
'HARASSMENT' An Apple Daily source said that other senior executives in the company were among those targeted and that police were searching their homes.
''We are arranging lawyers and so on to defend ourselves. We see this as straight harassment,'' the source said, adding that Lai was arrested on suspicion of sedition, criminal fraud and colluding with foreign forces.
Shares of media company Next Digital (0282.HK ), which publishes Apple Daily, plunged as much as 15.5%.
Prominent young activist Joshua Wong said on Twitter he ''strongly'' condemned Lai's arrest. The Hong Kong Journalists Association said it was ''extremely concerned.''
Answering questions on Lai's arrest, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters in Taipei: ''China should not treat Hong Kong this way.''
''We still urge the Chinese government to keep its promise and respect Hong Kong's democracy and freedom,'' Su said.
The law has steered China further on a collision course with the West, prompting countries including Australia, Canada and Britain to suspend extradition treaties with Hong Kong.
On major cases in Hong Kong, the central government in Beijing can claim jurisdiction. The legislation allows agents to take suspects across the border for trials in Communist Party-controlled courts.
CHILLING EFFECT Lai was also arrested this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.
In an interview with Reuters in May, Lai pledged to stay in Hong Kong and continue to fight for democracy even though he expected to be one of the targets of the new legislation.
Before Monday, 15 people had been arrested under the law, including four aged 16-21 late last month.
The new legislation has sent a chill through Hong Kong. Activists have disbanded their organisations, while some have fled the city altogether, prompting, in some cases, arrest warrants in their name for suspected violation of the new law.
Slideshow (2 Images) The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the territory's current and former police chiefs and eight other top officials for what Washington says is their role in curtailing political freedoms in the territory, drawing mockery and condemnation from Beijing.
Beijing and the Hong Kong government have said the law, needed to plug security loopholes, will not affect rights and freedoms and will only target a few ''troublemakers.''
Additional reporting by Jessie Pang, Yanni Chow, Carol Mang, Noah Sin and Marius Zaharia in Hong Kong and Yimou Lee in Taipei; Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Shri Navaratnam, Lincoln Feast and Gerry Doyle
Dr. Fauci Funded Controversial "Illegal" Wuhan Lab Coronavirus Research with Millions of U.S. Tax Dollars -- For FIVE YEARS Leading Up to Outbreak '' True Pundit
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 00:31
Dr. Anthony Fauci funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for research on bat coronaviruses five years before the current COVID-19 'pandemic.' Fauci piped over $7.4 million in tax monies to China and beyond. Dr. Judy Mikovits said on the Thomas Paine Podcast that entire Fauci-led 'scheme' was concocted and conducted outside of U.S. laws. Listen Above.
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From approximately 2015 through early 2020, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, led by Fauci, greased scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as other institutions for alleged research on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses. But what was really going on here?
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus now causing a global outbreak. It's believed to have originated in bats in China '-- the same place and the same research Fauci was conducting and underwriting for years. Mikovits said the research was illegal and questioned whether the ensuing virus was engineered and manipulated by Fauci '-- fueled by U.S. tax dollars.
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --
Pope Performs Debt Miracle for Argentina
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:51
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Sign up today!VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - President Alberto Fernández has phoned Pope Francis to thank him for saving Argentina from its ninth bankruptcy, after the pontiff urged international creditors to cancel a debt of 56 billion euros ($66 billion).
Argentina reached an agreement with main private creditors to restructure its debt Tuesday, after the Holy Father negotiated with Wall Street bondholders, Spanish media Infobae reported.
Pope with IMF head (center) and Argentine's finance ministerWithout the pope's intervention, the European Union's support for Argentina would not have been so strong at the time of opening the negotiation with the investment funds, Infobae stressed.
Shortly after the agreement was reached, Fernández phoned from the presidential residence in Olivos, Buenos Aires, to the papal apartments in the Vatican, speaking to his friend for about 15 minutes.
The president communicates with the pontiff by personal email or by a direct line to Santa Marta. Fernández and Francis are friends, and they share a vision of capitalism and its influence on economic inequality around the world, the Argentinian media giant noted.
'Two Peas in a Pod'"It is no surprise that Pope Francis is helping to bail out Fernández, given that he worked hard to get him elected," eminent Vatican correspondent George Neumayr told Church Militant.
"Ideologically, they are two peas in a pod. It was Francis who played a role in bringing Fernández together with vice president Cristina de Kirchner against former president Mauricio Macri, whom Francis disliked for his pro-business stances," said Neumayr, author of bestselling The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives.
It is no surprise that Pope Francis is helping to bail out Fernández, given that he worked hard to get him elected.
Francis played a critical mediating role by brokering contacts between International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva and Argentina's finance minister Mart­n Guzmn.
The pontiff also campaigned for Argentina in "every conversation with heads of state" and asked them to cooperate in negotiations with the creditors.
Francis spoke very highly of Fernndez and Guzmn to Georgieva, the IMF head, going beyond his spiritual role to act as guarantor for the president and finance minister.
"In each dialogue with heads of state, the pope advocated for Argentina and requested institutional collaboration in the middle of negotiations with the bondholders, who were lobbying in Washington to soften the president and his finance minister," Infobae revealed.
The Vortex: The Pope's New World Order
Shortly after he won the election in December 2019, the president pleaded with Francis for help. "This exchange of views was key in drawing up the negotiating strategy with Argentina's Wall Street bondholders."
Georgieva and Guzmn in conversation'Constructive Talks'In February, Pope Francis hosted a conference at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, bringing together IMF head Georgieva and finance minister Guzmn.
On the Friday before the conference, Francis welcomed Fernndez to the Vatican, promising to do everything he could to help with the current crisis.
At a press conference, Fernndez said he hadn't discussed abortion with Francis, contradicting a Vatican statement that said "during the cordial discussions," the two discussed among other problems "the protection of life from conception.
Guzmn categorically told the conference his country would not continue servicing debt that was unsustainable and pushed the country deeper into recession.
According to Reuters, Georgieva and Guzmn held two and a half hours of "constructive talks" on Argentina's debt crisis on Tuesday night ahead of the conference.
Alberto Fernndez and Pope Francis have a relationship that goes beyond their differences over abortion.
While not specifically naming the Argentinian crisis, Pope Francis called for "new forms of solidarity" to help indebted countries.
"We are not doomed to universal inequality," Francis said. "Poor people in heavily indebted countries bear overwhelming tax burdens and cuts in social services as their governments pay debts contracted insensitively and unsustainably."
Abortion Stance Not 'Insurmountable'In March, Fernndez said he would send a bill to the Argentine Congress to begin the process of legalizing abortion. The president has described abortion as "a matter of public health." Argentina permits abortion only in cases of rape, or if the mother's health is endangered.
A 2018 march in Buenos Aries protested legalization of abortionThat has not diminished Francis' support for the president, according to Infobae.
"Alberto Fernndez and Pope Francis have a relationship that goes beyond their differences over abortion," the media portal commented. "Each one plays their game, and they will always try to avoid confrontations in public."
The president and the pope "know that there will be a time of formal distancing" but nevertheless can communicate quietly by "an email that will depart at night from Santa Marta or Olivos," Infobae remarked.
"They are experts in the management of power," and an "ideological combat" over abortion "will not open an insurmountable ditch between them," the site stated.
Missed PaymentThe Macri government borrowed 56 billion euros in external debt between January 2016 and June 2018.
On May 22, 2020, the government missed a $503 million interest payment on dollar bonds issued under New York law, putting the government into its ninth default.
Pope Francis is likely to visit Argentina in 2022.
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Argentina/China sign a raft of agreements to boost trade and investment '-- MercoPress
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:54
Tuesday, June 26th 2012 - 06:32 UTC Wen Jiabao visit coincided with the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties Argentina signed with China a raft of mostly farm-related agreements at a ceremony on Monday in Buenos Aires attended by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Argentine president Cristina Fernandez.
China is Argentina's biggest client of agricultural products and its second largest trade partner. Bilateral trade totalled 14.8 billion dollars in 2011, with 8 billion dollars surplus for China.
Argentina is the world's number one exporter of flour and soy oil, number three soy bean exporter, and number two corn exporter.
The two delegations also signed a nuclear energy cooperation accord and agreed on the terms of a Chinese loan to modernize Argentina's Belgrano Cargas railway network, officials said.
The low-interest loan package at roughly 2 billion dollars should help finance the modernization of a 1.500-km route that stretches into important soy-growing regions in the north of the country, the Economy Ministry said. China is a leading buyer of Argentine soybeans and soy-oil.
Argentina has three nuclear plants the last inaugurated in September 2011, and has plans for a fourth.
Other areas of cooperation include infrastructure, financial services, energy, polar regions research, oceans and environment, aviation and tourism, according to the delegation from Beijing. The two leaders also pledged closer people-to-people exchanges to create a stable, friendly and convenient environment for the development of bilateral ties.
During Wen's two-day visit, Argentina also hoped to draw Chinese investments in its oil industry, after having seized Spanish oil company Repsol's controlling share of YPF, Argentina's largest oil company.
At a ceremony Sunday in a museum opposite the presidential mansion, Wen hailed 40 years of bilateral ties as an 'important milestone-- and praised the 'deepening friendship and trust-- between Buenos Aires and Beijing.
''Under the current adverse world economic situation, China and Argentina must keep their markets open, understand each other and strengthen cooperation between relevant government agencies to properly resolve each other's concerns and promote the continuous and balanced growth of bilateral trade'', said the Chinese PM Wen.
Cristina Fernandez said China had played a 'paramount-- role in fuelling global growth over the past 10 years. She stressed that both countries have a 'common vision on defending territorial integrity-- and acknowledged China's support for Argentina's claim to the disputed Falkland Islands, which are administered by Britain.
Wen Jiabao has already stopped in Brazil and Uruguay during a four-nation tour of Latin America that concludes in Chile where he arrived late Monday.
Estonia to reject China-backed Baltic tunnel plan over security fears '' POLITICO
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:27
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Wes Clark 7
Beirut explosion: Donors pledge aid for Lebanon but want reform - BBC News
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:35
Image copyright EPA Image caption Clashes broke out in Beirut for a second day running International donors have pledged a quarter of a billion euros in aid for Lebanon five days after the explosion which devastated a swathe of Beirut.
But an online donor summit arranged by France called at the same time for reforms to be made.
The blast at a warehouse holding over 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate has focused local outrage on perceived government corruption and incompetence.
Clashes have broken out for a second day running in Beirut.
Young people calling for the government to quit threw projectiles at police and shops in central Beirut, and protesters attempted to storm barricades barring access to the parliament building. A fire broke out at the scene.
Police in riot gear used tear gas as darkness fell, echoing similar scenes during protests on Saturday.
Fifteen government leaders at the donor summit, spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, promised "major resources", according to a statement.
"Assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people," it said, adding that help must be "directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency".
The donors were prepared to help Lebanon's longer term recovery if the government listened to the changes demanded by the country's citizens, the communique said.
President Macron's office said France had received pledges worth '‚¬252.7m ($297m, £227m) from the summit.
Officials estimate the explosion caused up to $15 billion (£11.5bn) of damage.
It left at least 158 people dead, 6,000 injured and 300,000 homeless. It emerged that the ammonium nitrate had been left at the port warehouse for six years despite repeated warnings it was dangerous.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Staff at this barber shop are haunted by flashbacks of the moment the blast hitLebanon is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, with daily power cuts, a lack of safe drinking water and limited public healthcare.
The currency collapsed and Lebanon defaulted on its debt in March. Talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $10bn bailout have stalled.
It is feared that the effect of the explosion on the economy could significantly worsen the prospects of recovery.
The government has begun losing ministers critical of its failings.
Environment Minister Damianos Kattar was the second to leave the cabinet on Sunday, bemoaning a "sterile regime that botched several opportunities".
His resignation followed that of Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad, who cited the failure to reform and the "Beirut catastrophe" as her reasons for going.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Manal Abdel Samad is the first minister to resign in the wake of the blast Who pledged what?Among promises made during the summit were:
European Union - extra '‚¬30m ($35m, £27m), on top of '‚¬33m promised earlierUK - additional £20m; £5m aid package announced earlier this weekGermany - '‚¬10m; '‚¬1.5m earlierFrance - reconstruction material, medical and food aidSpain - to send wheat, shelters, medical suppliesSwitzerland - $4.38m US - $15m so farQatar - $50mKuwait - $40mDenmark - '‚¬20mNorway - '‚¬6.5mThe United Nations has said more than $100m (£76m) is needed for both emergency humanitarian aid, such as food and water, and the rebuilding of infrastructure, including hospitals and schools.
The summit took place online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
President Macron, speaking from his summer residence in southern France, called for "an impartial, credible and independent inquiry" into how the disaster was allowed to happen.
France is the former colonial power, and Mr Macron was the first world leader to visit Beirut in the days after the blast.
But Lebanese President Michel Aoun has already ruled out an international investigation.
Alluding to Saturday's protests, the French president said it was up to the government "to respond to the aspirations that the Lebanese people are expressing right now, legitimately, in the streets of Beirut".
But he added that neither violence nor chaos should prevail, adding: "Lebanon's future is at stake."
President Trump also joined the summit and echoed calls for a transparent investigation, saying the US would be able to assist, according to a White House statement.
"The president called for calm in Lebanon and acknowledged the legitimate calls of peaceful protesters for transparency, reform, and accountability," the statement said.
Lebanese government resigns over deadly Beirut port blast
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 16:53
Lebanon's health minister has said the Cabinet has resigned over last week's blast at the Beirut port. A number of ministers had already stepped down after mass protests against the government erupted in the country.
Health Minister Hamad Hassan told reporters at the end of a Cabinet meeting on Monday that Prime Minister Hassan Diab would head to the presidential palace to "hand over the resignation in the name of all the ministers.''
"The whole government resigned," Hassan said.
The prime minister would formally announce the resignation of his government, he added.
The Lebanese government on Monday held a cabinet meeting amid mounting pressure to step down over the devastating explosion that killed more than 150 people in Beirut earlier this week.
Read more: German foreign minister to travel to Beirut, demand reform
Ministers step down amid growing public angerProtesters and critics of the government have blamed corruption and poor leadership at the heart of Lebanon's government for the explosion.'¯
At least nine members of parliament have resigned since the blasts with many more ministers wanting to resign, Reuters reported citing ministerial and political sources.
The cabinet was formed in January with the support of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its allies.
Read more: Beirut blast: Donors push for reforms in return for pledged money
Snap elections Hours after the first protests rocked Beirut over the weekend, Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed to hold early parliamentary elections as his embattled government faces calls to resign.
Diab said he would stay in government for another two months until major parties can reach an agreement.
About 20 people have been detained over the explosion, including the head of'¯Lebanon's customs department and his predecessor, and the chief of the port. Dozens more have been questioned, including two former Cabinet ministers, according to government officials.
Investigations into the blasts is focusing on how 2,750 tons of the extremely explosive ammonium nitrate chemical came to be stored at a warehouse in Beirut's port for six years.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests Panic in BeirutTwo immense blasts shook Beirut and the surrounding areas of the Lebanese capital, prompting panic as residents rushed to safety. "I have never in my life seen a disaster this big," Beirut's governor told local TV.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests Blasts felt in city's outskirtsThe explosions, centered in Beirut's port region, were felt throughout the capital. Even residents in the city's outskirts reported hearing the blast, with some saying their windows were shattered.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests Dozens killed, thousands injuredLebanon's Health Ministry said at least 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 others were injured.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests 'Unacceptable' ammonium nitrate stockPrime Minister Hassan Diab said that a large stockpile of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate in a warehouse at the port had caused the second, larger explosion. "It is unacceptable that a shipment of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate has been present for six years in a warehouse, without taking preventive measures," Diab said.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests Race to save survivorsMore than 30 Red Cross teams raced to the scene, with many locals lending a hand to aid rescue efforts. Hospitals warned that they were quickly filled beyond capacity '-- and called for blood donations as well as generators to help keep the electricity on.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests Felt as far away as Cyprus The blasts struck with the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, according to Germany's geosciences center GFZ. Residents in Cyprus, some 110 miles (180 km) across the sea from Beirut, reported hearing and feeling the blast.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests People are 'asking for their loved ones'DW's Bassel Aridi said people were using social media to try to track down their loved ones after the explosions. Aridi also visited a hospital in Beirut after the blasts. "What I saw in the hospital was so dramatic. All the hospitals have announced that they are totally overloaded."
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests Two-week state of emergencyLebanese authorities fear many more people are buried beneath rubble. President Michel Aoun scheduled an emergency Cabinet meeting for Wednesday and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests Lebanon faces double-blow The devastating blasts come as Lebanon experiences severe economic turbulence, with many people taking to the streets in recent months to protest the financial situation. Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared that Wednesday would be a national day of mourning for the victims of the explosion.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests Protesters demand reforms and resignationsThousands of protesters took to the streets four days after the explosion, blaming the blast on government corruption and mismanagement boiling. Protesters demanded government resignations and fresh elections, with many occupying government ministries. Police responded with tear gas.
In pictures: Beirut blast aftermath '-- destruction, chaos and protests First resignationInformation Minister Manal Abdel Samad became the first government minister to resign in the wake of the blast, five days after it took place. "After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government," she said in a statement carried by local media. She apologized to the people of Beirut for failing them.
Author: Darko Janjevic
Protests grip Beirut Protesters clashed with riot police in Beirut and tried to break into a cordoned-off area at the parliament square on Sunday amid widespread anger over the massive explosion that killed at least 158 people earlier this week.
A fire broke out at the entrance to the square near the parliament building, according to footage shown by Lebanese television. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Read more: Lebanon: Protesters take over ministries after deadly blast
shs,mvb/rc (AFP, Reuters, dpa)
Who profits from the Beirut blast? - Asia Times
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 14:46
Posted in AT+Making the case that the explosion resulted from an attack
An aerial view shows the massive damage at Beirut port's grain silos and the area around it on Wednesday, one day after a massive explosion hit the area in the heart of the Lebanese capital. Photo: AFPThe narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere. And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it. Lebanon is prime John Le ['...]
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Vape Wars
Association Between Youth Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Coronavirus Disease 2019 - Journal of Adolescent Health
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:04
Abstract PurposeThis study aimed to assess whether youth cigarette and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use are associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, testing, and diagnosis.
MethodsAn online national survey of adolescents and young adults (n = 4,351) aged 13''24 years was conducted in May 2020. Multivariable logistic regression assessed relationships among COVID-19''related symptoms, testing, and diagnosis and cigarettes only, e-cigarettes only and dual use, sociodemographic factors, obesity, and complying with shelter-in-place.
ResultsCOVID-19 diagnosis was five times more likely among ever-users of e-cigarettes only (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.82''13.96), seven times more likely among ever-dual-users (95% CI: 1.98''24.55), and 6.8 times more likely among past 30-day dual-users (95% CI: 2.40''19.55). Testing was nine times more likely among past 30-day dual-users (95% CI: 5.43''15.47) and 2.6 times more likely among past 30-day e-cigarette only users (95% CI: 1.33''4.87). Symptoms were 4.7 times more likely among past 30-day dual-users (95% CI: 3.07''7.16).
ConclusionsCOVID-19 is associated with youth use of e-cigarettes only and dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes, suggesting the need for screening and education.
Keywords TobaccoSmokingElectronic cigaretteCOVIDLungCoronavirusCommunicable diseaseInfectious diseasePandemic Implications and ContributionThe findings from a national sample of adolescents and young adults show that electronic cigarette use and dual use of electronic cigarettes and cigarettes are significant underlying risk factors for coronavirus disease 2019. Health care providers, parents, schools, community-based organizations, and policymakers must help make youth aware of the connection between smoking and vaping and coronavirus disease.
As of June 2020, more than 2.1 million people have been infected, and approximately 116,000 have died from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S. [
1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCases in the US.
], and the numbers continue to rise. Both cigarette and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use damage the respiratory system [
2Wills T.A. Pagano I. Williams R.J. Tam E.K. E-cigarette use and respiratory disorder in an adult sample.
3McConnell R. Barrington-Trimis J.L. Wang K. et al.Electronic cigarette use and respiratory symptoms in adolescents.
4Ghosh A. Coakley R.D. Ghio A.J. et al.Chronic e-cigarette use increases neutrophil elastase and matrix metalloprotease levels in the lung.
], potentially increasing the risk of experiencing COVID-19''related symptoms, a positive diagnosis and exacerbated health outcomes [
5 National Institute of Drug AbuseCOVID-19: Potential implications for individuals with substance use disorders.
]. A meta-analysis of studies mostly in China found that smokers were at elevated risk of COVID-19 progression compared with non-smokers [
6Patanavanich R. Glantz S.A. Smoking is associated with COVID-19 progression: A meta-analysis.
]. Hospitalizations in the U.S. show that factors such as obesity, male sex, and older age are associated with COVID-19 [
7Garg S. Kim L. Whitaker M. et al.Hospitalization rates and characteristics of patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019'--COVID-NET, 14 states, March 1''30, 2020.
]. Although youth are at relatively lower risk of contracting COVID-19 compared with older adults, given the proportion of youth using e-cigarettes [
8Cullen K.A. Gentzke A.S. Sawdey M.D. et al.E-cigarette use among youth in the United States, 2019.
], youth e-cigarette and cigarette use may pose an important risk factor for COVID-19.
Currently, there are no U.S. population-based studies assessing the relationship between cigarette smoking, e-cigarette use, and COVID-19''related outcomes. In the absence of information on smoking and e-cigarette use history of youth diagnosed with COVID-19, we conducted a population-level examination of whether youth cigarette and/or e-cigarette use is associated with increased likelihood of experiencing COVID-19''related symptoms, being tested, and being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Methods We conducted a national cross-sectional online survey of adolescents and young adults aged 13''24 years from May 6 to 14, 2020 in the U.S., using Qualtrics [
], a leading enterprise survey technology platform. Participants were recruited from Qualtrics' existing online panels using a survey Web link on gaming sites, social media, customer loyalty portals, and through website intercept recruitment. Qualtrics panels are widely used to conduct social/behavioral research [
10 QualtricsQualtrics (2014) Esomar 28: 28 questions to help research buyers of online samples.
]. The online survey took 15''20 minutes to complete. Through quota sampling, we recruited e-cigarette ever-users (50.2%) and nonusers (49.8%); and adolescents (aged 13''17; 33.7%), young adults (aged 18''20 years; 41.6%), and adults (aged 21''24 years; 24.7%), while balancing gender and race/ethnicity. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Stanford University.
Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to assess associations of ever-use and past 30-day use of cigarettes only, e-cigarettes only, and dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes with COVID-19 (self-reported symptoms, testing, and positive diagnosis). The model used weights for age group; gender; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning; race/ethnicity; and e-cigarette ever-use per U.S. population-based data; accounted for clustering by region and state; and controlled for demographics, mother's education (as an indicator of socioeconomic status), body mass index (obesity as an underlying condition) [
11 Centers for Disease Control and PreventionDefining childhood obesity.
12 Centers for Disease Control and PreventionHow is BMI interpreted for adults?.
], complying with county shelter-in-place orders and state percentage of COVID-19''positive cases [
13 Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCDC COVID data tracker.
]. All measures, percentages corresponding to weighted data in logistic regressions, and marginal population proportions used to calculate weight are included in
Supplementary Material. Missing values were treated as not missing completely at random for Taylor series variance estimation. Statistical significance was set at
p < .05, and all tests were two-tailed.
Results A total of 4,351 participants completed the online survey from 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and three union territories.
Table 1 provides weighted sample characteristics.
Table 2 shows factors associated with COVID-19''related symptoms, getting a COVID-19 test and a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Table 1 Participant characteristics (unweighted %) and COVID-19''related outcomes (weighted %) by never- and ever-e-cigarette users
AA = African American; BMI = body mass index; COVID-19 = coronavirus disease 2019; LGBTQ = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning.
Open table in a new tab Table 2 Association between COVID-19 and use of inhaled tobacco products, adjusting for sociodemographic factors, weighted
Bold indicates p < .05; adjusted for state- and region-level clustering effects.
COVID-19 = coronavirus disease 2019; CI = confidence interval; LGBTQ = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning; Ref = reference.
Open table in a new tab As shown in
Table 2, past 30-day dual-users were 4.7 times more likely to experience COVID-19''related symptoms (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.07''7.16). Experiencing such symptoms was nearly twice more likely among African American/black, Hispanic, other/multiracial, underweight, and obese participants; 1.8 times more likely among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth; and 1.6 times more likely among those not complying with shelter-in-place.
Ever-users of e-cigarettes only were 3.3 times (95% CI: 1.77''5.94), ever-dual-users were 3.6 times (95% CI: 1.96''6.54), and ever-users of cigarettes only were 3.9 times (95% CI: 1.43''10.86) more likely to get COVID-19 tested. Past 30-day dual-users were nine times (95% CI: 5.43''15.47) and past 30-day e-cigarette only users were 2.6 times (95% CI: 1.33''4.87) more likely to get COVID-19 tested. Testing was 2''3 times more likely among male, African American/black, other/multiracial, and those who were underweight.
Ever-dual-users were seven times (95% CI: 1.98''24.55), ever-users of e-cigarettes only were five times (95% CI: 1.82''13.96), and past 30-day dual-users were 6.8 times (95% CI: 2.40''19.55) more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19. Sociodemographic factors associated with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis included being male, other/nonbinary gender, Hispanic, other/multiracial, and mother's completion of college- or graduate-level education. As a possible underlying risk factor for low immunity to COVID-19 among youth, being underweight was associated with 2.5 times greater risk of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis (95% CI: 1.05''6.20). In addition, being in a state with 11%''20% positive COVID-19 cases made a person nearly five times more likely to be diagnosed positive (95% CI: 1.19''21.39).
Discussion Our population-based research provides timely evidence that youth using e-cigarettes and dual-users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes are at greater risk of COVID-19. Given the predominance of e-cigarette use among U.S. youth, our investigation informs public health concerns that the ongoing youth e-cigarette epidemic contributes to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Surprisingly, exclusive ever-use of combustible cigarettes was only associated with COVID-19''related testing, whereas both past 30-day use and ever-use of e-cigarettes and dual use were associated with COVID-19 testing and positive diagnosis.
There are a number of potential reasons why both dual use and e-cigarette use were associated with getting infected with COVID-19. Heightened exposure to nicotine and other chemicals in e-cigarettes adversely affects lung function [
14Hamberger E.S. Halpern-Felsher B. Vaping in adolescents: Epidemiology and respiratory harm.
], with studies showing that lung damage caused by e-cigarettes is comparable to combustible cigarettes [
4Ghosh A. Coakley R.D. Ghio A.J. et al.Chronic e-cigarette use increases neutrophil elastase and matrix metalloprotease levels in the lung.
15Reinikovaite V. Rodriguez I.E. Karoor V. et al.The effects of electronic cigarette vapour on the lung: Direct comparison to tobacco smoke.
16Reidel B. Radicioni G. Clapp P.W. et al.E-cigarette use causes a unique innate immune response in the lung, involving increased neutrophilic activation and altered mucin secretion.
]. COVID-19 spreads through repeated touching of one's hands to the mouth and face, which is common among cigarette and e-cigarette users [
17Berlin I. Thomas D. Le Faou A.L. et al.]. Furthermore, sharing devices (although likely reduced while staying at home) is also a common practice among youth e-cigarette users [
18McKelvey K. Halpern-Felsher B. How and why California young adults are using different brands of pod-type electronic cigarettes in 2019: Implications for researchers and regulators.
Our finding that some racial/ethnic groups, especially among African American, Hispanic, and multirace youth, are at higher risk for COVID-19 is supported by evidence of densely populated living conditions that make social distancing challenging, greater economic stress, and service-industry work environments where working from home is less feasible and lower access to health care contribute to underlying health issues [
19Hooper M.W. Npoles A.M. P(C)rez-Stable E.J. COVID-19 and racial/ethnic disparities.
20 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ,
21Laurencin C.T. McClinton A. The COVID-19 pandemic: A call to action to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities.
]. Both obesity and underweight conditions were associated with COVID-19 outcomes. Although at this point obesity is a more well-established risk factor for COVID-19 [
7Garg S. Kim L. Whitaker M. et al.Hospitalization rates and characteristics of patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019'--COVID-NET, 14 states, March 1''30, 2020.
], being underweight also impacts lung function [
22Davidson W.J. Mackenzie-Rife K.A. Witmans M.B. et al.Obesity negatively impacts lung function in children and adolescents.
23Azad A. Zamani A. Lean body mass can predict lung function in underweight and normal weight sedentary female young adults.
24Cvijetic S. Pipinic I.S. Varnai V.M. et al.Relationship between ultrasound bone parameters, lung function, and body mass index in healthy student population.
25Do J.G. Park C.H. Lee Y.T. Yoon K.J. Association between underweight and pulmonary function in 282,135 healthy adults: A cross-sectional study in Korean population.
], and therefore it is not surprising that it is also a risk factor for COVID-19. We also found that other/nonbinary gender was associated with COVID-19 testing and diagnosis, a population that has received little attention so far. The significant relationship between mother's college or graduate education and a positive COVID-19 diagnosis needs further investigation.
We adjusted our sample to be representative of the U.S. population and included confounders such as sex and race/ethnicity to provide conservative estimates of association. Based on recommendations for studies on smoking and COVID-19 [
26van Zyl-Smit R.N. Richards G. Leone F.T. Tobacco smoking and COVID-19 infection.
], our study adjusted for obesity, which we found was also an underlying risk factor among 13- to 24-year-olds. However, we did not include or adjust for other comorbid conditions such as hypertension due to low prevalence among 13- to 24-year-olds [
27Bell C.S. Samuel J.P. Samuels J.A. Prevalence of hypertension in children: Applying the new American Academy of Pediatrics clinical practice guideline.
]. Furthermore, we did not ask participants about hospitalization or severity of symptoms and cannot ascertain asymptomatic respondents. We recommend biomarker-based studies to determine causality, as this study is based on self-report.
Conclusion Our findings from a national sample of adolescents and young adults show that e-cigarette use and dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes are significant underlying risk factors for COVID-19 that has previously not been shown. The findings have direct implications for health care providers to ask all youth and COVID-19''infected youth about cigarette and e-cigarette use history; for parents, schools, and community-based organizations to guide youth to learn more about how e-cigarettes and dual use affect the respiratory and immune systems; for the Food and Drug Administration to effectively regulate e-cigarettes during the COVID-19 pandemic; and for the development and dissemination of youth-focused COVID-19 prevention messaging to include e-cigarette and dual use.
