Cover for No Agenda Show 1269: pre-bunked
August 16th, 2020 • 3h 6m

1269: pre-bunked


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

Let Us Out!
Rona is like American Idol, now we move to Idol's DownUnder
Australia BOTG from cop
My wife works for SA Police in the coronavirus security.
We both listen to the show.
I was just in Australia at the end of February early March. I saw this all unfold from there. I was in Melbourne, Adelaide and flew back to the States from Sydney.
All the internal borders are closed. They have checkpoints to get your name and address and then they follow up to make sure you quarantine.
SA has had relatively zero Coronavirus. They went months without one case. They live normal mask free lives. Full restaurants. The political elite there protect their people.
The only cases they would get would be some Indian returning "home" or some connected family bringing mom in who just happened to have covid.
Many people have been caught trying to sneak into SA from Victoria. Victoria made its bed and now has to lie in it.
25 years of smug leftwing, bring in the refugees liberalism has created a giant petri dish of different biologies, customs, languages etc There is no way to regulate this mess. And its a mess. A great big festering mess of cataclysm just like NYC. (Elmhurst exploded for a reason.)
Victoria is governed differently than SA according to the police. Victoria is loose and has a lot of foreign gangs running things.
Because the leadership there is child-like. Naive. Immature. The international crowd they've brought in is far more sophisticated than the buffoons running Victoria. It's like a bunch of high school kids thinking they understand MS13 because of MTV videos glamorizing it. They are sitting ducks. It's sad. They have no idea the shark infested waters in which they swim. Melbourne is a wannabe NYC but comes off more like Boston meets Philly.
This leftwing mindset makes the place crazy and lawless. They are fanatically multiculti type people there. Annoying people. Kind of a fun town for a few days. But beyond this it is really tedious.
Melbourne views itself as the coolest city in Australia, but it's actually the most annoying; and very behind the trends that they try to emulate. And they get it all wrong because they base their attempts at copying America on what they see in socialist media and television. It's pretty funny. They are basically Hot Topic Goths.
I'm native New Yorker from Manhattan but have lived in Brooklyn for 25 years. Mostly around Williamsburg. But also Park Slope and Red Hook area.
Australia is following the Template!
I was disgusted by this Newsweek article about Australia, Covid and HCQ. Very disappointing. You said how shocked you were by the OpEd piece by the Yale PhD that was positive about HCQ and that also ran on Newsweek (also linked below). Maybe the Yale PhD should have a chat with the fake news writer of this article:
Slanted Article: "Australian border officials have seized tens of thousands of tablets of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine"
In the second sentence Newsweek appears to call HCQ "the snake oil medicine for COVID-19" since they do not quote the Australian Border Force as using those words. UNBELIEVABLE!
Yale PhD's OpEd:
At least 90% of the commenters know the truth! Here's one comment: "Simple solution to the hydroxychloroquine issue: Check the political affiliation of anyone testing positive for coronavirus. If they're registered Democrat, immediately put them on propofol and a respirator. If they're registered Republican, prescribe hydroxychloroquine, zinc and azithromycin. Independents and politically non-affiliated choose whatever treatment they want."
Russia Vaccine news:
Clive Palmer was also mentioned in the article. I sent you a few stories about him to you back in May re: his efforts to get HCQ into Australia by buying just under 33 million tablets (here are the same article in case you'd like to refer to them)
A few related links about Clive Palmer: For some reason they say Chloroquine in this article.
Here's another hit job video:
Here is an interview with Clive Palmer: He is donating 30 million HCQ pills and says he will give more. He also wants to help with the production or supply. I haven't heard any other person anywhere do this. Mike Bloomberg should step up! With articles like this, I doubt that will happen:
China destroys their economically tied cities like VIC then moves in when everyone bails out like NY
NZ Guns only 5%
Lucky that most did not give up their guns with what just happened.
They (New Zealand Labour Government) are now forcing people that test positive into quarantine facilities (concentration Camps).
They are also in the process of trying to change the law to allow forced vaccination.
All this 5 weeks before an election that it looked like Labour were going to lose.
Phil Kerpen on Twitter: "CDC: 25.5% of Americans age 18 to 24 seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days. 16% of age 25 to 44." / Twitter
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:44
Phil Kerpen : CDC: 25.5% of Americans age 18 to 24 seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days. 16% of age 25 to 44.'...
Thu Aug 13 19:17:32 +0000 2020
Hoopsdaddy70 : @kerpen The left has no concern for mental health. Until mid-November. Dont forget!
Thu Aug 13 23:43:09 +0000 2020
JDM : @kerpen @bethanyshondark Seriously how do you sleep at night know you have stripped people of their hope? There is'...
Thu Aug 13 23:40:56 +0000 2020
Silenced Observer 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 : @kerpen What hope do they have? They have all been brainwashed in high school and colleges to believe liberal garbage.
Thu Aug 13 23:38:45 +0000 2020
Suicidal thoughts surging during pandemic, CDC study finds | Miami Herald
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:52
America's mental health is in a bad place, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of Americans contemplating suicide is soaring, and many more are showing signs of mental disorders, a CDC survey found. Nearly 41% of the 5,412 people who responded to the late-June CDC survey reported ''at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition.''
These numbers are three to four times higher than what the CDC was seeing at the same time last year. Mental health help and support systems are ''needed urgently,'' according to the CDC.
Almost 11% of US adults said they had seriously contemplated suicide within the last 30 days '-- and young adults are apparently feeling the greatest emotional turmoil of any age group, as 25.5% of the 18-to-24 crowd said they had considered suicide.
Numbers were especially high for Blacks (15.1%) and Hispanics (18.6%).
Suicidal ideation was higher still for essential workers, at 21.7%, and unpaid caregivers, who reported a staggering 30.7%.
Substance abuse is on the rise, too. More than 13% of Americans said they started abusing alcohol, drugs or some other substance to cope with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, or that their substance abuse has worsened as a result.
The findings are not surprising to some.
The Well Being Trust, a nationwide mental health organization, predicted the decline of the country's mental health due to isolation, uncertainty, and unemployment caused by COVID-19, McClatchy News reported.
The pandemic so far, and the months or years of it still to come, will plant the seeds for as many as 75,000 ''deaths of despair,'' the Trust estimated.
All the traumas it's caused, be they mental, emotional, financial or all the above, won't end with a vaccine '-- those troubles will likely outlive the pandemic by years, according to the Trust.
Governments at the federal and local levels can take action to ease despair and save lives, Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, Well Being Trust's chief strategy officer, told CNN in May.
That includes supporting community organizations, providing ''meaningful work'' for the jobless, making mental health and addiction services more accessible, and more.
''We can change the numbers '-- the deaths have not happened yet,'' Miller said.
PETER HITCHENS: The state-sponsored panic of these times has killed more people than Covid ever did
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 02:33
PETER HITCHENS: My suspicion is that the wrecking of the economy and the state-sponsored panic of these times has killed more people than Covid ever did By Peter Hitchens for The Mail on Sunday 22:01 15 Aug 2020, updated 22:03 15 Aug 2020
Actually, I have had enough. So should you have had enough. The time has come for real discontent, or there will be no end to our mistreatment and humiliation by this Government.
To call these people incompetent would be to pay them an over-generous compliment. We shall see in a minute what might be a better word.
This is not personal grievance. By great good fortune, I managed a swift holiday a few weeks ago, and was not caught by any sudden Government panic measure, though the holiday itself, in places I love, was a sad shadow of what it would once have been.
Passengers are seen returning from France to St Pancras Station, London after quarantine restrictions were introduced. These figures of so-called 'cases' mean nothing except that the authorities have been looking harder for such cases, and finding them, even though the people involved are usually not illSo my anger about the crazy quarantining of travellers to France is not self-interested.
This heartless smashing of the simple pleasures of thousands is a futile act of spite. Do you know how many people officially died of Covid-19 in France during the past week? Fewer than 80.
In April, official deaths in that country peaked at more than 1,400 in a single day.
These figures of so-called 'cases' mean nothing except that the authorities have been looking harder for such cases, and finding them, even though the people involved are usually not ill.
A similar panic in New Zealand concerns an outbreak in which (at the last count) one person was in hospital.
Everything about the figures we are given has been fraudulent and wrong. We will never know how many people were listed as Covid deaths in this country, whose true cause of death was something else.
The rules on classifying them were shockingly lax, and almost no post-mortems were held, so we can never check. But the London Government was last week forced to admit that for some time its official death figures have been a wild overstatement of the facts.
Somehow this colossal event was pushed on to inside pages and way down BBC bulletins, but let me tell you the UK's total death toll has been revised down from 46,706 to 41,329, a fall of 5,377. That, as you might have noticed, is an error of more than ten per cent, a huge admission.
They were forced into this by the brilliant forensic work of Professor Carl Heneghan and his brave colleagues at Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, which showed that the previous figures were so loose that they could have included car-crash victims who once tested positive for Covid.
They were forced into this by the brilliant forensic work of Professor Carl Heneghan and his brave colleagues at Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, which showed that the previous figures were so loose that they could have included car-crash victims who once tested positive for Covid. Even the fatuous Health Commissar Matt Hancock (above) had to accept that for months, his department had been publishing bilge as if it was informationEven the fatuous Health Commissar Matt Hancock had to accept that for months, his department had been publishing bilge as if it was information.
I promise you here that, when sanity and respect for facts once again resume their reign in this country (if they ever do), then it will prove to be far worse than that.
My suspicion is that the wrecking of the economy and the state-sponsored panic of these times has killed more people than Covid ever did, and the research on this is piling up too, though the BBC would prefer not to mention that either.
A paper submitted to the Government's own scientific advisory group, SAGE, estimated that 16,000 people had died up to May 1, thanks to missed medical care following the shutdown of the country. They suggested another 26,000 could die by next March for the same reason.
If these figures are right (and I believe they will be vindicated by hard research), the Government's flailing panic killed two people for every three who died of coronavirus '' and that is assuming the Covid death figures are not inflated.
The scale of this error is so great that the mind turns away from it. Add to it the slow but relentless destruction of the economy and the catastrophe in the schools, and you have even more to weep over.
Bit by bit, people are finding out what a recession actually means in terms of lost jobs, busted businesses and ravaged pensions. This is all now inevitable, and only weeks away. Meanwhile, thousands of teenagers have been robbed of an essential part of their education, which they can never get back.
Thanks to bungles piled on top of folly, they now face stupid injustice, broken hopes and the cold face of bureaucracy. Those responsible for this have a terrible load on their consciences.
Back in March, their famous SAGE committee produced a document, 'Options for increasing adherence to social distancing measures'. It concluded that we were not yet frightened enough.
It said: 'A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.' So we needed to be scared into compliance.
It recommended: 'The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.'
So the hidden persuaders went to work with their doom-laden warnings, their house arrest, their claims that we are all toxic to each other, and their swollen death tolls.
Now they seek to keep up the anxiety levels by trying to make us wear loose, soggy muzzles.
And here we are, perhaps for ever, unless we begin to show a bit of spirit. Remember how we used to boast about how unflappable we were, with our 'Keep calm and carry on' posters.
Well, we are not unflappable. We have been well and truly flapped, and this is the price you pay for it.
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Blame Blair and his heir for migrant crisisI have tried and tried to think of a civilised way in which we could stop people crossing the Channel illegally and landing here. But I cannot. We are stuck with this. But there are still people to blame.
We are stuck with this. But there are still people to blame. Notably the Blair Creature, who destroyed the stability of the Middle East with his unforgivable and dishonest support for the Iraq War. That was when the great mass migration towards Europe beganNotably the Blair Creature, who destroyed the stability of the Middle East with his unforgivable and dishonest support for the Iraq War. That was when the great mass migration towards Europe began.
Also to blame is Blair's imitator, David Cameron, still vying for the title of Worst British Prime Minister Ever (with Al Johnson coming up fast on the inside).
Mr Cameron must have been told by someone in Whitehall that overthrowing the Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi would mean mass migration across the Mediterranean.
Gaddafi had often threatened it himself. And if Cameron had the sense he was born with (not to mention that imparted by his expensive education), he must have realised that if you depose despots, chaos often follows.
These people need to be restrained. But far too often the public sees foreign wars as video games that will never have any effect here. Next time, beware of this.
These evil, foolish actions, dressed up as noble or humanitarian, always have long-lasting bad outcomes at home.
A hit drama built on lies When it first appeared, I refused to watch the Netflix series The Crown, starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, as I was sure it would be twisted propaganda masquerading as truth.
Now, thanks to the total absence of anything worth watching on normal TV, I have abandoned my ban. And it is even worse than I suspected.
Thanks to an excellent handbook by Hugo Vickers, who explains in detail the falsehoods and errors that spatter every episode, I can entertain myself by exclaiming 'That can't be true!' and then checking to find that, in fact, it isn't true.
How did it garner so much praise? I can only imagine that it is because so many TV reviewers are ill-informed, chip- on-the-shoulder republicans and boring Leftists. Which is not exactly a surprise.
When it first appeared, I refused to watch the Netflix series The Crown, starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, as I was sure it would be twisted propaganda masquerading as truthIf you want to comment on Peter Hitchens click here
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An ILTPP Update: Industry-Wide Chromebook Shortage - ILTPP
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 22:46
The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) has received notices of extensive lead times on Chromebook orders from a number of our vendor partners. Districts ordering Chromebooks at this time will most likely not receive the devices in time for the start of the school year. This is an industry-wide supply shortage and is not limited to ILTPP vendor partners. For more information on lead times, please contact your vendor-specific dedicated account managers.
Requesting a Quote or Making an Order? Always Mention ILTPP! Back to all news
Vaccines and Such
T-Cells research from previous 'colds' - Kids have this!
Hey Adam long time, no comms.
Went overboard while finishing up the PhD. Haven't had much time to listen to the show, only when I'm mowing the lawn. I hope things are going well for you.
I'm not in the medical field but I regularly read the journal Science. Saw this study, I don't know if you've seen it or heard any news about it. You probably have, you guys leave no stone unturned.
It's a pretty dense study but, published in the highest peer-reviewed journal in the country, it should be considered with some degree of confidence. Basically anywhere up to 50% of people may already have immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID 19. Not b/c of antibodies but because of T cells:
"In sum, these data demonstrate that memory CD4+ T cells recognizing common cold coronaviruses including HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E can exhibit substantial cross-reactivity to the homologous epitope in SARS-CoV-2."
In layman's terms; If you've gotten a cold caused by a bunch of different corona viruses in the past then your T cells will retain the memory of how to fight them and also sars cov 2.
If you wonder about antibodies, those are mentioned to be specific to the different corona virus species: "These finding of cross-reactive HCoV T cell specificities are stark contrast to HCoV neutralizing antibodies, which are HCoV species-specific and did not show cross-reactivity against SARS-CoV-2"
They end the article with some doubt, claiming that this T cell memory causing different outcomes to those exposed to sars cov 2 is " highly speculative". However, I think this explains why only 10-20% of people are contracting the disease, and even less are symptomatic. Herd immunity is usually considered after 60-70% of a population are immune. Well if 50% are immune then that leaves very little room for mass infections before that 70% is reached.
Also this explains why children aren't affected as much. Also this explains why so many people are asymptomatic. Young immune systems and people with T cells that have memory of other corona viruses just won't get sick. Sure if you're searching for COVID rna you'll find it but the people won't get sick because their immune system works.
Of course this is one of 2020's most important discoveries but it's hard to sell vaccines when people find out half are probably already immune.
Please as always don't use my real name ever, I've donated in the past using only my initials JMS. I hope you can understand given my field and profession. It's probably better if you don't even mention me. I'll hopefully be able to put together a donation in the near future.
The U.S. has already invested billions on potential coronavirus vaccines. Here's where the deals stand
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:54
Published Fri, Aug 14 2020 6:30 AM EDT
Updated 13 min ago
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A small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine" sticker is held near a medical syringe.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
The U.S. has doled out billions to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus that has infected more than 5.1 million people across the country, locking in a minimum of 800 million doses as soon as the immunizations are cleared later this year or early next year.
So far, the deals with a handful of pharmaceutical giants have topped roughly $10.79 billion as part of Operation Warp Speed, a program led by several departments within the federal government to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of vaccines and treatments to fight the coronavirus.
The operation aims to provide at least 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by January 2021. In most of the agreements, HHS says the vaccines will be given to the American people for free if part of a vaccine campaign but healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccines.
"It is likely that at the beginning of next year we would have tens of millions of doses available," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters on a conference call alongside National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins on July 27.
"I think as we get into 2021, several months in, that you would have vaccines that would be widely available," Fauci said.
Experts say some the top vaccine candidates are already being manufactured "at risk," meaning the doses are created and prepared for deployment before official approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"We are investing in the development and manufacture of the top six vaccine candidates to ensure rapid delivery. The military is ready to go, they're ready to deliver a vaccine to Americans as soon as one is fully approved by the FDA and we're very close to that approval," President Donald Trump said during a press conference at the White House Tuesday.
The U.S. is only obligated to pay the next traunch of funding if the vaccines are cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
Here's where the deals stand so far:
Moderna Trump said on Aug. 11 that the U.S. government reached a deal with Massachusetts-based Moderna for 100 million doses of its leading vaccine candidate mRNA-1273. The deal gives the federal government the option to purchase up to 400 million additional doses, according to a separate announcement from Moderna. The company said the deal is worth up to $1.53 billion. The U.S. has already invested $955 million in Moderna's vaccine development, bringing its total investment up to $2.48 billion, the company said. Moderna's vaccine candidate is in late-stage human trials. The company previously said it could expect results as early as October. Johnson & Johnson HHS announced on Aug. 5 that it reached a deal with Janssen, J&J's pharmaceutical subsidiary, worth approximately $1 billion for 100 million doses of its vaccine. The deal gives the federal government the option to order an additional 200 million doses, according to the announcement. The U.S. earlier this year awarded J&J $456 million to develop its vaccine.J&J's experimental vaccine is currently in early-stage human trials and is expected to begin late-stage human trials in September, executives have previously said.Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKlineSanofi and GSK, which are co-developing a vaccine, announced on July 31 that HHS would pay up to $2.1 billion to develop and deliver 100 million doses of their potential candidate. The U.S. will have the option to order an additional 500 million doses, the companies said. More than half of the $2.1 billion investment will be used for further development of the vaccine while the remaining dollars will be used toward manufacturing the initial 100 million doses, the companies said. Sanofi and GSK have previously predicted their vaccine will enter clinical trials in September and late-stage trials by the end of the year.Pfizer and BioNTechGermany-based BioNTech and Pfizer announced on July 22 that the U.S. agreed to buy 100 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine for up to $1.95 billion. The agreement allows the U.S. to acquire an additional 500 million vaccine doses, the companies said. The companies are jointly working on four vaccine candidates. The most advanced, called BNT162b1, began late-stage human trials in late July. The companies said they aim to make up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and approximately 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.Novavax HHS announced on July 7 that it reached a deal with the Maryland-based drugmaker Novavax worth $1.6 billion to help the company with trials and manufacturing. The federal government said Novavax will provide the U.S. with 100 million doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine once approved as part of the deal. Novavax's vaccine, named NVX-CoV2373, generated a promising immune response in an early stage clinical trials and could begin late-stage trials as early as October.The company said it hopes to begin delivering 100 million vaccine doses by the beginning of next year. AstraZenecaView the full site
Models and Data
US Already Had Over 200,000 Excess Deaths This Year, CDC Data Show
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:01
The number of deaths in the United States through July 2020 is 8 percent to 12 percent higher than it would have been if the coronavirus pandemic had never happened.
That's at least 164,937 deaths above the number expected for the first seven months of the year '' 16,183 more than the number attributed to COVID-19 thus far for that period '' and it could be as high as 204,691.
Tracking deathsWhen someone dies, the death certificate records an immediate cause of death, along with up to three underlying conditions that "initiated the events resulting in death." The certificate is filed with the local health department, and the details are reported to the National Center for Health Statistics.
As part of the National Vital Statistics System, the NCHS then uses this information in various ways, such as tabulating the leading causes of death in the United States '' currently heart disease, followed by cancer.
Sometime this fall, COVID-19 will likely become the third-largest cause of death for 2020.
Projecting from the pastTo calculate excess deaths requires a comparison to what would have occurred if COVID-19 had not existed. Obviously, it's not possible to observe what didn't happen, but it is possible to estimate it using historical data.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does this using a statistical model, based on the previous three years of mortality data, incorporating seasonal trends as well as adjustments for data-reporting delays.
So, looking at what happened over the past three years, the CDC projects what might have been. By using a statistical model, they are also able to calculate the uncertainty in their estimates. That allows statisticians like me to assess whether the observed data look unusual compared to projections.
The number of excess deaths is the difference between the model's projections and the actual observations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also calculates an upper threshold for the estimated number of deaths '' that helps determine when the observed number of deaths is unusually high compared to historical trends.
Clearly visible in a graph of this data is the spike in deaths beginning in mid-March 2020 and continuing to the present. You can also see another period of excess deaths from December 2017 to January 2018, attributable to an unusually virulent flu strain that year.
The magnitude of the excess deaths in 2020 makes clear that COVID-19 is much worse than influenza, even when compared to a bad flu year like 2017-18, when an estimated 61,000 people in the US died of the illness.
The large spike in deaths in April 2020 corresponds to the coronavirus outbreak in New York and the Northeast, after which the number of excess deaths decreased regularly and substantially until July, when it started to increase again.
This current uptick in excess deaths is attributable to the outbreaks in the South and West that have occurred since June.
The data tell the storyIt doesn't take a sophisticated statistical model to see that the coronavirus pandemic is causing substantially more deaths than would have otherwise occurred.
The number of deaths the CDC officially attributed to COVID-19 in the United States exceeded 148,754 by August 1.
Some people who are skeptical about aspects of the coronavirus suggest these are deaths that would have occurred anyway, perhaps because COVID-19 is particularly deadly for the elderly.
Others believe that, because the pandemic has changed life so drastically, the increase in COVID-19-related deaths is probably offset by decreases from other causes. But neither of these possibilities is true.
In fact, the number of excess deaths currently exceeds the number attributable to COVID-19 by more than 16,000 people in the US What's behind that discrepancy is not yet clear. COVID-19 deaths could be being undercounted, or the pandemic could also be causing increases in other types of death. It's probably some of both.
Regardless of the reason, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in substantially more deaths than would have otherwise occurred '... and it is not over yet.
Ronald D. Fricker Jr., Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration, Virginia Tech.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
COVID-19 death rates reveal NY and NJ are states that failed the test
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 18:23
August 12, 2020 | 5:22pm | Updated August 13, 2020 | 9:00am
Enlarge Image New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (left) and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy James Messerschmidt; Chris Pedota/The Record via AP
It's hard to know what's worse '-- the dying or the lying.
More than 32,000 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus, a toll higher than any other state. New York also ranks second to the worst out of all 50 states, in deaths per million residents. Only New Jersey did worse.
You wouldn't know it, listening to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who brags that his administration ''tamed the beast.'' Or the media that praise him and chide states with much, much lower death rates.
Cuomo is doing everything he can to cover up the errors. He's stonewalling bipartisan efforts in Albany to investigate the deaths of thousands of elderly in nursing homes ravaged by the virus.
Legislators need to persevere, and in fact broaden their investigation to include the poor performance of many hospitals in the state. On March 2, one day after the first coronavirus case in New York was disclosed, Cuomo told New Yorkers not to worry because ''we have the best health care system on the planet.'' That's a whopper. Patients treated for COVID-19 in hospitals here died at more than twice the national average. California has had more cases of coronavirus than New York, but less than a third as many deaths.
The press rarely puts the numbers in perspective, talking about positive cases but not fatality rates, increases but not totals. Looking at deaths-per-million shows the biggest impact '-- the biggest failure '-- was the Northeast. New Jersey: 1,797 deaths per million residents. New York: 1,689.
Florida, target of any number of alarmist headlines, is down at 408 per million residents. But Gov. Ron DeSantis is a Republican and unlucky enough not to have a CNN anchor as a brother.
Cuomo is praised even after he and the department of health spent years stripping New York City's outer boroughs of sufficient hospital beds and equipment. There are five hospital beds for every 1,000 residents in Manhattan, but only 1.8 beds for every 1,000 Queens and Brooklyn residents. The result? When the pandemic struck, those hospitals were overwhelmed fast. The death rate for COVID-19 patients at Mount Sinai hospital in Manhattan was 17%. At Coney Island Hospital, 41% of COVID-19 patients didn't make it. You might as well be in a Third World country.
New York state stacks up even worse in protecting elderly nursing home residents from COVID-19. Florida and Texas, both more populous states, have had only one quarter of the number of nursing home fatalities.
Numbers don't lie. New York didn't crush the coronavirus. The virus took thousands of New York lives needlessly, because of the Cuomo administration's mistakes.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.
Maurice de Hond: 'LinkedIn-blokkade lijkt georganiseerde actie' | NOS
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 17:22
Opiniepeiler Maurice de Hond wil dat LinkedIn nog dit weekend zijn profiel op het sociale netwerk herstelt. Donderdagavond werd het account van De Hond verwijderd, omdat hij de gebruiksregels van het platform zou hebben overtreden.
Volgens de opiniepeiler komt dat doordat enkele tientallen LinkedIn-gebruikers zijn berichten hebben gerapporteerd, waarna zijn account automatisch zou zijn geblokkeerd. "Het lijkt op een georganiseerde manier om het mij lastig te maken", zegt hij in een reactie tegen de NOS.
De Hond zegt bijvoorbeeld een bericht te hebben ontvangen waarin iemand schrijft: "Met veel genoegen heb ik gelezen dat LinkedIn je heeft verwijderd." De afzender is naar eigen zeggen "een van de vele mensen die jou heeft aangemeld als gevaar voor de volksgezondheid, dat ben je namelijk ook."
De Hond plaatst op LinkedIn en andere sociale media regelmatig links naar artikelen op zijn website, waarin hij kritisch is over de coronamaatregelen van het kabinet. Volgens hem lijden het kabinet, het RIVM en het Outbreak Management Team aan een tunnelvisie. Op basis van wetenschappelijke literatuur en eigen data-analyses concludeert de opiniepeiler onder meer dat de anderhalvemeterregel onzin is.
Vorige week ontdekte De Hond al dat sommige van zijn LinkedIn-berichten werden verwijderd. Een volger wees hem erop toen hij een post van 6 augustus niet meer terug kon vinden.
Hamer en spijkersIn dat bericht had De Hond zich kritisch uitgelaten over de persconferentie van premier Rutte en minister De Jonge die dag. Volgens hem hadden zij het daarin over het belang van goede ventilatie moeten hebben en niet alleen over de anderhalvemeterregel. Door het weer niet over ventilatie te hebben, laten ze zien dat ze behoren tot een groep timmerlieden van de WHO en het RIVM, schreef De Hond op LinkedIn. "Als je enige instrument een hamer is, dan is elk probleem een spijker."
De opiniepeiler is ervan overtuigd dat aerosolen, hele kleine ademdruppeltjes, een grote rol spelen bij de verspreiding van het coronavirus. Daarom pleit hij al maanden meer aandacht voor ventilatie.
Een paar uur na zijn bericht over de persconferentie hoorde De Hond van iemand dat zijn post was verdwenen. "Toen heb ik de volgende ochtend de proef op de som genomen en de post nog een keer gedeeld, identiek", zegt hij. "En inderdaad, twee uur later was 'ie weg."
'Fake news'Donderdagavond bleek dus zijn hele LinkedIn-profiel verdwenen. "Ze zeggen dat het ging om fake news", aldus De Hond. Hij baalt ervan dat LinkedIn van tevoren geen waarschuwing heeft gegeven. "Ze hebben het meteen weggehaald. Het enige wat ze nu zeggen, is dat ik bezwaar kan maken. Dat heb ik gedaan."
De Hond geeft LinkedIn tot morgenavond de tijd om zijn profiel te herstellen. Hij wil dat het platform daarbij ook vermeldt dat zijn account onterecht was verwijderd. "Als ze dat niet doen, ga ik zeker vervolgstappen ondernemen."
GemeenschapsregelsLinkedIn liet vrijdag in een reactie aan het ANP weten dat het alleen met een gebruiker zelf communiceert over acties tegen een account. "We hebben duidelijke voorwaarden en gemeenschapsregels en we verwachten dat al onze leden zich daaraan houden", voegde het platform toe. Het is niet duidelijk op welke specifieke regels LinkedIn doelt.
In de beleidslijnen van het zakelijke netwerk staat dat "in geval van ernstige of herhaalde overtredingen" iemands account kan worden verwijderd. Gebruikers kunnen zaken als spam, neppe profielen, verdachte berichten of zorgen over veiligheid rapporteren bij LinkedIn. Ook desinformatie kan worden gemeld. Een meningsverschil is geen geldige reden om iets te markeren", aldus het platform.
LinkedIn was zaterdag niet bereikbaar voor vragen van de NOS.
China destroys their economically tied cities like VIC then moves in when everyone bails out like NY
EXCLUSIVE: Top Pelosi Staffer Registered As 'Foreign Agent' to Lobby For Chinese State Media Outlet
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:35
Brendan Daly, former Communications Director for Nancy Pelosi and a political appointee of the Obama administration, is a registered foreign agent who provided the Chinese Communist Party's premier state-run media outlet China Central Television Network with ''strategic counsel'' as it expanded into the United States, The National Pulse can reveal.During his tenure as Executive Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Daly secured a contract between the lobbying behemoth and China Central Television Network (CCTV).
Specifically, the firm helped the state-run propaganda outfit CCTV expand into American homes by ''providing strategic counsel, identify relevant parties to communications activities, and media relations to support the launch of CCTV America.''
''Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide will work with CCTV America to communicate to the American public that CCTV America will provide compelling, comprehensive, and balanced news programming from an Asian perspective that is relevant to a global audience,'' the 2012 filing in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) noted.
Per CCTV's FARA registration, however, the outlet is ''supervised, owned, directed, controlled, financed, and subsidized'' entirely by the Chinese Communist Party.
Pelosi accompanied by Daly, pictured on her rightEmail correspondence from Daly identifies him as taking the lead on the account, as he spoke with CCTV's American representative on the phone.
He also provided the outlet with a memo detailing Ogilvy's strategy on the count, detailing how to best bridge the gap between American homes and Chinese Communist Party propaganda:
The memo, sent from Daly, outlines how Ogilvy would provide CCTV with comprehensive support, including ''influencer engagement'' and ''media relations support,'' to achieve the ''overall message that CCTV Americas is the source for business news in and with China, with credentialed, experienced and trusted journalists doing in-depth stories and reporting.''
''We are excited about the prospect of working with you to help establish CCTV Americas as the program to watch to succeed in an interconnected global economy,'' the email concludes.
CCTV has been identified by Freedom House think tank as a ''long-standing weapon in Beijing's arsenal of repression'' whose mission ''is to attack designated enemies of the Communist Party,'' chiefly the U.S.
Daly informed fellow employees that CCTV had hired Ogilvy, noting the CCP-funded outlet would pay the firm $15,000 monthly for three months.
''China Central Television is the national television station of the People's Republic of China. CCTV America is the bureau located in Washington DC.
CCTV falls under the supervision of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television which is in turn subordinate to the State Council of the People's Republic Of China,'' the FARA registration noted, placing Daly on the payroll of the Chinese Communist Party.
Daly served as Communications Director to Pelosi for nearly a decade, from 2002 to 2011. He bills himself as ''instrumental in orchestrating Pelosi's rise from House Minority Whip to House Minority Leader,'' noting he ''worked closely with external coalitions on communications activities and events to advance Democratic agenda'' and ''earned the trust and respect of the Speaker and entire House leadership.'' He even donated $1,000 to the Pelosi campaign in 2001, as one of his FARA forms reveals.
Now, Daly appears to be exploiting these Pelosi-procured connections to bolster the reach and quality of Chinese communist media operations.
Daly speaking on MSNBCHe also served in the Bill Clinton White House as Assistant to the U.S. Trade Office Representative for Public Affairs, where he ''led communications efforts with government relations team and external organizations to generate positive press in targeted Congressional districts so Congress would pass Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China.''
And after his Ogilvy tenure, he went back to the federal government as a political appointee of former President Barack Obama to serve as Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Energy and Spokesperson for Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
He is now the Chief Communications Officer for the Recording Industry Association of America, which represents many top record labels such as Warner Music Group, which Tencent, a Chinese Communist Party linked tech company whose platform WeChat is set to be banned by the Trump administration, recently acquired a $200 million stake in.
This unearthed connection follows Pelosi's insistence that she is the ''most unliked American in China'' '' a far cry from reality in light of the revolving door between her staffers and the Chinese Communist Party. Michael Hacker, a former senior adviser to Pelosi, has also joined TikTok's lobbying crusade to fight against President Trump's decision to ban the app for being a Chinese government proxy.
Subject: Order Regarding the Acquisition of Musical. ly by ByteDance Ltd
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 04:05
The White HouseOffice of the Press SecretaryFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEAugust 14, 2020ORDER
- - - - - - -
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (section 721), 50 U.S.C. 4565, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Findings. (a) There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance Ltd., an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands ("ByteDance"), through acquiring all interests in musical.'‹ly, an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands ("Musical.'‹ly"), might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States. As a result of the acquisition, ByteDance merged its TikTok application with Musical.'‹ly's social media application and created a single integrated social media application; and
(b) Provisions of law, other than section 721 and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), do not, in my judgment, provide adequate and appropriate authority for me to protect the national security in this matter.
Sec. 2. Actions Ordered and Authorized. On the basis of the findings set forth in section 1 of this order, considering the factors described in subsection (f) of section 721, as appropriate, and pursuant to my authority under applicable law, including section 721, I hereby order that:
(a) The transaction resulting in the acquisition by ByteDance of Musical.'‹ly, to the extent that Musical.'‹ly or any of its assets is used in furtherance or support of, or relating to, Musical.'‹ly's activities in interstate commerce in the United States ("Musical.'‹ly in the United States"), is hereby prohibited, and ownership by ByteDance of any interest in Musical.'‹ly in the United States, whether effected directly or indirectly through ByteDance, or through ByteDance's subsidiaries, affiliates, or Chinese shareholders, is also prohibited.
(b) In order to effectuate this order, not later than 90 days after the date of this order, unless such date is extended for a period not to exceed 30 days, on such written conditions as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) may impose, ByteDance, its subsidiaries, affiliates, and Chinese shareholders, shall divest all interests and rights in:
(i) any tangible or intangible assets or property, wherever located, used to enable or support ByteDance's operation of the TikTok application in the United States, as determined by the Committee; and
(ii) any data obtained or derived from TikTok application or Musical.'‹ly application users in the United States. Immediately upon divestment, ByteDance shall certify in writing to CFIUS that all steps necessary to fully and permanently effectuate the actions required under sections 2(a) and 2(b) have been completed.
(c) Immediately upon divestment, ByteDance shall certify in writing to CFIUS that it has destroyed all data that it is required to divest pursuant to section 2(b)(ii), as well as all copies of such data wherever located, and CFIUS is authorized to require auditing of ByteDance on terms it deems appropriate in order to ensure that such destruction of data is complete.
(d) ByteDance shall not complete a sale or transfer under section 2(b) to any third party:
(i) until ByteDance notifies CFIUS in writing of the intended recipient or buyer; and
(ii) unless 10 business days have passed from the notification in section 2(d)(i) and CFIUS has not issued an objection to ByteDance. Among the factors CFIUS may consider in reviewing the proposed sale or transfer are whether the buyer or transferee: is a U.S. citizen or is owned by U.S. citizens; has or has had a direct or indirect contractual, financial, familial, employment, or other close and continuous relationship with ByteDance, or its officers, employees, or shareholders; and can demonstrate a willingness and ability to support compliance with this order. In addition, CFIUS may consider whether the proposed sale or transfer would threaten to impair the national security of the United States or undermine the purpose of this order, and whether the sale effectuates, to CFIUS's satisfaction and in its discretion, a complete divestment of all tangible or intangible assets or property, wherever located, used to enable or support the operation of the TikTok application in theUnited States.
(e) From the date of this order until ByteDance provides a certification of divestment to CFIUS pursuant to section 2(b), ByteDance and TikTok Inc., a Delaware corporation, shall certify to CFIUS on a weekly basis that they are in compliance with this order and include a description of efforts to divest the interests and rights described in section 2(b) and a timeline for projected completion of remaining actions.
(f) Any transaction or other device entered into or employed for the purpose of, or with the effect of, evading or circumventing this order is prohibited.
(g) Without limitation on the exercise of authority by any agency under other provisions of law, and until such time as the divestment is completed and verified to the satisfaction of CFIUS, CFIUS is authorized to implement measures it deems necessary and appropriate to verify compliance with this order and to ensure that the operations of the TikTok application are carried out in such a manner as to ensure protection of the national security interests of the United States. Such measures may include the following: on reasonable notice to ByteDance and TikTok Inc., employees of the United States Government, as designated by CFIUS, shall be permitted access, for purposes of verifying compliance with this order, to all premises and facilities of ByteDance and TikTok Inc., and any of their respective subsidiaries, operated in furtherance of the TikTok application located in the United States:
(i) to inspect and copy any books, ledgers, accounts, correspondence, memoranda, and other records and documents in the possession or under the control of ByteDance or TikTok Inc., or any of their respective subsidiaries, that concern any matter relating to this order;
(ii) to inspect or audit any information systems, networks, hardware, software, data, communications, or property in the possession or under the control of ByteDance or TikTok Inc., or any of their respective subsidiaries; and
(iii) to interview officers, employees, or agents of ByteDance or TikTok Inc., or any of their respective subsidiaries, concerning any matter relating to this order. CFIUS shall conclude its verification procedures within 90 days after the certification of divestment is provided to CFIUS pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(h) If any provision of this order, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstances, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and the application of its other provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. If any provision of this order, or the application of any provision to any person of circumstances, is held to be invalid because of the lack of certain procedural requirements, the relevant executive branch officials shall implement those procedural requirements.
(i) The Attorney General is authorized to take any steps necessary to enforce this order.
Sec. 3. Reservation. I hereby reserve my authority to issue further orders with respect to ByteDance, Musical.'‹ly, Musical.'‹ly in the United States, and TikTok Inc. as shall in my judgment be necessary to protect the national security.
Sec. 4. Publication and Transmittal. (a) This order shall be published in the Federal Register.
(b) I hereby direct the Secretary of the Treasury to transmit a copy of this order to the appropriate parties named in section 1 of this order.
THE WHITE HOUSE,August 14, 2020.
Public Pool is an automated feed of White House press pool reports . For live updates, follow @WHPublicPool on Twitter.
President Trump orders ByteDance to divest from its U.S. TikTok business within 90 days
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 04:02
Published Fri, Aug 14 2020 8:25 PM EDT
Updated 3 hours ago
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President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday that will force China's ByteDance to sell or spin off its U.S. TikTok business within 90 days. Under the latest order, ByteDance is expected to destroy all its copies of TikTok data attached to U.S. users, and inform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) when it has destroyed all that data.TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday that will force China's ByteDance to sell or spin off its U.S. TikTok business within 90 days.
"There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance ... might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," Trump said in his order.
The order was seen as good news for TikTok '-- a wildly popular short form video-sharing app '-- and its future in the U.S., at least relative to an earlier one from Trump last week. The prior executive order could have forced U.S. based app stores to stop distributing the TikTok app if ByteDance did not reach a deal to divest from it in 45 days.
The new order buys time for ByteDance to sort out a potential deal for TikTok in the states.
Under the latest order, ByteDance is expected to destroy all its copies of TikTok data attached to U.S. users, and inform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) when it has destroyed all that data.
ByteDance responded to Trump's latest order with the following statement: "As we've said previously, TikTok is loved by 100 million Americans because it is a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection. We're committed to continuing to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform for many years to come."
According to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday, TikTok was apparently collecting some of its users' MAC addresses, which are unique, fixed identifiers assigned to mobile phones and other internet-connected devices. MAC addresses can be used to track the physical whereabouts of a person using a connected device, even if they have opted out of all manner of other ad-related trackers in their phone's settings.
The report prompted U.S. senators to ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok's data collection practices.
Microsoft confirmed that it has held talks with ByteDance to buy its business in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The company is seen as the leading bidder, and the estimated worth of such a deal falls between $10 billion and $30 billion.
