1270: Twindemic

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 58m
August 20th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Sir John Black Knight of Coventry, Lily Noon, Christian Le Claire, Sir Sander Earl of the Swiss Alps, Sir Kwisstan, Marco Schnepf, The Baron of Old Bay, Kristi Jensen, Sir Acid of the Candinavian Woods

Associate Executive Producers: Illuminadia, Maggie Hopkins, Trent Gillham, Peter Johnson, Oliver Reich, Sir Tim of the Tunnels, Baron of Goat Island

Cover Artist: Korrekt Da Rekord


Start of Show
Steve Bannon Is Charged With Fraud in We Build the Wall Campaign
Guest producer
California Power Outages
Guest producer
Colorado Wildfires vs. The Rain Stick
Guest producer
Covid Updates
Guest producer
Millennials on Cardi B and the Post Office
Guest producer
Guest producer
"Flooding the Zone" and Other Sports Ball Updates
Guest producer
Shadowgate /w Millennial Millie and Tore Maras-Lindeman
Guest producer
OTG Ambassadorship
Guest producer
Kayleigh and Trump vs. M5M Hecklers
Guest producer
Guest producer
The DNC, Green New Dill, and Build Back Better
Guest producer
Guest producer
Guest producer
End of Show
Guest producer
Close To You COVID Song
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
Millie dated girls gone wild guy Joe Francis
Tore knows her legal terms and basics
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 21:26
April 4, 2018
Media Contact: Liz Brocker (701) 328-2213
BISMARCK, ND '' Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem confirmed today that his office is investigating Minot resident Terpsichore ''Tore'' Maras-Lindeman, doing business as ''A Magic City Christmas,'' for alleged violations of the consumer fraud laws and charitable solicitation laws. The investigation was initiated in early December, 2017, after the consumer protection division received a media inquiry about claims made by Maras-Lindeman in fund-raising solicitations for a holiday concert supposedly to benefit charities in Minot. Maras-Lindeman is not registered as a charity or professional fundraiser.
''The charitable solicitation law and consumer fraud laws were enacted to protect members of the public. When anyone fails to comply with the reasonable requirements of these laws, it is my office's duty to investigate and take any necessary action to protect consumers,'' said Stenehjem.
When the consumer protection investigators made the initial contact in December last year, they informed Maras-Lindeman that state law requires a person to register with the Secretary of State before soliciting any charitable contributions, and recommended that she discontinue fund raising until she had registered with the Secretary of State. Maras-Lindeman ignored the investigators and for some time continued to solicit donations using the online fundraising sites GoFundMe and Fundly, through Facebook, her website, and by using direct solicitations to businesses in the Minot area.
As the investigation proceeded, investigators learned that Maras-Lindeman also had misrepresented her affiliation with both the Bank of North Dakota and the City of Minot in her solicitations. Without permission, and even after being advised that the Bank of North Dakota could not be a sponsor, Maras-Lindeman used the Bank's logo in her website solicitations, magiccitychristmas.com. She also used the Coin of the City of Minot on her website and Facebook page, even after the City had repeatedly asked her to remove it. Maras-Lindeman ignored the City's attempts to contact her and as a result, on October 27, 2017, the City of Minot was forced to issue a press release disclaiming any involvement with Maras-Lindeman or A Magic City Christmas. Even after the supposed benefit concert was then canceled, Maras-Lindeman continued to sell items, now claiming the proceeds were intended for homeless shelters.
The Attorney General's investigation, which is ongoing, has been hampered by Maras-Lindeman's refusal to provide requested documentation, information about her supposed charitable efforts, or even to be consistent in her responses. However, Maras-Lindeman has admitted to investigators that the money she raised from the solicitations went directly into the bank account for her business, ML Labs. Maras-Lindeman claimed that ML Labs (also known as ML Laboratory) was registered as a business entity in North Dakota, but only after the investigation was initiated did Maras-Lindeman register the trade name ''ML Labs-Events'' with the Secretary of State.
Stenehjem noted it has been very difficult to determine the truth among Maras-Lindeman's various claims. However, he confirmed that the investigation already has determined that Maras-Lindeman has engaged in prohibited or questionable expenditures of donated funds received for the ''A Magic City Christmas'' event. Bank records confirm that donations were deposited in an October 2017 account and some donations later were used for purchases of fast food and QVC purchases. There also is evidence to suggest that when her personal bank account funds were depleted, Maras-Lindeman made personal expenditures from the donated funds accounts.
''My office offered Ms. Maras-Lindeman a very reasonable settlement for her violations of the charitable solicitation laws and misrepresentations to the public in connection with her solicitations and, unfortunately, she declined the settlement,'' said Stenehjem. ''Although she has every right to choose to contest the allegations, she must cooperate with our lawful investigation. Instead, she has chosen to make false claims about the purpose or nature of the investigation.''
The Attorney General is also concerned that Ms. Maras-Lindeman has been involved in many lawsuits in North Dakota and other states with different name variations.
''We are required to enforce the charitable solicitation laws for the protection of the public. Efforts by Ms. Maras-Lindeman to characterize the investigation as other than that, including her spurious effort at a frivolous 'criminal complaint' do not help. We are therefore determined to see that this matter concludes in a court of law,'' said Stenehjem.
# # #
Millie Weaver 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Alex Jones terminated our work relationship this morning. #ShadowGate" / Twitter
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 18:03
Millie Weaver 🇺🇸 : Alex Jones terminated our work relationship this morning.#ShadowGate
Wed Aug 19 17:41:18 +0000 2020
Frank Cyphers 🇺🇸 : @Millie__Weaver What reason was given?
Wed Aug 19 18:02:52 +0000 2020
American Lady🐞🌟🌟🌟 : @Millie__Weaver That's why your documentary has 2.3M views on InfoWars https://t.co/CJBzz43QER Alex Jones was caugh'... https://t.co/iXUkmVqcjp
Wed Aug 19 18:02:45 +0000 2020
Ken : @Millie__Weaver What you are joking is it because he is jealous of your work it's not because you were arrested he'... https://t.co/A6xaW9CZwK
Wed Aug 19 18:02:43 +0000 2020
LawOfOne777 🧠ðŸðŸ>>👁 : @Millie__Weaver Credibility just went ðŸ''¬† tbh.
Wed Aug 19 18:02:42 +0000 2020
Matt Beauchene : @Millie__Weaver Wow..
Wed Aug 19 18:02:37 +0000 2020
Steve Tabor : @Millie__Weaver Good! Now get back to shopping! It's sounding as though #AlexJones is the wise man I believed him t'... https://t.co/Cts6XR4k0i
Wed Aug 19 18:02:36 +0000 2020
Peaceful Buddha : @Millie__Weaver So sorry.
Wed Aug 19 18:02:33 +0000 2020
Ken (Papa) 🇺🇸 : @Millie__Weaver You're Better off. I can't watch or listen to him.
Wed Aug 19 18:02:25 +0000 2020
"Q"Kennedy : @Millie__Weaver Sorry Still will follow. God bless you, Millie.
Wed Aug 19 18:02:23 +0000 2020
FallenFighter86 : @Millie__Weaver Hold on can someone fill me in on the situation? I haven't been keeping up.
Wed Aug 19 18:02:21 +0000 2020
SouthSac homie : @Millie__Weaver Doesn't want to deal with all the baggage.
Wed Aug 19 18:02:20 +0000 2020
Theo West : @Millie__Weaver I was never a fan of Alex Jones, and didn't know you worked for him when I watched your documentary'... https://t.co/NjrjQWCW7E
Wed Aug 19 18:02:16 +0000 2020
TheAngryPatriots : @Millie__Weaver @Redtrumptrain21 Alex Jones is controlled opposition.
Wed Aug 19 18:02:13 +0000 2020
Nay : @Millie__Weaver He seemed very afraid of what transpired with you over the weekend.
Wed Aug 19 18:02:06 +0000 2020
Frank Cyphers 🇺🇸 : @Millie__Weaver Wow wth
Wed Aug 19 18:02:02 +0000 2020
🇺🇸🇺🇸Joseph Davidson🇺🇸🇺🇸 : @Millie__Weaver Why?? Why were you arrested what's going on!?!
Wed Aug 19 18:01:34 +0000 2020
Old South [''Œ] : @Millie__Weaver @Virginia4USA Awesome video !!! @oan should hire @Millie__Weaver @oan @realDonaldTrump @WhiteHouse @Mike_Pence
Wed Aug 19 18:01:29 +0000 2020
J : @Millie__Weaver Lol. That takes some doing!
Wed Aug 19 18:01:25 +0000 2020
Alina Sue DePriest : @Millie__Weaver ðŸðŸ¼
Wed Aug 19 18:01:23 +0000 2020
Daniel : @Millie__Weaver Who's Alex Jones https://t.co/RJIET8gSJd
Wed Aug 19 18:01:22 +0000 2020
United Collective 🇨ðŸ‡... ''¨ : @Millie__Weaver Congrats they're doomer's and propagandists
Wed Aug 19 18:01:20 +0000 2020
IMPENITENT2A : @Millie__Weaver It says more about him as in "lack of being a man" than it does you. Stay strong, and let the spine'... https://t.co/OTP9HW2aFm
Wed Aug 19 18:01:19 +0000 2020
jennyjenny5309''Œ¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ : @Millie__Weaver @TweetWordz Good. I'm glad you will no longer be associated with him. His vitriol keeps many people'... https://t.co/RSGixKJw0L
Wed Aug 19 18:01:15 +0000 2020
damon : @Millie__Weaver Why
Wed Aug 19 18:01:06 +0000 2020
Jack Again2 : @Millie__Weaver Good......you'll have a lot more credibility now not being associated with Jones.
Wed Aug 19 18:01:04 +0000 2020
Wisconsin for Liberty : @Millie__Weaver Yet he still left your documentary up.That says a lot.
Wed Aug 19 18:01:04 +0000 2020
Purrocious : @Millie__Weaver He was acting really strange about this whole thing the past few days. I don't know if the paranoia'... https://t.co/WqWgjTSFo3
Wed Aug 19 18:00:48 +0000 2020
Don Cline : @Millie__Weaver Why ?
Wed Aug 19 18:00:41 +0000 2020
Quellcrist Falconer : @Millie__Weaver You've outgrown it anyway
Wed Aug 19 18:00:41 +0000 2020
J. Edwards : @Millie__Weaver When one door closes, another one opens.Sorry to see what's happening, you're a smart gal & very t'... https://t.co/oKTFRBarsu
Wed Aug 19 18:00:30 +0000 2020
Faithfulmom : @Millie__Weaver Congrats 🎊 the affiliation was a hold back anyway ! Good luck with all your future journalism 👍
Wed Aug 19 18:00:26 +0000 2020
Chrissi "Shadowbanned & Reply Deboosted"🤠🇺🇸 : @Millie__Weaver @e_veritas_unum And you're not allowed to talk about your film by order of the Court for charges re'... https://t.co/bisP14Sf5n
Wed Aug 19 18:00:23 +0000 2020
MarcoMB058 : @Millie__Weaver Who to be believed. I don't know. Let's wait.
Wed Aug 19 18:00:22 +0000 2020
pangell : @Millie__Weaver Wow
Wed Aug 19 18:00:17 +0000 2020
Cap'n blAye's salty parrot : @Millie__Weaver Your single piece of work on the documentary far outweighs his collective unfinished or incomplete'... https://t.co/uzWZ0F7pGs
Wed Aug 19 18:00:11 +0000 2020
Jon Valentine : @Millie__Weaver @Nvania He has been a puppet for many years. It does you know harm at all.
Wed Aug 19 18:00:07 +0000 2020
A thread written by @T_Giarratano: "Hey @Tore_says, I have a question. Is this your profile on "Together We Served" that's been up since [...]"
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 18:03
Hey @Tore_says, I have a question. Is this your profile on "Together We Served" that's been up since January 2010? https:// navy.togetherweserved.com/usn/servlet/tw s.webapp.WebApp?cmd=SBVTimeLine&type=Person&ID=506419 '...
Because I'm really interested in how you got a Purple Heart and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for 8 months of active duty Navy time.
That's the same amount of military time the State of North Dakota has as well https://www. ndcourts.gov/supreme-court/ dockets/20190156 '...
I certainly hope you can clear this up. I mean really, who gets a Purple Heart and a Defense Distinguished Service Medal for only 8 months of active duty Navy time?
One final note, please don't send your minor child to respond.I'm very well aware of what's going on in the criminal courts. The guardian ad litem handling the case may not be too fond of that.
I'll give it one more hour, then I'm dropping the rest on this thread '°
But first, here's a sample of the lies she's told - she apparently did a radio show here and in her "bio," it states she went to Harvard. Only problem with that, is that Harvard never heard of her https://www. hagmannreport.com/prescription-f or-america-dr-tore-lindeman-pastor-david-lankford/ '...
Also notice the O-4 Naval officer as well.
https:// attorneygeneral.nd.gov/news/attorney- general-details-investigation-unlicensed-business-alleged-fraud-tore-maras-lindeman '...
Here she claims she was in for 10 years https:// webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache :1T81ZGKAlvcJ:https://issuu.com/agiasophia/docs/asa_newsletter_august_2012_web+&cd=16&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-b-1-d '...
Mercy, that's impressive for 8 months total active duty time. https:// archive.is/esNBm
Now this I find really strange. Why would someone in the Navy call themselves a "soldier?" https:// archive.is/NVhYW
Recognize the picture here? It's the same one on "Together We Served" https:// uky.academia.edu/ToreMarasLinde man '...
This involves the "charity" she was involved with in North Dakota and was taken to court over by the ND State AG https://www. theminutemanblog.com/2018/08/17/att orney-general-seeks-to-censor-defendants-use-of-internet/ '...
https://www. minotdailynews.com/news/local-new s/2018/08/woman-claims-retaliation-in-a-g-s-complaint/ '...
I have more archived, but because portions of my investigation could be of detriment to a minor child, I am choosing not to use it.
Plot twist
Don't threaten me female.It will not bode well for you
Interesting that child sexual assault was going on and someone didn't even know it - why is that?
I have the convo where the victim addresses this sexual abuse on the perpetrator's account..Maybe I need to send what I have up to the Guardian ad litem
Spare me. This has nothing to do with the fact you're stolen valor & quite possible using your own child on social media to go after you enemies.I have the docket number on your husband as well as the screen caps from your "daughter" confronting haters on your hubby's timeline
Keep sending me this bullshit, female
You REALLY don't want me to unleash the rest of my evidence.Your safe bet is to admit you lied about your service
https://www. minotdailynews.com/news/local-new s/2019/12/barry-lindeman-minot-charged-with-sexual-abuse-of-child/ '...
https://www. kfyrtv.com/content/news/C harges-filed-in-child-sexual-assault-investigation-in-Ward-County-566008011.html '...
This is her husband
I got this court record from here: https:// publicsearch.ndcourts.gov/default.aspx Ward County, Criminal\traffic records search
Now here's where I got an issue with her claims that this is a plot to ruin her reputation. The date stamp here is "JANUARY 2010" https:// archive.is/phB0J Female, no one heard of you back in 2010 and I'm surprised you weren't called out earlier for stolen valor.
Here's a fun fact. If you click "timeline" under the profile pic on this site https:// navy.togetherweserved.com/usn/servlet/tw s.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=506419 '...
It takes you directly here: https:// navy.togetherweserved.com/usn/servlet/tw s.webapp.WebApp?cmd=SBVTimeLine&type=Person&ID=506419 '...
Once you're on this page, you can open up every single award she claims to have gotten and see for yourself that the account was maintained as of January 2010 and updated on 22 FEB 2012. Yeah, I archived every single page. Don't even try it, female
So, with that said, here are the archived links of EVERYTHING on this account. https:// archive.is/GNqxs
https:// archive.is/m8K29
"22 FEB 2012" https:// archive.is/V8CDv
"22 FEB 2012" https:// archive.is/sBBMD
https:// archive.is/a0Qot
"22 FEB 2012" https:// archive.is/lrsvp
https:// archive.is/R4GVg
https:// archive.is/yoBvI
https:// archive.is/3GrQw
"22 FEB 2012" https:// archive.is/VMmCX
"06 JAN 2010" https:// archive.is/phB0J Now this is odd. Why not just list ALL of your medals on the same date, "06 JAN 2010?" Oh ... never mind, stealing valor tends to make one forgetful of what awards and decorations she got.
"22 FEB 2012" https:// archive.is/YJ6oj
"22 FEB 2012" https:// archive.is/dlmx1
"22 FEB 2012" https:// archive.is/OrX40
"22 FEB 2012" https:// archive.is/Rhd2J
https:// archive.is/hEuoq
https:// archive.is/vc5xr
https:// archive.is/GnDAI
https:// archive.is/DZAuY
https:// archive.is/m8K29
Lol so now it's Columbia University and NOT Harvard 🤣 https:// archive.is/ghkQh
I have a theory and I'm betting I'm right: I think this 8 month AD time female put CAR on her "together we served" time line and when she saw that wasn't getting her noticed for 2 years, she went full-blown off the rails with stealing valor.
A Purple Heart and a Defense Distinguished Service Medal? Really??You could have made this easy and just apologized for lying about your service, but you do you. Because I know what I'm going to do.
unroll please
https:// threadreaderapp.com/thread/1225155 406218948609.html '...
Oh boy ...
https://twitter.com/navychick1993/status/1225434982216155137 By the way, you know who gets the Defense Distinguished Service Medal? Pretty much 1 stars and above/senior NCOs (Sergeants Major) https:// valor.militarytimes.com/award/10 - this is an unofficial database, but you can clearly see that these are no "10 years in the Navy" people listed here
You can follow @T_Giarratano.
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Second candidate running in Minot mayoral race
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 19:37
A second person has formally announced their intentions to run for mayor of Minot.
Tore Maras-Lindeman says she has collected the paperwork necessary to begin collecting signatures to run for mayor.
She has adopted the campaign slogan ''Make Minot Great Again,'' mirroring the famous slogan from President Donald Trump.
Maras-Lindeman said she joined the race to be an ''active participant'' and wants to tackle what she sees as corruption in local government.
Maras-Lindeman will still need to acquire the 300 signatures necessary to make it on the ballot.
Last November, current Minot Alderman Shaun Sipma announced he would be running for mayor, shortly after current Mayor Chuck Barney announced he would not seek re-election.
The primary for the Minot mayoral race is Tues., June 12, with the general election on Tues., Nov. 6.
Let us out!
Home Workers from IT Professional
Homeworkers are very aware that companies are tracking them. Especially call centers etc tech workers
40% reduction is real estate 25% larger offices. No more 2x2 call centers
Human aspect -> used to hide out of office (birds chipring) Now pooping kid is accepted
Politics is too hard to get into for most kids obsessed with Hollywood and applying filters. Ya gotta be ugly for that. The opposite is easier and they idenitfy with celebrities and emulate them to help make 'change' happen
Texas Coronavirus Positivity Rate Plummets After Record High Set From System Error | The Texan
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:02
State officials say that the record high positivity rate that just plummeted occurred after a system error undercounted COVID-19 tests.
Last week, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reported a record high coronavirus positivity rate while the number of hospitalizations continued to descend.
Now, DSHS says that the high positive rate was caused in part because of a computer error in the state's reporting system.
While the state usually updates its COVID-19 statistics every day in the late afternoon or evening, DSHS did not report any new numbers on August 2 because of an upgrade to its reporting system.
The change reportedly increased the capacity of tests that the state could process in order to reduce the backlog experienced with the high number of tests processed in July.
After the change, the average number of tests processed per day plummeted from 61,000 on August 1 to a low 35,000 ten days later.
Though the number of reported tests had decreased, the number of positive cases remained fairly steady, causing the positivity rate to spike to an all-time high of 24.5 percent.
DSHS reportedly said that when the system was upgraded in early August, the digital files sent to DSHS from a private lab contained information that the system did not read.
On August 12, after the error was identified, the state added over 120,000 new tests, of which only 4.5 percent were positive.
The high number of negative tests caused the skyrocketing positivity rate to plummet, dropping from near 25 percent to 16 percent.
Since then, the rate has leveled out even further to 11.3 percent, just slightly below its level in late July before the system update.
Prior to the spike, the positive rate had gone up with the surge of cases in June and July, but began declining from mid- to late-July.
At press conferences last week prior to the discovery of the error, Governor Greg Abbott said that a contributing factor to the high positive rate could be the decreased surge testing of coronavirus ''hot-spots'' and nursing homes.
Abbott said that in the coming weeks, ''you should anticipate seeing another increase in the number of people being tested.''
The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations, the hospitalization rate, and the number of active cases are continuing in a downward trend.
Data from DSHS last week showed that the number of COVID-19-related deaths had reached a high on July 14 before slowly declining, but updated data has moved the peak to July 22, which now shows a few higher number of deaths.
The weekly average of newly reported deaths has held about constant for the past ten days.
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you'd like to become one of the people we're financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.
Daniel FriendDaniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis's science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.
Teachers may not have the skills to creatively come up with a “plan” to open because they are just rule followers
Teachers sleeping with Students slang
Just heard you guys talk about teachers sleeping with students (EP 1268) and it reminded me of a fun story from college. My engineering professor who was also the head of the manufacturing engineering department was in a meeting with all of the other heads of departments at the college. The question was asked whether it was ethical to sleep with a student and he emphatically said "no, of course not". This turned out to be the incorrect answer. The correct answer is you can, but someone else needs to grade their work.
The fun inside joke in the class whenever the professor was nice to someone was "looks like someone else is grading their papers".
This wasn't more than 2 years ago.
Keep up the good work
Mi local 1
This COVID-19 health passport BLOCKCHAIN app could help revive travel and events | World Economic Forum
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 00:01
Rising COVID-19 infection rates pose a threat to global tourism. A new app acts as a health passport for travellers who are virus-free. Using blockchain technology, it provides an encrypted record of test results. Its creators say it could allow healthy travellers to avoid quarantine. The app could also allow sports and entertainment venues to reopen safely, as well as the global conference and exhibition industry. Thousands of summer holidays are now up in the air, following a series of COVID-19 flare-ups around the world, with trips cancelled and travellers forced to quarantine when they return home.
In mid-July, the number of confirmed cases globally jumped by a million in just four days. The UK imposed a 14-day isolation on holidaymakers returning from Spain after infection rates spiked there, prompting the UK's biggest tour operator to cancel all holidays to that country.
After recording its first cases since April, Viet Nam closed the tourist hotspot of Da Nang to tourists and evacuated 80,000 tourists from the city.
Now, a new health passport app promises to restore confidence to the travel industry, which has been badly hit by the pandemic. Global tourism shrank by 97% in April, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
A possible solution
CovidPass is the brainchild of one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders, Mustapha Mokass. It also involves other YGLs across 5 continents, including Muna AbuSulayman and Peggy Liu. CovidPass uses blockchain technology to store encrypted data from individual blood tests, allowing users to prove that they have tested negative for COVID-19.
Unlike contact tracing apps, CovidPass will not track users' movements. Non-mandatory contact tracing apps have met with only limited success so far due to privacy concerns.
Germany, regarded as one of the most successful nations in rolling out a voluntary app, currently has only 16 million users out of 83 million citizens. Experts say at least half the population needs to use a contact tracing app to make it effective in fighting the virus.
Meanwhile, governments are faced with a variety of different testing regimes to validate the health of travellers. ''This isn't enough to reassure tourists or health authorities", says Mokass.
Mokass hopes his app, which is launching in September, will become a standardized solution for airlines, airports and border agencies, and eliminate quarantine for healthy travellers. CovidPass could also allow hotels, cinemas, theatres, sporting and concert venues to reopen safely.
Another possible use would be to help restart the worldwide conference and exhibition industry, which has contracted by 60%, at a cost of $180 billion in lost revenues and impacting 1.9 million jobs, according to the industry's global association, UFI.
CovidPass commits to mandatory carbon offsetting for each flight passenger, to preserve the environmental benefits of reduced air travel during the crisis.
The first global pandemic in more than 100 years, COVID-19 has spread throughout the world at an unprecedented speed. At the time of writing, 4.5 million cases have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people have died due to the virus.
As countries seek to recover, some of the more long-term economic, business, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are just beginning to become visible.
To help all stakeholders '' communities, governments, businesses and individuals understand the emerging risks and follow-on effects generated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Marsh and McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, has launched its COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications - a companion for decision-makers, building on the Forum's annual Global Risks Report.
The report reveals that the economic impact of COVID-19 is dominating companies' risks perceptions.
Companies are invited to join the Forum's work to help manage the identified emerging risks of COVID-19 across industries to shape a better future. Read the full COVID-19 Risks Outlook: A Preliminary Mapping and its Implications report here, and our impact story with further information.
License and Republishing
World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
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Railroaded! on Twitter: "People in Germany are rioting against the contrived pandemic after 500 doctors unite to expose it. Here is their group. https://t.co/UjTEQyzwrs" / Twitter
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 14:56
Railroaded! : People in Germany are rioting against the contrived pandemic after 500 doctors unite to expose it. Here is their gr'... https://t.co/6mXw99wF2Y
Wed Aug 19 14:04:32 +0000 2020
Notre Dam Shutdown
Hey Adam,
Thought I would give a boots on the ground report to ND changing to online classes only one week into the semester.