Funding Sources The research reported in this article was supported by the Taube Research Faculty Scholar Endowment to Bonnie Halpern-Felsher . Additional support was from grant U54 HL147127 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products .
Supplementary Data References U.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCases in the US.
()Wills T.A. Pagano I. Williams R.J. Tam E.K. E-cigarette use and respiratory disorder in an adult sample.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019;
194 : 363-370 McConnell R. Barrington-Trimis J.L. Wang K. et al.Electronic cigarette use and respiratory symptoms in adolescents.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017;
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73 : 148-152 Article InfoPublication HistoryPublished online: August 11, 2020
Accepted: July 1, 2020
Received: June 12, 2020
Publication stageIn Press Corrected ProofFootnotesConflicts of interest: None of the authors have any conflicting interests.
Disclaimer: The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institues of Health or the Food and Drug Administration.
Clinical trials registry site and number: Not applicable to this cross-sectional survey study.
IdentificationDOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.07.002
Copyright(C) 2020 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.
ScienceDirectAccess this article on ScienceDirect
Vaping linked to COVID-19 risk in teens and young adults | News Center | Stanford Medicine
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:01
Vaping is linked to a substantially increased risk of COVID-19 among teenagers and young adults, according to a new study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The study, which was published online Aug. 11 in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is the first to examine connections between youth vaping and COVID-19 using U.S. population-based data collected during the pandemic.
Among young people who were tested for the virus that causes COVID-19, the research found that those who vaped were five to seven times more likely to be infected than those who did not use e-cigarettes.
''Teens and young adults need to know that if you use e-cigarettes, you are likely at immediate risk of COVID-19 because you are damaging your lungs,'' said the study's senior author, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, professor of pediatrics.
'Not just a small increase in risk'''Young people may believe their age protects them from contracting the virus or that they will not experience symptoms of COVID-19, but the data show this isn't true among those who vape,'' said the study's lead author, postdoctoral scholar Shivani Mathur Gaiha, PhD.
''This study tells us pretty clearly that youth who are using vapes or are dual-using [e-cigarettes and cigarettes] are at elevated risk, and it's not just a small increase in risk; it's a big one,'' Gaiha said.
Data were collected via online surveys conducted in May. Surveys were completed by 4,351 participants ages 13 to 24 who lived in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. The researchers recruited a sample of participants that was evenly divided between those who had used e-cigarettes and those who had never used nicotine products. The sample also included approximately equal numbers of people in different age groups (adolescent, young adult and adult), races and genders.
Participants answered questions about whether they had ever used vaping devices or combustible cigarettes, as well as whether they had vaped or smoked in the past 30 days. They were asked if they had experienced COVID-19 symptoms, received a test for COVID-19 or received a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 after being tested.
Results adjusted for confounding factorsThe results were adjusted for confounding factors such as age, sex, LGBTQ status, race/ethnicity, mother's level of education, body mass index, compliance with shelter-in-place orders, rate of COVID-19 diagnosis in the states where the participants were residing, and state and regional trends in e-cigarette use.
Young people who had used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days were almost five times as likely to experience COVID-19 symptoms, such as coughing, fever, tiredness and difficulty breathing as those who never smoked or vaped. This may explain why they were also more likely to receive COVID-19 testing, said Halpern-Felsher, especially given that in May, many regions limited COVID-19 testing to people with symptoms. Depending on which nicotine products they used and how recently they had used them, young people who vaped or smoked, or both, were 2.6 to nine times more likely to receive COVID-19 tests than nonusers.
Among the participants who were tested for COVID-19, those who had ever used e-cigarettes were five times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than nonusers. Those who had used both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes in the previous 30 days were 6.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease. The researchers did not find a connection between COVID-19 diagnosis and smoking conventional cigarettes alone, perhaps because the prevalent pattern among youth is to use both vaping devices and traditional cigarettes. Other research has shown that nearly all nicotine-using youth vape, and some also smoke cigarettes, but very few use cigarettes only, Halpern-Felsher said.
'Now is the time'In line with other recent COVID-19 research, the study found that lower socioeconomic status and Hispanic or multiracial ethnicity were linked to a higher risk of being diagnosed with the disease.
In addition to warning teenagers and young adults about the dangers of vaping, the researchers hope their findings will prompt the Food and Drug Administration to further tighten regulations governing how vaping products are sold to young people.
''Now is the time,'' Halpern-Felsher said. ''We need the FDA to hurry up and regulate these products. And we need to tell everyone: If you are a vaper, you are putting yourself at risk for COVID-19 and other lung disease.''
A statistician at the University of California, San Francisco also contributed to the research, which was funded by the Taube Research Faculty Scholar Endowment; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (grant U54 HL147127); and the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products.
A little inside MasterCard info from an Anonymous Producer
From an Anonymous Producer,
I found the words of Ajay Banga very interesting on the last show. The company grew many-fold under his leadership as the focus changed.
I worked at MasterCard for 10 years on a part-time basis. Between 2009 and 2019, they changed their focus from making money on a transactional level to selling their data analytics, which if you think about it, they have information on sellers and buyers at the zip code level. MC Advisors has become one of their largest divisions. They opine (yes, I used that word) on Christmas sales, etc.
MC also pushes "A World Without Cash". There are NO cash transactions on their any of their campuses. Their largest two are in in Purchase, NY and St. Louis, MO. If you have to buy anything, you change cash for a MC (via a machine). This is at the convenience store, the dining area, vending machines, etc. I always thought of your comments re the Netherlands and their cashless focus was very interesting when I worked their and the signs all over their campus "A World Without Cash".
They also work with many governments in third world countries (think Africa) to entice governments to use MasterCards for government benefits. This is a way to track how government payments are used. It is a huge marketing incentive. They use the word "inclusion" to sign up small vendors for their debit cards and encourage cashless transactions. Keep in mind they also make a cut on each transaction through the payment process. When the migrants were coming in to Europe from North Africa a couple of years ago, they were heavily involved in giving pre-loaded MasterCards to the immigrants through many different NGOs. I don't remember the amounts.
Most employees (in my role I dealt with many departments) "drink the kool-aid". Their intranet is chockful of the many social justice initiatives they participate in, a few of which I mentioned above.
Joint Press Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders | U.S. Department of Commerce
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 12:26
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Monday, August 10, 2020
The U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission have initiated discussions to evaluate the potential for an enhanced EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework to comply with the July 16 judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Schrems II case. This judgment declared that this framework is no longer a valid mechanism to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States.
The European Union and the United States recognize the vital importance of data protection and the significance of cross-border data transfers to our citizens and economies. We share a commitment to privacy and the rule of law, and to further deepening our economic relationship, and have collaborated on these matters for several decades.
As we face new challenges together, including the recovery of the global economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, our partnership will strengthen data protection and promote greater prosperity for our nearly 800 million citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.
EU''US Privacy Shield - Wikipedia
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 12:28
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is missing information about requirements imposed by the law.
Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page.
( December 2019 )The EU''US Privacy Shield was a framework for regulating transatlantic exchanges of personal data for commercial purposes between the European Union and the United States.[1] One of its purposes was to enable US companies to more easily receive personal data from EU entities under EU privacy laws meant to protect European Union citizens.[2] The EU''US Privacy Shield was a replacement for the International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, which were declared invalid by the European Court of Justice in October 2015.[3] The ECJ declared the EU''US Privacy Shield invalid on 16 July 2020 (see Legal challenge below).[4]
History Edit In October 2015 the European Court of Justice declared the previous framework called the International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles invalid in a ruling that later became known as "Schrems I".[3] Soon after this decision the European Commission and the U.S. Government started talks about a new framework and on February 2, 2016 they reached a political agreement.[1] The European Commission published the "adequacy decision" draft, declaring principles to be equivalent to the protections offered by EU law.[5]
The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party delivered an opinion on April 13, 2016, stating that the Privacy Shield offers major improvements compared to the Safe Harbor decisions, but that three major points of concern still remain. They relate to deletion of data, collection of massive amounts of data, and clarification of the new Ombudsperson mechanism.[6] The European Data Protection Supervisor issued an opinion on 30 May 2016 in which he stated that "the Privacy Shield, as it stands, is not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny before the [European] Court".[7]
On 8 July 2016 EU member states' representatives (article 31 committee) approved the final version of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, paving the way for the adoption of the decision by the commission.[8] The European Commission adopted the framework on 12 July 2016 and it went into effect the same day.[9][10]
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order entitled "Enhancing Public Safety" which states that U.S. privacy protections will not be extended beyond US citizens or residents:
Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.[11]
The European Commission has stated that:
The US Privacy Act has never offered data protection rights to Europeans. The Commission negotiated two additional instruments to ensure that EU citizens' data is duly protected when transferred to the US:
The EU''U.S. Privacy Shield, which does not rely on the protections under the US Privacy Act.The EU''US Umbrella Agreement, which enters into force on 1 February (2017). To finalize this agreement, the US Congress adopted a new law in 2017, the US Judicial Redress Act,[12] which extends the benefits of the US Privacy Act to Europeans and gives them access to US courts."[13]The commission said it will "continue to monitor the implementation of both instruments".[13]
Response Edit German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht and campaigner Max Schrems criticized the new ruling, with the latter predicting that the commission might be taking a "round-trip to Luxembourg" (where the European Court of Justice (CJEU) is located).[14] Many Europeans demanded a mechanism for individual European citizens to lodge complaints over the use of their data, as well as a transparency scheme to assure that European citizens' data does not fall into the hands of U.S intelligence agencies.[15]
Legal challenge Edit The Privacy Shield has been challenged legally by privacy groups.[16][17] As of November 2016[update], it is not clear whether the cases will be considered admissible.[18][19]
As of February 2017 the future of the Privacy Shield was contested. One consultant, Matt Allison, predicted that "The EU's citizen-driven, regulated model will swiftly come into conflict with the market forces of the US and the UK."[20] Allison summarized a new paper in which the European Commission lays out its plans for adequacy decisions and global strategy.[21]
As of December 2019, an opinion had been published that might influence the CJEU decision. It outlined various scenarios that may result from the conflict in regimes. The author concluded that the opinion "should generate equal measures of relief and alarm for the U.S. government and for companies dependent on data transfers. A final judgment from the CJEU, which may or may not follow the advocate general's recommendations, is expected in a few months."[22]
A final CJEU decision was published on 16 July 2020 in a ruling called "Schrems II".[23][24] The EU-US Privacy Shield for data sharing was struck down by the European Court of Justice on the grounds it did not provide adequate protections to EU citizens on government snooping.[4]
The ruling does not stop data transfers between the EU and US as the court upheld the use of "standard contractual clauses", allowing specific consent for such transfers.[25]
A decision regarding the impact of Brexit on Privacy Shield is expected by 31 December 2020 which may be moot due to the CJEU decision.[26]
Swiss-US Privacy Shield Edit Switzerland is not an EU member but follows many EU policies through treaty implementations. Accordingly, it has implemented its own version of the Privacy Shield framework through its own Swiss-US Privacy Shield. It is largely similar to the EU-US Privacy Shield framework, but implements its own DPA instead of various EU DPAs. It also has no grace period and several other meaningful differences to the definition of "sensitive data," binding arbitration, and changes to privacy policies.[27] The EU-US and Swiss-US programs are adequately similar that they are administered together by the United States.[28]
See also Edit Binding corporate rulesElectronic Communications Privacy ActFTC fair information practice (FIPP), USIT riskPrivacySafe harbor (law)Stored Communications ActGeneral Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)References Edit ^ a b European Commission - Press release: political agreement on framework ^ "The new transatlantic data "Privacy Shield " ". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613 . Retrieved 2016-03-26 . ^ a b Vera Jourov, "Commissioner Jourov's remarks on Safe Harbour EU Court of Justice judgement before the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)", 26 October 2015 ^ a b "EU-US Privacy Shield for data struck down by court". BBC News. 16 July 2020 . Retrieved 17 July 2020 . ^ "5 things you need to know about the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement". PCWorld. 29 February 2016 . Retrieved 2016-03-26 . ^ Chapter 5 of Opinion 01/2016 on the EU '' U.S. Privacy Shield draft adequacy decision, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party ^ European Data Protection Supervisor, Privacy Shield: more robust and sustainable solution needed, 30 May 2016 ^ Statement by European Commission Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Jourov, Adoption by Member States of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, 8 July 2016 ^ European Commission - Press release: launch privacy shield ^ Privacy Shield adequacy decision ^ Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, Section 14, 25 January 2017, accessed 27 March 2017 ^ Public Law 114-126, 24 February 2016 ^ a b Muncaster, P., Trump Order Sparks Privacy Shield Fears, InfoSecurity Magazine, accessed 27 March 2017 ^ Max Schrems: "EU US Privacy Shield" (Safe Harbor 1.1) "European Commission may be issuing a round-trip to Luxembourg" [1] 16:45 (2nd Feb. 2016), PDF retrieved 3rd Feb. 2016 ^ Lomas, Natasha. "EU-US Data Transfers Won't Be Blocked While Privacy Shield Details Are Hammered Out, Says WP29". TechCrunch . Retrieved 2016-02-03 . ^ Case T-670/16, Digital Rights Ireland v the commission, 16 Sep 2016 ^ Case T-738/16, La Quadrature du Net and Others v. the Commission, 25 Oct 2016 ^ Reuters article EU-U.S. personal data pact faces second legal challenge from privacy groups, 2 Nov 2016 ^ Case information on T-738/16 at Curia ^ Allison, Matt. "A Template for Adequacy: EU Pitches for Data Protection Gold Standard, Feb 09, 2017". CircleID . Retrieved 2017-02-14 . ^ "Exchanging and Protecting Personal Data in a Globalised World", 10.1.2017, COM(2017) 7 final". European Commission . Retrieved 2017-02-14 . ^ Propp, Kenneth (24 December 2019). "European Court of Justice Opinion Clouds Future of Transatlantic Commercial Data Transfers, December 24, 2019". Lawfare . Retrieved December 27, 2019 . ^ "The Court of Justice invalidates Decision 2016/1250 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Data Protection Shield" (PDF) . Court of Justice of the European Union. 16 July 2020. Press Release No 91/20 . Retrieved 17 July 2020 . ^ "Search - Case number C-311/18". InfoCuria. 16 July 2020 . Retrieved 17 July 2020 . ^ Hern, Alex (16 July 2020). "Tech firms like Facebook must restrict data sent from EU to US, court rules". The Guardian . Retrieved 17 July 2020 . ^ https://www.adlawaccess.com/2020/02/articles/what-does-brexit-mean-for-privacy-shield/ ^ https://www.whitecase.com/publications/article/swiss-us-privacy-shield-key-similarities-key-distinctions-eu-us-approach ^ https://www.privacyshield.gov/Program-Overview External links Edit Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/1250 of 12 July 2016 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (notified under document C(2016) 4176)EU-U.S. Privacy Shield fact sheet at the European UnionEU-U.S. Privacy Shield press release from the European Commission, with a draft adequacy decision attached, 29 February 2016EU-U.S. Privacy Shield fact sheet at the US Department of Commerce
What Killed Quayside, Sidewalk Labs' Ambitious Smart City in Toronto | OneZero
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 19:02
Alphabet bet big in Toronto. Toronto didn't play along. In October 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at a VIP-laden press event in Toronto to announce plans for a new neighborhood in the city to be built ''from the internet up.'' The big reveal was the builder: Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. The mood was festive, optimistic. Schoolchildren were on hand with Lego models of future cityscapes, which Trudeau, flanked by Eric Schmidt, Alphabet's then''executive chairman, and John Tory, the Toronto mayor, explored in a flawlessly staged photo op.
The prime minister spoke in earnest tones. Quayside, as the 12-acre waterfront project had been christened, would be ''a testbed for new technologies,'' he said, ''that will help us build smarter, greener, more inclusive cities.'' Not one to shy away from wholesome platitudes, he added, ''The future, just like this community, will be interconnected.''
Then Schmidt rose to the lectern and said that Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had long opined about ''all of these things that we could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge.'' Chuckles reverberated through the crowd.
News that Alphabet had leaped neck deep into the smart city business lit up tech media for weeks. Sidewalk Labs' renderings for the project '-- autonomous carts delivering packages and hauling away waste maneuvered in underground tunnels, while barefoot kids, butterflies, and birds cavorted in a Jetsons-meets-organic-living neighborhood at street level '-- flashed across the internet. Local news stations covered the project dotingly, picking up the Sidewalk Labs talking point that a network of sensors and other IT infrastructure embedded in the community would enable a new era of urban efficiency. Homes and workplaces in Quayside would ''study occupants' behavior while they're inside them to make life easier,'' said a reporter on one evening broadcast after the press event. Quayside would be ''the first neighborhood of its kind,'' he said, and '-- as if one superlative wasn't enough '-- it would be ''a community like none other.''
Sidewalk Labs' rosy vision for Quayside, however, will not come to be. In May, the company announced it was abandoning the project, citing economic infeasibility. But what wasn't mentioned was that the project had also become politically infeasible. The Quayside announcement inspired a groundswell of resistance, first among civil liberties activists, and then, eventually, among the ranks of Canada's most prominent businesspeople, local civic leaders, and Toronto residents. Objections ranged from fears of Orwellian surveillance to Canadians' general skepticism of the American culture of exceptionalism, so perfectly embodied by a Silicon Valley''designed smart city.
The Quayside vision was born at the peak of the tech giants' cultural prowess. Today, the era of techno-optimism seems all but dead. The demise of the most ambitious smart city project in North America, backed by one of the most powerful corporations on the planet, came at the hands of a small group of Toronto activists '-- and one disaffected tech billionaire. The story of their battle is a parable, not just for the smart city movement, but also for a growing sense that the tech industry, with its promise of data-driven solutions to structural and institutional problems, won't save us.
S idewalk Labs was founded in 2015 by Dan Doctoroff, a former Wall Street analyst and private equity managing partner who served as a deputy mayor of New York under Michael Bloomberg. Billed as an ''urban innovation'' startup and armed with the deep pockets of its parent company, Sidewalk Labs has incubated two urban planning tools and spun off a few subsidiaries of its own. Those include Coord, which sells curb management software to municipal governments, and Cityblock, which establishes health care clinics in low-income neighborhoods. Prior to Quayside, Sidewalk Labs' most public-facing project was LinkNYC, a series of curbside kiosks across New York City's five boroughs that provide free Wi-Fi and broadcast ads on their 55-inch screens '-- all while collecting a variety of data with the three cameras and 30 sensors housed in each kiosk.
But Quayside was to be the company's magnum opus: transforming what had previously been an area east of downtown Toronto characterized by desolate parking lots and the graffiti-strewn foundations of demolished buildings into a living laboratory for an urban future in which technology would be embedded in every nook and cranny.
On one level, the vision was gadgety: Park benches might count how many people came to sit on them each hour, and curbside trash cans could alert the sanitation department when they were full. But the plans laid out in Sidewalk Labs' initial proposal were far more comprehensive, encompassing an integrated digital layer for the full gamut of civic services, including urban planning, mass transit, road infrastructure, utility systems, social services, even health care. In a blog post, a Toronto tech entrepreneur who had interviewed for a job with the company said he was asked for his ideas about integrating technology with voting systems. Ultimately, the company hoped to develop a sort of urban operating system that could then be exported to other cities. Trudeau said he envisioned the technology spreading beyond Quayside across Toronto's eastern waterfront and, ultimately, to ''other parts of Canada and around the world.''
In October 2017, Sidewalk Labs signed an initial agreement with Waterfront Toronto, an agency with a 25-year mandate to redevelop 2,000 acres of the city's downtown lakefront. Charged with overseeing some of the most strategic real estate in Canada, it is almost a government of its own, with the municipal, provincial, and federal governments each appointing four board members and asserting equal control over its affairs. The contract stipulated a period of planning and public engagement (originally set for one year, but later extended amid mounting resistance), during which input on the project would be sought.
I attended one of these meetings. Swarms of Sidewalk Labs employees '-- young, energetic, and dressed in blue T-shirts '-- milled around answering questions and hyping the project. A similar vibe filled a defunct fish processing plant adjacent to the Quayside site where the company set up an office with an attached visitor center of sorts. Painted the same blue as the Sidewalk Labs T-shirts, the visitor center showcased some of the flashier technologies proposed for Quayside, such as ''building raincoats'' that could spring out from a facade to make outdoor space more usable in inclement weather, and street pavers with embedded lights that would heat the pavement and could act as changeable lane markings. In conjunction with autonomous vehicle technology, these could allow lanes to shift according to real-time traffic flow. There were also boards where visitors could leave messages. Suspicion of the project emerged early. When I visited, the boards were heavy on criticism. ''Is Google Big Brother now?'' asked one commenter.
The backlash to Sidewalk Labs' Quayside project began almost as soon as Trudeau left the stage of the announcement event. Two weeks later, at the first community meeting for the project, anti-gentrification protesters gathered outside, while inside, a Q&A session with Doctoroff was at times confrontational. After he used the word ''platform'' to describe Sidewalk Labs' venture in Toronto, one audience member rose to the microphone to express his concern.
''So, I'm just really curious,'' he said, as to whether Doctoroff had any thoughts about ''the power and wealth concentration that happens with platform ventures?'' The crowd applauded.
''That is a fabulous question,'' Doctoroff replied. ''It's a hard question to answer,'' he continued, ''but I will tell you that amongst ourselves we've talked about sort of different models of governance and ownership.'' The intention, Doctoroff said, was for the Sidewalk Labs platform to be ''open'' to IT developers to ''build things on top of it'' '-- Google's Android operating system is open in this way '-- ''where, at the end of the day, they'll be the beneficiaries of their intellectual capital and hard work, and not the platform itself.''
But with all the talk of sensors and data collection, it was privacy advocates who formed the largest and loudest contingent of skeptics.
Sidewalk Labs, no doubt anticipating this criticism, had retained the former information and privacy commissioner of Ontario, Ann Cavoukian, PhD, as a consultant-slash-surrogate. The month after the announcement, Cavoukian appeared on The Agenda, a popular Canadian talk show, along with Bianca Wylie, a Toronto activist and self-described ''open government advocate'' who was quickly emerging as the leading critic of the project. ''The ability to track citizens, to engage in surveillance with the technology that they're proposing '-- that's not going to happen,'' Cavoukian told listeners. ''I can provide that assurance.''
But Wylie was dubious of the assurances of a paid consultant, and particularly concerned with the collection of ''aggregate data'... how the city is working, where people are using things, what the transportation flow is like.'' She continued, ''If a company is taking that data and using it to build products and services to then sell back to us, why isn't that intellectual property and the value of that data ours as residents of the city?'' She pointed out that tech companies' plans for data collection in public space far outpaced citizens' ability to comprehend the implications, much less governments' ability to regulate the fast-growing smart city industry.
Wylie's biggest fear about Quayside, however, was that Sidewalk Labs' profiteering would come at the expense of democracy. Sidewalk Labs' proposal encompassed many of the functions of municipal government, but without the accountability we expect from elected officials. Just as Google monopolizes search, critics feared a similar scenario in the smart city market. They argued that data collected in public space, where opting out isn't an option, would herald a new age of surveillance. And the agreement between Toronto and Sidewalk Labs was proceeding without a single vote from a local resident.
''It is not innovative to be partnering with, basically, a monopoly,'' Wylie told listeners. Cavoukian furrowed her brow. The show's other guest, a former architecture critic at the Toronto Star and a Sidewalk Labs supporter, looked perplexed. Besides, said Wylie, the most intractable urban problems won't be solved by Silicon Valley giants throwing technology at them. ''Is A.I. and technology going to help us have a more equitable city?'' she asked, cautioning against ''tech solutionism.''
The first wave of pushback against Sidewalk Labs had a grassroots, down-with-capitalism vibe '-- edgy, left-leaning urban affairs publications like Spacing churned out one skeptical story after another. Torontoist hosted a crowdsourced list of questions for Sidewalk Labs, which were mostly unanswered. But soon other voices, including from the C-suite, chimed in.
On a snowy night in 2018, I sat in a leather armchair aboard a private jet en route from Washington, D.C., to Waterloo, Ontario. Across from me was billionaire philanthropist Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO and co-chairman of Research in Motion, the Waterloo company that created BlackBerry phones. Tall and athletic, Balsillie has a reputation in Canadian business circles as a reserved but forceful character known to berate those who he disagrees with. For nearly two decades, Google had been a thorn in Balsillie's side. Though it was the iPhone that first dethroned the BlackBerry from the top of the smartphone market, Android '-- used in a huge number of phones across price points '-- cemented BlackBerry's descent into tech's history bin. After several years of trying to keep the BlackBerry afloat, Balsillie retired from the board in 2012 and devoted himself to making the Canadian tech industry more competitive with Silicon Valley.
Everything about the Quayside project made Balsillie furious. First off, despite the fact that at least one Canadian consortium was shortlisted to compete with Sidewalk Labs for the bid, a U.S. company had ultimately been selected. Balsillie also held special ire for Waterfront Toronto and its then CEO, Will Fleissig, an American architect and real estate developer.
Balsillie described Waterfront Toronto leadership to me, variously, as ''naive,'' ''insecure,'' and ''treasonous.'' As the nation's leading tech figure, he was brought on by the agency in 2018 as an informal adviser for the Quayside project, despite his hostility. I asked how that was going. ''It's going good,'' he said, with a wry grin. ''There's a little run on Alka-Seltzer at the local pharmacy every time we have our chitty-chat.''
Just as the Sidewalk Labs project was taking shape, Balsillie was undergoing something of an ideological transformation. A longtime defender of the Canadian tech industry, he was evolving from a tech evangelist to tech reformist. Balsillie is a friend and collaborator of billionaire investor George Soros, and the two share a similar outlook of the tech industry. In a January 2018 speech in Davos, Soros characterized companies like Google and Facebook as a ''menace'' to democracy. ''There could be an alliance between authoritarian states and these large data-rich IT monopolies that would bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developing system of state-sponsored surveillance,'' Soros said. ''This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined.''
In early 2018, Balsillie also began to speak out aggressively against the tech industry. Testifying in Ottawa at a hearing about the Cambridge Analytica scandal in May that year, he told members of a parliamentary committee that ''Facebook and Google are companies built exclusively on the principle of mass surveillance.'' The danger of partnering with foreign companies like Sidewalk Labs was that ''our data is subject to foreign laws, making Canada a client state,'' he'd said.
Balsillie was also taking his grievances to the world stage. The night I joined him on his jet, he was flying home after giving a speech at the International Monetary Fund headquarters, just a few blocks from the White House. He'd told the roomful of economists that the prosperity of the 20th century, based primarily on the trade of tangible goods, had ''created rising tides that lifted all boats.'' But the rise of the intangibles economy, as he put it, driven by the battle to monopolize data, ''lifts mostly a few yachts.'' He spoke from experience.
Over the course of the project's first year, the media narrative shifted from doting to questioning. One of the most inflammatory headlines came from an October 2018 op-ed Balsillie wrote in the Globe and Mail. Quayside ''is not a smart city,'' but a ''pseudo-tech dystopia,'' he wrote. ''It is a colonizing experiment in surveillance capitalism attempting to bulldoze important urban, civic and political issues.'' In another op-ed earlier that year, he blamed the situation on lawmakers' ''colonial supplicant attitude'' toward the United States. Canada, he wrote, was at risk of ''becoming not just a cheap tech branch plant economy'... but also a client-state, politically and militarily subordinate.''
The project polarized Canadians between those who wanted elected officials to show Sidewalk Labs the door and those who thought the first camp was paranoid and unreasonable. Waterfront Toronto fell under immense pressure and promised more public meetings for residents to voice their concerns. In November 2018, just over a year after the project was first announced, Sidewalk Labs staff gave a slideshow to Alphabet about the headwinds they faced in Toronto. ''The majority of the negative press coverage is rooted in an anti-global tech giant narrative being spun by'... Jim Balsillie,'' said the presentation, which was later leaked to the press.
While Sidewalk Labs mounted a massive PR campaign to garner public support '-- alongside an extensive though more discreet lobbying campaign in the halls of power '-- Balsillie leveraged his contacts within the Canadian political and business establishment to build opposition. By the winter of 2018, Toronto city council members began voicing concerns. A report from the National Research Council from December 2017, which journalists uncovered in June 2018, said that Canada was in danger of becoming a ''data cow'' for foreign tech platforms (though Sidewalk Labs was not explicitly mentioned). And Trudeau came under fire for appearing, in critics' eyes, as more sympathetic to Silicon Valley interests than to Canadians' '-- to the point of corruption, some believed.
Many of those allegations were rooted in the original bidding process for the Quayside project. Though the Quayside project was open to bids from any qualified party, Trudeau's language during the October press event suggested that the winner had been predetermined. ''Eric and I have been talking about collaborating on this for a few years now, and seeing it all come together is extraordinarily exciting,'' said Trudeau, speaking of Eric Schmidt, the Alphabet chairman. A spokeswoman for the prime minister told me that the comment referred to a general intent to collaborate and was not in reference to the Sidewalk Labs project in particular, but doubts lingered.
Further raising eyebrows, the press conference took place one day after the Waterfront Toronto board voted to approve their initial agreement with Sidewalk Labs, a complex legal document the board was given just the weekend to review. But the press conference looked meticulously arranged: In addition to the kids and their Legos, a slick promo video featuring staff of both Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs was screened. Did they pull that together the afternoon before? Did the VIPs from Ottawa and Silicon Valley drop everything to fly in on less than a day's notice? Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs officials have insisted there were no improprieties in the selection process and assured me that the event would have been called off had the board not voted yes.
But Julie Di Lorenzo, a Waterfront Toronto board member who resigned in June 2018 in protest over elements of the Sidewalk Labs project, said the deal was ''jammed inappropriately on the board with no time to review.''
In October 2018, Charlie Angus, a member of Canadian Parliament who was on the committee investigating Cambridge Analytica, sent a letter to Trudeau's infrastructure minister, urging the government to ''hit the pause button'' on the Quayside project. ''Data-opolies like Google have done little to reassure the public that they can be trusted without strong regulatory oversight,'' he wrote. Moving forward without a more robust policy framework in place would risk ''creating a 21st century company town,'' he added '-- ''a privatized surveillance city.'' Angus, a member of the New Democratic Party, which leans left of Trudeau's Liberal Party, also issued a statement a month later accusing the administration of being in bed with Alphabet, citing two government officials who had recently taken jobs with Sidewalk Labs. ''This unhealthy culture of coziness between the Liberal government and Sidewalk/Google is not in the public interest,'' wrote Angus, a former bass player who was once described in a National Post article as a ''socialist punk rocker with a big heart.''