View the full site
Commercial companies run by Brennan at the top started data gathering, think marketing type data, but also Clearview AI for facial recognition. ALL CONTRACTORS who us the data not for selling ads, but using profiles of each person and compromised devices and apps to start personalizing harassment. Like those bots that show up in my timeline. Trying to get you mad and react.
Smith Mundt Modernization in the NDAA in 2012
She Helped Wreck the News Business. Here's Her Plan to Fix It | WIRED
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 17:48
Nandini Jammi remembers the moment she learned she was accidentally destroying the news industry. Like so much else in 2020, it came as an unpleasant surprise.
As the cofounder of a social media campaign called Sleeping Giants, Jammi had perfected the art of pressuring advertisers to stop funding websites that peddle hateful content. In 2017, Sleeping Giants attained national notoriety when its viral protests on Facebook and Twitter helped cause a 90 percent drop in Breitbart News' ad revenue'--kneecapping one of the most important and inflammatory right-wing publications of the 2016 election. The experience left Jammi, then in her late twenties, exquisitely attuned to the central economic fact of internet content: Good, bad, or neutral, it's all sustained by advertising.
This past March, as the full horror of the coronavirus pandemic began to reveal itself, Jammi watched the news business go into a financial tailspin. Even as traffic to coronavirus coverage soared, advertisers slashed their marketing budgets, starving publications of revenue. Hundreds of publishing-industry layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts soon followed (including at Cond(C) Nast, which owns WIRED). Jammi had a hunch that the situation was even worse than it looked. Not only were advertisers spending less, but what they were spending, she suspected, wasn't making its way to news publications. So-called keyword blocking software, designed to keep brands from appearing next to ''controversial'' topics, might be preventing ads from running on stories about the pandemic. Jammi went into a Slack channel for marketers to see if anyone would leak data to confirm her suspicions. At one point she asked why advertisers cared so much about avoiding unpleasant news topics.
''I mean this with all due respect,'' one chat participant replied, ''but they care because of you (your org), and it's broadly your fault.''
Jammi's shame campaigns may have worked too well. Companies afraid of ending up in Sleeping Giants' crosshairs, and the advertising agencies that work for them, have increasingly turned to ''brand safety'' tools offered by the ad tech industry. Keyword blocking purports to keep brands far away from unsafe content, but in practice it often steers advertising away from the news, accelerating the decline of an already beleaguered industry. When the pandemic hit, terms like ''coronavirus'' and ''Covid-19'' found their way onto block lists. The results were disastrous. A leaked spreadsheet from one major advertiser showed that software was blocking more than half of the company's ads from appearing on the sites of dozens of reputable publications, including the Boston Globe, CBS News, and Vox. (For WIRED, the number was ''only'' 41 percent: nearly 77,000 ads blocked in March.) Many brands were skipping block lists and pulling their ads out of news publications entirely. The news media was getting a smaller slice of a shrinking pie.
Re: Targeting is made possible by Omidyar Network. All WIRED content is editorially independent and produced by our journalists.
''As keyword blacklisting 'coronavirus' continues to decimate the news industry, I have had the sinking feeling that Sleeping Giants (a campaign which I co-run) has something to do with it,'' Jammi wrote to her newsletter subscribers on April 1. ''When Sleeping Giants started tweeting at companies asking them to take their ads off Breitbart, we thought we made it pretty clear why: Breitbart was a media outlet promoting hate speech and bigotry, and advertisers' dollars were funding it. What we never imagined was that brands would turn off the tap on all 'NEWS & CURRENT EVENTS' too.''
Her detractors delighted in the irony. ''What's astonishing is that the cofounder of Sleeping Giants would be so clueless that she 'never imagined' this would be the outcome of media boycotts,'' wrote the conservative columnist Mark Hemingway. He added, ''We'd be better off ignoring scolds and censors such as Sleeping Giants who, by their own admission, are wrecking the news business.''
What Jammi's critics didn't know was that she was, by then, recognizing the limits of Sleeping Giants herself and was already plotting her next move. She'd realized that the decline of reputable news, the rise of block lists, and the proliferation of online garbage were all perverse outgrowths of the same rotten, underlying fact: The people in charge of corporate marketing budgets have no idea where their ads are actually running, because they have come to outsource the central task of ad placement to vendors of automated technology. And, like the credit-default swaps and derivatives of an earlier era, that inscrutable, dizzyingly complex digital machinery rarely works as promised. Instead, it spends an unaccountable swath of the world's ad budgets on a whole galaxy of junk websites and apps built to harvest fake clicks.
Jammi's solution is simple and audacious. If digital marketing has helped wreck online discourse while wasting a ton of corporate money, then perhaps marketers are in the best position to save online discourse. She just needs to teach them to take control of where their ads are running'--and in the process, take on the $300 billion digital advertising sector with a business of her own.
Buying an ad used to be pretty simple. A company or its advertising agency would negotiate directly with a publisher to buy a few seconds of airtime, a page in a glossy magazine, or a square of newsprint. The publication was a proxy for the audience you wanted to reach. Selling golf clubs? Buy some inches in a magazine read by old, rich guys.
That's still broadly how things work in print and on TV and radio. But in the digital realm, the old-school approach has all but disappeared, replaced by something called programmatic display advertising. Programmatic ads are, generally speaking, ones that target users wherever they happen to go on the web, based on all sorts of personal information amassed from financial transactions and inferred from online behavior.
When you visit a site or open an app, it immediately sends out a signal to advertisers: Hey everyone, this (anonymized) person is looking at my page; who wants to show them an ad? Advertisers who want to reach users like you then compete in a real-time auction for your eyeballs. It's a terribly complex system, with a tangled web of intermediaries and software between you and the advertiser, and it occurs entirely in the time it takes the page to load. (More than one expert has compared it to high-frequency stock trading.) All of which makes it hard for brands to keep track of where their ads are being seen and their money is being spent. You can't hash things out with an algorithm over a three-martini lunch.
This was the world Jammi entered when she got her start in marketing. Jammi immigrated from India as a kid and grew up in the DC suburbs. After graduating in 2011 from the University of Maryland, where she worked on the campus newspaper, she headed to Europe, supporting herself through remote digital marketing work. That led to a gig at a startup in the United Kingdom where, Jammi says, she became a one-woman direct-marketing team, trying to get companies to buy her employer's product management software. She was fascinated by the psychology of the job. ''It's basically like running a persuasion machine,'' she says. ''You've got to convince them to do something that they otherwise wouldn't have done.''
Eventually, her boss put her in charge of the company's first programmatic ad campaign, with a budget of a few thousand dollars. Like the overwhelming majority of small businesses, Jammi used Google's advertising platform. ''I was very careful with it,'' Jammi says. ''I wanted to know how the money was being spent.'' So she went into the back end to check where her ads were being seen. The sites were mostly ones she hadn't heard of. The only one she recalls recognizing was Zero Hedge, a libertarian blog that dabbles in conspiracy theories and would later be suspended by Google Ads for publishing racist content. ''Is this how it's supposed to work?'' she wondered. ''Why would these ads be served on these sites that I have not heard of? Why are they not being served on a publication I have heard of?''
Jammi asked her boss for help figuring out what had happened to the money they spent. As far as they could tell, the whole campaign resulted in a measly two people signing up for free trials of their product. Jammi was still a marketing newbie, but by taking the unusual step of trying to audit her own campaign, she had learned something important about digital advertising: If you don't take careful control up front, your ads can end up anywhere, including places that make no sense for your brand.
The experience was fresh in her mind a few months later when, shortly after the 2016 election, Jammi visited for the first time. The site was riding high, having emerged as a more explicitly nationalist alternative to Fox News. Which is why Jammi was surprised to see a display ad for Old Navy featuring an interracial couple. It occurred to her that Old Navy probably had no idea its ads were running on a site that maintained a ''Black Crime'' article tag.
Jammi wrote a post on Medium urging marketers to stop running ads on the site. ''Just go into your Adwords account now and pull your display and remarketing ads off,'' she wrote. ''Breitbart News is fully covered under the 1st amendment '-- but that doesn't mean we have to help fund it.''
The post caught the attention of Matt Rivitz, who had just created the Sleeping Giants account on Twitter and called out the mortgage company SoFi for advertising on Breitbart. (The name Sleeping Giants has no particular meaning; Rivitz just thought it sounded cool.) The two decided to join forces, Rivitz from San Francisco and Jammi from Berlin, and began challenging other well-known companies. By early 2017, hundreds of major brands, including the likes of Kellogg's, BMW, and Lyft, had blocked the site, leading Breitbart's executive chair, Steve Bannon, to admit that the campaign had crippled Breitbart's finances. Sleeping Giants went on to claim more victories, pushing advertisers to abandon Fox News' Tucker Carlson, who suggested on air that immigrants make the US ''dirtier,'' and spurring a boycott of alleged serial sexual harasser Bill O'Reilly that helped get the host fired.
The campaign was initially anonymous, but eventually the Daily Caller, a conservative outlet cofounded by Carlson, outed Rivitz. He and Jammi were then profiled in The New York Times, which gave the campaign new visibility. They became a household name within the advertising industry, and not necessarily in a good way. ''Sleeping Giants will finger-wag and name and shame for the slightest things,'' says Robert Rakowitz, who was head of global media at Mars when Sleeping Giants sicced its followers on the candy giant, prompting it to cut ties with Breitbart. Rakowitz appreciates what Sleeping Giants is trying to do but resents their approach. ''That's their business, calling people out, and it's not helpful to the situation. They're only accelerating polarization.''
Sleeping Giants wasn't the only source of incoming fire that advertisers were facing. In February 2017, journalists at the Times of London revealed that prominent brands were inadvertently subsidizing YouTube videos created by terrorist sympathizers, Nazis, and the like, by running ads on them. In response, major companies like Johnson & Johnson pulled their advertising from YouTube altogether; several European brands likewise boycotted the platform.
As interest in ''brand safety'' spiked, the ad tech sector saw a business opportunity in the anxiety. ''Ad verification'' companies like DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, and Oracle Data Cloud offered the promise of a technological solution to the Sleeping Giants problem: They compiled lists of keywords that were associated with controversy and promised brands that their advertisements would never appear on pages that included those terms. Advertisers and their media agencies eagerly signed up.
But blocking tools defined ''brand safety'' in terms far more broad and haphazard than what Jammi had been shaming companies for. In the old days, an airline might call up a newspaper to pull an ad that was slotted to run next to a story about a recent plane crash because the ''adjacency'' was seen as bad for business. Now, however, ad verification vendors were drawing up lists of blocked terms that could stretch into the thousands. The results could be laughable. The magazine publisher Hearst, for example, has complained that articles about Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, were being blocked because ''sex'' appeared on block lists. Less laughable: The definition of ''controversial'' could smuggle in ugly biases, flagging terms like ''lesbian'' and ''bisexual.''
On the whole, the innovation brought no obvious benefit to advertisers, but it delivered pain to the news business. An analysis of newspaper and magazine publishers in the US, United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan concluded that overblocking deprived them of $3.2 billion of digital revenue last year. Meanwhile, bottom-feeding publishers whose entire business model involved gaming the programmatic ad system'--and not, say, faithfully reflecting world events'--adapted and found ways around the block lists. Breitbart, for example, appears to have survived the advertiser exodus in part by figuring out how to pose as other, more reputable sites in the automated ad marketplace. Moreover, keyword-blocking tools didn't even work on ''closed'' platforms like Facebook or YouTube, even though YouTube videos are what prompted much of the soul-searching.
Jammi kept her day job in digital marketing while she helped run Sleeping Giants, and the campaign kept claiming scalps. In late 2017 it pressured institutional investors to force Breitbart backer and Trump megadonor Robert Mercer to step down as co-CEO and resign from the board of his company, Renaissance Technologies, and in early 2019 it helped get conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' InfoWars channel removed from the Roku TV platform.
But Jammi and Rivitz weren't only pissing off right-wing kingmakers and alienating advertisers; they were increasingly at odds with each other. In May 2019, Sleeping Giants won an award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a major advertising industry event. From the outside, it looked like a high point. In fact, it was a breaking point. Rivitz went to Cannes without telling Jammi. She didn't even know about the award until after the fact. (Rivitz ran the team's Twitter account, while Jammi ran the Facebook page, so they didn't necessarily both see the same messages that came in.)
''After we win an award, he tells me by DM that we've won an award,'' she says. ''I didn't know what a big deal it was. And then all these people start messaging me, and they're like, 'Hi, like, that's amazing. Why aren't you in Cannes?'''
According to Jammi, this was part of a long pattern of behavior in which Rivitz tried to hog credit for Sleeping Giants and keep Jammi from being identified as an equal partner in the press. The Cannes snub was the last straw. So even as Jammi continued to run the Sleeping Giants Facebook account and identify herself as cofounder in the press, she began planning her next move. (She formally left Sleeping Giants this past June, writing a viral Medium post with the subtitle, ''How my white male cofounder gaslighted me out of the movement we built together.'' Rivitz issued an abject public apology soon after.)
Jammi was starting to realize that the Sleeping Giants approach'--calling out a particular brand for subsidizing a particular site'--only went so far, anyway. ''At Sleeping Giants, I was playing Whac-A-Mole,'' she says. The effort might get that brand to knock it off, but it didn't fundamentally change how they approached marketing. The bigger problem lay in advertisers handing over their campaigns to technology they didn't understand.
The full scale of the Whac-A-Mole problem hit home for Jammi when, last September, she met a Twitter acquaintance named Augustine Fou for coffee in Manhattan. (Jammi moved back from Germany in 2019.) Fou is a longtime digital marketer turned ad fraud investigator and strident critic of the industry. ''It's cool that you got Breitbart taken care of,'' Fou told her. ''But did you know that there's hundreds of thousands of Breitbarts out there?''
Fou's point was that the rise of online hate was intimately tied to the much broader phenomenon of programmatic ad fraud. In the old days, he explained, someone who wanted to publish racist propaganda would have had a hard time getting anyone to read it and an even harder time paying for it. But social media's algorithms make it easy to amplify inflammatory content'--and programmatic advertising makes it simple to monetize. It's trivially easy to set up a site and get it accepted into an ad tech company's network, even if the site is full of hateful or even plagiarized content. These bottom-dweller sites can undercut the prices charged for ad space by more legitimate competitors, so that they not only pull ads away from real journalism but also lower the going rate. And for every Breitbart or Zero Hedge, there are thousands of straight-up fraudulent sites designed simply to attract clicks, either from bots or human users duped into visiting the URL.
Until her meeting with Fou, Jammi had been thinking in terms of which website to target next. Now she realized she needed to think about how to change the system itself. And the fraud angle provided an important clue. A junior-level marketer or media buyer at an agency might or might not care about the health of digital media. But show them that they're wasting their boss's money on rampant fraud? That could get someone to pay attention.
Thus was born Jammi's latest venture, Check My Ads, which she cofounded with Claire Atkin, a fellow marketer with an idealistic streak. Atkin, a 32-year-old Canadian based in Vancouver, was so disturbed by the role of social media in the 2016 US presidential race that she went to Italy for a course in international election observation the next year. Her takeaway: The people in charge didn't have the answers to online disinformation because they didn't understand the business of it. ''I realized, with much respect to the teachers, that because of my background in technology I actually knew more about the subject than they did,'' she says.
The name Check My Ads pretty much sums up the idea: For starters, Atkin and Jammi would help marketers figure out where their ads were really showing up, then help them stop subsidizing offensive material and wasting money on fraud. Ultimately, they would try to spark a revolution in the profession, teaching marketers to break their dependence on automation and rediscover the value of running ads on quality publishers. It's a scheme whose grandiosity is matched only by the stunning dysfunction of the digital advertising industry itself.
As 2019 rolled into 2020, Jammi and Atkin remained focused on helping brands to stop subsidizing crappy sites. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and the inverse problem'--of brand safety technology that blocks ads from appearing on legitimate news sites'--suddenly attained crisis proportions. As ''covid'' and ''coronavirus'' appeared on block lists'--and ad revenue to vital news publications plummeted in the midst of a public health emergency'--the insanity of the whole system became painfully clear. Ads were being directed away from the likes of Time and Der Spiegel but were still finding their way to, say, fringe sites that promoted drinking bleach to cure autism. The programmatic advertising machine was broken, and brand safety technology, it seemed obvious to Jammi, was less a fix than a kludge on top of the problem.
The ad-verification vendors vigorously dispute this characterization, pointing to the growing sophistication of their products. DoubleVerify touts its ''semantic science solution,'' Oracle Data Cloud its ''contextual intelligence.'' In a blog post, DoubleVerify's chief operating officer, Matt McLaughlin, says that his company's keyword tool blocks less than 2 percent of news publishers' ads. He also reminds advertisers to practice ''keyword list hygiene.'' While DoubleVerify does block ''emerging negative content,'' among other categories, it says that brands should remove those terms once the topic is no longer emerging.
Even more destructive than keyword blocking is another increasingly widespread practice among marketers in the era of brand safety: refusing to advertise on news publications at all. In a 2018 survey by Digiday, 43 percent of media buyers said they avoid news content at least sometimes. There is no evidence that this makes business sense; there's no reason to think someone who sees an ad for Domino's while reading an upsetting story about, say, police violence will be any less likely to order their pizza. To the contrary, one recent study found that the ''halo effect'' of advertising on a set of established, respected news sites led to a massive increase in ''brand lift,'' a measure of warm consumer feeling, compared to ads that ran across the rest of the internet. When a brand blocks these publishers, by contrast, its ads will only show up in less prestigious environments, funneling ad money toward the internet's long tail of obscure, lower-quality sites.
Ad verification companies may not officially endorse avoiding the news wholesale, but Jammi blames them for sending advertisers in that direction. And she rejects the idea that the corrective to overblocking is to rely even more heavily on the newest software. ''You can't automate your way to brand safety,'' she says. Layering on new algorithms to clean up the mess of other algorithms only makes things worse. The vendors, she points out, want to show that their products are working, which gives them an incentive to block a lot of ads. ''I feel comfortable antagonizing the ad-verification industry,'' she says, ''because they're lying to their customers.''
The difference now is that Jammi has set out to antagonize the ad-verification industry in a way that involves having customers herself. ''I consider this the end of me calling out companies publicly,'' Jammi says. ''I want to now help them to ensure that never happens to them. And I want to save them money.''
Jammi got her chance this spring, when Check My Ads found its first client: Andrew Lissimore, the Vancouver-based co-owner of, an online retailer that specializes in top-end audio equipment. He met Atkin at a Zoom happy hour event in early spring, back when people still agreed to Zoom happy hours. Intrigued by her project, he agreed to have her check out his own ad campaign. The company was spending about $1,200 per day on retargeting ads, the kind that ostensibly follow people who have already shown some interest by visiting the site.
Lissimore was pretty confident that Atkin wouldn't find anything alarming. ''I thought the whole time that there was nothing wrong on my end,'' he says. ''I just thought their project sounds interesting.''
He was mistaken. Under Atkin's guidance, he emailed the retargeting vendor, Criteo, to get a list of the publishers where his ads were running. Atkin combed through them and picked out some alarming examples. Ads for were appearing on sites that Lissimore finds personally abhorrent, among them Breitbart and the conspiracy-mongering Epoch Times.
But by far the biggest portion of his budget was simply being wasted. A big chunk was going to sites in countries in Latin America where does no business. And an amazing 80 percent of the retargeting campaign was going to Android games. That made no sense. Lissimore's customers are the type of people who might drop $5,000 on a headphone amplifier; 95 percent of them visit the site on Apple devices. They probably weren't taking a break from playing Fun Race 3D to make an impulse purchase on their phone. This was almost certainly fraud: bots were visiting, then opening these Android games, where they would get served ads. Then the game developers would get paid. After Lissimore asked Criteo to start blocking the objectionable publishers and useless Android games and limit his targeting to the US and Canada, his daily spending dropped to less than $80 overnight. Sales didn't change.
Lissimore remains incensed at Criteo. His user dashboard didn't allow him to see, let alone choose, where his ads appeared. He had to email the company to even get that information, and then again to ask it to block certain sites. ''They have a version of their dashboard that includes this crucial information, but they purposely don't share it unless you ask,'' he says. ''I'd imagine millions of dollars are flowing to these publishers from companies who wouldn't be caught dead sending them a single cent. All because Criteo is purposely opaque about where the money is going.'' (According to Jessica Meyers, a Criteo spokesperson, the information Lissimore requested is ''automatically enabled and visible to all clients in the Management Center in the Americas and Europe.'' But Lissimore shared emails and screenshots showing that this wasn't the case. Meyers also said Criteo had added the Epoch Times, along with the Gateway Pundit, another conspiracy-mongering site, to its default block list.)
The moment couldn't be much riper for a backlash to programmatic ads. Evidence keeps piling up that the technology isn't all it's cracked up to be. A recent study of ad campaigns by major brands by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers found that ad tech middlemen were capturing fully 50 percent of the money spent, nearly a third of which seemed to have simply disappeared. In the Netherlands, the country's main public broadcaster recently got rid of microtargeting entirely and saw a big increase in digital ad revenue.
Meanwhile, companies are grappling with the morality of their advertising practices in unprecedentedly public ways. The spate of articles about Covid-related keyword blocking in March brought unwanted attention to brand safety technology. And more dozens of prominent brands joined a temporary Facebook ad boycott, partly organized by Jammi's former partner Matt Rivitz, designed to force the company to update its policies on hate speech. That's different from programmatic advertising, but it suggests that advertisers are beginning to recognize the leverage they wield over the ad tech giants that depend on their continued spending.
Even Robert Rakowitz, who got stung by Sleeping Giants when he ran advertising for Mars and now leads the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, describes goals that sound similar to Jammi's. ''If the reality is the whole industry pulls away from news, then what are we left with?'' he asks. ''State-owned media broadcasters and publishers, and tech platforms. And that's not a good thing.''
In Rakowitz's eyes, advertisers have been chasing the false promise of programmatic advertising to find the right customer at the cheapest possible cost. Like Jammi and Atkin, he wants advertisers to start by picking publishers they'd like to advertise with, rather than picking the audience they want to microtarget.
But when asked what exactly the alliance is working on, Rakowitz slips into corporate jargon: ''We're going to be kicking off work later this summer where we start to get into KPIs and developing what we consider goals.'' (KPI is short for ''key performance indicator,'' business-speak for tracking progress.) The wheels of global business alliances grind slowly, if they grind at all. It's fair to wonder whether a consortium that includes Facebook and Google'--the two dominant digital advertising companies'--will produce any meaningful change to the status quo.
Jammi and Atkin aren't willing to wait to find out. Though they won't disclose their current clients, they have begun working with some prominent multinational corporations, ''including a well-known pharmaceutical brand,'' according to Jammi.
''This is, like, my biggest marketing campaign ever,'' she says. ''I'm just doing what I did at that old job, but at a bigger scale. I'm showing them a solution to a problem they don't know they had.'' Sometimes progress looks like going back.
*Updated 8/14/2020 2:50 pm ET: A previous version of this article incorrectly suggested that DoubleVerify adds emerging news topics to brands' block lists by default. *
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Ministry of Truthiness
Bret Schafer '' Alliance For Securing Democracy
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 13:54
About Bret Schafer Bret Schafer is the Alliance for Securing Democracy's Media and Digital Disinformation Fellow. As an expert in computational propaganda, he has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, and he has been interviewed on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, and CBS and BBC radio. Prior to joining GMF, he spent more than ten years in the television and film industry, including stints at Cartoon Network and as a freelance writer for Warner Brothers. He also worked in Budapest as a radio host, in Berlin as a semi-professional baseball player in Germany's Bundesliga, and in Moscow as an intern in the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Russia. He has a BS in communications with a major in radio/television/film from Northwestern University, and a master's in public diplomacy from the University of Southern California, where he was the editor-in-chief of Public Diplomacy Magazine.
Hamilton Toplines: August 1-7, 2020 Heavy coverage of the explosion in Beirut was substantial enough to break through the coronavirus news cycle, reflected in the fact that #Beirut was the third most-used hashtag by Russian, Iranian, and Chinese state media and government accounts las [...]
Hamilton Analysis: How Russia and China Covered the TikTok Ban Overview President Trump's executive order last week outlining plans to effectively ban Chinese short-form video app TikTok from the U.S. market triggered a predictable backlash from China's state media and government officials, who accused the U.S. [...]
Hamilton Toplines: July 25-31, 2020 Russian, Chinese, and Iranian state media and government accounts once again took aim at the United States last week, with the most pointed commentary coming from China and Iran. On July 31, a series of tweets from the Supreme Leader of Iran's many [...]
Hamilton Weekly Overview: July 18-July 24, 2020 The Russian, Chinese, and Iranian networks monitored on Hamilton showed little topical overlap last week, save for the ever-present coverage of the coronavirus. Russian state-backed media and government officials pushed back on the U.K. Russia repor [...]
Hamilton Weekly Report: July 11-July 17, 2020 Overview Coronavirus coverage was again the primary through line in messaging from Russia, Iran, and China last week, with Russian state media and diplomats touting an alleged breakthrough in the country's development of a vaccine (a claim boosted b [...]
Hamilton Weekly Report: July 4-July 10, 2020 Overview The United States and its allies were, once again, the primary targets of negative messaging from Russia, China, and Iran's diplomats and state media last week. Kremlin-funded media hammered the Baltic states for a second straight week afte [...]
Hamilton Weekly Report: June 27-July 3, 2020 Overview Besides the ubiquitous coverage of the coronavirus, Russia, China, and Iran's state media and government messengers last week hit on familiar themes for each of their respective countries. For Russia, that meant elevating claims of ''Russoph [...]
Bret Schafer Discusses China's Messaging on George Floyd Protests on VOA Chinese Digital Media and Disinformation Fellow Bret Schafer explained that for the first time with the George Floyd protests, we've seen China aggressively messaging on an issue that doesn't directly relate to its own interests. China has been trying to pa [...]
Hamilton Weekly Report: June 20-26, 2020 Overview Besides ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, there was little narrative overlap in messaging from Russian, Chinese, and Iranian government officials and state media, besides the ever-present strain of anti-Americanism. For most of [...]
Hamilton Weekly Report: June 13-19, 2020 Overview For the first time since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, coverage of racism, police brutality, and related protests did not feature among the top ten hashtags or key phrases (in aggregate) used by Russian, Chinese, and Iranian d [...]
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The 19th
About The 19th* | The 19th
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A century ago, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution made voting, our country's most fundamental mode of civic participation, a right regardless of gender. But this watershed moment in our democracy excluded millions of women, including women of color, from the ballot box for generations. The reality is suffrage remains a work in progress for many in this country, particularly women living in states where voter suppression exists and tens of thousands of transgender Americans who face barriers to voting.
Today, women make up more than half of the American electorate and are more engaged than ever in our politics '-- marching on state capitols, voting at higher rates than men, and running for local office and seeking the presidency in record numbers. Yet they remain underrepresented in government and in the nation's executive ranks. Women and gender diverse people are also underrepresented in politics and policy journalism and in newsroom leadership, which influences what stories are told, how the news is covered and whose voices are elevated.
73.7 million
Number of women who voted in 2016 '-- nearly 10 million more than men
Seats in Congress held by women in 2020
Percentage of state legislators who are women of color
Number of transgender people who could be turned away at the polls in 2020 because they lack an ID to vote
In short: The 19th Amendment remains unfinished business, a fact we acknowledge in our logo with an asterisk '-- a visible reminder of those who have been omitted from our democracy. The expansion of the franchise continues today, and The 19th aims to capture this ongoing American story.
Our goal is to empower those we serve '-- particularly women, people of color, and those historically underserved by American media '-- with the information, resources and community they need to be equal participants in our democracy. We will do this through:
Free-to-consume and free-to-republish journalism that reimagines politics and policy coverage through a gender lens.Deep-dive, evidence-based reporting that exposes gender inequity and injustice, and reveals surprising and original stories on the issues that most deeply affect women's lives, from health care to the economy.A digital platform for civil conversations and community building, and national events that bring our readers into direct contact with their elected officials.A newsroom that reflects the racial, ideological, socioeconomic and gender diversity of American voters, and is devoted to covering everyone with empathy.Here's what you won't find at The 19th: Cheap shots or cheerleading. Opinion or false equivalency. Partisanship. Horse-race politics. Turn-of-the-screw stories. Clickbait. (Sorry, not sorry.)
How We're FundedThe 19th is a nonprofit newsroom supported by a mix of membership, philanthropy and corporate underwriting. Our goal is long-term sustainability to support a lasting future for news and information at the intersection of gender, politics and policy.
All of the money we raise goes back into our journalism '-- and we list all donors and corporate sponsors who've given $1,000 or more on our website. Any donor or sponsor at this level who's mentioned in a story will be identified in that story.
Donors and sponsors don't get a thumb on the scale; they play no role in our journalism, in our storytelling or in the planning and execution of our events.
Our ValuesThe 19th aims to be a source of news and information for all women, with a special emphasis on those who have been underserved by and underrepresented in American media. Among our values:
Our reporting will be rooted in facts, data, evidence and excellence. It will be nonpartisan, but won't peddle both sides-ism. It will aim to advance human rights, civil rights, racial justice and gender equity through storytelling that exposes disparities and empathizes with the lived experiences of those we cover. Our journalism '-- and our staff '-- will strive to reflect the nation's racial, ideological, socioeconomic and gender diversity.Our readers will be our community; we don't believe in one-way conversations, and engaging with our audience is in our DNA. We believe in constructive and civil dialogue '-- and that kindness is the best starting point. Finally, we'll be transparent: Our readers deserve to know how our journalism is funded and who's supporting our work.Our Team Emily Ramshaw is our co-founder and CEO. She was previously editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, an award-winning nonpartisan digital news startup. She serves on the board of the Pulitzer Prize.
Amanda Zamora is our co-founder and publisher. She spent nearly two decades as a digital editor, product manager and audience strategist at newsrooms including the Texas Tribune, ProPublica and The Washington Post.
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Our Board of DirectorsJessica Lessin (Board Chair)Founder & CEO, The Information
Sarah AdlerEntrepreneur-in-Residence at The New York Times, Co-Founder of Spoon University
Daisy Auger-DominguezChief People Officer, VICE Media Group
Katy Drake BettnerCo-Founder, Playful Corp, and Producer, BetRed Stories
Liliana Garcia-Pati±oHost and Producer, Univision Radio Network
Margaret HooverHost of PBS' ''Firing Line with Margaret Hoover''
Susan McPhersonFounder and CEO, McPherson Strategies
Kathryn MurdochCo-Founder and President of the Quadrivium Foundation
Craig NewmarkWeb Pioneer, Philanthropist, Activist
Mi-Ai ParrishManaging Director, ASU Media Enterprise, and Professor, Cronkite School of Journalism
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Tasneem RajaEditor-in-Chief, The Oaklandside
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Join UsJoin hundreds of others already supporting our mission with their membership. Your financial support helps make our journalism possible.
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Our journalism is powered by readers who believe in our mission'...'... to empower women '-- particularly those underserved by and underrepresented in American media '-- with the information, community and tools they need to be equal participants in our democracy.
At a time when newsroom budgets across the United States are shrinking, The 19th is investing in serious, nonpartisan reporting that reimagines politics and policy journalism to be more inclusive of and responsive to all women. That means:
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Kathryn Murdoch '-- Unite America
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:17
Kathryn Murdoch is co-founder and president of Quadrivium, which supports practical, evidence-based solutions for critical societal problems. Kathryn currently serves on the boards of Unite America, the Climate Leadership Council and Climate Central.
She is a founding board member of SciLine and co-chairs the Oceans and Communications committees as a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund. Previously, she served on the advisory board of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford University and the Board of Trustees at Rockefeller University.
Ms. Murdoch started her career as a marketing and communications executive, in New York and Hong Kong. Later, she co-founded clothing and accessories brand Thakoon, ultimately selling the business in 2015.
She served as Director of Strategy and Communications for the Clinton Climate Initiative from 2006 until 2011. From 2011 to 2012 she was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, where as Director of ReSource 2012, she convened scientists, academics, investment professionals and entrepreneurs to promote the judicious use of natural resources.
In 2014, Ms. Murdoch co-founded Quadrivium, whose mission is to invest in root cause solutions for some of society's most urgent challenges.
At Quadrivium, she founded SciLine, in partnership with AAAS, to provide scientific expertise and context to journalists in real time and on deadline, she has funded important work at the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center for New American Security,, and the Anti-Defamation League.
In 2019, Ms. Murdoch and Quadrivium started a new, multi-year program focusing significant resources on finding and achieving solutions to identified problems in our democratic process. Structural changes, voter participation and aligning incentives for leadership, are among the areas of engagement.
Kathryn lives with her family in New York City.
Kathryn Murdoch '-- Quadrivium
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:20
Kathryn Murdoch is co-founder and president of Quadrivium, which supports practical, evidence-based solutions for critical societal problems. Kathryn currently serves on the boards of Unite America, the Climate Leadership Council and Climate Central. She is a founding board member of SciLine and co-chairs the Oceans and Communications committees as a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund. Previously, she served on the advisory board of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford University and the Board of Trustees at Rockefeller University.
Ms. Murdoch started her career as a marketing and communications executive, in New York and Hong Kong. Later, she co-founded clothing and accessories brand Thakoon, ultimately selling the business in 2015.
She served as Director of Strategy and Communications for the Clinton Climate Initiative from 2006 until 2011. From 2011 to 2012 she was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, where as Director of ReSource 2012, she convened scientists, academics, investment professionals and entrepreneurs to promote the judicious use of natural resources.
In 2014, Ms. Murdoch co-founded Quadrivium, whose mission is to invest in root cause solutions for some of society's most urgent challenges.
At Quadrivium, she founded SciLine, in partnership with AAAS, to provide scientific expertise and context to journalists in real time and on deadline, she has funded important work at the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center for New American Security, and the Anti-Defamation League.
In 2019, Ms. Murdoch and Quadrivium started a new, multi-year program focusing significant resources on finding and achieving solutions to identified problems in our democratic process. Structural changes, voter participation and aligning incentives for leadership, are among the areas of engagement.
Kathryn lives with her family in New York City.
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:22
A strong democracy is the foundation for progress on every issue that we care about. Quadrivium is working to restore the health of our US democracy at a time of increasing polarization and dysfunction within the system. Through our strategic investment in Unite America Institute, we are helping to build capacity and strengthen coordination within the democracy reform movement, so that it can be more effective and achieve the required scale. Read more about this work here.
Among our areas of engagement, we focus on achieving structural reforms, increasing voter participation and aligning incentives for leadership. Here are just some the groups we are supporting through the Foundation:
Working with Represent US and others, we support efforts to achieve bipartisan redistricting committees and automatic voter registration; we are advancing Ranked Choice Voting as an electoral reform in which the candidate supported by the majority wins.
By turning the internet into an onramp for voting, Democracy Works is on course to reach its national goal of achieving 80% voter turnout; while is working to make voting a lifelong habit among the youngest in our electorate. We also support the work of Voting Rights Lab to expand voter participation and prevent voter suppression.
In addition, we are focused on developing the pipeline of leaders who put country over party '' from recruitment and training through to legislating. Millennial Action Project brings together bipartisan caucuses in US Congress and state legislatures to forge common ground on key issues facing America's next generation -- including democracy reform.
Quadrivium - Wikipedia
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 20:16
In liberal arts education, the quadrivium (plural: quadrivia[1]) consists of the four subjects or arts (namely arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy), taught after teaching the trivium. The word is Latin, meaning four ways, and its use for the four subjects has been attributed to Boethius or Cassiodorus in the 6th century.[2][3] Together, the trivium and the quadrivium comprised the seven liberal arts (based on thinking skills),[4] as distinguished from the practical arts (such as medicine and architecture).
The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These followed the preparatory work of the trivium, consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. In turn, the quadrivium was considered the foundation for the study of philosophy (sometimes called the "liberal art par excellence")[5] and theology. The quadrivium was the upper division of the medieval education in the liberal arts, which comprised arithmetic (number), geometry (number in space), music (number in time), and astronomy (number in space and time). Educationally, the trivium and the quadrivium imparted to the student the seven liberal arts (essential thinking skills) of classical antiquity.[6]
Origins Edit These four studies compose the secondary part of the curriculum outlined by Plato in The Republic and are described in the seventh book of that work (in the order Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, Music). [4]The quadrivium is implicit in early Pythagorean writings and in the De nuptiis of Martianus Capella, although the term quadrivium was not used until Boethius, early in the sixth century.[7] As Proclus wrote:
The Pythagoreans considered all mathematical science to be divided into four parts: one half they marked off as concerned with quantity, the other half with magnitude; and each of these they posited as twofold. A quantity can be considered in regard to its character by itself or in its relation to another quantity, magnitudes as either stationary or in motion. Arithmetic, then, studies quantities as such, music the relations between quantities, geometry magnitude at rest, spherics [astronomy] magnitude inherently moving.[8]
Medieval usage Edit Woman teaching geometry. Illustration at the beginning of a medieval translation of Euclid's Elements, (c. 1310)
At many medieval universities, this would have been the course leading to the degree of Master of Arts (after the BA). After the MA, the student could enter for bachelor's degrees of the higher faculties (Theology, Medicine or Law). To this day, some of the postgraduate degree courses lead to the degree of Bachelor (the B.Phil and B.Litt. degrees are examples in the field of philosophy).
The study was eclectic, approaching the philosophical objectives sought by considering it from each aspect of the quadrivium within the general structure demonstrated by Proclus (AD 412''485), namely arithmetic and music on the one hand[9] and geometry and cosmology on the other.[10]
The subject of music within the quadrivium was originally the classical subject of harmonics, in particular the study of the proportions between the musical intervals created by the division of a monochord. A relationship to music as actually practised was not part of this study, but the framework of classical harmonics would substantially influence the content and structure of music theory as practised in both European and Islamic cultures.
Modern usage Edit In modern applications of the liberal arts as curriculum in colleges or universities, the quadrivium may be considered to be the study of number and its relationship to space or time: arithmetic was pure number, geometry was number in space, music was number in time, and astronomy was number in space and time. Morris Kline classified the four elements of the quadrivium as pure (arithmetic), stationary (geometry), moving (astronomy), and applied (music) number.[11]
This schema is sometimes referred to as "classical education", but it is more accurately a development of the 12th- and 13th-century Renaissance with recovered classical elements, rather than an organic growth from the educational systems of antiquity. The term continues to be used by the Classical education movement and at the independent Oundle School, in the United Kingdom.[12]
See also Edit Look up quadrivium in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.Andreas CapellanusDegrees of the University of OxfordFour artsTriviumReferences Edit ^ Kohler, Kaufmann. "Wisdom". Jewish Encyclopedia . Retrieved 2015-11-07 . ^ "Part I: The Age of Augustine". 2010. ND205. ^ "Quadrivium (education)". Britannica Online. 2011. EB. ^ a b Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Quadrivium" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. ^ Gilman, Daniel Coit, et al. (1905). New International Encyclopedia. Lemma "Arts, Liberal". ^ Onions, C.T., ed. (1991). The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. p. 944. ^ Marrou, Henri-Ir(C)n(C)e (1969). "Les Arts Lib(C)raux dans l'Antiquit(C) Classique". pp. 6''27 in Arts Lib(C)raux et Philosophie au Moyen ‚ge. Paris: Vrin; Montr(C)al: Institut d'‰tudes M(C)di(C)vales. pp. 18''19. ^ Proclus. A Commentary on the First Book of Euclid's Elements, xii. trans. Glenn Raymond Morrow. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992. pp. 29''30. ISBN 0-691-02090-6. ^ Wright, Craig (2001). The Maze and the Warrior: Symbols in Architecture, Theology, and Music. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ^ Smoller, Laura Ackerman (1994). History, Prophecy and the Stars: Christian Astrology of Pierre D'Ailly, 1350''1420. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ^ Kline, Morris (1953). "The Sine of G Major". In Mathematics in Western Culture. Oxford University Press. ^ "Oundle School '' Improving Intellectual Challenge". The Boarding Schools' Association. 27 October 2014. Each of these iterations was discussed in a conference at King's College London on "The Future of Liberal Arts" at schools and universities.
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:23
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Our ServicesSciLine is a freely available resource for journalists working on print, broadcast, video, and new-media platforms, providing timely referrals to scientists with both topical expertise and excellent communication skills.Recognizing that technical expertise is only part of what a journalist needs from a science source, SciLine also works to provide communications training for scientists. It strives to expand the diversity of those able to serve as expert news sources, with the goal of increasing the breadth of evidence-based perspectives and reducing journalistic reliance on the ''usual suspects'', even when deadlines loom.