First, as of today, we have 147 positive cases out of 927 tests given. They are all quarantining in a hotel on campus. Most of these positives came from two off-campus parties/gatherings. There are ZERO hospitalizations.
The Wall Street Journal posted an article before the students even heard of the information. New restrictions include: online classes, off-campus students are asked not to come to campus, on-campus students are asked to not leave, we can't enter other dormitories, and some other ridiculous restrictions.
Not one known case has spread in the classroom. It looks as if we will just be sent home in a week. What a money grab. It seems like we've fallen for this hype. Very sad to see.
Models and Data
SCAMDEMIC: Texas Officials Announce COVID-19 Case Numbers Were Fake Due to System Upgrades, Coding Errors - Big League Politics
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 16:48
A district judge has reversed the ruling regarding 8-year-old James Younger, whose mother was forcing him to transition away from his birth gender against the wishes of his father.
Dallas District Court Judge Mary Brown has ruled in favor of James' mother, Dr. Anne Georgulas, and is granting her full custody. She is also forcing his father, Jeffrey Younger, to pay for gender treatments for his son's transition to the tune of $5,000 per month.
''She has forced James to live as ''Luna'' in a school surrounded by teachers and therapists who do not acknowledge that he has said multiple times to multiple people (without Jeff around) that he wants to be a boy and hates being forced to be a girl,'' the ''Save James'' Facebook page announced on Wednesday.
''She has forced Jude into a stressful existence of constant lies and misery as he watches his brother get destroyed before him without any hope for an end to this madness. Anne won this battle without even a hearing,'' the page continued.
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They are calling for people to spring into action and restart the fervor that caused a social media explosion behind the ''Save James'' movement months ago.
''The time for passive actions must end TODAY! We call upon all SaveJames supporters to join us to get the attention of our conservative leaders on every social media platform possible. Our voice must be heard for the sake of these brothers. The world must know that we are still fighting tooth and nail to protect them,'' the ''Save James'' page wrote.
Big League Politics has reported about the case that garnered the attention of Texas political figures like Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz:
Jeffrey Younger spoke to LifeSiteNews shortly before a gag order went into effect banning him from talking in public about his 7-year-old son, James, who is being transitioned into a girl by his non-biological mother.
In the interview, Mr. Younger revealed that his ex-wife, pediatrician Dr. Ann Georgulas, discussed castrating James in an email exchange. Despite the fact that the evidence was revealed in the court of law, the jury still decided to grant custody to Georgulas despite her Mengelean intentions.
''We put up an email from Ms. Georgulas to me in which she contemplates cutting the penis off my son,'' Mr. Younger said, according to PJMedia. ''Twenty minutes later, they go into deliberations, and they come back voting against me. I mean, the Texas that I grew up in, the Texas that I live in, if a parent did that, we're just going to give them to the other parent: we're not going to tolerate that kind of craziness.''
He hopes that his case will be a ''wake-up call'' to Christians across the country about the need to stand and fight against an LGBT agenda that is clearly after the souls of the children.
''It tells you, I think, how far our society has changed and how much less Christian we are and the way we think about things now,'' Mr. Younger said. ''I hope it's a wake-up call to the churches to awaken from their dogmatic slumber and step back onto the streets of the agora like Paul did in Athens and start taking on these issues head-on.''
He added that there were dueling narratives that played out during the court hearing, but still is baffled as to how a jury could give custody of a child to a parent who wants to mutilate them for life.
''I'm not trying to cross-dress my son and mislead him into thinking that he's a girl. And I'm not pushing my son toward medical transition. And I haven't done all that without the consent of the other parent. So I think that if we're looking at two parents who are imperfect, I think I'm a lot less imperfect than Ms. Georgulas,'' Mr. Younger said.
The jury was eventually overruled by Judge Kim Cooks, who granted the parents joint custody after widespread national outrage and special attention from Gov. Greg Abbott.
The ''Save James'' coalition hopes to get public opinion on their side before the next hearing, which is expected to take place in September.
Texas Coronavirus Positivity Rate Plummets After Record High Set From System Error | The Texan
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:02
State officials say that the record high positivity rate that just plummeted occurred after a system error undercounted COVID-19 tests.
Last week, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reported a record high coronavirus positivity rate while the number of hospitalizations continued to descend.
Now, DSHS says that the high positive rate was caused in part because of a computer error in the state's reporting system.
While the state usually updates its COVID-19 statistics every day in the late afternoon or evening, DSHS did not report any new numbers on August 2 because of an upgrade to its reporting system.
The change reportedly increased the capacity of tests that the state could process in order to reduce the backlog experienced with the high number of tests processed in July.
After the change, the average number of tests processed per day plummeted from 61,000 on August 1 to a low 35,000 ten days later.
Though the number of reported tests had decreased, the number of positive cases remained fairly steady, causing the positivity rate to spike to an all-time high of 24.5 percent.
DSHS reportedly said that when the system was upgraded in early August, the digital files sent to DSHS from a private lab contained information that the system did not read.
On August 12, after the error was identified, the state added over 120,000 new tests, of which only 4.5 percent were positive.
The high number of negative tests caused the skyrocketing positivity rate to plummet, dropping from near 25 percent to 16 percent.
Since then, the rate has leveled out even further to 11.3 percent, just slightly below its level in late July before the system update.
Prior to the spike, the positive rate had gone up with the surge of cases in June and July, but began declining from mid- to late-July.
At press conferences last week prior to the discovery of the error, Governor Greg Abbott said that a contributing factor to the high positive rate could be the decreased surge testing of coronavirus ''hot-spots'' and nursing homes.
Abbott said that in the coming weeks, ''you should anticipate seeing another increase in the number of people being tested.''
The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations, the hospitalization rate, and the number of active cases are continuing in a downward trend.
Data from DSHS last week showed that the number of COVID-19-related deaths had reached a high on July 14 before slowly declining, but updated data has moved the peak to July 22, which now shows a few higher number of deaths.
The weekly average of newly reported deaths has held about constant for the past ten days.
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you'd like to become one of the people we're financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.
Daniel FriendDaniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis's science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.
Per CDC Data the COVID-19 Death Rate Peaked in the US in April - There are More Pneumonia Deaths Than COVID-19 Deaths in 2020
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:48
We all agree that the data is a mess but based on what the CDC is reporting, COVID-19 peaked in April this year and has been going down ever since.The CDC reported data as of the middle of August related to COVID-19 and pneumonia deaths year to date. The most recent data shows as follows:
(Chart from Joe Hoft using CDC data from link above.)
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What we clearly see from the current data is that both COVID and pneumonia peaked in April. The increase of reported deaths in July was minor and certainly not a material event. Also, what is apparent from the data is that there are more pneumonia deaths to date this year (159,990) than COVID deaths (153,727). This is apparent in the chart as COVID deaths were not reported until March while pneumonia deaths started earlier in the year.
The Democrats and the MSM want you to believe that COVID-19 is on fire right now and it clearly is not.
President Trump held a press conference Saturday night and he shared the following:
Eighty-five percent of reporting jurisdictions report a steep decline in Wuhan virus cases, despite almost 70 million tests. This number of tests is greater than those administered in all of Europe combined.Nationwide, cases declined by 6%.Test positivity is 6.5%, which is a 71% reduction from April and a 15% reduction from mid-July.Hospitalizations have been halved since April.Nursing home and long-term care facilities have 1% of the U.S. population but account for almost 50% of fatalities.Retail spending is at an all-time high, with auto production alone surging 28%.The stock market is peaking again, and the NASDAQ is at an all-time high.China is struggling and has been buying massive amounts of corn, soybeans, and cattle from America.The administration continues to cut regulations.Small business optimism is higher than at any month in the Obama administration.Industrial production is increasing at the fastest rate ever recorded.You really can't believe almost anything reported in the MSM these days. They want Americans to believe that COVID-19 is getting worse all the time.It is not.The only economies which are not growing now in the greatest recovery ever are those in inner Democrat led cities and states. The rest of the US is in an economic rebound never seen before in history.
Flu in the Southern Hemisphere has 'practically disappeared.' '' Investment Watch
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:21
But in the Southern Hemisphere'--where winter began to descend nearly two months ago'--the annual influx of flu and respiratory virus patients ''never came,'' the Wall Street Journal's David Luhnow and Alice Uribe report.
According to Luhnow and Uribe, Chile has recorded 1,134 seasonal respiratory infections so far this year, compared with 20,949 such infections during over the same time period last year. And in the first two weeks of July, which typically is the height of flu season in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile reported no new cases of the flu.
Claudia Cort(C)s, a doctor in Chile, said although physicians ''keep checking for the other viruses '... all we're seeing is [Covid-19].'' She added, ''We were surprised by the decline in the other viruses like influenza. We never dreamed it would practically disappear.''
For the first time in 36 years there will be no flu season in South Africa
Denver doctors may have found the answer to a pandemic mystery: What happened to all the heart attacks? '' The Colorado Sun
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:28
When the new coronavirus first swept through Colorado earlier this year, baffling doctors with its myriad of symptoms and methods of spread, Dr. Brian Stauffer, the head of cardiology at Denver Health, soon began to notice a different kind of pandemic mystery.
People, it seemed, had stopped having heart attacks.
COVID-19 IN COLORADOThe latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:
MAP: Known cases in Colorado.TESTING: Here's where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.STORY: Colorado touts its new private coronavirus testing contracts as a way to speed up results. Already there are problems.>> FULL COVERAGE
At Denver Health and other large hospitals across the metro area, the number of people showing up with cardiac emergencies dropped significantly as the state imposed increasingly strict measures encouraging people to stay at home to slow the virus' spread. And this was not unique to Colorado '-- hospitals across the country and in Europe documented the same phenomenon. Had stay-at-home orders somehow also slowed heart attacks or were people in need of medical help simply not seeking it for fear of COVID-19?
A new study from Stauffer and several Denver Health colleagues offers the first clue to the answer in Colorado. Looking at data on ambulance calls in Denver, they found that, while overall calls for service went down during the stay-at-home period, the number of people dying from cardiac arrests at home shot up.
Stauffer's team found that cardiac arrests at home in Denver more than doubled in the two weeks after the statewide stay-at-home order was issued compared with historical averages. Even compared with more recent data, the weekly average of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests jumped to 46 during those two weeks, versus 26 or 27 in the three months prior.
Stauffer and his colleagues found that the number of people in Denver who died of cardiac arrests at home in the two weeks following the statewide stay-at-home order was greater than the total number of people who died of COVID-19 in the city during that time.
''It was pretty profound the difference that we saw in 2020 in the setting of COVID compared to the prior years,'' Stauffer said.
The findings add significant insight to the question of ''excess deaths'' during the pandemic.
Colorado, like many other states, has seen a rise in deaths during the time of COVID-19 that is above and beyond what can be explained just by documented deaths due to the virus or by population growth. April, for instance, was likely the deadliest month in Colorado history. While coronavirus has killed more than 1,700 people in Colorado this year, deaths due to cancer, heart disease and drug overdose are also on the rise.
Leading causes of death in Colorado in 2020*:1. Cancer, 4,318 deaths
2. Heart disease, 4,095 deaths3. COVID-19, 1,377 deaths4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases, 1,363 deaths5. Cerebrovascular diseases, 1,136 deaths6. Alzheimer's disease, 1,128 deaths7. Unintentional injuries excluding drug overdoses, 1,124 deaths8. Suicide, 580 deaths9. Diabetes, 563 deaths10. Chronic liver diseases, 527 deaths* Numbers are as of July 27 and are preliminary, meaning they could increase as more data becomes available.
Source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Stauffer said it is possible that some of the cardiac arrests during the stay-at-home period were the direct result of coronavirus infection. Few of the deaths resulted in autopsies, he said, and testing for the virus at the time was still quite limited '-- so it's possible some were undiagnosed COVID-19 cases.
But he doesn't think that's the predominant explanation. Instead, he said it's more likely that people who were having heart attacks tried to brush them off to avoid going to the hospital. Without treatment, that would lead to damage in their hearts that would cause a cardiac arrest.
''People tend to downplay things under normal circumstances and then, when they're afraid to go to the hospital, they tend to downplay them even more,'' Stauffer said.
This explanation for the data is still a hypothesis, though. Stauffer said work is ongoing to dig deeper into the individual case histories of those who died to learn more about what happened.
But Stauffer and his colleagues argue in their study that their findings need to be considered when thinking about future coronavirus restrictions and ''the unintended consequence of the pandemic response in the context of chronic and emergent cardiovascular disease.''
Meanwhile, Stauffer said the volume of cardiac patients at Denver Health is just about back to normal. But he's noticed another trend: Those who are coming into the hospital now are sicker than patients pre-pandemic.
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The latest from The Sun
Masks and Muzzles
Coronavirus news: Yale saliva test, wear masks indoors and outdoors
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:21
Two top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were moving on and angry Democrats were calling out the U.S. Postal Service leadership Sunday as the U.S. COVID-19 death toll that inched toward 170,000.
Kyle McGowan, the chief of staff, and Amanda Campbell, the deputy chief of staff, had worked side-by-side with CDC Director Robert Redfield, including the last eight tumultuous months as the virus overwhelmed the nation.
"Amanda and I spent more than two years serving at the CDC and chose to leave to start our own business," McGowan said in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.
A sliver of help may be on the way for the relentless coronavirus testing issues hampering efforts to slow the U.S. outbreak. This weekend the Food and Drug Administration approved a saliva-based test that Yale University researchers hope will clean up some of those testing issues.
''This is a huge step forward to make testing more accessible,'' said Chantal Vogels, a Yale postdoctoral fellow, who led the laboratory development and validation along with Doug Brackney, an adjunct assistant clinical professor.
Here are some significant developments:
ðŸ' Today's numbers: The U.S. has 5.3 million confirmed infections and more than 169,000 deaths. Worldwide, there have been more than 768,000 deaths and more than 21 million cases, according to John Hopkins University data.
ðŸ'° What we're reading: Across the U.S., faith leaders are debating how they can continue to pray in fellowship with others while keeping staff and members safe in the age of coronavirus. Some churches have moved completely online, others have embraced drive-in service, and some are adamant about holding in-person gatherings.
UNC Chapel Hill announces four 'clusters' of coronavirus cases
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Sunday announced its fourth coronavirus "cluster" less than a week after the first day of fall classes for students.
The state's Department of Defines a "cluster" as "five or more cases that are deemed close proximity in location. 'Location' is defined as a single residential hall or dwelling," the university wrote in a Facebook post. UNC has reported clusters in Hinton James residence hall, Ehringhaus Community -- another residence hall. The university has also reported clusters in Granville Towers, privately owned apartments partnered with the university's housing arm, and Sigma Nu fraternity.
"The individuals in this cluster have been identified and are isolating and receiving medical monitoring," UNC wrote Sunday. "We have also notified the Orange County Health Department and are working with them to identify additional potential exposures."
Texas, Utah kicking off high school football; some states kick sport to curb
High school football season is fast approaching and so are final decisions from state athletic officials who will determine the fate of the game. California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Maryland and Illinois are among big states that have already pulled the plug. Texas, which has by far the most high school football players in the nation with about 170,000, plans on playing despite a state COVID-19 death toll approaching 10,000. Some schools in Utah played their first games over the weekend. But Davis High coach Mitch Arquette told his kids to savor their victory, because they don' know when an outbreak might shut them down.
"The mantra of 2020: Win the day,'' Arquette told the Deseret News. ''You don't know when you're going to get another. We really don't. We could have our game canceled next week.''
Homeless population thus far has avoided worst of pandemicA few of the nation's homeless shelters have seen large COVID-19 outbreaks, but the virus has not brought devastation to the homeless population as many feared. Researchers and advocates say much is unknown about how the pandemic is affecting the estimated half-million people without housing in the U.S. '' and why there appear to be so few outbreaks among them.
''I am shocked, I guess I can say, because it's a very vulnerable population,'' said Dr. Deborah Borne, who oversees health policy for COVID-19 homeless response at San Francisco's public health department. ''I don't know what we're going to see in an aftermath. That's why it's called a novel virus, because we don't know.''
Dems want Postal Service leaders to testify ahead of ballot crunchCongressional Democratic leaders on Sunday called on the postmaster general and the head of the Postal Service Board of Governors to testify in a hearing about "dangerous operational changes." Democrats say the changes threaten the integrity of the November election, which is expected to see a record-high volume of mailed-in ballots because of the pandemic. USPS officials have warned that some ballots may not be delivered on time due to election rules in some states.
In a joint statement, Democrats called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors Robert Duncan to "testify before Congress about recent, sweeping and dangerous operational changes at the Postal Service that are slowing the mail and jeopardizing the integrity of the election."
'' William Cummings
Two top staffers exit CDCTwo top staffers at the embattled Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have resigned to start a consulting firm. Kyle McGowan, the chief of staff, and Amanda Campbell, the deputy chief of staff, resigned effective Friday and are now featured on a website for Ascendant Strategic Partners. McGowan oversaw the day-to-day operations and served as the senior advisor to CDC Director Robert Redfield. The CDC has sometimes been at odds with the Trump administration, and recently was removed from its position as overseer of the nation's COVID-19 data. McGowan, in a statement to USA TODAY, said the duo was not forced out.
"The CDC is filled with dedicated public health professionals," McGowan said. "Amanda and I are honored to have had the opportunity to serve alongside each and every one of them."
Head scratcher? Colorado home sales sets record in COVID-19 recessionSingle-family home sales in Colorado last month shattered state records and drove median home prices to record highs despite the sharp economic downturn brought on by COVID-19 related shutdowns, according to data from the Colorado Association of Realtors. Sales rose 15% from June and 21% from the previous July '' before COVID-19 when the economy was rolling. Statewide the median home price rose a startling 4.5% in one month, to $443,925.
"There is a total disconnect with half the economy being crushed and yet, housing has mostly shrugged it all off, said Realtor Patrick Muldoon. "Small business is getting blown out, people are not working, and yet housing continues to be unaffordable."
Rocky start for in-class learning as thousands forced to quarantineIt's not even September and already thousands of students and teachers have been moved to the sidelines, just days after starting in-class instruction. Positive tests or coronavirus outbreaks have scrambled schedules and forced quarantines. More than 1,200 students at two Alabama schools were ordered to isolate days before school began. One school's entire football team was forced to isolate after five players tested positive. More than 1,000 students in Cherokee County, Georgia, were forced to quarantine after scores of students and staff tested positive. And only a small fraction of districts across the nation have yet to begin the new school year.
"I definitely still say, 'Give this a shot.' I think there is a way to do this in person," Carlo Wheaton, the parent of a junior at Georgia's Woodstock High School, told WSB-TV in Atlanta after the school was forced to close. At least 14 people tested positive for the virus.
Italy, one of the world's first hotspots, heating up againTourists arriving in Rome from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain lined up at Leonardo da Vinci airport to be immediately tested for coronavirus Sunday, one day after Italy's daily new-case count topped 600 for the first time in three months. Italy was among the first and most severe hotspots for the virus in the spring, shutting down most of the country for weeks. Vacationers coming from abroad are fueling the current increase, authorities say.
Social distancing may put kibosh on 'cool lunch table' for 2020-21Traditional school lunches and accompanying socializing are being re-engineered at schools that decide to open for in-person instruction. Most students will eat lunch in their classrooms or will sit by class in the cafeteria as schools try to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some other changes include mandatory handwashing and prepackaged meals. And the "cool lunch table" may be on hiatus.
''They need to have some space between the children because they have to take their masks off," said John Christenson, medical director of infection prevention at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
'' Anne Snabes, Indianapolis Star
Testing issues cast doubt on decline in new cases
Testing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has dropped nationwide the past two weeks even as the evidence builds disease spread is picking up in many states. In Mississippi, more than one in five tested for the virus in the past week were positive, the highest rate in the nation as of Friday. The average number of daily tests in Texas and Florida dropped but the ratio of positive tests in each state is more than double what the World Health Organization recommends. Official case counts have dropped nationally but reporting problems and generally reduced testing in some states makes it hard to confidently determine that infection rates are improving.
''The enhanced positivity rate is the thing that bothers people more than anything else,'' said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. ''Because it suggests this virus is circulating still very briskly."
'' Ken Alltucker and Dan Keemahill
Saliva test developed at Yale wins FDA approval
A saliva-based laboratory diagnostic test developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health to determine whether someone is infected with the coronavirus has been granted an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The method, called SalivaDirect, is being validated as a test for asymptomatic individuals through a program that tests players and staff from the National Basketball Association. SalivaDirect is simpler, less expensive, and less invasive than nasopharyngeal swabbing, the researchers say.
''With saliva being quick and easy to collect, we realized it could be a game-changer in COVID-19 diagnostics,'' said Anne Wyllie, assistant professor and associate research scientist at Yale.
Birx: Masks should we born indoors and outdoors, in cities and rural areas
Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, urged all Americans to wear masks indoors and outdoors to help curb the pandemic. Birx said when communities start seeing a rise in positive cases, leaders need to close the bars, restrict indoor dining, decrease social gatherings and ensure there's a mask mandate. Birx, speaking in Kansas City, Kansas, warned that the outbreak is not just an urban issue.
''So we are really asking all communities, whether you are urban or rural communities, to really wear a mask inside, outside, every day," she said. ''Much of the spread is asymptomatic. I know we all want to believe that our family members cannot be positive. They are.''
Teacher builds database of school closings, cases, deaths
As schools across the nation struggle to find a safe way to educate students in-person, a Kansas teacher has dedicated herself to tracking school closings, cases and deaths in a budding national database.
"I was seeing a lot of articles about schools that were opening up and issues already happening on Day 1," Alisha Morris, who teaches theater in Kansas' Olathe School District said. "As I was researching, I thought, oh my gosh, this is happening all over."
The project comes amid a torrent troubling news about the prospects of safely reopening schools. Experts have expressed skepticism that schools' attempting to head off outbreaks using routine symptom screenings will have success. Nurses have described keeping kids safe at school an "uphill fight." And '-- despite President Donald Trump's push to open all schools '-- half of the Defense Department's schools in America will not open for in-person learning.
'-- Greg Tufaro and Joel Shannon
What we're reading
More COVID-19 resources from USA TODAY
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In your inbox: Stay up-to-date with the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic from the USA TODAY Network. Sign up for the daily Coronavirus Watch newsletter here.
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It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19 | Clinical Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:49
Accepted manuscript
Lidia Morawska , International Laboratory for Air Quality and Heath, WHO Collaborating Centre, Queensland University of Technology,
Brisbane, QLD,
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Campus Dr, College Park, Maryland,
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Mondkapjes mogen blijven, Viruswaarheid verliest rechtszaak | Binnenland | AD.nl
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:42
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Vaccines and such
Hospital workers vaccination procedure
As a hospital worker let John know these are done in a large room with 8-10 people administering vaccines. Each with a laptop each recording into the database. There's no fudging. No shot no work. We will be the Guinea pigs.
German doctors falsifying covid vaccination certificates
Dear Adam,
Please keep me anonymous.
My wife is a doctor in a neighboring country to Germany and caught another doctor taking the proof of vaccine stickers for common childhood vaccines (such as MMR) and bringing them to Germany. The stickers are put in your "vaccine passport" to prove you have been vaccinated. Please see this Deutsche Welle article which discusses the law put in place earlier this year mandating vaccines.
Certainly just anecdotal but it does make me wonder, if these kids do get infected it will promote the anti-vax agenda that the vaccine doesn't work.
Fauci Calls Russia's Claim of Effective COVID-19 Vaccine 'Bogus'
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:06
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said Russia's claims of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is "bogus."
During a live episode of the podcast 'Healthy You: Surviving a Pandemic,' hosted by George Washington University, Fauci said, "It's not bogus because he has a vaccine, what's bogus is to say you have a vaccine that's safe and effective," when asked about Russian President Vladamir Putin's claims of a coronavirus vaccine.
"There's a big difference between having a vaccine and proving in trials, that are really well-designed, randomized placebo-controlled trials, that when you're starting to give it widely to hundreds of millions of people, that you're giving a safe and effective vaccine," he said on Wednesday.
"The Russians, to my knowledge and I'm pretty sure I'm correct, have not been studying this intensively in very large, randomized, placebo-controlled trials," Fauci added.
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Newsweek reached out to Putin's office for comment but did not hear back before publication.
The U.S. top-leading infectious disease expert said the country has six ongoing vaccine projects, which he noted have yet to be proven as safe and effective. He said until it's proven, "you really don't want to be talking about having a vaccine."
At least two of these vaccines are already in Phase 3 trials, which began on July 27. One is a 30,000 person trial, while the other is projecting to include 60,000 participants. Fauci said a third vaccine trial will begin soon.
Fauci predicted that the U.S. will have a COVID-19 vaccine ready by the end of December or early January.
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"We will likely know within a period of several months, which takes us to the end of this calendar year and maybe to the beginning of 2021, whether or not we'll have a safe and effective candidate," Fauci said. "I believe, based on the preliminary data that we have, that we can be cautiously optimistic."