Then, in December 2018, the Ontario Auditor General published the results of a damning investigation into Waterfront Toronto's handling of Quayside. Unearthed emails showed that the agency was already discussing a project with Sidewalk Labs in 2016 and that board members had been ''urged '-- strongly'' to approve the deal. One email even speculated about the fallout that might occur from Sidewalk Labs' intent to ''control ALL data.''
''It's obvious the fix was in for Google,'' Angus told me when I spoke to him at the time.
Three Waterfront Toronto board members were fired in the aftermath of the investigation. In addition to Di Lorenzo, several members of a panel of experts convened to advise the agency on the project had departed, along with Will Fleissig, the agency's CEO, who left in mid-2018.
Even Ann Cavoukian, the Sidewalk Labs consultant who sparred with Wylie on The Agenda, switched camps. Upon tendering her resignation, she said, ''I wanted this to become a smart city of privacy '-- not a smart city of surveillance.''
W hile the pro-Sidewalk and anti-Sidewalk camps fought a war of words in the press, most residents remained in favor of the project through early 2019. I lived in Toronto throughout this period, and many of my acquaintances found the talk about a surveillance state at Quayside a tad conspiracy theoryish. A poll in early February 2019 revealed that 55% of 600 Toronto residents supported the project, while only 11% were opposed. For critics of the project, this reflected a public ill-equipped to understand what a 12-acre futuristic neighborhood had to do with the future of democracy. A group of Toronto activists set out to educate them.
On a cold, windy night around this time, I arrived at the Toronto Media Arts Centre, in the city's trendy West Queen West neighborhood, for a workshop billed as a ''design jam'' on the theme of ''What is data?'' meant to enlighten citizens to how data can be used and misused. I overheard conversations about the mountains of genetic data being amassed by ancestry websites and how Facebook maintains ''shadow profiles.'' Facilitators offered tricks for keeping the data overlords at bay. Pizza and art materials were provided.
The workshop was put on by the Digital Justice Lab, a group formed during Toronto's Quayside crucible whose initiatives included a project to teach data literacy and a series of BIPOC-only events. Digital Justice Lab had an early partnership with an organization founded by Balsillie. ''The idea is to build community capacity around digital rights,'' said Digital Justice Lab's founder Nasma Ahmed, the young woman at the workshop who sat behind a sticker-plastered laptop wearing a black head wrap, horn-rimmed glasses, and a nose ring. ''People don't even have the language to have a public conversation around data practices, privacy, smart cities.''
Scandalous headlines about the Quayside project kept coming. On Valentine's Day 2019, news broke that the company's plans for Toronto were more extensive than had been disclosed. The company had previously floated the idea that the Quayside project could be expanded to the Port Lands, an adjacent 800-plus acres of derelict industrial land that is among the largest, most desirable undeveloped tracts of urban real estate in North America. The idea had been met with stiff resistance across the city '-- the Port Lands are nearly the equivalent of the city's downtown core '-- and Sidewalk Labs had been forced to retreat from the idea. But documents obtained by the Toronto Star suggested that Sidewalk Labs was still negotiating for 350 of those acres, news that galvanized a large segment of residents.
About two weeks later, Ahmed joined Wylie and about 30 other community leaders, activists, and academics to launch the #BlockSidewalk campaign, the first coordinated effort to terminate the project. Ana Serrano, the president and vice chancellor of the Ontario College of Art and Design University and one of the group's original members, described #BlockSidewalk as ''a citizen-run volunteer organization that came together organically after the news of the land grab.'' She told me recently, ''It became clear for many in Toronto at that time, regardless of their background, that there needed to be some form of democratic process around how we build out that land.''
In June 2019, after several delays, Sidewalk Labs presented its much-anticipated master plan for Quayside. The 1,500-page plan '-- worth at least $2.9 billion in real estate and development projects '-- walked back the Port Lands expansion from 350 to 190 acres. In addition to building raincoats and tunnels for autonomous trash collection carts, a green energy system was proposed. The buildings would be constructed largely with mass timber '-- a compression of multiple wood pieces that can sequester carbon, considered a cutting-edge technology for structures more than a few stories tall '-- and Sidewalk Labs would fund a special factory to provide it. Great pains were taken to address concerns about data governance: Sidewalk Labs proposed that an independent ''data trust'' be established, a watchdog of sorts, to oversee the collection and management of all data collected, and the company again swore never to sell personal data, use it for ads, or monetize it in any way.
The plan was an olive branch to naysayers but did little to quell the rising tide of criticism. That spring, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association helped file a lawsuit against Waterfront Toronto, which alleged that the data collection proposed by Sidewalk Labs would infringe on constitutional rights. ''Non-consensual surrender by the state to Sidewalk Labs and/or others of private data'' could inhibit free speech and public assembly, the lawsuit said. ''This curtails or negates critical freedoms in a democracy where collective behavior plays an important political and social role.''
The same day the master plan was released, the new board chair of Waterfront Toronto, Stephen Diamond, who had been appointed with a mandate to put the company on a shorter leash, issued an open letter stating that the master plan had to be dialed back even further. If Sidewalk Labs was unwilling to do so, the negotiations would be terminated. ''The city of Toronto could get by without Sidewalk Labs, to be quite frank,'' Diamond said that fall.
The activism '-- both at the grassroots level and top-down messaging from Balsillie '-- was working. A month after the master plan came out, a new poll showed that four times as many residents were now opposed to the project than just a few months earlier. Six out of 10 respondents said they did not trust Sidewalk Labs to collect data, with a similar number expressing doubt that the company would honor its pledge to not use data for advertising.
On Halloween 2019, Waterfront Toronto agreed to the new terms presented by Sidewalk Labs for the project. The scope would be reset to the original 12 acres. Data would be stored in Canada and subject to domestic law. Infrastructure development would be controlled by the agency rather than the company. And the government would ''be entitled to a revenue stream on products and services piloted in Waterfront Toronto-facilitated testbeds, based on global net revenues.'' Sidewalk Labs was given several months to revise its plan according to the new terms '-- Quayside was alive, but on life support.
As 2020 dawned, it seemed unclear whether Sidewalk Labs leadership was indeed willing to squish their lofty ambitions into those increasingly constricted 12 acres. Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto both declined interview requests, but Helen Burstyn, the former Waterfront Toronto board chair who was one of the three board members fired by the province after the 2018 investigation, offered an inside perspective on negotiations between the two parties. While the agency attempted to maintain an appearance of unity with the company early on, Burstyn said that behind the scenes, the relationship was fraught from day one.
''There were a lot of things we [the board] were not comfortable with,'' Burstyn told me recently, citing complaints from Sidewalk Labs ''about how slow and bureaucratic we were. We can be, but we believe in good governance. Canadians are regulators, and our governments are very attuned to their responsibility '-- they didn't realize how American they were in their approach.'' The company was told, ''You're just going to have to live with it,'' Burstyn said. ''Sidewalk never fully appreciated that. They were always pushing for more.''
Many critics blamed Waterfront Toronto for a failure to rein in Sidewalk Labs, but Burstyn claims the agency's intentions were more closely aligned with the naysayers than the naysayers realized. ''I don't disagree with anything that Jim Balsillie said. I just don't like the way he said it,'' Burstyn explained. ''It wasn't necessary to be insulting to the intelligence or integrity of people who actually do regulate these things.'' She discounted theories about the government influencing the selection of Sidewalk Labs. ''It became seen by some as sinister and prebaked,'' she said, ''but I don't think that was actually the case.''
Burstyn argues that ultimately, she was fired as a sacrifice in order to move forward with the project. ''It was a symbol. They had to do something, so they got rid of us. The well had been poisoned.''
To anyone paying attention, the writing was on the wall. Anthony Townsend, author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, worked as a consultant for Sidewalk Labs in 2015 and 2016. He is a proponent of smart cities, but as someone who studies the intersections of technology and urban planning, he is keenly aware that the cultures surrounding those professions do not always gel. Townsend told me he eventually walked away when his contract expired, in part due to philosophical disagreements with senior leadership. ''Their lack of serious thinking about privacy and data governance had been a major concern of mine when I was there,'' Townsend told me. ''I pushed that agenda, but they didn't see it as a priority.''
Townsend accused Sidewalk Labs of hubris. He said company leadership was largely stocked by people from Michael Bloomberg's orbit, which created another sort of cultural schism. ''They had a reputation for being too smart for themselves in New York, so when they got to Toronto, where the culture is much less brash and aggressive, they came off as doubly so.'' Sidewalk Labs CEO Doctoroff is a ''dyed-in-the-wool Wall Street guy,'' said Townsend, adding that the company lacked a ''participatory design approach'' for Quayside. ''It was a very, very top-down exercise. It's inevitable today that those kinds of projects get rejected.''
I'd spoken with Doctoroff in December 2018 and asked him about one of the detractors' top complaints: that Sidewalk Labs had not been transparent about its business model. He told me that Balsillie's rhetoric about commercializing citizens' data was ''ridiculous'' and ''in bad faith.'' While Doctoroff acknowledged that Sidewalk Labs hoped to generate revenue from ''new technologies'' developed in Toronto, he declined to elaborate when I pressed him for details.
The business model, he told me, was to ''improve urban life'' and to ''be a catalyst in the creation of hopefully something extraordinary on the waterfront.'' Doctoroff grew animated when I pointed out that this sounded more like a marketing pitch than a business model. It seemed reasonable to assume data would play a role in the technologies Sidewalk Labs was developing. ''That is absolutely false!'' he said, raising his voice. ''Do not paint us with this brush because of our affiliation [with Google].'' Sidewalk Labs, he said, ''is not first and foremost about making money.''
T he Waterfront Toronto board scheduled a final vote on Sidewalk Labs' revised plan for June this year. But the vote never happened. On a cool spring day in early May, Wylie was sitting in her living room when she heard the news: Sidewalk Labs was pulling out. She ran upstairs to her family, shouting, ''It's over! It's over!'' she told me recently. ''My kids were like, what's wrong? I was like, no, it's good!'' For more than two and a half years, Wylie had devoted her life to the cause. ''I was making calls and sending emails right up until this happened,'' she said. ''It was a major relief. I almost forgot what it felt like to not have to worry about it all the time.''
Sidewalk Labs cited the current economic climate as the catalyst for their decision. ''I think Covid was the excuse, but their leaving was inevitable,'' Burstyn told me. ''I'm surprised it took them that long.''
Waterfront Toronto has been mum on its next steps for Quayside, but in an email, a spokesman said that ''building a next generation community'' remains ''a key deliverable'' for the agency. ''While our long-term goal remains the same, we will take the time necessary to determine what our next steps will be,'' he wrote. Before Waterfront Toronto embarks anew to develop ''innovative and world-class solutions to urban challenges in a post-pandemic world,'' he continued, ''we will need to evaluate which of our original goals are consistent with these new realities.''
Burstyn was more circumspect in her assessment of Toronto's smart city future. Post-Covid-19, would a hyperfuturistic development remain a priority? ''Forget it,'' she said. ''I think we're at a point where nobody is going to dream big. We're going to dream practical.'' Affordable housing was a top concern among Toronto residents before the pandemic, and in the economic fallout it will only grow as a priority, she said, as an example.
The rise and fall of Quayside coincides with the slow scaling back of other ambitious smart city ventures, such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Songdo near Seoul, Townsend said. ''All these smart city megaprojects are now fairly conventional real estate projects.'' Perhaps the barriers to melding cyberspace with physical space are taller than the techno-optimists realized.
Townsend, however, thinks the pandemic will accelerate the transition of internet technology from screens to the real world. Existing trends like telework and the shift to e-commerce suddenly seem deeply entrenched '-- changes in urban infrastructure are inevitable as a result, he said, and that new reality will likely be more automated. ''We're fast-forwarding five to 10 years into the digital future,'' Townsend said. ''So, all the dilemmas that people like Bianca Wylie have been raising alarm bells about'' '-- he refers to Wylie as the Jane Jacobs of smart cities '-- ''will become urgent issues that large numbers of people are going to be directly affected by. Once the public health situation stabilizes, hopefully we will see more effort put into dealing with all the scary sides of the surveillance state that we're building.''
The pandemic has introduced a new suite of data collection concerns '-- contact tracing apps, temperature scanning as a condition to enter restaurants, biometric identity verification at airports. Wylie worries the public is accepting these technologies as emergency measures, and without the realization that once such architecture is in place, it may be repurposed down the road for less noble purposes '-- such as the developing surveillance apparatus in China that critics fear spreading into the world's weakened democracies. Wylie is now a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a think tank founded by Balsillie. ''Thank god for Bianca Wylie,'' Balsillie said the first time I met him, referring to her as ''a hero.''
Less than a week after announcing Sidewalk Labs' withdrawal from Toronto, Doctoroff participated in a webinar organized by the Urban Land Institute in which he contemplated the post-Covid-19 future of smart cities. The webinar is not publicly accessible, but according to an Urban Land Institute blog post about it, the company plans to apply the research and development that was underway for the Quayside project elsewhere '-- in places ''where they're committed to a heavy dose of innovation,'' said Doctoroff, according to the blog post. Following their departure from Toronto, ''we've been overwhelmed with interest from all over the world,'' he added. Perhaps the smart city is not dead, but simply in the bardo, on its way to being reborn.
Doctoroff seemed to paint the very picture Wylie fears. According to the blog post, he ''believes the crisis ultimately will create an even greater need for urban innovation '-- including the sort of data collection and analysis that had concerned some Toronto residents, which could become important tools for controlling the spread of future disease outbreaks akin to COVID-19.'' The pandemic, then, could be a Trojan horse for data-gathering projects far beyond Sidewalk Lab's wildest dreams for Quayside. Doctoroff likened it to New Yorkers who ''adjusted to a network of surveillance cameras installed in lower Manhattan after the September 11 attacks.''
The public has grown far more sophisticated in its understanding of surveillance issues since then, however, and far more skeptical of the benevolent intentions of Silicon Valley. And with the defeat of Quayside, the activists, academics, and business elite that comprise the tech reform movement, if one could call it that, have a playbook for future battles.
NRF | COVID-19 boosts the prospect of contactless commerce
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:16
Anxious about the spread of COVID-19, consumers are being cautious about what they touch in public. The virus can live on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April. While many retailers have instituted new policies around cleaning card readers and terminals, consumers have expressed concerns about touching more in a store than they have to.
The ''hygiene-centric value proposition'' has led contactless payments to experience a sudden surge in adoption, says Jordan McKee, research director at 451 Research. Since mid-March, many major retailers have pushed mobile payments as a means to reduce contact.
Curbside pickup options '-- such as those being used at Best Buy, Office Max and Target '-- encourage consumers to pay ahead of time and minimize human interaction. Burger King and Chick-Fil-A have both implemented contactless payment options through apps. Publix Super Markets rolled out contactless payments to its 1,200 stores in the southeast, and in late March, Walmart made changes to the Walmart Pay app so customers no longer had to touch a screen at self-checkout.
When executed properly, consumers can conduct entire transactions on their mobile devices without touching anything else.
Richard Crone, CEO of Crone Consulting, estimates the use of contactless payments has grown by 20 percent since the start of the pandemic. While primary players like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay have reported increased use, so have others. Smaller retailers and businesses are also rolling out new contactless payment options through providers like Square and Venmo.
Nearly all of these contactless methods enable consumers to download an app, connect a bank account, then tap the device near a contactless reader to make a payment. When executed properly, consumers can conduct entire transactions on their mobile devices without touching anything else.
''Consumers want safety, and they want to know when they have to touch something that it's sanitized,'' Crone says. ''There's nothing more assuring than their own phone.''
According to the Deloitte State of the Consumer Tracker, some 40 percent of U.S. consumers feel safe going into stores right now. While Deloitte originally forecasted contactless payment trends to be a few years away, they have been accelerated due to COVID-19, says Zachary Aron, payments leader in the banking and capital markets practice for Deloitte.
''Overall, we do believe there will be an accelerated adoption, coming from retailer push and customer demand in this space,'' says Rob Harrold, senior manager with Deloitte's strategy and operations practice. ''What was more of a convenience option has now turned to a 'safety' feature.''
Incentivizing usagePrior to the pandemic, contactless payments didn't fully resonate with merchants or consumers. While many retailers had installed contactless-enabled terminals, and younger consumers showed interest, mainstream adoption never came as quickly as anticipated.
Many shoppers found it just as easy to pull out a plastic card as their phone. ''For the vast majority of consumers that didn't consider themselves early adopters of technology, contactless payments really weren't that exciting,'' McKee says. ''They just didn't see a true need.''
Starbucks' payment app, which had more than 25 million users in 2019, cultivated strong adoption with prepaid convenience and rewards.
Part of the challenge in adoption has always been a ''chicken and egg'' syndrome, where both merchants and consumers waited for each other to take the next big step, McKee says. Retailers that were most successful with mobile and contactless payments were the ones that offered a value proposition beyond the transaction itself. For example, Starbucks' payment app, which had more than 25 million users in 2019, cultivated strong adoption with prepaid convenience and rewards.
''What I've seen more in recent years is definitely a more open mindset around payment acceptance, but again, ensuring you have those incentives to guide your customers toward whatever's going to be the most favorable for you from a payment standpoint,'' McKee says.
Most larger retailers have adopted contactless payment infrastructure in recent years. And while accessibility has improved for small businesses, there hasn't been an impetus to invest in contactless options when few consumers were using it. That has rapidly changed in the past couple of months, McKee says.
In the short term, retailers can work with merchant-acquired technology to reprogram point-of-sale terminals to enable contactless payments. Mobile wallet providers can also support QR codes where consumers can scan the merchant's code from their phone. As they adopt these new systems in tandem with cash and cards, retailers might also need to institute new policies in addition to training and support for staff.
''Merchants will also need to review their risk levels and requirements to determine if they can reprogram their POS terminal to eliminate some of the steps currently in place, like signatures, key entry and total confirmation,'' Aron says.
There's growing evidence that the sudden leap to contactless payments could lead to a permanent shift in the retail industry. Eight in 10 consumers say they are using contactless methods due to safety and cleanliness concerns, and three-quarters will continue to use contactless post-pandemic, according to an April consumer survey by Mastercard. Many consumers have been slowly introduced to touchless payments through transit and are becoming more comfortable with it in retail, says Blake Rosenthal, global head of acceptance solutions at Mastercard.
Many consumers have been slowly introduced to touchless payments through transit and are becoming more comfortable with it in retail.
''We call them 'tappers' and they cite speed, convenience and safety,'' Rosenthal says. ''Once they adopt that behavior, they rarely go back. COVID is another catalyst and tipping point for many people.''
An 'inflection point'As the growing desire to minimize human contact leads to an increase in touchless fulfillment models, consumers' mobile devices have become the primary portal for ordering, payments and updates.
''Check-in has become the new checkout,'' Crone says. ''If someone is using their mobile app to order ahead and pick up, you have to check in. Just knowing the customer offers an opportunity to augment their shopping journey.''
Due to contact tracing, there could be an increasing need for retailers to count and know who is in the store. Check-in apps could enable retailers to better serve customers by identifying where they are going, what they are looking at and what their previous purchasing patterns might be.
''We see the app as being like the concierge for customer service,'' says Heidi Liebenguth, managing partner and research director at Crone Consulting. ''Because we're moving to this melding of ecommerce with the in-store experience, the focus is moving to a check-in strategy.''
While retailers have often struggled with the ''creep factor'' of some technologies, the new reality of social distancing and COVID-19 health concerns has limited that, Crone says. Consumers now have more reason to download apps, if it means being able to help reduce contact by more quickly moving through the store and getting out as soon as possible.
''COVID-19 has teed this up. For those retailers that have been already working on this, they are going to see dramatic increases in adoption,'' Crone says.
In much of the retail industry, payment and checkout remains one of the last main points of friction that can cause delays, frustrations and customer dissatisfaction. COVID-19 has created an ''inflection point'' in adoption of contactless payments where muscle memory is already conditioning consumers to use it, McKee says.
''Once you use it in a few locations, you start to replicate that behavior across different merchants, you become accustomed to it as a consumer,'' McKee says. ''I do think a large majority of consumers who have adopted contactless payments during the outbreak, or increased their usage of it, will continue as we push into this new normal.''
The black and brown people I know are against BLM. I identify with winners, not colors.
Teacher on EQUITY
ITM Adam,
"Equity" is all the rage in social justice circles.
It's especially big in public education. I know because I teach in a District which lists "Equity" as its number one guiding principle.
It has completely taken over the schools. Equity says that resources should not be distributed equally - that would be "equality".
"Equity" says that some are more disadvantaged than others, so they should get a larger share of the resources. (To each according to his needs...)
The goal of Equity is equality of *outcome* vs. "Equality" which seeks equality of *opportunity*.
The words sound similar, and most assume they mean the same thing.
They do not.
This represents a major shift in the underlying principles that guide our institutions.
It is a shift *away* from equality and equal opportunity.
It's not coincidental that this is happening at the same time that the California legislature is trying to have the language prohibiting racial discrimination removed from the state constitution. They must remove that language because it is a legal barrier to all of the "Equity" programs they want to implement.
James Lindsay explains it much better than I do in his "Woke Encyclopedia."
His blog is a good resource on all of this wokism stuff. It's a real rabbit hole for folks who like to dig in and research stuff.
I'm leaving my name off of this email because this is the "third rail" of education and I want to keep my job.
Call Me Bob
Lindsay's Entry on Equity:
Equity - New Discourses
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:34
Social Justice UsageSocial Justice UsageSource: https://www.brandeis.edu/diversity/resources/definitions.html
The notion of being fair and impartial as an individual engages with an organization or system, particularly systems of grievance. It reflects processes and practices that both acknowledge that we live in a world where everyone has not been afforded the same resources and treatment while also working to remedy this fact. ''Equity'' is often conflated with the term ''Equality'' which means sameness and assumes, incorrectly, that we all have had equal access, treatment, and outcomes. In fact, true equity implies that an individual may need to experience or receive something different (not equal) in order to maintain fairness and access. For example, a person with a wheelchair may need differential access to an elevator relative to someone else.
New Discourses CommentaryNotice that, in Critical Social Justice, the meaning of ''equity'' takes pains to distinguish itself from that of ''equality.'' Where equality means that citizen A and citizen B are treated equally, equity means ''adjusting shares in order to make citizens A and B equal.'' In that sense, equity is something like a kind of ''social communism,'' if we will'--the intentional redistribution of shares, but not necessarily along lines of existing economic disparity but in order to adjust for and correct current and historical injustices, both as exist in reality and as have been drawn out by the various critical theories (specifically, Theory'--see also, critical race Theory, queer Theory, gender studies, fat studies, disability studies, and postcolonial Theory).
The example given (above) of providing a wheelchair user with privileged access to an elevator is one that few people would find unfair. However, within Critical Social Justice conceptions of the world, specifically disability studies here, invisible systems of power and privilege are understood to hold some people back in often invisible ways because of their race, gender, sexuality, or other marginalized identity factors. Therefore, ''equity'' requires giving some identity groups privileges in order to redress the perceived imbalance.
In common parlance, this is the difference between attempting to force equality of outcome by enforcing some resource allocation system and equality of opportunity, which Critical Social Justice regards not only as myth but as a harmful ideology that upholds injustices like ''white supremacy.''
Because of the blank slatism and simplistic ideas of power and identity found within Critical Social Justice worldviews, all imbalances of representation in desirable areas of work are held to be caused by these perceived power dynamics. Equity is the intended remedy to this problem, and it is made applicable only (and especially) to positions of status and influence. For example, there is no equity program that attempts to increase the number of female sanitation workers, though there are equity programs that seek to increase the number of female doctors and politicians, and these endure even in high-status positions that employ more women than men. Of particular concern are positions that have influence where power is concerned, including in terms of shaping the discourses of society.
For this same reason, the measurement for equity is wholly on assessing the most superficial aspects of outcomes and then ascribing any differences from either demographic parity or parity adjusted upward to ''correct'' for historical exclusion to systemic bigotry. That is, in practice, an equity approach is almost wholly unconcerned with the root causes of disparate outcomes and merely seeks to identify where they occur and then artificially ''correct'' them, perhaps through preferential hiring, grading, promotion, pay, etc., by eliminating measurements that reveal disparities like standardized testing, by open, secret, or tacit discrimination against ''dominant'' group members, or even by installing quotas and specific guidelines for how outcomes must come out, regardless of what leads to them. In that sense, it is a very impoverished theory that is unlikely to achieve any of its stated goals (and will probably hurt most those it claims to help).
Where equality would imply not being particularly concerned with the demography of people filling certain roles, equity is centrally concerned with this. It often calls for wanting to achieve parity with the existing demographics of the population, which would mean that most (status-bearing) professions would employ roughly 50% women and whatever percentages of racial and sexual minorities as are present in the prevailing population. This itself can be considered problematic, however, and often seeks overrepresentation by members of smaller minority/minoritized groups (e.g., trans identities).
Moreover, equity, importantly, is often to be assessed historically, not merely in the present moment. If an identity group has historically been disenfranchised or excluded from a particular (status-bearing) role, equity often implies achieving representation numbers higher than demographic parity to make up for the historical injustice. Thus, we can understand quips like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's when she said that the proof of equality would be that there are nine women on the Supreme Court of the United States (that is, the entire court is female). It is also in this light that many arguments about reparations, whether material, monetary, or symbolic (e.g., through high-status employment) are situated. That is, equity is not merely about ''making up for injustices'' but also often about ''making up for past injustices.''
Equity is often sought under a combined suite of ''diversity, equity, and inclusion'' (DEI) or sometimes ''justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion'' (JEDI), and as such, these terms have become major buzzwords in most professional sectors, particularly including education. Often, however, Theorists and activists remark that equity may not be enough, because it is, in some sense, incrementalist in orientation, and therefore that revolution (of the system) might be advocated instead. This is, in fact, the underlying objective of the critical approach'--social revolution according to the terms of Critical Social Justice Theory'--and incrementalist proposals like diversity, equity, and inclusion are either fallback/compromise positions within liberal systems or half-measures deemed better than nothing.
When equity programs do not meet their intended goals, the ''resistance'' by privileged people (especially whites) is typically blamed (see also, white fragility). The program itself isn't allowed to be a failure. This ''resistance'' is often easy to find ''proof'' of because equity programs deliberately stack the deck in favor of certain identity groups and occasionally explicitly attempt to reduce the numbers of others (famously, Asian students at Ivy League universities like Harvard), which most people understand as intrinsically unfair, if not a bad idea that places some irrelevant characteristic like demographic identity ahead of relevant characteristics like competence in hiring/appointment decisions (see also, meritocracy). Indeed, the ''diversity, equity, inclusion'' suite was introduced as a deliberate work-around for Affirmative Action (notably following the 2003 Supreme Court case Grutter v. Bollinger).
In early 2020, and rather shockingly, in the Washington state legislature, an ''Equity Task Force'' was assembled that offered the following definition for equity: ''Equity = Disrupt and Dismantle,'' which is to say an explicit call for a systemic revolution. (NB: The Task Force was assembled even after the state voted against Affirmative Action.) The Task Force took pains to explain that they (the Social Justice supporters present) know that equity means disrupt and dismantle, and debated whether or not the language was too naked to be able to be approved by the legislature. In the end, the centrality of disruption and dismantling was considered so crucial to the proper understanding of equity, lest anyone in the future mistakenly leave it out as a result of their euphemisms, that the language was included in the proffered definition.
Related TermsBlank slatism; Communism; Critical race Theory; Critical Theory; Disability studies; Discourse; Dismantle; Disrupt; Diversity; Equality/Equal opportunity (ideology); Fat studies; Gender; Gender studies; Identity; Inclusion; Injustice; Justice; Liberalism; Marginalized; Meritocracy (ideology); Minoritize; Postcolonial Theory; Power (systemic); Privilege; Problematic; Race; Representation; Revolution; Sexuality; Social Justice; System, the; Theory; White; White fragility; White supremacy
Revision date: 7/13/20
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UConn agrees to pay 'White Fragility' author $20k for 3.5 hour anti-racism lecture
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:29
The University of Connecticut agreed to pay White Fragility author Robin DiAngelo $20,000 for a three and a half-hour lecture to administrators.The lecture, titled ''Seeing the Racial Water," is scheduled to take place in November as part of a professional development retreat for 44 of UConn's ''top'' administrators. According to a July 23 announcement by UConn, ''this retreat will help University leadership come to grips with the critical questions of racism and inclusion, and to bring those insights back to our campuses.''
A contract between DiAngelo, who is listed as an "affiliate associate professor" at the Univerisity of Washington, and the University of Connecticut's Office for Diversity and Inclusion states that DiAngelo will receive $20,000 for her services, as well as up to $2,000 for lodging and travel, according to a copy of the contract obtained by Campus Reform. Additionally, DiAngelo will " not accommodate phone calls related to services," and if a phone call to DiAngelo is necessary, the school will be charged $320 per hour.
"So let me get this straight @UConn decides the best way to deal with racism is to pay a white woman $22k, almost a yearly low wage salary, for 3.5 hours of her time to talk about racism."
DiAngelo UConn Contract by Campus Reform on Scribd
[RELATED: Universities across America want students to read this book. We did it for you.]
Faculty and students at UConn are less than thrilled about this speaking arrangement.
Dyanna Artemis Louyakis, a bioinformatics Ph.D. student, tweeted ''UConn seems to like the optics of doing the right thing without actually having to do the right thing.''
I love the addition of the DiAngelo contract. UConn seems to like the optics of doing the right thing without actually having to do the right thing.
'-- Dyanna (@dyanna27) July 29, 2020 Mike Shor, an economics professor at UConn, says that ''UConn sure will spend a lot of money to avoid talking directly with Black students."
UConn sure will spend a lot of money to avoid talking directly with Black students.
'-- Mike Shor (@MikeShor) July 28, 2020 Chad Schroeder, an undergraduate student, noted that UConn decided ''the best way to deal with racism is to pay a white woman $22k, almost a yearly low wage salary, for 3.5 hours of her time to talk about racism."
So let me get this straight @UConn decides the best way to deal with racism is to pay a white woman $22k, almost a yearly low wage salary, for 3.5 hours of her time to talk about racism. Anyone see something wrong with this? https://t.co/KUJNmjGrFl
'-- Chad wants the statues torn down (@chad_schroeder1) July 28, 2020 Campus Reform reached out to UConn for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
DiAngelo was the keynote speaker of Rutgers University's fourth annual ''Challenging Racial Disparities Conference'' in June. Like her speaking engagement at UConn, DiAngelo was slated to speak for three and a half hours.