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Our PeopleSciLine is led by a director with decades of experience in field and laboratory research, science journalism, and public affairs, and is staffed by experienced writers, editors, and communicators. A volunteer Advisory Board, consisting of scientists, general assignment and science reporters, and communications professionals regularly advises SciLine on strategy, development, and operations issues and to help ensure accuracy, quality, and impartiality.
DirectorRick has more than three decades of experience in journalism and public affairs, including 15 years as a science reporter at the Washington Post and more than a decade leading strategic communications and media relations activities around issues of science and technology in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. While at The Post, Rick wrote more than 1,000 news and feature articles about advances in science and technology and their economic, societal, and ethical implications. His awards include the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing's Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting and the National Association of Science Writers' Science and Society Award.
Rick earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Cornell University and a master's degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a license in medical technology with the American Society for Clinical Pathology. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife Natalie Angier, the New York Times science writer and author.
Local Media Outreach ManagerDuring her ten years (and counting!) in science communications, Sara has worked in nonprofit, agency, and academic settings. Before joining SciLine, she led communications strategy and operations for two research and advocacy projects at The Pew Charitable Trusts. At Pew, she honed her ability to develop clear explanations of complex topics, like the regulation of compounded drugs, dietary supplements, and stem cell therapies. She has also worked at the mission-driven communications firm Burness, and the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University.
Before becoming a communications professional, Sara was a wannabe-scientist who spent summers conducting research on, respectively, the effects of mosquito-control pesticides on monarch butterfly caterpillars, and telomere dynamics in wild Savannah sparrows. She also held a yearlong postbaccalaureate research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, where she received training in molecular biology techniques and fruit fly genetics. She attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where she earned a B.A. in biology with a minor in Mandarin Chinese.
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Josh received his M.S. in applied data science from Syracuse University, where he is currently pursuing a second M.S. in information management. He received his B.A. in political science from American University, with a focus on science and technology policy.
Associate Director, ScienceMeredith is a physical scientist with expertise in observational astrophysics and extensive science policy experience in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining SciLine, Meredith served for five years at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, most recently as its acting lead for science. There she worked with the public and private sectors to expand opportunities and improve learning outcomes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education as well as to support and strengthen the research and development enterprise in space science, materials science, and forensic science. Meredith also served as an AIP congressional fellow with the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, covering science and space policy legislative issues.
Before her arrival in Washington, D.C., Meredith was a postdoctoral research associate studying star formation at the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Colorado, her M.S. in physics from North Carolina State University, and a B.S. in chemistry from Duke University.
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Lane has B.A.s in cultural anthropology and studio art from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Lane's focus in anthropology was on fundamentalism and its impact on communities. After wrapping up a thesis in anthropology, Lane went on to complete a degree in studio art, focusing primarily on art influenced by scientific illustration, with a few extended forays into ceramics and hand-binding books.
Managing EditorKarl brings to SciLine extensive experience in public policy, editing, and the technology of publishing. Over the last decade, he has had a particular focus on health care and health policy. Before joining SciLine, Karl was the communications director at the Alliance for Health Policy, a nonpartisan organization that seeks to help policymakers and journalists gain a greater understanding of health policy issues. Prior to that, he was the health editor at RealClear Media Group, where he managed the launch of the RealClearHealth website and the Morning Scan daily email newsletter. Karl was also a senior web editor at Kaiser Health News, where he managed the redesign and re-engineering of its website and the publication of its first blog. Karl also served as new media strategy editor at National Journal and as assistant managing editor for newsroom operations at
Karl has a B.A. in political science from the College of Wooster and did graduate-level studies in political science at Duke University.
Associate Director, News & OperationsBecky is a speechwriter and public affairs strategist with more than a decade of experience in the science, health, and environment space. Over four years in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, she was a lead writer on climate policy and the environment and energy press lead for President Obama's Science Advisor. Becky also served for four years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she was director of speechwriting and played leading crisis-communications roles during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Most recently, Becky was chief speechwriter at Children's National Health System, where she shaped executive messaging on health care policy during a critical legislative period.
Becky has a B.A. in environmental policy, an M.A. in earth & environmental science, and an M.S. in journalism, all from Columbia University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Nick, an ob/gyn surgeon.
Program Associate, Science CommunicationsElena is a writer and editor focused on science. While reporting for science publications, she has loved learning about everything from physics-based ocean current models to what goes on in our brains during sleep. She has also covered general news for local newspapers and magazines, and applied her arts background by producing videos to explain science in the news and taking photos to accompany her reporting.
Elena was Editor-in-Chief of the Brown Daily Herald at Brown University, where she earned a degree in Science, Technology and Society with an emphasis on neuroscience. Her work has been published by NPR, Quanta Magazine, Nautilus, and PBS NOVA, among other national and local outlets.
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Scientific Outreach ManagerMohamed is a biologist with a background in evolutionary ecology and plant genetics, and a deep commitment to science outreach and education. For three years before joining SciLine, Mohamed was the science outreach and education coordinator at the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota, where he oversaw the formation of the Plant Education Group (UMN PlantEd), an interdisciplinary research and outreach group focused on plant sciences. At UMN, he also led the Minnesota Youth Institute, a program partnered with the World Food Prize that challenges high school students to research solutions to global hunger issues. He enjoys innovating novel approaches to science education and communication and, while in graduate school, created and launched Market Science, an outreach initiative through which graduate students host hands-on booths at local farmers markets to share their scientific expertise with market-goers.
Mohamed earned his Ph.D. in plant biological sciences from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. in molecular biology and B.S. in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
Science Editor, National GeographicNsikan Akpan is a science editor at National Geographic. He was previously the digital science producer for PBS ''NewsHour,'' where he co-created the award-winning digital series ''ScienceScope.'' He was elected to the board of the National Association of Science Writers in September 2016. His work has also appeared in NPR, Science, Science News, Scientific American, Newsweek, and elsewhere. He holds a doctorate in pathobiology from Columbia University and is an alum of the science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Director of Science Outreach, COMPASS Science CommunicationNancy Baron leads communication workshops around the world for scientists in academia, government, and non-governmental organizations for COMPASS, a nonprofit organization. She guides scientists on how to engage in society's conversations and to make their research more relevant to journalists, policy makers, and the public. Her practical communications book, Escape from the Ivory Tower: A guide to making your science matter, is widely used by environmental scientists. Nancy received the 2013 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in the Media for her work at the intersection of science and journalism.
Co-founder & CEO, World Science Festival Tracy Day serves as CEO of the World Science Foundation, overseeing the creative and programmatic offerings of the World Science Festival and producing original theatrical, musical, and multimedia works at the intersection of science and art.'¯ She is a four-time National News Emmy award-winning journalist and has produced live and documentary programming for the nation's preeminent television news divisions for over two decades.
Professor of Climatology, University of Vermont; Vermont State ClimatologistLesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux is a professor of climatology in the Department of Geography at the University of Vermont. Her work spans a number of climate hazards and severe weather, with a special focus on flooding and droughts. As the state climatologist for Vermont, she engages directly with community groups, K-12 schools, state legislators, federal and state agencies, and national climate organizations. She is the president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was inducted as a fellow of the American Meteorological Society in January 2020.
Senior Editor, CNN HealthMaggie Fox's passion is writing what's true about medicine and science. She is a journalist with more than 35 years' experience in reporting from around the world and has been focused on health and science for more than 20 of those years, focusing on simple, straightforward explanatory journalism and telling stories. For Maggie, it's all about the people, and it's all about making it clear. She is a senior editor at CNN Health, the former senior writer for NBC News, former global health and science editor for Reuters, and former health care and technology editor for National Journal.
Ford Foundation Professor of Physics and Affiliate Professor of Mathematics, Brown UniversitySylvester James ''Jim'' Gates Jr. is an award-winning American theoretical physicist. He is a Ford Foundation Professor of Physics at Brown University and College Park Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland. He has authored over 200 scientific publications and has been featured in several popular physics documentaries, including: ''The Elegant Universe,'' ''Fabric of the Cosmos,'' and ''The Hunt for the Higgs.'' Jim co-wrote Superspace, the first comprehensive book about supersymmetry, and was the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major U.S. research university.
Former Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationMargaret ''Peggy'' Hamburg is an internationally recognized leader in public health and medicine. She has devoted most of her career to public service, including such significant roles as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, health commissioner for New York City, and assistant director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Hamburg is past-president and former board chairman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Editor-in-Chief, Scientific AmericanLaura Helmuth is the editor-in-chief of Scientific American and a past president of the National Association of Science Writers. She has previously worked as an editor for The Washington Post, National Geographic, Slate, Smithsonian, and Science magazines. She has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley.
Documentary Writer/Producer, Idaho Public TelevisionBill Manny a writer/producer for Idaho Public Television's documentary series, ''Idaho Experience.'' He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, D.C. He is a bicyclist, backpacker and peak-bagger, and he is past president of Boise City Club. He lives in Boise, Idaho.
Co-Founder and President, Quadrivium FoundationKathryn Murdoch is co-founder and president of the Quadrivium Foundation. She is an advocate for improving science communications and is a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund, Rockefeller University, and Climate Central and an adviser to the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford.
Dean, Drake University School of Journalism and Mass CommunicationKathleen Richardson is the dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to earning her law degree and entering academia, Richardson worked at The Des Moines Register for 20 years in a variety of newsroom jobs, including news editor and columnist. She was the executive director of the non-profit Iowa Freedom of Information Council for 15 years. She was also a founding member of the Iowa Public Information Board, a state agency that helps enforce the open-government laws. She serves on several Iowa Newspaper Foundation committees.
Professor of Science Communication, University of Wisconsin, MadisonDietram A. Scheufele is the John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Communication Association, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. His research deals with the public and political interfaces of emerging science. He has been a tenured faculty member at Cornell University, a Shorenstein fellow at Harvard University, and a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
ENVIRONMENT REPORTER, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans AdvocateMark Schleifstein is the environment and hurricane reporter for The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate and a leader of its Louisiana Coastal Reporting Team. Schleifstein's reporting on Katrina was among the newspaper's stories honored with 2006 Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service and Breaking News Reporting. He's the co-author with John McQuaid of the book Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms, about Katrina. He also was co-author of the 1996 series, "Oceans of Trouble: Are the World's Fisheries Doomed?", which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTINTalia Stroud has published extensively on how our beliefs influence the information that we seek and how we interpret that information, including in scientific contexts. She directs the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, which is focused on understanding how people interact with media and how to improve their media experiences.
Director of Communications, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in PittsburghArvind Suresh is the Director of Communications at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh. A former science writer and media relations manager at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Pitt Schools of the Health Sciences, he communicates science and helps scientists communicate. He also served as managing editor for SciStarter, a citizen science platform, and as a science media liaison for the Genetic Experts News Service, a D.C.-based non-profit that helped connect reporters with experts on genetics and biotechnology issues.
Prior to jumping into a career in communications Arvind was a laboratory researcher for many years, trying to coax usable data out of ants, cell cultures and mice. He holds a Master's degree in cell biology from the University of Pittsburgh, and conducted graduate research in physiology at Pitt's School of Medicine.
Actor, Writer, and Visiting Professor, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook UniversityAlan Alda is an actor, writer, and co-founder of The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, where he is a visiting professor. The Center has trained nearly 10,000 scientists in improv-based communications skills in the United States and abroad since its inception in 2009.
Independent Journalist; Senior Fellow, Democracy Fund Geneva Overholser is a longtime newspaperwoman (New York Times editorial board, Washington Post ombudsman, editor of the Des Moines Register) whose last full-time gig was running the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.'¯ She now serves on boards (CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Rita Allen Foundation, Northwestern University in Qatar) and advises Democracy Fund, Report for America, Trust Project, and AAAS Public Face of Science.
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Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:28
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SciLine is philanthropically fundedSciLine depends on the support of philanthropic institutions committed to the cause of open and accurate communication between scientists, journalists, and the public. These supporters recognize the foundational importance of having reliably derived evidence at the table for policy discussions and decision making. Generous founding support for SciLine has been provided by the Quadrivium Foundation, with additional funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Schmidt Family Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, the Google News Initiative, the Leo Model Foundation, and the Zakaria Family Foundation.
SciLine is editorially independent from its funders and from AAAS's business operations, including Science magazine and EurekAlert!, AAAS's science news-release distribution service.
Steven Chu - Wikipedia
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:33
Steven Chu[3] (born February 28, 1948)[4] is an American physicist, Nobel laureate, and the 12th United States Secretary of Energy. He is currently the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. He is known for his research at the University of California at Berkeley and his research at Bell Laboratories and Stanford University regarding the cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, for which he shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips.[5]
Steven Chu
12th United States Secretary of Energy In office January 21, 2009 '' April 22, 2013PresidentBarack ObamaDeputyDaniel Poneman Preceded by Samuel Bodman Succeeded by Ernest MonizPersonal detailsBorn ( 1948-02-28 ) February 28, 1948 (age 72) St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.Political partyDemocratic[1][2]Spouse(s)Lisa Chu-Thielbar (divorced)Children2FatherJu-Chin ChuRelativesEducationUniversity of Rochester (BA, BS)University of California, Berkeley (MS, PhD)AwardsNobel Prize in Physics (1997)Website University website Scientific careerFieldsAtomic physics, biological physics, polymer physicsInstitutionsThesisObservation of the forbidden magnetic dipole transition 6²P1/2-7²P1/2 in atomic thallium (1976) Doctoral advisorEugene D. ComminsDoctoral studentsMichale FeeChinese nameChineseæ'±æ££æ–‡ Hanyu PinyinZhÅ D¬w(C)n Chu served as United States Secretary of Energy under the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. At the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary, Chu was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research[6][7][8] was concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level.[9] Chu resigned as energy secretary on April 22, 2013.[10][11][12][13][14] He returned to Stanford as Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology.
Chu is a vocal advocate for more research into renewable energy and nuclear power, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating climate change.[15][16][17] He has conceived of a global "glucose economy", a form of a low-carbon economy, in which glucose from tropical plants is shipped around like oil is today.[18] On February 22, 2019, Chu began a one-year term as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[19]
Early life and education Edit Chu was born in St. Louis, Missouri,[20] with Chinese ancestry from Liuhe, Taicang, Jiangsu province,[21] and graduated from Garden City High School.[22] He received both a B.A. in mathematics and a B.S. in physics in 1970 from the University of Rochester.[23] He went on to earn his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley under Eugene D. Commins, in 1976,[24] during which he was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.[25]
Chu comes from a family of highly educated white collar professionals and scholars. His father, Ju-Chin Chu, earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from MIT and taught at Washington University in St. Louis and Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and his mother studied economics at MIT. His maternal grandfather, Shu-tian Li, was a hydraulic engineer who earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and was a professor and president of Tianjin University (Peiyang University). His mother's uncle, Li Shu-hua, a biophysicist, studied physics at the University of Paris before returning to China.[5] Chu's older brother, Gilbert Chu, is a professor of biochemistry and medicine at Stanford University. His younger brother, Morgan Chu, is a patent lawyer who is the former co-managing partner at the law firm Irell & Manella.[26] According to Chu, his two brothers and four cousins have four Ph.D.s, three M.D.s, and a J.D. among them.
Career and research Edit After obtaining his doctorate he remained at Berkeley as a postdoctoral researcher for two years before joining Bell Labs, where he and his several co-workers carried out his Nobel Prize-winning laser cooling work. He left Bell Labs and became a professor of physics at Stanford University in 1987,[5] serving as the chair of its Physics Department from 1990 to 1993 and from 1999 to 2001. At Stanford, Chu and three others initiated the Bio-X program, which focuses on interdisciplinary research in biology and medicine,[27] and played a key role in securing the funding for the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.[28] In August 2004, Chu was appointed as the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory, and joined UC Berkeley's Department of Physics and Department of Molecular and Cell Biology.[29] Under Chu's leadership, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was a center of research into biofuels and solar energy.[15] He spearheaded the laboratory's Helios project, an initiative to develop methods of harnessing solar power as a source of renewable energy for transportation.[29]
Chu's early research focused on atomic physics by developing laser cooling techniques and the magneto-optical trapping of atoms using lasers. He and his co-workers at Bell Labs developed a way to cool atoms by employing six laser beams opposed in pairs and arranged in three directions at right angles to each other. Trapping atoms with this method allows scientists to study individual atoms with great accuracy. Additionally, the technique can be used to construct an atomic clock with great precision.[30]
At Stanford, Chu's research interests expanded into biological physics and polymer physics at the single-molecule level. He studied enzyme activity and protein and RNA folding using techniques like fluorescence resonance energy transfer, atomic force microscopy, and optical tweezers. His polymer physics research used individual DNA molecules to study polymer dynamics and their phase transitions. He continued researching atomic physics as well and developed new methods of laser cooling and trapping.[31]
Honors and awards Edit Steven Chu is a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for the "development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light", shared with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips.[32]
He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Academia Sinica of Taiwan, and is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Korean Academy of Science and Engineering.[33] He was also awarded the Humboldt Prize by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1995. In 1998, Chu received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.[34]
Steven Chu with his medal as a Pontifical Academician, 12 November 2018
Chu received an honorary doctorate from Boston University when he was the keynote speaker at the 2007 commencement exercises.[35] He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council.[36] Diablo Magazine awarded him an Eco Award in its April 2009 issue,[37] shortly after he was nominated for Energy Secretary.
Washington University in St. Louis and Harvard University awarded him honorary doctorates during their 2010 and 2009 commencement exercises, respectively.[38][39] He was awarded an honorary degree from Yale University during its 2010 commencement.[40] He was also awarded an honorary degree from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, the same institution at which his father taught for several years, during its 2011 commencement.[41] Penn State University awarded him an honorary doctorate during their 2012 commencement exercises.[42] In 2014, Chu was awarded an honorary doctorate from Williams College, during which he gave a talk moderated by Williams College Professor Protik Majumder.[43] Chu was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Amherst College in 2017, where he later gave a lecture titled "Climate Change and Needed Technical Solutions for a Sustainable Future" in March 2018.[44][45]
Chu was elected an international fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering UK in 2011, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2014.[46] His nomination reads:
Steven Chu's development of methods to laser cool and trap atoms was recognised by the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. He also pioneered the development of atom interferometry for precision measurement, and he introduced methods to visualize and manipulate single bio-molecules simultaneously with optical tweezers. Throughout his career, he has sought new solutions to the energy and climate challenges. From January 2009 to April 2013, he was the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Barack Obama, and initiated the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, the Energy Innovation Hubs, and the Clean Energy Ministerial meetings.[47]
U.S. Secretary of Energy Edit Steven Chu meeting with President
Barack Obama on February 5, 2009.
His nomination to be Secretary of Energy was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 20, 2009.[48] On January 21, 2009, Chu was sworn in as Secretary of Energy in the Barack Obama administration. Chu is the first person appointed to the U.S. Cabinet after having won a Nobel Prize.[49] He is also the second Chinese American to be a member of the U.S. Cabinet, after former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.[50]
His scientific work continued, however, and he even published a paper on gravitational redshift in Nature in February 2010[51] and another one he co-authored in July 2010.[52][53]
In March 2011 Chu said that regulators at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should not delay approving construction licenses for planned U.S. nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.[54]
In August 2011 Chu praised an advisory panel report on curbing the environmental risks of natural-gas development. Chu responded to the panel's report on hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling method that is enabling a U.S. gas boom while bringing fears of groundwater contamination. The report called for better data collection of air and water data, as well as "rigorous" air pollution standards and mandatory disclosure of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Chu said that he would "be working closely with my colleagues in the Administration to review the recommendations and to chart a path for continued development of this vital energy resource in a safe manner".[55]
Chu faced controversy for a statement he made prior to being appointed, claiming in a September 2008 interview with the Wall Street Journal that "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."[56] However, in March 2012 he retracted this comment, saying "since I walked in the door as secretary of Energy I've been doing everything in my powers to do what we can to '... reduce those prices" and that he "no longer shares the view [that we need to figure out how to boost gasoline prices in America]".[57]
On February 12, 2013, Chu was the designated survivor during the State of the Union address.[58]
On February 1, 2013, Chu announced his intent to resign.[12][59] In his resignation announcement, he warned of the risks of climate change from continued reliance on fossil fuels, and wrote, "the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones; we transitioned to better solutions".[60] He resigned on April 22, 2013.
Energy and climate change Edit Chu has been a vocal advocate for more research into renewable energy and nuclear power, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combat climate change and global warming.[15][16][17] He also spoke at the 2009 and 2011 National Science Bowl about the importance of America's science students, emphasizing their future role in environmental planning and global initiative. Chu said that a typical coal power plant emits 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant.[61]
Chu warns that global warming could wipe out California farms within the century.[62]
He joined the Copenhagen Climate Council, an international collaboration between business and science established to create momentum for the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.[63]
In 2015, Chu signed the Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change on the final day of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The declaration was signed by a total of 76 Nobel Laureates and handed to then-President of the French Republic, Fran§ois Hollande, as part of the successful COP21 climate summit in Paris.[64]
Chu was instrumental in submitting a winning bid for the Energy Biosciences Institute, a BP-funded $500 million multidisciplinary collaboration between UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and the University of Illinois. This sparked controversy on the Berkeley campus, where some fear the alliance could harm the school's reputation for academic integrity.[65][66][67][68]
Based partially on his research at UC Berkeley, Chu has speculated that a global "glucose economy", a form of a low-carbon economy, could replace the current system. In the future, special varieties of high-glucose plants would be grown in the tropics, processed, and then the chemical would be shipped around like oil is today to other countries. The St. Petersburg Times has stated that Chu's concept "shows vision on the scale needed to deal with global warming".[18]
Chu has also advocated making the roofs of buildings and the tops of roads around the world white or other light colors, which may reflect sunlight back into space and mitigate global warming. The effect would be, according to Chu, similar to taking every car in the world off the roads for about 11 years.[18] Samuel Thernstrom, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and co-director of its Geoengineering Project, expressed support for the idea in The American, praising Chu for "do[ing] the nation a service" with the concept.[69] Chu is on the board of directors of Xyleco, a company developing alternate energy.[70]
Personal life Edit In 1997, he married Jean Fetter, a British-American Oxford-trained physicist.[20] He has two sons, Geoffrey and Michael, from a previous marriage to Lisa Chu-Thielbar.[5]
Chu is interested in sports such as baseball, swimming, and cycling. He taught himself tennis'--by reading a book'--in the eighth grade, and was a second-string substitute for the school team for three years. He also taught himself how to pole vault using bamboo poles obtained from the local carpet store.[5] Chu said he never learned to speak Chinese because his parents always spoke to their children in English.[20]
See also Edit United States Department of EnergyTimeline of low-temperature technologyEnergy policy of the United StatesUniversity of RochesterList of Nobel Laureates affiliated with the University of RochesterReferences Edit ^ Steven Chu's file. PolitiFact. Retrieved on 2012-02-04. ^ "Fundraising activities are limited, but star power brings in the bucks". Archived from the original on 2012-02-15 . Retrieved 2012-02-15 . ^ Chu, Steven was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1986 for his contributions in atomic physics and laser spectroscopy, including the first observation of parity non-conservation in atoms, excitation and precision spectroscopy of positronium, and the optical confinement and cooling of atoms. ^ O'Shea, Jennifer L. (December 30, 2008). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Steven Chu; Steven Chu is President-elect Obama's pick for energy secretary". U.S. News & World Report . Retrieved December 17, 2012 . ^ a b c d e Fr¤ngsmyr, Tore, ed. (1998). "Steven Chu Autobiography". The Nobel Prizes 1997. Les Prix Nobel. Stockholm: The Nobel Foundation . Retrieved 2007-06-25 . ^ Ashkin, A.; Dziedzic, J. M.; Bjorkholm, J. E.; Chu, S. (1986). "Observation of a single-beam gradient force optical trap for dielectric particles". Optics Letters. 11 (5): 288. Bibcode:1986OptL...11..288A. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1364/OL.11.000288. PMID 19730608. ^ Raab, E.; Prentiss, M.; Cable, A.; Chu, S.; Pritchard, D. (1987). "Trapping of Neutral Sodium Atoms with Radiation Pressure". Physical Review Letters. 59 (23): 2631''2634. Bibcode:1987PhRvL..59.2631R. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.59.2631. PMID 10035608. ^ Chu, S.; Bjorkholm, J.; Ashkin, A.; Cable, A. (1986). "Experimental Observation of Optically Trapped Atoms". Physical Review Letters. 57 (3): 314''317. Bibcode:1986PhRvL..57..314C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.57.314 . PMID 10034028. ^ "Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy". United States Department of Energy . Retrieved 2009-02-24 . ^ "White House Email: Energy Secretary Chu Must Go 'As Soon As Possible ' ". ABC News. 2011-11-11 . Retrieved 2017-07-19 . ^ Dixon, Darius. "Energy Secretary Steven Chu to resign". Politico . Retrieved 1 February 2013 . ^ a b Mufson, Stevenson. "Energy secretary Steven Chu resigns". The Washington Post . Retrieved 23 January 2017 . ^ Dalton, R (2009). "Steven Chu prepares for power". Nature. 457 (7227): 241. doi:10.1038/457241a . PMID 19148062. ^ Service, R. F. (2007). "Steven Chu profile. Steering a national lab into the light". Science. 315 (5813): 784. doi:10.1126/science.315.5813.784. PMID 17289971. ^ a b c H. Josef Hebert (2008-12-08). "Energy secretary pick argues for new fuel sources". Associated Press . Retrieved 2010-11-09 . ^ a b Sarah Jane Tribble, 'Nuclear: Dark horse energy alternative,' Oakland Tribune, 2007-06-18. ^ a b Directors of DOE National Laboratories (August 2008). "A Sustainable Energy Future: The Essential Role of Nuclear Energy" (PDF) . Department of Energy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-30. ^ a b c "A scientist who is on tap, on top". St. Petersberg Times. July 26, 2009. Archived from the original on January 24, 2010 . Retrieved January 10, 2010 . ^ "Nobel Laureate Steven Chu Assumes Term as AAAS President". Reuters. 22 February 2019. ^ a b c Bert Eljera (1997-10-23). "Stanford Professor Steven Chu graduates to the rank of Nobel laureate". AsianWeek. Archived from the original on 2008-12-15 . Retrieved 2008-12-16 . ^ Brendan John Worrell (2009-07-15). "Steven Chu: US ready to lead on climate change". ChinaDaily . Retrieved 2009-07-15 . ^ Kathleen Kerr (2008-07-16). "They Began Here". Newsday. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09 . Retrieved 2008-09-17 . ^ "Rochester Trustee Steven Chu Named Next Energy Secretary". University of Rochester. December 15, 2008. ^ Chu, Steven (1976). Observation of the forbidden magnetic dipole transition 6²P1/2-7²P1/2 in atomic thallium (Ph.D.). University of California, Berkeley. OCLC 892836151 '' via ProQuest. ^ "Steven Chu, 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics". NSF-GRF . Retrieved 2009-01-25 . ^ "Morgan Chu". Irell & Manella LLP . Retrieved 2008-12-16 . ^ "About Bio-X". Stanford University . Retrieved 2009-02-27 . ^ "Steven Chu named director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory". Stanford News Service. 2004-06-21 . Retrieved 2009-02-24 . ^ a b Robert Sanders (2008-12-15). "Obama chooses Nobelist Steven Chu as secretary of energy". University of California, Berkeley . Retrieved 2009-03-26 . ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1997". Nobel Foundation. 1997-10-15 . Retrieved 2009-03-13 . ^ "Steven Chu". University of California, Berkeley. Archived from the original on 2009-03-15 . Retrieved 2009-03-26 . ^ "Press Release: The 1997 Nobel Price in Physics". Nobel Prize. ^ "MIT World Speakers: Steven Chu". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 2009-02-27 . Retrieved 2009-01-13 . ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement. ^ "Commencement 2007: Address and Honorees". Boston University. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12 . Retrieved 2009-01-25 . ^ Design Futures Council Senior Fellows. ^ Diablo Eco Awards Diablo Eco Awards. Diablo magazine April 2009 ^ "Five to receive honorary degrees". Washington University. 2010-05-06. ^ "Ten honorary degrees awarded at Commencement". Harvard University. Archived from the original on 2009-06-09. ^ Finnegan, Leah (2010-05-24). "Celebs Converge At Yale's Graduation Ceremony (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. ^ "Home | NYU Tandon School of Engineering". Archived from the original on 2011-09-07 . Retrieved 2012-05-17 . ^ "U.S. Secretary of Energy to speak at May 5 commencement ceremony". The Pennsylvania State University. Archived from the original on 2012-04-28 . Retrieved 2012-04-26 . ^ "Williams College Announces its 2014 Honorary Degree Recipients" (Press release). Williamstown, Massachusetts: Williams College. 2014-03-19 . Retrieved 2014-06-11 . ^ "2017 Honorees | Steven Chu | Amherst College". . Retrieved 2018-08-01 . ^ "Seminars & Colloquia | Professor Steven Chu, Stanford University: "Climate Change and needed technical solution for a sustainable future" | Amherst College". . Retrieved 2018-08-01 . ^ "StevenChu - Royal Society". ^ "Professor Steven Chu ForMemRS". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. ^ Nicholas Johnston (2009-01-20). "Senate Confirms Seven Obama Nominees, Delays Clinton". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2009-01-25 . ^ Jake Tapper (2008-12-11). "A Nobel Prize Winner in the Cabinet". ABC News . Retrieved 2009-03-23 . ^ Sky Canaves (2009-02-26). "Commerce Nominee a Locke In China". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved 2009-03-23 . ^ M¼ller, H.; Peters, A.; Chu, S. (2010). "A precision measurement of the gravitational redshift by the interference of matter waves". Nature. 463 (7283): 926''9. Bibcode:2010Natur.463..926M. doi:10.1038/nature08776. PMID 20164925. According to Nature he worked on this "during nights, weekends and on planes '' after putting in 70''80 hours a week as energy secretary" ^ Borestein, Seth (2010-07-07). "Energy secretary's hobby is nano science". NBC News. Associated Press . Retrieved 2010-07-12 . ^ Pertsinidis, A.; Zhang, Y.; Chu, S. (2010). "Subnanometre single-molecule localization, registration and distance measurements". Nature. 466 (7306): 647''51. Bibcode:2010Natur.466..647P. doi:10.1038/nature09163. PMID 20613725. ^ "Japan crisis should not delay new U.S. reactors: Chu". Reuters. 2011-03-15. ^ Geman, Ben (2011-08-18). "Chu vows to 'chart a path' for safe gas drilling". Archived from the original on 2012-07-24 . Retrieved 2012-01-26 . ^ King, Bob. "Chu's Europe gas quote haunts W.H." Politico . Retrieved 23 January 2017 . ^ Guill(C)n, Alex. "Chu walks back '08 gas prices quote". Politico . Retrieved 23 January 2017 . ^ Weiner, Rachel. "Steven Chu is the State of the Union 'designated survivor ' ". Washington Post . Retrieved 2017-07-04 . ^ "Energy Secretary Steven Chu to resign". Politico . Retrieved 1 February 2013 . ^ "Letter from Secretary Steven Chu to Energy Department Employees". . Retrieved 17 November 2013 . ^ Steven Chu: 'Coal is My Worst Nightmare', Wall St. Journal, December 11, 2008 ^ Romm, Joe (2009-02-09). "Steven Chu's full global warming interview: "This is a real economic disaster in the making for our children, for your children. " ". . Retrieved 2012-01-26 . ^ "Councillors: Steven Chu". Copenhagen Climate Council. Archived from the original on 2009-01-05 . Retrieved 2008-12-11 . ^ "Mainau Declaration". . Retrieved 2018-01-11 . ^ Dalton, R. (2007). "Berkeley's energy deal with BP sparks unease". Nature. 445 (7129): 688''689. Bibcode:2007Natur.445..688D. doi:10.1038/445688b . PMID 17301752. ^ "Physicist Searches for Alternative Fuel Technologies". Public Broadcasting Service. 2007-05-02 . Retrieved 2008-12-16 . ^ Angel Gonzalez (2007-05-14). "BP Berkeley Venture Means Big Money, Big Controversy". City of Berkeley, Central Administrative Offices . Retrieved 2008-12-16 . ^ Goldie Blumenstylk (2007-09-28). "TV's Take on the Influence of Big Oil". The Chronicle of Higher Education . Retrieved 2008-12-16 . ^ Thernstrom, Samuel (June 5, 2009). "White Makes Right? Steven Chu's Helpful Idea". The American. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010 . Retrieved January 10, 2010 . ^ "Board of Directory". Xyleco . Retrieved January 6, 2019 . External links Edit Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steven Chu .Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at United States Department of EnergyThe Nobel Prize in Physics 1997 from Nobel Prize with biography, lecture, diploma, photos, symposia and linksBio from Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryEnergy@Berkeley: Solutions for Global Warming, Berkeley University, November 13, 2007 includes link to event on YouTubeBP Makes Berkeley World Center for Biofuels press release on the BP collaboration February 16, 2007Alternative Energy Sources March 28, 2005, Chu's PowerPoint presentationBoulder's physicists give Chu thumbs-up Article on other Nobel laureates' reactions to Chu as Secretary of EnergyUCTV Programs with Steven ChuPhysics Meets BiologyBerkeley's Nobel TraditionHolding on to Atoms and Molecules with Lasers: Laser Cooling '' From Atomic Clocks to Watching Biomolecules MoveWhat Can Physics Say About Life?Conversations with History: A Scientist's Random Walk, with Steven ChuBio and personal page from Stanford University Department of PhysicsSteven Chu: Uncovering the secret life of molecules from Stanford [Online] Report (July 16, 1997)Chu's biophysics research group at University of California, BerkeleyGrowing energy: Berkeley Lab's Steve Chu on what termite guts have to do with global warming from UC Berkeley News (September 30, 2005) Chu's lecture on the Helios Project for renewable energy on YouTube March 12, 2008"Climate Disasters a 'Significant Possibility' Interview with Steve Chu at Copenhagen Climate Council, November 3, 2008. Interview with Steven Chu from "Growing Energy" from the PBS series e² energy on YouTubeAppearances on C-SPANSteven Chu on Charlie RoseSteven Chu on IMDb"Steven Chu collected news and commentary". The New York Times. Interview, April 19, 2009"Weird Little Bacteria" in Our Energy Future by Steven Chu on April 16, 2012 Scientific AmericanWorks by or about Steven Chu in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
Mission and History | American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:30
AAAS Mission The AAAS seeks to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people." To fulfill this mission, the AAAS Board has set the following broad goals:
Enhance communication among scientists, engineers, and the public;Promote and defend the integrity of science and its use;Strengthen support for the science and technology enterprise;Provide a voice for science on societal issues;Promote the responsible use of science in public policy;Strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce;Foster education in science and technology for everyone;Increase public engagement with science and technology; andAdvance international cooperation in science.A Member-Focused OrganizationThe world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals, AAAS has individual members in more than 91 countries around the globe. Membership is open to anyone who shares our goals and belief that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can help solve many of the challenges the world faces today. You can lend your support to our efforts on behalf of scientists, engineers, educators, and students everywhere by becoming a member. Together we can make a difference: Join Us.
To learn more about our community and the many benefits of membership, visit the Membership section of the website.
History of AAASThe formation of AAAS in 1848 marked the emergence of a national scientific community in the United States. While science was part of the American scene from the nation's early days, its practitioners remained few in number and scattered geographically and among disciplines. AAAS was the first permanent organization formed to promote the development of science and engineering at the national level and to represent the interests of all its disciplines.
Participants in AAAS meetings, held in cities across the country, represented a who's who of science. The meetings were covered widely by newspapers, which sometimes reprinted their proceedings verbatim.
However, AAAS's permanence was not preordained and, despite the many contributions it made during its first 50 years, the Association came close to extinction more than once. Ultimately, an alliance with Science magazine, which had failed as a private venture, rejuvenated both the magazine and AAAS.
150 Years of Advancing Science The life of AAAS has been interwoven with the growth of American science. In celebration of its sesquicentennial in 1998, AAAS created an exhibit of artifacts, providing a glimpse at some of the people and events that have left an impression upon the association's history. Learn more about the history of AAAS.
AAAS Archives The AAAS archives are open to researchers interested in the history of the association and its role in the development of science. The archives hold administrative and program records, as well as records for the journal Science. Browse the AAAS digital archives.
Organization and Governance | American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:32
FellowsEach year the AAAS Council elects Fellows of AAAS, in recognition of their distinguished accomplishments in science and technology.
Learn about current AAAS Fellows
AAAS Leadership Team
Sudip Parikh, PhDChief Executive OfficerExecutive Publisher, Science Journals
Tim Appenzeller News Editor, Science
Zdenek Becka Director, Information Technology
Shannon Benson Director, Human Resources
Andrew Black Chief of Staff and Chief External Affairs Officer
Kathy Black Director, Strategic Planning
Monica M. Bradford Executive Editor, Science
Joanne Padr"n Carney Chief Government Relations Officer
Stephen IssingDirector of Finance
Maureen Kearney Chief Program Officer
Tanisha LewisDirector of Grant and Contract Management
Tiffany Lohwater Chief Communications Officer
Julia J. MacKenzie Senior Director, International Affairs Director, Center for Science Diplomacy
Shirley M. Malcom Senior Advisor
Bill Moran Publisher, Science Journals
Beth Rakouskas Creative Director, Science Journals
Beth Rosner Senior Advisor
Michael Savelli Chief Operating Officer
Juli Staiano Chief Philanthropy Officer
Holden Thorp Editor-in-Chief, Science Journals
Randy Yi Director, Business Systems and Financial Analysis, Science Journals
*Members appointed by the elected officers and members of the Board, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 2 of the AAAS Constitution.
AAAS and Science Staff Enhance Collaborative Efforts in China | American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:54
23 September 2012
by: staff report
AAAS staff members traveled to China in September to help promote the role of women in science during the meeting of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World in Tianjin, to take part in a Hangzhou meeting on ethics in science, and to encourage the communication of peer-reviewed research.
In addition, Science Editor-in-Chief Bruce Alberts challenged next-generation Chinese innovators to investigate the major mysteries of cellular biology. ''The future belongs to you,'' Alberts told a hall packed with students at Peking University Health Science Center in Beijing, given that ''we only know about 5% of what we need to know about the chemistry of cells and tissues.'' As one example, Alberts emphasized the need to ''obtain the information needed to accurately describe the mechanisms of every type of protein machine in a cell.''
Science Editor-in-Chief Bruce Alberts challenged next-generation Chinese innovators to investigate the major mysteries of cellular biology during a packed address at Peking University Health Science Center. | Photo by Ginger PinholsterAlberts later traveled to Tianjin for the annual meeting of TWAS, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, which has just changed its name to The World Academy of Sciences. (He was elected as an Associate Fellow of TWAS in 2001.) There, Chinese President Hu Jintao ''highlighted the breakthrough potential for prime research fields, including biology, energy, and space technology,'' China Daily newspaper reported on 20 September.
''It was a real affirmation of the place of science and technology in China,'' said Shirley Malcom, director of Education and Human Resources of AAAS, after hearing the Chinese president's speech. ''In addition, he made a major financial commitment to TWAS.''
The conference was highlighted by the first-ever election of a Chinese scientist'--Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences'--to serve as president of TWAS. A week before his selection was announced, Bai Chunli dined with Alberts. While in Beijing, Alberts also took part in an International Traffic Safety Forum, met with Xuetao Cao, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and joined China's Minister of Health, Chen Zhu, for dinner. In these meetings, he was accompanied by Richard Stone, chief Asia news editor of Science, and Mara Hvistendahl, the journal's news correspondent in Shanghai.
Alberts, who serves as the U.S. science envoy to Indonesia and Pakistan, had previously met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, among others.
''The fundamental reason why I go to China each year is to help build bridges between U.S. and Chinese scientists for the future, when our nations must largely function as partners supported by many personal relations of trust and cooperation,'' said Alberts, former president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. ''Of course, I also travel with members of the Science team to help make connections useful for our magazine.''
On 13 September, Alberts' Peking University presentation included a candid description of his initial failure, as a Harvard University graduate student, to explain the precise mechanisms of DNA replication. ''Failure is how we grow and how we learn,'' he said, noting that his laboratory did later describe the protein machine that generates a new DNA double-helix molecule by copying strands of an existing one. ''Life is an education. Education does not stop when you get out of school.''