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on July 31, 2020. On Wednesday, Fauci called Russia's claims of an effective COVID-19 vaccine "bogus" during a livestream hosted by George Washington University. Kevin Dietsch/AFPLast week, federal health officials announced that a COVID-19 vaccine will be free for all Americans.
However, as science finally catches up to the virus that has now infected more than 5 million Americans, fewer Americans say they'll get it once it becomes available.
A new poll from CNN/SSRS found that 40 percent of Americans said they would not get vaccinated for the virus if one were widely available at a low cost. This number has grown from the 33 percent who said they would not get a vaccine back in May.
Fauci said that because "vaccine disinformation can lead to vaccine hesitancy," it is important to engage these individuals rather than criticize them. He said community engagement is especially important among minority communities, who are often and understandably reluctant to believe health authorities.
"You get out there and you get community representatives to engage them, to try and be as transparent as you possibly can with the data, answer the questions that they have and try to convince them that vaccinations in general, particularly a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19, is something that's important for them, their families and society in general," Fauci said.
He said he would not support a vaccine mandate for the general public, calling a requirement from the federal government "unenforceable and inappropriate."
Law mandating vaccines in German schools takes effect
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:53
Measles vaccinations in Germany are now required to register in schools. Parents can be fined thousands of euros if they violate the law.
A law requiring mandatory measles vaccinations came into force on Sunday in Germany. The law, which was passed last year, stipulates that kindergartens and schools can only accept new children if they have been vaccinated.
Under the new law, kids must be "verifiably" inoculated against measles. If the child's immunization is not documented, schools will be required to notify the local public health office.
For children already enrolled in schools, proof of vaccination will have to be presented by July 2021, while parents who refuse to vaccinate their children will face fines of up to '‚¬2,500 ($2,760).
Read more: Samoa arrests anti-vaxxer amid measles epidemic
Parental outcry
The law has not come into force without criticism, however. The German GEW teachers' union has said that although it backs mandatory vaccination, the burden to vet vaccination certificates will be placed on educators. The requirement will also put teachers at risk of having to argue with parents over student registration.
Read more: WHO cites spike in global measles cases
On Sunday, a group of parents protested outside of the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe after filing a complaint that the law violates their constitutional rights.
Michael Fiedl and Sandra Blum filing their constitutional complaint in Karlsruhe
They do not object to the vaccinations themselves, but say that the law violates their right to make their own decisions based on "relevant, independent and neutral information." Groups including the Initiative for Free Choice on Vaccinations and the Association of Doctors for Individual Decisionmaking.
Read more: Vaccine gaps 'cause measles outbreaks' in Europe
Backed by parliament
The law was initially passed as a set of amendments to the already-existing Protection Against Infection Act '-- a law which is also being used to mobilize Germany's management of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak.
Read more: World's biggest measles outbreak in DR Congo kills thousands
Lawmakers cited Germany's failure to meet the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommended immunization levels of 95%, which is required for a country to prevent a mass outbreak. A report by Germany's center for disease control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute, has found that just 93% of children starting school have received both the first and second measles vaccines.
Children in Germany typically receive shots against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox.
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lc,ipj/jlw (epd, dpa, AFP)
Covid-19: What if 'Herd Immunity' Is Closer Than Scientists Thought? - The New York Times
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:54
In what may be the world's most important math puzzle, researchers are trying to figure out how many people in a community must be immune before the coronavirus fades.
The Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn was hit hard by the coronavirus, reaching thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths by April. Credit... Jonah Markowitz for The New York Times Aug. 17, 2020Updated 3:13 p.m. ET
We've known from the beginning how the end will arrive. Eventually, the coronavirus will be unable to find enough susceptible hosts to survive, fading out wherever it briefly emerges.
To achieve so-called herd immunity '-- the point at which the virus can no longer spread widely because there are not enough vulnerable humans '-- scientists have suggested that perhaps 70 percent of a given population must be immune, through vaccination or because they survived the infection.
Now some researchers are wrestling with a hopeful possibility. In interviews with The New York Times, more than a dozen scientists said that the threshold is likely to be much lower: just 50 percent, perhaps even less. If that's true, then it may be possible to turn back the coronavirus more quickly than once thought.
The new estimates result from complicated statistical modeling of the pandemic, and the models have all taken divergent approaches, yielding inconsistent estimates. It is not certain that any community in the world has enough residents now immune to the virus to resist a second wave.
But in parts of New York, London and Mumbai, for example, it is not inconceivable that there is already substantial immunity to the coronavirus, scientists said.
''I'm quite prepared to believe that there are pockets in New York City and London which have substantial immunity,'' said Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. ''What happens this winter will reflect that.''
''The question of what it means for the population as a whole, however, is much more fraught,'' he added.
Herd immunity is calculated from the epidemic's so-called reproductive number, R0, an indicator of how many people each infected person spreads the virus to.
The initial calculations for the herd immunity threshold assumed that each community member had the same susceptibility to the virus and mixed randomly with everyone else in the community.
''That doesn't happen in real life,'' said Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health. ''Herd immunity could vary from group to group, and subpopulation to subpopulation,'' and even by postal codes, he said.
For example, a neighborhood of older people may have little contact with others but succumb to the virus quickly when they encounter it, whereas teenagers may bequeath the virus to dozens of contacts and yet stay healthy themselves. The virus moves slowly in suburban and rural areas, where people live far apart, but zips through cities and households thick with people.
Once such real-world variations in density and demographics are accounted for, the estimates for herd immunity fall. Some researchers even suggested the figure may be in the range of 10 to 20 percent, but they were in the minority.
Assuming the virus ferrets out the most outgoing and most susceptible in the first wave, immunity following a wave of infection is distributed more efficiently than with a vaccination campaign that seeks to protect everyone, said Tom Britton, a mathematician at Stockholm University.
His model puts the threshold for herd immunity at 43 percent '-- that is, the virus cannot hang on in a community after that percentage of residents has been infected and recovered.
Still, that means many residents of the community will have been sickened or have died, a high price to pay for herd immunity. And experts like Dr. Hanage cautioned that even a community that may have reached herd immunity cannot afford to be complacent.
The virus may still flare up here and there, even if its overall spread is stymied. It's also unclear how long someone who has recovered may be immune, and for how long.
Image Health officials screened residents of the Koliwada neighborhood of Mumbai in April. Credit... Atul Loke for The New York Times Virus-Resistant Communities?The coronavirus crashed this year's Purim celebrations in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of New York City, tearing through the parades and masquerades in Brooklyn on March 9 and 10.
Schools and synagogues soon shut down to quell the spread, but it was too late. By April, thousands in the Brooklyn communities were infected, and hundreds had died.
''It's like a black hole in my memory because of how traumatic it was,'' said Blimi Marcus, a nurse practitioner who lives in Borough Park, which was hit hard by the virus.
But all that has changed now, Ms. Marcus added: ''The general feeling is one of complacency, that somehow we've all had it and we're safe.''
Is it possible that some of these communities have herd immunity? In some clinics, up to 80 percent of people tested had antibodies to the virus. The highest prevalence was found among teenage boys.
But people at clinics are more likely to be showing symptoms and therefore more likely to be infected, said Wan Yang, an epidemiologist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York. Random household surveys would probably find lower rates '-- but still well above the 21 percent average reported for New York City, she said.
Researchers in Mumbai conducted just such a random household survey, knocking on every fourth door '-- or, if it was locked, the fifth '-- and took blood for antibody testing. They found a startling disparity between the city's poorest neighborhoods and its more affluent enclaves. Between 51 and 58 percent of residents in poor areas had antibodies, versus 11 to 17 percent elsewhere in the city.
The lowest-income residents are packed tightly together, share toilets, and have little access to masks. ''These factors contributed to a silent infection spread,'' said Dr. Jayanthi Shastri, a microbiologist at Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai who led the work.
Most researchers are wary of concluding that the hardest-hit neighborhoods of Brooklyn, or even those in blighted areas of Mumbai, have reached herd immunity or will be spared future outbreaks.
But models like Dr. Britton's hint that it's not impossible. Other researchers have suggested, controversially, that herd immunity can be achieved at rates of immunity as low as 10 or 20 percent '-- and that entire countries may already have achieved that goal.
Criticism trailed Sunetra Gupta, a theoretical epidemiologist at Oxford University, after a widely circulated interview in which she said that London and New York may already have reached herd immunity because of variability among people, combined with a theoretical immunity to common cold coronaviruses that may protect against the new one.
''That could be the explanation for why you don't see a resurgence in places like New York,'' she said.
Most experts reject that notion. Several studies have shown that certain immune cells produced following infection with seasonal coronaviruses may also recognize the new coronavirus.
But ''where is the evidence that it's protective?'' asked Natalie Dean, a biostatistician at the University of Florida.
The Coronavirus Outbreak 'ºFrequently Asked QuestionsUpdated August 17, 2020
Why does standing six feet away from others help?The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It's a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it's windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you're far enough apart.I have antibodies. Am I now immune?As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that's perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it's highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.I'm a small-business owner. Can I get relief?The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don't know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?Employers have to provide a safe workplace with policies that protect everyone equally. And if one of your co-workers tests positive for the coronavirus, the C.D.C. has said that employers should tell their employees -- without giving you the sick employee's name -- that they may have been exposed to the virus.What is school going to look like in September?It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California's two largest public school districts '-- Los Angeles and San Diego '-- said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won't be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation's largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There's no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.These cities have not returned to pre-pandemic levels of activity, other experts noted.
''We are still nowhere near back to normal in our daily behavior,'' said Virginia Pitzer, a mathematical epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health. ''To think that we can just stop doing all that and go back to normal and not see a rise in cases I think is wrong, is incorrect.''
A second wave might also hit groups or neighborhoods that were spared by the first, and still wreak havoc, she said. Immunity is a patchwork quilt in New York, for instance: Antibodies were present in 68 percent of people visiting a clinic in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, for instance, but in just 13 percent of those tested at a clinic in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn.
But another group, led by the mathematician Gabriela Gomes of the University of Strathclyde in Britain, accounted for variations within a society in its model and found that Belgium, England, Portugal and Spain have herd immunity thresholds in the range of 10 to 20 percent.
''At least in countries we applied it to, we could never get any signal that herd immunity thresholds are higher,'' Dr. Gomes said. ''I think it's good to have this horizon that it may be just a few more months of pandemic.''
Other experts urged caution, saying these models are flawed, as all models are, and that they oversimplify conditions on the ground.
Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, said it wasn't clear to him that Dr. Gomes's model offered only one possible solution. And he was suspicious of the big ranges among the four countries.
''I think we'd be playing with fire if we pretended we're done with this,'' Dr. Shaman said.
The new models offer food for thought, he and other experts said, but should not be used to set policy.
''Mathematically, it's certainly possible to have herd immunity at these very, very low levels,'' said Carl Bergstrom, an infectious disease expert at the University of Washington in Seattle. ''Those are just our best guesses for what the numbers should look like.''
''But,'' he added, ''they're just exactly that, guesses.''
Image Borough Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., late last month. Fewer than 1 percent of people tested at neighborhood clinics in Brooklyn over the past eight weeks have had the virus. Credit... Brittainy Newman for The New York Times Imperfect ImmunityBut what about immunity at levels lower than those needed for herd immunity?
''Definitely the disease would not spread as well if it gets back into New York,'' said Joel Miller, a mathematical modeler at La Trobe University in Australia. ''The same level of behavior change will have more effect on the disease now than it did four months ago.''
Thinking of a city or country as composed of subgroups, demarcated by age, race and level of social activity, might also help governments protect those with the least immunity.
That perspective also might help put a renewed focus on groups who require the higher levels of immunity, because of greater exposure levels and other inequities, including Black and Latino residents, said Dr. Manoj Jain, an infectious disease expert at Emory University. ''That's where this info is very useful,'' he said.
The models also suggest a vaccination strategy: Rather than uniformly vaccinate all groups, governments could identify and immunize those most likely to be exposed in ''superspreader'' events.
''Getting those people vaccinated first can lead to the greatest benefit,'' said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. ''That alone could lead to herd immunity.''
Vaccination schemes for other pathogens have successfully exploited this approach. For example, when children were given the pneumococcal vaccine in the early 2000s, rates of bacterial pneumonia in the elderly rapidly dropped because of a ''herd effect.''
Vaccines that offer just 50 percent protection are considered to be moderately effective, but at that efficiency, even a low herd immunity target would require that a large proportion of the population be immunized, Dr. Bergstrom noted.
If there are early reports of side effects that may scare away some people, he said, ''we'd do well to start thinking about all that now.''
Back in Brooklyn, fewer than 1 percent of people tested at neighborhood clinics over the past eight weeks were infected with the virus. But there are still handfuls of cases, Ms. Marcus said, adding that her 10-year-old niece was in quarantine because a counselor at her day camp had tested positive.
''Sometimes that's all you need, right?'' she said. ''I'm still hoping we don't see what we had in March and April, but I'm not so sure that we've seen the end of it.''
'You can't fix stupid' '-- Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro rips Kodak executives
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 05:13
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday blasted executives at Eastman Kodak for their handling of a government loan to produce pharmaceutical ingredients in the United States.
''Based on what I'm seeing, what happened at Kodak was probably the dumbest decisions made by executives in corporate history,'' Navarro said on CNBC's ''Squawk Box.''
''You can't fix stupid,'' Navarro added. ''You can't even anticipate that degree of stupidity.''
The $765 million government loan to Kodak has since been put on pause as the Securities and Exchange Commission investigates the company's disclosure of the deal, which was officially announced on July 28.
The stock had been languishing at around $2 per share for months prior. It traded as high as $60 per share the day after the deal.
Shares of Kodak, best known for producing camera film, skyrocketed on news of the pharmaceutical loan. The stock had been languishing at around $2 per share for months prior. It traded as high as $60 per share the day after the deal.
However, it also was observed that trading activity of Kodak's stock picked up significantly the day prior to the official announcement.
Navarro has touted the importance of relocating the pharmaceutical supply chain in the U.S., especially in a coronavirus world.
He stressed the investigation of potential wrongdoing by Kodak should run its course. ''We don't know why that happened or what they did. Let the investigation happen. Kodak's doing an internal one as well but we're moving forward. We're not looking in the rear view mirror.''
''I've got 30 projects on my board across the street,'' Navarro added.
Hydroxychloroquine Safety Outcome within Approved Therapeutic Protocol for COVID-19 Outpatients in Saudi Arabia | medRxiv
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 16:41
AbstractBackground: Healthcare systems globally has been challenged following the COVID-19 pandemic, since late 2019. Multiple approaches and strategies have been performed to relieve the pressure and support existing healthcare systems. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) launched an initiative to support the National Healthcare System. Since the 5th of June 2020, 238 outpatient fever clinics were established across Saudi Arabia.Methods: A cross-sectional study included 2,733 eligible patients subjected to MOH treatment protocol (hydroxychloroquine and zinc) and revisited the clinics within 3-7 days after treatment initiation. This study aimed to assess the safety outcome and reported adverse events from hydroxychloroquine use among suspected COVID-19 patients. The data was collected through an electronic link and cross-checked with that of the national database (Health Electronic Surveillance Network, HESN) and reports from the MOH Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) Committee. Results: Majority of the cases were males (70.4%). Upon reassessing the studied participants within 3-7 days, 240 patients (8.8%) discontinued the treatment protocol because of the development of side effects (4.1%) and for non-clinical reasons in the remaining (4.7%). Medication side effects overall were reported among (6.7%) of all studied participants, including mainly cardiovascular adverse events (2.5%), followed by gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (2.4%). No Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission or death were reported among these patients.Conclusion: In our study, results show that the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients in mild to moderate cases in an outpatient setting, within the protocol recommendation and inclusion/exclusion criteria, is safe, highly tolerable, and with minimum side effects.
Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.
Funding StatementThis research is of an ongoing project at Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health. No external funding were obtained.
Author DeclarationsI confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.
The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:
The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health IRB committee review, approved, and continuously audit this research
All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.
I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).
I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.
Data AvailabilityAll data are available upon request
Ivermectin Tablet for Coronavirus COVID-19: Dosage, Uses, Side Effects | Ivermectin 'possible' solution to COVID-19
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:21
Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 10, 2020 5:07:08 pm A person from the Australian cruise ship ''Greg Mortimer,'' who according to the military suffers COVID-19, is taken by military personnel to a local hospital after removing the patient from the cruise ship in Montevideo, Uruguay. (AP)As scientists and doctors continue to find a way to cure coronavirus, a group of Australian researchers are discussing head lice drug Ivermectin as a possible treatment to kill the infection in less than 48 hours.
A set of findings by Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) and the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), both in Australia, suggest that the drug can quickly prevent the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The report titled ''The FDA-approved drug ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro'' has been published online in the journal Antiviral Research.
''We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,'' said BDI's Dr Kylie Wagstaff, who led the study, said.
However, the research is in the initial stages and the drug is yet to be tested on Covid-19 patients.
Explained: Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus?
What is Ivermectin?Ivermectin is a medicine used to kill parasites. Used since 1980s, the drug is mainly used in creams and lotions for head lice. Besides this, it is also used in a tablet form to cure roundworm infection and second-line treatment for scabies and rosacea, a skin condition that results in redness and causes pus-filled bumps on the face.
A recently painted mural with a blue heart for the National Health Service staff working during the coronavirus outbreak by Australian street artist James Cochran, also known as Jimmy C, is displayed in east London. (AP)
DosageThe drug needs to be consumed with a glass of water on an empty stomach at least an hour before a meal. It is usually taken as a single dose or series of doses, as per the directions of the doctor.
The dosage depends on weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
Also read | Coronavirus a product of evolution, may have been in humans for years: Study
Is Ivermectin harmful?According to Healthline, drug may cause tiredness, loss of energy, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness and itchiness. In case of a skin or an eye infection, the medicine may lead to joint pain and swelling, swollen and tender lymph nodes, itching, rashes, fever and eye problems.
Some of the serious side effects include low blood pressure, inability to breathe and can also lead to liver damage.
A medical worker from China's Jilin Province, in red, embraces a colleague from Wuhan as she prepares to return home at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. (AP)
How can Ivermectin cure Covid-19?According to scientists at Monash University and the Doherty Institute, the drug can prevent the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus. In the laboratory, the replication of the virus came to a halt within 24-48 hours after it was exposed to the drug.
While there is no clarity on how the drug functions, it appears to end the processes that allow proteins to move within the virus. According to a report by Newsweek, these proteins would otherwise dampen the body's antiviral response, and allow the virus to replicate.
Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center health care professionals stand and wave from the sidewalk as the Caravan of Care parades around the hospital in Athens. The caravan was organized to show support for the community's health care professionals who are battling the coronavirus pandemic. (AP)
Should you buy Ivermection?Researchers have clearly clarified that Ivermection should not be used on coronavirus patients until further testing is done.
''Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it at in humans will be effective '' that's the next step,'' study co-author Kylie Wagstaff from Monash University in Australia said.
The scientists further cautioned that the use of Ivermectin to combat coronavirus would depend on the results of future pre-clinical testing and ultimately clinical trials.
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What is Oleandrin extract? Trump eyes unproven Covid-19 'cure' promoted by Ben Carson and MyPillow's Mike Lindell | MEAWW
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:28
It's wasn't long ago when President Donald Trump defended the use of hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus, contradicting his own public health officials back in July. Now, Trump is eyeing another unproven coronavirus 'cure' at the recommendation of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Axios reported on August 16.
Trump is reportedly encouraging the US Food and Drug Administration to approve oleander plant extract to treat Covid-19, despite the fact that the dietary supplement has not been proven to treat the disease. Oleandrin is an experimental extract and was presented in July during an Oval Office meeting with Carson as well as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Lindell, a key Trump supporter, invested in the company to produce the unproven extract. Lindell told Axios News that in the meeting, Trump said, "The FDA should be approving it." Carson and Lindell have been promoting the drug as a cure for Covid-19.
The officials familiar with this conversation have raised concerns about the way in which this extract, which has been pushed by Andrew Whitney of Phoenix Biotechnology, is being promoted at the highest levels of the Trump administration. While there is no data to demonstrates that oleandrin has been tested in animals or humans for its efficiency to cure Covid-19, it has shown some evidence of inhibiting the virus in a non-peer-reviewed laboratory study. In an interview with Axios on August 15, Whitney said that oleandrin has been tested on humans for its efficacy against Covid-19 but the study is yet to be published. He added that it is in the process of being peer-reviewed. He also claimed to the administration that it cures Covid-19 in just two days. When Axios asked about the claim, Whitney said he stands by it "100%".
So, what is Oleandrin?
Oleandrin is an extract from the plant, Nerium oleander. It contains substances that are similar to the active chemical found in the heart medication, digoxin. According to a report by Axios, researchers have suggested that it could be useful to treat cancer because of the way it affects cells and that it could enhance the effects of other cancer therapies. Asked about its potential efficacy as a Covid-19 treatment, Lewin told Axios, "Oleandrin looks to have antiviral activity at high doses in a test tube model. You'd certainly want to see more work done on this before even contemplating a human trial."
As soon as the news started spreading on the internet, some furious netizens started referring to the mistake Trump made in the past when he authorized hydroxychloroquine's use to treat Covid-19 in the USA but later, in June, the agency revoked that authorization and warned of the "risk of heart rhythm problems" in Covid-19 patients treated with the drug. But then in July, Trump defended the drug, going against his health officials.
Referring to this, one user said, "This needs to stop. How many in NY died because of Trump's HCQ push. There are over 60 drugs in (real) clinical trials that are being investigated. This shouldn't go to the front of the line." The user added, "Just like Trump's enthusiasm for HQC. FDA approved for 'emergency use' despite no real clinical studies. US bought tons, then 1,000's of doses given to NY'ers because of no approved drugs. It saturated the hospitals when other treatments should have been tried."
This needs to stop. How many in NY died because of Trump's HCQ push. There are over 60 drugs in ( real) clinical trials that are being investigated .This shouldn't go to the front of the line
'-- rmc (@Thelast_try) August 17, 2020Just like Trump's enthusiasm for HQC. . FDA approved for ''emergency use'' despite no real clinical studies .US bought tons, then 1,000's of doses given to NY'ers because no approved drugs .It saturated the hospitals when other treatments should have been tried
'-- rmc (@Thelast_try) August 17, 2020While another user quoted Wikipedia and said, "This is what he's promoting. 'Oleandrin is a toxic cardiac glycoside found in oleander. Along with conessine, it is primarily responsible for the toxicity of the sap of oleander'. Source - Wikipedia." Another angry user said, "Perhaps one of the reasons why 160,000+ Americans have died from COVID -19 is because Trump spends way too much time listening to people like the MyPillow guy instead of the renowned infectious disease experts like Dr Fauci."
This is what he's promoting."Oleandrin is a toxic cardiac glycoside found in oleander. Along with conessine it is primarily responsible for the toxicity of the sap of oleander". Source - Wikipedia
'-- JohnJ Truth, Freedom and a hard boiled egg. 3.5% (@johnleremainer) August 17, 2020Perhaps one of the reasons why 160,000+ Americans have died from Covid -19 is because Trump spends way too much time listening to people like the MyPillow guy instead of the renowned infectious disease experts like Dr Fauci.
'-- Love. Amelia. (@LoveAmelia5) August 17, 2020US House Candidate, Qasim Rashid shared the post and said, "This is bananas Trump is promoting oleandrin as a COVID19 medication'--even though there's ZERO proof it works Ben Carson & MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell'--who recently took a financial stake in the company that develops oleandrin'--are pushing for FDA approval" while another user commented on the post saying, "Anything being pushed by Ben Carson & the My Pillow guy sounds like the Trump Administration's continuation of putting profits over science in the fight to eradicate #COVID19."
This is bananasTrump is promoting oleandrin as a COVID19 medication'--even though there's ZERO proof it works
Ben Carson & MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell'--who recently took a financial stake in the company that develops oleadrin'--are pushing for FDA approvalhttps://t.co/ySouyswjtz
'-- Qasim Rashid for Congress (@QasimRashid) August 17, 2020Anything being pushed by Ben Carson & the My Pillow guy sounds like the Trump Admininstration's continuation of putting profits over science in the fight to eradicate #COVID19 https://t.co/sVyrcWeRoP
'-- Peter Morley (@morethanmySLE) August 17, 2020 If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514
Phoenix Biotechnology, Inc.
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:27
Phoenix Biotechnology, Inc., has been exploring the health-related benefits of a novel extract of Nerium oleander for the past 20 years. The company has developed a supercritical CO2 extraction of Nerium oleander into a new botanical drug '' PBI-05204.PBI-05204 is a 'botanical drug' that has been through initial FDA review and approved for the Phase I and Phase II clinical trials which were conducted in the United States. These trials have shown that this oral (capsule) formulation is safe for administration to patients without undue toxicity.
A distinction of PBI-05204 is that research has consistently proven that this drug crosses the blood brain barrier which opens up several potential applications. Extensive research has been done in the following areas: Antiviral, Cancer, and Neurodegenerative Diseases.