Campus Reform reached out to Rutgers about compensation for that event but did not receive a response in time for publication.
[RELATED: Rutgers English Department seeks to 'push against biases' in grammar]
DiAngelo is the author of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. According to Amazon's description of the book, White Fragility ''allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to 'bad people.'''
According to a review of the book by Campus Reform, DiAngelo makes the argument that white people must acknowledge that their actions have consequences, but cannot do that because they are too frail.
In the aftermath of George Floyd's death, demand for DiAngelo's bestseller skyrocketed. As corporations and universities instituted White Fragility as required anti-racism reading, demand for the book skyrocketed 2,264 percent from May to June alone, according to Forbes.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft
He Vowed to "Dismantle the Patriarchy", Students Accuse Him of Sexual Coercion | Frontpagemag
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:33
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that this is how you dismantle the patriarchy.
Alex Morse was the latest golden candidate of the radical Left. He'd been endorsed by the Working Families Party and MoveOn in a push to unseat a longtime Democrat House member. He also had the backing of the Justice Democrats. The AOC backers had already begun spending money on airtime for Morse. They may need a refund.
The University of Massachusetts is launching an investigation into allegations that Holyoke, Mass., Mayor Alex Morse (D), who is currently challenging Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass) in a Democratic primary, had sexual relationships with students while teaching at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
He was accused by three groups of College Democrats this week of using his position to coerce students into sexual relationships, according to multiple reports. The groups disinvited him from future events.
The groups made the accusations in a letter first obtained by the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.
Morse is admitting the "relationships" and denying the coercion part. But that's obviously a slippery slope. He clearly violated university rules against dating students.
So much for his rhetoric about "dismantling the patriarchy".
Now Morse is gay and his targets were presumably male. And he's already blaming "homophobia". But considering the colleges cutting ties with him, progressive schools that are hardly likely to be guilty of the charge, the lefty groups spending six figures to tout Morse may want to ask for a refund.
McDonald's sues former CEO Easterbrook, alleges he lied about relationships he had with workers
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:47
Published Mon, Aug 10 2020 9:05 AM EDT
Updated 31 min ago
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McDonald's is suing its former CEO, Steve Easterbrook, for allegedly lying during the company's internal probe into his behavior.The board terminated Easterbrook in November for having a consensual relationship with an employee.The company now alleges that Easterbrook had sexual relationships with more employees and lied about it.Steve Easterbrook, chief executive officer of McDonald's Corp., speaks during the opening of the company's new headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, June 4, 2018.
Joshua Lott | Bloomberg | Getty Images
McDonald's is trying to recover millions in compensation it paid out to former CEO Steve Easterbrook by suing him for allegedly lying during the company's internal probe into his behavior, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The fast-food chain's board announced in November that it had terminated Easterbrook for having a consensual relationship with an employee and tapped Chris Kempczinski as his successor.
"McDonald's does not tolerate behavior from any employee that does not reflect our values," Kempczinski wrote in a letter to the McDonald's system about the lawsuit. "These actions reflect a continued demonstration of this commitment."
McDonald's now alleges that new information about Easterbrook's actions came to light in July, prompting further investigation from the company. A probe allegedly revealed that Easterbrook lied to the company and destroyed information regarding his inappropriate behavior, including three alleged additional sexual relationships with employees before his firing. None of the employees have been named.
Uncovered evidence includes dozens of nude or sexually explicit photos and videos of women '-- including images of the female employees '-- that were taken in late 2018 or early 2019 and sent as attachments from his corporate email account to his personal email, according to the lawsuit. Easterbrook allegedly deleted those photos and emails from his phone before it was searched by an outside investigator.
Easterbrook also approved "an extraordinary stock grant, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars" for one of the employees while they were involved in a sexual relationship, according to the complaint.
The board said it would not have signed a separation agreement with Easterbrook had it known about this alleged conduct. McDonald's is suing him in Delaware state court to recover the compensation and severance benefits he received as part of that agreement. The company said it has also taken action to prevent him from exercising any stock options or selling any stock from outstanding equity rewards.
Easterbrook's separation agreement included 26 weeks of severance. In 2018, he earned $15.9 million in total compensation, including a $1.3 million base salary. He was also eligible for prorated payment for hitting 2019 performance targets. Equilar, which tracks executive compensation, estimated that his severance package was worth nearly $42 million.
CNBC reached out to Easterbrook for comment.
View the full site
Producer Detail Arrested on Numerous Sexual Assault Allegations - Rolling Stone
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 16:53
A Grammy-winning producer who's worked with Beyonc(C), Lil Wayne and other A-list artists, was arrested Wednesday, August 5th, on multiple counts of sexual assault, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement on Facebook.
The LASD said its Special Victims Bureau had been investigating multiple sexual assault allegations involving Detail '-- real name Noel Fisher '-- which occurred between 2010 and 2018. The SVB submitted its findings to the LA County District Attorney's office for review in January, and at the end of July, detectives were told that ''15 sexual assault charges and five additional felony assault related charges were filed'' against Fisher. Fisher's bail was reportedly set at $6,290,000. A lawyer for Fisher, Irwin Mark Bledstein, did not immediately return Rolling Stone's request for comment.
The LASD added of the case against Fisher in its statement, ''Based on the nature of the allegations, SVB detectives believe there may be additional potential victims and they are seeking the public's help in identifying any such victims.''
Fisher rose to prominence as a producer working with Ray J in the mid-2000s, earning his first major hit with the R&B singer's 2007 single, ''Sexy Can I.'' He later produced songs like Lil Wayne's 2011 hit ''How to Love'' and Beyonc(C) 2013 track with Jay-Z, ''Drunk in Love,'' which earned him a Grammy. He's also worked with Nicki Minaj, Future, Jennifer Lopez, Wiz Khalifa and Kelly Rowland.
In 2018, Jessie Reyez accused Fisher of sexual misconduct, while Bebe Rexha accused him of inappropriate behavior in the studio. Both artists spoke out after two women, Kristina Buch and Peyton Ackley, filed restraining orders against Fisher, alleging that he'd raped and beaten them and forced them to have sex with him in front of other people. Per The Guardian, a model and aspiring singer who accused Fisher of raping and abusing her won a $15 million lawsuit against him last year, while at least two other women, both former assistants, have filed their own lawsuits against Fisher. Fisher has denied all the allegations against him in court documents related to those two suits.
Seattle Station Fires Jewish Meteorologist Who Compared BLM Rioters to Nazis | Frontpage Mag
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:37
If Cliff Mass had done the politically fashionable thing and compared DHS personnel trying to protect federal buildings against violent rioting thugs to stormtroopers, he would have been fine. It's not the Nazi comparison that's the problem. The real problem is criticizing the violent thugs the Left is using to wage war against America.
KNKX Public Radio announced Thursday it was axing its long-running weather segment with meteorologist Cliff Mass after the University of Washington professor wrote a post on his own blog comparing some Seattle protesters to the early Nazi militia known as the Brownshirts.
Mass wrote that ''Seattle has had it(s) Kristallnacht and the photos of what occurred during the past weeks are eerily similar to those of 80 years ago.''
Because racist thugs attacking businesses, some of them Jewish, is so fundamentally different.
''We abhor the comparison and find it sensationalized and misleading '-- it does not reflect who we are and what we stand for at KNKX,'' the radio station wrote on its website.
But comparing DHS personnel or ICE personnel to stormtroopers would not have been sensationalized or misleading. And we all know it.
Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the UW, said Friday morning that he was ''stunned by the reaction. It exploded in a way I was stunned by.''
He said Friday morning, and wrote in a comment on his blog post Thursday night, that he wasn't referring broadly to all protesters, just referring to people who destroyed property. ''I compared those DOING VIOLENCE to Brownshirts,'' he wrote in an email to The Seattle Times.
Mass, who is Jewish, said he wrote his blog post after being ''deeply moved when I took a walk around the city.'' He said the shattered windows and empty, boarded-up businesses he saw reminded him of the infamous November night when Nazi paramilitary officers and rioters destroyed hundreds of synagogues and broke windows and looted more than 7,000 Jewish-owned businesses.
He said Friday he believes Seattle needs strong leadership and not police defunding.
He also said, had he not used the words ''Kristallnacht'' and ''Brownshirts,'' he suspects the reaction would have been different.
Nah. He would have been lynched anyway.
Meanwhile the BLM riots and their antisemitic characteristics in Los Angeles have yet to be addressed by the media.
"It's no coincidence that the riots here escalated in Fairfax, the icon of the Jewish community. I saw the Watts and the Rodney King riots. They never touched a synagogue or house of prayer. The graffiti showed blatant antisemitism. It's Kristallnacht all over again," Rabbi Shimon Raichik, a Chabad Rabbi in Los Angeles, wrote.
Aryeh Rosenfeld, an Orthodox Jewish small business owner in the area, described to the Jerusalem Post hearing screams of, "F___ Jews" during the riots and looting as he tried to protect his store.
The looting not only devastated countless small businesses in the area, but graffiti, some of it explicitly anti-Semitic, was scrawled across at least 5 Orthodox Jewish synagogues and 3 religious schools.
''The attack on our community last night was vicious and criminal. Fairfax is the center of the oldest Jewish community in Los Angeles,'' Councilman Paul Koretz said. ''As we watched the fires and looting, what didn't get covered were the anti-Semitic hate crimes and incidents."
Good thing the media refuses to report this because it's not who they are. And if you do report it, they will come after you
Project Inkblot
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:13
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We partner with companies to build equitable products, services and content, using Design for Diversity'.
Design for Diversity' (D4D) is a design methodology that illuminates cultural defaults, and provides guideposts and best practices to design against dominant culture, and instead - for all.
Work with us to adopt the mindsets, frameworks and tools of D4D, to build equity into your products, services, content and experiences.
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Moving Forward. The following message was shared with'... | by Kerri Hoffman | PRX Official | Aug, 2020 | Medium
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:07
The following message was shared with all PRX staff via email this morning. We are posting it here as well for transparency.
Dear all,
I hear you. I apologize and take full responsibility. I am sorry my leadership has not matched your expectations of me. I pledge to do better.
I have spent many days reflecting deeply on everything that happened last week, the moment we are now in, and how we move forward. I take very seriously the criticisms and accusations of racism and inequity laid out in a former employee's letter. More broadly, I have thought about how our ambition to be equitable measures up with the reality of all I see and hear.
My conclusion '-- and my commitment '-- is that we take a hard look at ourselves and acknowledge the patterns contributing to several women of color leaving PRX. I recognize and share the disappointment and sadness when talented people of color leave the organization. We have to address structural racism in our culture, policies, and practices. We have deep work to do '-- it is hard and uncomfortable, but essential.
Doing the work and setting an example starts with me. I am committed to learning more and becoming anti-racist, and believe this is critical for us individually and collectively.
At my core, your success and wellbeing as individuals and as employees of PRX is what matters most to me. I do not get things right plenty of times, and I have a lot to learn, but I am fully embracing the work ahead. I have said before, we are stewards of PRX and have a commitment to the folks we haven't hired yet, and those who will carry the work forward after us.
This week will likely be very difficult in the aftermath of last, but I hope we can stay focused and hold on to the underlying fabric of relationships and shared mission. I ask you to commit to the work ahead fully '-- we need conversation, assessments, honesty, and the help of trained professionals.
Our mission to expand public media and open otherwise closed systems is more critical than ever. When we challenge ourselves to think of ''open'' as a practice and not a state of being '-- it is to create the needed space for voices and stories this moment needs. Calibrating this is constant and requires a work environment that taps into a wide range of expertise, nurtures the welfare of all employees, and supports healthy conflict. We also need to take a stronger stand, and we will be a better organization for it.
We have been in constant change since our merger. As challenging as this year has been, I hope we have increased our resilience to push ourselves to meet the promise of our values.
We have talked and planned for PRX's DEI work for a while, but without enough focus, specificity, or urgency. We need to change this. Creating an inclusive, equitable organization is the most important work for PRX because so many have faith in us and depend on us to do good work in the world.
Steps we have takenThroughout the last two years, we have prioritized diversity and representation across staff, including adding new management and leadership roles and increasing the diversity of our seven-person leadership team.We have added diversity to our board with outstanding new members whose viewpoints and experience will shape the PRX we aspire to be.In June, we amended our policies around participation in Black Lives Matter protests, rallies, and on social media. At a critical moment in our history as a nation, we found ourselves with outdated and misguided policies and rightly felt your outrage.Last month, we expanded our workplace bullying and harassment policy to be more comprehensive and clear.We have actively reshaped our content portfolio, choosing shows that serve diverse audiences; this work will continue with intent.This fall, our senior management team will be required to complete training in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and must be certified in DEI for leaders.Where we are nowWe have engaged a third-party investigator who will look into the concerns that have been raised. In order to ensure the integrity of the process, I asked that this investigative work be conducted and managed by the board. At this moment, the process, scope, and timeline are being defined.We have brought in Project Inkblot to assess our culture and advise us on changes. We believe their Design for Diversity methodology will help us illuminate cultural defaults and provide guideposts and best practices to design against the dominant culture. They have a track record of helping companies identify and resolve blind spots around cultural and racial biases. The process employs targeted universalism and the process of recognize, repair, and rebuild. We are all frustrated that our core work and engagement was postponed at the start of COVID-19. As the discovery phase with staff of color continues over the next four weeks, we have authorized them to conduct any interviews or request any materials they might want and need to ensure a thorough process. They have told us they expect to deliver their assessment and recommendations in September, and we look forward to sharing these details.Based on Project Inkblot's recommendations, coordinated listening sessions with staff, and other input, we will create a DEI work plan with clear goals and a timeline that we will review with all staff. It is critical that all staff and board understand what progress at PRX looks and feels like. We promise to move carefully but are committed to taking actionable and accountable steps in the coming weeks.While we have begun to outline a training program for managers, this has not been fortified with enough commitment, urgency, or feedback mechanisms. We are making this a top priority over the next three months.Starting in September, we are developing and launching internal educational programs designed to provide us with the tools and resources to be a more inclusive organization, including how to be a better ally in the workplace. The first of these will be a workshop facilitated by a firm that specializes in ally training. They will teach us the skills, language, and approach needed to be anti-racists, ensuring that we have a shared perspective and goals and avoiding unproductive adversarial approaches that are not helpful to underrepresented segments of our team, including people of color. This work will be coordinated by marketing in partnership with HR.We will create a Director of Diversity and Inclusion role before the end of the year to ensure sustained long term impact of our efforts.We will provide formal training for managers so they have the tools to lead diverse teams and ensure that they are effective, empathetic leaders who support the professional development of all staff.To address questions raised about pay equity, we will complete a compensation analysis and then act to address existing inequalities, and prevent future issues with improved, data-informed policies and practices for clear pay ranges, job descriptions, hiring, compensation adjustments, and promotion practices.I acknowledge the work ahead. I hold myself accountable to staff, board, and partners, and it will take all of us working together to change the dominant culture. We have made and, despite our best intentions, will make more mistakes. But my commitment is resolute and sincere. We are committed to bringing in needed experts and facilitators to help us turn our energy and commitment into meaningful, lasting change. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes to achieving a truly anti-racist workplace. Please stay engaged as we learn, grow, and change together.
freepublicradio on Twitter: "A Thread... Recently, a black woman who worked for @prx sent an email to her colleagues to let them know why she was leaving the organization. Here are some of highlights of the email: https://t.co/3TTEGmv2Lc" / Twitter
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 13:07
freepublicradio : A Thread...Recently, a black woman who worked for @prx sent an email to her colleagues to let them know why she w'... https://t.co/b758dizHAb
Sat Aug 08 01:03:09 +0000 2020
Congressional challenger says he had 'consensual' relations with students | Boston.com
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 15:44
As other left-wing congressional candidates racked up wins around the country, Alex Morse, 31, seemed like he could become the next liberal challenger to oust a long-term incumbent.
Morse, the country's youngest openly gay mayor, spoke eloquently about growing up working-class in Holyoke, Mass. and losing his brother to heroin addiction earlier this year. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., had been in office for three decades, the mayor said, but failed in recent years to make himself visible in his rural and industrial swath of the state.
But as allegations emerged that Morse had used his position to make advances on men a decade his junior, he offered an admission on Sunday: He had in fact engaged in relationships with local college students.
In an apology Sunday night, Morse, who also taught college courses for a time, refused to drop out of the race. His sexual orientation had unfairly heightened the focus on his personal life, he said, while denying any accusations of nonconsensual relationships.
''I say this not to shirk responsibility for having made anyone uncomfortable,'' Morse said in a statement. ''I am simply highlighting the fact that I am being held to a different standard, one deeply connected to a history of surveilling the sex lives of people like me.''
My statement on the last 48 hours. pic.twitter.com/2RU5ht6jZ8
'-- Alex Morse (@AlexBMorse) August 10, 2020
In a letter to the candidate late last week, the statewide College Democrats chapter said the mayor's behavior was nonetheless inappropriate, disturbing both the organization's members and other students who were subject to his advances.
''Where such a lopsided power dynamic exists,'' the group said in a follow-up statement, ''consent becomes complicated.''
An investigation into his conduct by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he taught a political science class from 2014 to 2019, is ongoing, the university said.
The son of a meatpacking plant worker and a day-care operator who met in public housing, Morse first went public with his sexuality at age 16 '-- on his Myspace profile. He went on to start his high school's gay-straight alliance as well as a citywide LGBTQ nonprofit that organized a ''Pride Prom,'' he told Salon last month.
As a 22-year-old college senior, he returned to Holyoke to kick-start his mayoral campaign, winning the office and working to address health and education disparities and extending a hand to the city's large Puerto Rican community.
Nearly four terms later, he launched a grass roots campaign for Congress. Among his most prominent endorsements were the Justice Democrats, the liberal group that fueled the rise of progressive primary challengers like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
After a victory by Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush in St. Louis last week, momentum seemed to be gaining. No polls had been conducted, but fundraising figures showed Morse just barely behind Neal, the powerful chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Then, on Thursday, Morse received a troubling set of allegations by email. In a letter obtained by The Washington Post and first reported by the Massachusetts Daily Collegian student newspaper, the College Democrats of Massachusetts told the candidate he would be uninvited from all future events because he had ''disturbed'' its members online and in person.
The letter alleged that Morse regularly matched with college students on the dating/hookup platforms Grindr and Tinder, added others to his ''Close Friends'' list on Instagram and sent them direct messages on the app, and engaged in ''sexual contact'' with college students, including those at UMass.
The group did not include specific stories or name any of the students accusing Morse, but said those incidents pointed to ''dangerous and inappropriate'' power dynamics that complicated sexual consent.
''Even if these scenarios are mutually consensual, the pattern of Morse using his platform and taking advantage of his position of power for romantic or sexual gain, specifically toward young students, is unacceptable,'' the letter said.
On Saturday, UMass said it had launched an investigation into those allegations, saying the letter was the first administrators had heard of the ''serious and deeply concerning'' charges against Morse. The school added that it did not currently employ the candidate and would not be hiring him again.
Relationships between faculty and students are banned at UMass, the Daily Collegian reported.
On Sunday, Morse apologized and said he now acknowledged the influence of his position, even outside his day job. But he also insisted that he would stay in the race, pointing out what he characterized as ''the invocation of age-old anti-gay stereotype.''
''I want my freedom, and I want you to have yours too,'' the candidate wrote. ''I continue this campaign mindful of the fact that my personal life '' and my consensual sexual activity '' will be subject to scrutiny and fixation that are all too familiar to members of the LGBTQ community.''
The College Democrats came under additional scrutiny over the weekend for a $1000 donation the organization had received from Neal. The group said it was ''untrue, disingenuous and harmful'' to claim that its letter was a ''quid pro quo'' with Neal's campaign or had been motivated in any way by Morse's sexuality.
The Washington Post's Karoun Demirjian contributed to this report.
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Facebook en Instagram verbieden afbeeldingen van zwarte piet | RTL Nieuws
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:07
Discriminerende stereotypen 1 uur 44 minuten geleden Aangepast: 32 minuten geleden
Intocht in Amsterdam. Beeld (C) ANP Afbeeldingen en video's van zwarte piet en Joodse stereotypen zijn voortaan niet meer toegestaan op Facebook en Instagram. Facebook voert nieuwe richtlijnen in om 'discriminerende stereotypen' te weren.
Facebook heeft negen maanden met meer dan zestig organisaties overlegd om te komen tot toevoegingen aan zijn community-richtlijnen. Nieuw zijn regels rond specifiek twee discriminerende stereotypen: blackface, waarbij niet-zwarte personen zich zwart of donker schminken, en schadelijke Joodse stereotypen.
Roetveegpiet mag welHet verbod op blackface-afbeeldingen slaat ook nadrukkelijk op zwarte piet, zegt Facebook tegen de Nederlandse pers. Gebruikers kunnen voortaan melding maken van afbeeldingen van zwarte piet, waarna die verwijderd kunnen worden. Meldingen worden handmatig bekeken door medewerkers van Facebook. Vanwege de gevoeligheid van discriminatie worden vooralsnog geen algoritmes ingezet.
Lees ook: Ook Nijmegen en Arnhem doen Zwarte Piet in de ban
Het gaat volgens Facebook om afbeeldingen waarbij duidelijk zwarte schmink of andere hulpmiddelen zijn gebruikt om de kleur van het gezicht donkerder te maken, samen met andere stereotyperende kenmerken zoals een pruik met krullen of grote lippen. Een piet zonder blackface-kenmerken, zoals de roetveegpiet, is wel toegestaan.
Afbeeldingen van zwarte piet zijn toegestaan in de context van bijvoorbeeld nieuwsartikelen of de discussie over racistische stereotyperingen. Facebook zegt per geval een afweging te maken.
Lees ook: Kick out Zwarte Piet boos op Rutte: 'Gesprek met antiracisten is pr-stunt'
"Facebook vindt het niet aanvaardbaar dat mensen zich gediscrimineerd of onveilig voelen door bepaalde berichten. Sinterklaas is een feest voor iedereen. Facebook blijft daarom ook voortdurend in gesprek met belanghebbenden, om een platform te zijn en te blijven voor iedereen", aldus Facebook.
Naast zwarte piet zijn ook bepaalde schadelijke Joodse stereotypen verboden. Spotprenten van Joden met haakneuzen gaan bijvoorbeeld in de ban, net als complottheorien die beweren dat Joden de wereld regeren.
Kick Out Zwarte Piet: 'Belangrijke stap'Jerry Afriyie, voorman van actiegroep Kick Out Zwarte Piet, noemt de nieuwe maatregelen van Facebook 'een belangrijke stap'. "Dit is de manier waarop je een norm stelt als bedrijf dat wereldwijd 3 miljard mensen bedient", zegt Afriyie. "We hebben altijd gehoopt dat Facebook deze stap zou zetten, nu is het eindelijk zo ver."
"Het is goed dat blackface, het voortdurend denigreren van mensen, nu aan normen wordt gesteld", reageert Afriyie. "Het is overigens wel gek dat deze lijn eerder door een commercieel bedrijf wordt gesteld dan vanuit de politiek hier in Nederland."
Zo veranderde Rutte zijn mening over zwarte piet door de jaren heenDe voorman is wel benieuwd hoe strikt Facebook zal handhaven. "Facebook lijkt haar verantwoordelijkheid te gaan nemen, maar we moeten nog zien of het in de praktijk consistent gaat zijn", aldus Afriyie.
Door de beleidswijziging is ook een dialoog ontstaan tussen Kick Out Zwarte Piet en Facebook. In het verleden is de actiegroep door de regels van Facebook meermaals beperkt in zijn actievoeren. "Terwijl elk bedrijf dat anti-racistisch is, onze bondgenoot zou moeten zijn. Hopelijk kunnen we van Facebook nu meer ruimte krijgen om onze campagne tegen racisme te voeren."
Andere discriminatie al langer in de banBreder gezien verbood Facebook al langer discriminerende vergelijkingen. Het gaat dan om het 'reduceren van mensen tot hun culturele of raciale kenmerken en die gelinkt zijn aan, of aanzetten tot intimidatie, buitensluiting en geweld'. Moslims 'varkens' noemen of vrouwen als eigendom of voorwerp omschrijven, was op Facebook al niet toegestaan.
Berichten, afbeeldingen en video's die de nieuwe regels overtreden, zullen in eerste instantie alleen verwijderd worden. Gebruikers die de regels blijven schenden, worden door Facebook en Instagram volledig verwijderd.
Lees ook: Lilit (24) wil blijven praten over Kristallnacht: 'Nog elke dag Jodenhaat'
Lilit Zeltsburg, joods en student Holocaust en Genocide-studies, is voorzichtig positief over de stap. "Het wordt weleens tijd. Veel sociale media zijn slecht met dit soort dingen, je kan rapporteren tot je erbij neervalt. Dat ze actie ondernemen vind ik positief", aldus Zeltsburg.
Veilige plek"Zeker in deze tijden zijn sociale media belangrijker dan ooit. Het is daarom belangrijk dat het een veilige plek is, want er zijn indicaties dat mensen radicaliseren als ze voortdurend worden geconfronteerd met racistische beelden", stelt Zeltsburg.
Wel is het volgens de studente belangrijk dat de discussie over discriminatie mogelijk blijft. "Het is belangrijk om grip op de situatie te houden, maar wel op zo'n manier dat discussie over en bewustwording van racisme en discriminatie mogelijk blijven. Binnen antiracistische groepen worden onderling soms racistische beelden gedeeld, maar juist om die te bespreken en te bestrijden."
Altijd weten wat er speelt?Download de gratis RTL Nieuws-app en blijf op de hoogte.
CEO of Hanna Andersson, Mike Edwards, Steps Down Amid Racism Allegations
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 21:49
Screenshot: Hanna Andersson's Instagram ( Other ) Another day, another example of a company failing to practice the inclusivity it appears to preach .
Last month, BuzzFeed reported that Hanna Andersson , the popular Portland, Oregon -based children's clothing company, had no black employees among its 139 person corporate team and that its leadership team was entirely white. BuzzFeed interviewed three current and six former employees, who pointed a finger at the company's CEO, Mike Edwards, alleging that he has a history of silencing those employees who do not agree with them, especially when criticisms center around racial diversity. And as of Thursday, he has resigned.
A former employee said the culture of racism at Hanna is so prevalent, even prior to Edwards' employment, that an executive so fiercely objected to the inclusion of a black family on the cover of their 2018 holiday catalog, the campaign was reshot with a white family. ''The [black] family wasn't 'Hanna' enough,'' the employee said.
When former Andersson copywriter Benjamin Kessler addressed Edwards during a town hall meeting in January and mentioned that he'd love to see ''a greater amount of diversity in our marketing,'' Edwards emailed him and reportedly said his suggestion was ''insulting for the many leadership working for positive change and growth,'' adding that ''While I find it insulting that you don't think we value diversity, you clearly don't understand or appreciate the backgrounds of your leadership team. You have a choice: engage and appreciate where I am taking the company or we can reach an agreement for you to leave immediately.'' Kessler said he was told to apologize or lose his job. He was laid off two months later.
Another former employee, Meghan Cali, criticized her former employer on Instagram by writing, ''If Hanna truly wants to live up to their mission to support ALL moms... their white male CEO should step down immediately and the company should seek to replace him with a woman of color.'' Edwards then found her on Linkedin, threatened to contact her current employer to get her fired, and wrote, ''You do not know anything about me, our culture, our brand values. Your comments are as racist as I have seen. Our parents expect Hanna to represent everyone and provide positive energy'--not to be a political site. If you don't apologize, we're going to war.''
G/O Media may get a commission
He told BuzzFeed, ''If I reach out to anyone on any matter, it's to seek an understanding.''
Edwards resigned on Thursday afternoon. According to an internal memo sent around to staff, he was stepping down ''to focus on his family and personal interests.'' It reads , ''We look forward to Hanna's next chapter, building on our success, and to demonstrating to our customers and stakeholders the type of company we strive to be. We recognize there is more work to do and we encourage you to continue providing feedback and creating an open dialogue. On behalf of both the Board and the Hanna leadership team, we commit to doing better.'' We'll have to wait and see about that.
Kerri-Anne Kennerley axed from Channel 10 | TV WEEK
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 00:40
Channel 10 has today announced it has axed several of its high profile stars as part of huge network-wide budget cuts, with Studio 10 presenters Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Natarsha Belling and weatherman Tim Bailey all on the chopping block.
The changes are part of Channel 10's restructure of its news and operations department, with about 20 roles expected to be impacted.
Studio 10 will continue to air as usual during the week from 8am to midday.
The show's other presenters Sarah Harris and Angela Bishop will stay on, with Denise Drysdale, Denise Scott and Jono Coleman continuing their roles as contributors, and Narelda Jacobs will still present the news.
According to
Studio 10's Joe Hildebrand is also in talks about his future with the network.
Joe also recently departed his role as a columnist at news.com.au.
Sarah Harris and Angela Bishop will stay on, while KAK has been sacked and Joe Hildebrand's future is up in the air. Image: Channel 10
Kerri-Anne Kennerley is one of the high profile stars on the chopping block. Image: Getty
"The decision to make these changes was a very difficult one and I want to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to our friends and colleagues who will leave the network," Ten's network director of news content, Ross Dagan, said in a statement.
"It is in no way a reflection of their talent, contribution or passion. They are exceptionally gifted people. We are incredibly proud of them and their work. There is no doubt they will be missed.
"These painful changes reflect the state of the media industry in recent years and the need for all media companies to achieve new efficiencies.
"While our viewers in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will see some on-air changes, we will continue to produce local news and employ local reporters, camera operators and production staff in those cities," he said.
WATCH BELOW: Kerri-Anne insults Studio 10 reporter live on air.
Gig economy
Uber CEO warns California ruling could force a months-long shutdown | Ars Technica
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 17:27
Ride-hailing '-- A November ballot initiative will let California voters decide Uber's fate. Timothy B. Lee - Aug 12, 2020 5:05 pm UTC
Enlarge / Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is warning that a landmark California ruling on the employment status of its drivers could force the company to shut down its service in California until November.
"We think we comply by the laws," Khosrowshahi said on MSNBC. "But if the judge and the court finds that we're not, and they don't give us a stay to get to November, then we'll have to essentially shut down Uber until November when the voters decide."