Based on that experience, Alberts advised students to remember that ''strategy is everything in science.'' He also urged them to widely read the scientific literature, tackle the ''major mysteries'' in cell biology, consider using model organisms even if they are ultimately concerned with human cells, and ''do the hard work.''
During his visit to China, Alberts met with Li Bin, governor of Anhui Province in eastern China. | Photo by Richard StoneIn conclusion, Alberts said: ''It will probably take most of this century to gain a thorough understanding of how cells and organisms work. We are going to need a lot of young people doing clever research.''
He would later present similar talks in three other cities, speaking at the Young Scientist Forum in Chongqing, the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, and the International Neural Regeneration Symposium in Shenyang. He also presented a talk on science publishing to the annual meeting of 120 editors-in-chief from Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing.
Shirley Malcom participated in the historic TWAS conference in Tianjin as part of her work with a high-level United Nations gender advisory panel concerned with advancing the interests of women in science. ''I have had ongoing collaboration with Fang Xin, president of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD),'' Malcom explained. ''We co-chair Gender InSITE, a global campaign to focus on women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as critical to development. We also serve together on the TWAS-OWSD Advisory Panel for Women in Science, which met during the TWAS conference.''
Also in September, Mark Frankel, director of the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law Program, participated in the latest in a series of China-based meetings on ethics in science. That meeting, which took place at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, was the latest result of an ongoing collaboration between AAAS and the Chinese Association of Science and Technology. Supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the meeting encompassed three topics: plagiarism, conflict of interest, and authorship and publication issues, Frankel said.
''The project is an effort to develop a set of cross-cultural case studies for research ethics education in the United States and China,'' he added. The case studies explored in Hangzhou will be refined based on input from Chinese and U.S. scientists, and ultimately, they will be disseminated online.
Joy Ma (left), associate editor of AAAS's EurekAlert! Chinese, and Ginger Pinholster, director of the AAAS Office of Public Programs, outside of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.Two other AAAS staff members, Joy Ma, associate editor of EurekAlert! Chinese, and Ginger Pinholster, director of the AAAS Office of Public Programs, met with an array of China-based journal editors and publishers as well as Beijing-based reporters to encourage science communication. Influential reporters, including Science and Technology Daily Editor-in-Chief Liu Yadong, CCTV English Channel Chief Editor Zhu Yan, Yu Zheng, a top editor with Xinhua News Agency, and many others joined Alberts and his wife Betty for a special media dinner on 18 September. Hvistendahl also took part in the dinner. Ruolei Wu of the AAAS Office of Publishing and Membership Services provided logistical support for various aspects of Alberts' trip.
''Science and technology are advancing very rapidly in China, but continued progress will require broad public support for the scientific enterprise, and that's where you come in,'' Alberts told reporters. ''We need good reporters to explain research findings to the public so they can be well-informed about climate change and food safety and a whole range of science-based issues that affect their lives.''
EurekAlert!, AAAS's popular science-news service in English, now serves more than 8800 registered reporters. Among English-speaking science reporters, EurekAlert! has become a standard mechanism for communicating peer-reviewed research news from top journals, universities, national laboratories, and research centers. ''EurekAlert! Chinese was established several years ago to extend the successful EurekAlert! system, by helping China-based science organizations convey high-quality research content to reporters worldwide,'' Ma explained.
China Daily reported 17 September that the country is ramping up its support for science. ''The government allocated 228.55 billion yuan ($36.18 billion) to scientific research in its 2012 budget,'' Cheng Yingqi reported. ''Funding is up on last year when it was 203.41 billion yuan and 172.83 billion yuan in 2010.'' Chinese Academy of Sciences President Bai Chunli was quoted as saying that Chinese scientists ''have to be unorthodox, think out of the box, break new ground'' to achieve truly innovative advances in science and technology.
In a separate article on 19 September, the newspaper reported that China had 1.42 million people engaged in research and development in 2010.
LinksLearn more about EurekAlert!, the global online news service sponsored by AAAS.
AAAS Announces Research, Published in Collaboration with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), as the First Journal in New Science Partner Journal Program | Markets Insider
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 19:52
WASHINGTON , Jan. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the nonprofit publisher of the Science family of journals, is pleased to announce that the first journal in its Science Partner Journal program will be Research, the official journal of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST). Research will be distributed by AAAS in association with Science and Technology Review Publishing House, the official publishing house of CAST.
Research will be a wide-ranging interdisciplinary journal that aims to publish original peer-reviewed content reflecting new and innovative discoveries and important issues in engineering and applied sciences. Jiannian Yao, Academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Deputy Director of the Natural Science Foundation of China , will be the journal's Editor-in-Chief ( China ). Tianhong Cui , Ph.D., Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota , will be the journal's Editor-in-Chief (International).
The editorial office for Research will open for submissions in March 2018 and the journal will officially launch in June 2018 . Research will publish under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), meaning that content will be freely available to all readers upon publication. Additional information about the journal, prior to the Research website going live and opening for submissions, will be available on the Science Partner Journal program homepage:
"The aim in building Research is to harness the publishing resources of AAAS to create vibrant exchange between Chinese and international scientists," said Changle Xiang , Executive Secretary of CAST.
"Research will publish on topics including artificial intelligence, information technology, biology and life sciences, energy research, environmental science, new materials research, mechanical science, engineering, micro and nano science and technology, robotics, advanced manufacturing and technology applications," said Jiannian Yao.
"We aim to publish high-quality research in multidisciplinary areas from around the world. We look forward to closely working with colleagues in many different countries to better serve research communities everywhere," said Tianhong Cui .
"Our first Science Partner Journal publication Research brings together the missions, expertise and efforts of CAST and Science/AAAS," says Bill Moran , Publisher of the Science family of journals. "This journal is an excellent first example of the new, high-quality avenues for publication that the SPJ program offers to the scientific community."
New titles participating in the Science Partner Journal program will launch on a semi-annual basis and participation in the program is restricted to English-language publications. AAAS is actively seeking new partners across scientific disciplines. Organizations participating in the Science Partner Journal program will be editorially independent and responsible for the content published in each journal. To oversee the publication process, each organization will provide professional editors committed to best practices in peer review and author service.
For more information about the Science Partner Journal program, including insights on newly added titles or the application process for becoming a partner organization, please visit the Science Partner Journal homepage at: or contact Xiaoying Chu (
About the American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science ( as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Science Immunology, Science Robotics, and the digital open-access journal Science Advances. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert! (, the premier science-news website, a service of AAAS. See
About the China Association for Science and Technology
The China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) is the largest non-governmental organization of scientific and technological professionals in China , serving as a bridge that links the Chinese government to the science and technology communities in China . Through its 210 national member societies and local branches all over the country, CAST maintains close ties with millions of Chinese scientists, engineers and other professionals working in the fields of science and technology. See
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I’m convinced Trump has mail in ballots figured out. Just like the FBI building it is a bargaining chip. USPS will not be able to process
Biden Harris flag auditorium set
The Post Office Is Deactivating Mail Sorting Machines Ahead of the Election - VICE
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 04:45
Good thing nobody's predicting a huge surge in mail any time soon.
by Aaron Gordon
Aug 13 2020, 4:04pm Snap
The United States Postal Service is removing mail sorting machines from facilities around the country without any official explanation or reason given, Motherboard has learned through interviews with postal workers and union officials. In many cases, these are the same machines that would be tasked with sorting ballots, calling into question promises made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that the USPS has ''ample capacity'' to handle the predicted surge in mail-in ballots.
Motherboard identified 19 mail sorting machines from five processing facilities across the U.S. that either have already been removed or are scheduled to be in the near future. But the Postal Service operates hundreds of distribution facilities around the country, so it is not clear precisely how many machines are getting removed and for what purpose.
Even to local union officials, USPS has not announced any policy, explained why they are doing this, what will happen to the machines and the workers who use them. Nor has management provided a rationale for dismantling and removing the machines from the facility rather than merely not operating them when they're not needed.
''I'm not sure you're going to find an answer for why [the machines being removed] makes sense,'' said Iowa Postal Workers Union President Kimberly Karol, ''because we haven't figured that out either.''
The postal workers Motherboard spoke to said having machines removed, replaced, or modified is nothing new, but this time it seems to be more widespread, include a larger number of machines at their respective facility, and potentially impacts the facility's ability to process large numbers of mail, including ballots, in a short time span.
''Look at it this way: Your local grocery store was forced to cut 1/3 of its cash-out lines, but management expected the same productivity, quality, and speed for the customer,'' said an employee at a Buffalo distribution facility, which they said is set to lose six out of 21 mail sorting machines. ''It's just never going to happen.''
After publication, USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer told Motherboard, ''The Postal Service routinely moves equipment around its network as necessary to match changing mail and package volumes. Package volume is up, but mail volume continues to decline. Adapting our processing infrastructure to the current volumes will ensure more efficient, cost effective operations and better service for our customers.''
Do you work for the post office? Do you know anything about sorting machines being removed from distribution facilities? We'd love to hear from you. Email Aaron Gordon at
While the consequences of this new policy are mostly unclear for now, it neatly fits with the sudden, opaque, and drastic changes made by DeJoy, a longtime Republican fundraiser and Trump donor, in the less than two months he's been postmaster general. Like his other changes, including the curtailing of overtime resulting in the widespread mail delays and sudden reorganization of the entire USPS, it is possible to see some semblance of corporate logic while second-guessing the decision to make drastic changes on the eve of the presidential election in which the USPS will play a critical role.
Most of the machines being dismantled in the facilities Motherboard identified are delivery bar code sorters (DBCS), into which letters, postcards and similarly sized mail (but not magazines and large envelopes, which are categorized as ''flats'' and sorted differently) are fed. The DBCS sorts the mail into one of hundreds of ''stackers,'' a slot about a foot long. Each slot is for a different destination, be it another post office or distribution facility.
A DBCS typically requires two workers to operate: one to feed the mail into the machine, and the other to collect the mail from the stackers and put them in the appropriate bins for transport. Running at peak efficiency, the machines can sort about 35,000 pieces of mail per hour, a remarkable and oddly mesmerizing feat. But during times of short staffing or low mail volume'--both of which have occurred during COVID'--DBCSs can be run with one and a half or even just a single worker, albeit less productively.
Marketing mail is down more than 15 percent through June of this year compared to last year. While this is a much steeper drop than recent years, it is continuing a decade-long trend of mail volume decline for everything but packages. In other words, DBCSs have less mail to sort than they ever have before and it's far from clear how much of that mail is ever coming back. So it stands to reason the USPS might not need as many of them.
The postal workers interviewed by Motherboard understood this, and in some cases even made the argument some DBCS machines might be of better use at other facilities. But they had other concerns about removing the machines altogether. If something goes wrong with the DBCSs they have left, there are fewer machines to pick up the slack.
''When you take out one of the machines, it takes away our ability to respond to unforeseen things that may happen,'' said Karol, who added that although her facility in Waterloo will have other DBCSs, having fewer of them ''limits our ability to respond'' by making adjustments and moving mail around.
Paul McKenna, president of Milwaukee Area Local 3 of the American Postal Workers Union, said that some of the DBCSs staying will have about 50 more stackers added to them, meaning the machines can sort mail to a larger number of destinations. This will help alleviate the pressure during high mail volume periods like the Christmas rush'--when there is simply more mail in general to all places'--as well as provide advantages during lower-volume periods like the dead of summer. But it won't necessarily help the unique challenge of election mail. In that case, the mail surge stays local.
Some letter carriers and distribution facility employees told Motherboard election mail is often sorted by hand to ensure it gets handled promptly and properly, but this seems to vary by location.
That being said, this would only be a problem for voters who waited until the last minute to send back their ballots. If mail-in ballots are sent and returned over a period of weeks instead of days, it is unlikely, the postal workers said, to stress the machines even if some are taken away.
''We would have the capacity to run the volume of ballots that are expected if we have it in a longer period of time,'' said Paul McKenna, president of Milwaukee Area Local 3 of the American Postal Workers Union. He likened it to flattening the curve of coronavirus. Now, he said, Americans have to flatten a different curve.
USPS removes mailboxes in Portland and Eugene, cites 'declining mail volume'
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 04:21
At least 4 mailboxes in Portland and several in Eugene were removed this week, the USPS said.Torsten Kjellstrand/The Oregonian LC- The OregonianResidents of Portland and Eugene were alarmed this week to see some U.S. Postal Service mailboxes removed from neighborhood streets and hauled away in flatbed trucks.
The sight of mailboxes being carted off caused concern in light of recent comments by President Donald Trump about cutting Postal Service funding. Trump has also criticized voting by mail.
But a Postal Service spokesperson said declining mail volume means the Postal Service is removing ''duplicate'' boxes from areas that have multiple collection boxes. The USPS confirmed that four mailboxes were removed in Portland this week.
''First-class mail volume has declined significantly in the U.S., especially since the pandemic,'' Ernie Swanson, a spokesman for the USPS, told The Oregonian/OregonLive. ''That translates to less mail in collection boxes.''
Swanson said other facets of service will remain the same, such as pickup times and processing.
''It shouldn't affect people at all,'' he said.
Another Postal Service spokesperson, David Rupert, said some of the mailboxes were also removed and replaced with higher-security boxes.
Rupert said the Postal Service was not commenting on the remarks the president has made about blocking funding to the agency.
But some Oregon residents said they were concerned that the changes were another step to limit their access to mail.
''Outbound slots in neighborhood mailboxes are being locked shut,'' Jacob Strouckel, a Eugene resident, told The Oregonian/OregonLive in an email. ''We are not just losing access to roadside mail dropboxes, but our convenient neighborhood drop slots. This applies to neighborhoods without individual mailboxes, so we are unable to send outbound mail from our area, without finding a roadside mailbox or risking a trip to the post office.''
On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Trump said he doesn't want to fund the postal service because Democrats are trying to expand vote-by-mail services during the pandemic.
He said at a Wednesday briefing that he would not approve $25 billion in emergency funding for the postal service, or $3.5 billion in supplemental funding for election resources, according to the Post.
Other recent changes to the postal service have also raised concern among residents, including new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump donor who has no background working in the postal service. DeJoy has eliminated overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal employees, according to USA Today, and has mandated that mail be held if distribution centers are understaffed or running behind.
'--Jayati Ramakrishnan; 503-221-4320;; @JRamakrishnanOR
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Nearly 57% of votes cast in Connecticut primary were absentee ballots; more Democrats than Republicans choose mail-in voting
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:49
(C) Photo Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS Marianne Neptin drops her ballot off in the ballot box outside of West Hartford Town Hall on Connecticut's primary election day Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in West Hartford. Looking ahead to November, many believe absentee voting will fall along party lines. Now, there are numbers in Connecticut to prove it.
More than 62% of Connecticut Democrats who participated in Tuesday's primary election voted via absentee ballot, compared with only 41% of Republican voters, according to unofficial numbers made available Friday by Secretary of State Denise Merrill, with 166 out of 169 towns reporting.
The percentages reflect Democratic and Republican voters who selected a preference for a presidential candidate; total primary participation, including congressional and legislative races, likely won't be available until Saturday, said Gabe Rosenberg, a spokesman for Merrill.
(C) Photo Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS Krystal Chamberlain puts on a new glove before helping a resident check-in to vote during Connecticut's primary election at the Bloomfield Recreational Center Leisure Gym Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Bloomfield. Overall, nearly 57% of the total votes cast in the state were absentee ballots, with the remaining 43% representing in-person voters. (Democrats outnumbered Republican voters by nearly 3-to-1.)
(C) Photo Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS A resident votes during Connecticut's primary election day at the Bloomfield Recreational Center Leisure Gym Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Bloomfield. About 1% of absentee ballots received across Connecticut towns were rejected and not included in the final vote tally, most likely because an inner envelope was not returned or signed, Rosenberg added.
For both parties, turnout was low '-- 29% for Democrats and 20% for Republicans '-- which is typical in a primary, but also unsurprising for a late-summer election with an incumbent president running for reelection and a Democratic contest that's essentially wrapped up.
(C) Photo Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS Poll workers sit with face masks and face shields behind plastic barriers at Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet School Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Hartford. Gov. Ned Lamont had issued an executive order expanding the state's strict absentee ballot regulations to allow primary voters to cite the pandemic as a reason for requesting one. And Merrill used federal funds to mail absentee ballot applications to 1.2 million registered Republicans and Democrats. Lawmakers voted to extend that same provision to the November election and Merrill has said she hopes to once again send out the ballot applications.
(C) Photo Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS Chad Chisholm checks in before taking the time to vote during Connecticut's primary day election at Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet School Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Hartford. There were few political upsets Tuesday, with incumbent candidates prevailing in legislative races, former Vice President Joe Biden winning the Democratic presidential primary and President Donald Trump victorious in the GOP primary.
In the 22nd Senate District, which includes Trumbull, Bridgeport and Monroe, three-term state Sen. Marilyn Moore defeated 29-year-old Bridgeport City Councilman Marcus Brown, who won the Democratic party endorsement in May. Brown conceded Thursday in a written statement.
Still, fearing infection from the coronavirus, and with the election taking place a week after a major tropical storm, voters cast a record-breaking number of absentee ballots, resulting in some reporting delays and providing a glimpse of what's to come in November.
''We don't really have a frame of reference to know how many people will choose to use [an] absentee ballot'' in November, Rosenberg said. ''What we do know is that turnout will be very high and there will be a record number of absentee ballots cast by a factor of 10, because what's clear is that voters really want this option.''
(C) Photo Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS Social distancing markers on the floor at Conard High School polling location, in order to control crowds if a line presents during Connecticut's primary election day Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in West Hartford. Michael Hamad can be reached at
(C)2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at
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Hartford, CT - 8/11/20 - Michael Downes votes in the primary election at the Parker Memorial Community Center in Hartford Tuesday evening
(C) Photo Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS
U.S. Postal Service has warned 46 states mail ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted |
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:48
According to a new report from the Washington Post, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has warned 46 states that some ballots cast by mail in the November election won't arrive in time to be counted due to delivery delays.
Per the Washington Post, the letters sketch a grim possibility for the tens of millions of Americans eligible for a mail-in ballot this fall: Even if people follow all of their state's election rules, the pace of Postal Service delivery may disqualify their votes.
NBC News also reported the Postal Service says it's unlikely there will be enough time to request, complete and return mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania to be counted for the Nov. 3 presidential election.
The letter warns ''a risk that ballots requested near the deadline under state law will not be returned by mail in time to be counted under your laws as we understand them.''
President Trump said on Thursday he opposes funding for the US Postal Service because he doesn't want to see it used for expanded mail-in voting this November, a system he has railed again and accused of being unreliable.
Postmaster General: USPS restructuring has had 'unintended consequences' | One America News Network
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:47
FILE '' In this Aug. 5, 2020, file photo Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, left, is escorted to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
OAN NewsroomUPDATED 5:15 PM PT '' Friday, August 14, 2020The U.S. Postal Service has been removing hundreds of mail sorting machines from its offices. According to an internal USPS letter, the plan is to remove almost 700 of the machines as a response to the declining volume of letters and increased number of packages being shipped through the service.
Nearly 20 machines have already been dismantled as part of the sweeping changes being implemented within the Postal Service.
Postal workers have expressed concerns over the move. They noted the high volume of letters amid coronavirus conditions have already slowed operations.
Ballots cast by mail in dozens of states might not arrive in time to be counted this November. Officials in 40 states received a letter from the agency, which suggested their deadlines for ballots aren't realistic.
Six other states and the District of Columbia were told that a ''smaller subset of voters'' there could also be impacted.
FILE '' In this July 31, 2020, file photo, letter carriers load mail trucks for deliveries at a U.S. Postal Service facility in McLean, Va.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Meanwhile, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has admitted restructuring plans for the U.S. Postal Service has had ''unintended consequences.'' According to a leaked memo, he stated even though the changes were necessary, they've impacted overall service levels.
DeJoy took over as postmaster in June and announced organizational changes at the beginning of August. The changes included staff hours being cut, plans to remove mail processing machines and reassignments for almost two dozen postal executives.
DeJoy previously claimed the policies would increase performance for the election and maintain the highest level of public trust. In the new memo, he defended the moves and suggested recent changes were not the only contributing factors.
He noted ''over the years, we have grown undisciplined in our mail and package processing schedules, causing an increase in delayed mail.''
The post office came under increased scrutiny as Democrats began pushing for more mail-in voting ahead of the November election, citing public health concerns.
A worker processes mailed-in ballots from Tuesday's primary election, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, at the King County Elections headquarters in Renton, Wash., south of Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Some believe the USPS won't be able to handle the influx of ballots. One bipartisan bill, which was sponsored by lawmaker Susan Collins (R-Maine), proposed $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service.
''There's no doubt that the Postal Service has long-term financial challenges,'' she said. ''Those do need to be dealt with, but now is not the time to be cutting back services.''
President Trump weighed in on the situation earlier this week. He clarified he's not threatening to veto legislation that provides funding to the USPS, but insisted Democrats must be willing to make a deal.
''It's not what I want, it's what the American people want,'' he added.
Last week, the USPS announced a 3rd quarter net loss of more than $2 billion. Even if Congress provides $10 billion in relief, officials have said it wouldn't address the service's broken business model.
MORE NEWS: President Trump: Democrat Push For Mail-In Voting Amounts To Election Meddling
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:51
S hirish Dte is a White House correspondent for the Huffington Post and the author of Jeb: America's Next Bush, based on his coverage of the Florida governor as Tallahassee bureau chief for the Palm Beach Post.
Dte has been a journalist for three decades since graduating from Stanford University. He has written for the Times-Herald Record in Middletown, New York, the Orlando Sentinel in Cape Canaveral, where he covered the space program, and finally the Associated Press and the Palm Beach Post in Tallahassee, where he covered the Florida statehouse. Most recently he was an editor on NPR's Washington Desk, and a White House correspondent for National Journal. Between Tallahassee and Washington were some 15,000 nautical miles aboard Juno, an Alden 44 cutter. Dte and his two school-aged sons crossed the Atlantic and sailed into the Mediterranean as far as the Aegean islands. They spent just over two years exploring Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, the Canary and Cape Verde Islands, the Caribbean and the Bahamas before riding the Gulf Stream north around Cape Hatteras and sailing up the Chesapeake.
Dte is also the author of Quiet Passion, a biography of former Florida senator Bob Graham, and five novels. His work has appeared in POLITICO Magazine, The Atlantic, National Journal, the Washington Post, The New Republic and Slate. He lives in northern Virginia.
Trump Campaign Makes Huge Digital Ad Buy During Democratic Convention - The New York Times
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 11:06
The Trump campaign is launching an aggressive four-day digital advertising campaign that will take over some of the internet's most conspicuous real estate during the three marquee days of the Democratic National Convention, which most viewers will watch online.
Adhering to the president's penchant for focusing attention on himself during major Democratic events, the Trump campaign will be taking over the banner of YouTube for 96 hours starting on Tuesday, the second day of the convention, an expensive and far-reaching digital gambit.
The campaign will also blanket the home pages of The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and with Trump campaign ads. Even non-D.N.C. programming will be inundated with Trump ads, as the campaign has bought premium, or ''unskippable,'' ads on sites like Hulu.
The campaign amounts to ''high-seven figures,'' a significant sum to spend online in such a short period of time, and could top $10 million based on the engagement metrics of some ads (a few digital ads are sometimes charged extra based on engagement). The takeover of the YouTube banner and the news sites' home pages are national buys, while the spending for Hulu and others will be in swing states.
It's an attempt to be as digitally ubiquitous as possible during a nearly all-digital convention, and the Trump campaign will be tailoring its message to a direct attack on the Democratic platform as a far-left manifestation of a Republican's worst fears. Trump campaign officials said they were able to grab the digital slots because the Democrats, who moved their original convention date, had not purchased the time for the original week in July, nor for the new one beginning on Monday.
''It's great that Team Biden let the Trump campaign grab up the best premium real estate on the internet during Joe's big week,'' said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign. ''We'll show millions of Americans exactly how the radical, leftist takeover of Joe Biden is now complete.''
Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the campaign of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., mocked the campaign's spending as ''stunts'' that waste money.
''No smoke and mirrors charade can conceal that Donald Trump's failed leadership has cost over 167,000 Americans their lives and driven the strong economy he inherited from the Obama-Biden Administration into one of the deepest recessions in our history,'' Mr. Bates said.
The last presidential campaign to take over the banner of YouTube for an extended period of time was Michael R. Bloomberg's campaign, which did so for 24 hours the day after Mr. Trump was impeached.
''It's a massive deal '-- this is the home page for the largest online video platform in the world,'' said Tim Cameron, a Republican digital strategist. ''In the same way that Netflix highlights their latest content, this will have a very similar effect where people are going to see it. And many of them will opt in to this viewing experience and consume this content.''
Of course, even an elaborate ad campaign endeavoring to bracket the convention won't be able to overtake the conversation around an event that will get hours of airtime each night and feature numerous Democratic luminaries.
But the Trump campaign is also making it nearly impossible to be missed. With a heavy focus on premium unskippable ''pre-roll'' ads that display before content begins on YouTube and other streaming platforms, users will be forced to watch the entire Trump campaign ad before watching their chosen videos.
The campaign has focused heavily on a digital strategy for the past few years.
Biden campaign officials said that they have consistently spent money for ads on Hulu, and said that they are investing their money in more strategic ways on YouTube, consistently focusing on targeted states. They said their own data indicates spending after a major event matters more, and that the Biden team has reserved time on YouTube for the day after the Republican National Convention ends on Aug. 27. (The Trump campaign will also have their premium YouTube ad on the Friday following the convention.)
Republicans contend that the Trump campaign will be able to reach a large audience with their approach.
''You're going to have a very effective message penetration because the people who are served an unskippable ad want to see that content after the ad,'' said Michael Duncan, a Republican digital strategist.
''So they are willing to spend 15 seconds watching your message,'' he added. ''It's not like television where an ad comes on and you can go to the bathroom or leave the room until the show comes back on '-- that unskippable inventory has the ability to not only add a lot of scale but a lot of quality to your digital buy.''
Newsweek apologizes for Kamala Harris op-ed | TheHill
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 11:04
Newsweek has apologized after an op-ed it published about Sen. Kamala Harris Kamala HarrisTlaib votes 'no' on Democratic party platform Sunday shows preview: Mail-in voting, USPS funding dominates political debate before conventions Will Kamala Harris follow Al Gore's lead on climate change commitment? MORE (D-Calif.), the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, drew an avalanche of criticism that it perpetuated a racist conspiracy theory about her eligibility to be vice president.
The magazine added an editor's note late Friday to a piece authored by Chapman University law professor John Eastman in which he suggested Harris, who was born in Oakland, was not a natural-born citizen because her parents were immigrants.
''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,'' he wrote.
The decision to publish the op-ed sparked swift backlash, with critics claiming the magazine had opted to spread a racist ''birther'' theory similar to the one President Trump Donald John TrumpPresident Trump's brother, Robert Trump, dies at 71 Trump to take part in each day at GOP convention: reports Trump breaks with CDC director on potential for 'worst fall' amid pandemic, flu season MORE leveled against former President Obama for years.
"This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize," Josh Hammer, Newsweek's opinion editor, and Nancy Cooper, its global editor-in-chief, wrote in the note attached to the op-ed on Friday.
"The essay, by John Eastman, was intended to explore a minority legal argument about the definition of who is a natural-born citizen' in the United States. But to many readers, the essay inevitably conveyed the ugly message that Senator Kamala Harris, a woman of color and the child of immigrants, was somehow not truly American," they continued.
''The op-ed was never intended to spark or to take part in the racist lie of Birtherism, the conspiracy theory aimed at delegitimizing Barack Obama Barack Hussein ObamaNewsweek apologizes for Kamala Harris op-ed Michelle Obama to go to bat for Biden McGrath reshuffles campaign in home stretch to Senate election MORE , but we should have recognized the potential, even probability, that that could happen,'' they added. ''All of us at Newsweek are horrified that this op-ed gave rise to a wave of vile Birtherism directed at Senator Harris.''
Hammer and Cooper wrote that they had heard calls to take down the piece but said they decided to leave it up with their note in order to be ''transparent.''
The clarification marks the culmination of a dayslong controversy that was heightened this week when Trump was asked about the op-ed's claims, responding that ''the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, talented lawyer'' and that he had ''no idea if that's right.''
Jared Kushner Jared Corey KushnerSunday shows preview: Mail-in voting, USPS funding dominates political debate before conventions Newsweek apologizes for Kamala Harris op-ed Jared Kushner denies Trump 'promoting' questions about Kamala Harris MORE , the president's son-in-law, who holds significant sway in both the White House and Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, spent Friday defending Trump, saying he was not ''promoting'' the birther conspiracy and accusing the media of perpetuating a false narrative.
''Right now, you're the one spreading that disinformation. The president was at a coronavirus briefing, he was asked by a reporter about a report in Newsweek, and his words were, 'I don't know anything about that.' And since then, the media has been going wild, basically saying he was pushing a theory. I'll take him at his word that he said he doesn't know anything about that, and that's what he said,'' Kushner said Friday afternoon on CNN.
US bishop warns faithful to 'be awake' to 'anti-Catholic' Kamala Harris | News | LifeSite
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 16:31
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) '-- Bishop Joseph Stirckland sent out a tweet suggesting that Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, reminds him of former Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who famously called conservatives ''deplorables,'' at the height of her 2016 campaign.
''Catholics take note....reminds me of another candidate calling us 'the deplorables'....we need to be awake to this.....Kamala's Anti-Catholic Assault Previews Her Potential Administration,'' wrote Bishop Strickland.
Catholics take note....reminds me of another candidate calling us ''the deplorables''....we need to be awake to this.....Kamala's Anti-Catholic Assault Previews Her Potential Administration
'-- Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) August 12, 2020The Tyler, Texas bishop, a stalwart defender of human life and protector of the Catholic faith, was calling attention to an article published in the The Federalist titled, ''Kamala Harris's Anti-Catholic Assault Previews What Would Happen in Her Administration.''
''Vice President Joe Biden has just picked as his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a woman who believes Catholicism is an extreme set of views that should disqualify someone from public office,'' wrote Paulina Enck, who went on to substantiate her well founded claim.
Harris ''demonstrated shocking anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher,'' recounted Enck. Harris cited his membership in the ''all-male society'' the Knights of Columbus and its stances against abortion and same-sex ''marriage'' as grounds for rejecting Buescher for a federal district court in Nebraska.
''Ms. Harris's embrace of religious intolerance is especially significant because in two years she could be the next U.S. President,'' wrote the Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board at the time. ''What does it say about today's Democrats that no one in the party of Al Smith and JFK sees fit to rebuke her?''
Since the announcement of Harris as Biden's V.P. pick earlier this week, pro-life leaders have sounded the alarm about her extreme position on abortion.
David Daleiden, head of the pro-life investigative group Center for Medical Progress, wrote that from his firsthand experience, he considers Harris the ''greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen.''
Lots of people are asking me what I think of the news tonight'--@KamalaHarris is the greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen. I know because she had my home raided for speaking the truth about her political patrons at Planned Parenthood. ½½½½
'-- David Daleiden (@daviddaleiden) August 12, 2020During her time as attorney general of California, Harris played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its sale of aborted baby parts (which violated multiple federal laws, according to undercover video of abortion industry personnel).
Last year, Harris unveiled a plan to essentially force pro-life states to seek permission from the federal government before pro-life laws can take effect.
The announcement of her proposal, titled the ''Reproductive Rights Act,'' said ''Harris will require, for the first time, that states and localities with a history of violating Roe v. Wade obtain approval from her Department of Justice before any abortion law or practice can take effect.''
The Susan B. Anthony List has noted Harris's troubling Senate voting record, displaying her radical views on abortion and her determination to protect it, saying she twice ''blocked Senate vote to protect babies born alive during abortion; Unveiled a plan to prevent pro-life states from passing pro-life laws; and voted to force taxpayers to pay for abortions.''
BREAKING: Biden picks pro-abortion extremist @KamalaHarris for VP. Harris:''ΠBlocked Senate vote to protect babies born alive during abortion (TWICE)''ΠUnveiled a plan to prevent #ProLife states from passing pro-life laws''ΠVoted to force taxpayers to pay for abortions1/6
'-- Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) August 11, 2020''A vote for Biden/Harris is a vote for child abuse (cross-sex puberty blockers, mutilation surgery), mandatory Drag Queen Story Hour and 'transgender' speech rules, and abortion,'' wrote Houston Baptist University theology professor Robert A.J. Gagnon in a Facebook post. ''In short, an all-out assault on the youngest in our society and the marginalization and persecution of parents and other adults who come to their defense. Don't be foolish.''
''It is not just anti-Catholic bigotry. She believes that no one should be allowed to be appointed to the court or any administrative government post who ever belonged to a religious institution, organization, club, school, or denomination that views abortion, homosexual practice, or transgenderism as sin,'' said Gagnon in a separate Facebook post. ''How can any Christian vote for such a person or even fail to cast an effective vote to stop her election?''
On Monday, Bishop Strickland also commented on the high stakes of the upcoming election:
''85 PRAYING DAYS...until the election. Please pray for hearts to turn to God & choose candidates who promote....the sanctity of life, the Christian moral code, the sanctity of marriage & family, parental choice for educating their children & uphold basic freedoms for every person.''
85 PRAYING DAYS...until the election. Please pray for hearts to turn to God & chose candidates who promote....the sanctity of life, the Christian moral code, the sanctity of marriage & family, parental choice for educating their children & uphold basic freedoms for every person
'-- Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) August 10, 2020
Kamala's Anti-Catholic Assault Previews Her Potential Administration
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 16:31
Vice President Joe Biden has just picked as his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a woman who believes Catholicism is an extreme set of views that should disqualify someone from public office.
In January, Harris and other Senate Democrats demonstrated shocking anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher. They used his membership in the charity Knights of Columbus '-- a Catholic fraternal service order '-- as a reason he was unqualified to be a federal judge. The beliefs of the Knights of Columbus align directly with the positions of the Catholic Church.
With Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Harris questioned whether membership in a group with Catholic theology as a basis for ideals would prevent him from being an objective and good judge. Hirono asked if he would be willing to leave the Knights of Columbus should he become a federal judge, in order to distance himself from their ''extreme positions.'' Those extreme positions are the same that guide the Catholic Church, in which more than 1 in 5 Americans are members.
Harris dug into the beliefs of the Knights, asking, ''Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman's right to choose when you joined the organization?'' Her insinuation that membership in an organization that is pro-life should be relevant to whether one could be an effective judge is absurd. She further expressed distaste for the group's disagreement with same-sex marriage, again a belief of the Catholic Church.
Both Harris and Hirono used Buescher's membership in a religious service organization, and by extension his faith, as a reason he ought not to hold public office. It is unconscionable for a U.S. senator to suggest that a person's religion should disqualify him from public service. If the United States is truly meant to separate church and state, it is likewise antithetical to the ideals upon which our country was founded to suggest that a person's faith should be a detriment.
The First Amendment states, ''Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'' Yet Harris and Hirono stated that a federal nominee must renounce his religious beliefs in order to be confirmed.
There is a deep irony to the choice of a vice-presidential candidate who professes such open anti-Catholic beliefs since Biden has tried to position himself as a devout Catholic. Biden and the media have used this line to defend Biden against attacks from President Trump for Biden's pro-abortion and anti-religious freedom stances. Biden even released an ad entitled ''Faith,'' which tries to paint him as a faithful Catholic.
This is the kind of moral conviction we need in the president of the United States.
'-- 2020 #DemConvention 🇺🇸 (@DemConvention) August 9, 2020
Yet many of Biden's policies directly contradict the faith he professes to hold. He is aggressively pro-abortion, including flipping against the Hyde Amendment after decades of support. Hyde prohibits sending taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, and a majority of voters support it.
Likewise, Biden has declared he will undo the religious exemption for the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide abortifacients and birth control for their employees under their health care plan, despite the Supreme Court declaring that religious objections exempt employers from the contraceptive mandate of Obamacare.
Biden was denied Holy Communion when he attended Mass in South Carolina on a campaign stop, due to his pro-abortion positions. Likewise, the Diocese of Scranton, his hometown, declared in 2008 that he would be denied communion in any church within the diocese until he stops promoting and voting for pro-abortion legislation. Picking Harris as a running mate only doubles down on Biden and Democrats' mounting anti-Catholic attacks of recent decades.
Paulina Enck is an intern at the Federalist and current student at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service. Follow her on Twitter at @itspaulinaenck
Obama Gate
Former FBI lawyer set to plead guilty to altering email during Russia investigation - CNNPolitics
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 17:47
By Katelyn Polantz and David Shortell, CNN
Updated 12:44 PM EDT, Fri August 14, 2020
(CNN) An FBI lawyer who worked on the surveillance warrant of former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page plans to plead guilty Friday to making a false statement in an email as part of an investigation into the Russia investigation.
Kevin Clinesmith plans to admit to one charge of altering an email to another official in 2017 that said Page wasn't a previous government source, when he had been one.
Clinesmith had also been critical of President Donald Trump when he worked for the FBI.
Friday's charge represents the first public production from the highly-anticipated Durham investigation and will likely provide political fodder for Trump amid a storm of negative headlines regarding his management of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email," Clinesmith's lawyer, Justin Shur, said in a statement Friday. "It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues as he believed the information he relayed was accurate. But Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility."
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Information - Felony '' #1 in United States v. CLINESMITH (D.D.C., 1:20-cr-00165) ''
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:56
The text of this document was obtained by analyzing a scanned document provided by the court. As a result it may have typos, and you may prefer reading the original PDF.