July, 2020''Prophylactic and Therapeutic Inhibition of In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Replication by Oleandrin'' '' was produced following research conducted this spring and summer by scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Phoenix Biotechnology, Inc. Any product(s) resulting from this research will not be available until approved by the US Food & Drug Administration.
April, 2020Dr. John Dye, chief of viral immunology at the USAMRIID lab at Fort Detrick, confirmed that his team began testing the extract known as oleandrin a few years ago and found it was effective in fighting the Ebola and Marburg viruses. The Army lab is now ramping up a rapid plan to test oleandrin against COVID-19.
February, 2020PBI sponsored research at the University of Texas at San Antonio has demonstrated that PBI-05204 leads to a marked reduction in neuroinflammtion in brain microglial cells in vitro. Importantly, when fed to mice orally the PBI drug also produces a significant reduction in accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques within the brains of specifically bred transgenic mice that develop Alzheimer's-like disease. Taken together ,these recent findings suggest that further exploration of the utility of PBI-05204 for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's is warranted.
Prophylactic and Therapeutic Inhibition of In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Replication by Oleandrin | bioRxiv
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:27
New Results Kenneth S. Plante , Jessica A. Plante , Diana Fernandez , Divya Mirchandani , Nathen Bopp , Patricia V. Aguilar , K. Jagannadha Sastry , Robert A. Newman , View ORCID Profile Scott C. Weaver doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.15.203489
ABSTRACTWith continued expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic, antiviral drugs are desperately needed to treat patients at high risk of life-threatening disease and even to limit spread if administered early during infection. Typically, the fastest route to identifying and licensing a safe and effective antiviral drug is to test those already shown safe in early clinical trials for other infections or diseases. Here, we tested in vitro oleandrin, derived from the Nerium oleander plant and shown previously to have inhibitory activity against several viruses. Using Vero cells, we found that prophylactic oleandrin administration at concentrations down to 0.05 μg/ml exhibited potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, with an 800-fold reduction in virus production, and a 0.1 μg/ml dose resulted in a greater than 3,000-fold reduction in infectious virus production. The EC50 values were 11.98ng/ml when virus output was measured at 24 hours post-infection, and 7.07ng/ml measured at 48 hours post-infection. Therapeutic (post-infection) treatment up to 24 hours after infection of Vero cells also reduced viral titers, with the 0.1 μg/ml dose causing greater than 100-fold reductions as measured at 48 hours, and the 0.05 μg/ml dose resulting in a 78-fold reduction. The potent prophylactic and therapeutic antiviral activities demonstrated here strongly support the further development of oleandrin to reduce the severity of COVID-19 and potentially also to reduce spread by persons diagnosed early after infection.
IMPORTANCE COVID-19, a pandemic disease caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, has swept around the world to cause millions of infections and hundreds-of-thousands of deaths due to the lack of vaccines and effective therapeutics. We tested oleandrin, derived from the Nerium oleander plant and shown previously to reduce the replication of several viruses, against SARS-CoV-2 infection of Vero cells. When administered both before and after virus infection, nanogram doses of oleandrin significantly inhibited replication by up to 3,000-fold, indicating the potential to prevent disease and virus spread in persons recently exposed to SARS-CoV-2, as well as to prevent severe disease in persons at high risk. These results indicate that oleandrin should be tested in animal models and in humans exposed to infection to determine its medical usefulness in controlling the pandemic.
Competing Interest StatementRAN is Chief Science Officer of Phoenix Biotechnology Inc.KJS is a paid consultant with Phoenix Biotechnology Inc.
The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. All rights reserved. No reuse allowed without permission.
Phoenix Biotechnology, Inc. - Board of Directors
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:26
Crandell Addington, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and Director. Mr. Addington is a cum laude graduate from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas, majoring in economics and accounting. Mr. Addington received post-graduate education in various sciences at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Addington has, over the course of 40 years, founded and/or operated successful enterprises ranging from chemical manufacturing to oil and gas exploration, development, and production. Mr. Addington is also President and Chairman of the Board of Anviram, Inc. As a result of his prior and current corporate leadership positions, Mr. Addington has been responsible, among other duties, for interacting with biomedical researchers and clinicians both in the United States and Latin America.
Lou Kost, Jr., President, Secretary and Director. Mr. Kost attended the University of Texas at Austin, and St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, where he studied marketing and financial management. Mr. Kost has been at various times a venture capitalist and management consultant. Mr. Kost is a former Texas state representative who served on the Banking Committee. Mr. Kost is currently a Director and Secretary of Anviram, Inc. Among other duties, Mr. Kost is responsible for interacting with investment bankers and the shareholders of the Company.
Robert A. Newman, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, and Director. Dr. Newman obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Connecticut and then served in postdoctoral positions at the Medical School of the University of Georgia as well as the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Vermont. He served as a faculty member at the University of Vermont Medical School for seven years and then spent a sabbatical year at Stanford University performing research on immune targeted therapy. He spent 24 years at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in Houston, Texas where he held the D. B. Lane Distinguished Professorship Chair. At MDACC he served as the founder and Co-Director of the Pharmaceutical Development Center and the institution's Analytical Center. He has published over 320 articles dealing with the preclinical and clinical pharmacology, toxicology and development of therapies for the prevention and treatment of malignant diseases.
Andrew Whitney, Vice Chairman and Director. Andrew is a Cambridge postgraduate-educated strategy specialist with experience at senior executive level in multiple technology sectors. Ex-Bain & Co consulting, ex-Bain Leveraged Buyout practice, and with private equity turnaround experience at management board level. He has 20 years' experience as an entrepreneur, CEO, Founder and private equity investor in the bioinformatics, materials, energy, automotive, cleantech, digital media, blockchain and defense/aerospace sectors. Andrew also has 25 years' experience in the licensing and management of IP rights, and developed initiatives with value of in excess of $350M for one particular client.Andrew has served as an advisor to the board of several high profile, innovative businesses, both public and private. Andrew typically works directly with the CEO to develop strategy then create and/or accelerate the revenue road map through best-in-class partnerships for sector dominance. Past and present advisory clients include advanced materials, automotive, digital, energy, cleantech, aerospace & defense companies, and government clients, plus multiple entities in the blockchain sector.
Andrew maintains an extensive global network of high-level relationships, is known for his ability to commercialize cutting edge technologies and specializes in identifying, initiating and closing international commercial transactions.
He is active in the private equity space across a series of technology-driven deals and is currently focused on next generation communications and infrastructure solutions around 5G, power, water and waste management, and believes that new technologies can be transformative for quality of life and entire economies when properly integrated and implemented.
Andrew's skills, capabilities and interests stretch beyond the traditional private equity model into identifying and implementing effective strategies to achieve commercial success, then optimizing organizational design to drive valuation. He has strong leadership skills and believes that success is ultimately a function of solid strategy, effective motivation, integrity and a focus on results in the absence of ego.
Mike Lindell, Director. Mike's quintessentially American ''rags-to-riches'' story has inspired millions of people with its extraordinary journey of faith, hope, trust, resiliency, and redemption.Mike was born in Minnesota in 1961 and almost immediately set out on an entrepreneurial path. He started many businesses from scratch and built them into successes. In 2004, he had a dream about inventing a pillow, which despite numerous setbacks, he turned into the now nearly $1 billion company, MyPillow.
Simultaneously, he was also imprisoned in the darkness of crack cocaine and alcohol addiction, which was destroying his entire life. At one point, the addictions became so severe that his crack cocaine dealers intervened, refusing to sell him any more drugs lest he die. One night in 2009, at the end of his rope, he prayed to God to remove his desire for drugs and alcohol, and the next morning, that desire was gone.
He has used the platform of trust and integrity to change the lives of those in need. Mike has a special knack for treating each of his employees as though they're the most important person on earth, and that interpersonal gift spills over into all areas of his life. He knew MyPillow was just a platform for God, and he has followed his calling to help people.
Mike lives his life by his favorite Bible verse: ''Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.'' Proverbs 3: 5''6
Jeffrey Thompson, Director. Mr. Thompson is an early investor who was asked to serve as the company's first outside director when Phoenix was formed in 2003. He is an attorney and currently lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He is employed with the Iowa Department of Justice, where he serves as Deputy Attorney General. Prior to his appointment to this position in 2008, Mr. Thompson was in private practice and specialized in civil litigation.
Andrew J. Butler, Director. Mr. Butler is Vice Chairman of Cottingham & Butler, Inc. and President of SISCO and HealthCorp. Prior, he was Chief Executive Officer and President of both Butler Insurance Service, Inc. and Butler Benefit Service, Inc. He is currently a Trustee of Junior Achievement of the Heartland and on the board of the Dubuque Museum of Art. He has served as the President of the Board of Trustee's for the Figge Art Museum, was a Director for the Third Party Administrators of America Association (TPAAA), and has service in an advisory capacity to several public and privately held organizations for both product development and managerial development matters. He earned his MBA from The College of Insurance in New York City, his BS in Finance from Babson College and holds several industry designations, Including CPCU, CEBS, CSFS, and ARM.
Macdonald T. Haskell, Director. Mr. Haskell is President of MTH Ventures, Inc., a company primarily involved in private investments and entrepreneurial endeavors. Mac began his career in New York at Merrill Lynch and Co. and earned his B.A. in Economics from Hobart College in 1980.
Rona Down Under
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Delays Election After Coronavirus Return
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:12
"I have absolutely no intention at all to change from this point," Jacinda Ardern said
Wellington, New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday delayed New Zealand's looming election by four weeks to October 17 after a renewed coronavirus outbreak hampered campaigning.
Ardern was under pressure from political opponents and her coalition partners to shift the original September 19 vote after COVID-19 was detected in Auckland last week, sending the country's largest city into lockdown.
She said the return of the virus after 102 days without community transmission had rattled Kiwis and could have discouraged some from casting their ballots in a September election.
The centre-left leader, who is riding high in opinion polls, also acknowledged concerns from rivals that curbs on campaigning would unfairly weigh the election in favour of her government.
After spending the weekend consulting with party leaders and the Electoral Commission, she chose October 17, the earliest delayed date available to her.
Ardern said the change meant all parties would be campaigning under the same conditions and she would not move the date again regardless of the situation.
"I have absolutely no intention at all to change from this point," she said.
"This decision gives all parties time over the next nine weeks to campaign and the Electoral Commission enough time to ensure an election can go ahead."
All parties temporarily suspended campaigning in the wake of last week's outbreak, the source of which remains unknown.
The virus was first detected in four family members in Auckland last Tuesday and by Sunday the cluster had grown to 49 confirmed cases.
'Common sense'
The South Pacific nation is following the same strategy that helped contain coronavirus during a seven-week lockdown earlier this year -- isolating positive cases, contact tracing and extensive testing.
The earlier success has helped lift Ardern's personal popularity rating to a record 60 percent, along with her leadership during last year's Christchurch mosque attacks and the White Island volcano eruption.
Ardern's Labour Party is on track to win office in its own right, without the minor party coalition partners -- the Greens and New Zealand First (NZF) -- it needed during its first term.
The main opposition National Party last week demanded the election be postponed until late November, or preferably next year, saying September 19 was untenable.
Ardern's coalition partner NZF backed the delay Monday after earlier saying the September option had been "fatally compromised" by the outbreak.
"Common sense has prevailed," said NZF leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, whose populist party faces an election wipeout on current polling.
Labour's other coalition partner, the Greens, said the four-week delay should give health authorities time to contain the Auckland cluster.
But co-leader James Shaw accused some parties of displaying "naked political self-interest" in demanding a delay, saying they hoped the pandemic's economic impact would dent the government's popularity in the meantime.
"We have been incredibly disappointed to see the National and other small parties continue to use the weekend to bang on about what would suit them best politically," he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Australia: Authorities Give Themselves Power to Remove Children From Parents to Ensure COVID Compliance '' Summit News
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:46
Several universities in the US have set up systems so students can report on each other if they see anyone breaking the Covid 'rules'.
Campus Reform notes that universities in Miami, Texas, and New Orleans have all encouraged students to play campus stasi when it comes to the Covid guidelines.
Yale has also got in on the act with a hotline, along with The University of North Georgia, whose plea for students to police each other prompted the Southeastern Legal Foundation to pen a letter warning that the system may violate students' privacy and freedom of speech.
I can't wait until Black students who are reported for social distancing violations report the reporters to @Yale's new, bloated Maoist bureaucracy for snitching on students for alleged racial harassment. https://t.co/vpD5xXp2Qd
'-- Sarah Braasch (@sarahbraasch1) August 14, 2020
''Colleges have a duty to protect student health and safety, especially during uncertain times like these. However, even in unprecedented times, students' First Amendment rights remain unchanged. That means colleges and universities cannot engage in viewpoint or content-based discrimination, cannot enact vague and overbroad policies, and cannot chill student expression,'' the letter urges.
It continues, ''With a Concern Form at students' fingertips, students wishing to prevent a controversial speaker from visiting campus or to stop a student organization from garnering interest in their cause can simply report members of that organization as symptomatic. Without stricter reporting guidelines and limits, it appears that such events could be shut down entirely with the press of a button. This may sound unlikely, but then again, who would have predicted 2020 to turn out as it has?''
The SLF also warned that Fourth Amendment rights may be under threat as students could be forced to get tested for COVID-19, without probable cause.
''Under the Fourth Amendment, individuals cannot be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures. The Supreme Court has even considered that right in the context of cheek swabs. The Court has held that a criminal arrested and charged with a serious crime can be subjected to a DNA cheek swab, so long as the charges are supported by probable cause, meaning there must be sufficient likelihood that the crime occurred. However, a swab is unconstitutional if there is no probable cause, the charge is not criminal, or if the DNA is used to gather medical information about the criminal,'' SLF asserted.
''Will UNG, upon receiving a report of a symptomatic student, subject that student to an invasive COVID-19 swab? Surely the university understands that this action would violate the Fourth Amendment,'' the SLF further explains.
Universities are asking students to report on each other for breaking coronavirus safety rules. What could go wrong!?!?! https://t.co/2X6wA7QZtK
'-- Eleanor Barkhorn (@eleanorbarkhorn) August 12, 2020
In a recent opinion piece published in the New York Times, Karen Levy, an assistant professor at Cornell University and Lauren Kilgour, a doctoral candidate at Cornell warned that universities should avoid turning students into spies, warning that while some ''may feel a sense of civic duty'... others may be loath to report on their friends.''
''People report on one another (truthfully or falsely) for a number of personal reasons, including competition, revenge, leverage and everyday aggravations,'' the piece also notes.
''There's every reason to assume that these motivations will bubble up in the college context, too. Students have their own loyalties, broken hearts, rocky roommate relationships and fraternity codes of silence,'' Levy and Kilgour note.
Prescribing, Dispensing or Supply of Hydroxychloroquine Direction | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 23:19
PrintPrescribing, Dispensing or Supply of Hydroxychloroquine Direction
This content was last updated on 28 April 2020.
To slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect the health of all Queenslanders, the Queensland Government is taking extra steps to ensure the right medicine is given to the right person, for the right reason.
From 7 April 2020, hydroxychloroquine can only be prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.
Pharmacists can only dispense hydroxychloroquine if:
it is prescribed by a registered medical practitioner; andthey have taken reasonable steps to confirm the person they are dispensing to has a genuine medical need.The official public health direction is available here.
What this means for youYou can continue to be prescribed hydroxychloroquine by a registered medical practitioner if you have a genuine reason for needing the medicine.You are not allowed to take hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure for COVID-19.Questions and Answers about this DirectionNo results found.
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Can I get hydroxychloroquine for a medical condition?You can be prescribed hydroxychloroquine by a registered medical practitioner if you have a genuine reason for needing the medicine.
Can I take hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure for COVID-19?You are not allowed to take hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure for COVID-19.
When can pharmacists dispense hydroxychloroquine?Pharmacists can only dispense hydroxychloroquine if:
it is prescribed by a registered medical practitioner; andthey have taken reasonable steps to confirm the person they are dispensing to has a genuine medical need.What is Hydroxychloroquine?Hydroxychloroquine is a medication used to prevent and treat acute attacks of malaria. It is also used to treat discoid or symptomatic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis whose symptoms have not improved with other treatments.
Does Hydroxychloroquine cure COVID-19?To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials.
What is the penalty if the direction is not followed?If you don't comply you may receive an on the spot fine of $1334, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345 or 6 months imprisonment.
Subscribe to Public Health Direction updatesStay informed about the latest public health directions regarding coronavirus (COVID-19). Sign up to the Queensland Health newsletter.
Subscribe now Questions and Requests for exemptionsIf you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).
To apply for an exemption to a Direction please complete the online form.
Submit your request online Last updated: 3 June 2020 Restrictions in Queensland Businesses, activities and undertakings Border restrictions Going out, travel, recreation and gathering in Queensland Protecting aged care residents Hospital visitors Serology tests direction Prescribing, Dispensing or Supply of Hydroxychloroquine Direction Protecting Public Officials and Workers Restricting cruise ships from entering Queensland waters Direction School and Early Childhood Service Exclusion Direction Seasonal Workers Health Management Plans Direction Self-isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction Quarantine for Persons Arriving in Queensland From Overseas CHO Exemption Redirect
Coronavirus Australia: ABF denies three out of four leave requests
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:26
Since March 25, most Australian citizens and permanent residents have required government permission to travel or move overseas. Temporary visa holders and Australians in exempt categories, such as people who normally live overseas, do not need permission to leave.
The Australian Border Force told this masthead it had granted permission for 22,640 citizens and permanent residents to depart Australia from March 25 to July 31, out of 91,950 applications in total. Applications can cover more than one person and one person can make multiple applications.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned recently that the resumption of international travel was "not foreseeable" and unlikely to occur this year.
Mr Sharma said this was too long to keep the current restrictions in place and Australia should manage the risk "not by preventing Australians from leaving but controlling their return to Australia and foreign arrivals into Australia".
Mr Morrison said in March the ban was required because people were still trying to go on overseas holidays, putting the community at risk when they returned. At the time, in-bound travellers could self-isolate at home, with the hotel quarantine system announced a few days later.
A spokesperson for the federal Department of Health said the travel ban was reviewed regularly and it remained necessary to control the spread of COVID-19, with 23 per cent of Australia's total cases having acquired the virus overseas.
"We cannot risk adding an additional burden to the health system through a broad easing of international travel restrictions and potentially importing additional cases," the spokesperson said.
States and territory governments are no longer picking up the tab for hotel quarantine, with the cost incurred by returning travellers. However, the spokesperson said the need for testing, supervision and treatment if travellers become unwell stretched the capacity of health systems.
The government was also concerned opening up outbound travel would add to the problem of Australians stuck overseas, sometimes without health care or diplomatic support. As this masthead has previously reported, thousands of Australians are struggling to return to the country because of the cap on inbound flights.
"Any further easing of outbound restrictions may lead to more Australians being caught offshore for longer than planned, increasing their exposure to, and risk of, contracting the disease," the spokesperson said.
Several Facebook groups with thousands of members each have sprung up to help people navigate the situation. Among those affected are 4.4 million dual citizens.
Zali Steggall said she found it difficult to understand the justification for the continuation of the outward-bound restrictions.
"It puts us on par with North Korea, in terms of, are we now a prison state, that unless you can justify yourself to the department, you cannot leave the country?" Ms Steggall said. "Even in times of war, we don't have that kind of restriction so it does seem a little extreme."
Ms Steggall's electorate office has been "inundated" by constituents needing to travel for important life events such as the birth of a child, the death of a parent, or to take up a job or scholarship. "This is not about going on holiday," she said.
The health department spokesperson said the exemption process run by the Department of Home Affairs ensured the travel restriction was "no more restrictive or intrusive than required".
Australians can apply for permission to travel on the grounds that the travel is part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid; essential for the conduct of critical industries and business; for urgent medical treatment not available in Australia; on urgent and unavoidable personal business; on compassionate or humanitarian grounds; or if the travel is in the national interest.
Some people received an exemption to travel with the official reason cited on the document as "relocating overseas more than 3 months". However, this masthead knows of at least one case where a woman was denied permission to spend four months in Sweden, where she has citizenship, close family and a summer home.
The ABF spokesperson did not confirm whether the length of the trip was a consideration but said it was refusing requests where the applicants were already in an exempt category, needed to provide further information to substantiate their claims, or did not meet the criteria.
Adam Byrnes, the principal lawyer at Visa & Citizenship Lawyers in Sydney, said there had been increased demand in the past few weeks, with people turning to professionals after being knocked back multiple times.
Donna Burton, 57, from Balmoral Beach was forced to forfeit her $2000 airfare to London to see her only daughter be married in July.
She applied for an exemption to travel, was asked to provide more information, did not hear back and was turned away at the airport.
"I can see both sides '... but it was absolutely devastating not being able to go to something so significant," Ms Burton said.
ABF recently introduced an online application system that is reportedly handling applications more quickly.
Sign up to our Coronavirus Update newsletterGet our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the day's crucial developments at a glance, the numbers you need to know and what our readers are saying. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald's newsletter here and The Age's here.
Caitlin Fitzsimmons is a senior writer for The Sun-Herald, focusing on social affairs.
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Australia Nursing Home COVID scam
A guy came on, based in metro Melbourne, says he's totally respecting all the lockdowns rules.
However he has a friend who's dad just died at 79 years old. A Greek guy, it's been in the news.
The dad was in hospital for 2 weeks for late stage terminal cancer. After that he was placed back into the nursing home.
Now to be placed back in the nursing home, all aged care returning need to be tested negative for covid.
He was allowed back into the nursing home. So he definitely did not test positive for covid otherwise he would not be allowed back in.
He died the next day in the nursing home. His death was labeled as covid.
The family were upset & asked why did they put that on the death certificate when that wasn't true? The nursing home turned around & said don't you want a payout for the death?
The Australian govt is handing out $25,000 to all nursing homes who label covid as the main cause of deaths on death certificates.
Another friend verifies this story. She's got a friend who's father in law in Melbourne just died in a nursing home.
The nursing home offered the family of the deceased $9000 if they could put covid on the death certificate.
The nursing home told them if they do, it would help the nursing home as they will get $25,000 -$30,000 for every patient they label as covid on the death certificate.
The Australian people do serve to know, who is paying off these nursing homes? Where's the money coming from?
Who is funding this? And if these family's get paid off are they gagged & unable to speak out?
War on Cash
Australia's big four banks remove thousands of ATMs and close branches due to coronavirus | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 13:56
Australia's big four banks remove thousands of ATMs and shut down hundreds of branches as the coronavirus crisis pushes nation closer to a cashless societyAt least 2150 ATM terminals removed across Australia in the recent June quarterAustralia's big four banks shut up a combined 175 branches in the last 12 monthsSparked by COVID-19 as Australia move closer to becoming a cashless society Opinion divided over branch and ATM closures which will inconvenience elderlyBy Kylie Stevens For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 19:01 EDT, 16 August 2020 | Updated: 19:03 EDT, 16 August 2020
The coronavirus crisis has sparked the closure of a record number of ATMs and hundreds of bank branches as Australia moves closer towards a cashless society.
The number of ATMs across the nation are at their lowest level in 12 years at 25,720, after at least 2150 terminals removed in the recent June quarter, according to the Australian Payments Network.
Australia's big four banks '' ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac '' also shut up a combined 175 branches in the last 12 months.
The widespread closures have divided public opinion and left 2.5 million elderly Australians who don't do online banking inconvenienced.
At least 2150 ATM terminals were removed in the June quarters, according to the latest quarter. Pictured are Commonwealth Bank customers withdrawing cash in Brisbane
Of the 175 branch closures, ANZ had the highest number with 68, followed by the Commonwealth with 44, Westpac had 36 while NAB shut 27.
Westpac removed the most ATMs at 84, followed by ANZ at 73 and NAB at 21 while Commonwealth Bank didn't disclose its number of closed terminals.
The Reserve Bank of Australia's head of payments policy Tony Richards said most ATM closures were in metropolitan areas in locations such as shopping centres.
'Overall the bank expects the long-term downward trend in the use of cash to continue,' he told News Corp.
Australian Banking Association's chief executive officer Anna Bligh added: 'Australia's banks have invested heavily to keep up with the customers banking preferences with technology and data now playing a key role in how banks do their business'.
NAB recently closed 21 ATM terminals as Australia moves towards a cashless society
Not everyone has welcomed the move by the banks.
National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Henschke said many of the elderly feel more comfortable using cash amid a fear of being scammed online.
'Many of them are older Australians and taking away services from them is going to be extremely difficult for them,' he said.
The ATM and branch closures have also divided public opinion.
'This is stupid If I wasn't living with my son and family I would not be able to have the Internet. So how the hell do low income and pensioners get their money. Oh right we will be forced to walk into a bank and will be charged. Profit before people as usual,' one woman posted on Facebook.