Last year, California's legislature passed legislation designed to force Uber and other "gig economy" companies to treat their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. That could entitle the workers to minimum wage protections, reimbursement for expenses, unemployment insurance, and other benefits.
A state court confirmed on Monday that the new law applies to Uber and gave the company just 10 days to comply. Uber is hoping that an appeals court will block enforcement of the order while the case proceeds.
After the law passed last year, Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash spent more than $100 million gathering signatures for a voter initiative that would overturn the law. It is slated to appear on the ballot in November.
A big changeLabor rights advocates argue that Uber drivers deserve the same benefits and protections that other workers enjoy. Uber has argued that many of its drivers value the flexibility of its current model'--flexibility that might not be possible in a more conventional employment relationship.
Under the current model, Uber drivers decide when, where, and how much to work. This makes it a convenient way for people with complex or unpredictable schedules to earn money on the side. If Uber were required to treat its employees as employees, it would likely have to exert more control over its workers' routes and schedules'--refusing to let them work if there wasn't enough demand to earn minimum wage.
The November ballot initiative would strip drivers of employee status but offer them some of the protections and benefits that come with employee classification. If the law passes, Uber drivers would be guaranteed to earn 120 percent of California's minimum wage while they are completing trips. They would also be reimbursed for delivery expenses at a rate of 30 cents per mile, and workers that logged enough hours behind the wheel could get reimbursed for health insurance premiums.
However, under Uber's proposal, drivers' earnings would not be guaranteed for time when they are logged into an app waiting for an assignment. As a result, drivers could still wind up making less than minimum wage for the total time they are logged into the app.
''You're playing a game of chicken''Khosrowshahi argues that making drivers employees would require such extensive changes to Uber's business that it would have to shut down the service for more than two months to retool. He also said the service could change dramatically as a result'--with fewer drivers, higher prices, and a smaller coverage map focused on urban centers.
MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle, however, questioned whether the transition to an employee-based model would truly require a months-long shutdown. "That almost sounds like you're playing a game of chicken," Ruhle said.
Threatening to pull out of a market was a common bargaining tactic for Uber in its early years. In 2016, Uber and Lyft exited the Austin market for several months after Austin passed regulations requiring that driers undergo fingerprinting and a criminal background check. The company returned to Austin the next year after the state legislature passed legislation preempting the rule.
While shutting down in California for almost three months would be painful for Uber, it could focus voter attention on the issue and help to boost public support for Uber's ballot initiative. Or it could have the opposite impact if voters feel that Uber is trying to hold the state hostage to get more favorable regulations.
Complete communities - Wikipedia
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:21
Complete communities is an urban and rural planning concept that aims to meet the basic needs of all residents in a community, regardless of income, culture, or political ideologies through integrated land use planning, transportation planning, and community design.[1][2] While the concept is used by many communities as part of their community plan, each plan interprets what complete community means in their own way.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The idea of the complete community has roots in early planning theory, beginning with The Garden City Movement, and is a component of contemporary planning methods including Smart Growth.[11]
History Edit The Garden City Movement was one of the first proponents for creating communities that accommodate a wide range of community members through a mix in housing types and uses.[12] Increasing urban sprawl, and its associated negative social, environmental, and health effects, prompted a turn in theory towards increasing density in urban areas. This idea has been brought into contemporary theoretical movements including Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Sustainable Development, which all advocate high-density 'compact' communities, and also increase the mix of activities and land uses that contribute to a complete community.[2][11] The move toward compact and complete communities in modern planning is summarized in the first two Ahwahnee Principles, a landmark document created by the California Local Government Commission that provided the foundation for Smart Growth and New Urbanism: (1) "all planning should be in the form of complete and integrated communities including housing, shops, workplaces, schools, parks and civic facilities essential to the daily life of the residents" and (2) "community size should be designed so that housing, jobs, daily needs, and other activities are within easy walking distance of each other."[2][13]
Since the 1970s, Canadian planning policy has aimed to make communities more attractive and efficient through compact form, mixed-use, higher densities and a range of housing types.[14] Households in North America are becoming smaller, have a different form than previous generations and are more socially and economically diverse;[15][16] while housing costs have increased dramatically in some parts of the country, resulting in smaller lot sizes and an increase in multi-family housing options and suburban density.[14]
One of the typical critiques of past suburban growth patterns is that they replicate trends of a homogeneous landscape consisting mainly of white, middle class, nuclear families.[17] Social diversity and affordability looked to be addressed through the creation of a different form, through the design of new communities that look to promote diversity.[18] When measured on a scale looking at four elements of complete communities - living, working, moving, thriving - New York City and San Francisco rank at the top, while Atlanta and Dallas ranked quite low.[1]
Defining elements Edit The 'complete community' is seen as a way to deal with issues of social isolation, address inefficient land uses and meet the needs of diverse households.[19][20]
A common definition of a complete community is one where people live, work and play, and where the automobile is left at home in favour of walking and public transport. This is supported by a diverse housing mix.[12] While each community applies the term in its own way as part of its community plans, there are several defining elements.
Densification Edit A benchmark for complete communities is access to services within a five-minute walk, which contrasts the typical sprawl associated with the suburbs.[11]
Diverse housing mix Edit In Canada, many municipalities have focused on providing a mix of housing types as the key component of creating a complete community based on directives from provincial and regional policies.[14]
Diverse land use mix Edit Complete communities advocate for densification within existing neighbourhoods to provide services to users which sometimes run in contrast to zoning regulations currently there.[11] Barriers to complete communities include zoning and bylaws that do not promote building with diverse uses and design in mind.[11]
Employment options Edit One central goal of developing complete communities involves promoting a concentration of employment opportunities, with a labour force both working and living within the geographic boundaries of the community.[9] This is believed to be a response to the negative effects associated with commuter towns.
Transportation options Edit As the suburbs grew, roadways that prioritised the automobile grew with them. Especially in the United States, widened and expanded metropolitan areas led to poor inner-suburb communities, which worked to destroy the connection to neighbourhoods, institutions, parks and town centres.[21] Planners began to advocate for a community plan where a mix of housing types and uses in compact form would be centred around transportation nodes for ease of mobility of residents.[14] Additionally, some transportation planners take planning for a connected community one step further by pushing for inclusive multi-modal and equitable transportation systems that work for people of all ages, ability, income and racial demography.[21]
Debate/Critique Edit Although there is a general definition for complete communities, the term sometimes has differing meanings within certain contexts. Within many municipal plans the term complete community is used to describe a city mandate, without a given description of how the community defines the term. This leads to the term being used for a number of different objectives, depending on the goals of the specific community.
While many planners look to use urban policy as a way of creating a diverse housing mix, some critics argue that it is actually market pressures rather than planners and policy makers who are actually creating the increase in the share of multi-family housing in suburban areas.[14] Most developers will not actually use the term 'complete communities,' however, many larger master-planning developers will talk about providing a range of housing types as a way of remaining competitive and selling community.[12]
Examples Edit The following are examples of places that have been described as complete communities:
Kirkland, Washington[2]The following are examples of places that have gone through, or are currently undergoing, a planning process that is informed by the concept of a complete community:
Metro Vancouver, British Columbia[10]City of North Vancouver, British Columbia[5]Winnipeg, Manitoba[6]Greater Golden Horseshoe, Ontario[4][22]Austin, Texas[3]Vancouver Campus of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia[8]City of Nanaimo, British Columbia[23]Town of Gibsons, British Columbia[7]City of St. Albert, Alberta[24]See also Edit Compact CityComplete StreetsGarden City MovementHealthy community designNew UrbanismSmart GrowthReferences Edit ^ a b Brooks, Allison (2012). "Are We There Yet?: Creating Complete Communities for 21st Century America" (PDF) . reconnectingamerica.org/assets/PDFs/20121001AreWeThereYet-web.pdf. Reconnecting America . Retrieved November 7, 2016 . ^ a b c d Pivo, G. (2005). Creating Compact and Complete Communities: Seven Propositions for Success. Practicing Planner, AICP. ^ a b "Imagine Austin: Comprehensive Plan" (PDF) . ^ a b "Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006" . Retrieved November 10, 2016 . ^ a b "City of North Vancouver Official Community Plan: Our Vision of Complete Community" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2016 . Retrieved November 10, 2016 . ^ a b "Complete Communities: An OurWinnipeg Direction Strategy" (PDF) . Retrieved November 10, 2016 . ^ a b "SMART PLAN: Gibsons Official Community Plan". ^ a b "University Boulevard Neighbourhood Plan" (PDF) . ^ a b "City of Richmond State of the Environment Report 2005, Goal 4: Build Compact & Complete Communities" (PDF) . Retrieved November 10, 2016 . ^ a b "Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future" (PDF) . www.metrovancouver.org/services/regional-planning/metro-vancouver-2040/resources/Pages/default.aspx. Metro Vancouver. 2010. ^ a b c d e Curran, Deborah (2003). "A Case for Smart Growth" (PDF) . West Coast Environment Law. West Coast Environment Law . Retrieved November 7, 2016 . ^ a b c Grant, Jill; Scott, D (2012). "Complete communities versus the Canadian dream: Representations of suburban aspirations". Canadian Journal of Urban Research. 1 (21): 132''157. ^ Calthorpe, P., Corbett, M., Duany, A., Moule, E., Plater-Zyberk, E., & Polyzoides, S. (1991). The Ahwahnee Principles. Local Government Commission. ^ a b c d e Grant, Jill; Scott, D (2012). "Complete communities versus the Canadian dream: Representations of suburban aspirations". Canadian Journal of Urban Research. 1 (21): 132''157. ^ Rose, D; Villeneuve, P (2006). Life stages, living arrangements, and lifestyles. In Canadian cities in transition: local through global perspectives (3rd edition), eds. T. Bunting and P. Filion. Don Mills: Oxford University Press. pp. 138''153. ^ Townshend, I; Walker, R (2010). Life course and lifestyle changes: urban change through the lens of demography. In Canadian cities in Transition: new directions in the twenty-% rst century, eds T. Bunting, P. Filion, and R. Walker. Don Mills: Oxford University Press. pp. 131''149. ^ Nicolades, B (2006). How hell moved from the city to the suburbs: urban scholars and changing perceptions of authentic community. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ^ Talen, E (2008). Design for diversity: exploring socially mixed neighbourhoods. Architectural Press: Amsterdam. ^ Grant, J; Perrott, K (2009). "Producing diversity in a new urbanism community: policy and practice". Town Planning Review. 80 (3): 267''289. ^ Talen, E (2008). Design for diversity: exploring socially mixed neighbourhoods. Architectural Press: Amsterdam. ^ a b Pangborn-Dolde, J; Young, N; Roy, B; Carney, J. "Lessons from ferguson: Building complete communities". Institute of Transportation Engineers.ITE Journal. 85 (9): 31''35. ^ "Close to Home: The benefits of compact, walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhoods" (PDF) . Retrieved November 10, 2016 . ^ "Community Sustainability Action Plan" (PDF) . ^ "Advocacy Initiatives". August 17, 2016. City of St. Albert. Archived from the original on November 18, 2016.
Complete Communities - Austin Justice Coalition
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:20
This initiative will involve a sustained effort to listen to those in our communities that have been most impacted by segregation and displacement, equipping them with the tools needed to engage in the ongoing housing conversation, make informed choices, and hold elected officials accountable. Through this process, we intend to provide the city with policy proposals that can move us closer to resolving the above stated questions.
What does a complete community look like? (Think about it). It will be our task to dream this community together. And together, it will be our responsibility to build.
What is a complete community? | AustinTexas.gov
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:20
What is a complete community? Feb 25, 2013 - 5:33 pmImagine Austin calls for a city of complete communities'...but what does that mean, exactly?
Actually, it probably means something a little different to each person.
Here's how we talk about complete communities in the Imagine Austin plan. In a nutshell, a complete community is a great place that meets your daily needs within a short trip of where you live or work.
A community is ''complete'' when it provides access by foot, bike, transit and car to jobs, shopping, learning, open space, recreation, and other amenities and services.
That means no matter what part of Austin you live in'--north, south, east, west, or central'--nearby amenities help you in the pursuit of your desired quality of life. Simultaneously, we want complete communities that preserve identity, culture, and sense of place.
During a multi-year effort to create this plan, Austinites supported becoming a city of complete communities.
The plan states: These communities will be for Austinites of all ages. They will provide environments that support children at every stage of their development, young adults beginning their professional lives and families, and seniors aging gracefully in the neighborhoods where they raised their families.
Read more on page 88 of Imagine Austin. Also, check out what Canada and Reconnecting America have to say about Complete Communities.
More importantly, what do YOU have to say? What is a complete community to you? How big is it? What does it have in it? How can the City help create complete communities across Austin? Share your ideas on Facebook or SpeakUpAustin.
Russia-Belarus oil dispute begins to threaten supplies to Europe
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:52
By Aliaksandr Kudrytski on 2/14/2020
MINSK (Bloomberg) - A long-running oil dispute between Russia and Belarus has for the first time threatened to disrupt supplies to Europe.
Belarus will start taking crude from its transit pipeline if shipments from Russia are below the agreed 2 million tons this month, state news agency Belta reported Friday, citing President Alexander Lukashenko. That could jeopardize Russian flows to the European Union along the giant Druzhba link.
The warning comes amid a pricing disagreement between the two former Soviet republics, with Russian producers curtailing crude supply to the neighboring country this year. A Kremlin official said last week the Russian government can't force oil companies to supply crude to Belarus at lower prices than they're prepared to offer.
Russia previously agreed to send Belarus 24 million tons of oil this year. Yet the country only received 500,000 tons in January, a quarter of the expected volume, according to Lukashenko.
''If they don't ship in February, we will be taking up to 2 million tons'' from the pipeline, the president said in Svetlogorsk. He also reiterated the possibility of reversing flows on one section of Druzhba, to send oil from Europe to Belarus rather than from Russia to the EU.
The Druzhba -- or Friendship -- pipeline to western Europe handles about 20% of all Russian crude exports outside the former Soviet Union. It also ships oil from Kazakhstan to Europe.
Lukashenko has vowed to cut his country's near-total dependence on Russian crude to 40%. Belarus is looking to bring in Saudi, U.A.E. and U.S. oil via Poland. It could also receive crude for its Naftan refinery via Baltic ports, and then sell the output to neighboring Lithuania and Latvia. The nation's Mozyr refinery could be supplied from the Black Sea and then ship refined products to Ukraine.
Yet it's a major overhaul of supplies for a country traditionally reliant on its powerful neighbor. As the dispute escalates, Lukashenko has claimed Russia's leaders are ''hinting'' he should accept a merger of their two countries in return for getting cheaper oil and gas. The president dismissed such a scenario as unacceptable.
Nord Stream 2: German FM '²displeased'² at US sanctions threat
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 16:55
Germany's foreign minister has expressed his dismay to his US counterpart over Washington's threat of sanctions on a small German port where the final sections of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline are being constructed.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass on Monday said he had expressed "displeasure" to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about threats made by three US senators.
Last week, Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson in a letter pledged "crushing legal and economic sanctions" against F¤hrhafen Sassnitz GmbH, the operator of the Murkan Port, where Russian vessels are helping build the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.
Read more: Nord Stream 2: US senators threaten German port with 'crushing' sanctions
"I mentioned it in a telephone call with Mike Pompeo yesterday and expressed my surprise and displeasure," he told reporters.
Threatening letterIn their letter, the senators describe the nearly complete pipeline as a "grave threat to European energy security and American national security."
"The only responsible course of action is for F¤hrhafen Sassnitz GmbH to exercise contractual options that it has available to cease these activities,'' they said in the missive.
Murkan Port, located in the small seaside town Sassnitz on Baltic Sea island of R¼gen, serves as a key logistic and service center for ships constructing the German end of the pipeline.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffan Seibert, said on Monday that Germany was opposed to "extraterritorial sanctions."
"The German government is in contact with the companies against which sanctions have been threatened."
Cleaner energyThe 10 billion-euro ($11 billion) pipeline, owned by Russian gas company Gazprom, is set to double Russian natural gas transported from Russia to Germany. The project is near completion beneath the Baltic Sea.
Read more: Ukraine skeptical of American LNG gas pipe dreams
The US '-- which strongly opposes Nord Stream 2 '-- fears that the pipeline will increase Europe's dependence on Russia, which both Berlin and Moscow dispute.
Ukraine and Poland, which will be bypassed by the gasline, argue that it will further embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin by giving Moscow more control over crucial energy flows.
Pompeo last month mooted the possibility that German companies could suffer sanctions for even small investments in the pipeline.
Germany had expressed anger at the US threat, saying it interfered in German internal affairs. Despite political differences with Russia, Berlin sees the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a positive step towards more stable, cheaper and cleaner energy as it phases out coal.
kw/rc (AFP, AP, dpa)
EU to discuss possible sanctions on Belarus
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:47
The news of the extraordinary EU foreign ministers' meeting on Friday comes amid growing violence after the Belarus election. Officials there have confirmed that firearms have been used on protesters.
European Union foreign ministers are to meet on Friday to discuss the situation in Belarus, the bloc's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, announced on Wednesday.
Long-time Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko has been reelected as president amid cries of foul play from the opposition.
Speaking to DW, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said he hoped all options will be on the table at Friday's meeting, including sanctions.
"I can just hope that he [Lukashenko] cares," Linkevicius said. "He cannot stay in this world of illusions, thinking that he has a mandate to act like he has acted in the three nights since the elections and this violence in the streets must stop."
Confirming her invitation, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Swedish radio that the issue of possible sanctions against Belarus would be one of the topics discussed.
"I absolutely think we need to consider broadening targeted sanctions against those responsible for the violence against the protesters (and) for the election fraud '-- those involved in the electoral process not having turned out free and fair," Linde said.
While Belarus is not an EU member, it maintains a bilateral relationship with Brussels.
Violent protestsThe announcement of the extraordinary meeting comes as Belarus saw a third night of protests against Lukashenko's sixth term.
The Belarusian Interior Ministry said on Wednesday that more than 1,000 protesters had been arrested, with 51 demonstrators and 14 police officers hurt overnight. Police said they had used firearms in one southern city. At least one protester has been killed since the protests broke out on Monday.
Lukashenko won the election with 80% of the vote, according to preliminary results cited by the Central Election Commission.
His nearest rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, reportedly gained just 9.9%, although her campaign rallies drew many thousands.
The opposition has claimed that the elections were rigged, and Tikhanovskaya has since fled to Lithuania, saying it was for the sake of her children.
"We're trying to help those who are exposed to danger and trying to be active, trying to accumulate, to consolidate the European position, talking to the colleagues in the region, preparing for this council meeting," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told DW.
Friday's meeting is also to discuss tensions in the eastern Mediterranean amid Turkey's quest for resources in contested territorial waters, and developments in Lebanon as the country falls further into political chaos after last Tuesday's devastating blast in the capital, Beirut.
tj/rt (AFP, Reuters)
Parijs stuurt marineschip vanwege spanningen met Turkije | Buitenland | AD.nl
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:07
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Dog are People too
Why the French are 'European champions' at abandoning pets - BBC News
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:08
Image caption Charities say far more pets are abandoned in France than in other European nations After weeks of lockdown, the French are keener than ever to get away from the stifling cities this weekend.
But the dense traffic will also serve as an ugly reminder of another annual summer trend here.
The French have the unfortunate distinction of being the European "champions" for abandoning pets that have become too cumbersome for their summer trips.
Animal shelters up and down the country are proof of this unique and sad tradition.
Betty Loizeau has run a shelter just north of Toulouse for more than 20 years. There are rabbits, a pig and even a goat here and each has their own individual story of abandonment.
"Owners rarely have the courage to turn up with their unwanted companions," she says. "Instead they call up to say where they can be found, or drop them off in boxes outside the shelter under the cover of darkness."
Curled up at the very back of a cage sits a silent, hesitant, white-haired cat. Pom Pom's male owner gave her up after 15 years because he got a new girlfriend who didn't like cats.
Another feline, Misha, has a badly twisted leg after jumping from a balcony. Her owner didn't want to pay the vet's fees and that's how she ended up in a shelter.
There are plenty of dogs here, too. Pepito is a five-year-old miniature pinscher whose owners tied him up next to a lamp-post before calling the refuge.
Image caption Betty Loizeau and her mother Josette run an animal shelter in Toulouse "The excuses they typically give are that they're going on holiday, having a baby, moving house, or they have a new partner with allergies, " Ms Loizeau explains.
She says the owners come from all social classes, but cases of badly treated animals are higher on the poor housing estates and amongst the Roma Traveller community.
For shelters like this one, it is the busiest time of the year.
Given that just over half of all French households have at least one pet, it would be fair to assume they are a nation of pet lovers. Yet, every summer, emotional animal rights campaigns are launched nationwide to try and persuade people to look after their animals.
Grim statisticsBetween 100,000 and 200,000 pets are abandoned in France each year, with 60% of these incidents occurring over the summer.
By comparison, the RSPCA animal charity told the BBC that the figure is close to 16,000 in the UK.
In the latest hard-hitting advertising campaign, the French are described as the "European champions for abandoned pets". As if to emphasise the point, the soundtrack to the video is Queen's rock anthem We are the Champions.
But does this kind of appeal work? It seems not.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Meet the animals abandoned during lockdownA parliamentary report in June revealed that each year owners turn their pets loose in ever greater numbers. So why is the figure still rising and what does it say about the French in general?
"Pets are increasingly seen as an impulse buy," says Marina Chaillaud, a vet near Bordeaux who has studied the social relationship between the French and their pets. Ms Chaillaud has several explanations for this phenomenon.
"A certain breed of cat or dog is fashionable and owners want one, just like a new smartphone," she says. "Of course, like a smartphone, when it goes out of fashion they dump it for an upgrade a couple of years later, when a new breed is considered trendy."
She also points to the issue of pets being given as gifts as a reason why so many are abandoned. "Often parents will get pets for their children and when they grow up and lose interest in them, out goes the pet."
Unexpected costsMs Chaillaud says her clinic has already received plenty of abandoned pets so far this summer.
But she says there is another, sociological, explanation for the phenomenon.
"In France, where the state is so omnipresent, people are so used to getting prescription medication from a pharmacy without handing over any money," she says. "They are shocked when they have to pay to treat their pets. As a result, many domestic animals are abandoned when they get sick or old."
Image copyright Marina Chaillaud Image caption Marina Chaillaud has studied the relationship between French people and their pets Over the summer, owners discover that hotels charge extra for animals or even ban them altogether. This explains why you will often see frightened, lost, dogs wandering near motorway service stations or beach resorts.
One MP in Toulouse, Corinne Vignon, owns several stray cats and has co-introduced a bill in parliament that would make it harder to buy pets and easier to trace owners who mistreat or abandon them.
The bill would introduce compulsory tagging, as well as raise the minimum age limit of buyers.
"The way owners act with pets is a good indicator of human behaviour," Ms Vignon says. "Studies show that those who treat their animals badly are far more likely to be involved in domestic violence too."
She believes cross-party support means her bill will most likely get passed later this year.
But back at the refuge, Betty Loizeau is unconvinced that new laws are needed. "We already have stiff sentences available, including jail for owners who treat their pets badly," she says.
"The police help me but every time I go to the prosecutor's office with evidence they are not interested," Ms Loizeau says. "[Animal cruelty] is just a low priority for them. Abusers are rarely punished. But I won't give up."
For more on this story, listen to From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4 or via the BBC Sounds app.
Chris Bockman is the author of Are you the foie gras correspondent? Another slow news day in south-west France.
You Thought Epstein Was Bad? List of Pedo Politicians of Late. | Survival
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:26
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Democratic Illinois State Representative, Keith Farnham, has resigned and was charged with possession of child pornography and has been accused of bragging at an online site about sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl.Democratic spokesperson for the Arkansas Democratic Party, Harold Moody, Jr, was charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.Democratic Radnor Township Board of Commissioners member, Philip Ahr, resigned from his position after being charged with possession of child pornography and abusing children between 2 and 6 years-old.Democratic activist and BLM organizer, Charles Wade, was arrested and charged with human trafficking and underage prostitution.Democratic Texas attorney and activist, Mark Benavides, was charged with having sex with a minor, inducing a child under 18 to have sex and compelling prostitution of at least nine legal clients and possession of child pornography. He was found guilty on six counts of sex trafficking.Democratic Virginia Delegate, Joe Morrissey, was indicted on charges connected to his relationship with a 17-year-old girl and was charged with supervisory indecent liberties with a minor, electronic solicitation of a minor, possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.Democratic Massachusetts Congressman, Gerry Studds, was censured by the House of Representatives after he admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old page.Democratic Former Mayor of Stillwater, New York, Rick Nelson was plead guilty to five counts of possession of child pornography of children less than 16 years of age.Democratic Former Mayor of Clayton, New York, Dale Kenyon, was indicted for sexual acts against a teenager.Democratic Former Mayor of Hubbard, Ohio, Richard Keenan, was given a life sentence in jail for raping a 4-year-old girl.Democratic Former Mayor of Winston, Oregon, Kenneth Barrett, was arrested for setting up a meeting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl who turned out to be a police officer.Democratic Former Mayor of Randolph, Nebraska, Dwayne L. Schutt, was arrested and charged with four counts of felony third-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of intentional child abuse.Democratic Former Mayor of Dawson, Georgia, Christopher Wright, was indicted on the charges of aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, rape, child molestation and statutory rape of an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl.Democratic Former Mayor of Stockton, California, Anthony Silva, was charged with providing alcohol to young adults during a game of strip poker that included a 16-year-old boy at a camp for underprivileged children run by the mayor.Democratic Former Mayor of Millbrook, New York, Donald Briggs, was arrested and charged with inappropriate sexual contact with a person younger than 17.Democratic party leader for Victoria County, Texas, Stephen Jabbour, plead guilty to possession and receiving over half a million child pornographic images.Democratic activist and fundraiser, Terrence Bean, was arrested on charges of sodomy and sex abuse in a case involving a 15-year-old boy and when the alleged victim declined to testify, and the judge dismissed the case.Democratic Party Chairman for Davidson County, Tennessee, Rodney Mullin, resigned amid child pornography allegations.Democratic activist, Andrew Douglas Reed, pleaded guilty to a multiple counts of 2nd-degree sexual exploitation of a minor for producing child pornography.Democratic official from Terre Haute, Indiana, David Roberts was sentenced to federal prison for producing and possessing child pornography including placing hidden cameras in the bedrooms and bathrooms at a home he shared with two minor female victims.Democratic California Congressman, Tony Crdenas, is being sued in LA County for allegedly sexually abused a 16-year-old girl.Democratic aide to Senator Barbara Boxer, Jeff Rosato, plead guilty to charges of trading in child pornography.Democratic Alaskan State Representative, Dean Westlake, resigned from his seat after the media published a report alleging he fathered a child with a 16-year-old girl when he was 28.Democratic New Jersey State Assemblyman, Neil Cohen, was convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography.Republican Tim Nolan, chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign in Kentucky, pled guilty to child sex trafficking and on February 11, 2018 he was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.Republican state Senator Ralph Shortey was indicted on four counts of human trafficking and child pornography. In November 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of child sex trafficking in exchange for the dropping of the other charges.Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth is a convicted child rapist in Florida.Republican County Commissioner David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.Republican legislator Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls.Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.Republican Senator Strom Thurmond, a notable racist, had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.Republican Congressman Donald ''Buz'' Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.Republican activist Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.Republican activist Marty Glickman (a.k.a. ''Republican Marty''), was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD.Republican legislative aide Howard L. Brooks was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.Republican anti-gay activist Earl ''Butch'' Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.Republican politician Andrew Buhr was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.Republican politician Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was charged with sexual misconduct involving a 15-year old girl.Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.Republican activist John Butler was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.Republican candidate Richard Gardner admitted to molesting his two daughters.Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.Republican city councilman Mark Harris, who is described as a ''good military man'' and ''church goer,'' was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.Republican director of the ''Young Republican Federation'' Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr., was charged with rape for allegedly paying a 15-year old girl for sex. Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women.Democratic donor and billionaire, Jeffrey Epstein, ran an underage child sex brothel and was convicted of soliciting underage girls for prostitution.Democratic New York Congressman, Anthony Weiner, plead guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor as part of a plea agreement for sexted and sending Twitter DMs to underage girls as young as 15.Democratic donor, activist, and Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is being criminally prosecuted and civilly sued for years of sexual abuse (that was well known ''secret'' in Hollywood) including underage sexual activities with aspiring female actresses.Democratic activist and #metoo proponent, Asia Argento, settled a lawsuit for sexual harassment stemming from sexual activities with an underage actor.Democratic Mayor of Racine, Wisconsin, Gary Becker, was convicted of attempted child seduction, child pornography, and other child sex crimes.Democratic Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned after multiple accusations of child sexual abuse were levied against him including by family members.Democratic activist and aid to NYC Mayor De Blasio, Jacob Schwartz was arrested on possession of 3,000+ child pornographic images.Democratic activist and actor, Russell Simmons, was sued based on an allegation of sexual assault where he coerced an underage model for sex.Democratic Governor of Oregon, Neil Goldschmidt, after being caught by a newspaper, publicly admitted to having a past sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl after the statute of limitations on the rape charges had expired.Democratic Illinois Congressman, Mel Reynolds resigned from Congress after he was convicted of statutory rape of a 16-year-old campaign volunteer.Democratic New York Congressman, Fred Richmond, was arrested in Washington D.C. for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy.Democratic activist, donor, and director, Roman Polanski, fled the country after pleading guilty to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. Democrats and Hollywood actors still defend him to this day, including, Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton and Monica Bellucci.Democratic State Senator from Alaska, George Jacko, was found guilty of sexual harassment of an underage legislative page.Democratic State Representative candidate for Colorado, Andrew Myers, was convicted for possession of child pornography and enticing children.Democratic Illinois Congressman, Gus Savage was investigated by the Democrat-controlled House Committee on Ethics for attempting to rape an underage female Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire. The Committee concluded that while the events did occur his apology was sufficient and took no further action.Democratic activist, donor, and spokesperson for Subway, Jared Fogle, was convicted of distribution and receipt of child pornography and traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.Democratic State Department official, Carl Carey, under Hillary Clinton's state department, was arrested on ten counts of child porn possession.Democratic Maine Assistant Attorney General, James Cameron, was sentenced to just over 15 years in federal prison for seven counts of child porn possession, receipt and transmission.Democratic State Department official, Daniel Rosen, under Hillary Clinton's state department, was arrested and charged with allegedly soliciting sex from a minor over the internet.Democratic State Department official, James Cafferty, pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of child pornography.Democratic radio host, Bernie Ward, plead guilty to one count of sending child pornography over the Internet.Democratic deputy attorney general from California, Raymond Liddy, was arrested for possession of child pornography.Source: https://www.nukepro.net/2020/08/you-thought-epstein-was-bad-list-of.html
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VIDEO-reddpill on Twitter: "How do you expose a dictator, make them act like one. https://t.co/xYA9oaCIVb" / Twitter
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:31
reddpill : How do you expose a dictator, make them act like one. https://t.co/xYA9oaCIVb
Wed Aug 12 04:15:50 +0000 2020
Anna #KBF #NOMASK : @_reddpill This bitch has to go
Thu Aug 13 12:29:54 +0000 2020
Michelle : @_reddpill EVIL THING
Thu Aug 13 12:25:01 +0000 2020
Which way Ireland? : @_reddpill That's one ugly looking man
Thu Aug 13 12:15:12 +0000 2020
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VIDEO-3m29sec-Rapper JPEGMAFIA Tells Us the Best Way to Wipe Out the Ultra-Rich | Noisey Questionnaire of Life - YouTube
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:53
VIDEO-Xi Jinping Sends Veiled Message About "Emperor" of China Plans; TikTok Using Banned Method to Spy - YouTube
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:44
VIDEO-Coronavirus: Frozen food linked to latest New Zealand outbreak | 7NEWS - YouTube
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:33
VIDEO-Victoria coronavirus update - August 13: State takes over aged care; CBD ghost town | 7NEWS - YouTube
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:26
VIDEO-Study: Youth who vape are at much higher risk of COVID-19 - YouTube
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 10:58
VIDEO-'Get the f**k out!': WATCH Chicago residents confront BLM protesters in tense standoff '-- RT USA News
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:05
Residents of Chicago's Englewood community angrily accosted a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who showed up to demonstrate at a police station, where hostilities between locals and activists nearly boiled over into a brawl.