Case 1:20-cr-00165-JEB Document1 Filed 08/14/20 Page 1of5UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAUNITED STATES OF AMERICACRIMINAL NO. 20-cr-XXX (XXX)v.KEVIN CLINESMITH, : VIOLATIONS:: 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(3)Defendant. : (False Statements)INFORMATIONThe United States Department of Justice charges that:INTRODUCTIONA. Defendant's Background1. From July 12, 2015 to September 21, 2019, the defendant, KEVINCLINESMITH, was employed full-time with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (''FBI'') as anAssistant General Counsel in the National Security and Cyber Law Branch of the FBI's Office ofGeneral Counsel. The defendant's office was located in the J. Edgar Hoover Building in theDistrict of Columbia.2. On July 31, 2016, the FBI opened a Foreign Agents Registration Act (''FARA'')investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane into whether individual(s) associated with the DonaldJ. Trump for President Campaign were witting of and/or coordinating activities with the Russiangovernment. By August 16, 2016, the FBI had opened individual cases under the CrossfireHurricane umbrella on four United States persons including a United States person referred toherein as ''Individual #1.''3. The defendant was assigned to provide legal support to FBI personnel working onCrossfire Hurricane. He was one of the individuals at the FBI who communicated with anotherspecific United States government agency (the ''Other Government Agency'' or ''OGA'') to raisequestions or concerns for the Crossfire Hurricane team.Case 1:20-cr-00165-JEB Document1 Filed 08/14/20 Page 2 of 54. In addition, as part of his responsibilities, the defendant provided support to FBISpecial Agents and Supervisory Special Agents working with the National Security Division ofthe United States Department of Justice (''NSD'') to prepare Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act(''FISA'') applications to obtain authority from the United States Foreign Intelligence SurveillanceCourt (''''FISC'') to conduct surveillance on Individual #1. There were a total of four court-approvedFISA applications targeting Individual #1: the first application was approved on October 21, 2016(''FISA #1''), and three renewal applications were approved on January 12, 2017 (''FISA #2''),April 7, 2017 (''FISA #3''), and June 29, 2017 (''FISA #4''). FISA #4 expired September 22, 2017.Each of the FISA applications alleged there was probable cause that Individual #1 was a knowingagent of a foreign power, specifically Russia.B. Individual #1's Prior Relationship With Another Government Agency5, On August 17, 2016, prior to the approval of FISA #1, the OGA provided certainmembers of the Crossfire Hurricane team a memorandum (''August 17 Memorandum ''') indicatingthat Individual #1 had been approved as an ''operational contact'' for the OGA from 2008 to 2013and detailing information that Individual #1 had provided to the OGA concerning Individual #1'sprior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers. The first three FISA applications did notinclude Individual #1's history or status with the OGA.6. Prior to the submission of FISA #4, Individual #1 had publicly stated that he/shehad assisted the United States government in the past. During the preparation of FISA #4, an FBISupervisory Special Agent (''SSA''), who was the affiant on FISA #4, asked the defendant toinquire with the OGA as to whether Individual #1 had ever been a ''source'' for the OGA.7. On June 15, 2017, the defendant sent an email to a liaison from the OGA (''''OGALiaison''), stating: ''We need some clarification on [Individual #1]. There is an indication that he2Case 1:20-cr-00165-JEB Document1 Filed 08/14/20 Page 3 of 5may bea ''[digraph]''''! source. This is a fact we would need to disclose in our next FISA renewal...To that end, can we get two items from you? 1) Source Check/Is [Individual #1] a source in anycapacity? 2) If he is, what is a [digraph] source (or whatever type of source he is)?''8. Later that same day, the OGA Liaison responded by email in which the liaisonprovided the defendant with a list (but not copies) of OGA documents. That list included areference to the August 17 Memorandum the OGA had previously provided to certain members ofthe Crossfire Hurricane team. The liaison also wrote that the OGA usesthe [digraph] to show that the encrypted a [U.S. person]. We encryptthe [U.S. persons] when they provide reporting to us. My recollection is that[Individual #1] was or is ... [digraph] but the [documents] will explain the details.If you need a formal definition for the FISA, please let me know and we'll work upsome language and get it cleared for use.9. The defendant subsequently responded that same day to the OGA Liaison via emailwith ''Thanks so much for that information. We're digging into the [documents] now, but I thinkthe definition of the [digraph] answers our questions.''10. On June 19, 2017, the SSA followed up with an instant message to the defendantand asked, ''Do you have any update on the [OGA source] request?'' During a series of instantmessages between the defendant and the SSA, the defendant indicated that Individual #1 was a''subsource'' and ''was never a source.'' The defendant further stated ''[the OGA] confirmedexplicitly he was never a source.'' The SSA subsequently asked ''Do we have that in writing.'' Thedefendant responded he did and that he would forward the email that the OGA provided to thedefendant. ' The OGA uses a specific two-letter designation, or digraph, to describe a U.S. person who has been approved bythe OGA for ''operational contact.''3Case 1:20-cr-00165-JEB Document1 Filed 08/14/20 Page 4of5A. Defendant's False Statement 11. On June 19, 2017, immediately following the instant messages between thedefendant and the SSA, the defendant, from his office in the Hoover Building, forwarded the OGALiaison's June 15, 2017 email to the SSA with alterations that the defendant had made so that theOGA Liaison's email read as follows:My recollection is that [Individual #1] was or is ''[digraph]'' and not a''source'' but the [documents] will explain the details. Ifyou need a formaldefinition for the FISA, please let me know and we'll work up somelanguage and get it cleared for use(emphasis added). The defendant had altered the original June 15, 2017 email from the OGALiaison by adding the words ''and not a source'' to the email, thus making it appear that the OGALiaison had written in the email that Individual #1 was ''not a source'' for the OGA. Relying onthe altered email, the SSA signed and submitted the application to the Court on June 29, 2017. Theapplication for FISA #4 did not include Individual #1's history or status with the OGA.COUNT ONE12. Paragraphs 1 to 11 are incorporated by reference.13. Onor about June 19, 2017, within the District of Columbia, the defendant, KEVINCLINESMITH, did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document, knowingthe same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and entry in a matterbefore the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the UnitedStates. Specifically, on or about June 19, 2017, the defendant altered the OGA Liaison's June 15,2017 email by adding that Individual #1 ''was not a source'' and then forwarded the email to theSSA, when in truth, and in fact, and as the defendant well knew, the original June 15, 2017 emailfrom the OGA Liaison did not contain the words ''not a source.''Case 1:20-cr-00165-JEB Document1 Filed 08/14/20 Page 5of5(False Statements, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(3).)Respectfully Submitted,(1.2 4,Fohn H. Durhtal Attorneyto the Attorney GeneralNeeraj N. PatelSpecial Assistant United States Attorneyfor the District of Columbia      Anthony ScarpelliAssistant United States Attorneyfor the District of Columbia
meaning in history: Major Update On Kevin Clinesmith Plea
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:55
Shipwreckedcrew has written an informative article regarding the Clinesmith plea deal. While he wrote the article without having read the actual information that was filed by John Durham, he works from the dynamics of the situation to draw some probable conclusions as to what we can expect.The major point that Shipwreckedcrew bases his analysis upon is a simple one: Durham could have had this plea deal at least a year ago. Basically, any time he wanted it. As I remarked at the time, we all knew that Clinesmith was going to go down. So, starting from that premise ...First of all, he rejects statements by Clinesmith's attorney as "spin"“…but there is no evidence showing a broader conspiracy to undermine the candidacy of U.S. President Donald Trump, the New York Times reported on Friday.” This should more accurately read: “Clinesmith’s attorneys have not been provided with evidence that there is a broader conspiracy….”What he's saying is this: In any plea negotiations and subsequent cooperation the information flow was a one way street. Durham would never have told Clinesmith or his attorney why he wanted to know the answers to certain questions or what use he would make of those answers. They might make some educated guesses, but certainly Durham would not give away the big picture conspiracy. More on that below.Next, as we discussed earlier,The first thing Clinesmith’s plea suggests to me is that Durham is almost done.  This plea could have been had a long time ago if this was the only criminality that Durham uncovered. The facts of Clinesmith’s actions were set forth with particularity in the Inspector General’s Report on the Four FISAs.So, that's a major "if". In other words, the logical conclusion is that, since this plea was so long in coming, that means that Durham DID uncover additional criminality.Next, Shipwreckedcrew, having described the offense as detailed in the information, notes:This information from the CIA should have stopped the Page FISA application in its tracks.  Obviously, if Carter Page was a CIA source, the FISA judge--had he been informed of this fact--might well have questioned: How could he have been an agent for Russia at the same time? Which circumstance is the truth?However, this subterfuge followed upon another. From the beginning of the FISA process, the FBI had falsified Carter Page's relationship with the NYO of the FBI--he had, in fact, been a source for the FBI in New York and his contacts with Russian intel operatives were both known and approved by the FBI. Who in the FBI knew about this? Ask yourself this: If Clinesmith contacted CIA re Page, would people in the FBI not have searched the FBI's own records to see what was known about Carter Page? If they had--and I presume they did--then they would have known that Page was an FBI source. So, knowing all this, Durham would have been trying to determine the full extent of knowledge within the FBI on these matters.To continue:Several reasons would explain not pursuing charges against Clinesmith sooner, but the two most obvious ones are that Clinesmith agreed to cooperate when he was notified he was a target of a criminal investigation, and the second would be that Durham did not want to initiate a court proceeding that might require him to make public disclosure of certain evidence before the was prepared to do so.This paragraph goes to the supposition that Durham's investigation--probably at least as regards the FISA--is just about finished. Once an indictment is handed down or an information is filed, the prosecutor is required to start moving forward with the case--he can't just sit on it without justifying that action. If Durham is now willing to move forward with regard to Clinesmith, and if--judging from the delay in filing the information--we presume that Clinesmith has had information of value to pass on to Durham, then it follows that Durham is at a point at which he doesn't care who knows what public disclosures could come from moving the Clinesmith case forward. That point would logically be the end point of a discrete investigation, one that can be separated from other still ongoing investigations.Shipwreckedcrew next reiterates some of the above:Now Durham has decided to move forward.  The reporting on the story says that Durham is not expected to announce a wide-ranging conspiracy as part of Clinesmith’s guilty plea.  That is most likely the case because there is no need to do so, and doing so in connection with Clinesmith would only put such allegations in the public arena for others to see — including other targets of the investigation.In resolving a case such as Clinesmith’s, the less said the better.  Durham knows what Clinesmith as told him and that this point there is no reason for Durham to tell everyone else what Clinesmith has said.But here's an interesting tidbit that I'd not heard before, but which bears directly upon matters we were speculating about in the first Clinesmith post. Please read this closely:That being the case, there is an interesting bit of information reported that I noted on Twitter.  The note said that Clinesmith had told investigators that he provided the original email — the accurate email from the CIA — to the case agents and supervisors on CH.  I’m digging around a bit more for that information and will update this story when I find it.If true then that's extremely important. The reason is because, since the accurate information is contained in an email, then there should be an electronic trail showing who Clinesmith shared the email with--and beyond. And so:If that is true, the Durham has other subjects with regard to this specific falsehood that is traceable to Clinesmith.  If the evidence is that others were aware of the false allegations about Page and the CIA that originated with Clinesmith’s alteration and never took steps to clear the record with DOJ or the FISC, then those individuals are targets as well because a knowing “material omission” of information from a FISA application would also be obstruction.  Now you have the existence of a conspiracy.  The existence of a conspiracy! But what kind of conspiracy? Every conspiracy has a purpose. So, if the conspiracy is involves defrauding the government of honest services, we still need to ask: To what purpose? That's the point at which the prosecutors can introduce mountains of evidence to show that the purpose of the conspiracy to defraud had nothing to do with any legitimate government business--instead, it was to stage a lawfare style coup against an elected president. Ruh roh!If the knowledge of Clinesmith’s criminal act extended beyond Clinesmith himself, that would call into question the accuracy of every submission under oath made by members of CH.  Not just the FISA applications, but all the affidavits offered in support of search warrants across the entire scope of the CH investigation — including everything done by the Special Counsel’s Office since many FBI agents and other personnel carried over from the DOJ/FBI investigation of CH to the SCO investigation of CH.  Every material misstatement or omission would then be a potential overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy.  This would better explain the widespread nature of Durham’s investigation as AG Barr has referenced in the past, as well as AG Barr’s decision to task two other US Attorneys with pursuing other aspects of the probe.But also, acts that were not actually criminal, but which nevertheless were performed in furtherance of the overall conspiracy, could also come into play.So for everyone who wondered what was taking Durham so long, I hope you know now.
XR Global Support Team '' XR Global Support Team '' Glassfrog
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 11:51
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Prop Technician on green lasers
Yo, Adam!
Being out of town a few weeks back I've been playing catch-up on the show. I notice that in episode 1264 you two talked about the lasers being used by rioters, most notably in Portland, Oregon. Anyways, I wanted to give you my green laser story as I had an opportunity to play with them a few years back.
I live in Washington State right now, just across from Seattle, but I'm a former prop-maker from Los Angeles. Before getting the hell out of there, I had worked on a job where we had to design a single kernel popcorn popper that was to be activated by users over the interwebs though a web cam. The idea was to have them control this device that would pick a kernel up out of a hopper full of unpopped popcorn and place it on a small pedestal in the center of the machine, raised above the hopper below. Lasers would then turn on, blasting the kernel and popping it.
Needless to say, it didn't go as planned. For starters we knew that red lasers were never going to work, as we've been playing with those for years in the shop, pointing them at one another's butts and man-boobs at a distance, occasionally getting hit in the eye. No burns. Obviously! And even with the occasional blasts to the face there was never an eye issue. So we ordered like three or four green lasers. You'd think things would get fun from there, but they didn't.
Right away we got to work on trying to pop kernels. What we discovered was that one laser was too powerful and focused, and would only burn the kernel and start it on fire. So we tired to spin the kernel as it was being shot with the laser. Nothing, still just burning. The plan was to add a few more lasers pointed at it and have the kernel spin and maybe have a small stream of hot air blow up from under the kernel, but we never got that far in our R&D. What we did discover right away was that we needed those special red glasses for screwing around with lasers! None of us were ever hit in the face with the green lasers. We were extremity careful of this because of the stories we'd see on the local LA new about pilots being "blinded" by people pointing lasers at plains. It's always amazing how cops were still able to catch those ideots –but I digress...
Simply being around those lasers and looking at the beams as they were pointed away and at an object on the other end of the shop was enough to make you feel like you're eyes were being majorly screwed with! I've had red lasers accidentally go into my eyes many times in the past and, to reiterate and possibly push this idea into annoying levels of repetition, it felt just the same simply working around the green lasers. You ever just play with magnets all day and start to feel weird? Yeah, like that.
But anyways, as far as I'm concerned that's like letting loose at someone's head with a full-auto airsoft gun, hoping to hit their eyes. Those people should be locked up.
Mayor Adler | ðŸ·wear a mask. on Twitter: "We invested in permanent supportive housing, gun violence prevention, victim services for survivors, EMS, the Homelessness Outreach Street Team, the Equity Office, substance use harm reduction, @AusPu
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 20:24
Mayor Adler | ðŸ·wear a mask. : We invested in permanent supportive housing, gun violence prevention, victim services for survivors, EMS, the Homel'...
Thu Aug 13 20:22:31 +0000 2020
Mayor Adler | ðŸ·wear a mask. : This budget is a first step in a transformative & responsible way forward. Over the next year the community,'...
Thu Aug 13 20:22:31 +0000 2020
Canceled cadet class would have been Austin Police Department's most diverse group ever, APA says | KXAN Austin
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:38
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- The now-canceled APD 144th cadet class would have been the first one where more than half of graduates were minorities, the Austin Police Association says.
Earlier this week, Austin City Council voted to change the city's 2020-21 budget '-- resulting in around $150 million of Austin Police Department's funding being transitioned to other public health and safety areas.
Austin City Council approves budget, yearlong process of moving $150M out of APDThe APA says it was recently provided with the number of the class' racial makeup, saying that 51% were minorities. The numbers indicate that it would have been APD's first majority minority class.
The percentage of minority cadets may have even been higher, APA says, ''if you count women as a minority group.''
APA said in a Facebook post:
''We are so proud of the great work our recruiting unit did to produce these numbers. Unfortunately, this city council has destroyed the hard work done by recruiting. They have also ruined the lives of cadets that moved to Austin at the request of Austin City Managament and the department.''
Austin City Council's budget cuts come after calls for sweeping changes into APD's culture, training and leadership.
Department of Justice says Yale discriminates against whites and Asians - BBC News
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 04:53
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Yale University said its admissions complied with Supreme Court rulings The US government says Yale University is illegally discriminating against white and Asian-American applicants.
The results of a two-year investigation by the Department of Justice found the Ivy League university had breached civil rights law in its undergraduate admissions process.
The department threatened to file a lawsuit against the university if it failed to take "remedial" measures.
A Yale spokeswoman said the university "categorically" denied the accusations.
President Donald Trump's administration has been a strong opponent of so-called affirmative action.
The programmes, which were supported by former President Barack Obama, seek to boost admissions of under-represented minorities, particularly Hispanics and African-Americans..
Trump 'to scrap' affirmative action policy Do white US students really get a bad deal?The Department of Justice's report, published on Thursday, said that while the Supreme Court allows universities that receive taxpayer funding to use race as "one of a number of factors" during admissions, "Yale's use of race is anything but limited".
"Yale uses race at multiple steps of its admissions process resulting in a multiplied effect of race on an applicant's likelihood of admission," it said.
Yale strongly rejected the report's conclusions, which it said had been made before the university was able to provide all of the information requested by the Department of Justice.
"Had the Department fully received and fairly weighed this information, it would have concluded that Yale's practices absolutely comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent," Yale said in a statement.
The university said it considers a many factors during the admissions process and said it would not change its process "on the basis of such a meritless, hasty accusation."
Last year, Harvard University was cleared of discrimination against Asian-American applicants by a federal judge following a lawsuit, although the ruling is now being appealed.
Video caption In the wake of a US Supreme Court decision over Michigan's affirmative action policies, the BBC takes a look at American public opinion on the issue.
Facebook bans blackface and anti-Semitic stereotypes in hate speech update - The Verge
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 11:59
Facebook has expanded its ban on racist writings and imagery, with new rules specifically prohibiting depictions of blackface and statements or images suggesting that Jewish people control the world or major institutions. Facebook already has a broad ban on hate speech, but the company also maintains a detailed list of prohibited language (like comparing a group of people to ''insects'') and protected characteristics (like physical appearance) to tell users what isn't allowed.
''This type of content has always gone against the spirit of our hate speech policies,'' Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of policy management, said on a call with reporters this afternoon. But it can be difficult for reviewers around the world to identify hate speech without these explicit examples, Bickert said.
While Facebook has long banned hate speech, the company's moderation rules have at times led to some troubling results. In 2017, ProPublica reported on how Facebook's rules offered protections for ''white men'' but not ''Black children'' due to how the company interpreted subsets of protected classes. The company says it has now established teams inside both Instagram and Facebook to help the products feel ''fair and inclusive.''
''We've made progress combating hate on our apps, but we know we have more to do to ensure everyone feels comfortable using our services,'' Guy Rosen, Facebook's VP of integrity, writes in a blog post.
Today's policy update came alongside the release of Facebook's sixth Community Standards Enforcement Report. As part of the report, the company revealed that it removed more than 7 million pieces of ''harmful'' coronavirus misinformation on Facebook and Instagram between April and June. That includes posts about fake cures or preventive measures. The company also put warning labels on 98 million pieces of misinformation about coronavirus that didn't rise to the level of a ban.
Peace Deal(s)
Lebanon Strike followed by peace deals? Iran deal in the works!
Circumstantial evidence indicates these were W76-2 nukes from the sub Tennessee
The fundamental aspect to note is that the W76 mod 2 was not designed as a nuclear warhead, but rather as the primary fission stage of the W76 thermonuke. That is to say, it's sole purpose is to set off the fusion secondary. Any unfissioned fuel or unnecessary types of radiation represent inefficiencies in the design and would be eliminated if possible. (And remember they've had 80 years to work on these and the mod 2 is literally fresh off the Pantex factory floor.) I see this as explaining four key characteristics of the blast:
(1) Lack of scintillation: Almost all the battlefield nukes of the recent past have shown scintillation effects on cell phone cameras, but not here. This leads some to believe these latest were not nukes. Apparently in the mod 2 the design inefficiencies (probably something like unburned fuel) which lead to scintillation effects have been eliminated.
(2) The Wilson cloud. Again, no recent battlefield nukes have shown this. Yes, Beirut was on the seashore in humid air, but the Syria blast was in the desert. Since the mod 2 is a primary, the biggest amplitude and most sudden shockwave possible would be desired. My guess is that here the shockwave is of such a nature as to now cause a Wilson cloud.
(3) No nuclear fallout. Again, any fallout would demonstrate inefficiencies in the fission process and would have been eliminated. I suspect there are tiny amounts that could be found if one tested carefully, but note how carefully all authorities and media avoid mentioning such testing.
(4) Size of the fireball. Alex Wellerstein of NUKEMAP estimates that the W76-2 would create a fireball about 490 feet in diameter. In Beirut the fireball was somewhat bigger than the grain silos, which are about 450 feet long. In other words, the sizes are indistinguishable.
There's another half of the argument composed of circumstantial evidence centering on the USS Tennessee, which eventually leads to why an air-to-ground missile was used. Tom Clancy-level entertaining if it was fiction, but since it's real-life that makes it all quite alarming.
The new ''low-yield'' W76-2 nuclear warhead is extremely dangerous and unnecessary.
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 15:34
Sometime in the past two months, the U.S. Navy has deployed a new type of nuclear warhead in some of its Trident submarines. Called the W76-2, it is a “low-yield” warhead, which would explode with the blast power of about 8 kilotons—far less powerful than the Tridents’ other warheads, which have an explosive yield of 90 to 450 kilotons.
At first glance, this might seem like a good thing: a smaller blast means less death and damage, if a nuclear war happened. But in some ways, it’s a dangerous thing, and to explain why requires a brisk dive into the rabbit hole logic of nuclear strategy.
For many years, arms control advocates have argued that low-yield nuclear weapons are destabilizing because they lower the threshold between conventional and nuclear war. They seem to be—they are designed to be—more usable as weapons of war, and therefore some president, in a crisis, might feel more tempted to use them. (The United States has always had an explicit policy of reserving the right to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict.)
Those worries have intensified when we’ve had presidents who are viewed as erratic. In 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, some Air Force generals proposed building a new low-yield nuclear warhead that could burrow underground before exploding; they saw it as the ideal weapon for killing some future Saddam Hussein hiding in a bunker. But many members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees did not trust President George W. Bush with such a weapon, so they tacked on an amendment to that year’s defense budget, prohibiting the “testing, acquisition, or deployment of a low-yield nuclear weapon”—and barring the Department of Energy from even researching such a weapon—without the advance approval of Congress.
Many now have the same worry about Donald Trump. In 2018, when then–Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis lobbied for the W76-2 on Capitol Hill, at least one Republican senator told him, “I don’t have a problem with this weapon. I have a problem with the president who’s authorized to use this weapon.”
But just months later, Trump’s viselike grip on the Republican Party had tightened. The Democrat-controlled House voted to cancel the program; the GOP-led Senate voted to approve it. In the conference committee, the House managers folded. Some reasoned that it was such an inexpensive program: Only 50 warheads would be modified to the low-yield version, at a cost of $65 million, less than 0.1 percent of the entire defense budget. No big deal.
Another reason for the Democrats’ concession was that this low-yield program was presented as a response to a Russian threat. The argument was that the Russians had a new strategy called “escalate to de-escalate.” If war broke out in Europe, the Russians would launch a low-yield nuclear weapon at U.S. and NATO forces. If we didn’t have low-yield nuclear weapons to fire back, we would have to surrender. If we did have low-yield nukes, the rationale went, the Russians might not attack in the first place.
It is true that the Russian military has outlined such a strategy in some manuals and rehearsed this scenario in some training exercises. But it’s slippery logic to conclude that we need a low-yield Trident warhead to meet the threat.
First, the case for the new warhead hinges on the premise that, in order to deter the Russians, we need to match in kind every move they make: They build a low-yield missile; we have to do the same, or we wind up with a “gap in the escalation spectrum” (as some have labeled the threat). But there is nothing in history, strategy, or intelligence findings about Russian thinking on the subject to support this notion.
Second, even if the notion could be supported, it would be irrelevant because—as Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists estimates—the U.S. already has about 1,000 low-yield nuclear bombs and cruise missiles, which could be dropped or fired from F-15, F-16, B-1, and B-2 aircraft. Advocates of the low-yield Trident argue that those planes might be shot down by Russian air defenses, whereas the Trident missiles—launched from undetectable submarines—would definitely get through Russian defenses. This imbalance is overstated. Many, probably most of the U.S. planes would get through to their targets. More to the point, even if only a few got through, that would mean that we are able to launch low-yield nuclear weapons in response to Russian low-yield weapons—which means the premise of advocates’ case for low-yield Tridents is false.
Third, there is some dispute within intelligence agencies over why the Russians are deploying low-yield nuclear warheads in the first place. From the 1950s to the 1970s, the U.S. placed thousands of nuclear weapons in Western Europe to compensate for the superiority of Soviet tanks and troops in Eastern Europe. Now, many analysts believe, the Russians are putting more emphasis on nuclear weapons in order to counter U.S. and NATO superiority in conventional weapons. It’s two sides of the same coin. It doesn’t reflect a new kind of threat—or require a new kind of response.
In my new book, The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War, I recount a highly classified war game played by the National Security Council late in the Obama administration. Reports of Russia’s “escalate to de-escalate” strategy were emerging. The idea of the game was to test whether this strategy might indeed thwart America’s ability or will to project power in Europe. The scenario went like this: The Russians invade one of the Baltic states; NATO fights back effectively; to reverse the tide, Russia fires a low-yield nuclear weapon at the NATO troops or at a base in Germany where drones, combat planes, and smart bombs were deployed. The question: What do U.S. decision-makers do next?
The game was first played in an NSC deputies’ meeting, consisting of second-tier officials from the various agencies and military branches. Initially, the generals steered the discussion toward operational details: How many nuclear weapons, and of what type, should the U.S. fire at what targets? Then, Colin Kahl, Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, spoke up. The generals, he said, were missing the big picture. The minute the Russians drop a nuclear bomb, we would face a world-defining moment—the first time an atom bomb had been used in war since 1945. It would be an opportunity to rally the entire world against Russia. If we responded with diplomacy and economic pressure, and by pushing ahead with our conventional advantage, we would isolate and weaken Moscow’s leaders, policies, and military forces. However, if we responded by shooting off some nukes of our own, we would forfeit that advantage and, moreover, normalize the use of nuclear weapons.
The generals were caught off guard. They knew of the long-standing debate over whether the U.S. should be the first to use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional attack, but it seemed perverse to consider using conventional weapons in response to a nuclear attack. A few hours of discussion ensued, examining Kahl’s political challenge, NATO’s conventional military strength, the puzzle of which targets to hit with nuclear weapons (none made much sense), and whether a nuclear response would end the war any sooner or more victoriously than a conventional response (which didn’t seem likely). In the end, a consensus formed that, at least as a first step, the U.S. should respond with continued conventional military operations.
A month later, the NSC’s Principals Committee—the group of Cabinet secretaries and military chiefs—played the same game, but with very different results. Some of the same concerns were raised—the possibility of isolating the Russians by not taking the nuclear bait, the lack of any sensible targets, the uncertainty of whether nukes would dampen or further escalate the war. Still, the principals decided we had to respond with nuclear weapons, to maintain credibility among our allies and adversaries. They decided to fire a few nuclear weapons at the former Soviet republic of Belarus, even though, in the game, it had no involvement in the Russian attacks—and then they ended the game, without playing the next few steps.
Regardless of who was right, the deputies or the principals, there is another good reason for opposing the idea of launching low-yield nuclear weapons from a Trident submarine. In the first months of Trump’s presidency, Mattis assembled a group of seven longtime defense experts—the “Graybeards,” he called them—to hash out various issues. In the third and last of their meetings, held on Nov. 1, 2017, they discussed the “escalate to de-escalate” scenario and whether to respond by building low-yield Trident warheads. Most of the seven opposed the idea. Kevin Chilton, a retired Air Force general, argued that if the Russians saw a missile hurtling their way after being fired upon by a Trident submarine, they wouldn’t know whether it was high-yield or low-yield—they would see it as a “strategic” weapon, perhaps the first volley of a much larger attack against Russia, and respond accordingly.
Chilton’s opposition might have stemmed in part from the fact that the warhead was a Navy weapon. (He argued that, if we wanted to use nukes to send a signal to Moscow, a cruise missile fired from a bomber aircraft would be a better tool. Both the bomber and the cruise missile were Air Force weapons.) Still, he had a point. There’s nothing on the missile that flashes “Low Yield! Low Yield!” And when the warhead goes off, it would look and feel like the largest explosion witnessed since World War II. An 8-kiloton bomb may sound puny, but 8 kilotons means 8,000 tons, which means 16 million pounds—and that’s just the blast. There would also be fire, smoke, electromagnetic pulse, radiation, and radioactive fallout, spreading the toxicity far and wide. The bomb that leveled Hiroshima at the end of World War II exploded with the force of 12.5 kilotons—not that much larger than the W76-2.
Where would this weapon be aimed? I’ve asked several officials who deal with these matters. They have different answers. Some say it would be aimed at a target inside Russia. Some say, no, that would escalate the conflict; it would be aimed at a target on the battlefield. Some say the president would make the decision. (That’s the scariest answer of all.) The point is, as the Obama NSC’s war game spelled out, nobody knows how it would, or should, be used—and certainly nobody knows what might happen next.
That is the real danger of the low-yield weapon—not so much the weapon itself (especially compared with much higher-yield weapons) but the deception that the whole concept plants in a decision-maker’s mind: the idea that “low-yield” means tiny, harmless, controllable. In fact, the dynamic unleashed—the near-certainty of a retaliatory strike, followed by another round of strikes, steadily subsumed in the fog of war, as communications systems burn out, commanders wander in confusion about what’s going on, each side fears the worst from the other and seeks to preempt the next blow with a blow of his own—would mean that before too long, the conflict escalates to catastrophe.
If war happens and if nuclear weapons come into the fray, clearly it’s sensible to try to keep the damage limited. But no one in officialdom has ever played a war game in which a “limited” attack believably stays limited. Things spiral out of control pretty quickly. Which is why it’s a good idea to keep the threshold between conventional and nuclear war as high as possible—and why the low-yield Trident warhead is a bad idea.
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UAE, Israeli companies sign 'strategic commercial agreement' on coronavirus COVID-19 R&D | World News | Zee News
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 11:21
The Emirati APEX National Investment company signed a "strategic commercial agreement" with Israel`s Tera Group to cooperate on research and development related to COVID-19, including a testing device, the UAE`s state news agency WAM said late on Saturday.
The deal "is considered the first business to inaugurate trade, economy and effective partnerships between the Emirati and Israeli business sectors, for the benefit of serving humanity by strengthening research and studies on the novel Coronavirus," WAM quoted APEX`s chairman Khalifa Yousef Khoury as saying.
The agreement was signed at a press conference in Abu Dhabi, coming soon after Israel and the UAE announced an agreement on Thursday that will lead to a full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two states.
"The United Arab Emirates and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus," the two countries said on Thursday in a joint statement.
US President Donald Trump helped broker the deal, under which Israel agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank.
Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications and other issues, the joint statement said.
"TeraGroup`s BioSafety testing is conducted in selected countries around the world, including the Emirates Field Hospital in Abu Dhabi, with plans to expand the testing to cover the entire UAE," WAM said.
In June, the UAE had said two private companies from the United Arab Emirates and two Israeli companies would work together on medical projects, including ones to combat the new coronavirus.
Two state-owned Israeli defense contractors in July announced partnerships with Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42 to develop technologies to help fight the new coronavirus.
Richard Grenell on Twitter: "We are happy to announce that the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia will meet at the White House for a negotiation on September 2. @realDonaldTrump @robertcobrien @WHNSC" / Twitter
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:26
Richard Grenell : We are happy to announce that the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia will meet at the White House for a negotiation on Se'...
Fri Aug 14 01:46:42 +0000 2020
U.S. Seizes Four Iranian Tankers Carrying Fuel to Venezuela | Financial Post
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 17:57
(Bloomberg) '-- The U.S. seized four tankers carrying Iranian gasoline bound for Venezuela in an unprecedented move by the Trump administration that carries the potential to destabilize global oil shipments if Iran retaliates.
The tankers were transporting 1.116 million barrels of petroleum, which has now been confiscated after help from ''foreign partners,'' the Justice Department said in a statement Friday. It is not clear where the ships were at the time of the seizures because they had all turned off their satellite-tracking systems to avoid detection between May and July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
''These actions represent the government's largest-ever seizure of fuel shipments from Iran,'' according to the DOJ statement, which said the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, designated a foreign terrorist organization, was behind the shipment.
The prospect of retaliatory action by Iran has the potential to disrupt oil markets if Iran interferes with international oil tankers from transiting the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most critical choke point for oil shipments. However, the impact to oil prices may be limited from what it once might have been given lower fuel consumption in the face of pandemic-driven lockdowns.
''The seizure did not escalate militarily because there were no Iranian naval vessels escorting the tankers that had orders to engage,'' said Scott Modell, managing director of Rapidan Energy Group. ''But this is getting closer to the line. Tehran will show caution, for now, knowing that Iran's collaboration with Venezuela was unlikely to ever go beyond a few small-scale transactions and public displays of anti-Trump solidarity.''
Iran was exporting gasoline to fuel-starved Venezuela in defiance of U.S. sanctions that are intended to choke off both nations from oil revenue. Presently, Venezuela is unable to produce gasoline because of widespread mechanical failures at its refineries and needed the shipments to alleviate widespread rationing. At the start of July, the U.S. filed a complaint seeking to forfeit the oil cargoes aboard the M/T Bella, M/T Bering, M/T Pandi and M/T Luna. A seizure order was subsequently granted. The Wall Street Journal reported that the ships are being directed toward Houston in the coming days.
The Pandi, also known as Andy, and the Luna turned off their satellite signals on July 7 near the Strait of Hormuz, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Bering switched off its transponder on May 11 while approaching the Aegean Sea. The Bella was last seen May 11 near the Philippines.
(C)2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Biden praises Israel-UAE peace deal announced by Trump, credits Obama administration | Fox News
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 18:51
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday praised the Israel-United Arab Emirates peace deal announced by President Trump, but credited efforts of the Obama-Biden administration for the ''historic step.''
Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed released a joint statement Thursday after Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize relations.
The statement said that the ''diplomatic breakthrough'' was at ''the request of President Trump,'' and that Israel will ''suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President's Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.''
The former vice president praised the move as ''a historic step to bridge the deep divides of the Middle East,'' calling the UAE's offer to ''publicly recognize the State of Israel is a welcome, brave, and badly-needed act of statesmanship.''
''It is a critical recognition that Israel is a vibrant, integral part of the Middle East that is here to stay,'' Biden said. ''Israel can and will be a valued strategic and economic partner to all who welcome it.''
Biden, though, said that ''the coming together of Israel and Arab states builds on the efforts of multiple administrations to foster a broader Arab-Israeli opening, including the efforts of the Obama-Biden administration to build on the Arab Peace Initiative.''
''I personally spent time with leaders of both Israel and the UAE during our administration building the case for cooperation and broader engagement and the benefits it could deliver to both nations, and I am gratified by today's announcement,'' Biden said in a statement Thursday. ''It is a timely reminder that enmities and differences '-- even long standing ones '-- are not set in stone, and of the role American diplomacy can play.''
He added: ''There is always room for cooperation and collaboration on areas of mutual interest, and the Emirates and Israel both share a keen interest in preserving the prospects for peace in the region.''
Biden went on to say that ''annexation would be a body blow to the cause of peace, which is why I oppose it now and would oppose it as president,'' and "would virtually end any chance of a two-state solution that would secure Israel's future as a Jewish and democratic state and uphold the right of Palestinians to a state of their own.''
Biden added: ''By forestalling that possibility and replacing it with the hope of greater connection and integration in the region, the United Arab Emirates and Israel have pointed a path toward a more peaceful, stable Middle East.''
''A Biden-Harris Administration will seek to build on this progress, and will challenge all the nations of the region to keep pace,'' he said.
Delegations from Israel and the UAE are expected to meet in the coming weeks to ''sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.'' ''Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East's most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations,'' the statement also read.
Trump on Thursday said he had a call with Israel and the UAE. The president told reporters Israel and the UAE will ''begin cooperation across the board,'' along with exchanging embassies and ambassadors. The president said he expected other countries to follow the UAE's lead on this effort to cooperate with Israel going forward.
The president said the action would be known as the ''Abraham Accord,'' named for the ''father of all three great faiths.''
''No person better symbolizes the potential for unity of these three great faiths,'' U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said from the Oval Office Thursday.
Israel and the UAE also said they will continue their efforts to ''achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.''
Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates" / Twitter
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 18:52
Donald J. Trump : Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates
Thu Aug 13 14:50:10 +0000 2020
Why the War On Nuclear Threatens Us All
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 14:09
In a major blow to the U.S. nuclear-energy industry, China is helping Saudi Arabia create a facility to produce uranium ''yellowcake'' from uranium ore, according to reporting by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. The deal is further evidence that America's antinuclear energy policies are pushing U.S. allies into the arms of our illiberal and undemocratic rivals.
''The Chinese will expand the breadth of their engagement with the Saudis and become a supplier of nuclear plants,'' a U.S. nuclear industry official told me, ''which will lock China in as the leading supplier of influence over the next century.'' Part of the reason the Chinese-Saudi facility is such big news is because it would bring the kingdom one step closer to enriching uranium, which could be used for a power plant'--or for a weapon.
''The potential of a lot of countries in the Middle East going nuclear is very real,'' says nuclear weapons expert Richard Rhodes. ''And the idea of Middle Eastern nations armed with nuclear weapons is scary given how reactive they are to each other.''
As recently as 2018, momentum had been growing for Congress to approve an agreement for U.S. firms to help Saudi Arabia on the nuclear front, on the thinking that it was better for the U.S. than the Chinese to be involved. Congress has been under pressure to make a deal with the Saudis since 2017, the year Riyadh announced a deal with China to extract uranium from seawater. In April 2018, a bipartisan group of diplomats and officials warned Congress that ''Riyadh will buy its nuclear reactors from China'' if restrictions on U.S. nuclear energy support were too strict, and thus ''undercut the U.S. ability to influence nuclear power, security and safety programs in Saudi Arabia.'' But then, that fall, men allegedly working for Mohammad bin Salman, the ruling crown prince of Saudi Arabia killed Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist.
''Up until that point, everybody in strategic affairs, including in the non-proliferation community, knew that we had to be that nuclear supplier to the Saudis,'' the nuclear industry official said. ''Then Khashoggi happened. People got scared and decided to use their influence somewhere else.''
But Saudi Arabia's desire for nuclear energy didn't go away, and the 1970 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT), which most nations'--including the U.S., China, and Saudi Arabia'--have ratified, protects the right of nations to enrich their own uranium. Indeed, that NPT provision is why the U.S. and Europe have allowed Iran to pursue uranium enrichment. Saudi Arabia views the U.S double standard toward Iran as hypocritical and insulting.
''When the [Iran deal] was concluded, [President] Obama should have accepted that we couldn't ask the Saudis to renounce enrichment,'' said the official. Human rights abuses, terrible as they are, do not abrogate the NPT. ''I think they've killed a journalist or two in Iran over the years.''
I n the 1950s and for most of the 1960s, Democrats and Republicans worked together to promote nuclear energy. That changed in the 1970s. President Jimmy Carter and Democrats in Congress passed legislation in 1978 that added new restrictions under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act to restrict the flow of nuclear energy technologies from the U.S. to nations around the world. That amendment requires nations that want to enrich uranium using U.S. technology to get U.S. government permission first.
''The 123 agreement is already the strictest in the world,'' complained the industry official. But the U.S. tried to make the deal even stricter.
Where Republicans have been apathetic, Democrats have been activists in trying to regulate nuclear energy out of existence and prevent the U.S. from helping nations abroad develop their nuclear capacity. ''There are people in Congress who don't understand that, if the U.S. government won't sell nuclear energy to a country, others will,'' says Seth Grae of Lightbridge Corporation, one of several nuclear industry CEOs who met with President Donald Trump at the White House last year.
Some Democrats recognize that we need nuclear energy to address climate change. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's plan calls for the continued operation of existing nuclear plants and more research and development for the future. Yet Democrats continue to push for the closure of nuclear plants. The U.S. plans to close 12 reactors by 2025 and could lose half of the rest of its reactors over the next decade. Two of those reactors are at New York's Indian Point nuclear plant, which Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not long after proclaiming her open-mindedness on nuclear, called for shutting down.
Some nuclear industry officials hope that the U.S. will, in the future, ''leapfrog'' over China and Russia with smaller ''modular'' reactor designs, micro-reactors, and radical new reactor-coolant combinations such as those being pursued by Bill Gates. Biden's plan calls for more R&D into these novel designs.
B ut China and Russia are already far ahead of the U.S. on building and selling small, modular, and radical designs, as well as the standard water-cooled ones that most nations have chosen to build since the 1950s. If the U.S. fails to compete with China and Russia, no other liberal democratic or Western nation will. France, Japan, and South Korea have largely withdrawn from international competition.
China and Russia have become more totalitarian and dictatorial since the coronavirus pandemic began. The Chinese appear to be accelerating the genocide of the Uighurs, an ethnic Muslim minority, and the Russians appear to have given Vladimir Putin the power to rule for life. And now, Beijing and Moscow are exploiting the rising left-wing opposition to economic growth in developed nations. After Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg condemned ''endless economic growth'' at the United Nations last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, ''No one has explained to Greta that . . . people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden.''
Putin's message is no doubt more appealing than Thunberg's to the nations seeking nuclear power, which include Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Zambia. ''It's a powder keg type of situation,'' says Rhodes, ''as well as a longer-term question of who is going to shape the world.''
The China-Saudi deal should serve as a wake-up call to Congress and the national security and nonproliferation community. It's time for the U.S. to realign its policies with the NPT and take action to compete with the Chinese and Russians. Nations looking to build nuclear plants will choose partners with experience building them. This is a problem for the U.S., which is currently building just two reactors in Georgia. By contrast, China and Russia are building 37 reactors at home and abroad.
To compete, the U.S. must make global nuclear energy superiority a national security goal. This starts with either designating a new ''national champion'' nuclear building firm or creating a state-owned nuclear company capable of competing with Russian and Chinese firms. The national champion strategy, of course, is more amenable to the American free-market system. In the postwar period, Westinghouse and General Electric were America's two national nuclear champions, but they're no longer in the business of building nuclear plants. Privately held Bechtel, currently completing two Westinghouse-designed AP1000 nuclear reactors for the Southern Company Electric Utility in Georgia, may be a good candidate'--if it can count on federal support. Such a firm should offer turnkey nuclear plants, including financing, fuel, and initial operations, as it trains local engineers to take over.