ANZ has closed 68 branches across the nation in the last 12 months. Pictured is a branch in Newcastle, north of Sydney
Another added: 'Banks 'forced ' don't believe that, it more they wanted to shut them down so we move cashless. Cash is still legal tender . Not to meant all the people young and old that would suffer from a cashless society. The banks and the government are pushing this . And they use Covid as a way to push this forward even more suggests business to accept contactless payment only. The government needs a wake up call.'
Some disagreed Australia was heading towards a full cashless society.
'I work in retail and I call BS on this. I don't see the cashless society. I see people working to budgets using cash, the elderly and not so elderly using cash,' one woman posted.
Westpac has closed 36 branches in the last 12 month and recently removed 84 ATMs
Others believe the closures were more about bank profits.
'Banks aren't being forced at all. They choose to close branches and ATMs because profit is more important to them than providing a service,' one man commented.
The news comes as ANZ struck a deal to sell 1,300 off-branch ATM to Armaguard Group in the next 12 months.
The banks says it will maintain its network of 900 branch ATMs, as well as what it has called ''strategically important'' offsite ATMs.
Huawei's expired US license is bad news for phone owners | Engadget
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 20:29
You might not get software updates again.
After more than a year, the Commerce Department has stopped giving Huawei temporary licenses to keep supporting customers '-- and it's not great news if you happen to have one of the company's phones. The Washington Post has confirmed that the exceptions quietly expired on August 13th, making it illegal for Google and other software developers to send updates to Huawei (and, of course, to Huawei's customers). If you have a P30 Pro or another Huawei phone with full Google services, you probably won't get Android 11 or any other updates going forward.
A Google spokesperson told the Post that the temporary license was key to delivering Android updates through official means. Phones without Google services, such as the P40 Pro and many sold inside China, should still get updates as Huawei can use the open source version of Android while delivering updates itself.
The license was originally meant to help rural carriers phase out Chinese networking equipment over surveillance fears. They could theoretically replace hardware gradually. However, it also gave Huawei's consumer devices a brief lease on life by keeping them secure and current. Now, you'll have no easy way to keep them updated. You might not have much choice but to replace your phone if you're concerned about up-to-date software.
The expiry comes at a dark moment for Huawei. Tougher US trade restrictions have left Huawei without a way to make high-end Kirin chips past September, at least until alternative suppliers are available. It not only can't support many of its existing phones, but will have a limited ability to produce new flagships. While the company isn't in deep financial trouble at this stage, its future is murky.
Why does Instagram Reels suck so bad? - Vox
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:55
Hello from The Goods' twice-weekly newsletter! On Tuesdays, internet culture reporter Rebecca Jennings uses this space to update you all on what's been going on in the world of TikTok. Is there something you want to see more of? Less of? Different of? Email rebecca.jennings@vox.com, and subscribe to The Goods' newsletter here.
I've been trying to put my finger on why Instagram Reels sucks so bad. The feature '-- a rather shameless clone of TikTok '-- launched on August 5, tucked away within the Stories camera and making Instagram's already confusing Explore page even more so.
Nobody else really seems to be enjoying it either: the New York Times called it ''a dud'' for its lack of fun video editing features or useful discovery mechanisms; my colleague at the Verge, Julia Alexander, notes how difficult it is to even find Reels on Instagram at all. As one user in India told CNN, after TikTok had been banned in the country, ''There is no one that can come close to TikTok.''
you're weird if you watch reels on instagram
'-- 'š (@ervin_texta) August 14, 2020There are a million reasons why Instagram Reels feels stale to seasoned TikTok users and regular Instagrammers alike. But I think the root of the problem is this: Almost all the content is from blue checks.
''Blue checks'' is a sort-of derogatory term for people who are ''verified'' on social media, the caste of celebrities and aspiring celebrities and not-at-all celebrities (like journalists) for whom posting online is less a personal hobby and more like an extension of their job. I can't just go around retweeting conspiracy theories because I'm a reporter, and famous people can't go around liking shady Instagram comments because it'll make national news. In short, blue checks have more to lose, so they're nowhere near as creative or weird.
Which means that blue checks, in general, don't post the kind of content that makes TikTok '-- or really any platform '-- wonderful in the first place. I don't watch TikTok for Jason DeRulo's thirsty attempts at viral fame, I watch it because the random nobodies who make up the For You page have built an entirely new language of comedy and video art.
Instagram Reels has replaced these wildly entertaining nobodies with professional lifestyle influencers, people who post brand-safe outfit transformation memes that peaked on TikTok six months ago. It's not to say that there's no audience for that, but for a generation accustomed to seeing the best videos regardless of who they came from, it's the same r(C)sum(C)-approved content that makes Instagram boring in the first place.
It's also the same problem that persists on another recently hyped TikTok knockoff, but for different reasons. Triller, which has splashy celebrity investors and hired TikTok star Josh Richards to act as chief strategy officer, seeks to be the ''adult version'' of TikTok. If the app is any indication, this basically just means that pretty much everyone on the Triller home page is a verified user (Blac Chyna, Lele Pons, and Donald Trump all showed up on my feed within about a minute of scrolling).
Both Instagram Reels and Triller have leveraged their networks of influencers and celebrities to create content in the hopes that millions of regular people will follow. TikTok tried the same thing, in the beginning (Cardi B and the Jonas Brothers were briefly paid to join), but the reason it took off wasn't because Will Smith made an account. It was because young, creative kids were drawn to the editing features and an algorithm that made overnight virality possible. By prioritizing the blue checks, neither of the biggest alternatives will be able to replicate what makes TikTok worth watching.
TikTok in the newsMy colleague Shirin Ghaffary wrote an extensive explainer on why TikTok is considered a national security threat (hint: it has everything to do with Trump and China's relationship and nothing to do with the app itself). TikTok now has until November 12 to break from its Chinese parent company. Should it actually happen, the founder of a UK-based TikTok collective writes in the Guardian how a TikTok ban would hurt kids who've built massive followings on the app. ''While it's difficult for anyone to ''go viral'' with 8,000 followers on Instagram '' there is a clear line between who is and isn't an influencer '' people can get millions of views on their content on TikTok regardless of their follower count,'' he writes. More than a third of TikTok's 49 million daily users are 14 or under, according to company data reviewed by the Times, raising questions of whether the company is doing enough to protect them. (Musical.ly, the app that used to be TikTok, was fined $5.7 million by the FTC in 2019 to settle allegations that it violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.) We have a new contender for the worst person on TikTok. Meme watchIf 2019 was the summer of VSCO girls, 2020 is the summer of the ''main character.'' Since May, TikTokers, most of them young women, have been making videos in which they pretend, ironically or otherwise, to be the main character of their lives, doing things that a stereotypical girl in an indie movie might do, like lay down in the middle of the street or jump in a random Uber and announce vaguely ''I'm going home.''
There is a sense of longing and need in the meme '-- ''drinking out of a wine glass and looking over the balcony so everyone on this beach knows I'm the main character,'' reads the caption on one, while one of the most popular videos just repeats the phrase ''give me attention'' '-- but there's also a handy life lesson in here, too. As another popular audio track advises, ''You have to start romanticizing your life. You have to start thinking of yourself as the main character, because if you don't, life will continue to pass you by, and all the little things that make it beautiful will continue to go unnoticed.''
One Last ThingThis mom's tutorial on old-school dance moves taught me more than 15 years of public education.
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Coronavirus Bioweapon - How China Stole Coronavirus From Canada And Weaponized It | GreatGameIndia
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 18:12
Read this report in: हà¤à¤¨à¥à¤...à¥
Last year a mysterious shipment was caught smuggling Coronavirus from Canada. It was traced to Chinese agents working at a Canadian lab. Subsequent investigation by GreatGameIndia linked the agents to Chinese Biological Warfare Program from where the virus is suspected to have leaked causing the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus Bioweapon '' How Chinese agents stole Coronavirus from Canada and weaponized it into a BioweaponThe Saudi SARS Sample On June 13, 2012 a 60-year-old Saudi man was admitted to a private hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with a 7-day history of fever, cough, expectoration, and shortness of breath. He had no history of cardiopulmonary or renal disease, was receiving no long-term medications, and did not smoke.
Egyptian virologist Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki isolated and identified a previously unknown coronavirus from his lungs. After routine diagnostics failed to identify the causative agent, Zaki contacted Ron Fouchier, a leading virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center (EMC) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for advice.
Abnormalities on Chest Imaging of the Saudi patient infected with Coronavirus. Shown are chest radiographs of the patient on the day of admission (Panel A) and 2 days later (Panel B) and computed tomography (CT) 4 days after admission (Panel C). Fouchier sequenced the virus from a sample sent by Zaki. Fouchier used a broad-spectrum ''pan-coronavirus'' real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method to test for distinguishing features of a number of known coronaviruses known to infect humans.
This undated file image released by the British Health Protection Agency shows an electron microscope image of a coronavirus, part of a family of viruses that cause ailments including the common cold and SARS, which was first identified in the Middle East. HANDOUT/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS This Coronavirus sample was acquired by Scientific Director Dr. Frank Plummer (key to Coronavirus investigation Frank Plummer was recently assassinated in Africa) of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg directly from Fouchier, who received it from Zaki. This virus was reportedly stolen from the Canadian lab by Chinese agents.
#FrankPlummer '' renowned Winnipeg based Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory scientist key to #Coronavirus investigation has died in mysterious conditions in Africa. He was the one who received Saudi SARS Coronavirus sample which was smuggled to Wuhanhttps://t.co/VjvQMURTyT
'-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) February 6, 2020
The Canadian Lab Coronavirus arrived at Canada's NML Winnipeg facility on May 4, 2013 from the Dutch lab. The Canadian lab grew up stocks of the virus and used it to assess diagnostic tests being used in Canada. Winnipeg scientists worked to see which animal species can be infected with the new virus.
Research was done in conjunction with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's national lab, the National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases which is housed in the same complex as the National Microbiology Laboratory.
The National Microbiology Lab (The Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health) on Arlington St. in Winnipeg. Wayne Glowacki/Winnipeg Free Press Oct.22 2014 NML has a long history of offering comprehensive testing services for coronaviruses. It isolated and provided the first genome sequence of the SARS coronavirus and identified another coronavirus NL63 in 2004.
This Winnipeg based Canadian lab was targeted by Chinese agents in what could be termed as Biological Espionage .
Chinese Biological Espionage In March 2019, in mysterious event a shipment of exceptionally virulent viruses from Canada's NML ended up in China . The event caused a major scandal with Bio-warfare experts questioning why Canada was sending lethal viruses to China . Scientists from NML said the highly lethal viruses were a potential bio-weapon.
Following investigation, the incident was traced to Chinese agents working at NML . Four months later in July 2019, a group of Chinese virologists were forcibly dispatched from the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory (NML). The NML is Canada's only level-4 facility and one of only a few in North America equipped to handle the world's deadliest diseases, including Ebola, SARS, Coronavirus, etc.
Xiangguo Qiu '' The Chinese Bio-Warfare Agent The NML scientist who was escorted out of the Canadian lab along with her husband, another biologist, and members of her research team is believed to be a Chinese Bio-Warfare agent Xiangguo Qiu . Qiu was the head of the Vaccine Development and Antiviral Therapies Section in the Special Pathogens Program at Canada's NML.
Xiangguo Qiu is an outstanding Chinese scientist born in Tianjin. She primarily received her medical doctor degree from Hebei Medical University in China in 1985 and came to Canada for graduate studies in 1996. Later on, she was affiliated with the Institute of Cell Biology and the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, not engaged with studying pathogens.
Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, the Chinese Biological Warfare Agent working at the National Microbiology Laboratory, Canada But a shift took place, somehow. Since 2006, she has been studying powerful viruses in Canada's NML. The viruses shipped from the NML to China were studied by her in 2014, for instance (together with the viruses Machupo, Junin, Rift Valley Fever, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and Hendra).
Infiltrating the Canadian Lab Dr. Xiangguo Qiu is married to another Chinese scientist '' Dr. Keding Cheng, also affiliated with the NML, specifically the ''Science and Technology Core''. Dr. Cheng is primarily a bacteriologist who shifted to virology. The couple is responsible for infiltrating Canada's NML with many Chinese agents as students from a range of Chinese scientific facilities directly tied to China's Biological Warfare Program, namely:
Institute of Military Veterinary, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Changchun Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Chengdu Military Region Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hubei Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing Sources say Xiangguo Qiu and her husband Keding Cheng were escorted from the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg on July 5, 2019. Since then, the University of Manitoba has ended their appointments, reassigned her graduate students, and cautioned staff, students and faculty about traveling to China. (Governor General's Innovation Awards) All of the above four mentioned Chinese Biological Warfare facilities collaborated with Dr. Xiangguo Qiu within the context of Ebola virus, the Institute of Military Veterinary joined a study on the Rift Valley fever virus too, while the Institute of Microbiology joined a study on Marburg virus. Noticeably, the drug used in the latter study '' Favipiravir '' has been earlier tested successfully by the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, with the designation JK-05 (originally a Japanese patent registered in China already in 2006), against Ebola and additional viruses.
However, the studies by Dr. Qiu are considerably more advanced and apparently vital for the Chinese biological weapons development in case Coronavirus, Ebola, Nipah, Marburg or Rift Valley fever viruses are included therein.
The Canadian investigation is ongoing and questions remain whether previous shipments to China of other viruses or other essential preparations, took place from 2006 to 2018, one way or another.
Dr. Gary Kobinger, former chief of special pathogens (right), and Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, research scientist (second from right) met with Dr. Kent Brantly and Dr. Linda Mobula, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the physician who administered ZMapp to Brantly in Liberia when he was infected with Ebola during the 2014-16 outbreak. (Submitted by Health Canada) Dr. Xiangguo Qiu also collaborated in 2018 with three scientists from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Maryland, studying post-exposure immunotherapy for two Ebola viruses and Marburg virus in monkeys; a study supported by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
The Wuhan Coronavirus Dr. Xiangguo Qiu made at least five trips over the school year 2017-18 to the above mentioned Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which was certified for BSL4 in January 2017. Moreover, in August 2017, the National Health Commission of China approved research activities involving Ebola, Nipah, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever viruses at the Wuhan facility.
Coincidentally, the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory is located only 20 miles away from the Huanan Seafood Market which is the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak dubbed the Wuhan Coronavirus.
The Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory is located just about 20 miles away from the Huanan Seafood Market, the epicenter of Coronavirus outbreak The Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory is housed at the Chinese military facility Wuhan Institute of Virology linked to China's Biological Warfare Program. It was the first ever lab in the country designed to meet biosafety-level-4 (BSL-4) standards '' the highest biohazard level, meaning that it would be qualified to handle the most dangerous pathogens.
In January 2018, the lab was operational 'for global experiments on BSL-4 pathogens,' wrote Guizhen Wu in the journal Biosafety and Health. 'After a laboratory leak incident of SARS in 2004, the former Ministry of Health of China initiated the construction of preservation laboratories for high-level pathogens such as SARS, coronavirus, and pandemic influenza virus,' wrote Guizhen Wu.
Coronavirus Bioweapon The Wuhan institute has studied coronaviruses in the past, including the strain that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, H5N1 influenza virus, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue. Researchers at the institute also studied the germ that causes anthrax '' a biological agent once developed in Russia.
''Coronaviruses (particularly SARS) have been studied in the institute and are probably held therein,'' said Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese biowarfare. He said. ''SARS is included within the Chinese BW program, at large, and is dealt with in several pertinent facilities.''
James Giordano, a neurology professor at Georgetown University and senior fellow in Biowarfare at the U.S. Special Operations Command, said China's growing investment in bio-science, looser ethics around gene-editing and other cutting-edge technology and integration between government and academia raise the spectre of such pathogens being weaponized.
That could mean an offensive agent, or a modified germ let loose by proxies, for which only China has the treatment or vaccine. ''This is not warfare, per se,'' he said. ''But what it's doing is leveraging the capability to act as global saviour, which then creates various levels of macro and micro economic and bio-power dependencies.''
China's Biological Warfare Program In a 2015 academic paper, Shoham '' of Bar-Ilan's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies '' asserts that more than 40 Chinese facilities are involved in bio-weapon production.
China's Biological Warfare Program is believed to include full range of traditional chemical & biological agents with a wide variety of delivery systems including artillery rockets, aerial bombs, sprayers, and short-range ballistic missiles. #coronarovirus https://t.co/7qpDNNmqk7
'-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) January 25, 2020
China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences actually developed an Ebola drug '' called JK-05 '-- but little has been divulged about it or the defence facility's possession of the virus, prompting speculation its Ebola cells are part of China's bio-warfare arsenal, Shoham told the National Post.
Ebola is classified as a ''category A'' bioterrorism agent by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meaning it could be easily transmitted from person to person, would result in high death rates and ''might cause panic.'' The CDC lists Nipah as a category C substance, a deadly emerging pathogen that could be engineered for mass dissemination.
China's Biological Warfare Program is believed to be in an advanced stage that includes research and development, production and weaponization capabilities. Its current inventory is believed to include the full range of traditional chemical and biological agents with a wide variety of delivery systems including artillery rockets, aerial bombs, sprayers, and short-range ballistic missiles.
Weaponizing Biotech China's national strategy of military-civil fusion has highlighted biology as a priority, and the People's Liberation Army could be at the forefront of expanding and exploiting this knowledge.
Weaponizing Biotech '' China's War for Biological Dominance#coronoavirushttps://t.co/MEVQ5VERJw
'-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) January 25, 2020
The PLA is pursuing military applications for biology and looking into promising intersections with other disciplines, including brain science, supercomputing, and artificial intelligence. Since 2016, the Central Military Commission has funded projects on military brain science, advanced biomimetic systems, biological and biomimetic materials, human performance enhancement, and ''new concept'' biotechnology.
In 2016, an AMMS doctoral researcher published a dissertation, ''Research on the Evaluation of Human Performance Enhancement Technology,'' which characterized CRISPR-Cas as one of three primary technologies that might boost troops' combat effectiveness. The supporting research looked at the effectiveness of the drug Modafinil, which has applications in cognitive enhancement; and at transcranial magnetic stimulation, a type of brain stimulation, while also contending that the ''great potential'' of CRISPR-Cas as a ''military deterrence technology in which China should ''grasp the initiative'' in development.
In 2016, the potential strategic value of genetic information led the Chinese government to launch the National Genebank, which intends to become the world's largest repository of such data. It aims to ''develop and utilize China's valuable genetic resources, safeguard national security in bioinformatics, and enhance China's capability to seize the strategic commanding heights'' in the domain of Biotechnology Warfare.
Chinese military's interest in biology as an emerging domain of warfare is guided by strategists who talk about potential ''genetic weapons'' and the possibility of a ''bloodless victory.''
This story has been published in full in one of the world's largest Chinese TV News Network '' NTDTV.
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Trump dangles cash for US firms moving from China - BBC News
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 05:19
Image copyright Reuters
US President Donald Trump wants to offer tax credits to entice US firms to move factories out of China.
He has also threatened to strip government contracts from firms that continue to outsource work to China.
In a speech on Monday, Mr Trump vowed to create 10 million jobs in 10 months saying ''we will end our reliance on China.''
It marks his latest attack on China, after moves that have involved tech companies TikTok, WeChat and Huawei.
The announcement came as tensions between Washington and Beijing have been escalating rapidly in recent months.
Huawei: US tightens restrictions on Chinese giant Trump administration plans Chinese tech crackdown China and trade: Breaking up is hard to doThe Trump administration is now casting its net beyond the Chinese technology companies it has accused of threatening US national security.
''We will create tax credits for companies that bring jobs from China back to America,'' Mr Trump said. ''We built the greatest economy in the history of the world and now I have to do it again.''
Chinese communications giant Huawei has repeatedly come under attack by the US government and on Monday further restrictions were placed on the company to limit the electrical components it can buy.
The Trump administration has also threatened to include more Chinese technology firms on its blacklist of companies which face bans in the US, alongside TikTok and WeChat,
As November's US presidential election approaches, Mr Trump has upped the ante in targeting China, accusing its companies of stealing American jobs and intellectual property.
In Monday's speech, Mr Trump added that ''we will make our critical drugs and supplies right here in the United States.''
American iconsMany well-known US products are made overseas for American consumers, a business strategy known as outsourcing.
America's most valuable public company, Apple, uses a Taiwanese firm called Foxconn to make the majority of its best-selling iPhones. Foxconn has factories in both China and Taiwan.
Other iconic American brands, including Nike, also have large manufacturing plants in China as well as other parts of Asia.
Global brands have been reviewing their Chinese operations amid the coronavirus pandemic after temporary factories closures caused major supply chain disruptions.
China is often referred to as the ''world's factory'' but its share of global exports has been hit by the trade dispute with the US and the coronavirus pandemic.
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 16:43
Follow Matt on TwitterA former CIA officer is accused of selling classified information to Chinese intelligence officials. The espionage charge was unsealed Monday against Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, 67, who is alleged to have provided Chinese officials with information about CIA personnel, operations and the agency's methods for concealing communications.
Federal prosecutors allege that Ma conspired with an 85-year-old relative who also served as a former CIA officer. The relative, who was unnamed and uncharged in the indictment due to his age, 85, and advanced cognitive disease, who also worked for the agency from 1967 to 1983.The indictment says that at least as early as 2001, the two were already providing information to agents of Beijing's Ministry of State Security.
''The trail of Chinese espionage is long and, sadly, strewn with former American intelligence officers who betrayed their colleagues, their country and its liberal democratic values to support an authoritarian communist regime,'' Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said Thursday. ''This betrayal is never worth it. To the Chinese intelligence services, these individuals are expendable. To us, they are sad but urgent reminders of the need to stay vigilant.''
Ma is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday in Hawaii. He is charged with conspiracy to communicate national defense information to aid a foreign government. If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of life in prison.
US universities offer Chinese students code names as protection
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 23:43
By Rozina Sabur August 20, 2020 '-- 8.00am
Washington: American universities will reportedly offer Chinese students code names and the chance to opt out of political discussions to protect them from being targeted under Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong.
Several of America's top institutions will offer warning labels when their classes resume in the autumn, according to the Wall Street Journal, amid fears that the new law could lead to students and teachers facing prosecution from the Chinese authorities.
Princeton's campus. Credit: Heather Sten
Chinese politics students at Princeton University will be given codes to use instead of their names when submitting their work, while Harvard Business School will allow students to sit out class discussions on politically sensitive issues, the newspaper reported.
The new national security law, aimed at stamping out anti-government protests in Hong Kong, gives the authorities the ability to impose lengthy jail terms for vaguely defined national security crimes, such as subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.
Its reach has already been felt outside the city - with Beijing targeting Hong Kong activists based in the US earlier this month.
The new rules also apply to those who are not Hong Kong residents, suggesting that foreigners who speak in support of the city's independence or criticise the administration could be prosecuted upon entering Hong Kong or mainland China.
Almost 370,000 Chinese students and 7000 students from Hong Kong enrolled at US universities in the previous academic year, many of them choosing to take courses covering Chinese law and politics.
Safety concerns have become more pronounced in the age of coronavirus, with many universities switching to virtual learning, leaving video classes vulnerable to eavesdropping by state authorities.
Telegraph, London
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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy To Appear Before Senate : NPR
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:42
A group of protestors hold a demonstration in front of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's home in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 16, 2020. LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images A group of protestors hold a demonstration in front of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's home in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 16, 2020.
LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will testify Friday before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the committee confirms to NPR.
According to the committee, the hearing will focus on the "finances and operations of the postal service during COVID-19 and upcoming elections."
Ranking member Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., tweeted Tuesday morning about the upcoming hearing, writing DeJoy "must answer urgent questions about @USPS postal delivery delays harming Michiganders & Americans."
🚨BREAKING🚨As @HSGAC Ranking Member'--I called on Postmaster General DeJoy to testify before our Committee'--and am pleased to have secured an oversight hearing with him on Friday. He must answer urgent questions about @USPS postal delivery delays harming Michiganders & Americans. https://t.co/7R8StCl6cj
'-- Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) August 18, 2020DeJoy, an ally of President Trump and major GOP donor, has come under fire in recent weeks for mail delivery problems that have cropped up all over the country following major operational changes he instituted after taking over the service earlier this summer.
Democrats are particularly concerned that the delivery delays could lead to thousands of mail in ballots being rejected this fall.
Those concerns were amplified last week when President Trump indicated to Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo that he opposes Democrats' proposed boost in funding for the U.S. Postal Service because he wants to make it harder to expand voting by mail.
"They want $25 billion for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. Now, in the meantime, they aren't getting there. But if they don't get those two items, that means you can't have universal mail-in voting because they're not equipped to have it," Trump said.
He later walked those remarks back, claiming his only goal is to ensure the integrity of the Nov. 3 election, although there is no evidence that mail ballot systems lead to the fraud Trump says he's worried about.
Pressure has been building since DeJoy took command of the Postal Service for him to answer questions about his plans to "implement an organizational realignment" at the agency, and his decision to reduce overtime for mail carriers, and the removal of high-speed sorting machines.
The agency has long been in financial trouble, losing $9 billion last year.
DeJoy is also scheduled to testify Monday before the House Oversight Committee.