A BLM protest march from Englewood to Chicago's 7th district police station on Tuesday ended in a showdown with community members, at times devolving into shouting matches as locals insisted the demonstrators were giving their neighborhood a bad name.
''If you ain't from Englewood, get the f**k out of here!'' longtime South Side resident Darryl Smith was heard shouting at the protesters, who he said were not from the community.
''They were'... gonna come to Englewood, antagonizing our police, and then when they go back home to the North Side in Indiana, our police are bitter and they're beating up our little black boys,'' Smith told reporters on the scene, adding ''we don't need any outsiders coming and antagonizing.''
A photojournalist with the Chicago Sun-Times documented some of the march's more tense moments, including when a heated argument nearly escalated to a physical confrontation.
An organizer of the protest, which was put together by members of Black Lives Matter and advocacy group Good Kids Mad City, told a local news outlet that some demonstrators decided to leave following conflict with residents, saying they felt ''unsafe.'' Other organizers maintained they were from the local area, but said they said they decided not to participate in the rally due to ''agitators.''
The protest came days after the police shooting of a 20-year-old suspect who reportedly opened fire on officers, which kicked off a spree of looting in downtown Chicago over the weekend. Smith said the unrest had been unfairly blamed on Englewood, and that the protesters were only feeding that perception.
''A lot of people are saying the looting downtown sparked from Englewood. We're not having that. It didn't spark from Englewood,'' he said. ''Those [looters] were opportunists, and we're tired of Englewood getting a black eye for any and everything that happens.''
Some 400 officers were deployed to the downtown shopping district to quell the looting on Sunday, making over 100 arrests amid what Mayor Lori Lightfoot dubbed ''an assault on our city.''
Also on rt.com Divisive martyrs: Chicago's latest excuse for mass looting marks another dubious case to undermine protest movement's credibility Like this story? Share it with a friend!
VIDEO-Black Lives Matter Holds Rally Supporting Individuals Arrested in Chicago Looting Monday '' NBC Chicago
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:56
Membersof Black Lives Matter held a solidarity rally on Monday night with the morethan 100 individuals who were arrested after a night of looting and unrest inChicago.
Therally was held at the South Loop police station where organizers say thoseindividuals are currently being held in custody.
''I don'tcare if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy's or a Nike store, becausethat makes sure that person eats,'' Ariel Atkins, a BLM organizer, said. ''Thatmakes sure that person has clothes.''
BlackLives Matter Chicago organized the rally after overnight unrest throughout thecity, with police saying that more than 100 individuals were taken into custodyfor a variety of offenses, including looting.
''Thatis reparations,'' Atkins said. ''Anything they wanted to take, they can take itbecause these businesses have insurance.''
Chicagopolice believe the looting began after officers shot a man in the city'sEnglewood neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. Authorities say the man, identifiedas 20-year-old Latrell Allen, had a gun and fired at police before theyreturned fire, striking and wounding him.
Allennow faces attempted murder charges after the incident.
''Thisperson fired shots at our officers,'' CPD Superintendent David Brown said. ''Officersreturned fire and struck the individual.''
BLMorganizers are criticizing the police narrative surrounding the shooting, pointingout that none of the officers involved in the shooting had body cameras.
''Policesay a lot of things,'' Atkins said.
Investigatorsconfirmed the lack of body cameras Monday, and are asking the public for helpin tracking down witness video of the incident.
Evenstill, Atkins and other organizers say that the entire incident points todeep-seeded issues that remain within the Chicago Police Department.
''Eventhough the Department of Justice said with the consent decree they are nolonger allowed to chase people, they decided they were going to chase, and theyshot this young man multiple times,'' Atkins said.
Asthe rally continues, police are setting up barriers and raising bridges indowntown Chicago in an attempt to prevent more looting in the Central BusinessDistrict. Expressway exits are also closed, according to Illinois State Police,and CTA trains and buses are running limited routes.
Chicagopolice say at least 13 officers were injured during confrontations between lawenforcement and looters Sunday night and into Monday.
VIDEO-Tyler LaRiviere on Twitter: "Community members continue to ask protesters to leave and ask "where are you when a baby's shot" #Chicago #ChicagoProtests https://t.co/RupqAzvLUv" / Twitter
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 22:55
Tyler LaRiviere : Community members continue to ask protesters to leave and ask "where are you when a baby's shot" #Chicago'... https://t.co/XzKhyk72F3
Tue Aug 11 23:17:37 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Aaron Rupar on Twitter: ""Something is going to happen before the election and he's not even going to be on the ticket" -- Jeanine Pirro predicts something horrible will happen to Joe Biden in the next 2+ months https://t.co/dVQ3ImHfb3" / Twitter
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 21:54
Aaron Rupar : "Something is going to happen before the election and he's not even going to be on the ticket" -- Jeanine Pirro pre'... https://t.co/JE1vsPrPdC
Wed Aug 12 21:43:35 +0000 2020
Ruth Greenwood : @atrupar Boy, @foxnewstalk and @JudgeJeanine are really scared they're going to lose this election and be the laugh'... https://t.co/GZIdC7sCsC
Wed Aug 12 21:54:29 +0000 2020
Albert Camus : @atrupar They're talking about a coordinated interference by Ukraine
Wed Aug 12 21:54:24 +0000 2020
Dianna Bee🌊 : @atrupar @Acyn Jeanine must have finished her box of wine early today. She's nuttier than a pecan tree.
Wed Aug 12 21:54:19 +0000 2020
Mel ðŸŽðŸŽ¶ðŸŒ>> : @atrupar Projection again?
Wed Aug 12 21:54:17 +0000 2020
GVA : @atrupar I can't say such a thing? She's as slipshod as the grifter don't be duped!
Wed Aug 12 21:54:14 +0000 2020
sandy browne : @atrupar Absolutely NO ONE wants to hear from this Ghastly Pirro woman, after hearing from two brilliant leaders..'... https://t.co/uytSJ1uWOy
Wed Aug 12 21:54:12 +0000 2020
Miss Anthrope 🍑WEAR A MASK🍑 No Lists : @atrupar In the green room.... https://t.co/4vHS4jBL6N
Wed Aug 12 21:54:12 +0000 2020
ElycePhil3:10 : @atrupar These people are evil. What more need be said?
Wed Aug 12 21:54:10 +0000 2020
miz2 : @atrupar Is that a threat?
Wed Aug 12 21:54:10 +0000 2020
Dylan Frank : @atrupar Wow.
Wed Aug 12 21:54:09 +0000 2020
Barbara Pettibone : @atrupar Sounds like a threat to me.
Wed Aug 12 21:54:09 +0000 2020
Dementia Donald tRump : @atrupar I heard that Jeanine Pirro straps two boxes of "Red" on her back for everyone of her shows. Long straws.
Wed Aug 12 21:54:08 +0000 2020
RN Girl : @atrupar @JudgeJeanine meant Pence. Pence will be dumped. Like one of Trump's wives and hussies.
Wed Aug 12 21:54:05 +0000 2020
MM Wilson : @atrupar It's that stupid fake Ukraine phone baloney stunt they're pulling/the Durham junk. Morons will fall for it.
Wed Aug 12 21:54:03 +0000 2020
CarolinaGirl : @atrupar It's a scare tactic!
Wed Aug 12 21:54:03 +0000 2020
Rafaella77 : @atrupar Sounds like a threat from @JudgeJeanine Sounds like a threat
Wed Aug 12 21:54:00 +0000 2020
Adejumobi Johnson : @atrupar Arrest her. @FBI @SecretService
Wed Aug 12 21:53:55 +0000 2020
Ashley Lauren : @atrupar Evidence of premeditation
Wed Aug 12 21:53:55 +0000 2020
Ginger Jo : @atrupar That's just wishful thinking on their part.
Wed Aug 12 21:53:50 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Tyler LaRiviere on Twitter: "From earlier Daryl Smith a Englewood resident of 51 years, and community activits tells reporters why he doesn't want protesters in his neighborhood. #Chicago #ChicagoProtests https://t.co/5PepJ68Y5C" / Twitter
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 21:26
Tyler LaRiviere : From earlier Daryl Smith a Englewood resident of 51 years, and community activits tells reporters why he doesn't wa'... https://t.co/XKFS5NB4gE
Wed Aug 12 01:25:06 +0000 2020
Tracey Burnett Cole : @TylerLaRiviere Mr. Smith has sense! ðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒHe has property and pays his own bills, I bet ya! ðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒðŸŒ
Wed Aug 12 21:04:32 +0000 2020
missyice : @TylerLaRiviere Maybe Chicago should've elected Daryl Smith as mayor...on 2nd thought there's no maybe... HEY CHICA'... https://t.co/RSL3q121nt
Wed Aug 12 21:03:00 +0000 2020
Aaron Moore : @TylerLaRiviere I think BLM is really out to get black folks killed.. I really do... its almost diabolical
Wed Aug 12 20:55:45 +0000 2020
VIDEO-9mins-Rose Kiore Exposes UN Agenda 21 - The New World Order - 'Sustainable Development' - YouTube
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 14:14
VIDEO-Jordan Peterson - Equity and Equality of Opportunity - YouTube
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 14:05
VIDEO-5mins-Coronavirus Australia: Chief Health Officer distances himself from security guards call as state records 77 new cases
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 13:54
"It [the decision] wasn't mine , I haven't been involved in the governance and operation," Professor Sutton told reporters on Thursday.
"But it was jointly oversighted by emergency management within the Department of Health and Human Services, Emergency Management Victoria and Department of Jobs Precinct and Regions," he said.
Professor Sutton said the management of hotel quarantine was a "large logistical exercise" and there was a team of infection control experts, on which he sits, that was assisting with training to prevent future outbreaks.
"There is an inquiry that's up coming," he said. "I think it is entirely appropriate that the judicial inquiry goes to all of the issues that might be at play here."
Professor Sutton also confirmed there was now evidence suggesting virus transmission had occurred at schools, including cases of children being infected by other children.
"There has been some student-to-student transmission and also teacher-to-teacher transmission at some schools," he told reporters.
Professor Sutton said a surge in community transmission in Victoria meant more students were getting infected, but he stressed more families were being tested in hotspots and this meant more children with the virus would be detected.
"We're now obviously engaging with a lot of families, getting testing of kids at a household level, and so probably picking up cases that would otherwise have gone unnoticed previously," he said.
"Kids are not as likely to transmit. That's pretty clear now. They're less of a priority for testing, but I think it is important that we enable testing in children as much as possible."
Professor Sutton said there were not many new cases outside the 10 postcodes that were placed under restrictions on Thursday.
"They are largely in the hot zones, as it were, but not exclusively," he said.
Professor Sutton said there were now 415 active cases in Victoria, an increase of 45 on the previous day.
"Perhaps not unexpectedly, there are now 20 patients hospitalised, an increase of five since yesterday, including four in intensive care, which is an increase of two," he said. On Monday there were nine people with COVID-19 in hospital, including one in intensive care.
"There are now 332 total cumulative cases with an unknown source that indicate community transmission."
Professor Sutton said the current level of transmission could result in more deaths.
"I'm afraid that's absolutely a possibility when you've got significant transmission, when you've got 70-odd cases every day, there is absolutely an expectation that some of those people will die," he said.
"That's why it's incumbent on all of us to be minimising our interactions with others."
The news comes as 10 Melbourne postcodes were placed in lockdown on Thursday after a spate of cases in the city's north and west.
Professor Sutton said he hoped other postcodes would not face restrictions, but conceded the numbers were worrying and that the situation would be assessed weekly.
"I get some comfort from stabilisation in numbers, but it is never an easy place to sit when you've got 415 active cases, all of which are infectious," he said.
"Obviously, we've identified them, they're in isolation, their close contacts are in quarantine, but it's an indication of a very large number of people who have acquired it, which means there are other infections still to be found out there and they're all at risk of transmitting to others if we're not doing the right thing.
"So the restrictions are in place, even though they apply to those restricted postcodes. We need to bear in mind that it's something for all of us to do, especially across Melbourne, but really the whole of Victoria."
Professor Sutton said the number of tests has increased by 26,320 to 856,591 since Wednesday.
Today's numbers included a number related to schools, raising questions again about whether they should reopen after the school holidays.
There are no immediate plans to shutter schools and revert to remote learning in hotspot suburbs, but Professor Sutton said it was being reviewed "on a day-to-day basis."
"I want to see both that we're turning transmission around, but also that we don't have such levels of community transmission with students becoming infected that our resourcing is all focused on response to cases in schools, because we do need to focus our activity on all of the transmission across the community," he said.
Sign up to our Coronavirus Update newsletterGet our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the day's crucial developments at a glance, the numbers you need to know and what our readers are saying. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald's newsletter here and The Age's here.
Melissa Cunningham is The Age's health reporter.
Mathew Dunckley is digital editor at The Age. He was previously business editor for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Based in our Melbourne newsroom, Mathew has almost 20 years experience as a journalist and editor.
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VIDEO-Coronavirus: Another dark day in Victoria's fight against COVID-19 | 7NEWS - YouTube
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 13:37
VIDEO-Bill Gates: ''It's Never Been Clear Who's in Charge'' | Amanpour and Company - YouTube
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VIDEO-Coronavirus may spread much farther than 6 feet in indoor spaces with poor ventilation - CBS News
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:58
As students head back to school, parents and teachers are increasingly concerned about how the coronavirus could spread '-- especially in buildings with inadequate ventilation.
John Lednicky studies viruses at the University of Florida. "There was a lot of controversy about SARS-CoV-2 being transmitted or not being transmitted through airborne routes," Lednicky told CBS News.
Analyzing air samples in a hospital room, Lednicky's team found infectious virus can spread through the air '-- up to 16 feet away from an infected patient '-- through tiny droplets called aerosols.
"Oh, this is the smoking gun everyone has been asking for!" said Linsey Marr, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Virginia Tech who studies how viruses travel through the air.
"We're talking about a virus that is present in very small droplets, tiny ones that we call aerosols that can travel much farther through the air and remain in the air for minutes to hours at a time," Marr explained.
That's important because, until recently, attention has mainly focused on respiratory spread of the virus within 6 feet.
Aerosols can be produced just by talking. A classroom simulation shows how the spread of the virus is significantly cut down simply by placing ventilation near a teacher.
"Once we acknowledge that virus is transmitting through aerosols, we can then take steps to address that and to reduce that risk," said Marr.
VIDEO-Message from a Hollywood insider - YouTube
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:37
VIDEO-Juanita Broaddrick on Twitter: "Dear Hollywood...... Be very afraid." / Twitter
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:36
Juanita Broaddrick : Dear Hollywood...... Be very afraid. https://t.co/oHs7nztEQl
Mon Aug 10 19:13:27 +0000 2020
VIDEO-HCQ a Discussion on Freedom in Medicine - YouTube
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 16:50
VIDEO-Krystal Ball on Twitter: "Reaction to the innuendo against Alex Morse perfectly demonstrates how some progressives and all liberals have come to put feelings, symbols and personal self-actualization over any project of real political change. FULL: h
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 16:45
Krystal Ball : Reaction to the innuendo against Alex Morse perfectly demonstrates how some progressives and all liberals have come'... https://t.co/2dN8rGuiyq
Tue Aug 11 15:07:04 +0000 2020
Pablo, The Octopus : @krystalball Looks like someone really hates Ben Shapiro! 🅠Not sure why he's relevant to this sh*t show.
Tue Aug 11 16:37:43 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Portland cops handcuff female protester, get asked if female cop is there for pat-down. Male officer quips, 'How do you know that I don't identify as a female?'
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 16:32
Portland police have endured literally months of nightly rioting that left-wing politicians and reporters routinely brushed off as "mostly peaceful protests." They've been getting pelted with rocks, explosives, and other projectiles.
They've put up with physical violence from Antifa and Black Lives Matter militants whose latest escapade was trying to burn down a police precinct '-- and splashing paint on an elderly woman who dared to stand up to the mob.
Image source: Twitter video screenshotSo with that, one Portland cop apparently couldn't resist any longer.
What are the details?Early Sunday morning before the sun rose, a freelance journalist noticed Portland's finest had handcuffed a female protester.
Video was running as the obligatory pat-down commenced, and the journalist '-- also a woman '-- grew suspicious as it apparently looked as though only male officers were on hand.
"Do you have a female officer present while you're patting her down?" the journalist asked.
"No, we don't," an officer replied.
Then at that moment, a different officer chimed in with a comeback for the ages amid the rioting: "How do you know that I don't identify as a female?"
Laughter quickly ensued among his colleagues, all of whom were shrouded in darkness.
That didn't sit too well with a male near the action. "F***in' smart ass," he said.
"We hate you!" another guy yelled at cops as they walked the woman into the back of the police van.
How did observers react?While a handful of commenters were aghast at the officer's sarcastic take on gender identity, other folks were delighted by the cop's pushback against woke culture:
"Brilliant. Love this officer. Use their own rules against them," one commenter said."This is a great example of how the world the progressive left is creating for themselves will become very uncomfortable," one person wrote. "You can't rely on gender norms if you're an advocate for no gender norms.""Woke political religion has worked hard to create this situation for years now," another commenter opined. "Woke dogma states there are not even biological differences between male or females. That anyone can identify as anything... at any time. Wokeists didn't really think this out very well.""It's a fair question according to most leftists," another noted. "Did you ask or did you just assume because of the officer's looks?""You got the answer you deserved," one person replied."And that folks is a 'shazaam,'" another observer said.Watch BlazeTV live and on demand on any device, anywhere, anytime.
VIDEO-Trump: ''This May be the Last Time You'll See Me for a While'' '' Summit News
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 16:16
Election loser Hillary Clinton has a fresh Trump conspiracy theory'... the President's executive orders to counter the economic disaster caused by the pandemic are just a ''stunt'' to make himself look good, and to do away with Social Security and Medicare.
With economic collapse imminent, and Congress stalling, Trump took matters into his own hands, and issued orders to pump almost $2 trillion into the economy to support Americans in need now.
The new orders will:
Provide a payroll tax holiday to Americans earning less than $100,000 per year.Extend unemployment benefits by $400 per weekDefer student loan repayments through the end of the yearExtend protections against evictionsPresident @realDonaldTrump gives an update on payroll tax, enhanced unemployment benefits, student loan payments, and the eviction moratorium: pic.twitter.com/5tOLVioJBw
'-- The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 8, 2020
Trump argued that Democrats plan to raise taxes will kill the economy:
Sleepy Joe Biden just agreed with the Radical Left Democrats to raise Taxes by Three Trillion Dollars. Everyone will pay '' Will kill your Stocks, 401k's, and the ECONOMY. BIG CRASH! #MAGA
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2020
Nancy Pelosi called Trump's actions ''unconstitutional slop'':
President Trump's meager executive actions do little for working families. Republicans must come back to the negotiating table, meet us halfway and work toward a compromise that will truly help American workers and families. #FamiliesFirst #FoxNewsSunday pic.twitter.com/vAvoLnKIoa
'-- Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 9, 2020
Then Hillary Clinton dropped by wither her own theories:
''It's a stunt. There's no doubt about it.'' Clinton crowed.
''Most likely, as even Republican senators have said, unconstitutional, bypassing Congress, trying to spend money, he has no authority to direct. But it's also meant to be a big diversion from the hard work the Congress should be engaged in to provide the kind of relief that tens of millions of Americans need.'' Clinton continued.
She further argued that because the pandemic is ongoing (which is Trump's fault), ''we can't act like it is back to normal. People are still unemployed in great numbers. Small businesses have been shuttered, are gasping for help. so the Congress needs to act.''
Clinton expended her conspiracy theory, adding that ''Basically, [Trump] signaled that he is going after Social Security and Medicare.''
''I don't know if he understood that. You never know what he knows and doesn't know about how the government operates. But basically, he was talking about ending the financial contributions we all make into Social Security and Medicare through the payroll tax,'' Hillary claimed.
''He doesn't really have the authority to do what he tried,'' she continued, adding ''he sent a signal to voters that, you know, if you were unfortunately unlucky enough to have him be president again, you can watch what he is going to do to social security and medicare. It's going to hurt not just elderly Americans but every American.''
So, according to Hillary, by pumping trillions into the economy immediately in the face of imminent economic collapse, Trump's real agenda is to destroy social security.
VIDEO-Hollywood protestors stormed CNN with Pizzagate & QAnon signs - Save The Children! - YouTube
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 15:45
VIDEO-Dr. Ashish Jha: 'We may find ourselves looking at a lockdown' | Boston.com
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 15:36
Mark Gartsbeyn, Video Producer
August 10, 2020 | 12:39 PM
As more and more children test positive for coronavirus, Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, returned to Good Morning America to discuss the proper way to reopen schools. He spoke with Amy Robach Monday.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over 97,000 children tested positive for coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a marked increase well before the start of the school year. Nearly 340,000 kids have tested positive over the course of the pandemic so far, which represents nearly 9% of total nationwide cases. Hospitalizations and deaths continue to be very rare among children, however.
''Those numbers are a reminder that kids are not immune from this disease,'' Jha said. ''They obviously don't get as sick as adults do and that's really good news, but it's a reminder to me that we have to be careful as we think about schools and not turn this into a political issue.''
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that schools in his state are allowed to reopen for in-person learning in the fall and that it's up to local districts to determine how to act. Jha mentioned several factors that he'd carefully consider before choosing a school for his kids if he was a parent in New York.
''I'd want to make sure that there was a plan for making sure all the kids have masks on, that there is reasonable amount of distancing in schools,'' Jha said. ''I'd also want to look at simple things like, can you open up the windows and could you hold classes outside? Anything that improves ventilation, I think would make a very big difference and I would really push for all of those factors before I made a final decision.''
Jha also recently led a digital conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert. Jha told Good Morning America he agreed with Fauci's perspective on how to proceed in the fall.
''If we have a targeted policy in the hot zones, we really pull back on indoor gatherings and get everybody to wear masks and make other policy changes across the nation, we can head into the fall and be in much better shape,'' Jha said. ''If we ignore that basic public health stuff that we've all been talking about, then it is going to be a really hard fall and winter and we may find ourselves looking at a lockdown, but I think all of us would love to avoid that if possible.''
Watch the full Good Morning America clip with Dr. Ashish Jha below.
Influx in coronavirus cases among children ahead of back to school. Dr. Ashish Jha speaks with our @arobach about the recent report from the AAP and explains the ongoing debate about sending kids back to school amid the pandemic. https://t.co/cWeWYT1hSB pic.twitter.com/VT0hSBhjzw
'-- Good Morning America (@GMA) August 10, 2020
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VIDEO-Daniel Andrews at the heart of 'biggest public policy failure in Australian history' | Sky News Australia
Tue, 11 Aug 2020 15:18
Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien has told Sky News, Premier Daniel Andrews is at the heart of what has been without doubt the ''biggest public policy failure in Australian history''.Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed another 471 virus cases and eight deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 170 since the beginning of the pandemic.When asked about the hotel quarantine bungle, the Premier said he would ''own those errors''. ''I will be accountable for those errors'... mistakes have been made and I'm determined to get those answers,'' he said.However, the opposition leader said the premier's sentiments were not enough.''We shouldn't have to spend three million on an inquiry for the premier to tell Victorians the truth,'' Mr O'Brien said.Image: Getty
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VIDEO-No Agenda Promotion - YouTube
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 23:32
VIDEO - White House Briefing | C-SPAN.org
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 18:13
August 10, 2020 2020-08-10T13:19:04-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/0ea/20200810131947001_hd.jpg White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany fields questions from reporters on a range of issues, including President Trump's executive actions on unemployment benefits and evictions.White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany fields questions from reporters on a range of issues, including President Trump's executive actions on unemployment benefits and evictions.
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
Related Video July 31, 2020 White House Press Secretary Holds BriefingWhite House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a briefing. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows joined to give an update ongoing'...
July 21, 2020 White House BriefingWhite House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a briefing at the White House today, on issues including'...
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July 6, 2020 White House Press Secretary Holds BriefingWhite House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a briefing with reporters. She took questions on a number of topics, including'...
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 16:40
VIDEO-SkyNews on Twitter: "Labour MP Dawn Butler says it's important to have a conversation about how black people are treated by the police in the UK. Get more on this story here: https://t.co/0hUt0OVKAn https://t.co/416Erbs1hv" / Twitter
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:51
SkyNews : Labour MP Dawn Butler says it's important to have a conversation about how black people are treated by the police i'... https://t.co/IeYYAK0y0J
Mon Aug 10 15:30:00 +0000 2020
Alan DG : @SkyNews Still banging on about this story Sky news ðŸðŸ´ðŸ´ðŸ´ðŸ´ðŸ´ðŸ´ðŸ´ðŸ´ðŸ´
Mon Aug 10 15:51:10 +0000 2020
🇬🇧Worlds on Fire....''‚¸ : @SkyNews https://t.co/6Iu86VSkhn
Mon Aug 10 15:50:42 +0000 2020
karl : @SkyNews Can't wait for truth to come out @DawnButlerBrent resign now and save face @SkyNews #FakeNews
Mon Aug 10 15:50:28 +0000 2020
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VIDEO-Australians are terrified as 'draconian' measures continue: Alan Jones - YouTube
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Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:20
VIDEO-"There Were a Lot of Republicans Involved" - Steven Schrage - The Man Who Introduced Deep State Spy Stefan Halper to Carter Page Holds First Interview (VIDEO)
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:19
Steven Schrage joined Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures this morning.
Schrage worked with FBI spy Stefan Halper for years.Steven introduced Stefan Halper to Carter Page back in 2016 while Halper was spying on the Trump campaign.
On Sunday he spoke with Maria Bartiromo in his first interview.
Schrage told Maria, ''Halper was not that engaged up to the point he crossed paths with Page and Christopher Steele's former MI6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove'...''
TRENDING: Black Lives Matter Pulls Gun on Truck Driver, Then Mob Hurls Bottles at Vehicles who Want to Get Through Their Roadblock (VIDEO)
Schrage said he was surprised that Stefan Halper was making over a half a million dollars for writing reports for the government.
Schrage said the key part, the real smoking gun in this is, ''All these tentacles lead back to the ''small group'' including Stefan Halper in SpyGate, Christopher Steele at the center of Russiagate, Stefan Halper's FBI handler. None of the Senate has subpoenaed or called these people to talk in four years. I think that is the real smoking gun. How are these people being protected?''
Schrage brought an audiotape interview he had with Halper back in early 2017. This was just days before a huge hit piece was published by the Washington Post deep state stenographers. Schrage thought it was interesting that Halper knew about General Flynn's upcoming problems before anything was published in the news.
Steven Schrage also added that Halper bragged that David Ignatius was one of his press media contacts. Schrage added, ''So it seems to me that this is something that needs to be investigated.''
Schrage then added that he believes there were quite a few Republicans involved in leaking these damning smears against the Trump campaign.
Via Sunday Morning Futures:
VIDEO-Trump fires TVA CEO but then changes his mind | localmemphis.com
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 13:56
President Trump fires Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Jeff Lyash Monday but then changes his mind later in the week
MEMPHIS, Tennessee '-- In Friday's Ransom Note: reversal of fortunes.
More than 100 contract workers for the Tennessee Valley Authority won't be fired after all.
Monday President Trump fired the TVA's board chair and another board member --and threatened to fire the rest of the board and the ceo-- if they didn't hire those workers back. The President was upset the jobs were being outsourced to foreign workers, and it fit well into his "America first" message.
So Thursday TVA CEO Jeff Lyash and acting chairman John Ryder, who is from Memphis, got on an airplane -- probably one of the TVA's private jets -- flew to D.C. and made nice with the administration.
Then came the groveling news release. "We were wrong," said Lyash. "we didn't fully understand the impact on our employees," he added.
But what about Lyash? Monday Trump was also critical of his $8.1 million income, called it "ridiculous," "a disgrace," and "a deep swamp thing."
But apparently Trump is now willing to overlook that. He got the win on the workers and Lyash also won big. The highest paid worker in the federal government still has his job, too.
We appreciate and support the @WhiteHouse commitment to preserving and growing US jobs. TVA supports this commitment and effective immediately, we are rescinding all involuntary reduction-in-force notices that occurred in 2020 in our IT organization. https://t.co/Mf4CdGUwF4
'-- Tennessee Valley Authority (@TVAnews) August 6, 2020
VIDEO-Ask Dr. Drew with Scott Adams: Hydroxychloroquine, COVID-19, Addiction & More - YouTube
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 13:42
VIDEO-Trolls Doll Pulled From Shelves After Complaints of Inappropriate Feature | Complex
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 13:40
Hasbro has discontinued a Trolls doll amid complaints that it promoted child sex abuse.