Our goal should be to boost the share of U.S. electricity generated from nuclear power from today's 20 percent to at least 50 percent by 2050. Congress should ensure that after Bechtel completes building the two reactors in Georgia, its construction crews are hired to complete two identical reactors at Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Power Station in South Carolina, where construction was abandoned in 2017. With four world-class AP1000 nuclear reactors built, American construction managers and workers would be well-positioned to compete to build the same reactors around the world, where China and Russia are already pitching their own designs.
As part of this effort, Congress should make sure that all of today's reactors, including recently shuttered ones, stay open for at least 80 years. Congress should also consider amending the Atomic Energy Act to let the U.S. help nations develop uranium-enrichment facilities, just as China and Russia do now.
It was never realistic for the U.S. to demand that Saudi Arabia not develop uranium-enrichment capability to match that of Iran. American experts stress that the U.S. could help ensure that Saudia Arabia's enrichment is used for peaceful purposes. ''Everyone involved is a signatory to an agreement that requires intrusive inspections and all sorts of restrictions,'' noted Rhodes. ''So as long as that's in place, we should feel comfortable.''
Congress and the White House must act thoughtfully and deliberately'--but also decisively'--before it's too late.
Michael Shellenberger is the founder and president of Environmental Progress and author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.
Photo: Art Wager/iStock
City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank. Are you interested in supporting the magazine? As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations in support of MI and City Journal are fully tax-deductible as provided by law (EIN #13-2912529). SUPPORT
Trump says he is considering pardon for leaker Edward Snowden - Reuters
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 02:49
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor - now living in Russia - whose spectacular leaks shook the U.S. intelligence community in 2013.
FILE PHOTO: Edward Snowden speaks via video link during a news conference in New York City, U.S. September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The Republican president's comments followed an interview (here) Trump gave to the New York Post this week in which he said of Snowden that "there are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly" by U.S. law enforcement.
U.S. authorities for years have wanted Snowden returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges brought in 2013.
Snowden fled the United States and was given asylum in Russia after he leaked a trove of secret files in 2013 to news organizations that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the NSA.
Trump's softening stance toward Snowden represents a sharp reversal. Shortly after the leaks, Trump expressed (here) hostility toward Snowden, calling him "a spy who should be executed."
''I'm going to start looking at it,'' Trump told reporters about a possible pardon, speaking at a news conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club.
Trump said he thinks Americans on both the political left and the right are divided on Snowden.
''It seems to be a split decision,'' Trump told reporters. ''Many people think he should be somehow treated differently. And other people think he did very bad things.''
Some civil libertarians have praised Snowden for revealing the extraordinary scope of America's digital espionage operations including domestic spying programs that senior U.S. officials had publicly insisted did not exist.
But such a move would horrify many in the U.S. intelligence community, some of whose most important secrets were exposed. Trump has harshly criticized past leaders of the U.S. intelligence community and FBI, and on Thursday took aim at the bureau's current director Christopher Wray, his own appointee.
The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit last September against Snowden, arguing that his recently published memoir, ''Permanent Record,'' violated non-disclosure agreements.
The Justice Department said Snowden published the book without submitting it to intelligence agencies for review, adding that speeches given by Snowden also violated nondisclosure agreements.
Trump's use of his executive clemency powers including pardons often has benefited allies and well-connected political figures.
He last month commuted the sentence of his longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone, sparing him from prison after he was convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election to boost Trump's candidacy.
Reporting by Raphael Satter; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Will Dunham
YouTube aims to 'protect' elections by CENSORING what it deems to be 'hacked materials' '-- RT USA News
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 14:04
YouTube will remove videos containing ''hacked information'' about election candidates if it deems them aimed at election meddling. The censorship is supposedly needed to protect the integrity of democratic institutions in the US.
The Google-owned video platform explained on Thursday how it intends to protect users from malign actors during election campaigns and allow apparently benign actors to better engage with voters. Among other things, YouTube will delete videos that contain ''hacked information, the disclosure of which may interfere with democratic processes such as elections and censuses,'' Leslie Miller, Google's vice president of government affairs and public policy, wrote in the corporate blog.
For example, videos that contain hacked information about a political candidate shared with the intent to interfere in an election.
Publishing truthful content obtained illegally apparently falls into YouTube's category of ''deceptive practices''. But the platform doesn't explain how it will distinguish videos shared to meddle in elections from those meant to inform the public about misdeeds of candidates running for public office.
The First Amendment would normally protect publishers of material representing the public interest, even if it had been stolen. However, YouTube is privately owned, so not bound by freedom of speech legislation, as it successfully proved in a legal battle against conservative non-profit PragerU that was concluded in February this year.
US District Court Judge John Koeltl in SDNY recognized WikiLeaks and other media organizations have First Amendment right to publish materials allegedly hacked or stolen. YouTube's pledge to censor such content undermines the First Amendment.
'-- Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) August 13, 2020Last month, Google agreed to ban any ad from its platform that links to or promotes hacked political material. This decision was taken as part of the company's election policies and will come into force from September.
Big tech companies came under fire after the 2016 US presidential election, over claims that Russia had used their platforms to interfere with the vote. Consequently, they've been working hard to prove they won't allow this to happen again. Twitter, Facebook and Google now regularly report that they've purged accounts for allegedly running influence campaigns on behalf of foreign governments, and routinely root out political content they perceive as problematic.
Also on Alleged screenshots of internal Twitter tools suggest platform maintains user 'blacklists' despite denying practice for years Leaks of stolen Democratic emails, which were published by WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, are a major part of the ''Russian meddling'' narrative. The files exposed how senior Democratic Party officials acted in league with the Hillary Clinton campaign against Bernie Sanders, her challenger during the primaries.
Both Moscow and WikiLeaks denied collaborating to release the emails. The alleged hacking that was the source of the leak was never proven in court.
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5G Just Got Weird - IEEE Spectrum
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:30
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Fortnite for Android has also been kicked off the Google Play Store - The Verge
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:57
You can still install it directly from Epic, however
By Dieter Bohn on August 13, 2020 6:41 pm Following its removal from the Apple App Store, Fortnite has also been kicked off of the Google Play Store for Android. Earlier today, Epic Games snuck in an update for both the iPhone and Android versions of the game that allowed users to pay Epic directly for in-app purchases instead of using the officially sanctioned system for both platforms.
What followed was a wild ride: Apple kicked Fortnite off the App Store, then Epic sued Apple, and finally there was an in-game video parodying Apple's own 1984 commercial, positioning Apple itself as the monopolist.
Now, Google is in the conversation. As with Apple, Google requires that games use the Google Play system for in-app purchases. Although the Play Store's rules are somewhat more lax than Apple's when it comes to in-app purchases, Google does draw the line at games. It's quite clear-cut: ''Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment.'' Google's system takes a 30 percent cut, just as Apple's does.
Epic's update earlier today ran afoul of that rule, and while Google took longer to make a decision to ban Fortnite over it than Apple, both companies reached the same conclusion.
Google's statement:
The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play. A Google spokesperson emphasized to The Verge that Android is an open ecosystem that allows multiple stores and that Google Play's policies need to apply equally to all developers. It has no problem with those other stores existing nor with Epic distributing its game on them, the spokesperson said.
You can still install Fortnite on Android, however. Epic itself points visitors to its website, where they can either download Fortnite through the Epic Games app or via the Samsung Galaxy Store on Samsung devices. This is different from iPhone and iPad, where it's now impossible to install the game if you hadn't already done so.
Epic has a history of tussling with Google over this Play Store rule. In August 2018, Epic pulled Fortnite from the Google Play Store and began distributing it directly. That is only possible because Android allows installs from third-party sources, though it does make that process seem a bit dangerous because of the security warnings that appear when you do.
Eighteen months later, Epic capitulated and put Fortnite back into the Google Play Store, though not without some very angry rhetoric about it. Here's Epic's statement from April 2020:
Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store. An app as popular as Fortnite being installed via other means '-- specifically other stores '-- has the potential to lessen the centrality of the Google Play Store on Android '-- and maybe increase fragmentation. There are already competing stores '-- Samsung is pushing its own store heavily on its Android devices, for example. But in general, the Google Play Store has been the go-to software source for most people.
Epic is already actively encouraging users to also use the version that comes from Samsung's store, telling users that they can get the discount that started this whole mess if they do: ''You'll find that V-Bucks and real-money offers are now discounted by up to 20% through the Epic Games app at and the Samsung Galaxy Store.''
If Epic can get users in the habit of using other stores, that could mean users will start to want to use other stores for other app installs. If you've used any recent Samsung Galaxy phone, you have seen it offer the option to handle the installs for some major apps. It could mean that Google may be able skirt a monopoly issue with its decision, it would argue that there is real competition for app stores on Android.
For just one other gaming-related example, look to Microsoft. Its upcoming Game Pass Ultimate streaming service (you know it as xCloud) will be available both on Google Play and on Samsung's Galaxy Store. If you install it via Google Play, you won't be able to purchase DLC content for Xbox games because of that 30 percent cut. If you happen to install it via Samsung's store, however, you are able to make in-app purchases. Here's Microsoft's statement on the issue:
Our vision is to bring a complete, full-featured experience with in-app purchase capabilities to app stores. However, we are complying with all store policies and do not offer in-app purchases in some stores at this time. To access complete, in-app purchase capabilities, Samsung customers can download the Xbox Game Pass app from the Galaxy Store; SK Telecom customers can also get a complete experience through ONE Store. (Meanwhile, Microsoft's game streaming service isn't allowed on the iPhone at all '-- and Microsoft isn't happy about that, either.)
Given Epic's outsized response to Apple's ban '-- the lawsuit and the 1984 ad '-- it's a sure bet that the company will have a response to Google as well. We'll obviously let you know what that is when it happens.
Facebook Could Face $500 Billion in Fines for Illegally Collecting Biometric Data Through Instagram
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 20:58
Getty Images
A new lawsuit accuses Instagram of illegally collecting users' facial recognition data without telling them
Facebook-owned Instagram was sued Monday for illegally collecting, storing and distributing the facial recognition data of its users and could face up to $500 billion in fines.
A class action lawsuit filed in San Mateo Superior Court by Illinois resident Kelly Whalen on Aug. 10 alleges that Facebook and Instagram are routinely harvesting and sharing its users' biometric data without informing them or asking for consent to collect it.
The lawsuit requests Facebook pay every member of the class $5,000 for each intentional violation of the Illinois BIPA act, which prohibits misuse of biometric data, or statutory damages of $1,000 for every negligent violation of the law '-- Business Insider estimated that could total up to $500 billion in fines given that at least 100 million Instagram users could be included in the class.
Facebook recently paid $650 million in July to settle a similar case about its misuse of facial recognition data.
''This suit is baseless. Instagram doesn't use Face Recognition technology,'' Facebook spokesperson Stephanie Otway told TheWrap in an email.
Whalen's class includes any Illinois resident who has had their biometric identifiers or facial geometry scans at all obtained by Facebook through photos uploaded to its Instagram app. The plaintiff is represented by Chicago-based law firm Carlson Lynch, which did not immediately respond to TheWrap's requests for comment.
Also Read: Olivia Munn in Final Talks for On and Off-Camera Deal With the Relaunching G4 Network (Exclusive)
The lawsuit reports Facebook began using facial recognition technology in 2010 and started using it on Instagram after it bought the San Francisco-based photo sharing network in 2012. It essentially uses the tech to scan photos of faces uploaded to the Instagram app to collect a profile of unique facial recognition and other biological data for specific users.
''Facebook is actively collecting, storing, disclosing, profiting from, and otherwise using the biometric information of its reportedly more than 100 million Instagram users without any written notice or informed written consent, including millions of Illinois residents,'' the lawsuit reads.
The practice is problematic in part because it doesn't allow users to opt-out of data collection '-- ''Indeed, Instagram users are not even given an opportunity to provide a written release because Facebook automatically processes content and shares it across its platforms,'' the filing said.
Also Read: Bon App(C)tit Video Host Carla Lalli Music Quits Amid Mass Exodus Over Diversity and Equality
''Even if a user does not have facial recognition activated on their personal account, their photo may still be scanned, collected, and entered into Facebook's database if it matches with a user's data who does have the facial recognition setting activated,'' the lawsuit notes. ''This further means that one can never truly ''opt out'' because Facebook must capture and compare the biometrics of a face before learning if that face in fact matches with faces of users who have their facial recognition setting turned on or off.''
The filing said that Instagram reported 118 million users in the United States last year '-- and points out that Whalen and other defendants (and most Instagram users) are unable to know which third parties Instagram allowed to view their facial recognition data or for what purpose.
Instagram users whose data has been collected by Facebook ''have no recourse for the fact that their biologically unique information has been compromised,'' the lawsuit states.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report
19 Movie and TV Casts That Reunited Remotely During Coronavirus, From 'The Goonies' to 'Full House' (Photos) It's not just your old high school and college buddies that are using stay-at-home quarantines during the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to reconnect with you over Zoom. The casts and teams behind over a dozen beloved shows or films have reunited remotely in recent weeks just to pass the time. Many of the stars are doing conversations for charity, while others are staging full remote episodes or special performances just to perk up a fan's day. In case you missed them earlier, here are all the reunions that took place since the shutdowns began, and we'll add more as they inevitably take place.
Josh Gad/YouTube
"The Goonies"
On April 27, Josh Gad hosted a reunion with almost the entire full cast of the '80s cult classic "The Goonies," including Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Martha Plimpton, Kerri Green, Jeff Cohen, Ke Huy Qyan, Corey Feldman, Joe Pantoliano and Robert Davi. Gad also spoke with writer Chris Columbus and even got the 90-year-old director Richard Donner to join the call, though not without some technical difficulties first. The cast asked each other questions about what reactions they get from fans and even re-enacted a handful of scenes from the film.
Warner Bros. "Hamilton"
After John Krasinski had a wave of support for the first episode his makeshift YouTube series "Some Good News" in which he chatted with his co-star on "The Office" Steve Carell, he then surprised a fan of "Mary Poppins Returns" who said her favorite musical was "Hamilton" and that she missed out on a performance of the show because of the coronavirus. Lin-Manuel Miranda then brought together the cast of the original Broadway production, including Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr, Okieriete Onaodowan, Phillipa Soo, Christopher Jackson, Anthony Ramos, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Ren(C)e Elise Goldsberry and Jonathan Groff, to sing the show's opening number.
Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage "Friday Night Lights"
The cast of the TV series "Friday Night Lights" reunited for Global Citizen's "Together at Home," with the cast specifically gathering to virtually watch the pilot episode of the series. Adrianne Palicki, Scott Porter, Derek Phillips, Aimee Teegarden, Gaius Charles and Brad Leland took part, though stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton couldn't attend. On the Zoom call, the cast also recalled how competitive actor Taylor Kitsch was playing flag football.
NBC "Melrose Place"
For the first time since 2012, Heather Locklear and the cast of "Melrose Place" reunited as part of the YouTube series "Stars in the House" to support The Actors Fund. Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, Marcia Cross, Laura Leighton, Heather Locklear, Doug Savant, Grant Show, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith and Daphne Zuniga all took part to reminisce about the soapy Fox drama.
Fox "Contagion"
While not strictly a reunion, the cast of Steven Soderbergh's pandemic outbreak drama "Contagion" banded together to help provide PSAs with advice about social distancing, hand washing and more. Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Jennifer Ehle were among the first set to record the informational videos, which were made in partnership with Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the same school that also consulted on "Contagion" the film.
Warner Bros. "That Thing You Do!"
The members of the fictional band The Wonders (or The Oneders) from Tom Hanks' film "That Thing You Do!" reunited for the first time since the film's release in 1996. Band members Tom Everett Scott, Johnathon Schaech, Ethan Embry and Steve Zahn all joined up with co-star Liv Tyler in honor of Adam Schlesinger. Schlesinger wrote the Oscar-nominated title song from the film and shortly before the reunion died of COVID-19.
Twentieth Century Fox "High School Musical"
The cast of "High School Musical" didn't stream their Zoom reunion call, which from Instagram photos shared by the cast included director Kenny Ortega along with Truman Alfaro, Vanessa Hudgens, Paul Becker, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Lucas Grabeel and Ashley Tisdale. They did however participate in Disney's "Family Singalong" show, with star Zac Efron delivering a special message in lieu of being able to perform.
Disney Channel "Parks and Recreation"
The cast of "Parks and Recreation" performed an entire virtual episode as part of a standalone, scripted special on NBC inspired by social distancing. Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O'Heir and Retta all reprised their roles from the sitcom series to raise money for Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund. The episode aired Thursday, April 30 on NBC.
NBC "Full House"
The cast of "Full House," including John Stamos, Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber and creator Jeff Franklin, all imagined a parody intro to their famous '90s sitcom for a brief TikTok video they called "Full Quarantine." It showed Saget sanitizing a Swiffer and Coulier fishing a slice of pizza out of a pond and ended with the caption, "unlike 'Full House,' this will all go away."
Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images "My So-Called Life"
The cast of the sitcom "My So-Called Life" held a private Zoom reunion call that included Wilson Cruz, Claire Danes, Bess Armstrong, Devon Odessa, Tom Irwin, Mary Kay Place, Devon Gummersall and A.J. Langer. The series creator Winnie Holzman and her husband Paul Dooley also joined the call, though Jared Leto was not present.
ABC "Victorious"
The stars of the Nickelodeon TV series "Victorious," featuring Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande, were already meant to gather around this time for the 10th anniversary of the series, but instead did so virtually. Elizabeth Gillies, Leon Thomas III, Matt Bennett, Avan Jogia, Daniella Monet and Eric Lange, as well as the show's creator Dan Schneider, all participated in the call along with Grande and Justice.
Nickelodeon "The Maze Runner"
"The Maze Runner" actress Kaya Scodelario shared a screenshot on Instagram of her Zoom call with her co-stars from the YA adventure trilogy, including Dylan O'Brien, Will Poulter, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Draden and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. "We survived the Glade, the Scorch & whatever the third one was about. We got this," Scodelario said in the post.
20th Century Studios "Jessie"
The cast of the Disney Channel series "Jessie" dedicated their gathering to Cameron Boyce, who passed away last year at age 20. Star Debby Ryan appeared on the episode of "Stars at Home" along with Peyton List, Skai Jackson, Karan Brar and Kevin Chamberlin.
Disney Channel "Taxi"
Another classic TV franchise with an unexpected reunion, the cast of the sitcom "Taxi" got together for an hour-long chat for "Stars in the House," including Danny DeVito, Judd Hirsch, Carol Kane, Christopher Lloyd and Marilu Henner.
NBC "Chuck"
EW rallied the cast and crew of the NBC comedy series "Chuck" to not only reminisce about the show but also perform a table read of a fan-favorite episode from, the ninth episode of Season 3, "Chuck Versus the Beard." Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky and Mark Christopher Lawrence all took part in the reunion, as did "Chuck" co-creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak.
NBC "The Nanny"
Fran Drescher led the cast of her sitcom "The Nanny" for a live, virtual table read of the 1993 pilot episode. Madeline Zima, Charles Shaughnessy, Jonathan Penner, Alex Sternin, Ann Hampton Callaway, DeeDee Rescher, Peter Marc Jacobson, Renee Taylor, Daniel Davis, Nicholle Tom, Lauren Lane, Rachel Chagall and Benjamin Salisbury all took part in the reunion.
CBS "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
Will Smith reunited with his cast members from "The Fresh Prince" as part of the two-part season finale for his Snapchat series "Will at Home." He was joined by Alfonso Ribeiro, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Daphne Maxwell Reid and Joseph Marcell. Smith and "The Fresh Prince" cast also paid tribute to the actor who played Uncle Phil, James Avery. Smith recalled that the reason his character's name on the show is Will Smith is because Ribeiro told him that people would be calling him by his character's name for the rest of his life.
Chris Cuffaio/NBCU Photo Bank "Back to the Future"
For the second episode of his "Reunited Apart" show, Josh Gad virtually reunited Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson to talk what Gad called a "perfect" movie in "Back to the Future." Lloyd said the film was at one point supposed to be called "Spaceman From Pluto."
Universal "Community"
Nearly the entire cast of NBC's sitcom "Community" will reunite on May 18 to do a live table read of the Season 5 episode "Cooperative Polygraphy." Series stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong and Donald Glover, who left the series after season 5, will join creator Dan Harmon to read the Season 5 episode titled ''Cooperative Polygraphy.'' The special will stream on the ''Community'' YouTube page on May 18 at 2 p.m. PT and will also include a fan Q&A.
NBC Stars from ''Chuck,'' ''The Nanny,'' ''Frasier,'' ''Taxi'' and more have taken part in table reads and Q&A specials
It's not just your old high school and college buddies that are using stay-at-home quarantines during the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to reconnect with you over Zoom. The casts and teams behind over a dozen beloved shows or films have reunited remotely in recent weeks just to pass the time. Many of the stars are doing conversations for charity, while others are staging full remote episodes or special performances just to perk up a fan's day. In case you missed them earlier, here are all the reunions that took place since the shutdowns began, and we'll add more as they inevitably take place.
Berkshire Makes a Bet on Gold Market That Buffett Once Mocked
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 03:53
(C) Photographer: Paul Morigi/Getty Images North America SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 08: Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., arrives for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 8, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Many of the worlds wealthiest and most powerful businessmen from media, finance, and technology attend the annual week-long conference which is in its 32nd year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. added Barrick Gold Corp. to its portfolio in the second quarter, sending shares of the world's second-largest miner of the metal surging.
Berkshire took a new position in Barrick, buying 20.9 million shares, or 1.2% of the company's outstanding stock, with a current market value of $565 million, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. The filing shows moves made by Buffett or his two investing deputies, Todd Combs or Ted Weschler.
In the past, Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire, cautioned against investing in the metal because it's not productive like a farm or a company. Now, gold miners are benefiting from surging bullion prices that are boosting profit margins as costs of production have steadied, making them increasingly attractive investments. Large miners including Barrick and Newmont Corp. have been hoping to woo back generalists who fled the sector years ago.
Paulson & Co., run by billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson, also added to its holdings in Barrick.
Barrick's shares rose 7.4% as of 5:32 p.m. in after-hours trading in New York.
Buffett might've been averse to gold in the past, but he has bet big on metals before. In 1997, he bought 129.7 million ounces of silver, banking on demand exceeding production and re-use. He bought most of it for less than $6 an ounce and sold it soon after, he said nine years later. ''I was the silver king there for a while,'' he said at the time.
The jump in gold prices has boosted investors' willingness to pump billions into the industry, with precious-metals miners raising $2.4 billion in secondary equity offerings during the second quarter. Gold has gotten a boost as Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts and a plunge in real government bond yields lifted demand for the metal, which doesn't offer interest.
Read More: Barrick to Play It Safe Even as Wave of Pandemic Aid Boosts Gold
Filings released this month don't include hedge funds' current position, which may have changed since the end of the quarter. Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in the U.S. must file a Form 13F within 45 days of each quarter's end to list those stocks as well as options and convertible bonds. The filings don't show non-U.S. securities, holdings that aren't publicly traded, or cash.
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Out There
A Preview Of The Fed's Coming Direct Money Transfers: Brainard Says Fed Collaborating With MIT On "Hypothetical" Digital Currency | Zero Hedge
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:55
One week ago, we published a remarkable interview with two former Fed economists - Simon Potter and Julia Coronado - who have tremendous impact and influence on prevailing thinking at the Federal Reserve, and who hinted at the Fed's last ditch reflationary strategy: wiring digital money into the bank accounts of Americans, bypassing the reserve system entirely, and sparking an inflationary conflagration. As we said last Monday, "the two propose creating a monetary tool that they call recession insurance bonds, which draw on some of the advances in digital payments, which will be wired instantly to Americans."
"One of the issues Congress had in passing the Cares Act is identifying who's got mainly tip income, who doesn't have sick days. If society wanted, you could use large datasets to direct fiscal transfers to those people." - Bloomberg Interview with Coronado And Potter
And while this idea may have seemed absolutely ludicrous as recently as just one year ago, the fact that the just as ludicrous Helicopter Money is now de facto policy means that direct deposits of cash by the Fed into individual accounts is becoming increasingly probable, the only thing missing is the "digital currency" that would be used by the central bank.
Addressing this issue, on Thursday afternoon, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard hinted once again at the coming monetary revolution when she said that the Fed is studying the opportunities and challenges presented by central bank digital currencies.
"To enhance the Federal Reserve's understanding of digital currencies, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is collaborating with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a multi-year effort to build and test a hypothetical digital currency oriented to central bank uses."
The objectives of our research and experimentation across the Federal Reserve System are to assess the safety and efficiency of digital currency systems, to inform our understanding of private-sector arrangements, and to give us hands-on experience to understand the opportunities and limitations of possible technologies for digital forms of central bank money. These efforts are intended to ensure that we fully understand the potential as well as the associated risks and possible unintended consequences that new technologies present in the payments arena.
In prepared remarks of a speech titled simply enough "An Update on Digital Currencies" and prepared for delivery Thursday at a Fed technology event, Brainard said that "a significant policy process would be required to consider the issuance of a CBDC, along with extensive deliberations and engagement with other parts of the federal government and a broad set of other stakeholders."
The punchline: "It is important to understand how the existing provisions of the Federal Reserve Act with regard to currency issuance apply to a CBDC and whether a CBDC would have legal tender status, depending on the design. The Federal Reserve has not made a decision whether to undertake such a significant policy process, as we are taking the time and effort to understand the significant implications of digital currencies and CBDCs around the globe."
So what would prompt the Fed to undertake this significant policy process? Why another crisis, of course.
For those who missed our comments on the recent interview with Potter and Coronado which lays out quite clearly just what is coming and what the motive is behind the Fed's fascination with digital currencies, here are excerpts from our Aug 3 post again: From "The Fed Is Planning To Send Money Directly To Americans In The Next Crisis"
* * *
We read with great interest a Bloomberg interview published on Saturday with two former central bank officials: Simon Potter, who led the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's markets group i.e., he was the head of the Fed's Plunge Protection Team for years, and Julia Coronado, who spent eight years as an economist for the Fed's Board of Governors, who are among the innovators brainstorming solutions to what has emerged as the most crucial and difficult problem facing the Fed: get money swiftly to people who need it most in a crisis.
The response was striking: the two propose creating a monetary tool that they call recession insurance bonds, which draw on some of the advances in digital payments, which will be wired instantly to Americans.
As Coronado explains the details, Congress would grant the Federal Reserve an additional tool for providing support'--say, a percent of GDP [in a lump sum that would be divided equally and distributed] to households in a recession. Recession insurance bonds would be zero-coupon securities, a contingent asset of households that would basically lie in wait. The trigger could be reaching the zero lower bound on interest rates or, as economist Claudia Sahm has proposed, a 0.5 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate. The Fed would then activate the securities and deposit the funds digitally in households' apps.
As Potter then elucidates, "it took Congress too long to get money to people, and it's too clunky. We need a separate infrastructure. The Fed could buy the bonds quickly without going to the private market. On March 15 they could have said interest rates are now at zero, we're activating X amount of the bonds, and we'll be tracking the unemployment rate'--if it increases above this level, we'll buy more. The bonds will be on the asset side of the Fed's balance sheet; the digital dollars in people's accounts will be on the liability side."
And that, in a nutshell, is how the Fed will stimulate the economy in the next crisis in hopes of circumventing the reserve creation process: it will use digital money apps (which explains the Fed's recent fascination with cryptocurrency and digital money) to transfer money directly to US consumers.
To be sure, the narrative is already set for how the Fed will "sell" this direct transfer of money to the rest of the world and the broader US population: as Coronado explains "it's the most efficient from a macroeconomic standpoint in supporting spending and confidence. The fear of unemployment acts as an accelerant on a recession. There's a shock'--people are losing their jobs or worry about losing their jobs. They get very risk-averse. [By] getting money to consumers you can limit the depth and duration of a recession."
And the kicker:
"you could actually generate real inflation. It could be beneficial for not only avoiding negative rates but creating a more healthy interest-rate market, a more healthy yield curve."
So there you have it: the one thing that was missing from a decade of monetary tinkering by the Fed, the spark of inflation, will finally arrive as the Fed gives money to those most likely to spend it: the lower and middle classes of society.
But wait, there's more: now that the Fed is implicitly focusing on racial inequality, and soon explicitly with Joe Biden going so far as to urge the Fed to fight "racial economic inequality" and former Minneapolis Fed president Kocherlakota writing an op-ed in which he said the Fed "should have a third mandate on racial inquality", the stage is now set for the Fed to specifically release funds for those who have "suffered from inequality", and once the time comes when the narrative allows to deploy reparations or direct funding to minorities, the Fed will be ready.
* * *
Below we republish the Bloomberg Markets interview with Coronado and Potter because it lays out, very clearly, just what the next monetary stimulus will look like now that helicopter money is fully engaged and money is about to be sent by the Fed directly to those Americans the Fed finds to be "in need."
BLOOMBERG MARKETS: How would recession insurance bonds work?
JULIA CORONADO: Congress would grant the Federal Reserve an additional tool for providing support'--say, a percent of GDP [in a lump sum that would be divided equally and distributed] to households in a recession. Recession insurance bonds would be zero-coupon securities, a contingent asset of households that would basically lie in wait. The trigger could be reaching the zero lower bound on interest rates or, as economist Claudia Sahm has proposed, a 0.5 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate. The Fed would then activate the securities and deposit the funds digitally in households' apps.
Julia CoronadoAnd so instead of these gyrations we've been going through to get money to households, it would happen instantaneously.
SIMON POTTER: It took Congress too long to get money to people, and it's too clunky. We need a separate infrastructure. The Fed could buy the bonds quickly without going to the private market. On March 15 they could have said interest rates are now at zero, we're activating X amount of the bonds, and we'll be tracking the unemployment rate'--if it increases above this level, we'll buy more. The bonds will be on the asset side of the Fed's balance sheet; the digital dollars in people's accounts will be on the liability side.
BM: Aside from speed, what are the main advantages of this approach?
JC: It's the most efficient from a macroeconomic standpoint in supporting spending and confidence. The fear of unemployment acts as an accelerant on a recession. There's a shock'--people are losing their jobs or worry about losing their jobs. They get very risk-averse. [By] getting money to consumers you can limit the depth and duration of a recession. And you could actually generate real inflation. It could be beneficial for not only avoiding negative rates but creating a more healthy interest-rate market, a more healthy yield curve.
BM: What are the origins of the idea?
JC: The Bank of England has proposals for digital currency. And a number of people have talked about the need for monetary financing'--the idea that the interest-rate tool is simply less effective in lower growth, slower credit growth economies. Helicopter money [making direct payments to the public] goes back to Milton Friedman, but Ben Bernanke revisited it. Some people proposed doing that through financing fiscal stimulus. We think going directly to consumers is more efficient than wading through that sticky fiscal process.
BM: This policy could be complementary to Treasury stimulus?
JC: It's not a replacement for fiscal policy. It makes sense from a fiscal perspective, for example, to authorize unemployment insurance benefits for people who lose their jobs and other assistance for medical-care providers in the current situation.
SP: The central bank is not elected. It cannot make allocation decisions about fiscal transfers. It's now being pushed to make allocation decisions around credit with the Treasury, because we believe this situation is so unique that the private sector cannot make those decisions itself. The simplest way to do this would be a lump sum. Not in the way Congress did it. We'd take the bluntness of monetary policy and say anyone who's eligible should get the same amount of bonds.
Simon PotterFiscal controls could use the same infrastructure. The imperative to invest in it is high. Nearly all Treasury payments at some point touch the Fed because it's the Treasury's bank. The digital payment providers'--called interface providers in the Bank of England proposal'--would manage these accounts and link them to the Fed and Treasury.
BM: What are the objections from the Fed, and other challenges?
SP: The reaction from some of my former colleagues a while ago to the notion of helicopter money was not the most embracing. Some of those concerns have disappeared.
The two objections were related to the switch of deposits in normal times from the traditional banking system into digital accounts and the extra stress in crisis times as people want to get safe. An account with the central bank is safe because the central bank can always print money to honor that claim. A private bank can't do that because their asset side has all kinds of credit on it. What we've created is a narrow bank-type model [narrow banks only take deposits and invest them in the safest assets] that's small and fit for purpose, with a cap of $10,000 [per person].
JC: One challenge is making it profitable for digital providers. We want strict limitations on the fees so we're reaching people that are underbanked, but we also want a public-private partnership with a diversity of competitors jumping into this market. Privacy is just as important, because one thing that might induce them is access to people's data. As the Fed, are you blessing that, and what structure do you put around that?
SP: We'll all have to deal with deep questions of privacy in the digital world. One of the issues Congress had in passing the Cares Act is identifying who's got mainly tip income, who doesn't have sick days. If society wanted, you could use large datasets to direct fiscal transfers to those people. But that's a job for Congress.
BM: Have you seen similar trials elsewhere?
SP: Sweden is a leader in thinking about this in part because they had a large decline in cash use. China is testing versions of digital currency. Fintech firms in the U.S. are interested in this'--there's a stable coin version of our proposal. There's easily sufficient innovation within the U.S. to do this. How to do it in a way that's well regulated and serving the public purpose is something the Fed should focus on over the next few years. It would be a key accomplishment of the Fed and Treasury to get this infrastructure in place.
Brainard Says Fed Is Conducting E-Money Tests for Research
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:53
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QFS Off-World Monetary System '' The Final Wakeup Call '' English
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:36
Intro of Quantum Financial System and Global Currency Reset QFS system advanced without any equivalent Politicians and Bankers caught red-handed in real timeDeep State battle is lost; our victory is nearEach country must be GESARA compliant to participate in the QFSQFS ends corrupt Cabal central banking
The QFS-system will cover the new global network for the transfer of gold or asset-backed money, initiated by Russia and China to replace the US-centrally-controlled Swift system.
This new Quantum Financial System '' QFS runs on a quantum computer, based on an orbiting satellite, and is protected by Secret Space Programs to ensure that it cannot be hacked. The quantum technology was provided by benevolent extraterrestrial Galactics. The purpose of the new financial system is to put an end to Cabal corruption, usury, and manipulation within the banking world. The key is to implement limitations that will prevent corrupted banksters from gaining significant profits.
The QFS is completely independent from the existing centralised system, making all other previous transfer systems like for e.g. blockchain, unnecessary. At least there is no need for blockchain technology, as that has been superseded due to its shortcomings by at least two other transfer networks, putting the need for cryptos very much into doubt. Moreover, after the Revaluation, all sovereign currencies will be gold or asset-backed, ensuring a sustainable value, which makes the need for unbacked cryptos outdated, as these are simply digits on computer memory banks.
Furthermore, the hype around Crypto-currencies is a modern-day example of the sheeple-herd mentality. Apparently, there seems to be a lack of logical thinking. When buying something of value, it is rational to exchange it for something of equal value, represented by the amount of the exchanged money. Since cryptos don't carry any intrinsic value, there can never be a balanced deal. And in relation to its nominal value; there will never be stability between buyers and sellers of cryptos, as is the case with all other merchandise. To give an analogy; it is very unlikely that a tossed coin will fall on its edge, just as it is highly probable that there will always be either a majority that wishes to buy, or there will be a majority that wishes to sell the crypto coins.
With the activation of the QFS, the Galactic Alliance will completely destroy the Central Banking System that has been designed to destroy the world economy and put the world population into perpetual debt slavery. The little-known truth is, the QFS has been running parallel to the Central Banking System for many months, if not more than a year, and has countered many hacking attempts to steal funds by the Cabal. The result being that many bankers have been caught red-handed with illegal money transfers and have consequently been arrested.
QFS system advanced without any equivalent
Little is it known that this new system was invented in preparation for the takeover of the Central Bank Debt System to end the financial slavery and control over the populace. The Alliance gave President Trump the magic wand of taking over the old banking system without changing it.
The Quantum Financial System '' QFS has no comparison to anything that has ever been introduced to the world before. It has no peer; it has no equivalent in advanced technology of any other system before it. It is brand new. It reigns supreme in the technology it applies, to accomplish the one hundred percent financial security and transparency all currency account holders require. With the QFS, the monetary system of the world can easily be changed to encompass gold-backed currencies that completely eliminate the transfer need of the old Cabal central banking system. Regrettably, to fully comprehend the advanced QFS-structure, there doesn't exist an equivalent technology to serve as an example.
Politicians and Bankers caught red-handed in real time
No one ever suspected that this powerful quantum computer system could assign a digital number to every fiat dollar/euro/Yen sitting in every bank account all over the world and monitor it in real time; knowing exactly where it went, when it was transferred, who sent it by their login info, and what account received it. Imagine the frustration of a banker who has just stolen some money and illegally transferred this to another account, to be subsequently arrested in real time for theft.
Does anyone believe that this will happen without the Deep State-controlled bankers obstructing everything to stop this from happening? Would they not apply every criminal trick, every disgusting false flag, everything and anything to stop this from happening? Of course, they have tried and still do try to prevent it to this day. They have explored every avenue to hack and destroy this system, but to no avail! The cabal is taking their last gasp of breath, but be assured they are definitely on their way out. Their battle is lost; our victory is near.
QFS stops the Deep State in their tracks
The Alliance had to intervene with off-world, or more correctly other dimensional technologies to deliver us earthlings this super technologically advanced monetary system. It is rooted in the Quantum Computer intelligence that comes without any third-dimension creation. No 3D creation comes with an all-telling 'recognition system' that mimics the creation of a living entity. It is simply Artificial Intelligence (AI), that comes with something that is able to replace conscious human beings.
Our planet Earth is a living entity with the life force being the Planetary Symbols. The QFS is considered to be alive with a Quantum Benevolent Intelligence that interacts with each financial transaction anywhere in the world of finance, to ensure that it is; legal, owner-intended, and transparent. If one understands Quantum Physics, then one can understand what effect this Quantum Intelligence is having with each financial transaction that goes through the Quantum Financial System. It cannot be compromised.
Even so, politicians that used the Swift Transfer System (STS) to transfer their ill-gotten illegal money all over the world, didn't know the QFS was already running parallel to and simultaneously on patrol with the STS. Politicians didn't worry about being caught as the bankers were on their side, as they too earned a take on their transactions.
Gold-asset-backed currencies
Only gold-or asset backed currencies that have a digital gold or asset certificate can be transferred through the QFS. The certificate will reference a serial number on a piece of gold or asset held in reserve to back the currency. Off-world technologies are used to quarantine the gold and or assets used to back currencies. There is no way it can be stolen or taken out of the secure vaults where it is stored. That is why it is called a gold-backed currency, it has to reference back to the piece of gold or asset that is backing it.
References to 'asset-backed currencies' is the process of establishing a currency based on assets within the country of origin. Assets are the justification to establish the amount of currency available in a country, but all denominations of currencies must be accepted within the QFS and given a gold/asset certificate to be active within the QFS.
If the assets are mined or extracted from the earth, they will be sold on the marketplace as with any other commodity. This process is complicated and no simple task to accomplish. But it is a process that is necessary to ensure value to the worldwide currencies being used in the QFS.
Any fiat currencies that cannot be designated as being clean, clear, non-terroristic, or not clearly originating from legal activities, are disqualified, which are most, if not all fiat paper currencies. Fiat currencies can consequently not become legal in the QFS.
Fiat currencies already in possession at the time of full-scale implementation of the QFS, received whilst doing legal business, will be exchanged for gold-backed currencies at the bank.
The procedure here is called 'reconciliation', qualifying the money transfer as being either legal or illegal, and will be carried out by a benevolent conscious entity from the 5th dimension.
The confirmation and revelation of this benevolent component of the QFS, will be the assurance and proof of a one hundred percent benign secure neutral transfer system.
Without the ability to reconcile old fiat money into the new QFS, all Central Bank activities will cease to have any relevance within this new financial system. Any country that is not GESARA compliant will be left out of the QFS and will eventually be left out of international trade. Non-compliant countries, if any, will be left to barter commodities or work out a credit exchange with other countries, a system that is not presently set up to do business at any level of relevance.
GCR '' Global Currency Reset
Each country must be GESARA compliant to participate in the QFS. The Alliance will use a specific quantitative formula to establish the amount of currency available, ''in a country,'' which is to be gold-backed in the QFS. The results of the formula will establish a fair value of each country's assets as compared to another. There is far more gold than needed to accomplish the gold-backing of all world currencies. Once established through the GCR, the price of gold will become irrelevant.