A USPS representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's opening remarks for the USPS Board of Governors Aug. 7 meeting - Newsroom - About.usps.com
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:35
Below are the prepared opening remarks by Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy for the Postal Service Board of Governors open session meeting on Aug. 7, 2020. The remarks as delivered may vary from the prepared text. An audio recording of the full meeting will be available at https://about.usps.com/who/leadership/board-governors/briefings/welcome.htm.
''This is my first open session of the Board of Governors and I would like to offer my public thanks to the Governors for entrusting me with this role. It is an incredible honor to serve the public and this organization as Postmaster General.
I look forward to working with all of you, our management team, and the men and women of the Postal Service '' as well as our postal unions, management associations, customers and other stakeholders.
We are at the beginning of a transformative process. Our goal is to change and improve the Postal Service to better serve the American public, and I am excited about the opportunities ahead.
I would also like to add my public welcome to Governors Lee Moak and Bill Zollars. Thank you for joining this Board and for serving the American public. I look forward to working with you. My first day on the job as Postmaster General was June 15th. Since then, I have been fully immersed in understanding and evaluating all aspects of the postal organization and business model.
We have conducted numerous deep-dive meetings in every core area of our business. We have assessed previous plans as well as research and analysis about our products and services and the competitive marketplace.
We have also dug deeply into our operational practices and the many ways we deliver value for our customers, as well as the drivers of our troubling financial condition.
Let me start by saying that I am an optimist by nature, and as I take on this new role, I am enthusiastic and energized about the prospects for our future and our untapped promise. I have been extremely impressed by the dedication of the Postal Service workforce and their commitment to the public service that we provide to the American people, and I am excited about the fantastic competencies of this organization. I believe that there are tremendous opportunities available to us, and I am very confident that we can turn our business around and become financially healthy, while remaining a vital part of the nation's critical infrastructure.
That said, I am a realist, and am keenly aware of the magnitude of the financial challenges we face. Our financial position is dire, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, a broken business model and a management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues. As a result, the Postal Service has experienced over a decade of financial losses, with FY 2019 approaching $9 billion and 2020 closing in on $11 billion in losses. Without dramatic change, there is no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis.
At the same time, there is a critical need to make capital investments in order to ensure effective and efficient operations, and meet the needs of the American people. Our financial situation has forced us to defer capital investments over the past decade in order to preserve liquidity, which is not a sustainable strategy for success. Most vitally, we need to invest in new delivery vehicles so that our letter carriers can safely serve the American people and we can participate in the growth of the new economy.
As we have repeatedly stated, Congress and the Postal Regulatory Commission have long delayed much needed legislative and regulatory reforms to help address the situation. Congress must enact reform legislation that addresses our unaffordable retirement payments. Most importantly, Congress must allow the Postal Service to integrate our retiree health benefits program with Medicare, which is a common-sense best practice followed by all businesses who still offer retiree health care. Rather than sensationalizing isolated operational incidents that I acknowledge can occur and have always occurred in a business of our size and scope or attempting to impose unfunded mandates unrelated to any postal policies, I ask members of Congress to take action on this one legislative burdensome issue that will actually make a difference.
The Commission, meanwhile, must expeditiously resolve the 10-year review, and a design a more rational regulatory system for our mail products. The 10-year review has been ongoing for nearly 4 years, and it has been nearly 3 years since the Commission concluded that the current system is not working, yet it has still not finalized a replacement system. Since that time we have delivered over 480 billion pieces of mail and packages under a system that our regulator acknowledges is not working, and we continue to wait for the required relief. Had Congress and the PRC fulfilled their obligations to the American people concerning the Postal Service, I am certain that nearly $80 billion of cumulative losses we have experienced since 2007 could have been avoided, and that the Postal Service's operational and financial performance would not be in jeopardy.
Drama and delay does not get the mail delivered on time, nor does it pay our bills. Without timely legislative and regulatory reform, we will be forced to take aggressive measures to cut costs and bridge the divide.
At the same time, the Postal Service has failed to engage a sufficient operating strategy that adequately mitigated these predicted annual financial losses. We will not and cannot wait for the legislative and regulatory process to save us. The Postal Service must do our part, by pursuing every strategy within our control to ensure our success, and in that regard I know we can do more. If we want to be viable for the long term, it is absolutely imperative for the Postal Service to operate efficiently and effectively, while continuing to provide service that fulfills our universal service mandate and meets the needs of our customers.
There are competitive alternatives to every product that we offer, and for that reason high-quality, reasonably-priced service is an absolute necessity, but it is equally important for us to embrace the reality that high quality service and efficient service are not mutually exclusive, but instead must go hand-in hand if we are going to keep pace with our competition and be self-sustaining, as our mandate requires.
The Postal Service is a great American institution with tremendous capabilities and prospects, and I know there is tremendous additional value within the Postal Service that needs to be unlocked. To reach our full potential we need to be even better at everything we do well now, but we also need to recognize our issues and urgently embrace the changes required to unleash the full range of possibilities, and we need to start yesterday. For that reason, we have begun by vigorously focusing on the ingrained inefficiencies in our operations. To start with, we have taken immediate steps to better adhere to our existing operating plans, which were developed precisely to ensure that we meet our present service standards in an efficient and effective manner. By running our operations on time and on schedule, and by not incurring unnecessary overtime or other costs, we will enhance our ability to be sustainable and to be able to continue to provide high-quality, affordable service. I call on every executive, employee, union and management association leader to join me in pursuing this simple objective that every service organization needs to achieve in order to be successful.
As we implement our operating plans, we will aggressively monitor and quickly address service issues. You can rest assured that we will continually review our operational practices and make adjustments as required to ensure that we operate in an efficient and effective manner.
During the early days of my tenure we have also taken a fresh look at our operations and considered any necessary organizational and structural adjustments that will best position us to maximize our core competencies and key strengths. We are highly focused on our public service mission. However, we collectively recognize that changes must be made, and for that reason we will implement an organizational realignment that will refocus our business, improve line of sight, enable faster solutions, reduce redundancies, and increase accountability. This realignment will strengthen the Postal Service by enabling us to identify new opportunities to generate revenue, so that we will have additional financial resources to be able to continue to fulfill our universal service obligation to all of America.
Further, we also are now in the process of developing a series of additional actions, which, if approved by the Board, will include new and creative ways for us to fulfill our mission, and will likewise focus on our strengths to maximize our prospects for long-term success. We will improve the products and services we provide, pursue new revenue areas, and continue to operate more efficiently. The plan will consist of actions that the Postal Service can undertake with the approval of the Governors, as well as elements requiring Congressional and Postal Regulatory Commission actions.
As we move forward in developing and implementing these initiatives, I'm especially appreciative of the strong efforts of our management team, and the many contributors within our internal organization who are involved in this important process, and I likewise welcome the good discussions and healthy debate that I have had with our union leadership already.
I am also thankful for the ongoing consultation with this Board regarding our business planning, and I look forward to our ongoing dialogue.
While I have the pulpit, I also want to take the opportunity to clear up some misconceptions some may have about me and the positions I intend to advance on behalf of the Postal Service.
First, while I certainly have a good relationship with the President of the United States, the notion that I would ever make decisions concerning the Postal Service at the direction of the President, or anyone else in the Administration, is wholly off-base. I serve at the pleasure of the Governors of the Postal Service, a group that is bipartisan by statute and that will evaluate my performance in a nonpartisan fashion. The Postal Service itself has a proud tradition of being a nonpartisan organization, which I believe is one reason why the Postal Service is consistently rated by the public as the most trusted federal entity. I intend to uphold the trust that has been placed in me by the Governors, and to fulfill my responsibilities to this organization and to the public interest, by trying to make good decisions through the exercise of my best judgment and business acumen gained through 35 years of commercial experience, and not based upon any partisanship.
Second, let me be clear that with regard to Election Mail, the Postal Service and I are fully committed to fulfilling our role in the electoral process. If public policy makers choose to utilize the mail as a part of their election system, we will do everything we can to deliver Election Mail in a timely manner consistent with our operational standards. We do ask election officials and voters to be mindful of the time that it takes for us to deliver ballots, whether it is a blank ballot going to a voter or a completed ballot going back to election officials. We have delivery standards that have been in place for many years. These standards have not changed, and despite any assertions to the contrary, we are not slowing down Election Mail or any other mail. Instead, we continue to employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all Election Mail.
We have been working closely with election and other public officials throughout the country to ensure that they are well educated about the mailing process and can use the mail effectively to administer elections. Ensuring that election officials throughout the country have an understanding of our operational parameters, including the circumstances under which we postmark mail and our delivery standards, so that they can educate voters accordingly, is important to achieving a successful election season. Although there will likely be an unprecedented increase in election mail volume due to the pandemic, the Postal Service has ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on-time in accordance with our delivery standards, and we will do so. However, as discussed, we cannot correct the errors of the Election Boards if they fail to deploy processes that take our normal processing and delivery standards into account.
Third, I was not appointed by the Governors to position the Postal Service to be privatized or to manage its decline. To the contrary, I accepted the job of Postmaster General fully committed to the role of the Postal Service as an integral part of the United States Government, providing all Americans with universal and open access to our unrivalled processing and delivery network, as reflected in the Mission Statement that the Board adopted on April 1, 2020. I fully embrace six-day delivery of mail and packages as one of this organization's greatest strengths and I plan to invest in tools and equipment for our letter carriers, as well as enhance the stability of our non-career workforce, to continue to provide the nation's most trusted service. I accept the responsibility that the Governors gave me to maintain and enhance our reputation and role as a trusted face of the federal government in every community, and I intend to work with postal executives, management associations, managers, union leadership, and our craft employees to do everything I can to put us back on a financially stable path. I am confident that we can chart a path forward that allows the Postal Service to fulfill our vital public service mission in a sustainable manner. I look forward to the challenge, and know we are up to it.
Today, we are releasing our results for our third quarter, ended June 30. Joe Corbett, our Chief Financial Officer, will review those results in detail this morning. I would like to provide just a couple of comments on overall business conditions.
We have experienced some dramatic shifts in our business since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
First and foremost, we have taken the steps necessary to make sure that our employees can work safely. We have worked closely with our unions to assess the needs and fill the gaps, and now there is a solid process in place to ensure the right protective equipment and other supplies are in the right places.
We have also seen an unprecedented increase in package deliveries since March. We expect elevated package volumes will continue through the end of the year at least '' and may have some long-term staying power.
We are obviously highly attentive to changing consumer e-commerce behaviors and what this means for our business. We are proud to be the carrier of choice for companies to reach homes and businesses, especially during the current situation.
On the whole, while package growth has been strong, the changes in U.S. economic conditions due to the pandemic are straining our financial situation. We have seen substantial declines in mail volume, as well as significantly increased costs.
On Wednesday of last week, I announced that we have reached an agreement in principle with the Department of the Treasury on the terms and conditions associated with $10 billion lending authority provided in the CARES Act. I very much appreciate Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for working with me to reach mutually acceptable terms and conditions.
Access to an additional $10 billion in borrowing authority will delay the approaching liquidity crisis and is a positive development. However, we remain on an unsustainable path which cannot be solved simply by borrowing money which needs to be paid back with interest, since our current path does not enable us to pay even our current bills, let alone new ones. We will continue to focus on improving operational efficiency and pursuing other reforms in order to put the Postal Service on a trajectory for long-term financial stability.
Before I conclude, I'd like to comment briefly on the public service mission of the organization.
I have been struck by the commitment and dedication of postal employees, who have truly gone above and beyond in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public support for the organization is extremely high because postal employees are so committed to serving their communities and their customers. We aim to continually earn the trust and support of the public.
In that regard, I'd like to conclude by thanking the 630,000 men and women of the Postal Service for their hard work serving America's communities. In addition to the challenges presented by the pandemic, many parts of the country have experienced extreme heat this summer, and the hurricane season has begun.
Thank you for your exceptional commitment to our mission of serving the nation. We appreciate all you do, every day.''
Postal Regulatory Commission
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:34
The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent Federal agency that provides transparency and accountability of the U. S. Postal Service's operations.
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The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent Federal agency that provides transparency and accountability of the U. S. Postal Service's operations.
Learn More
The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent Federal agency that provides transparency and accountability of the U. S. Postal Service's operations.
Learn More
The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent Federal agency that provides transparency and accountability of the U. S. Postal Service's operations.
Learn More
The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent Federal agency that provides transparency and accountability of the U. S. Postal Service's operations.
Learn More
Postal Regulatory Commission - Wikipedia
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:33
The United States Postal Regulatory Commission (or PRC), formerly called the Postal Rate Commission, is an independent regulatory agency created by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. Like the Postal Service, it was defined in law as an independent establishment of the executive branch.
United States Postal Regulatory CommissionAgency overviewFormed1970Headquarters901 New York Avenue NW Suite #200 Washington, D.C.Employees65Annual budget$15 mAgency executivesRobert G. Taub, ChairmanNanci E. Langley, Vice-ChairmanTony Hammond, CommissionerMark Acton, CommissionerMichael M. Kubayanda, CommissionerWebsite www.prc.gov History Edit Postal Rate Commission Edit The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 created the PRC'--originally named the Postal Rate Commission'--to set the rates for different classes of mail by holding hearings on rates proposed by the United States Postal Service (USPS).
From 1970 through 2006, the PRC also had oversight authority over the USPS in areas besides rates changes. Specifically, that additional oversight consisted of conducting public, on-the-record hearings concerning proposed mail classification or major service changes and of recommending actions to be taken by the postal Governors.[1]
Postal Regulatory Commission Edit The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-435) enacted on December 20, 2006, made several changes to the Postal Regulatory Commission.[2][3] Besides giving the body its current name, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act significantly strengthened the Commission's authority to serve as a counterbalance to new flexibility granted to the USPS in setting postal rates.
The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act requires the Postal Regulatory Commission to develop and maintain regulations for a modern system of rate regulation, consult with the Postal Service on delivery service standards and performance measures, consult with the Department of State on international postal policies, prevent cross-subsidization or other anti-competitive postal practices, promote transparency and accountability, and adjudicate complaints.
The law also assigns new and continuing oversight responsibilities to the Postal Regulatory Commission, including annual determinations of USPS compliance with applicable laws, development of accounting practices and procedures for the Postal Service, review of the Universal Service requirement, and assurance of transparency through periodic reports. New enforcement tools given to the PRC include subpoena power, authority to direct the Postal Service to adjust rates and to take other remedial actions, and levying fines in cases of deliberate noncompliance with applicable postal laws.
Retiree Health Benefits Fund Edit According to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the United States Postal Service must make annual payments of between $5.4 billion and $5.8 billion to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund from 2007. This provision of the law has been highly controversial, as no other federal agency is required to pre-fund future retirees' health benefits in this manner. The consequences of this funding requirement have been blamed for the perilous financial condition of the Postal Service, but no consensus has been reached on its fiscal effects, given other contributors such as stiff competition and other economic circumstances.[4][5]
In June 2011, the United States Postal Service had to suspend its weekly payment of $115 million into the fund because it had reached $8 billion in debt and the retirement plan had a surplus of $6.9 billion.[6]
Composition Edit The PRC is composed of five Commissioners'--each of whom is appointed to a six-year term of office by the President and confirmed by the Senate, similar to many other high-level Executive Branch office holders.[7] As with Postal Governors, PRC commissioners are permitted to serve for one additional "holdover" year beyond the end of their term if a replacement has not been nominated and confirmed. The President designates one Commissioner as Chairman of the Commission. The Commissioners together designate one of their number as a Vice-Chairman for a one-year term. No more than three of the Commissioners can be from any one political party.
The current members are:
NamePositionPartyTerm ExpiresRobert G. TaubChairmanRepublicanOctober 14, 2022Michael M. KubayandaVice ChairmanDemocraticNovember 22, 2020Mark ActonCommissionerRepublicanOctober 14, 2022Ann C. FisherCommissionerRepublicanOct. 14, 2024Ashley E. PolingCommissionerDemocraticNov. 22, 2024Taub and Acton were confirmed for second terms in December 2016. Kubayanda was confirmed as a new Commissioner on January 2, 2019. Fisher and Poling were confirmed as new Commissioners on August 1, 2019.
The PRC is organized into five operating offices: Accountability and Compliance, General Counsel, Public Affairs and Government Relations, Secretary, and Inspector General.[8]
Office of Accountability & Compliance Edit The Office of Accountability & Compliance (OAC) provides analytic support to the Commission for the review of various Postal Service proposed actions: rate changes, negotiated service agreements (NSAs), classification of products and services, the Annual Compliance Determination, the Annual Report to President and Congress, changes to postal services, post office closings and other issues before the Commission. Areas of expertise include economic and econometric analysis, analysis of operational characteristics of the postal system, analysis of Postal Service operating costs and cost methodologies. OAC also collects, analyzes and periodically summarizes financial and various other statistical information to support Commission responsibilities.[9]
Office of General Counsel Edit The Office of General Counsel provides legal assistance on matters involving the Commission's responsibilities; defends Commission decisions before the courts; and advises the Commission on the legal aspects of proposed legislation, rulemaking, and policies on procurement, contracting, personnel matters, ethics, and other internal legal matters.[9]
Office of Public Affairs & Government Relations Edit The Office of Public Affairs & Government Relations (PAGR) manages communications and public outreach for the Commission with the public, Members of Congress, the Postal Service, state and local governments, and the news media. PAGR engages in public outreach, responds to media inquiries and disseminates information concerning Commission decisions and activities to the public. PAGR also provides information to postal customers and assists in the resolution of informal complaints, called "rate and service inquiries", from members of the public.[9]
Office of Secretary & Administration Edit The Office of Secretary & Administration records and preserves PRC actions and documents, manages the dockets, reference materials, and interagency reporting. It also helps to manage the administrative aspects of the PRC, including budgeting and accounting, strategic planning, contracting, human resources and personnel, and serves as a point of contact for audits. It also manages facilities and infrastructure, and provides support services.[9]
Office of Inspector General Edit The Office of Inspector General is a watchdog office that seeks out fraud, waste and abuse in the PRC programs and operations, and conducts audits of programs to identify areas of potential improvement. The Office of Inspector General also investigates allegations and complaints.
Public Representative Edit The law (39 U.S.C. 505) requires that the Commission designate an individual to represent the interest of the general public in every public proceeding. This obligation is likely unique in the federal government, although state-level public utility commissions have similar arrangements. Since 2007, the Commission has used the method of appointing a staff member, on a case-by-case basis, to represent the public interest before the Commission for the duration of that particular case. This appointee is called the Public Representative. The Public Representative can obtain legal or technical support if necessary to fulfill that responsibility, but no one working in the Public Representative role can participate in the Commission's decision-making process.
See also Edit Board of Governors of the United States Postal ServiceHistory of United States postage ratesNotes Edit ^ Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 ^ "Bill summary and status ^ Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) - H.R. 6407". via Library of Congress. December 20, 2006. ^ "Widespread Facebook post blames 2006 law for US Postal Service's financial woes". www.politifact.com . Retrieved 4 May 2020 . ^ "Status, Financial Outlook, and Alternative Approaches to Fund Retiree Health Benefits" (PDF) . www.gao.gov. p. 7 . Retrieved 11 April 2018 . Contrary to statements made by some employee groups and other stakeholders, PAEA did not require USPS to prefund 75 years of retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. Rather, pursuant to OPM's methodology, such payments would be projected to fund the liability over a period in excess of 50 years, from 2007 through 2056 and beyond (with rolling 15-year amortization periods after 2041). However, the payments required by PAEA were significantly "frontloaded," with the fixed payment amounts in the first 10 years exceeding what actuarially determined amounts would have been using a 50-year amortization schedule. ^ U.S. Postal Service In Crisis: Proposals To Prevent A Postal Shutdown. Opm.gov. Retrieved on 2013-10-30. ^ Postal Regulatory Commission: About PRC: Commissioners Archived 2011-01-09 at the Wayback Machine. Prc.gov (2012-11-22). Retrieved on 2013-10-30. ^ Postal Regulatory Commission: About PRC Archived 2010-12-19 at the Wayback Machine. Prc.gov (2006-12-20). Retrieved on 2013-10-30. ^ a b c d "ORDER AMENDING ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION IN 39 CFR PART 3002" (PDF) . Postal Regulatory Commission. April 26, 2013 . Retrieved 2013-12-18 . External links Edit Official website Pub.L. 109''435 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006Postal Regulatory Commission in the Federal Register
KaiOS reaching out
Study: US adults who mostly rely on social media for news are less informed, exposed to more conspiracies | TechCrunch
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:23
A new report from Pew Research makes an attempt to better understand U.S. adults who get their news largely from social media platforms, and compare their understanding of current events and political knowledge to those who use other sources, like TV, radio and news publications. The top-level finding, according to Pew, is that social media news consumers tend to follow the news less closely and end up less informed on several key subjects.
That seems to reinforce a belief that many people already hold, of course '-- that people who get their news primarily from Facebook, for example, aren't as informed.
But it's important to understand how Pew Research came to this conclusion and debate to what extent it means the platforms are at fault, which is unclear from this data.
The firm first asked people how they most commonly get their news.
About one-in-five (18%) said they mostly use social media to stay current. That's close the percentages of those who say they use local TV (16%) or cable TV (16%) news, but fewer than those who say they go directly to a news website or app (25%). Another 13% said they use network TV and only 3% said they read a newspaper.
Image Credits: Pew Research
To be clear, any study that asks users to self-report how they do something isn't going to be as useful as those that collect hard data on what the consumers actually do. In other words, people who think they're getting most of their news from TV may be, in reality, undercounting the time they spent on social media '-- or vice versa.
That said, among this group of ''primarily'' social media news consumers, only 8% said they were following the key news story of the 2020 U.S. election ''very closely,'' compared with 37% of cable TV viewers who said the same, or the 33% of print users who also said this. The social media group, on this topic, was closer to the local TV group (11%).
On the topic of the coronavirus outbreak, only around a quarter (23%) of the primarily social media news consumers said they were following news of COVID-19 ''very closely.'' All other groups again reported a higher percentage, including those who primarily used cable TV (50%), national network TV (50%), news websites and apps (44%) and local TV (32%) for news.
Related to this finding, the survey respondents were also asked 29 different fact-based questions about news topics from recent days, including those on Trump's impeachment, the COVID-19 outbreak and others. Those who scored the lowest on these topics were the consumers who said they primarily used social media to get their news.
Across nine questions related to foundational political knowledge, only 17% of primarily social media news consumers scored ''high political knowledge,'' meaning they got eight to nine of the questions right; 27% scored ''middle political knowledge'' (six-seven right) and 57% scored ''low political knowledge'' (five or fewer right.) The only group that did worse were those who primarily relied on local TV.
Image Credits: Pew Research
Also, 45% of those who got their news primarily via websites and apps, meanwhile, had ''high political knowledge,'' compared with 42% for radio, 41% for print, 35% for cable TV and 29% for network TV.
The social media group of news consumers was also more exposed to fringe conspiracies, like the idea that the pandemic was intentionally planned. Nearly a quarter (26%) of those who primarily got their news via social media said they had heard ''a lot'' about this conspiracy, and a sizable 81% said they had at least ''a little.'' This was significantly higher than all other news platforms, and a indication of how much conspiracies can spread across social media.
Image Credits: Pew Research
And yet, the same social media group reported they're less concerned about the impact of made-up news. Only around four-in-ten (37%) said they were ''very concerned'' about the impact of made-up news on the 2020 elections, for example, which was lower than every other group except for local TV viewers (35%). Cable TV viewers had the most concern, at 58%.
More concerning, perhaps, is the power these conspiracies have to sway minds. Among those social media news consumers aware of the COVID-19 conspiracy, 44% who used social media to often get COVID-19 news said the theory was at least ''probably true.'' Only 33% of those who relied less on social media for COVID-19 news said the same.
Image Credits: Pew Research
The study went on to compare social media news consumers' knowledge of other topics, like COVID-19 impacts and related health news, with those who got their news from other sources, using similar methods. Again, the social media group came away with the least knowledgeable.
Image Credits: Pew Research
Pew's conclusion from its research is that social media users are less informed, which seems fairly accurate on these specific topics. But the implication '-- or at least, what some people might take away from this report '-- is that they're less informed because they rely on social media as their primary news source. That's not necessarily true, given this data.
One issue with that conclusion has to do with social media demographics. The firm's research also found that social media news consumers skewed young '-- 48% of those who mostly used social media for news were between 18 and 29, for example. They also tended to have lower levels of formal education, as only 26% had a college degree, versus 47% of those who read news websites or the 49% who turn to print. (Of course, this lack of higher education is likely, in part, tied to the fact that social media users skewed younger.)
Image Credits: Pew Research
Historically, we know young people don't engage with politics at the same level as older adults. They turn out at lower numbers during elections. They can be less engaged in their local politics because they're relocating for college or for new jobs, because they haven't made voting a habit and often miss registration deadlines. They may have had a poor education in civics to begin with and haven't yet filled in the gaps the way older adults have. Many also feel alienated from politics. And so on.
On other topics, young people may also feel similarly distanced and disengaged. Many young adults have been unconcerned by the coronavirus outbreak, for example, thinking it only impacts older people, and carrying on as usual.