As pointed out by CNN, the toy in question is the Trolls World Tour Giggle 'n Sing Poppy Troll doll, which "giggles 3 different ways when she's tickled [and] sings a fun version of the song. 'Trolls Just Want to Have Fun.'" Innocent enough, right? Well, not according to the discovery of one particular feature on the doll and an online petition, which claims it "is conditioning our children to think pedophilia is OK."
The Change.org petition was launched shortly after a Utah mother named Jamie Nelson Cornaby shared a Facebook video in which she analyzed the doll her daughter had received as a gift. Cornaby points out that there is a button on the toy's underside that makes inappropriate giggling and "gasping" noises when pressed.
"As you all know, stuff that's been going on in the world about the sex trafficking in kids and things that are thrown in our kids' faces to kind of groom them and make them kind of a little bit more oblivious to things that are really happening," she said in the video. "... There are some things where I thought, maybe, you know, that you like are naive about stuff that's going on but maybe its never happened to you. And you're like, really, are they really grooming our kids? Sorry, but I think they are. Because you touch privates and she makes inappropriate sounds. Why? Why does a little girl need that? She doesn't and actually as a parent that makes me quite mad."
In wake of the petition, which had received more than 324,000 signatures as of Friday night, Hasbro confirmed it was pulling the Poppy toy from its shelves.
"This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate," Julie Duffy, Hasbro's senior vice president for global communications, told CNN. "This was not intentional, and we are happy to provide consumers with a replacement Poppy doll of similar value through our Consumer Care team. We are in the process of removing the item for purchase."
VIDEO-HBO's Maher Slams ex-Clinton Aide On Live Show: "Horny Bill Clinton" Spotted On Epstein's Orgy Island | Zero Hedge
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 05:11
"What do we do with the Clintons now?" HBO's Bill Maher questioned, describing Hillary but especially Bill as a "big distraction" for the Democrats ahead of the November election.
But former Clinton White House adviser Paul Begala balked, to which Maher immediately pointed out that alleged Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre said she witnessed Bill Clinton at the island along with ''two young girls'' there also.
Maher insisted that the Clintons remain a liability for the Democratic Party, not letting Begala ingore the question. At that point the interview with the now CNN commentator got awkward as Maher brought the issue of Bill Clinton's presence on Epstein's 'orgy island' front and center. Here's the key segment:
The HBO Real Time host then alluded to "Bill Clinton, a horny guy, on sex island...":
"Now, Bill Clinton. People are saying that there are witnesses who saw him on Jeffrey Epstein's sex island," Maher began. "Obviously, it's denied."
Begala, who served as a White House adviser during Clinton's administration, shook his head in disapproval -- but Maher doubled down.
"You shake your head like, 'Oh that's impossible! Bill Clinton, a horny guy, on sex island? Ridiculous!'" Maher mocked.
"Look, it's possible," emphasized in what was a clearly uncomfortable moment for ex-Clinton aide Begala.
Maher has long argued that it's better for the DNC if the Clintons both stayed away from the convention and kept a very low profile amidst multiple raging controversies, especially the Epstein saga.
"My question is, you know, [Clinton] has assets and he has ... things that are not quite assets," Maher questioned. "And same with Hillary. What do the Democrats '-- what should they do?"
The brief exchange from the Friday night Real Time show generated a number of headlines highlighting the clip, given also the major networks have appeared to conveniently and intentionally ignore the explosive allegations contained in recently unsealed court documents from 2011, centered on Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre's testimony.
VIDEO-'Internal Economic Circulation' Will Send China Back 40 Years | Epoch News - YouTube
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:49
VIDEO-Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Chicago Democrat La Shawn Ford calls for abolishing history classes and the removal of current history books. He claims they cause white privilege and racism. https://t.co/rwAXtHSsip" / Twitter
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:42
Ian Miles Cheong : Chicago Democrat La Shawn Ford calls for abolishing history classes and the removal of current history books. He cl'... https://t.co/C9ojKDXLvt
Sun Aug 09 23:11:35 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Steven Schrage With Maria Bartiromo - YouTube
Mon, 10 Aug 2020 04:17
VIDEO-Julio Rosas on Twitter: ".@brianstelter: "When you see entire media companies essentially exist to tear down Joe Biden, is there an equivalent of that on the left, tearing down Trump?" @emarvelous: "There really isn't." https://t.co/JlM
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 20:16
Julio Rosas : .@brianstelter: "When you see entire media companies essentially exist to tear down Joe Biden, is there an equivale'... https://t.co/5GgtN3JVF1
Sun Aug 09 15:43:03 +0000 2020
Anthony Garcia : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous How out of touch? They all chirp the same script every day.
Sun Aug 09 20:15:24 +0000 2020
Bill : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous https://t.co/jfuPlZh0yL
Sun Aug 09 20:14:59 +0000 2020
Michael Hall : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Like my grandmother used to say BLESS HIS HEART.
Sun Aug 09 20:14:18 +0000 2020
Top Cat °Ÿ‡º°Ÿ‡¸ : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous °Ÿ…°Ÿ¤£°Ÿ‚°Ÿ…°Ÿ¤£°Ÿ‚°Ÿ…°Ÿ¤£°Ÿ‚
Sun Aug 09 20:13:03 +0000 2020
Michelle : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Her Twitter account @emarvelous and the comments to her are unbelieveable!'... https://t.co/KgihaOF0N7
Sun Aug 09 20:12:55 +0000 2020
Kenny : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous "Have we reached the ultimate stage of absurdity where some people are hel'... https://t.co/UAbuSCXLhJ
Sun Aug 09 20:12:54 +0000 2020
Tet, banned in Australia : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Hey @emarvelous , I'd like to introduce you to @MeidasTouch ,'... https://t.co/llY70lQ0Wg
Sun Aug 09 20:12:54 +0000 2020
Joe Bailey : @Julio_Rosas11 @MZHemingway @brianstelter @emarvelous CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR just to name a few of Biden su'... https://t.co/C8JkbTq6kG
Sun Aug 09 20:12:51 +0000 2020
Michael Wurl : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous And therein lies the problem...The left's self awareness is broken. https://t.co/3BWQ9LQt64
Sun Aug 09 20:12:44 +0000 2020
Turtle Dove : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous just more proof that there are both some blacks and whites with the same'... https://t.co/e0nxfENp6x
Sun Aug 09 20:12:43 +0000 2020
The changeless changer : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous °Ÿ‘°Ÿ‘°Ÿ‘°Ÿ‘°Ÿ‘
Sun Aug 09 20:12:33 +0000 2020
Jessica (Fletcher) O'Donnell : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous i refuse to believe this is real life
Sun Aug 09 20:12:30 +0000 2020
Turtle Dove : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous just more proof that there are both some blacks and whites with the same'... https://t.co/wxdcl8RIp8
Sun Aug 09 20:12:21 +0000 2020
Tao : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous The Dems have completely lost it. Quite literally.
Sun Aug 09 20:12:16 +0000 2020
Alex Poorhippo : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous 2 + 2 = 5, up is down, bad is good, men are women etc.
Sun Aug 09 20:12:09 +0000 2020
Tired of all of you! : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous The funny thing about this is their blindness to their own hate and non st'... https://t.co/FV81eNjFDh
Sun Aug 09 20:12:00 +0000 2020
Turtle Dove : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous just more proof that there are both some blacks and whites with the same'... https://t.co/bhaCXQHSiu
Sun Aug 09 20:11:54 +0000 2020
TeknoAXE : @Julio_Rosas11 @willchamberlain @brianstelter @emarvelous https://t.co/UaOAuKs6G9
Sun Aug 09 20:11:54 +0000 2020
Nute Gunray : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous These people are completely delusional, lying or a combination of the two.
Sun Aug 09 20:11:43 +0000 2020
YearOfTheRooster : @Julio_Rosas11 @1NatOne @brianstelter @emarvelous °Ÿ‚°Ÿ‚°Ÿ‚°Ÿ‚They've been trying to rip Trump since before he took office'... https://t.co/V0QldRgN31
Sun Aug 09 20:10:53 +0000 2020
Ricky D : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Boy, the left really has no sense of irony do they?? Not a fucking clue..'... https://t.co/C5xHH0igfS
Sun Aug 09 20:10:07 +0000 2020
ifc : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous At least media companies are ALSO tearing down Creepy, Touchy Feely, Hair'... https://t.co/UpvRU77XAl
Sun Aug 09 20:09:58 +0000 2020
BrandEcks : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous CNN Chyron: Brian Stelter says there are no left wing media companies tea'... https://t.co/270R9ecvXd
Sun Aug 09 20:09:26 +0000 2020
WilsonFromFlorida : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous The choice ofJoe Biden is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Tear him down, please.
Sun Aug 09 20:09:03 +0000 2020
°Ÿ‘°Ÿ>> THE CLOWN SHOW : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Stelter is Phucking kidding right ???
Sun Aug 09 20:08:45 +0000 2020
Gary Sielski : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Just switch channels once in a while.
Sun Aug 09 20:08:33 +0000 2020
Joy Paris : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Is this idiot for real
Sun Aug 09 20:08:06 +0000 2020
Michael Earls : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Are they blind and deaf?
Sun Aug 09 20:07:30 +0000 2020
War Machine : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous What is stunning is that they actually believe this. If you call them on i'... https://t.co/gmdTxIJKcs
Sun Aug 09 20:07:27 +0000 2020
All in for the °Ÿ‡º°Ÿ‡¸ Anti-victimhood culture : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Its called Media Elite Patty Hearst Syndrome.
Sun Aug 09 20:07:27 +0000 2020
Freddy Mac : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous https://t.co/5rti4VbGQg
Sun Aug 09 20:07:20 +0000 2020
MANUEL PIMENTEL : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous The °Ÿ¤ show. They haven't realized no one watched #FakeNewsCNN °Ÿ‚
Sun Aug 09 20:06:55 +0000 2020
Nattydread207 : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Are you serious? You can't be serious... have you checked out @CNNPolitics'... https://t.co/q0G184YfgW
Sun Aug 09 20:06:40 +0000 2020
stitchinggal1967 : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous I don't know what y'all call CNN and MSNBC then.
Sun Aug 09 20:06:39 +0000 2020
David : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous https://t.co/09GGbrGIGu
Sun Aug 09 20:05:33 +0000 2020
LedFammaMFR : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous https://t.co/R6euwT76PA
Sun Aug 09 20:04:54 +0000 2020
Tired of all of you! : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Even every Democrat laughed out loud at this nonsense.
Sun Aug 09 20:04:47 +0000 2020
'… : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous °Ÿ‚
Sun Aug 09 20:03:26 +0000 2020
sol l : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Its like CNN forgets about it's own existence
Sun Aug 09 20:02:29 +0000 2020
Kev : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous If their was a minimum IQ that could be achieved, this is it.
Sun Aug 09 20:02:23 +0000 2020
Logic : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous https://t.co/jct8WXXpem
Sun Aug 09 20:02:22 +0000 2020
K°Ÿ†-- °Ÿ…±¸ : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Peak of pure insanity.
Sun Aug 09 20:02:12 +0000 2020
Brian V : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous This is the most hilariously obvious gaslighting I've ever seen.
Sun Aug 09 20:02:00 +0000 2020
Steve Easterling : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Is this a parody comedy sketch? Or are they just in an alternate universe?
Sun Aug 09 20:01:46 +0000 2020
Husker Cookie : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Are you edging kidding me https://t.co/14pIGr4zD2
Sun Aug 09 20:00:58 +0000 2020
Murphy : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Says it all..."Traditional °Ÿ¤£ Legacy Media"......translates into: Same old'... https://t.co/mCD7ko0pWh
Sun Aug 09 20:00:49 +0000 2020
TygerStarr : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous And yet they spread their lies on a massive scale about the best POTUS EVE'... https://t.co/13fQQ7KcQj
Sun Aug 09 20:00:16 +0000 2020
Richard Roland : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous https://t.co/GRzHhhmYeX
Sun Aug 09 20:00:09 +0000 2020
CarolAnne : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Oh my goodness! What lies. They've done nothing but tear down Trump since'... https://t.co/QeAZSzv8hg
Sun Aug 09 19:59:56 +0000 2020
An_American123 : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous @brianstelter you can't be this stupid. Seriously. Try being a real journa'... https://t.co/aCqwoHAABS
Sun Aug 09 19:59:21 +0000 2020
Troy Mell : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous I hat to break it to you, but Biden is tearing down Biden and he isn't eve'... https://t.co/xLrnTT1lz9
Sun Aug 09 19:59:11 +0000 2020
Andre Desoto : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Hahahahaha. Self awareness, how does that work?
Sun Aug 09 19:58:57 +0000 2020
BeautifulSoul°Ÿ'' : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous That is hysterical. It's the absolute definition of CNN, a network that h'... https://t.co/UgDXaBsKzh
Sun Aug 09 19:58:37 +0000 2020
KGB Barbary Bard (Easter Worshiper) : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Too funny
Sun Aug 09 19:58:37 +0000 2020
cara brown : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Bowling ball head is just one of the most hilarious liars since Joe Isuzu.
Sun Aug 09 19:58:25 +0000 2020
The Royal We : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Pot meet kettle.
Sun Aug 09 19:58:18 +0000 2020
CrimsonPirate : @Julio_Rosas11 @MZHemingway @brianstelter @emarvelous There is nothing more satisfying than beating someone at thei'... https://t.co/oWRIgzA74y
Sun Aug 09 19:57:43 +0000 2020
Marty Weiss : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Did this moron Erin (Who?) really just say that there ''really isn't'' a med'... https://t.co/m7DSgGYwU5
Sun Aug 09 19:57:21 +0000 2020
BanSharia : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous What a joke
Sun Aug 09 19:56:59 +0000 2020
Jack the cat : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Isn't that's what CNN is to trump
Sun Aug 09 19:56:35 +0000 2020
Horse Head : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous To answer your question @brianstelter yes there is an equivalent it's call'... https://t.co/HB3CzW1HmC
Sun Aug 09 19:56:16 +0000 2020
Alfred D. Sullivan : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous This is called damage control when you have a candidate as flawed as Biden'... https://t.co/PWysayvgZU
Sun Aug 09 19:56:03 +0000 2020
T.G. : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous The mainstream media attacks Trump with fake news every minute of every da'... https://t.co/e3hJbyJ7Zz
Sun Aug 09 19:55:59 +0000 2020
Marylee Shrider : @Julio_Rosas11 @brianstelter @emarvelous Stunning. They actually believe their coverage of Trump (and everything el'... https://t.co/DkEk0tLncK
Sun Aug 09 19:55:46 +0000 2020
VIDEO-State of Disaster - Q+A
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 00:37
Infection rates might be stabilising, but news today of another 19 lives lost '' a new daily record. Australian families and our whole community are paying a heavy price for what's gone wrong with Victoria's COVID response. There's huge social and economic impacts, now a surge in demand for mental health support too. It's testing our political leaders like never before, and that bipartisan spirit is showing serious signs of strain. You've got lots of questions tonight, so let's get you some answers. Welcome to Q+A.
A very good evening to you. Welcome to the program. Joining me on the panel tonight: in Melbourne, Michele O'Neil is president of the ACTU, whose affiliate unions represent some of the hardest-hit workers in this pandemic; Victorian Liberal MP Tim Wilson, who's currently self-isolating in Canberra ahead of the next parliamentary sittings, which start in a fortnight; federal Labor MP Senator Kimberley Kitching is in Melbourne, and plans to join the parliament virtually from there; in Brisbane, emergency doctor and disability advocate Dinesh Palipana, who's just come off shift and is still in scrubs, which is pretty impressive; and Paul Waterson runs one of the nation's largest pub groups, as the CEO of Australian Venue Company. Also during the program tonight, we'll talk to psychiatrist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Dr Killian Ashe, who's seeing a surge in first-time patients feeling stressed and overwhelmed by life in isolation. Would you please make all of them feel welcome.
And remember you can stream us or join us...join the conversation as well on iview, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #QandA is the hashtag. And a reminder, if you are getting involved on social media, we ask that you please do so respectfully. We ask our panellists to come here and debate in that spirit, and we do hope that you can too.
Our first question tonight comes from Anne Cahill Lambert, whose partner is a locum doctor in Benalla in Victoria. Anne, just talk us through the predicament that you've now found yourselves in.
So, last Friday we drove to Albury-Wodonga to head back home to Canberra after my husband had finished a four-month stint working as a locum doctor in one of the regional hospitals here, helping out with COVID. We had all the right permits '' one from the ACT and one to transit New South Wales. And when we got to the border, we were told that the New South Wales one was no good. I'm an old health services manager myself, and I didn't accept that, of course, and rang various people and was told that, yes, it was valid, but I would have to go to Melbourne, the epicentre of this pandemic, and catch a plane to Sydney, the second epicentre of this pandemic, spend 14 days in quarantine there, and then go home to Canberra.
So, what do you make, then, of the fact that there are politicians here tonight, for example, that have gone from Victoria to the ACT, that there are football players moving around the country, and yet there seems to be around about 100 of you stuck there?
We're all in this together, Hamish, apparently, but, uh, not so much. You know, the politicians who are there tonight might go and check up on my garden eventually, but, look, honestly, I know the politicians are important and the footballers are important, but, you know, in my family, I'm important.
So, what's your...what's your question for the panel tonight?
I'm concerned that Dunkirk seemed to be a smoother operation than this one. I wonder, does anyone care about us 100 people who are stuck in the border, some of whom are sleeping in their cars, others who were told that they couldn't stay in a motel because their postcode was Melbourne on the day that their travel was initiated. So, what can we do, other than do stupid things like go to Melbourne and catch a plane, where surely we will become ill, particularly those of us who are vulnerable?
Tim Wilson, let me put that to you. How...how on earth have 100 Australians ended up stranded in a scenario like this?
Well, I can't answer that question, because, of course, these measures have been implemented by the state governments. But I want to stress that health service workers matter too, and I would've thought that this was something that was relatively straightforward to correct. I don't quite understand why that's not the case. The reality is, if you're a health services worker, or anybody else, and you've been issued a permit, if there's an error on the part of the state government and they want to change it, then that should be fixed and it should be fixed swiftly.
I can say that I do know that when we came up here '' I drove up here from Victoria over the weekend '' there was cancellation of our permits as well. We were able to get them reissued within time to cross the border. But I do consider this to be completely unacceptable, and the fact that there are vulnerable people and people who could be used '' and I say it with the good spirit '' to control this pandemic and to assist and aid others, and they're stuck in limbo on the border, I think is unacceptable.
Kimberley Kitching, what should be done about these 100 or so people?
Well, I think, Anne, firstly, this is utterly crazy, and it's not acceptable, and I don't want you to think that any Australian is more important than any other Australian, because that's not right either. So, I think, if...if this is a state matter, if those permits were issued that way, then I think it's time for the federal government to intervene. There should not be people sleeping in cars or, you know, not being able to get a hotel room. I mean, that is utterly ridiculous. And I think, if this...if New South Wales and the ACT can't sort out what is...you know, to get you home, then I think it's up to the federal government to intervene. I mean, this is...it's utterly mad that you're in this position. So, I mean, I'...
Tim Wilson, why doesn't the federal government intervene and get these people home? They've been waiting there for days now. We've heard these accounts of people sleeping in cars. I mean, this is not easy conditions. It's the middle of winter. These are very cold parts of the country.
I don't disagree, and, I mean, the reality is... The first I heard about these stories was today on the radio, and I just think this is a simple administrative process that... I mean, the federal government can intervene, but I simply can't understand why the New South Wales government hasn't sorted it out. But it's one that should be followed up, because Kimberley is fundamentally right '' the situation is mad, it's unjustified. The appropriate measures should be taken to make sure that people are safe in every sense. So, obviously, if people have been exposed to the risk of the virus, and to protect the rest of the community, like I'm doing, quarantine may be required. But the focus should be about resolving it as quickly as possible. So... But it's not actually... And it's not to shirk responsibility. It's not the federal government. We can't override it. The New South Wales government should be sorting this straightaway, and I would have thought that it was a very simple administrative process to do.
Tim Wilson, at this point, do you support border closures?
Well, I've always been wary, frankly, of border closures. But, like everybody else, watching the evolution of the virus and the threats and the risks that exist, and making sure there's proper process in place to make sure we constrain the virus, which includes, certainly, checking at borders, is obviously an important part of that process. But each circumstance is different. I mean, one of the...
But I just wanted to be clear about this, 'cause you've been very strong in...in saying that you don't like border closures.
You said in May that you thought it would be a good thing for the High Court...for this to be tested in the High Court.
You also said that you thought that the states need to let go of control and power in this space. I just wonder whether you acknowledge now that border closures are quite important to ensuring that what's going on in Victoria doesn't spread to other parts of the country.
Well, like many people, my views on these issues have changed depending on the threat of the virus. So, when that was...when I made those statements, that was when the virus was subsiding and there wasn't the risk that there is presented now. I still support a testing of this area of law, because it's a very opaque area of law, and I think it's a good thing for the High Court to consider. Now, how it determines and what it determines will be very much informed by the status of the pandemic at the time. When we were having that earlier discussion, New South Wales was very opposed to border closures. They've now closed the border to Victoria, precisely because of the nature of the threat. And so it's important to make sure that policy responses are proportionate and sustainable to take the community with us and build public confidence.
OK. Our next question tonight is a video from Steve Timmis in Mildura, Victoria.
My question is, do you think it's time to start treating this pandemic on a regional, localised basis? I'm a small distiller here in Mildura, and we've had zero cases up here for the last five months. We've also had zero cases within 250km of this place, yet we are thrown under the bus, our fragile economy is thrown under the bus, the same as the rest of Victoria. My question is, should the state government start treating different regions differently, like you do in metro with the Mitchell Shire, for example?
Paul Waterson, let me put that to you.
I think these regional areas, where there's limited to no community transmission, absolutely. It's a strong case that if you can quarantine the area, then they should be allowed to continue on as best they are. I think it's different for some of the states, where, as we've seen, virtually no community transmission, and I think those border closures are appropriate so the economies can get...go forward as best they can.
But, I mean, do you see it as feasible, though, to have one part of Victoria entirely in lockdown and yet other parts of it open up? We're already hearing about the problems policing state borders. Presumably, it would be every bit as difficult, if not more, to create borders within a state.
Well, if you look at a location like Mildura, there's a couple of major roads into Mildura, and, of course, there's also going to be people who might try and skirt the border, but I think it absolutely can be managed.
Dinesh, you're in south-eastern Queensland. There's similar issues, or arguments, there around border bubbles. These are communities that live across borders. Do you have some sympathy for that idea of creating bubbles around the borders?
Yeah, I think it's, a, um, interesting issue, because one thing we have to keep in mind is that some of these regional communities also have limited resources in terms of intensive care units and medical services. So, there are also some vulnerable populations out there as well. So, if the disease were to spread to these areas, they may not have the resources to treat and manage these things properly. So, it is an interesting concept to consider, to protect those communities that are out in those regions.
Michele O'Neil, there's clearly no simple answer to this, but what's your view? Should we be considering opening up some of these areas where there are no COVID infections currently, and haven't been for some time?
Well, I think that, firstly, we should acknowledge that it's a really tough time. And I'm thinking tonight about all of the people who are doing it hard, including people who are coming home from work as we speak, or going out to work. Some are people really on the front-line, keeping us all going.
But in terms of Tim's question, I think that we've got to follow the very best health advice. And the problem we've got is that we can't all be second-guessing that. And we've got to get through this, and we've got to make this six weeks work for those of us in Melbourne and those of us in Victoria. And the whole purpose of this is to save lives. So, we're prepared to respect the health experts' advice, and if that is the basis of decisions about saying we need to close our borders, we need to make sure there's a consistent approach in terms of Stage 3 over regional Victoria, then we think we've all got to get behind that and make it work.
Our job at the moment is to try and reduce the spread of the virus. That's what's going to mean that businesses like Tim's and people who aren't working at the moment and are worried about their future are going to be able to get back to work if we can actually stop the spread. So, I don't think that I'm in a position to second-guess health advice. I'm prepared to go with what the government is getting on that advice, and say it's the right thing.
Tim Wilson?
Well, I think we all agree that we want people to be getting back to work. That's not in contest. And the capacity to be able to enforce local conditions has got to be...or to create local conditions and local enforcement is dependent on your capacity to enforce the laws. Now, we do have differences in regions in Victoria already '' of course, between border communities and the like. Now, the traffic flows and the people who are moving through parts of places like Mildura, obviously, there are reasons for... Transport and freight can create risks. And so it's about what proportionate, sustainable measures are in place to make sure we can protect those communities and stop the virus getting into those communities, particularly because of the risks not just to the people of Mildura but also to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the near vicinity, to make sure that there isn't another further outbreak. These are the sorts of things that state governments are considering all the time, but I would have thought that where you can loosen up restrictions for a geographic area because it doesn't pose a risk, if you can build confidence, then that's a sustainable way forward.
So, in the case of Mildura, what's your view?
Well, I don't have enough information about the specifics of the roads and the networks and who's moving in and out of Mildura. That's ultimately up to the state government to do. But if there's deemed that you can extract that community from broader measures, then of course there needs to be a serious consideration of that. I mean, Mildura is a long way away from Melbourne. It's a long way away from a lot of places in Australia. And if they have the local capacity, and as somebody outlined before, also...not just a capacity to control who's coming in and out, but also, if there's an outbreak, the support measures for the people, then it's got to be considered. But I am mindful that there's a very high population of vulnerable people in Mildura, and we have to take that into account.
Alright. The next question is a video from Les Gillings in Brighton East, Victoria.
Hello. For 20 years, I was involved in clinical trials and drug development. I find that the media and governments are harbouring tremendous optimism about a vaccine for COVID-19, especially given that no medically-proven predecessor exists for any type of human coronavirus. How does Victoria and Australia envisage emerging from the social and economic catastrophe emanating from lockdowns, curfews and other restrictions if this magic panacea refuses to become a reality? Are we to remain totally isolated indefinitely, which would seem absurd?
Kimberley Kitching, what does the future look like if there is no vaccine and if we don't eliminate the virus here?
Mm. Well, I think what we're...I think we may have a new normal going forward, at least for some time. And this pandemic has been terrible, there is no question of that. But I wonder if now is an opportunity to look at what kind of country we want, what, you know...how we see ourselves in a new normal in, you know...in a coronavirus where, you know, there may be clusters that arise periodically.
So, what do we want to look at? So, I think, you know, we need, for example... I think we should play to our strengths. I think one of the questions that Les's question raises is, of course, about research and development investment. You know, why in Australia are we at 1.7% of GDP and yet we see successful countries around the world, like South Korea, Japan, Israel, they're at 4%, 5% of GDP? And I think we need to start looking and thinking about investing back in research and development.
But just to... Can I just...?
I think, also, we need...
Can I pick up on what you said, though...
..about spikes? I mean, are you envisaging a future where Australia has more of these clusters that break out and we shut down again or lock down periodically and then open up? Is that what you envisage here, without a vaccine?
I really... Well...well, I mean, I think...I really '' I really '' hope there is a vaccine, and I'm following some of the research that's occurring in France, particularly, but I think... We don't know. We don't know how this virus is going to behave, and I think that, you know, we may have... You know, look at what we're going through in Victoria now, in Melbourne. So, we've got a situation where, you know, we eased restrictions for a few weeks and there was a sort of a sigh of relief, I think, in Melbourne. And then, of course, we went back into Stage...we went to Stage 4 lockdown a week ago. I think...we don't know how the virus is going to behave and I think that we have to plan for different contingencies.
So, for example, you know, we relied on...on supply chains that perhaps were not as reliable as we thought they were. So, you know, PPE is an example of that. So, I think we need to start looking at what we need to make here, for example. So, in the Victorian economy, it's pretty much a services-based economy. Do we need to start looking at reinvigorating a manufacturing sector again, and what does that look like? How much government intervention should there be to create that?
OK. Let me...
But I do think we need a vision for the future.
Let me just...
And can I just add...? Yes.
Let me bring Paul Westerman in on this. Can businesses survive rolling waves of this? I mean, if we are talking about a scenario in which there is no vaccine and, of course, Australia's stated position is, or target is, not elimination '' it's this aggressive suppression strategy '' can businesses actually survive more lockdowns in scenarios where there are spikes?
Well, I think businesses will survive as best they can. I think it's really challenging in different industries. These are not things that you can just turn the key off and turn the key back on again. You have issues dealing with staff. You have issues dealing with stock, the mental health of the team, and the drain '' emotional drain '' but... But, look, longer term, you can see some states have got this well under control. You know, we haven't at the moment in Victoria, and we're quite appropriately in a big lockdown, but I think what we do need is a pathway out of this where we can understand what the likely future is for our industry in particular.
But can you...can you envisage a future for your industry if there isn't elimination? I suppose that's the question here. Because you've raised this example of other states where there effectively is no COVID-19, compared with Victoria and, obviously, New South Wales.
Yeah, absolutely. I think our industry did a great job when it was open in Victoria, putting in safe socialisation policies. We had mobile ordering. We had hand sanitisation. We had good contact tracing facilities. We had excellent cleaning. And the cause of the second outbreak in Victoria isn't based on what happened in pubs and restaurants, so the pubs and restaurants are ready to manage when we can.
OK. Dinesh, I want to bring you in here, but I just want to share with our audience a bit more of your story. You're an emergency doctor at the Gold Coast University Hospital. We're just going to take a look at what life is like for you right now at work.
It's always been a privilege to be a doctor, because you get to be a part of the journey of some of the most important points in people's lives. We also give back to our community. But right now, to be a part of this profession and to be part of the healthcare workforce is truly a privilege.
Hi, Mitch. Could I get you to sit up just so I can have a listen to your lungs? Great.
I have a spinal cord injury, and a lot of your respiratory muscles are controlled by your spinal cord, so for me to cough and get rid of bad things from my lungs is very, very difficult.
Deep breath.
So, that's the reason that me and other people with spinal cord injury and neurological conditions are at more risk from any respiratory infection.
Dinesh, have you spent much time considering what the future might hold if there is no vaccine?
Yeah, it's going to be a difficult situation for people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions, and the elderly. There's a significant amount of risk. And I guess the biggest challenge that we've seen coming from other countries is when this really, really escalates.