If the price of gold goes up, the value of all currencies will go up as well, resulting in no net change to the par value of all currencies. The formula includes, in ground assets, the economy of the country, its population '' which is one of the country's assets, and a number of other parameters to determine the value of the country's currency. This formula is to be applied to each country so that all currencies will be on par value with all other countries. The application of the formula and the common value of all gold, means that one country's currency has to have the same value as another country's currency. This is called the Global Currency Reset '' the reset of all currencies on par with all other world currencies and they each have a gold certificate to validate authenticity. It is the requirement of each country to use the reset formula and apply the worldwide standards, so that the QFS is able to function as planned. That is why a country must be GESARA compliant to participate in the QFS.
Trust the Plan
The Alliance has confirmed that their goal of defeating the Deep State has been far more complex, time-consuming and difficult than had been anticipated and planned for. It is becoming increasingly obvious that world-changing information is about to be dropped, probably sooner than expected. This will likely be accompanied by the much-anticipated mass arrests. There are literally over seventy thousand sealed criminal indictments ready to be executed. Once this sequence of events takes place, it will be up to the awakened readers to help everyone understand what is going on, explaining the positive nature of the changes that are occurring and those underway.
Never forget; the deliberate debasement of our fiat currency by central bankers is theft, and is equivalent to counterfeiting. The Founding Fathers of the United States of America saw counterfeiting as a serious crime, deserving the death penalty.
The Deep State are in a panic, as the people are waking up and they realise they cannot stop it. They are continually trying to prevent or suppress it, but the truth is coming out.
Now, it is time people learn to think for themselves, by becoming detached from hypes, in which for example multitudes of people, due to a mindless kind of group-think, come to the conclusion that something is valuable, whereas if they were to think logically, they would come to the conclusion that this is not the case. Much in the world has been intentionally misinterpreted and misrepresented by the media. There is a great lack of independent, critically thinking people. This lack can easily be lifted by reading and studying my book THE GREAT AWAKENING, part 1 and part 2, and consequently experiencing and consciously understanding the upcoming developments with joy.
From Japan, a request was received for the translation of articles published on the Final Wake Up Call into the Japanese language. If someone else is interested in translating articles in any other language, please don't hesitate to let this be It is very important for all of us that as many people as possible wake up and stay awake. Informing people in their native language is essential in achieving this goal; the goal of ultimately liberating humanity.
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency - Wikipedia
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:34
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is an independent bureau within the United States Department of the Treasury that was established by the National Currency Act of 1863 and serves to charter, regulate, and supervise all national banks and thrift institutions and the federally licensed branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States. The acting Comptroller of the Currency is Brian P. Brooks, who took office in May 2020.
Office of the Comptroller of the CurrencySeal of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Logo of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Flag of the Comptroller of the CurrencyAgency overviewFormedFebruary 25, 1863HeadquartersWashington, D.C.Employees3,499 (as of March 31, 2020)Agency executiveParent agencyDepartment of the TreasuryWebsite Duties and functions Edit Headquartered in Washington, D.C., it has four district offices located in New York City, Chicago, Dallas and Denver. It has an additional 92 operating locations throughout the United States. It is an independent bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury and is headed by the Comptroller of the Currency, appointed to a five-year term by the President with the consent of the Senate.
The OCC pursues a number of main objectives:
to ensure the safety and soundness of the national banking system;to foster competition by allowing banks to offer new products and services;to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OCC supervision especially to reduce the regulatory burden;to ensure fair and equal access to financial services to all Americans;to enforce anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism finance laws that apply to national banks and federally licensed branches and agencies of international banks; andto investigate misconduct committed by institution-affiliated parties of national banks, including officers, directors, employees, agents and independent contractors (including appraisers, attorneys and accountants).The OCC participates in interagency activities in order to maintain the integrity of the federal banking system. By monitoring capital, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity, sensitivity to market risk, information technology, consumer compliance, and community reinvestment, the OCC is able to determine whether or not the bank is operating safely and soundly, providing fair access and treatment to customers, and complying with all applicable laws and regulations. The OCC was created by Abraham Lincoln to fund the American Civil War but was later transformed into a regulatory agency to instill confidence in the federal banking system, ensure it operates in a safe and sound manner, and treats customers fairly.
The OCC regulates and supervises about 1,200 national banks, federally-licensed savings associations, and federally-licensed branches of foreign banks in the United States,[1] accounting for more than two-thirds of the total assets of all U.S. commercial banks (as of March 2020).
Other financial regulatory agencies like the OCC include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (of which the Comptroller serves as a director), the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the National Credit Union Administration. The OCC routinely interacts and cooperates with other government agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Office of Foreign Asset Control, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security.
The Comptroller serves as a director of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.
Preemption of state banking regulation Edit In 2003, the OCC proposed regulations to preempt virtually all state banking and financial services laws for national banks and their diverse range of non-bank, corporate operating subsidiaries.[2] Despite opposition from the National Conference of State Legislatures,[3] the OCC's regulations went into effect. In Watters v. Wachovia Bank, N.A. 550 U.S. 1 (2007), the United States Supreme Court validated the preemption of state regulations by the OCC, ruling that the OCC, not the states, has the authority to subject national banks to "general supervision" and "oversight":
State regulators cannot interfere with the business of banking by subjecting national banks or their OCC-licensed operating subsidiaries to multiple audits and surveillance under rival oversight regimes.[4]
In Cuomo v. Clearing House Association, L. L. C. 557 U.S. 519 (2009), the Court clarified its decision in Watters, stating that federal banking regulations did not preempt the ability of states to enforce their own fair-lending laws, as " 'general supervision and control' and 'oversight' are worlds apart from law enforcement", and therefore states retain law enforcement powers but have restricted "visitorial" powers over national banks.[5]
OCC Bulletin on Risk Management Guidance (2013-29) Edit In October 2013, the OCC released a bulletin, "Risk Management Guidance" mandating that banks assess and manage the risk of all their third-party relationships. The bulletin states that a bank's use of third parties does not diminish its responsibility to ensure that all activities are in compliance with applicable laws.[6] Previously, banks may have monitored only those third-party relationships which posed the greatest risk to them. Under the new guidelines banks must monitor all third-party relationships by adopting risk management processes "commensurate with the level of risk and complexity of its third-party relationships". The document stresses the importance of an effective risk-management process throughout the entire life-cycle of the relationship. This includes: due diligence in third party selection, written contracts, ongoing monitoring of third party performance and activity, contract termination ability, clear risk management roles, documenting and reporting, and independent reviews.[6]
Banks often engage tens-of-thousands of third parties and are unable to effectively manage the associated risk of all their relationships through traditional means. As a result, many banks have adopted external IT solutions to assist their needs. This has rapidly expanded the market for third-party management software solutions.[7] Edit In July 2007, the OCC launched to assist customers of national banks and provide answers to national banking questions.[8]
Financial Inclusion Edit On July 10, 2020, the OCC announced the launch of Project REACh. REACh stands for Roundtable for Economic Access and Change, and the project brings together leaders from the banking industry, national civil rights organizations, business, and technology to reduce specific barriers that prevent full, equal, and fair participation in the nation's economy. [9]
History Edit During the American Civil War, leaders of the U.S. federal government, including President Abraham Lincoln and Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, drafted plans for a national banking system. These plans were put into action by the National Currency Act of 1863, subsequently amended by the National Bank Act, which created the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to administer the new system.[10]
Under the law, banks could apply to the OCC for a charter issued by the federal government. Approved banks would purchase U.S. government bonds, generating cash flow for the government. The bonds would then be deposited with the U.S. Treasury to provide security to back the paper money to be issued by the banks, a new uniform national currency that could be redeemed for gold or silver at banks around the country. By ensuring the new currency was backed by the government-held bonds, the system gave users greater confidence in the stability of the paper money.[10]
In 1913, the Federal Reserve Act established a central bank, the Federal Reserve System, to issue American currency. The OCC's role shifted to bank examination and regulation, though it retained "currency" as part of its name.[11]
The OCC was involved in the response during and after the financial crisis of 2007''08, including work with the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), designing stress tests for major banks, and collecting and analyzing data on home mortgage loans. The Dodd''Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 abolished the Office of Thrift Supervision and merged its former oversight functions into the OCC. The law also reassigned much of the OCC's former compliance mandate to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It further established the Financial Stability Oversight Council, on which the Comptroller of the Currency sits.[12]
Pronunciation Edit As with other uses of the English word "comptroller," there is some ambiguity about the agency's pronunciation. Historically, the word was pronounced identically to "controller," though it is increasingly pronounced phonetically as it is spelled (that is, comp-troller).[13] According to Marketplace, former acting Comptroller Keith Noreika and his successor, Joseph Otting, both pronounce the word phonetically.[14]
List of Comptrollers of the Currency Edit See also Edit Bank regulation in the United StatesTitle 12 of the Code of Federal RegulationsVolcker RuleReferences Edit ^ "Office of the Comptroller of the Currency About Us". . Retrieved July 9, 2020 . ^ "Proposed Rules : Federal Register Vol 68 No. 150" (PDF) . . Retrieved November 11, 2013 . ^ [1] Archived October 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine ^ Watters v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 550 U.S. 1 (Supreme Court of the United States 2007). ^ Cuomo v. Clearing House Association, L. L. C., 557 U.S. (Supreme Court of the United States 2009). ^ a b "Third-Party Relationships: Risk Management Guidance". October 30, 2013 . Retrieved March 21, 2018 . ^ "OCC standards require strict oversight of third-party relationships - Insights". . Retrieved March 21, 2018 . ^ "Help and Frequently Asked Questions about National Banks from OCC's". . Retrieved November 11, 2013 . ^ OCC (July 10, 2020). "Announces Project REACh to Promote Greater Access to Capital and Credit for Underserved Populations." Retrieved July 10, 2020. ^ a b "Founding of the OCC & the National Banking System". January 14, 2019 . Retrieved May 19, 2020 . ^ "1914 - 1935". February 26, 2019 . Retrieved May 19, 2020 . ^ Cannadine, David (2008), "Parliament: Past History, Present History, Future History", Making History Now and Then, Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 59''82, ISBN 978-1-349-30470-7 , retrieved May 19, 2020 ^ Dolnick, Sam (September 28, 2010). "A Job Title That Adds Confusion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved May 19, 2020 . ^ "You say comptroller, I say controller". Marketplace. May 14, 2018 . Retrieved May 19, 2020 . External links Edit Official website OCC in the Federal Register
CANZUK - Wikipedia
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 18:18
CANZUK is an acronym for the theoretical political and economic union of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as part of an international body similar in scope to the former European Economic Community.[5] This includes increased trade, foreign policy co-operation, military co-operation and mobility of citizens between the four states.[6] The idea is supported by various organisations and think tanks, such as CANZUK International, the Adam Smith Institute, the Henry Jackson Society[7] and politicians from the four countries.
CANZUK (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom)
A map highlighting the proposed CANZUK countries and dependencies.
CANZUK countries
Dependencies of CANZUK countries
TypeProposed international organisation/common market areaMembershipArea' Total
18,187,210 km2 (7,022,120 sq mi)' Water (%)
1.0%Population' 2020 estimate
136,649,018[1][2][3][4]' Density
7.5/km2 (19.4/sq mi)GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate' Total
$6.456 trillion' Per capita
$45,919History Edit Definition of the term Edit The term CANZUK was first coined by the author William David McIntyre in his 1967 book Colonies Into Commonwealth in the context of a "CANZUK Union".[8] The idea of increased migration, trade and foreign policy cooperation between the CANZUK countries was created and popularized in 2015 by CEO and Founder of CANZUK International (formerly the Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation),[9] James Skinner, who initially developed political interest for it among supportive MPs in Canada.[10]
In the wake of the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum and the decision made by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, writers such as Andrew Lilico and James C. Bennett, along with academics such as the historian Andrew Roberts also advocated that Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom merge and form a new entity in international politics.[11][12] Andrew Roberts suggested that such a bloc could slot into the international order as a third pillar of the West (alongside the United States and the European Union). Beyond this, Roberts argues that due to its territorial scale, geographic scope and advanced economy that it would qualify as a "great power" and potentially a "global power" (or emerging superpower).[13]
Some advocates such as Roberts favour a federal or confederal union. Others, such as Lilico describe the objective as being the creation of a "geopolitical partnership" akin to the European Economic Community.[14] In the version favoured by Lilico, by the advocacy group CANZUK international and by the Canadian Conservative Party, the proposal would involve the creation of a free-movement zone, a multilateral free trade agreement and a security partnership. The more general concept of deepening trade ties (with or without a multilateral agreement) has many advocates, including figures such as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison,[15] Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,[16] former British Prime Minister Theresa May[17] and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.[18]
Relationship Edit British diaspora by country
Canada, Australia and New Zealand are former settler colonies of the British Empire where people of British ethnic origin came to constitute the majority of the population.[19] Today, the four CANZUK countries maintain a close affinity of cultural, diplomatic and military ties to one another. Outside the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories, the largest proportions of people of self-identified ethnic British descent in the world are found in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.[citation needed ] The Australian and New Zealand flags contain the flag of the United Kingdom in their canton; and the Union Jack is also one of two official flags of Canada (referred to as the Royal Union Flag).
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are also Commonwealth realms which share Elizabeth II as constitutional monarch and head of state. The countries share a number of institutional, linguistic and religious similarities such as the use of the Westminster parliamentary system of government, Common Law, British English terminology and the adoption of secular Christian values.[20] The CANZUK countries form part of the English-speaking world and share a number of Anglosphere military initiatives with each other including the Fincastle Trophy, Five Eyes intelligence, ABCANZ Armies and AUSCANNZUKUS, which are concerned with increased military and naval co-operation. Canada and the United Kingdom are allied through the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation while Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are allied through the Five Power Defence Arrangements.
Public relations are extremely warm between the four countries, with consistent evidence that people in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom regard each other's countries as their country's closest friends and allies in the world.[21][22][23][24]
Country comparison Edit Canada[25]Australia[26]New Zealand(Aotearoa)[27]United Kingdom[28]Flag Coat of arms Population37,971,020[1]25,741,500[2]5,007,330[3]67,886,004[4]Area9,984,670 km2[25]7,741,220 km2[26]268,838 km2[27]243,610 km2[28]Population density3.9/km23.3/km218.3/km2270.7/km2Capital cityOttawaCanberraWellingtonLondonLargest urban areas[25][26][27][28]
Toronto: 6.197 millionMontreal: 4.221 million
Vancouver: 2.581 million
Calgary: 1.547 million
Edmonton: 1.461 million
Ottawa: 1.393 million
Sydney: 5.44 millionMelbourne: 5.03 million
Brisbane: 2.406 million
Perth 2.042 million
Adelaide: 1.336 million
Canberra: 457,000
Auckland: 1.607 millionWellington: 415,000
Christchurch: 404,500
London: 9.304 millionManchester: 2.730 million
Birmingham: 2.607 million
West Yorkshire: 1.889 million
Glasgow: 1.663 million
Form of governmentFederal parliamentary constitutional monarchy[25]Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy[26]Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy[27]Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy[28]Head of StateQueen Elizabeth IIQueen Elizabeth IIQueen Elizabeth IIQueen Elizabeth IICurrent heads of governmentJustin TrudeauPrime Minister
Scott MorrisonPrime Minister
Jacinda ArdernPrime Minister
Boris JohnsonPrime Minister
Official languagesEnglish, FrenchEnglishEnglish[a], Māori, NZ Sign LanguageEnglish, WelshMain religions[25][26][27][28]
39% Catholic20.3% Protestant
1.6% Orthodox
6.3% Christian
3.2% Islam
1.5% Hindu
1.4% Sikh
1.1% Buddhist
1% Jewish
0.6% Others
23.9% None
23.1% Protestant22.6% Catholic
4.2% Christian
2.6% Islam
2.4% Buddhist
2.3% Orthodox Christian
1.9% Hindu
1.3% Others
30.1% None
37.3% Christian2.7% Hindu
1.3% Maori
1.3% Islam
1.6% Others
1.1% Buddhist
48.6% None
59.5% Christian4.4% Islam
1.3% Hindu
2% Others
25.7% None
CurrencyCanadian DollarAustralian DollarNew Zealand DollarPound SterlingEconomic comparison Edit Using data from 2019, below is a table comparing the CANZUK countries to each other, as well as their combined size as a percentage of the world.
CountryPopulationTotal area (km2)Total area (mi2)Nominal GDP(billions USD)[30]
Nominal GDP per capita(USD)
PPP GDP(billions USD)[31]
PPP GDP per capita(USD)
National Wealth(billions USD)[32]
National Wealthper capita (USD)
Human DevelopmentIndex (2018)[33]
Canada38,014,184[1]9,984,6703,855,100$1,820.00$48,774$1,931.00$51,749$7,407$202,2400.926 (very high) Australia25,741,500[2]7,741,2202,969,907$1,500.26$61,359$1,235.30$50,522$7,329$299,7480.939 (very high) New Zealand5,007,330[3]268,838104,428$206$42,692$185.748$42,940$1,162$240,8210.917 (very high) United Kingdom67,886,004[4]243,61093,628$2,936.29$44,367$2,880.25$43,520$14,073$212,6400.922 (very high)Total136,649,01818,238,3387,023,063$6,441.01$48,765$6,065.08$45,919$29,971$226,9130.926 (very high)Global Rank1013''4''3''12Total as % of World1.7%3.5%7.4%''4.8%''10.7%''''Territories and dependencies Edit Canada Edit There are three territories in Canada. Unlike the provinces, the territories of Canada have no inherent sovereignty and have only those powers delegated to them by the federal government.[34][35][36] They include all of mainland Canada north of latitude 60° north and west of Hudson Bay and all islands north of the Canadian mainland (from those in James Bay to the Queen Elizabeth Islands). The following table lists the territories in order of precedence (each province has precedence over all the territories, regardless of the date each territory was created).
TerritoryFlagArmsCapitalPopulation[b]Area (km2)[37]Official languagesNorthwest Territories Yellowknife44,9821,346,106Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, TłįchÇ[38]Nunavut Iqaluit39,4862,093,190Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, English, French[39]Yukon Whitehorse41,293482,443English, French[40]Australia Edit In addition to the six Australian States, Australia also comprises ten territories, whose existence and governmental structure (if any) depend on federal legislation. The territories are distinguished for federal administrative purposes between internal territories, i.e. those within the Australian mainland, and external territories, although the differences among all the territories relate to population rather than location.
Two of the three internal territories'--the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which was established to be a neutral site of the federal capital, and the Northern Territory'--function almost as states. Each has self-government, through its legislative assembly, but the assembly's legislation can be federally overridden. Each has its own judiciary, with appeal to a federal court. The third internal territory, the Jervis Bay Territory, is the product of Australia's complex relationship with its capital city; rather than having the same level of autonomy as the other internal territories, it has services provided by the ACT.
There are also seven external territories, not part of the Australian mainland or of any state. Three of them have a small permanent population, two have tiny and transient populations, and two are uninhabited. All are directly administered by the federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (or the Department of the Environment and Energy in the case of the Australian Antarctic Territory). Norfolk Island, which is permanently populated, was partially self-governing until 2015.
TerritoryFlagCoat of ArmsCapital(largest settlement)Population(Jun 2019)[41]Area (km²)[42]Internal territoriesAustralian Capital Territory Canberra426,709 2,358Jervis Bay Territory None (Jervis Bay Village)405 67Northern Territory Darwin245,869 1,419,630External territoriesAshmore and Cartier Islands None (offshore anchorage)0750[43]Australian Antarctic TerritoryNone (Davis Station)Less than 1,0005,896,500 kmChristmas Island Flying Fish Cove1,938 135Cocos (Keeling) Islands West Island547 14Coral Sea Islands None (Willis Island)4[c]780,000Heard Island and McDonald IslandsNone (Atlas Cove)0 372Norfolk Island Kingston1,758 35New Zealand Edit The Pacific islands of the Cook Islands and Niue became New Zealand's first colonies in 1901 and then protectorates. From 1965 the Cook Islands became self-governing, as did Niue from 1974. Tokelau came under New Zealand control in 1925 and remains a non-self-governing territory.[45]
The Ross Dependency comprises that sector of the Antarctic continent between 160° east and 150° west longitude, together with the islands lying between those degrees of longitude and south of latitude 60° south.[46] The British(imperial) government took possession of this territory in 1923 and entrusted it to the administration of New Zealand. Neither Russia nor the United States recognises this claim, and the matter remains unresolved (along with all other Antarctic claims) by the Antarctic Treaty, which serves to mostly smooth over these differences. The area is uninhabited, apart from scientific bases.
New Zealand citizenship law treats all parts of the Realm equally, so most people born in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency before 2006 are New Zealand citizens. Further conditions apply for those born from 2006 onwards.[47]
United Kingdom Edit British Overseas Territories Edit The British Overseas Territories (BOTs) are fourteen territories all with a constitutional link with '' but not forming part of '' the United Kingdom.[48][49] Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of military or scientific personnel. They all have the British monarch as head of state.[50]
The term "British Overseas Territory" was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, replacing the term British Dependent Territory, introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981. Prior to 1 January 1983, the territories were officially referred to as British Crown Colonies.
The British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are themselves distinct from the Commonwealth realms, a group of 16 independent countries (including the United Kingdom) each having Elizabeth II as their reigning monarch, and from the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of 53 countries mostly with historic links to the British Empire (which also includes all Commonwealth realms).
As of April 2018[update], three Territories (the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on Cyprus) are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas; the Minister responsible for the remaining Territories is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development.[51]
NameFlagArmsCapitalPopulationAreaLocationGDP (nominal)GDP Per Capita (nominal)Anguilla The Valley14,869 (2019 estimate)[52]91 km2 (35.1 sq mi) [53]Caribbean, North Atlantic Ocean£141.62 million £9,850 Bermuda Hamilton62,506 (2019 estimate)[54]54 km2 (20.8 sq mi) [55]North Atlantic Ocean between the Azores, the Caribbean, Cape Sable Island and Canada£4.5 billion £69,240 British Antarctic Territory Rothera (main base)0 50 non-permanent in winter, over 400 in summer (research personnel)[56]1,709,400 km2 (660,000 sq mi) [53]AntarcticaBritish Indian Ocean Territory Diego Garcia (base)0 3,000 non-permanent (UK and US military personnel; estimate)[57]60 km2 (23 sq mi) [58]Indian OceanBritish Virgin Islands Road Town31,758 (2018 census)153 km2 (59 sq mi) [59]Caribbean, North Atlantic Ocean£870 million £28,040 Cayman Islands George Town68,076 (2019 estimate)[60]264 km2 (101.9 sq mi) [60]Caribbean£4.15 billion £146,250 Falkland Islands Stanley3,377 (2019 estimate)[61]1,350 non-permanent (UK military personnel; 2012 estimate)12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi) [55]South Atlantic Ocean £132.82 million £57,170 Gibraltar Gibraltar33,701 (2019 estimate)[62]1,250 non-permanent (UK military personnel; 2012 estimate)6.5 km2 (2.5 sq mi) [63]Iberian Peninsula, Continental Europe£1.89 billion £74,960 Montserrat Plymouth (abandoned '' de facto capital Brades)5,215 (2019 census)101 km2 (39 sq mi) [64]Caribbean, North Atlantic Ocean£130.72 million £25,060 Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands Adamstown50 (2018 estimate)[65]6 non-permanent (2014 estimate)[66]47 km2 (18 sq mi) [67]Pacific Ocean£84,870 £1,700 Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha,including: Jamestown5,633 (total; 2016 census)420 km2 (162 sq mi) South Atlantic Ocean £18.65 million £4,570 Saint Helena 4,349 (Saint Helena; 2019 census)[68] Ascension Island 880 (Ascension; estimate)[69]1,000 non-permanent UK military personnel (estimate)[69] Tristan da Cunha 300 (estimate)[69]9 non-permanent (weather personnel) South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands King Edward Point0 99 non-permanent (officials and research personnel)[70]3,903 km2 (1,507 sq mi) [71]South Atlantic Ocean Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Episkopi Cantonment7,700 (Cypriots; estimate) 8,000 non-permanent (UK military personnel; estimate)255 km2 (98 sq mi) [72]Cyprus, Mediterranean SeaTurks and Caicos Islands Cockburn Town38,191 (2019 estimate)[73]430 km2 (166 sq mi) [74]Lucayan Archipelago, North Atlantic Ocean£830 million £21,920 Crown dependencies Edit The Crown dependencies (French: D(C)pendances de la Couronne; Manx: Croghaneyn-crooin) are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain that are self-governing possessions of The Crown: the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Isle of Man. They do not form part of either the United Kingdom or the British Overseas Territories.[75][76] Internationally, the dependencies are considered "territories for which the United Kingdom is responsible", rather than sovereign states.[77] As a result, they are not member states of the Commonwealth of Nations.[78] However, they do have relationships with the Commonwealth, the European Union, and other international organisations, and are members of the British''Irish Council. They have their own teams in the Commonwealth Games. They are not part of the European Union (EU), although they are within the EU's customs area. The Isle of Man (along with the United Kingdom) is within the EU's VAT area.
As the Crown dependencies are not sovereign states, the power to pass legislation affecting the islands ultimately rests with the government of the United Kingdom (though this is rarely done without the consent of the dependencies, and the right to do so is disputed). However, they each have their own legislative assembly, with the power to legislate on many local matters with the assent of the Crown (Privy Council, or in the case of the Isle of Man in certain circumstances the Lieutenant-Governor).[79] In each case, the head of government is called the Chief Minister.
^A Including Alderney, Guernsey, and Sark.
Advocates Edit Several organisations have been set up that promote, to varying degrees, much closer associations between the CANZUK nations. CANZUK International has, as its stated aim, the desire to establish an area of freedom of movement akin to that which existed before the European Communities Act 1972, or as a mirror to the rights of free movement as seen within the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.[80] Other organisations are largely voluntary groupings of those who advocate the more specific idea of transnational union, such as "CANZUK Uniting".[81]
Canada Edit Several members of parliament voiced their support for the CANZUK initiative during the Conservative Party of Canada's 2017 leadership election. The eventual winner of the leadership election, Andrew Scheer, stated his support for a CANZUK free trade deal in March 2017. At a debate in Vancouver, British Columbia, Scheer stated, "I very much support a trade deal with those countries. Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have a similar basis of law, they have a common democratic system, they have the same types of legislation and regulations around investment and trade. Those are the types of things we don't enjoy with China".[82][better source needed ]
Other candidates for the Conservative Party leadership also adopted CANZUK free trade and free movement as a part of their campaigns platforms, including Erin O'Toole and Michael Chong.[83] In April 2017, O'Toole released a video with CANZUK International, describing the CANZUK initiative as "a no brainer", stating that Canada already offers free trade and free mobility with citizens of the United States and should therefore offer such benefits to "our other closest allies".[84] O'Toole again supported CANZUK during his run for Conservative Leader in 2020.[85]
In August 2018, the Conservative Party of Canada adopted CANZUK as official party policy at their 2018 party convention by 215 votes to 7.[86][87] The party presently serves as the Official Opposition in the Parliament of Canada.
Australia Edit In August 2017, Liberal Senator for Victoria, James Paterson, published an opinion-piece in the Australian Financial Review declaring support for CANZUK free trade and free movement, stating "With Australia, New Zealand and Canada all lining up to sign post-Brexit trade agreements with the United Kingdom, we have an opportunity to push for a wide-ranging agreement between all four Commonwealth nations...It's an idea whose time has come."[88]
New Zealand Edit In New Zealand, ACT New Zealand has expressed support for a "free-movement zone", with leader David Seymour stating, "Successful nations like Britain and New Zealand shouldn't be putting up walls and shutting off from each other when it's the exchange of ideas that has made our nations so prosperous. Brexit provides new options as Britain pivots away from European immigration. Let's approach Britain with a proposal for a two-way free movement agreement".[89]
In April 2018 Simon Bridges MP, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the National Party, announced his support for CANZUK.[90]
Leader of the New Zealand First political party Winston Peters called in February 2016 for a Commonwealth Free Trade Area modelled on the one in existence between Australia and New Zealand. In his comments, he suggested the inclusion of the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in this area, with the possibility of adding South Africa, India, or others, referring to the putative free trade area as a 'Closer Commonwealth Economic Relations' area, or CCER.[91] CCER was included as New Zealand government policy in the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement.[92]
United Kingdom Edit On 11 July 2012, Andrew Rosindell MP put forward a private members' bill to the UK Parliament which would involve allowing "subjects of Her Majesty's realms to enter the United Kingdom through a dedicated channel at international terminals," which would include citizens of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with the stated aim of introducing reciprocal border agreements between the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms in the future.[93] The bill was supported by MPs Nigel Dodds (DUP), Rory Stewart (Conservative), Bob Blackman (Conservative), Steve Baker (Conservative), Priti Patel (Conservative), Mark Menzies (Conservative), Kate Hoey (Labour), Ian Paisley (DUP), John Redwood (Conservative) and Thomas Docherty (Labour).[93] The proposed bill failed to reach its second reading due to a lack of parliamentary time and failed to pass through the Parliament.[94]
The Adam Smith Institute expressed its support for CANZUK in early 2018.[95][96][97]
Conservative MEP for South East England Daniel Hannan expressed his support for CANZUK as a guest speaker at the 2018 Canadian Conservative Party convention in Halifax.[98] Scottish Conservative MP Bill Grant also expressed his support for increased ties between the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand on his webpage in 2018 and stated that British Ministers are aware of CANZUK and "are very enthusiastic about our future relationships and trade with each of the countries involved".[99]
Contrary views Edit Critics such as Nick Cohen have suggested that CANZUK is a "fantasy" and that the project would not make sense as a geopolitical construct in the 21st century. He emphasises the gradual separation that has occurred between each of the states in both legal and political culture since the end of the British Empire.[100] It has been argued that geographical separation limits the value of any such union, in keeping with the mainstream economic opinion that considers the 'distance and the size of trading partners matter more than historical links in determining trading relationships between countries'.[101] Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd reiterated this sentiment, stating that "much as any Australian, Canadian and New Zealand governments of whichever persuasion would do whatever they could to frame new free-trade agreements with the UK, the bottom line is that 65 million of us do not come within a bull's roar of Britain's adjacent market of 450 million Europeans."[102]
Economic, geographical, political and social complexities would limit the influence that this bloc could exert. Only one of the countries (the United Kingdom) has significant military capabilities, and it is the only one with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. The UK economy is considerably bigger than those of each of the three other countries.[103]
An editorial in Canada's Globe and Mail, which described CANZUK as "a silly name", pointed out that those Commonwealth countries with which advocates of Brexit were most enamoured were "ex-Dominions where white people predominate" and that even if it were broadened to include populous countries like Nigeria and India, the group had "nowhere near the latent appetite for trade with Britain that would make the scheme credible".[104] In an article published in the New York Times in April 2018, historian Alex von Tunzelmann stated that "no doubt, the advocates of reviving Britain's links with Canada, Australia and New Zealand can cite myriad reasons that have nothing to do with racism to explain why South Africa, India, Pakistan or the Caribbean nations are just different. Still, majority-nonwhite nations will notice if they are treated as them rather than us, because this will not be the first time that has happened."[105]
In academia, Duncan Bell criticises contemporary 'Anglospheric discourse' and concludes that modern political commentary is "a pale imitation of previous iterations", lacking support across the political spectrum.[106] International affairs professor Srdjan Vucetic expands on this idea further, describing CANZUK as "the latest variant of a long line of projects seeking to consolidate the British settler empire, projects that were until deep into the second half of the twentieth century justified in explicitly racist terms" and questioned the viability of a CANZUK defence pact without the inclusion of the United States, as in the Five Eyes and ABCANZ alliances.[107]
Official views Edit On a visit to Australia in September 2019, the UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss stated that the British government would raise free movement between Australia and the UK during post-Brexit negotiations for a free-trade agreement.[108]
In January 2020, it was reported that Australia's Morrison Government was opposed to expanding freedom of movement between Australia and the UK. Australian trade minister Simon Birmingham had said he "can't imagine full and unfettered free movement" would be discussed during post-Brexit negotiations for a free-trade agreement.[109] Australian prime minister Scott Morrison had earlier said in September 2019 that "the New Zealand arrangement is quite unique and it's not one we would probably ever contemplate extending".[110]However, following the UK and Australia's decision to negotiate a free trade deal to come into force post-Brexit, Morrison stated in a public address that more opportunities would be presented "for Australian and UK citizens to live and work in each other's countries, ultimately".[111]
Public opinion Edit 2015 Edit Public opinion polling conducted by research firm YouGov in 2015 found that 58 per cent of British people would support freedom of movement and work between the citizens of the United Kingdom and the citizens of Australia, Canada and New Zealand, with 19 per cent opposed to the idea and 23 per cent undecided - with support for the proposals found in all four countries of the United Kingdom.[112] The research also found that British people valued free mobility between the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand more than they valued free mobility between the United Kingdom and the European Union at 46 per cent to 35 per cent.[113] Other polling from different research firms were not conducted.
2016 Edit Opinion poll surveys commissioned by the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2016 found that 70 per cent of Australians said they were supportive of the proposal, with 10 per cent opposed to it; 75 per cent of Canadians said they supported the idea and 15 per cent were opposed to it and 82 per cent of New Zealanders stated that they supported the idea, with 10 per cent opposed.[113] All of the respective provinces, states and territories of Australia, Canada and New Zealand registered majority support for the proposals.[113]
2017 Edit Further polling of 2,000 people conducted in January 2017 found support for free movement of people and goods with certain limitations on citizens claiming tax-funded payments on entry across Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with undecideds included. Counting undecidedes as giving support makes these results somewhat questionable. Support in Australia was at 72 per cent, 77 per cent in Canada, 81 per cent in New Zealand and 64 per cent in the United Kingdom.[114][115]
2018 Edit Opinion polling of 13,600 respondents from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom conducted between January and March 2018 found increased support for reciprocal free trade and movement of people between the countries when compared to 2017, with support at 73 per cent in Australia (up 1 per cent); 76 per cent in Canada (down 1 per cent); 82 per cent in New Zealand (up 1 per cent); and 68 per cent in the United Kingdom (up 4 per cent).[116] The opinion polling indicated greater support for the proposals in the North and South Islands of New Zealand at 83 per cent and 81 per cent support respectively; British Columbia and Ontario in Canada at 82 per cent and 80 per cent support respectively; and New South Wales and Victoria in Australia at 79 per cent support each, while lesser support was observed in the province of Quebec in Canada at 63 per cent support; Northern Ireland and Scotland in the United Kingdom at 64 per cent and 66 per cent support respectively; and Western Australia at 65 per cent support.[117]
2020 Edit In 2020, after the UK left the EU, many called for the UK to reach out for CANZUK to happen. Many websites advocate that CANZUK should happen, however, as of yet, that has not happened.[118]
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Retrieved 28 May 2018 . ^ "Erin O'Toole campaign website '' "CANZUK " ". Archived from the original on 4 May 2019 . Retrieved 21 December 2017 . ^ Erin O'Toole for Leader/pour chef (18 February 2017), James Skinner and Erin O'Toole on CANZUK, archived from the original on 12 March 2017 , retrieved 28 May 2018 ^ "CANZUK". Erin O'Toole. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020 . Retrieved 14 July 2020 . ^ "Canadian Conservatives Vote Overwhelmingly to Implement a CANZUK Treaty - CPC Convention 2018". Archived from the original on 15 February 2019 . Retrieved 28 August 2018 '' via ^ Bateman, Sophie (28 August 2018). "Canada Conservatives vote for free movement, trade with New Zealand". Newshub. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018 . Retrieved 28 August 2018 . ^ "Let's fold UK and Canada into the Closer Economic Relations treaty". Senator James Paterson. 28 August 2017. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018 . Retrieved 28 May 2018 . ^ ACT New Zealand (October 2016). "ACT proposes free movement with Britain, Oz and Canada" Archived 9 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Scoop News. Auckland. Retrieved 24 November 2016. ^ "New Zealand Opposition Leader Backs CANZUK International's Campaign". CANZUK International. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018 . Retrieved 6 May 2018 . ^ "Winston Peters calls for free trade among Commonwealth". 24 February 2016. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018 . Retrieved 24 February 2016 . ^ Lilico, Andrew (24 October 2017). "New Zealand is taking the initiative on trade '-- Brexit Britain should respond in kind". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020 . Retrieved 23 May 2020 . ^ a b "House of Commons: Oral Answers to Questions". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 11 July 2012. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018 . Retrieved 5 December 2018 . ^ "United Kingdom Borders Bill 2012-13". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 11 July 2012. 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"It's a Eurosceptic fantasy that the 'Anglosphere' wants Brexit". Archived 19 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine The Spectator. London. Retrieved 24 November 2016. ^ Chris Giles. "UK trade deal far from top priority for Canada" Archived 27 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine (November 2016). Financial Times. London. Retrieved 27 November 2016. ^ "Think the Commonwealth can save Brexit Britain? That's utter delusion" Archived 30 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine (March 2019). The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2019. ^ Dunham, Jackie (15 December 2018). "Increased push for free movement between Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand". CTV News. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018 . Retrieved 30 August 2019 . ^ With Brexit looming, Britain suddenly remembers the Commonwealth Archived 26 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine,Globe and Mail, April 20, 2018 ^ von Tunzelmann, Alex (24 April 2018). "The Empire Haunts Britain". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 November 2018 . Retrieved 7 November 2018 . ^ Duncan Bell (2016). 'The Project for a New Anglospheric Century' in Reordering the World: Essays on Liberalism and Empire. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13878-7. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 206-207. ^ Bell, Duncan; Vucetic, Srdjan (9 November 2018). "Brexit, CANZUK and the Legacy of Empire". SocArXiv: 29. doi:10.31235/ Archived from the original on 15 January 2019 . Retrieved 21 January 2019 . ^ "Britain will aim for freedom of movement deal with Australia". The Guardian. 19 September 2019. Archived from the original on 19 September 2019 . Retrieved 19 September 2019 . ^ "Morrison government rules out visa-free travel between Australia, UK". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 January 2020. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020 . Retrieved 1 February 2020 . ^ "UK flags possibility of freedom of movement deal with Australia". 18 September 2019. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020 . 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Archived from the original on 17 April 2018 . Retrieved 16 April 2018 . ^ "CANZUK International '' "National and Regional Polling Results - April 2018 " " (PDF) . Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 April 2018 . Retrieved 21 April 2018 . ^ Ago, Raptor123in #politic-Ed ' 4 Months (16 February 2020). "Why is Politic-Ed so hell bent on CANZUK happening". Steemit. Archived from the original on 16 February 2020 . Retrieved 18 February 2020 .
VIDEO - (1102) CFR Local Journalists Webinar Disinformation and Election 2020 - YouTube
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 14:00
VIDEO-Call to action - YouTube
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VIDEO-2020 World's most powerful CW handheld laser - YouTube
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VIDEO-Is Trump A Lightworker - YouTube
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 04:13
VIDEO-Shadow Gate/Millie Weaver Arrest Update
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:12
Alex Jones breaks down the inside baseball of Infowars reporter's arrestAlex Jones and Greg Reese give updates on the status of Millie Weaver's Friday arrest just before she released her new documentary film Shadow Gate.
Be sure to watch and download Shadow Gate below:
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VIDEO-That One Video AntiFa And The BLM Don't Want You to See Because It Explains EVERYTHING - YouTube
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:05
VIDEO-CNBC's full interview with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden - YouTube
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 02:58
VIDEO-Turkey slams 'interventionist' Biden for saying US must 'embolden' opposition to 'defeat' Erdogan in resurfaced interview '-- RT World News
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 02:54
A video, showing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arguing that the US should rally behind the Turkish opposition, drew a huge backlash in Ankara, which denounced the remark as meddling in its internal affairs.
The clip, which was filmed in December for a January episode of the New York Times' documentary series The Weekly, began making waves on social media on Thursday, after it was picked up by Kurdish journalist Arif Zªrevan.
In the video Biden says that the US, presumably under his presidency, should ''make it clear'' that ''we support opposition leadership.''
I'm still of the view that if we were to engage [with the opposition] more directly like I was doing with them, that we can support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan
Biden added that he does not want to see Erdogan toppled in a coup, but rather ousted through the ''electoral process.''
While airing his grievances at the Erdogan government, Biden specifically mentioned Ankara's refusal to cave into Washington's pressure and tear down the deal to buy Russian-made S-400 air defense systems. The Turkish military received its first S-400 shipment last year, and confirmed in June that it had ''agreed in principle'' with Moscow on the second delivery.