Their lack of knowledge, then, about the news may be due not to the platform where it's consumed, but their interest and engagement with the topics in general.
Open letter - The way Aussies search with Google is at risk - Google
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 04:01
We need to let you know about new Government regulation that will hurt how Australians use Google Search and YouTube.
A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia.
The way Aussies search every day on Google is at risk from new regulation You've always relied on Google Search and YouTube to show you what's most relevant and helpful to you. We could no longer guarantee that under this law. The law would force us to give an unfair advantage to one group of businesses - news media businesses - over everyone else who has a website, YouTube channel or small business. News media businesses alone would be given information that would help them artificially inflate their ranking over everyone else, even when someone else provides a better result. We've always treated all website owners fairly when it comes to information we share about ranking. The proposed changes are not fair and they mean that Google Search results and YouTube will be worse for you.
Your Search data may be at riskYou trust us with your data and our job is to keep it safe. Under this law, Google has to tell news media businesses ''how they can gain access'' to data about your use of our products. There's no way of knowing if any data handed over would be protected, or how it might be used by news media businesses.
Hurting the free services you useWe deeply believe in the importance of news to society. We partner closely with Australian news media businesses '-- we already pay them millions of dollars and send them billions of free clicks every year. We've offered to pay more to license content. But rather than encouraging these types of partnerships, the law is set up to give big media companies special treatment and to encourage them to make enormous and unreasonable demands that would put our free services at risk.
This law wouldn't just impact the way Google and YouTube work with news media businesses '-- it would impact all of our Australian users, so we wanted to let you know. We're going to do everything we possibly can to get this proposal changed so we can protect how Search and YouTube work for you in Australia and continue to build constructive partnerships with news media businesses '-- not choose one over the other.
You'll hear more from us in the coming days '-- stay tuned.
Thank you,Mel Silva, Managing Director, on behalf of Google Australia
Middle East Peace Deal
Beirut Non-Nuke Bomb
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:
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. LMK if you'd like me to write it up.
My guess would be that certain members of the officers and crew of the TN removed all 50 or so of the mod 2's from the Tridents and turned them over at sea to the "recipients" through a subterfuge, probably in the guise of some ordinary operation. Everything would be highly compartmentalized so even direct participants could be unaware, and only a handful would really be aware of the nature of what was being done. I further suspect this plot was discovered after the fact, as it explains why the TN returned to base so quickly. The horses had left the barn.
Exact specs on the size of the mod 2 are secret but you can guess a little. The "mother" warhead W76 weighs 362.5 lbs, and you can also draw out how many fit atop a Trident to estimate the max width. I'd guess that the mod 2, which is just a component and which dispenses with the reentry vehicle for the "new application", is perhaps a couple of feet across and weighs well under 100 lbs.
Who knows how close that really is, but the point is that once in possession of the new owners, they would be small enough to be fitted as the warhead of any number of missiles and guided bombs. One candidate is this: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/rampage-missile-might-be-israels-new-super-weapon-57267
At the port, fighter jets were heard and seen, as was the sound of a missile launch seconds before the blast, so an air-launched missile appears to be the final delivery system. Thus the nuke was only out of their control for a matter of seconds. As risky as being seen flying jets around and firing missiles is, they can and they do say that videos were faked and people were pointing at something else, etc.
US to loosen nuclear weapons constraints and develop more 'usable' warheads | US news | The Guardian
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 13:50
The Trump administration plans to loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop a new low-yield nuclear warhead for US Trident missiles, according to a former official who has seen the most recent draft of a policy review.
Jon Wolfsthal, who was special assistant to Barack Obama on arms control and nonproliferation, said the new nuclear posture review prepared by the Pentagon, envisages a modified version of the Trident D5 submarine-launched missiles with only part of its normal warhead, with the intention of deterring Russia from using tactical warheads in a conflict in Eastern Europe.
The new nuclear policy is significantly more hawkish that the posture adopted by the Obama administration, which sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US defence.
Arms control advocates have voiced alarm at the new proposal to make smaller, more ''usable'' nuclear weapons, arguing it makes a nuclear war more likely, especially in view of what they see as Donald Trump's volatility and readiness to brandish the US arsenal in showdowns with the nation's adversaries.
The NPR also expands the circumstances in which the US might use its nuclear arsenal, to include a response to a non-nuclear attack that caused mass casualties, or was aimed at critical infrastructure or nuclear command and control sites.
The nuclear posture review (NPR), the first in eight years, is expected to be published after Donald Trump's State of the Union speech at the end of January.
Wolfsthal, who has reviewed what he understands to be the final draft of the review, said it states that the US will start work on reintroducing a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile, as a counter to a new ground-launched cruise missile the US has accused Russia of developing in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
Wolfsthal said that earlier drafts of the NPR was even more hawkish. The final draft drops proposals to develop a nuclear hyper-glide weapon, and to remove assurances to non nuclear weapons states that the US will not use its nuclear arsenal against them.
''My read is this is a walk-back from how extreme it was early on. It doesn't have as much terrible stuff in it as it did originally,'' Wolfsthal said. ''But it's still bad.''
''What I've been told by the people who wrote the thing was what they were trying to do was to send a clear deterrent message to Russians, the North Korean and the Chinese. And there is pretty good, moderate but strong language that makes clear that any attempt by Russia or North Korea to use nuclear weapons would result in a massive consequence for them and I think that's actually moderate, centrist and probably very much needed.''
''Where they go overboard, is where they say that in order to make that credible the US needs to develop two new types of nuclear weapons,'' he added.
Wolfsthal said the modified Trident warhead, with just the primary (fission) part of its thermonuclear warhead, was ''totally unnecessary'' as the US already has low-yield weapons, B61 gravity bombs and air-launched cruise missiles, in its arsenal.
He also said it was ''pretty dumb'' to put a low-yield ''tactical'' weapon on the planned new Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines, because firing it would give away a submarine's position.
''We spend $5bn per submarine to make it invisible and we put a lot of warheads on each submarine and so what they want to do is take one missile, put one small warhead on it and launch it first, so the submarine is vulnerable to Russian attack.'' Wolfsthal said. ''That strikes me as being unsustainable from a naval strategy point of view.''
The development of a low-yield warhead for a sea-launched ballistic missile is based on the belief that in any conflict with Russia on Nato's eastern flank, the Russians would use a tactical nuclear weapon early on, to compensate for their relative weakness in conventional arms. The Russians, the argument goes, would count on US reluctance to use the massive warheads on its existing weapons, leading Washington to back down.
Hans Kristensen, the director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists, said that justification for developing the new weapons was incoherent.
''It assumes that the intelligence community has determined that one or several adversaries out there are gambling that the US would be self-deterred from using a ballistic missile warhead because they have larger yield. Thats just not the case. We have never, ever heard anyone say that is so,'' Kristensen said.
''I don't think any adversary '' certainly not Russia, '' would gamble that if they did something with nukes that were low yield that we would not respond. That's completely ludicrous,'' he added. ''I think this is about having some warhead work at the laboratories and exploring options. I don't see this as a real mission.''
Daryl Kimball, the head of the Arms Control Association, said that the development of new weapons in the US nuclear arsenal was ''dangerous, Cold War thinking''.
''The United States already possesses a diverse array of nuclear capabilities, and there is no evidence that more usable weapons will strengthen deterrence of adversaries or compel them to make different choices about their arsenals,'' Kimball wrote on the Arms Control Today website.
He also cautioned against moves to broaden the circumstances in which nuclear weapons would be used.
''The use of even a small number of these weapons would be catastrophic,'' Kimball said. ''Threatening nuclear attack to counter new kinds of 'asymmetric' threats is unnecessary, would increase the risk of nuclear weapons use, and would make it easier for other countries to justify excessive roles for nuclear weapons in their policies.''
Beirut would be 'erased' had full chemical load exploded, bulk likely stolen: Expert | Al Arabiya English
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:44
The amount of ammonium nitrate which led to the deadly Beirut explosion must have been much less than the original stockpile or else the Lebanese capital would have been ''erased,'' Russian military expert Viktor Murakhovsky said.
The Beirut blast, which claimed the lives of at least 158 people and injured 6,000 others, was so intense it smashed masonry, shattered windows, sucked furniture out of apartments onto the streets and left almost 300,000 people in disaster-stricken Beirut without homes fit to live in, according to Lebanese officials.
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Lebanese President Michel Aoun had said the explosion was due to a stockpile of 2,750 tonnes of the industrial chemical ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and explosives, catching fire after having been stored at the port since 2013 without safety measures.
However, Murakhovsky said that if the full amount announced by Lebanese officials did explode, it would have erased Beirut off the map.
The military expert added in an interview with Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that it is much more likely that large amounts from such a stockpile were stolen over the years.
Read: Fire, blast, mushroom smoke cloud, wreckage: Timeline of Beirut explosion footage
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Lebanon's former administrative development minister May Chidiac said on Friday that ammonium nitrate is not used by armies but rather by ''terrorist organizations.''
She said in a tweet: ''2,700 tonnes seized six years ago was being used for military targets,'' suggesting that the explosion could have been an attempt to ''divert attention away from missing quantities.''
Chidiac also cited Murakhovsky's analysis: ''Russian expert Viktor Murakhovsky said that certainly most of the ammonium nitrate was stolen over a period of six years, because the explosion would have definitely wiped Beirut off the map. Based on the blast, it appears the amount of ammonium nitrate [that exploded] did not exceed 300 tonnes.''
A Beirut-based journalist shared pictures of what she said were the bags of ammonium nitrate at the port days prior to the explosion, adding: ''This is how the death bags were piled up. Hard to believe this would meet minimum standards anywhere in the world.''
These were the storage conditions for the ammonium nitrate. Or as @DimaSadek puts it, "this is how the death bags were piled up." Hard to believe this would meet minimum standards anywhere in the world. https://t.co/RmfCLe9ErR
'-- Leila Molana-Allen (@Leila_MA) August 7, 2020The Beirut blast is widely blamed on the incompetence and corruption of the ruling elite.
On Saturday, thousands of protesters had gathered in the streets of Beirut to voice their anger at the political elite they hold accountable for turning the capital into a disaster zone.
Read more:
Lebanese army drives protesters out of ministry buildings amid Beirut demonstrations
Protesters storm 4 ministries, banking association amid demonstrations in Beirut
Protesters chant 'Iran, get out, Beirut is free' amid anti-government demonstrations
Protesters storm Lebanese foreign ministry, put up 'capital of the revolution' banner
SHOW MORELast Update: Sunday, 09 August 2020 KSA 01:17 - GMT 22:17
How powerful was the Beirut blast?
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:45
Experts estimate the massive warehouse explosion that sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut could be one of the strongest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded.
''On a scale, this explosion is scaled down from a nuclear bomb rather than up from a conventional bomb,'' said Roland Alford, managing director of Alford Technologies, a British company that specialises in disposal of explosive ordnance. ''This is probably up there among the biggest non-nuclear explosions of all time.''
Experts have estimated the size of the blast as being the equivalent of 200 to 300 tons of high explosives. Here's what that figure looks like compared to other accidental explosions and conventional weapons.
Weapon yield
Power in TNT equivalent
0.01 tons
Mk-84 500lb bomb
0.1 tons
Mk-84 2,000lb
0.5 tons
Tomahawk cruise
0.5 tons
GBU-57 30,000lb
''bunker buster''
2.4 tons
bombing - 1995
Other explosions
TNT equivalent
Ammonium nitrate
bomb killed 168
2.5 tons
disaster - 1986
10 tons
Explosion after a nuclear meltdown
''Mother of All Bombs'' is the U.S. most powerful
non-nuclear weapon.
11 tons
W54 Davy Crockett
Small nuclear rocket developed by the U.S. in the 1950s
10-20 tons
Texas fertiliser
plant - 2013
12.5 tons
Ammonium nitrate
exploded killing
14 people
Tianjin, China - 2015
Explosions at a warehouse storing ammonium nitrate killed at least 116 people.
21 tons
Toulouse, France - 2001
An ammonium nitrate deposit exploded killing 31.
40 tons
44 Tons
Russia's ''Father of All Bombs'' (FOAB) is reportedly the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the world.
Beirut blast
300-400 tons
Oppau, Germany - 1921
1,000 Tons
An explosion of ammonium sulphate and nitrate fertiliser at the Oppau plant in Germany killed 565 people.
Halifax, Canada - 1917
2,900 Tons
Loaded with highly volatile explosives, the French steamer Mont-Blanc collided with the Norwegian ship Imo. Around 1,950 people were killed and about 9,000 more were injured.
1945, Hiroshima, Japan
15,000 tons
The first nuclear bomb used in war. Dropped by the U.S., the bomb killed tens of thousands and flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in an instant.
Weapon yield
Power in TNT equivalent
Hellfire air-to-ground
0.01 tons
Mk-84 500lb bomb
0.1 tons
Mk-84 2,000lb
0.5 tons
Tomahawk cruise
0.5 tons
GBU-57 30,000lb
''bunker buster''
2.4 tons
Other explosions
Oklahoma bombing - 1995
TNT equivalent
Ammonium nitrate
bomb killed 168
2.5 tons
Chernobyl disaster - 1986
10 tons
Explosion after a nuclear meltdown
''Mother of All Bombs'' is the U.S. most powerful
non-nuclear weapon.
11 tons
W54 Davy Crockett
Small nuclear rocket developed by the U.S. in the 1950s
10-20 tons
Texas fertiliser
plant - 2013
12.5 tons
Ammonium nitrate
exploded killing
14 people
Tianjin, China - 2015
Explosions at a warehouse storing ammonium nitrate killed at least 116 people.
21 tons
Toulouse, France - 2001
An ammonium nitrate deposit exploded killing 31.
40 tons
44 Tons
Russia's ''Father of All Bombs'' (FOAB) is reportedly the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the world.
Beirut blast
300-400 tons
Oppau, Germany - 1921
1,000 Tons
An explosion of ammonium sulphate and nitrate fertiliser at the Oppau plant in Germany killed 565 people.
Halifax, Canada - 1917
2,900 Tons
Loaded with highly volatile explosives, the French steamer Mont-Blanc collided with the Norwegian ship Imo. Around 1,950 people were killed and about 9,000 more were injured.
Hiroshima, Japan - 1945
15,000 tons
The first nuclear bomb used in war. Dropped by the U.S., the bomb killed tens of thousands and flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in an instant.
Weapon yield
Power in TNT equivalent
Hellfire missile
0.01 tons
U.S. air-to-ground tactical missile
Mk-84 500lb bomb
Small U.S. unguided bomb
0.1 tons
Mk-84 2,000lb bomb
American general-purpose bomb which entered service in the Vietnam war.
0.5 tons
Tomahawk missile
Intermediate-range cruise missile launched from U.S. Navy ships and submarines at subsonic speed.
0.5 tons
GBU-57 30,000lb bomb
The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a precision-guided ''bunker buster'' bomb
2.4 tons
Other explosions
Oklahoma bombing - 1995
TNT equivalent
Ammonium nitrate was used in a bomb in an explosion that blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people
2.5 tons
Chernobyl disaster - 1986
10 tons
Explosion and fire after a reactor meltdown at the Chernobyl power plant.
11 tons
''Mother of All Bombs'' (MOAB) is the U.S. most powerful non-nuclear weapon.
W54 Davy Crockett nuke
A small unguided nuclear rocket developed by the U.S. in the 1950s
10-20 tons
12.5 tons
Texas fertiliser plant - 2013
An ammonium nitrate deposit exploded in the Texas town of West. 14 people died and about 200 more were injured.
Tianjin, China - 2015
Explosions at a warehouse storing various chemicals including 800 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed at least 116 people.
21 tons
Toulouse, France - 2001
An ammonium nitrate deposit exploded in Toulouse killing 31 and injuring 2,500.
40 tons
44 Tons
Russia's ''Father of All Bombs'' (FOAB) is reportedly the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the world.
Beirut blast
300-400 tons
Oppau, Germany - 1921
1,000 Tons
An explosion of ammonium sulphate and nitrate fertiliser at the Oppau plant in Germany killed 565 people.
Halifax, Canada - 1917
2,900 Tons
Loaded with highly volatile explosives, the French steamer Mont-Blanc collided with the Norwegian ship Imo. Around 1,950 people were killed and about 9,000 more were injured.
Hiroshima, Japan - 1945
15,000 tons
The first nuclear bomb used in war. Dropped by the U.S., the bomb killed tens of thousands and flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in an instant.
Weapon yield
Power in TNT equivalent
Hellfire missile
0.01 tons
U.S. air-to-ground tactical missile.
Mk-82 500lb bomb
Small U.S. unguided bomb.
0.1 tons
Mk-84 2,000lb bomb
American general-purpose bomb which entered service in the Vietnam war.
0.5 tons
Tomahawk missile
Intermediate-range cruise missile launched from U.S. Navy ships and submarines at subsonic speed.
0.5 tons
GBU-57 30,000lb bomb
The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a precision-guided ''bunker buster'' bomb.
2.4 tons
Other explosions
Oklahoma bombing - 1995
TNT equivalent
Ammonium nitrate mixed with other substances to make a bomb in an explosion that blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
2.5 tons
Chernobyl disaster - 1986
10 tons
Explosion and fire after a reactor meltdown at the Chernobyl power plant. The world's worst nuclear accident.
11 tons
''Mother of All Bombs'' (MOAB) is the U.S. most powerful non-nuclear weapon, it was first deployed in combat in Afghanistan, 2017.
10-20 tons
W54 Davy Crockett nuke
A small unguided nuclear rocket developed by the U.S. in the 1950s
12.5 tons
Texas fertiliser plant - 2013
An ammonium nitrate deposit exploded in the Texas town of West. 14 people died and about 200 more were injured.
Explosions at a warehouse storing various chemicals including 800 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed at least 116 people.
Tianjin, China - 2015
21 tons
Toulouse, France - 2001
40 Tons
An ammonium nitrate deposit exploded killing 31 people.
44 Tons
The Russian bomb nicknamed the ''Father of All Bombs'' (FOAB) is reportedly the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the world.
Beirut blast
300-400 tons
Oppau, Germany - 1921
1,000 Tons
An explosion of ammonium sulphate and nitrate fertiliser at the Oppau plant in Germany killed 565 people.
Halifax, Canada - 1917
2,900 Tons
Loaded with highly volatile explosives, the French steamer Mont-Blanc collided with the Norwegian ship Imo. Around 1,950 people were killed and about 9,000 more were injured.
Hiroshima, Japan - 1945
15,000 tons
The first nuclear bomb used in war. Dropped by the U.S., the bomb killed tens of thousands and flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in an instant.
Weapon yield
Power in TNT equivalent
Hellfire missile
0.01 tons
U.S. air-to-ground tactical missile
Mk-82 500lb bomb
Small U.S. unguided bomb
0.1 tons
Mk-84 2,000lb bomb
American general-purpose bomb which entered service in the Vietnam war.
0.5 tons
Tomahawk missile
Intermediate-range cruise missile launched from U.S. Navy ships and submarines at subsonic speed.
0.5 tons
GBU-57 30,000lb bomb
The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a precision-guided ''bunker buster'' bomb
2.4 tons
Other explosions
Oklahoma bombing - 1995
TNT equivalent
Ammonium nitrate mixed with other substances to make a bomb in an explosion that blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people
2.5 tons
Chernobyl disaster - 1986
10 tons
Explosion and fire after a reactor meltdown at the Chernobyl power plant. The world's worst nuclear accident.
11 tons
''Mother of All Bombs'' (MOAB) is the U.S. most powerful non-nuclear weapon, it was first deployed in combat in Afghanistan, 2017.
W54 Davy Crockett nuke
10-20 tons
A small unguided nuclear rocket developed by the U.S. in the 1950s
Texas fertiliser plant - 2013
12.5 tons
An ammonium nitrate deposit exploded in the Texas town of West. 14 people died and about 200 more were injured.
Explosions at a warehouse storing various chemicals including 800 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed at least 116 people.
Tianjin, China - 2015
21 tons
Toulouse, France - 2001
40 Tons
An ammonium nitrate deposit exploded in Toulouse killing 31 and injuring 2,500.
44 Tons
The Russian bomb nicknamed the ''Father of All Bombs'' (FOAB) is reportedly the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the world.
Beirut blast
300-400 tons
Oppau, Germany - 1921
1,000 Tons
An explosion of ammonium sulphate and nitrate fertiliser at the Oppau plant in Germany killed 565 people.
Halifax, Canada - 1917
2,900 Tons
Loaded with highly volatile explosives, the French steamer Mont-Blanc collided with the Norwegian ship Imo. Around 1,950 people were killed and about 9,000 more were injured.
Hiroshima, Japan - 1945
15,000 tons
The first nuclear bomb used in war. Dropped by the U.S., the bomb killed tens of thousands and flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in an instant.
George William Herbert, an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies Center for Nonproliferation Studies and a missile and effects consultant, used two methods to estimate the yield of the explosion. One used visual evidence of the blast itself along with damage assessments. The other calculation was based on the amount of ammonium nitrate reportedly at the source of the explosion.
Both techniques estimate the yield as a few hundred tons of TNT equivalent, with the overlap being 200 to 300, Herbert told Reuters.
Aerial footage shows damage at the blast site in Beirut two days after the explosion. August 6, 2020 | Reuters/Bader-Photography.com
The blast rattled buildings on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 100 miles (160 km) away.
A string of explosionsSeismological data suggests that six blasts preceded the main explosion, the last of them a combustion of fireworks that apparently set off a warehouse full of ammonium nitrate, an Israeli analyst said on Thursday.
The six blasts were at 11-second intervals during the Aug. 4 incident, with the main explosion following the last by around 43 seconds, Boaz Hayoun of Israel's Tamar Group told Reuters.
Hayoun, a former military engineering officer whose current roles include overseeing safety standards for explosives use in Israel, said his analysis was based on data from seismological sensors stationed across the region.
''I cannot say categorically what caused this, but I can say these blasts were at the same location,'' he told Reuters.
Readings from a seismograph obtained by Reuters showing the explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology)
Among the sensors cited by Hayoun was an array installed about 70 km (43 miles) off Lebanon's coast by the international geological project IRIS - which cast doubt on his conclusions.
IRIS said its sensors picked up more than five ''small bursts'' at intervals of around 11 seconds before the main Beirut explosion, a sequence that continued after the incident.
''I do not believe that they are associated with the large explosion in Beirut,'' Jerry Carter, director of IRIS data services, told Reuters.
''They could be from a seismic survey,'' he added, referring to geologists carrying out airgun bursts for underwater mapping.
Lebanese officials have blamed the explosion, which killed at least 172 people and left much of the capital in ruins, on a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate catching fire after being stored unsafely at the port for years.
President Michel Aoun has said investigators would also look into the possibility of ''external interference'' such as a bomb, as well as negligence or an accident as causes.
Sources:Research and Information on Accidents database (ARIA); Environmental Emergencies Centre (EEC); NASA; Nuclear Weapons Education Project, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Reuters calculations.
By:Marco Hernandez, Simon Scarr
Additional reporting by:Gerry Doyle, Gurman Bhatia, Anand Katakam, Manas Sharma, Prasanta Dutta
We're Missing 2000 Tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate Now | Blog Baladi
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:47
What we've learned in the last week following several expert reactions to the Beirut blast is that the amount of ammonium nitrate that exploded apparently did not exceed 300 tonnes. This is still a considerable amount, and Reuters came up with graphics, based on the 200-300 tonnes estimate, to compare the explosion at Beirut's port with other major explosions that took place around the world.
This being said, we now have three issues that need investigation:'' Who decided to unload the 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate?'' Where did the remaining 2400 tonnes go if only 300 tonnes exploded?'' What triggered the explosion?
We were expecting a swift investigation from the authorities, but as usual, they're starting to make up excuses to try delay the matter and save their people or compromise the investigation somehow. Luckily, we have French & American inspectors on site, so let's hope this will stop them from tampering ''further'' with the crime scene.
The only people investigating this matter seriously so far are Al Jadeed team. Thumbs up to Riad Kobeissi, Layal Bou Moussa, Jad Ghosn and all the team!
The Rampage Missile Might Be Israel's New Super Weapon | The National Interest
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 15:05
If Taghvaee's reporting is accurate, it seems Rampage works as advertised.
Israel reportedly used in combat for the first time a new kind of fast, long-range missile.
(This first appeared last month.)
According to aviation journalist Babak Taghvaee, on April 13, 2019 Israeli air force warplanes fired, for the first time, at least one Rampage air-launched ballistic missile at a missile factory and weapons warehouses in Masyaf, Syria.
The Israelis chose to deploy Rampage ''due to the danger of Syria Air Defense Force's S-300PM-2s,'' Taghvaee tweeted. The S-300 surface-to-air missile, in theory, can intercept aircraft flying as far as 120 miles away.
The Israeli air raid succeeded in striking the target facilities and ''destroying multiple artillery rockets and ballistic missile launchers,'' according to Taghvaee. He tweeted commercial satellite imagery that appears to confirm damage to the site in Masyaf.