So, there was a... I was reading a report from one of the doctors in Texas where they ran out of intensive-care beds and they had to start turning people away. And he was saying that they set up a committee to choose who gets intensive-care beds, and they were picking the people that had the best chance of survival. So, if this situation really, really escalates...we don't want to be in a position where we have to make those kind of decisions when we run out of resources. I mean, that's an extreme example. But I think that's the situation that a lot of people live in the fear of. But also, just getting the disease has a fairly poor prognosis, and it's a lot of risk for someone like me or anyone with a condition like this. So there's a lot of uncertainty.
So, when you hear the talk of the possibility that there may be no vaccine, I mean, can you give us an insight into what that would mean for your life in the future? I mean, you've explained the increased risk. Would you be able to keep doing your job? What would be the implications?
(CHUCKLES) Yeah, I hope I can keep doing my job. I mean, I know the risks when I go to work. If I get a respiratory infection '' even influenza, really '' it's a big risk for me. What I don't want to see is other people suffer and have poor outcomes needlessly. Really, it's a lot of uncertainty and it's a lot of fear if we're not either able to get this under control or come up with a vaccine.
Michele O'Neil, we've obviously got a range of examples here about how people are impacted, but if the question is about the world without a vaccine, do you see what the implications would be for workers?
Well, I think the implications of no vaccine and living with this virus over a long period of time will be incredibly difficult for working people and for our economy. I mean, what we know is that we already have a massive increase in unemployment that's likely to get, even in its official figures, up to 10% by the end of the year. And we all know the real figure is likely to be double that, and every day, we see people losing jobs, so we need a plan for national economic recovery. And if we don't get the virus under control, then the challenges of that will be great.
But this is the time we need the federal government to lead. It's an op... It's really the moment where we have to recognise that other levers in the economy are severely damaged and will be for a long period of time. Consumer spending is going to be really depressed for a long period. We know that exports are depressed.
Are you saying that the government's not doing enough?
I am saying that the government's not doing enough, because we can't have piecemeal approaches to saving jobs and creating jobs. This is actually a time where the government has to act in a comprehensive way, has to act fast, it has to think about what are all the elements of different sectors of the economy and how they can be supported. Because you can't rely on private enterprise to be the solution when they themselves are damaged, as you've heard tonight from Paul and others. You need to have government injecting funds, using public money for public good, so we can actually see a way through this that's going to be good for workers, but also for the businesses that they spend the money in, for our whole community and for our economy. And I don't think we are getting that comprehensive response, and there's no time to waste on this. This is the time for government to lead and spend, and spend in a way that does things...
Tim Wilson, the government's not doing enough and is not doing it fast enough, according to Michele.
Well, I think, frankly... Yeah, that's frankly absurd. I mean, this government has introduced huge measures, obviously in the support payments, through the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments, to support people through the earlier parts of this crisis. The Commonwealth has provided substantially more funding '' $314 billion '' compared to only $45 billion from the states. So, at every point, it's shown leadership.
But the reality of this virus is that it's not going to be a one-off. There's not going to be a single moment. The Commonwealth has continued to roll out measures as this virus has continued to go on. You've seen, only in the past week, support payments to complement the specific measures that are in place for paid pandemic leave in Victoria. And there's absolutely going to be a need for leadership from economic recovery from both the government and from the private sector. This is going to be one that we're going to work in partnership with, least because the government has been responsible to protect public health, responsible for many of the measures that have harmed private enterprise, so it is going to be, obviously, a key feature of the forthcoming budget in October as well as the budget, I suspect, in the new year.
But I do think we all face a very challenging environment where, if a vaccine is not found, that we're going to have to find a sustainable way '' and I've said this consistently throughout every other answer '' a sustainable way to manage supporting people through what could be a very uncertain future, and we have to do it across the board. It can't just be just in the space of the virus. It has to also be in the mental health impacts, the impacts on people who are delaying surgery or delaying access to medical care at the moment because they're concerned about both contraction of the virus, but also not wanting to displace or distract medical professionals. It's got to be in the space of supporting unemployed people to get back to jobs. This is an enormous task.
I think...I mean, can I just say, though, I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying, or misrepresenting it, actually, Tim, because many of the things you talked about were support measures and, of course, you know we support that. We wanted to see a wage subsidy and...
But you just said that we weren't acting fast enough, and that is downright... (SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY)
Oh, if you'll just let me finish. You campaigned hard to win it, so... But what I'm talking about is what we need to do to stimulate the economy. And you're, in fact, already winding back elements of support, so there'll be less money for people to spend when you cut back the JobKeeper payments. There'll be less money...
..for people to spend when you cut back what's available for those on JobSeeker. And what we need is people to be able to have money to spend in the economy. That's what's going to be good for their local businesses, and...
What's going to be good...what's going to be good...
..these are the elements of the plan that are missing, because...
..for people to be able to spend...
..it's not enough to just support people...
..is the confidence of a job, and what we need to do is get back to focus...
..to be able to have, for example, a new bathroom...
..on employing more people in a growing number of jobs.
..when what we want them to be able to have...
Michele, Tim, if we could just go one at a time.
..is something like public and community housing. So, we need investment in TAFE.
Well... This...
We need investment in infrastructure that will have a legacy for the next generation, because it's the next generation...
..that are going to be seeing the long-term impact of this.
Absolutely. We...
And that's where government investment needs to go.
The impact on young Australians is going to be extraordinary from this pandemic, and that's why we put in very strong measures specifically to support young Australians, not just in the financial position, but also around their mental health, as many people...as many...many young Australians need at this time. And there are going to be so many measures that are going to be taken...that have been taken already, that will be taken in the coming months, and will continue to be taken by the federal government.
What we also need is, frankly, the states to step up. I just went through them before. $314 billion spent by the Commonwealth. $45 billion spent by...combined by the states. This is going to be a partnership that we all need to work on together. And I wasn't misrepresenting anything. You said we weren't rapid in our response. We absolutely were rapid with our response. In fact, some people criticised the rapidness of the response because we focused on how we could support people...
..precisely at the time they needed the help.
We're going to turn to our next question now. There's no doubt this crisis is testing our political leaders, and there was some mention of it there '' the tension between the states and the Commonwealth. The next two questions are examples of a lot of questions we've received this week, and they reflect the spectrum of those questions as well.
Good evening. Just a simple question '' how can the Victorian Premier Andrews possibly remain in his position? Surely, that is now untenable, exacerbated by the fiasco of private security companies being entrusted with quarantine compliance, and the lack of oversight in the aged-care facilities, not to mention the massive damage to the economy. The buck surely stops with the CEO or chief or leader, and heads should and must roll. When will he and his executive team be held accountable? Thank you.
Are you all OK with the attempted crucifixion of Daniel Andrews by certain parts of the Australian media recently? And is our fourth estate completely broken?
Kimberley Kitching, let me put that to you. There's been a lot of questions which seem to support Dan Andrews wholeheartedly, others say that the way he's been treated is completely unfair in terms of accountability. What's your view?
Well, I think the first question mentioned, you know, the buck stops with him, and I think that what Daniel said in a press conference last week was exactly that '' the buck stops with him. He said, ''I will be fully accountable for any mistakes that are made,'' and I don't think you can ask for much more from any leader. And that's one of the beauties of the Westminster system, of course, is there is accountability in our system.
But I would also say that Daniel has fronted up to nearly 40 days straight of press conferences, some of those press conferences are marathons, so they're very long. I think you can often hear him say to journalists, ''Look, I don't have the answer here now, but will get back to you with that,'' so they're obviously also answering questions not just in the period at which he's appearing at the press conferences. And I think that, in terms of accountability, the Legislative Assembly in Victoria is planning to sit in September '' I'm sure there will be questions asked there. And, of course, you know, there's the inquiry as well that's being held by Jennifer Coate into the hotel quarantine.
So, I think there is a high level of accountability. Daniel has said he will take full responsibility. And I think, you know, he's been very up-front. And I think what we're also seeing, though, is unhelpfully, often state Liberal opposition '' so the LNP in Queensland, for example, the CLP in the Northern Territory, the state opposition here '' sort of, you know, shooting from the hip and playing political games with some of the issues, when, in fact, what most Victorians want is to get through...
To be fair, isn't that what...
..now the next five weeks.
..isn't that what oppositions are doing in every state and territory in the country? I mean, that's not exclusively the Coalition oppositions.
No... No, but I think...and I...but I think, in Queensland and the Northern Territory, on border closures, I think there's been contradictory statements there. I think here, in Victoria, the Liberals are very split. Their state president came out today and said this is not the time for political, you know, game playing. And I'm very conscious that there is a doctor from the Royal Melbourne Hospital who said, ''I'm sick of the question, you know, 'Who's to blame?' What I want to hear is 'What do you need?''' And that's what I think...that's where I think we are. We are at the position where we need...we need to get through this. We are hoping... I can assure... You know, if you're not in Melbourne and you're not in, you know, the area where it's Stage 4 lockdown, I can assure you that everyone wants now the next five weeks to go as well as possible.
Paul, in your view...
Because, if that...if we don't...
Paul, I want to bring you in here. In your view, are these criticisms of Dan Andrews warranted? Do you think he's being treated fairly? What's your view of his handling, and also the level of accountability there in Victoria?
Oh, Hamish, I think now is not the time for post-mortems. We're in the middle of a crisis and I think I sense a real fracturing in the community, and that is not a great place to be in. It sounds like there's going to be the appropriate reviews and people will be held accountable for decisions that were made, but, right now, we need to focus on supporting the business, supporting the teams and getting through this initial lockdown.
But, Paul, isn't there something unique about this crisis, in that you do need to know the answers on some of these questions about mistakes to ensure that they're not being repeated? Isn't that important to know now?
Yeah, absolute... Yeah, absolutely. And I think that would be the case if some of those mistakes were still at risk of being made. So, quarantine '' hotel quarantine '' has been the obvious one. Now, as I understand it, there's very little hotel quarantine going on in Victoria and Melbourne anymore. So, if that was our weakness, that's now been largely been resolved.
OK. Well, let's take our next question now...
Hamish, can I just add also...?
If you could make it brief, because we've got another question.
Yeah, no, I just do want to say, I actually think it's in all of Australia's interest that Dan Andrews and his government succeeds, because if Victoria succeeds and if we learn the lessons of what we're all in the middle of at the moment '' and I'm sitting here in the middle of Melbourne talking to you about this '' then that will be better for every other state and for our whole country. So I think that lessons need to be learnt, but the key thing is getting through this next five weeks, succeeding, and making sure that we then take that success into the future so we don't repeat mistakes in other states and in the rest of the country.
Everybody wants the COVID crisis to be contained '' there's no dispute about that '' but it is important to make sure there's proper accountability on the state government. I just take some issue with the idea that all the accountability is fine. It's not. At a federal level, we have a Senate chaired committee by a Labor member with cross-party representation. In Victoria, we have a Labor Party chaired committee into a Labor government on their COVID-19 measures, and it's dominated by Labor members. I think, if there was a simple act of trying build public confidence, which was what was discussed before around accountability and holding the government to account, then you would enable it to be chaired by an opposition member so that there can be full and frank questioning, including by the Premier. At the federal level, our committee scrutinising the federal government has met 24 times. At the state level, it has only been seven.
Alright. Let's take our next question tonight. It's a video from Hassan Ellhabi in Melbourne.
Good evening. I'm a school teacher of over 20 years and currently a deputy principal of a primary school in Victoria. Personally, I don't feel enough has been done to diagnose, flag or even recognise the magnitude of trauma caused to children who are in isolation. Some may have witnessed family violence, financial hardship and even deaths of family members. My question is to the panel, how is the government prepared to deal with the wave of depression, anxiety and mental anguish caused by these lockdowns to an already vulnerable generation of students?
Alright, at this point, I want to introduce Dr Killian Ashe. He's a psychiatrist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, obviously working at the acute end of all of this. What's your view on that question there about the impact this is having on a very vulnerable generation of students right now?
Well, Hamish, thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to represent mental health front-line workers, but, of course, also the people that we're servicing. And as the gentleman pointed out, this is an unprecedented stress on the entire community, and we in psychiatry don't necessarily have any magic answers to that, but what we want to do is support our medical colleagues and the broader community at large, including teachers, to understand what it is that's occurring and then, I suppose, shape and guide the response to it.
Can you give us the picture of how big the impact is at the moment? I mean, are you seeing these statistics that we're reading about in the newspaper '' 33% rise in the number of young Victorians presenting to emergency departments for self-harm in the past six weeks? I mean, the statistics are shocking, and particularly so for Victoria. Can you describe what that's like in person?
Absolutely. Well, look, I think the Victorian Minister for Mental Health put it very frankly and honestly yesterday when he said that prior to this crisis we had a mental health system in Victoria, but Australia-wide, which was not fit for purpose. Now, notwithstanding that, there's phenomenal work done by the mental health clinicians and the support workers of this country, and I think we need to pay tribute to them tonight '' they're absolutely exhausted, they're burnt out, but they're out there to provide a service for you.
We have seen, year on year, 20%-25% increase in demand across every breadth and aspect of our service. But at this time, we've now seen a 25% increase at the Royal Melbourne, for example, just since March, across this pandemic period. So, it's important to acknowledge that we're seeing, at every age range, high levels of stress response, unprecedented levels of anxiety, and these are... I want people to realise these are very understandable reactions '' you're not weak, you're not less than for having these.
And I also want to reassure people that there are services out here for you, should you get to that point where you're simply not feeling able to cope anymore. For example, in the private clinic where I work, I'm seeing so many people coming who have never had to attend a mental health clinician before and people who have been...you know, a young person I saw who has been through unbelievable adversity and trauma through their lives to come to this point where this isolation, this uncertainty, this instability is what's driven that person to attend, and I don't want people to feel frightened about presenting to their GP, to a therapist or to a psychiatrist.
Like, we're here to talk through this crisis with you, to problem solve. It doesn't mean that you're going to have to take a tablet '' there is no tablet or treatment for isolation, for loneliness. Part of what we need to do here is to instil a message of reconnection in the community and support for each other as far as is practicable within a Stage 4 lockdown.
Killian, that's the subject of our next question '' it's from Alison Sexton-Green in Monga, New South Wales.
My sister lives alone in Melbourne and is currently dealing with the absence of all physical contact. Her experience of this has made me realise how difficult it is to live in complete physical isolation. I am very worried about single people who live alone. How is it fair that those with partners are allowed to visit one another as an exemption under the social distancing rules, while singles are required to remain isolated from everyone? Should single people be allowed to have one friend in their bubble?
Killian, New Zealand had an allowance for one person to be in your bubble during the Stage 4 lockdowns. Should we be considering something like that? Would it be productive?
I think, at a time of crisis, what has been brought to the fore is the importance of listening to the experts. I'm a psychiatrist and I'm certainly happy to comment on psychiatric presentations, the stress on the community and our systems, but, of course, it's really important that we remember we must defer to the specialists, and in this case, it's the public health and the epidemiologist specialists. And if Professor Sutton has stipulated, the chief medical officer in Victoria, that people can't, we have to respect that.
You know, there is nuance to the system for a reason, and I guess I'm here to, I guess, comment on what's clinically viable and also socially required. And as that lady very rightly pointed out, this is unbelievably difficult for people living alone, and I've seen a significant increase in presentations in the public hospital and at the private clinics of those who are already marginalised, those who are already traumatised '' thinking about people of colour, thinking about First Nations people, LGBTIQ, the homeless, and people who have experienced trauma in the past, and, of course, people living alone and isolated.
One of the most important things we can do as a community is to reach out to those people '' get on a Zoom call with your friends. If you're the most popular person in a group and you're doing OK, I'm delighted for you, but reach out to those friends you're not connected with anymore. If you're a young person who isn't struggling too much, get on, you know, a call with your grandmother in an aged-care facility. These things sound small, but these will be what sustain us as a community and a society through this time of unacceptably challenging, you know, stress and instability.
Killian, do you think we, as a society, as a community, currently have a handle on the scale of the isolation and the loneliness?
Look, probably not, and I think it's really important that people know that when you're at home, whether it's alone or whatever, your GP is still very much available to you, via telehealth, and they are a phenomenal resource. In Australia, they provide such a huge amount of support to people for their mental health issues and for their stress. And it's important to know that, though your GP, there's now 20 sessions of therapy available via the Better Access Mental Health Care Plans. That's really important for people to know, because I think one may not feel as well as one did before '' you might be tired, you might be more irritable, your partner might have mentioned that, you know, you're not the same '' but you don't necessarily connect that with being mentally ill, and you may not be, but it's important that you maybe come to terms with the fact that the pandemic is impacting on your mental state and your functioning, and it's much better to be proactive than reactive. Doctors, therapists, psychiatrists '' we're not terrifying, we're not here to judge or blame, and we'd much prefer to meet you early in the piece, rather than deal with some of the sequelae down the track.
One of the things I'd just like to say on that, Hamish, is we really need to encourage people to reach out, particularly if they're engaging in more drug and alcohol use, because part of the evolution of the pandemic challenges will be that people are drinking more at home, using drugs, and we want people to feel that they can reach out for support in that too.
Alright. Let's take our next question. It's a video from Emily Roycroft in Lyneham, ACT.
Last week, the federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, announced that a further 10 Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions would be available to those in lockdown-affected areas. Currently, this only applies to Victorians. Many Australians will have used their existing 10 sessions months ago, and have been struggling without support. If the federal government wants to avoid a mental health crisis as a result of the pandemic, why are these additional sessions not being made available to any Australian who needs them?
Well, I want to bring the panel back in on this, and put that to you, Tim Wilson. You just heard Killian Ashe say that the doctors would rather be proactive rather than reactive. Why is this only available to people in Victoria, rather than people right across the country who are suffering?
Well, because we're making sure that measures are swift and appropriate and proportionate where there is greatest need, and, of course, that's why there's been a very specific strategy around Victoria. Now, we're monitoring the situation as it evolves around the country as well, but we want to make sure that people get mental health support, that's why $500 million is being put towards it, as well as specific measures in youth support.
But I think the point that was made before is right, which is, it's not just up to formal outreach, it's actually up to each of us to take measures. One of the things we did at the start of the pandemic is reach out to a local Headspace clinic '' g'day, everybody at Headspace in Bentleigh '' and did online videos talking about why it was approp...why it was necessary for people to talk about their mental health and the pathways to access those services if you need them, particularly for young people, as the first questioner outlined, are some of those who are doing it most tough.
Can I just ask you, though, to speak directly to the question that was put there? And that's about people in the rest of the country. I mean, you acknowledge that there is need beyond Victoria, don't you?
Of course there's need beyond Victoria, but I think we also need to acknowledge the stress, as has just been outlined, about the comparatively extreme consequences that Victorians are going to, where we have many people who have been completely isolated now and will be for the remainder of the next five weeks. Of course, all of these matters and issues are looked at periodically to make sure people are getting assistance and support, but we do know that Victoria is going through something particularly difficult right now, and that's why there have been extra measures put in place to support the people of Victoria and their mental health and, as I said, particularly for younger people to make sure they can get the assistance for the reasons your first questioner outlined.
Hamish, can I...?
Killian Ashe, do you think these services need to be made available beyond Victoria at the scale that's being made available there currently?
Absolutely. And, you know, in fairness to what Tim was saying, Victoria is in the hotspot of crisis at this time. But let's remember we need a crisis response that applies of course to Victoria at their great time of need, but also Australia-wide. Like, there is nobody immune from the mental health impacts of this. And I think it's important to transcend bipartisan, kind of, challenge or squabbling on such a topic. Crisis response is needed for everybody.
But the other really important thing is that the mental health system has needed reform for many decades. And, in fairness, at each level of government, federal and state, they're beginning to understand that now. Sometimes it takes a crisis to really precipitate necessary change. The Victorian context is that we've had the royal commission, and we need all of those stipulations implemented now in real terms to make real impact on the treatment of people. And those reforms need to be Australia-wide. And the crisis response needs to be Australia-wide, and, of course, recognising that Victoria has significant need at this time.
I guess I want to make a point that our mental health clinicians, and our broader workforce in the health service, they're burning out too. They need to be looked after, they need to be supported. And I think we need to be cautious of not using too many of these hero and war analogies. These are people, highly skilled, who are going to work. You know, if 1,000 out of 9,000 active cases are healthcare workers, we need to really have both levels of government examine, how can we keep this irreplaceable and highly valuable group of people safe and allow them to continue this work?
Dr Killian Ashe, we really appreciate you joining the conversation tonight. So grateful to you for your time. And I should also point out...
Thank you.
..that if you or anyone you know needs support, there are a range of support services available to you, some of them have been mentioned. The contacts for Lifeline, The Coronavirus Mental Health Support Line, as well as the Kids Helpline, are now on your screen.
KIDS HELPLINE '' 1800 55 1800
Our next question tonight is a video from Kelly Cox in Ballina, NSW.
I've been in isolation with my family in northern NSW, with a single support worker, since March, due to being a high risk as a result of COVID-19. It was recently reported that there were 71 cases of coronavirus in disability residential accommodation settings, including group homes in Victoria. Many disabled people are unable to effectively use social distancing, especially if we share support staff with other people in the community. Some people are being locked in their rooms and are unable to leave except to have a shower. Why aren't more people talking about this?
Sorry, that question came across a bit distorted in my sound. Would you mind repeating it?
I can just repeat it for you. Obviously, there's great concern about people living in disability care arrangements, there's been some cases in Victoria already. The questioner, Kelly, has been in isolation with her family in northern New South Wales, with a single support worker, since March. She's at high risk. But she's making the point that many disabled people are unable to effectively use social distancing and that some people are being locked in their rooms and unable to leave except to shower. She wants to know why this isn't being talked about more.
Yeah, this is a really important issue that we need to talk about. I mean, we've talked about aged-care homes, we've talked about the elderly, but people with disabilities are in the same group. And there's such a complex range of issues that they face. Even for me, example, I have help from, you know, my mum and people around me every single day. So social distancing is difficult. And there's a...there's a support structure in place that requires physical assistance.
So... And some people require 24-hour care as well. I have a friend who needs someone around 24 hours a day, so that has implications with PPE, for example. And I've heard stories about people that have disability support organisations attending their homes, but if they develop a cough or a fever, they stop attending, so now suddenly these people are left at home without any support, which is a significant issue. If I was left in that situation, I would be in some serious trouble. So I think these are things that we do need to have a conversation about, and at least have a plan for how we're going to support people and manage people in these situations. But it's a conversation that's ongoing.
We've heard a lot about breakouts of COVID-19 in aged-care facilities. Would it be a similar situation, do you think, if there was an outbreak in a disability care facility?
Yeah, absolutely. And I did read somewhere that there have been some outbreaks in disability care facilities. It's really a similar situation as aged-care facilities. And there have been a lot of concerns, even before COVID, about how people were treated in those facilities. And they're a really physiologically vulnerable group as well. So we definitely need to think about that.
Michele O'Neil?
Yeah, I just want to pick up on Dinesh's point there. This is a very real risk for disabled people, and many of the workers in that disability services have been raising this, because we've seen an outbreak in a number of facilities here in Victoria. And we've got the same profile in terms of workers that are working as disability support workers as well as workers that were working in aged care. So we've got a large number of people who are in insecure jobs, casual workers, workers who are low paid and who aren't recognised for the incredibly important work that they're doing. These are people's lives that they're caring for. And the situation that Kelly is in is a terribly difficult one for her and her family, but also for the people working with her. So we need to recognise that we may all be in this together, but the virus does not treat us all the same way.
So the fundamental flaw that's been exposed about insecure work and how that has led to greater vulnerability in terms of spreading of the virus, people not having the support they need to be able to stop, get tested and then get'...be able to isolate, proper paid pandemic leave being in place, has been a huge flaw in our defence, a hole in our defence against COVID-19. And we know that if we're going to build back out of this and come back, we have to address those inequalities that have led to the flaws that we're now seeing in our defence. And that means thinking about, do we really want to have those two classes of workers? Do we want to rely on the care for our elderly, for disabled people, for our children to be also people that are in insecure work, paid some of the lowest wages in the country, and not recognised for what they do? This is something that needs to change for the long term.
On that note, I understand you're drawing the comparison with the aged-care sector, but, to be clear, the Health Department did produce a plan for disability care, in April, in relation to COVID. It's called Management Operations Plan for People with Disability. There's a great deal of detail there about some of the issues that you've just raised. Tim Wilson, it was referenced at the Royal Commission, today, into Aged Care that there was no plan'...or alleged at least, that there was no Commonwealth plan for aged care. Why was there for disability but not for aged care?
Well, this is... You got right to the point, which is this is an allegation. In fact, you can go back to March, and you can find guidelines by the Department of Health to assist aged-care providers in managing these challenges. So there clearly were measures in place. Now, the person wanting to make that allegation is free to do so. The facts simply don't support them. The point of the Commonwealth is to work directly with the providers to make sure they do have the assistance and support they need. And, in fact, we've implemented measures every step of the way and given any support and assistance every step of the way. These providers...
But if there was a plan about what to do when there was an outbreak in a nursing home, for example, then you wouldn't have state governments making decisions on the fly about whether to take those people out of the nursing home or to leave them there. I mean, these are the sorts of details that should have been in place early on, shouldn't they?
Well, there were clear guidelines about how aged care should manage it. Now, one of the things the federal government has had to do is work with the state government, had to push it very strongly in Victoria to defer elective surgery to make it possible for people who had conditions in aged care the support they needed in public hospitals. So, at every point there has been an option, the federal government has intervened to support and assist aged-care providers, but it's a combination of factors that address it. And the problem that we've had...
Sorry, are you saying there was an equivalent of this COVID plan for disability services in the aged-care sector? Are you claiming that there was?
What I'm saying is that, back in March, there were guidelines that were clearly put out by the Department of Health to assist aged-care providers. The problem that we've had in...
But that's clearly failed.
..outbreaks in aged care... Well, the guidelines have been clearly there. So the assertion is false. And what we've had is a problem of outbreaks that have come from patients who've been leaving public hospitals, as well as community transmission, that has led to the situation in aged care. And so we've got to look at the cause of the problem, not just simply see the symptoms, to see how to stop it, to address it, and to make sure it's fixed.
Now, we could just throw everything at the state government, because they run the state hospitals, which is where there have also been outbreaks, but to go through each measure and identify where we can provide support and assist people in aged care... I have spoken to local aged-care providers in my electorate, and many of them operate, and many of them, through luck, have been able to avoid this community transmission coming into their home '' but, sadly, some of them haven't. And the focus has to be on how to get those measures in place to support those who have.
OK. Let's take our next question tonight. It's a video from Marion Lofthouse in Highett, Victoria.
Hi, Hamish and the panel. I'm in Melbourne and work in a small grooming business. Due to the lockdown, we've now closed, which means no income for six weeks. Meanwhile, at least one of the big operators is still advertising grooming services. This seems unfair, and as an industry we're looking for clarity but not really receiving any. ''We're all in this together'' seems to apply unevenly to the small mum-and-dad businesses and the big corporate businesses. How is this fair?
Paul, let me put that to you. Is there one set of rules for the big businesses like yours and another set for the small businesses?
Absolutely not, Hamish. The guidelines are really clear, and they need to be followed. I mean, our industry is going through its 15th week of shutdown this week. We've been'...our venues have been closed for over 100 days. We've got a great collegial relationship with the big providers and the small providers. I'm here today to talk on behalf of some of the small restauranteurs, some of those small publicans who are really struggling. But in answer to your question, the rules are the rules, and they need to be followed by everybody.
Kimberley Kitching, do you think that...do you acknowledge that there's been problems with the rollout of all of this, that there is still confusion, that there's a lot of businesses that can't see the reason why someone that does something quite similar to them is still operating but they're not allowed to?
Look, I think, Hamish, that what we've seen is Stage 4 came in, I think that there have been...certainly, you know, there's been some rapidity in terms of getting rules in place '' we've seen that, certainly, with childcare as well '' but I think that, you know, those rules are in place in order to try to have as little community transmission as possible. So what we're trying to do and what the state government is trying to do, what the federal government is trying to do is actually reduce the number of cases. And partly that is about ensuring that our health system isn't overwhelmed.
And the rules are there... Yes, there have been, I think, clarifications as'...you know, as cases have gone along, but I think that they are there and I think we just have to hope that we're able to get through, certainly in Melbourne, the next five weeks. And I think that it may seem unfair, but, you know, there is a reason for the rules that have been put in place.
Alright. On that note, that's all we've got time for tonight. Would you please thank our panel '' Michele O'Neil, Tim Wilson, Kimberley Kitching, Dinesh Palipana and Paul Waterson. Would you please thank them all. And thanks to those of you here in the studio as well as those of you at home for sharing your stories and video questions. Next week, two very different Australias emerging right now '' one that's opening up, the other that's locking down. We'll look forward to hearing your questions from wherever you are. Goodnight.


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  • 0:00
    there is no bat with this virus adam
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    john c devorah it's thursday august 13
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    2020 this is your award-winning get more
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    nation media assassination episode 1268.
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    this is no agenda headed down
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    under and broadcasting live from
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    opportunity zone 33 in the frontier of
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    austin texas capital of the drone star
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    good morning everybody i'm adam curry
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    and from northern silicon valley where
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    we're all celebrating the nomination for
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    vice president of kamala harris
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    in finnish it means horrible and
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    disgusting ah i should have done more
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    research i'm john c devorah
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    in the morning
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    yeah you should have done a lot more
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    research to make that opening shorter to
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    fit in the music bed
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    yeah well oh wow well done well
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    hey i have wait wait wait for question
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    question have you been doing the work
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    no i've been doing the show oh okay
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    um so i have this clip that i've been
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    carrying around just because it
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    i thought it was interesting and this
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    was from a guy i've never heard of this
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    and he's discussing on one of the shows
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    how do you vet the vice president
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    now i would think that if you vetted the
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    vice president you found her
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    first name meant horrible and disgusting
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    in finnish that is and finished well i
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    know but you always do that kind of
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    research so you at least have some
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    something because you know trump's going
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    to eventually
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    just bring it up and then start calling
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    her horrible
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    harris that's the one
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    yeah we're looking for a nickname
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    horrible he had phony
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    phony kamala well
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    yes and that there's a ad that came out
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    talking about phony kamala
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    in fact i have a copy of that ad yeah
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    that it was ready
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    two seconds after uh after the
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    it was pre-done yeah but i want to play
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    this this is a vetting
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    vice president and this came this was
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    from wbur
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    uh public radio in boston former vice
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    president joe biden says he expects to
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    reveal his running mate
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    next week the presumptive democratic
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    presidential nominee made that
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    announcement at a news conference
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    the vetting process of potential vice
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    presidential nominees
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    is an invasive process one person who's
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    gone through it
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    likened it to a colonoscopy among those
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