Also on 'We bought it to use it, full stop': Turkey awaits MORE S-400s as it activates 1st of its new systems, defense industry chief says Although Washnigton retaliated by suspending Turkey from the list of contributors to the F-35 program and threatened sanctions, Biden said that it was not enough.
He has to pay a price. He has to pay a price for whether or not we're going to continue to sell certain weapons to him.
"In fact, if he has the air defense system that they're flying F-15s through to see how they can try to figure out how to do it," he added.
The video, which is part of The NYT's extensive interview with Biden and which transcript was published back in January, has sparked a ruckus in the Turkish-speaking part of Twittersphere, sending Biden's name trending.
As Atat¼rk said: INDEPENDENCE is our character! Changing the Turkish government is the responsibility of the Turkish nation, not yours! @JoeBidenAtat¼rk'¼n de s¶ylediği gibi BAĞIMSIZLIK Karakterimizdir! T¼rkiye'de H¼k¼met değiştirmek sizin işiniz değil, milletin işi.
'-- Muharrem Ä°NCE (@vekilince) August 15, 2020While the remarks were made when Biden had not yet become the presumptive Democratic nominee, spokesman for the Turkish President minced no words, ripping into the former VP for what he said he hoped would be denounced by Washington as ''undiplomatic remarks unseemly of a presidential candidate'' and a NATO ally.
''US Presidential candidate Joe Biden's remarks (made in December but reported by the media today) reflect the games being played over Turkey and their interventionist attitudes,'' Fahrettin Altun tweeted.
US Presidential candidate Joe Biden's remarks (made in December but reported by the media today) reflect the games being played over Turkey and their interventionist attitudes. These remarks are not in line with democracy and the nature of Turkish-American relations.
'-- Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) August 15, 2020While Trump has yet to comment on the controversy, commentators on Twitter wasted no time in taking Biden to task.
''He expresses a clear intention, if president, to work to unseat Erdogan. That is unwise, a policy destined to bring about instability and conflict,'' Michael Doran, Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute, tweeted.
Biden on Turkey. Not clear when and where this was filmed. He expresses a clear intention, if president, to work to unseat Erdogan. That is unwise, a policy destined to bring about instability and conflict. This is what passes for statemanship?
'-- Mike (@Doranimated) August 15, 2020Others noted that what Biden suggested doing in Turkey is a clear-cut example of election meddling, calling out hypocrisy by Democrats.
''You cannot complain about ''Russian interference with US elections'' and promise to do the same in a NATO ally country,'' Umut Acar, former Turkish Consul General to Chicago, said.
Biden's words are problematic for so many reasons but let me put it in a way that ''liberal progressive Americans'' can understand. You cannot complain about ''Russian interference with US elections'' and promise to do the same in a NATO ally country.
'-- 🇹🇷 Umut Acar (@AcarUmut) August 15, 2020Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
VIDEO-The Weather Channel on Twitter: "In just minutes, Monday's derecho caused damage to 10 million acres of Iowa farms. Billions of dollars is estimated to have been lost from the destruction of the state's corn crop." / Twitter
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 02:32
The Weather Channel : In just minutes, Monday's derecho caused damage to 10 million acres of Iowa farms. Billions of dollars is estimated'...
Wed Aug 12 18:45:01 +0000 2020
VIDEO-What is a 'WILSON' cloud? - Prof Simon - YouTube
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 18:41
VIDEO-Flu shot more important than ever during COVID-19 pandemic, expert says | CTV News
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 18:37
TORONTO -- The annual flu shot will be more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, according to one infectious disease expert, who says it would be a ''double whammy'' to be infected with both viruses.
Dr. Abdu Sharkawy hopes the influenza vaccine, which is typically first available in October and November, is offered earlier this year.
''Even if it isn't, I would hope that as many people as possible recognize that the flu shot is fairly effective, it helps protect yourself and everyone around you. So please get the flu shot,'' he said Thursday on CTV's Your Morning.
''This is the one year you don't want to miss it.''
As health officials prepare for a possible ''second wave'' or resurgence of COVID-19 infection in Canada in the fall, some have expressed concern that the flu season might overwhelm hospitals and compound efforts to stamp out the novel coronavirus if flu shot uptake is low. In the 2018-2019 season, just four in 10 Canadians reported receiving the influenza vaccine, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. A recent national survey of 1,922 Canadians by Pollara Strategic Insights found that the uptake number could go up, with 57 per cent responding that they would ''definitely or probably'' get the shot in 2020. A similar global survey published last week in The Journal of Pediatrics identified a nearly 16 per cent increase in number of caregivers that said they plan to vaccinate their child against influenza in the coming season. Researchers suggested that "[c]hanges in risk perception due to COVID-19'‹" may be playing a role.
Newsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inboxLessons from the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April may also play a role in preparing Canadians for the flu season, both in hospitals and in the community, said Sharkawy.
''Knowing that we were vigilant in anticipating [a surge of infections] before, we're well-equipped to handle [both] if the situation does arrive,'' he said, noting resource deployment, infection control planning and improved testing protocols.
Plus, Canadians themselves are more vigilant about public health measures such as hand-washing, physical distancing and masking than before the pandemic, he said. Australia, which is nearing the end of its winter, may serve as an example: the country experienced a major drop in influenza infections and deaths compared to the previous season. Experts credit COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown measures.
But the upcoming flu season could still prove challenging for hospitals since it can be difficult to differentiate between influenza and COVID-19 infection. In late February and early March this year, there were ''undoubtedly'' coronavirus infections mistaken for influenza, said Sharkawy. To avoid the same miscalculation, he expects coronavirus testing to ramp up this fall.
''I think it's going to be very important to have rapid testing available to us so that we can easily distinguish between the two of them both inside and outside medical settings,'' he said.
The ability to distinguish between the two won't always be helpful though, since it's ''absolutely'' possible to have concurrent infections of influenza and COVID-19, which are different viruses of different families. In a July case study, doctors in Japan warned of ''coinfection'' and described a 57-year-old restaurant worker who tested positive for influenza A, but as his condition failed to improve, he later received a positive COVID-19 test. How frequently this occurs is not known, but a pair of U.S. studies found that 2.1 per cent of patients in New York City and 20.7 per cent of patients in Northern California had a second respiratory infection in addition to COVID-19.
''Certainly that would be a double whammy we want to prevent,'' said Sharkawy.
''It speaks to the importance of doing things like hand-washing, distancing and masking in indoor settings. All of these things work and they should help prevent both of these illnesses.''
VIDEO-7-12mins-Media briefing on COVID-19 - YouTube
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 18:01
VIDEO-Dan Scavino on Twitter: "🚨ð'— ð'—ð'— ð'—ð'—ð'—§ð'—... ð'—--ð'—šð'—🚨 ''I cannot remember when we've ever endorsed for the office of President of the United States, until now...'' Pat Lynch President @NYCPBA" / Twitter
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 17:37
Dan Scavino : 🚨ð'— ð'—ð'— ð'—ð'—ð'—§ð'—... ð'—--ð'—šð'—🚨''I cannot remember when we've ever endorsed for the office of President of the United States, until'...
Sat Aug 15 00:09:36 +0000 2020
Craig Edgin : @DanScavino @NYCPBA T rump is using you. I now support the Police Unions investigation for the obstruction in cr'...
Sat Aug 15 17:37:17 +0000 2020
VIDEO-60 Minutes: Swine Flu (1976) - YouTube
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 17:36
VIDEO-Karli 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "This👇" / Twitter
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 17:27
Karli 🇺🇸 : This👇
Sat Aug 15 11:45:46 +0000 2020
Cindy Brauneker : @KarluskaP @DarkToLight17 Why did he mention JEWISH bankers? I haven't heard that before.ðŸ¤--
Sat Aug 15 17:26:40 +0000 2020
🇺🇸 MADE IN THE USA 🇺🇸 : @KarluskaP
Sat Aug 15 17:25:13 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Economic Hitman Makes a Confession About America's Biggest Threat - YouTube
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 17:04
VIDEO-Mayor Daley of Chicago - 1968 - YouTube
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 16:46
VIDEO-RZA Drops New Jingle to Replace OG Ice Cream Truck Song with Racist Roots
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 16:41
RZA Replaces Racist Ice Cream Truck Jingle ... And It's Free FOREVA!!! 8/13/2020 3:31 PM PT @rza / InstagramRZA's giving whole new meaning to dropping bars ... after releasing a brand new ice cream truck jingle to replace the original one, which is rooted in racism.
The Wu-Tang Clan leader partnered up with Good Humor to come up with the hot new track as a family friendly alternative to "Turkey in the Straw" -- the jingle you probably grew up hearing as you chased the ice cream truck.
RZA's new ice cream joint has that same hot summer day feel, but with a better beat ... and zero racism.
So, what's the problem with the OG jingle? If you hadn't heard ... "Turkey in the Straw" had no racist undertones when it originated from British and Irish folk songs, but took a sad turn when it got popular in the U.S.
It was big at American minstrel shows during the 1800s, and some blackface performers added incredibly offensive and racist lyrics. It was eventually played inside ice cream parlors, and then ice cream trucks too.
RZA and Good Humor are now urging ice cream truck operators to replace "Turkey in the Straw" with their version ... and it won't cost 'em a thing cause he says the jingle will be free.
And, just like Wu-Tang, he says that's foreva!!!
Related Articles RZA Kids Summer African American Interests Music
VIDEO-Tom Elliott on Twitter: "SUPERCUT! @morningmika goes on wild rampage against @realDonaldTrump" / Twitter
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 16:23
Tom Elliott : SUPERCUT!@morningmika goes on wild rampage against @realDonaldTrump
Fri Aug 14 12:29:39 +0000 2020
Doron : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump ,A nut !!!
Sat Aug 15 16:21:31 +0000 2020
KirkP : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump LOL.... oh yeah she's lost it. What a bubblehead. #Trump2020
Sat Aug 15 16:16:53 +0000 2020
Shelley : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump Mika needs to have her needs serviced. She seems like a person who is de'...
Sat Aug 15 16:15:29 +0000 2020
Florin Rosca : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump In Mika's world, the sun is rising from west every morning.
Sat Aug 15 16:12:20 +0000 2020
SilentNoMore17 🃠: @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump She really needs to see a psychiatrist. that's not a meltdown that's full-blown manic
Sat Aug 15 16:12:00 +0000 2020
freedomhawk : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump Mika, relax, your words are full of lies. Nothing to concern yourself w'...
Sat Aug 15 16:11:00 +0000 2020
Marlene : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump She does not have a full deck
Sat Aug 15 16:09:33 +0000 2020
Julie Vanburen : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump She needs therapy, I suggest some deep breathing exercises for starters!
Sat Aug 15 16:07:04 +0000 2020
John Couch : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump Hahaha TDS is real. This chick has always been nuts.
Sat Aug 15 16:05:59 +0000 2020
Hutch : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump
Sat Aug 15 16:05:59 +0000 2020
DontBelieveTheHype : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump FF '­ 28 seconds Mika's confession:
Sat Aug 15 16:05:27 +0000 2020
CEASAR : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump This Ditsy bro@d is out of her mind!!! Get your hormones under control woman!!!!!
Sat Aug 15 16:04:34 +0000 2020
Jody Barbato : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump OMG!! She is getting more desperate by the second!
Sat Aug 15 16:03:55 +0000 2020
Terry : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump Poor Mika, whining, whining, whining because President Trump is winning,'...
Sat Aug 15 16:03:44 +0000 2020
Michaeisible : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump Sounds like she is talking about her party.
Sat Aug 15 16:03:23 +0000 2020
Tomas Abeyta : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump Then, what was your plan? Crickets...
Sat Aug 15 15:59:29 +0000 2020
aden pahn : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump She s like her father, a hardcore Polish neocon with intense hatred for'...
Sat Aug 15 15:58:41 +0000 2020
Tomas Abeyta : @tomselliott @morningmika @realDonaldTrump She is so Wrong and then lies about it!
Sat Aug 15 15:57:37 +0000 2020
VIDEO-'Do Not Trust The Medical Or The National Security Establishment!' With Guest Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. - YouTube
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 14:38
VIDEO-James Woods on Twitter: "Why do they always cackle?" / Twitter
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 14:35
James Woods : Why do they always cackle?
Fri Aug 14 17:35:21 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Infowars reporter Millie Weaver 'arrested' mid-premiere of her whistleblowing investigation into 'shadow government' '-- RT USA News
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 14:02
Investigative reporter Millie Weaver and her husband have reportedly been arrested at the same time her documentary on the US ''shadow government'' was being screened on YouTube, sending Conservative Twitter into theory overdrive.
Weaver's ''arrest'' at the couple's home '' which has yet to be confirmed by authorities '' was initially reported by Infowars on Friday, shortly after the YouTube premiere of her documentary film ''ShadowGate.'' The film purports to expose the secrets of the massive 'Deep State' intelligence apparatus manipulating politics within the US and beyond its borders, based on the reports of two private intelligence whistleblowers.
Video of the couple's apparent arrest, shot by Weaver herself, was posted to Twitter by her Infowars colleague Adan Salazar, opening on Weaver asking in disbelief if ''a grand jury indicted [her].''
She and her husband Gavin Wince were then supposedly taken into custody after being informed they'd been charged with ''burglary.'' The clip ends abruptly with Weaver urging viewers to ''please share this.''
Rumors soon emerged that the ''burglary'' concerned alleged theft of government documents related to the film, but no official confirmation has so far been released.
lnfowars' Millie Weaver has just been indicted by a Grand Jury and arrested for reporting on criminal activity 'allegedly stealing gov't documents'!Right before she was about to release her documentary about shadow government and social media psychological warfare operations!
'-- Baltic Design house🇱ðŸ‡>>'­'­'­ (@SPLITTERIS) August 14, 2020According to Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies, Weaver was actually arrested before she could release the documentary, but one of the whistleblowers involved, ''Tore,'' released it instead. Her Twitter account @Tore_Says was reportedly suspended immediately thereafter.
Tore soon resurfaced on another account, however, accusing the state of Ohio of sitting on ''FALSE CHARGE INDICTMENTS'' against Weaver for three months '' suggesting the indictment was months-old and the arrest had been deliberately timed to coincide with the film's release.
The STATE OF OHIO sat on FALSE CHARGE INDICTMENTS for 3+ Months and popped it TODAY - TODAY that she was releasing her video... @TheJusticeDept who is the CORRUPT COP? WTF. I can't believe this - we will EXPOSE every single person involved who used a DRUG ADDICT to frame millie
'-- ToRE (@TweetWordz) August 14, 2020''We will EXPOSE every single person involved who used a DRUG ADDICT to frame millie,'' the whistleblower tweeted. In another tweet, she claimed the state's justice system databases had simultaneously ''crashed,'' preventing her from finding out more information on Weaver's case.
My daughter would never steal. She is honest and good. I am asking for vigilant violent prayer for her. #millieweaver
'-- Pastor Charlie Weaver (@WeaverPastor) August 14, 2020A who's-who of conservative media personalities took to social media with questions, theories, and demands for Weaver's release, while #FreeMillie surfaced as a rallying cry.
Pro-Trump reporter and filmmaker @Millie__Weaver has been arrested & she has no idea why. Something isn't right about this entire situation... Prayers up for Millie and her family!
'-- Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) August 14, 2020only two days ago, I noticed that Millie Weaver had - uniquely among US journalists - published video grab of Flynn pointing out apparent possession of sarin by AlQaeda-allied jihadis in Syria. Flynn's observation was contrary to Obama admin support for jihadis vs Assad govt
'-- Stephen McIntyre (@ClimateAudit) August 14, 2020Speaking as a former ADA, burglary is a way to get someone by claiming 1) unlawful entry, followed by 2) the intention to commit a crime. No actual crime need have happened. It's what we call an "inchoate offense". Same thing they used on @JamesOKeefeIII
'-- KGB Agent Hether (@wizHether) August 14, 2020Some, however, suspected the ''arrest'' was a publicity stunt to push Weaver's film, pointing to various oddities around the incident. Others remarked that burglaries don't usually involve grand jury indictments. A handful of users even deemed her arrest deserved, claiming Infowars has been calling for violence against leftists.
This seems suspicious. ðŸ¤-- Millie is great, but this looks like it was staged. Publicity? I'm not buying it until I see the public record of a warrant and arrest. 🤷🏾''¸
'-- America First 🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@kristinamcaruso) August 14, 2020seems fishy.InfoWars has done some very good work over the years..but they aren't the most trustworthy. It could be a publicity stunt.There are more trustworthy people in the alt/indep/conspiracy space (Ole Dammegard, Jim Fetzer, @SGTreport , etc)
'-- HelpingSheeple (@HelpingSheeple) August 14, 2020At least one user made a connection between Weaver's documentary and YouTube's oddly-specific new rule announced on Thursday banning materials the platform believes to be ''hacked.''
Also on YouTube aims to 'protect' elections by CENSORING what it deems to be 'hacked materials' Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
VIDEO-Victoria's Daniel Andrews slammed over China deal: 'Belt and Road' scheme explained |
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 12:45
The controversial Belt and Road Initiative has been in the news over the past seven days, but what exactly is it and how does it affect Australia?
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says his state's proposed deal with China will bring much needed jobs and new infrastructure to the state.
Watch the video above
Victoria's opposition says it's all about the Chinese Communist Party seeking greater political influence in the region.
Here's what you need to know.
Xi Jinping toasts world leaders attending the Belt and Road Forum at Beijing's Great Hall of the People in April 2019. Credit: Nicolas Asfouri / AP Officially known as 'One Belt, One Road', China's key foreign policy and economic strategy is more commonly referred to as the 'Belt and Road Initiative' (BRI).
The term derives from the overland 'Silk Road Economic Belt' and the '21st-Century Maritime Silk Road', concepts introduced by China's President Xi Jinping in 2013.
A French antique fabric showing the ancient Silk Road route. Credit: Getty The ancient Silk Road was a famous network of trade routes linking China to the rest of the world from 130 BC until the middle of the 15th century.
As well as precious silk, China exported tea, dyes, spices, gunpowder and many other goods to the rest of the ancient world.
In turn, it received dozens of commodities from the west, including gold, camels, weapons and even slaves.
Contemporary silk roadChina is seeking to economically re-link to Europe.
It wants to do so via maritime and overland routes through countries across Eurasia - chiefly those from the former Soviet bloc - and the Indian Ocean, and a second link to Africa via Oceania.
That is where Australia, New Zealand and a dozen Pacific island nations come into play.
The initiative relies heavily on diplomatic ties, as well as trade and foreign affairs ties, between all of these countries.
A view of the zigzag road on the old silk route between Tibet and India. Credit: Subhendu Sarkar / Getty Attracting the most attention are China's multi-trillion dollar infrastructure projects - building railways, roads, ports, energy systems and telecommunications networks across the world.
There are major concerns as the world's largest Communist-controlled country enters into more and more partnerships to build this massive infrastructure, with countries that have much less economic power and political clout.
It is believed that China has so far established 75 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in 35 countries.
Why is BRI controversial?In Australia's neighbourhood, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have embraced China's BRI wholeheartedly while Vietnam and India have been less enthusiastic.
India has repeatedly expressed concerns about China's strategy of stumping up the cash to pay for massive infrastructure projects in poor countries, in return for much greater economic and political power - and access to natural resources - in the region.
The world's longest cross-sea bridge, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative. Credit: VCG / Getty Images As a parliamentary briefing from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security notes, in the west, including Australia, business people are generally positive, while strategists ''have been less sanguine'' about China's BRI ambitions.
The briefing also notes that the Australian government signed its own MOU with China over the BRI, ''established to promote Chinese engagement in the Australian economy''.
But the link to details of this Memorandum of Understanding in the briefing appears to have been removed.
Turnbull agreementIn May 2017, then-trade minister Steven Ciobo attended a BRI forum in Beijing.
He said then that ''Australia supports the aims of initiatives such as the Belt and Road that improve infrastructure development and increased opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region''.
In August 2018, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he ''looked forward to working with China on BRI projects''.
''Global infrastructure investment is a good example of where countries should work together,'' he said.
Twin satellites are launched near Xichang city, in China's Sichuan province, in November 2018, to provide navigation services to countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. Credit: AP And as recently as November 2018, the University of Technology's Australia-China Relations Institute notes, newly minted Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an interview with a Beijing-based business magazine:
'''Australia welcomes the contribution the Belt and Road Initiative can make in meeting the infrastructure needs of the region.
''And we're keen to strengthen engagement with China in regional trade and infrastructure developments that align within the international standards of governance and transparency.''
So why is Daniel Andrews now copping it from the federal government over Victoria's determination to stick by its BRI agreement with China?
VictoriaThe deal the Labor Victorian government has struck with China last year is non-legally binding.
And it allows the state's engineering and design firms to bid for contracts for belt and road initiative projects around the world.
It also involves the Chinese government encouraging its country's building firms to establish a presence in Victoria and bid for state government infrastructure projects.
The 'Golden Bridge of Silk Road' structure outside Beijing's National Convention Centre where the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in 2017. Credit: Andy Wong / AP Opposition leader Michael O'Brien has slammed the deal.
He has cited Beijing's recent slapping of an 80.5 per cent tariff on Australian barley as evidence China does not have Australia's best interests at heart.
''This is not about trade, this is not about jobs...this is all about political influence,'' he told reporters on Monday.
The barley tariff came close on the heels of China's decision to suspend beef imports from four major Australian meatworks.
Both the barley and beef actions came after Australia's push for an independent investigation into COVID-19, believed to have had its origins in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
The actions also come against the backdrop of protests as Hongkongers fight to maintain the island city's semi-autonomous status from mainland China.
TVictorian premier Daniel Andrews says its proposed deal with China will bring much needed jobs and new infrastructure to the state. Credit: JAMES ROSS / AAP This could explain why the Coalition federal government is downplaying its previous praise for the BRI, while criticising the Labor leader in Victoria for his steadfast support of the initiative.
Andrews insists he is not turning a blind eye to China's human rights record.
Chevron Right Icon'We don't agree with China on everything.'
He says he supports Australia's statement supporting the US, UK and Canada, in the countries' joint criticism of China seeking to introduce new security laws that would effectively turn Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters into terrorists.
''We don't agree with China on everything,'' Andrews said on Tuesday.
''But if you want a good trading relationship, if you want to send more Victorian-made product to China, to create jobs here in Victoria, then a good relationship on the things you can agree on is very, very important.''
VIDEO-Black NFAC Militia Meets White Militia and Accidentally Shoot Three Of Their Own Members - News Punch
Sat, 15 Aug 2020 12:11
Two opposing, heavily armed militia groups came within a few dozen yards of each of other in downtown Louisville on Saturday in a tense standoff that ended without violence '-- except for a member of the supposedly ''ex-military'' black NFAC militia accidentally shooting three of his own militiamen.
NFAC is a black militia group described as an ''eye for an eye organization'' comprised of ''ex-military'' who ''don't want to negotiate,'' that has demanded the United States give free land to all black people descended from slaves so they can form a black ethnostate inside the US.
Three people were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after they were struck by gunfire when an armed NFAC militia member's gun discharged at the NFAC gathering at Baxter Park.
''All involved are members of the NFAC, and there are no outstanding suspects,'' LMPD Police Chief Robert Schroeder said. ''This is a tragic situation that could have been much worse. I encourage anyone choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights to do so responsibly.''
The III% Security Force was the other militia present. Their leaders had called on members to come out and provide ''security'' in the city.
Courier-Journal reports: More than 300 members of the Atlanta-based Black militia NFAC, or ''Not F**king Around Coalition'' came to Louisville demanding justice for 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, an ER technician who was fatally shot by officers in March.
Wearing all black and carrying assault rifles, members marched in military-style formation from Baxter Park in the Russell neighborhood to Metro Hall where they stopped around 2:45 p.m. at police barricades.
Right across was a smaller group of 50 far-right ''Three Percenter'' militia members, who were also heavily armed.
The opposing militia said it showed up in response to NFAC and to aid police. As the two sides neared, one Three Percenter yelled ''Don't fire unless you're fired upon!'' as police in riot gear stood nearby and helicopters buzzed.
Police kept the sides apart and tensions eventually dissipated. Both militias had said they wanted to avoid violence.
John ''Grandmaster Jay'' Johnson, founder of the NFAC, delivered a fiery speech calling for local and state officials to speed up and be more transparent about the investigation into Taylor's shooting.
He ended a speech downtown by saying that NAFC is giving Cameron and the Breonna Taylor investigation four weeks from today to ''tell the truth.''
After the group marched out of downtown, Louisville Police deputy chief Lavita Chavous acknowledged that it had been a ''tension-filled day.''
''For the most part, we've seen peaceful protest,'' she said, but she denounced ''those hiding behind the right to peacefully assemble and using it as a platform to tear up and destroy our city.''
''I'm asking people to respect the legal process, and the time that it takes, to choose peace and not violence to continue to exercise your rights to protest, but do it lawfully,'' Chavous said.
What is NFAC?
Although the group appears secretive about its origins, it comprises of armed Black ''ex military shooters'' seemingly seeking a Black state in the US.
NFAC's leader Grand Master Jay describing how he will build his black ethnostate inside the United States.boasting they are all ex-military extremely disciplined & experts shooters
'-- SSG_PAIN'­'­'­ (@SSG_PAIN) July 5, 2020The NFAC has also distanced itself from peaceful Black Lives Matter protests, stating that they believe in an ''eye for an eye'' approach.
NFAC was previously seen during a George Floyd protest in Minneapolis where they were reportedly protecting Black-owned businesses amid the unrest in May.
The organization was also spotted in a Georgia neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man, was shot and killed by two white residents while he was out jogging.
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VIDEO-The 19th Represents keynote conversation with Sen. Kamala Harris - YouTube
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 20:29
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Fri, 14 Aug 2020 20:26
VIDEO-Hong Kong Ideas on Twitter: "🤐#BBC made this #Covid_19 interview ''private''. In late July, #HongKong Professor Kwok-Yung Yuen, who ''helped to investigate in Wuhan, says physical evidence was destroyed and the response to clinical findings wa
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 18:56
Hong Kong Ideas : 🤐#BBC made this #Covid_19 interview ''private''.In late July, #HongKong Professor Kwok-Yung Yuen, who ''helped to inv'...
Fri Aug 14 17:56:20 +0000 2020
Hong Kong Ideas : 🤐#BBC made this #Covid_19 interview ''private''.In late July, #HongKong Professor Kwok-Yung Yuen, who ''helped to inv'...
Fri Aug 14 17:57:48 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Prisoner 93 on Twitter: "Yeah, just decided I'm leaving Victoria. VIC will be next." / Twitter
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 13:00
Prisoner 93 : Yeah, just decided I'm leaving Victoria. VIC will be next.
Fri Aug 14 12:26:27 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Is het een grote misleiding van het RIVM?: Pierre Capel Column - YouTube
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:59
VIDEO-Stanford's Dr. Scott Atlas Offers Explanation For Rise In Younger Person COVID Hospitalizations In Texas | The Daily Caller
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:12
Dr. Scott Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, offered a potential explanation about why COVID hospitalizations are rising among younger people in Texas.
Appearing on Monday night's ''The Story with Martha MacCallum,'' Atlas said that, since everyone who gets hospitalized for any reason is getting tested for COVID-19, the people making up the inflated statistics could actually be ''hospitalized for something else'' but ''classified as COVID-19 hospitalizations.''
''What is your thought on that, do you think that 25% of the cases are being hospitalized are people 20-29, does that seem unusual?'' MacCallum asked.
''No,'' Atlas said. ''I think that's counter to any other data point we have. We have a state that has detailed evidence, Florida. We see that although there is a huge rise in cases, they are almost all overwhelmingly healthy young people. They are not being hospitalized. They are not dying. The deaths are going down per day. The hospitalizations are going down per day. It's just not likely.''
''I think that what is happening in Texas, I know that this is true, they are testing every person that gets hospitalized for Covid-19,'' Atlas continued. ''We know that the vast majority of people with COVID-19 who are young, particularly, are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. I question if those people who are positive for COVID-19 and being hospitalized for something else are classified as COVID-19 hospitalizations. That's a big difference.''
Atlas went on to explain that younger people getting the infection is actually a good thing because it leads to herd immunity over the long term. (RELATED: Staying In Place Is 'Actually Harmful': Stanford's Scott Atlas Makes The Case For Herd Immunity)
''That's because we have learned to protect the older people and we are now dealing with infections in people who have essentially no problem with the infection,'' he said. ''This is proven all over the world, not just in the U.S., every country in the world shows us. It's not arguable, really. And so when we look at that, we see a lot of people who have no problem getting the infection, that's exactly how a population develops immunity.''
VIDEO-Reporter Asks Trump If He Regrets 'All The Lying' He Has 'Done To The American People' | NBC News - YouTube
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:49
VIDEO-Pelosi says no coronavirus relief talks until Republicans agree to $2 trillion price tag | Fox News
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:46
Published August 13, 2020
Last Update 12 hrs ago
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called a $2 trillion price tag 'a non-starter'House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that coronavirus relief talks would be back on the table only when Republicans agreed to a $2 trillion relief package.
When asked in her weekly news conference when she would would begin again on relief negotiations, Pelosi replied: ''I don't know, when they come with $2 trillion. When they're ready to do that, we'll sit down.''
When asked why the GOP would not ''meet in the middle,'' Pelosi said, ''Perhaps you mistook them for someone who gave a damn.''
Negotiators for weeks have been trying to close the divide between the Senate Republicans' $1 trillion HEALS Act and the House's $3.4 trillion HEROES Act.
The White House rejected Pelosi's offer to decrease her package by $1 trillion if Republicans would come up $1 trillion. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called a $2 trillion price tag ''a non-starter.''
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows argued that Pelosi's offer does not trim fat from the relief package but instead shortens the timeline.
''I don't know that that's a reduction, as much as she is just changing the time frames. I don't think she's come off with her number, other than just made a shorter time,'' Meadows said.
While Democrats do not believe the House would have the votes to pass legislation with a number lower than $2 trillion, the Republicans say the Senate would not have the votes to pass a bill with such a high price tag.
''The House doesn't have the votes to go south of $2 trillion, the Senate Democrats can't go south of $2 trillion, so that's what compromise is all about,'' Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. ''Because there are 20 Republicans who don't want to vote anything that doesn't mean the whole thing should shift in their direction. You have to meet in the middle.''
Sources told CNN that Democrats' demands for $1 trillion for state and local governments had become a major sticking point in negotiations. The Senate bill includes no new state and local public funding.
Mnuchin called Democrats' request for $1 trillion for states "an absurd number," saying there's "plenty" of cash available already for states and cities.
Democrats warned that without more federal funding, state and local governments -- which combined employ about 23.2 million essential workers -- will be forced to lay off employees and cut essential services.
The $2.2 trillion CARES Act approved in late March allocated $150 billion for state and local governments. The Treasury Department's inspector general's office reported in late July that states had spent about one-quarter of that money; however, some state officials said the report did not factor in the money that was already earmarked for spending.
President Trump took matters into his own hands last Friday, announcing an executive order including various elements of relief under negotiation. His order called for $400 in extended unemployment relief through Dec. 6 or whenever FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund, used to pay for the extension, dips below $25 billion. In addition, his order directs the federal government to identify funds for those who can't pay their mortgages, defers payroll taxes and extends student loan relief.
However, state governors have pointed out that the unemployment benefits measure relies on already cash-strapped states to supply 25% of the funds and that it would cost them billions of dollars. Critics also questioned whether the executive orders are even legal, given that Congress has the power of the purse.
VIDEO-CNN's Don Lemon Rips Trump's Birther Attack on Kamala Harris
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:28
Don Lemon opened his CNN broadcast Thursday night with a blistering monologue taking President Donald Trump to task for using the same birther tactics he used against Barack Obama on vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
''Every single day, another lie, another conspiracy theory, another racist dog whistle,'' a clearly exasperated Lemon said at the top of his show. ''He's using the podium in the White House briefing room, that you pay for, to lie to you. And he's starting with birtherism. Can you believe it? Is it 2011 all over again? What is going on?''
''Birtherism now against Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's vice presidential nominee who is a Black woman,'' the host continued. ''Does that ring a bell to you?''
Lemon went on to play a clip from the briefing when Trump was asked about a ''discredited'' Newsweek column questioning Harris' eligibility to serve as vice president. Instead of dismissing it, the president said he would look into it, telling reporters, ''I have no idea if that's right. I would've assumed the Democrats would've checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.''
''This man is so full of it, y'all,'' Lemon said of Trump. ''Come on. He knows better than that. He's the president of the United States. Shouldn't he have a modicum of decency and class to just say, 'Look, come on, let's talk about something real. A lot of people have died from the coronavirus. That's serious. Kamala Harris is on the vice presidential ticket. Move along.'''
The host explained to viewers that he considered just ''ignoring'' Trump's latest ''dumb, stupid conspiracy theory,'' but ultimately decided he couldn't just ''let the ugliness go unchallenged.''
''A white man questioning a Black woman's birthplace in America in 2020,'' he said. ''No other words but disgusting, racist. And purposely so.''
VIDEO-EXCLUSIVE -- Epstein Partner Reveals: U.S. State & Justice Dept. Officials Licensed Epstein's LAUNDERING of BILLIONS for Middle-East Terrorists -- Here's Why '' True Pundit
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:53
The elusive question of how pedophile Jeffrey Epstein made his illicit millions is finally beginning to take shape per shocking revelations on the Thomas Paine Podcast from Epstein's longtime mentor and business partner who spilled the beans detailing how Epstein a co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell banked untold millions of dollars. Listen Above.
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Steven Hoffenberg reveals how Epstein made his money. The real story on how he made his money. Not the boring media narrative. Laundering billions for terrorists to start. Trafficking weapons and arms to foreign factions/government. And the list goes on an on.
Hoffenberg points the finger at the duo's unnamed co-conspirator who allowed Epstein to operate for decades with a license to steal, traffic young girls, sell illegal arms, and blackmail the rich and famous '-- the Feds. They even set up Hoffenberg for a long stretch in federal jail, while Epstein walked away free in a play by the DOJ to keep the jet-setting asset in play.
VIDEO-Austin Council OKs budget with $150M in police cuts - News - Austin American-Statesman - Austin, TX
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:40
Austin police officers use bicycles to block the entrance to the Austin Police Department headquarters during protests on May 30. [JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN/FILE]'–²
Austin City Council members on Thursday unanimously approved a $4.2 billion budget that includes about $150 million in planned cuts to Austin police, but only $20 million or so will be immediately removed from the department's funding.
The final approval of the budget comes after the council heard months of outcry from community members demanding funding police cuts in the wake of protests against police brutality.
That outcry continued Wednesday, when more than 200 people signed up to speak as the council convened, most of whom supported the cuts, or urged the council to cut deeper.
Before the City Council's revisions, the initial proposal for the police department's budget called for about $434 million in funding.
Of the $150 million the council has earmarked for reinvestment, about $21.5 come in the form of immediate reinvestments from cutting three upcoming cadet classes, slashing overtime costs by nearly $3 million, pulling more than $3 million from commodities and contractuals, $1 million from records management and More than $220,000 combined from license plate readers and vacancies to the department's mounted patrol.
That money will be redirected instead to a wide variety of community programs and city departments, including Austin-Travis County EMS for COVID-19 response, mental health response, violence prevention and a family violence shelter and protection and victim services.
Funds have also been shifted parks and trails, abortion access, food access, substance abuse care and others.
Aside from the $21.5 million in immediate reinvestments, the council also moved about $128.8 million into two transitional funds, one to remove primarily civilian functions from the department and another to divert dollars from police to alternative forms of public safety over the next year.
The Decouple Fund includes about $80 million, separating forensics, communications, support services, strategic support, community partnerships and victim services out from under Austin police.
The Reimagine Safety Fund contains $49 million from overtime, mounted patrol, canine, explorers, traffic enforcement, intelligence, training, recruiting, park police, lake patrol and nuisance abatement.
While those funds are slated for more long-term efforts, council members included direction for City Manager Spencer Cronk to return to council with a community engagement plan that would culminate in a budget amendment process by March. In the meantime, council members will continue to hold Public Safety Committee meetings to work out the specifics of how and when funding will be shifted.
The delay in the movement of those funds was a point of contention for some community members and reform advocates, who said that police still had access to that money.
Grassroots Leadership and Communities of Color United, which both called on the council to make $220 million in cuts to the department '-- about 50% of the police budget '-- said the budget as approved did not "meet the moment."
Both groups pushed the council to take the larger sum from police and put $91 million into the RISE Fund, the local COVID-19 relief fund for individuals, $4 million into the city's Equity Office, $10 million for Austin Public Health and $115 million for low-income housing.
While the groups said the $21.5 million in initials cuts include some worthy items, they said the remaining transition funds represent an accounting change that moves money to accounts outside of the department that the department may still access to perform the same functions.
"Reimagining public safety does not mean simply reorganizing departments or taking the same functions that APD currently performs and moving them, complete with their current staff and culture, to a civilian department. It does not mean delaying things we could defund now because our city council has yet to gather the political courage to lay off sworn officers," the groups said.
Chris Harris, a local criminal justice advocate and public safety commission member, said the initial immediate reinvestment is fairly modest in terms of the dollar amount, but represents a significant shift in city priorities toward responding to protests calling for racial justice.
"There's a lot of big numbers being floated around that are, at this point, not real," Harris said. "But the budget action does tee up the potential for a much more extensive reimagining of public safety, so I'm hopeful that the city and City Council will really allow that process to move forward."
Harris said Thursday's action should be a first in a longer process of funding social and health services that he said have historically been sidelined, in part, because of an overreliance on police.
"I want to ensure that this is just the start, again of a real reimagining of what public safety is, that understands that health and safety is about housing, it's about health care, its about transit. It's not just about police," he said.
Council Member Greg Casar said the council knows there is still much work to be done in the coming year to make good on the promise to move the nearly $129 million from transitional funds away from Austin police.
"There's so much more that we know our community is asking for if we want to truly reimagine public safety, and we know that we should be clear-eyed that there will be well-funded efforts to fearmonger about this vote and send us backwards, to talk about the false notion that this council isn't interested in safety, but that's exactly what this council unanimously has been working towards, justice and safety for everyone," Casar said.
With Thursday's vote, Austin has joined cities including Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and others that have taken steps to rethink police and reduce department budgets.
The Associated Press this week reported that the Seattle City Council cut the salary of police Chief Carmen Best by $10,000, and voted to cut 100 officers from the department through layoffs of attrition. Best resigned from her post Monday, saying she was fine with a pay cut, but refused to fire young officers.
Unlike in Seattle, Austin leaders did not approve any layoffs for officers, only cuts to positions that were already vacant or scheduled to be added later.
In June, Portland city commissioners voted to cut $16 million from that city's $245 million police budget, despite calls for cuts of up to $50 million. Those cuts, which came from eliminating a gun reduction violence team, school resource officers and transit division, would be shifted to other social service priorities.
Corby Gastrow, president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, which advocates for police and has urged the council not to cancel cadet classes, said the group supports funding for community health paramedics, family violence, mental health response and violence prevention. However, he said he is concerned about reductions in police positions.
"The Crime Commission is reassured that the community will have input in the process to evaluate police operations and reforms in the months ahead," he said. "The budget rider amendment that makes clear police cadet classes may continue next year is encouraging, and we look forward to the timely completion of the work to improve training."
This is a developing story. Check back for more information.

Clips & Documents

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Background history POPULIST.mp3
Bidon at NYT vetting on Erdogan re Greece on Jan 19 2020- Sounds Good!.mp3
CBS making something Kamla birthright.mp3
CBS NEW ARAP Friday.mp3
CBS spends only 25 seconds on FBI lawyer indictment.m4a
CFR Disinfo webinar -2- Datavoids [And the reason for Blue Check marks].mp3
CFR Disinfo webinar -3- Q-Anon - No idea how to combat it.mp3
CFR Local Journalists Webinar Disinformation and Election 2020 -1- Pre-Bunking Brett Shaeffer.mp3
contact tracing MA WBUR.mp3
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Disinfo webinar -4- Former NYT Deputy Editor Carla Robbins - Be a HOTLINE on TWITTER to M5M SHAMING.mp3
Disinfo webinar -5- Report flaggable content and Prep Audiences in advance on election results delay PRODUCER DAVID.mp3
Elliott Abrams headed to Iran according to Chinese news.m4a
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