Rampage first broke cover in the summer of 2018. Israel Aerospace Industries and Israel Military Industry Systems announced they had tested, from an F-16, the 15-feet-long, 1,200-pound, GPS-guided Rampage '-- and had already inked a sale contract with one customer, presumably the Israeli air force.
With Rampage, the Israeli air force joined a slowly growing number of air arms developing ALBMs for non-nuclear attacks. Russia has introduced its own, much larger ALBM. China reportedly is working on one, too.
Among leading powers, only the United States apparently doesn't see the value in an air-launched ballistic missile. America's existing cruise missiles '-- which already are available to U.S. forces in very large numbers '-- are capable of striking, in large salvos, a wide range of distant targets.
IAI said speed, range and cost are the ALBM's main advantages. Eli Reiter, manager of IMI's firepower division, praised Rampage's ''extraordinary cost-effectiveness ratio'' but did not disclose the missile's cost.
''It can be detected, but it is very hard to intercept,'' Amit Haimovich, director of marketing for IAI's Malam engineering unit, told The Jerusalem Post.
The Israeli air force operates a wide range of conventional guided air-to-surface munitions. But none are supersonic. And it's likely none can match Rampage's range. ''The whole point of this missile is that it can hit targets within standoff ranges,'' Haimovich said.
While IAI didn't specify the new weapon's reach, a similar but larger Russian weapon reportedly can strike targets as far as 1,200 miles away. It's reasonable to assume Rampage can travel hundreds of miles.
By the same token, it's also reasonable to assume Rampage comes with a relatively small warhead. Israel's Popeye cruise missile, which is roughly the same length as Rampage is, weighs 3,000 pounds '-- twice as much as Rampage does '-- and boasts a 750-pound warhead and a 50-mile range.
At half the weight of Popeye and likely devoting a greater proportion of its internal capacity to fuel, Rampage probably boasts a much smaller warhead than Popeye does. To be fair, Rampage's high speed could lend it kinetic energy that partially compensates for the comparatively small warhead size.
But Rampage's size means that an F-15 or F-16 probably wouldn't carry more than two at a time. That limits the size of the missile salvos the Israeli air force could launch at some distant hard target '-- say, an airfield or chemical-weapons site.
This is a familiar problem for the first operator of ALBMs. In March 2018, Russian president Vladimir Putin introduced Kinzhal, an apparent air-launched version of the Iskander surface-launched rocket. China began testing its own ALBM in December 2016, according to press reports.
The Russian air force has modified six MiG-31 long-range fighters to carry the 25-feet-long Kinzhal, according to Taghvaee. The Kremlin will modify, before the end of 2018, as many as six more MiG-31s to carry the ALBM, Taghvaee claimed.
The squadron-size force of ALBM-armed MiGs gives Russia the ability to strike heavily-defended targets at long range. But not very many targets. ''We're talking about isolated launches '-- two or three or six missiles at a time,'' said Pavel Podvig, an expert on the Russian military. The same limitations could apply to Israeli warplanes lobbing Rampages.
When it comes to long-range strikes, it clearly isn't worth it to the U.S. military to trade warhead- and salvo-size for the protective benefit of speed, when it can simply launch lots of relatively slow weapons to compensate for their comparative vulnerability.
But for a country such as Israel with fewer launching platforms, a very fast and hard-to-intercept ballistic weapon '-- however modest its explosive power '-- might be just what it needs to hold at risk certain kinds of distant targets.
If Taghvaee's reporting is accurate, it seems Rampage works as advertised.
David Axe serves as Defense Editor of the National Interest. He is the author of the graphic novels War Fix, War Is Boring and Machete Squad.
Image: Creative Commons.
Israel-UAE Deal May Strike a Blow Against China's Ambitions
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 14:15
Analysis of the historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tends to focus on Iran and Turkey as the big losers. They were certainly the loudest complainers .
A more quietly disappointed loser could be China, which has major ambitions for the Middle East under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The big risk for China is that the UAE could demonstrate Israel is a better business partner for infrastructure development, with few strings attached. The UAE is currently a BRI partner , with some $3.4 billion in deals under the initiative, and Israel has a piece of the action , too. China went on the record welcoming the accord with Israel as a means of increasing ''regional peace and stability,'' but the shifting geopolitical landscape in the Middle East could lead to reduced demand for Chinese industry, and the Chinese Communist Party leverage that comes with it.
Beijing has some very heavy bets on the most unstable and un-peaceful actors in the Middle East. China is looking for a big piece of Syrian postwar reconstruction, it is working on a major partnership with Iran, and it is looking to pull Turkey more firmly into its orbit.
Every unhappy party listed in analyses of the Israel-UAE deal is a space on the Middle Eastern game table where China has a big stack of chips. A typical example from Thomas Friedman at the New York Times called the deal an ''earthquake'' and listed the ''big geopolitical losers'' as ''Iran and all of its proxies: Hezbollah, the Iraqi militias, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Yemen and Turkey.'' That is also a fairly concise list of China's big current and prospective Middle Eastern clients:
Up to now, the U.A.E. has kept up a delicate balance between Iran and Israel, not looking to provoke Iran, and dealing with Israel covertly.
But this deal is right in Iran's face. The tacit message is: ''We now have Israel on our side, so don't mess with us.'' The vast damage Israel inflicted on Iran through apparent cyberwarfare in recent months may have even given the U.A.E. more breathing room to do this deal.
But there is another message, deeper, more psychological. This was the U.A.E. telling the Iranians and all their proxies: There are really two coalitions in the region today '-- those who want to let the future bury the past and those who want to let the past keep burying the future. The U.A.E. is taking the helm of the first, and it is leaving Iran to be the leader of the second.
Whatever Beijing might say about its desire for stability, that is not exactly the ideal environment for growing its influence in the Middle East.
China is also trying to make a big push into Iraq, which could be fundamentally transformed by the fading of Iranian influence and a realignment of the Sunni Muslim states toward Israel. The latest horrifying Middle East disaster, the explosion that devastated Beirut, could present opportunities for Belt and Road expansion.
The chances of those opportunities materializing for China fluctuate with the level of desperation in each client state, as David Rosenberg explained with respect to Beirut at Haaretz on Friday:
What does Beijing hope to get out of this? In the short run, port construction provides jobs and contracts for Chinese companies. In the long run, they help China project its power across Eurasia while ensuring its exports reach markets efficiently and at low cost. They deepen the country's presence in a strategic part of the world at the cost of the traditional hegemons of Europe and the United States. They may even one day serve the needs of the Chinese navy as the port of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa does.
Based on the experience of other countries, China will likely be more of a winner than Lebanon. China will provide cheap financing, but Lebanon will be saddled with the debt (if it insists on retaining control of the port) or loss of control of the port (if it cedes the operating contract to Chinese companies). Its economy will benefit to the extent it gets a port, but the jobs will go to Chinese laborers and the sub-contracting to Chinese companies.
What Beijing won't demand is any annoying reforms, like an end to corruption. For Lebanon's elite, that's a win-win.
That last, bitter point is the hardest one to argue with. Corrupt and authoritarian regimes are very receptive to China's argument that Western support comes with human rights strings attached, whereas Beijing will never lecture its partners about throwing dissidents in dungeons or wiping inconvenient ethnic and religious groups off the map. Belt and Road projects often have dubious business plans, but they always offer patronage to the ruling elite.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell wrote at the Hill on Friday advising President Donald Trump to build on the UAE-Israel deal by weakening Hezbollah's influence in Lebanon and creating ''a normalization path between Beirut and Jerusalem.''
Current U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and SiriusXM host Alex Marlow discussed the winners and losers from the new peace deal on Friday's edition of Breitbart News Daily. Among the losers they discussed was China, which Marlow noted ''has huge business interests in the Middle East that I think were undermined by this deal.''
Whatever China might say about desiring peaceful and stable environments for its economic expansion, that is not the kind of stability it had in mind. A new Middle East where the Gulf Cooperation Council works with Israel to create a strong local competitor for everything Belt and Road has to offer will be bad news for Beijing in the long run, as will the strategic damage to some very bad regional actors that China is eager to do business with.
Rafik Hariri tribunal: Guilty verdict over assassination of Lebanon ex-PM - BBC News
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:04
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The blast that killed Rafik Hariri left a scene of devastation in downtown Beirut One of four men accused of killing a former Lebanese prime minister in Beirut in 2005 has been convicted by a special UN-backed court.
Salim Ayyash and the others, all from the Shia militant group Hezbollah, had been on trial in absentia since 2014.
The killing of Rafik Hariri, one of Lebanon's most prominent Sunni Muslim politicians, caused outrage across the country.
The verdict comes at a time of deep political crisis in Lebanon.
Ayyash was found guilty of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, assassinating Hariri and causing the deaths of 21 others and injuring 226 more in the suicide car bombing on 14 February.
The presiding judge said there was no evidence that Hezbollah's leadership nor one of its patron's, Syria, were implicated in the attack.
Austin City Council moves forward with tax increase measures | State | portlavacawave.com
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:33
(The Center Square) '' After Austin City Council members imposed strict shutdown policies that led to more than 130,000 city residents losing their jobs, council members are proposing measures to increase taxes and spending.
Austin City Council adopted the city's budget for its next fiscal year on Thursday. It also announced two transportation measures that will be on the ballot in November.
Proposition A would increase property taxes by an additional 8.75 percent to fund the initial phase of a $7.1 billion transit program, called Project Connect. The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority has developed the project over the last two years to create a high-capacity regional transit system.
If passed, Proposition A would increase the median property tax by roughly $440.
The additional property tax is assessed at $100 of the taxable value on the city portion of residents' property tax bill. Capital Metro is expecting to receive federal funds to pay for 45 percent of the project. It includes two light rail lines, Orange and Blue.
The Orange Line would run from North to South Austin through the University of Texas. It would run downtown along major corridors like Lamar Street, Guadalupe Street and South Congress Avenue. The Blue Line would reach Southeast Austin and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport from North Austin.
The project includes building a downtown transit tunnel between Republic Square and the Austin Convention Center as a convergent point for the lines.
It also calls for a third light rail line, would eventually upgrade the existing commuter rail lines, features park-and-rides and would expand bus and circulator service.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler tweeted that Project Connect is a "comprehensive transit system that will ease traffic, get essential workers to jobs, help our climate and much more.''
The current rail line in Austin is already used by far fewer people than the amount projected by the Capital Metro transportation agency. The agency estimated that 17,000 people would ride the metro every day by 2025. But in 2018, only 3,000 of Austin's 2 million had used it consistently, according to Austin Monthly.
Our Mobility Our Future, a coalition of ''taxpayers, home-owners, renters, business-owners, and transportation policy wonks,'' have mobilized a movement to educate residents about the costs to defeat the proposition.
''We're worried about costs, we're worried about displacement, we're worried about efficacy, and we feel there's not been enough scrutiny of what's looking to be a nearly $10 billion plan,'' Tori Moreland, a spokesperson for the group, said. ''Light rail is a very expensive way to move very few people.''
Proposition B is a $460 million bond proposition designed to fund alternative transportation like sidewalks and bike lanes and make improvements to the Longhorn Dam. Details have only recently become available about the measure.
The Austin American-Statesman reported on how the total would be spent: $80 million to fund sidewalks, $80 million to develop urban trails, $40 million to create bike lanes, $65 million to go to a Vision Zero traffic safety plan, $20 million to Safe Routes to School infrastructure, and $53 million to make improvements to substandard streets, including Ross Road, Johnny Morris Drive, Cooper Lane, Circle S Road and Nuckols Crossing Road.
Last month, the council also passed an ordinance fining residents who don't follow coronavirus-health protocols of up to $2,000 per violation. As a result of its most recent vote to defund the police budget by $150 million, the money will be redistributed to fund city operations and cover budget holes.
The council was able to increase property taxes by only 3.5 percent this year in its regular budget process after the state legislature implemented tax reform. The new law caps how much local governments can raise taxes without first gaining voter approval.
In January 2019, more than a year before the coronavirus shutdowns began, one-third of Travis County households, and 42 percent of Austin households, were already struggling to make ends meet, according an analysis published by United Way. The study found an overall disparity in costs of living and wages statewide '' despite low unemployment at the time.
''These are people who are working hard and working full-time,'' David C. Smith, president of the United Way for Greater Austin, said at the time. ''They're just still barely getting by and struggling.''
The tax-heavy environment resulted in 50 businesses closing their doors downtown between 2017 and 2019, Texas Scorecard reports. Local businesses that had been there for decades, including culture-defining establishments like Threadgill's World Headquarters, The Frisco, and Hill's Caf(C), have closed.
Over a period of 10 years, the council also raised property taxes by 8 percent every year. In 2008, the median homeowner paid $705 in property taxes. By 2020, that number increased to $1,400.
By December 2019, Jacob Asmussen, Central Texas Bureau Chief at Texas Scorecard, pointed out that the City Council had already wasted $1 billion of taxpayer money on an ill-advised biomass power plant. The plant produced energy for six months and was then shut down. Taxpayers were not refunded the money spent on the failed project.
The City Council also overspent $140 million on a flawed tunnel, $450,000 on two public toilets, and $115,000 to clean one public toilet, among other failed projects, he notes.
Noodle Gun
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Ellen DeGeneres seen with Kevin Hart amid toxic workplace claims
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 20:30
By Jaclyn Hendricks
August 16, 2020 | 2:04pm
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Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres P&P / MEGA
Ellen DeGeneres was spotted Saturday with pal Kevin Hart, shortly after the ''Jumanji'' actor defended the embattled star amid allegations of toxicity at the ''Ellen DeGeneres Show.''
Dressed in a printed navy blue top, beige cargo pants and sandals, DeGeneres, 62, lunched with Hart, 41, at the Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, California, where she was seen sipping white wine while chatting with Hart, who wore a light blue shirt and matching shorts.
Earlier this month, Hart joined a chorus of celebrities '-- including Katy Perry, Scooter Braun, and Diane Keaton, among others '-- voicing support for DeGeneres, who has recently come under fire over claims that she created a toxic work environment. Former ''Ellen'' staffers have also accused top executives at the show of sexual misconduct .
''It's crazy to see my friend go thru what she's going thru publicly,'' Hart posted to Instagram in early August. ''I have known Ellen for years and I can honestly say that she's one of the dopest people on the f''king planet. She has treated my family and my team with love and respect from day 1. The internet has become a crazy world of negativity'....we are falling in love with peoples down fall. It's honestly sad'...When did we get here?
''I stand by the ones that I know and that I love,'' he continued. ''Looking forward to the future where we get back to loving one another'....this hate s''t has to stop. Hopefully it goes out of style soon'....This post is not meant to disregard the feelings of others and their experiences'....It's simply to show what my experiences have been with my friend. Love you for life Ellen'...''
Last month, WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation in response to the claims. DeGeneres later addressed the allegations in a statement.
''As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly some didn't,'' DeGeneres wrote. ''That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again.''
Is 'Ellen' is toxic? TV's been warning you about shows like this for years - Chicago Tribune
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 14:15
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times
Tribune News Service |
Aug 19, 2020 at 8:58 AM
This week, Ellen DeGeneres attempted '-- successfully? who can yet say? '-- to turn the page on a bad chapter in the book of her career, one that began last month with a pair of BuzzFeed pieces alleging a toxic work environment on the set of her daytime talk-dance-and-presents fest ''The Ellen DeGeneres Show,'' including sexual harassment and racist comments on the part of executive staff. (DeGeneres herself was accused only of allowing it to happen, and of being weird '-- not wanting to be looked at or spoken to and such.) Two producers and a head writer have been let go, a reportedly teary DeGeneres announced Monday on a video conference call to staffers.
Since the story broke, the star has made various statements of appreciation and remorse, taken responsibility, promised "to do my part" and "change and grow," and reiterated her original desire for a show that would be "a place of happiness '-- no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect."
The latest instance of employees increasingly speaking truth to employers, or speaking truth to reporters about employers, it has seemed especially fraught because of the host's nice-gal image, and the positivity she so assiduously cultivates. ("Be kind to one another" is her sign-off.) That a celebrity one loves may not in fact be lovable feels like a betrayal, an insult added to injury. Some commentators swear that DeGeneres' awfulness has been an open secret for ages; it's not one I ever heard. But I loved her sitcom.
In the olden, golden days of the Hollywood studio system, battalions of publicity agents labored to control a star's public image, to craft them into something at once glamorous and ordinary, thrilling yet unthreatening, with a heavy lid over even the intimation of any deviation from "the norm." Inevitably, the practice of selling the public personalities too good to be true ran into the business of revealing them as all too human '-- gossip columnists and scandal mags like Confidential made this their meat '-- and this tension exists to this day.
Ellen DeGeneres with Kermit the Frog on ''The Ellen DeGeneres Show.'' (Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.)
YouTube swarms with videos meant to tell us that famous people are not who they want us to think they are. Celebrities Who Are Not Nice is a genre of its own '-- usually the same small pool of suspects, hung on not always substantial evidence. DeGeneres gets whole videos to herself, many posted just this year as Ellen Disfavor Fever mounted: "Top 10 Times Celebs Clapped Back at Ellen." "Top 10 Most Awkward Ellen Moments," "Top 10 Times Ellen DeGeneres Got Exposed," "Ellen DeGeneres Is a Hollywood PSYCHO." The presenters strike a tone, usually unconvincing, between shock and concern, with a little snark sprinkled on top. (In the midst of all this, the news went around '-- I can't say it was reliable, but it went around '-- that "Late Late Show" host James Corden was being looked at to take over the "Ellen" slot, which occasioned a raft of comments that he is not supposed to be very nice either.)
As for the moments in which DeGeneres' onscreen behavior is reputed to have "exposed" her true nature, viewers of the show have not deserted the host over her having been a little weird with Dakota Johnson about not being invited to her birthday party, or her attempt '-- a dozen years ago, but hauled out in the latest round of bad press '-- to force Mariah Carey to announce her pregnancy by trying to get her to drink Champagne on the air. None of the reports that I've read or watched mention the fact that Carey has been back to the show since.
The notion that show business might not be all it's cracked up to be is a notion often put 'round by the business itself, in backstage comedies, dramas and memoirs. "All the sincerity in Hollywood you could stuff in a flea's navel," comedian Fred Allen famously remarked, "and still have room left to conceal eight caraway seeds and an agent's heart," which is a funny line, a frightening thought and easy to suspect is true, in part because we have heard that story for years.
When the industry looks at itself, it is often askance. Whether the setting is the stage, a movie studio or a TV network, the characters are well known to us: meddling producers, tyrannical directors, impossible stars, bitter and cynical writers who go on to write with cynical bitterness of their experiences. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote 17 short stories about hack screenwriter Pat Hobby even as he was himself trying to make a go of screenwriting. To S.J. Perelman, who co-wrote two Marx Brothers pictures and "Around the World in 80 Days," Hollywood was "a dreary industrial town controlled by hoodlums of enormous wealth, the ethical sense of a pack of jackals, and taste so degraded that it befouled everything it touched."
"The Bad and the Beautiful," "Barton Fink," "Swimming With Sharks" and "The Player" have all taken aim at Hollywood; "Network" took a scalpel to television news. Elia Kazan's 1957 film "A Face in the Crowd" '-- with a pre-Mayberry Andy Griffith as a vagabond who becomes an influential national TV personality, his folksy charm masking utter disdain for his audience '-- has been often mentioned as a metaphor for the Trump era. Griffith's character is brought down in the end by a hot microphone, as he dismisses them as "morons," "slobs" and "trained seals. I toss 'em a dead fish and they'll flap their flippers."
Television has also taken its business as a subject. Around the turn of the century, there were Darren Star's "Grosse Pointe," a wicked take on the production of his own "Beverly Hills, 90210," and Fox's acid "Action," with Jay Mohr as a studio head recovering from a catastrophic flop and Illeana Douglas as the child star-turned-prostitute he makes his head of production.
Long before either, yet especially resonant in this moment, was the highly regarded, short-lived "Buffalo Bill," a resolutely hardhearted 1983-84 sitcom, with Dabney Coleman as the popular host of a local talk show, as awful offscreen as he is lovable on. In one episode, Geena Davis, as a production assistant, describes him cheerily to an interviewer, in words that might have been spoken yesterday, in a less chirpy tone, somewhere in this town: "Bill can be crude, and hateful. '... He doesn't mean to be as petty and prejudiced as he is, he just never really learned to like people. On the other hand, he's very nice to me, so there's hope. And lately, he never tries to get me into bed with him. ... This is all very therapeutic for me."
That would play differently today, on television and in the world. TV hosts Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley, the last just ordered to pay PBS $2.6 million in damages, all lost jobs and status over sexual harassment. Lauer seems superficially to be the inspiration for Steve Carell's cashiered breakfast show cohost on Apple TV+'s "The Morning Show," currently nominated for a clutch of Emmys. The series was inspired by Brian Stelter's book "Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV," and it is indeed rife with scheming and double-dealing as characters strive to keep their jobs or move into someone else's, before a principled stand is finally taken. Working in TV, the series says, might break your heart or warp your values, but it is not beyond hope.
Garry Shandling starred in HBO's 'The Larry Sanders Show.' (DARRYL ESTRINE, HBO)
No series captures this doubleness better than Garry Shandling's "The Larry Sanders Show," from back in the 20th century, a comedy set at a late-night talk show. We understand on a formal level that Larry lives in two worlds: onstage, with guests, where he is in control (shot on video), and anywhere else (shot on film), where he is not. Still, the character is too conflict-averse '-- he literally turns away from confrontation '-- and too needy to be an active tyrant. Shades of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," it's his producer, Artie (Rip Torn), who maintains the perimeter (and bullies him a little, deferentially). Most every character on the show lives at least a little bit in fear.
Authenticity, and the lack of it, was a concern of Shandling's; he told me in 2010 when the complete series was released on home video that "Sanders" was conceived as a way of "looking internally at myself, which meant taking a show and looking at it internally. And what better show to do that with than a talk show, which pretends to be a normal conversation, half-acknowledging that people are watching and half-pretending that the host and the guest have a certain intimacy, which really revolves around plugging product."
Guest stars, appearing as themselves, played against their public image, sometimes in a negative way. DeGeneres was on that show, playing a version of herself; interestingly, in a pre-echo of DeGeneres' pressing Carey to reveal her pregnancy, she finds herself pressured by Larry to announce on camera whether she'll be coming out on television. (In life, she already had.) ''Let's just be real,'' Larry says to Ellen during a commercial break, after a frustrating first segment, and when they come back she details how they slept together the night before.
Recommended on Chicago Tribune
Zigeunersaus wordt in Duitsland 'paprikasaus op zijn Hongaars' | NOS
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 16:57
Naar aanleiding van de discussie over racistische namen en begrippen verandert het Duitse merk Knorr de naam van zijn zigeunersaus. De nieuwe naam wordt Paprikasauce Ungarische Art, paprikasaus op zijn Hongaars. Moederconcern Unilever zegt tegen Duitse media dat de saus binnen enkele weken met de nieuwe naam in de schappen staat.
"Omdat de term zigeunersaus als negatief gezien kan worden, hebben we besloten de saus een nieuwe naam te geven", zegt het levensmiddelenconcern.
De Centrale Raad van Duitse Sinti en Roma juicht de beslissing toe. "Het is goed dat Knorr tegemoetkomt aan de bezwaren van zoveel mensen", laat voorzitter Romani Rose weten aan het blad Bild am Sontag. Er bestaat al langer kritiek op de naam.
De raad maakt zich grote zorgen over het toenemende racisme waar Roma en Sinti mee te maken hebben in Duitsland en andere Europese landen. "Voor ons staan de benamingen zigeunersaus en zigeunerschnitzel niet bovenaan de prioriteitenlijst."
Hij maakt zich veel drukker om het scanderen van "zigeuners" of "joden" met de bedoeling om te beledigen, bijvoorbeeld in voetbalstadions.
Here's A List Of Corporations Funding The 'Defund The Police' Movement | The Daily Caller
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:47
Prominent corporations from around the world are bankrolling the ''defund the police'' movement, a Daily Caller News Foundation review found. Companies including Cisco, Clif Bar, Degree, DoorDash, DropBox, H&M and Pokemon announced donations to organizations that seek to defund the police. Black Lives Matter Global Network and Color of Change are open about their desire to defund the police. Both organizations have received an outpouring of corporate donations in recent months. Dozens of corporations from around the world have collectively donated millions of dollars to left-wing organizations that advocate for defunding America's police departments, a Daily Caller News Foundation review found.
Companies including Microsoft, Intel and Airbnb have donated to Black Lives Matter Global Network and Color of Change, both of which want to defund police departments across the country. (RELATED: These Celebrities Are Funding The 'Defund The Police' Movement)
Color of Change is leading a national petition campaign demanding elected officials ''defund the police, and invest in communities now!''
''Policing is a violent institution that must end,'' Color of Change President Rashad Robinson said after the Minneapolis City Council voted to ''dismantle'' its police department.
''We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick and feed those who are financially unstable,'' Robinson continued. ''Defunding the police allows for this vision.''
Black Lives Matter Global Network, the national arm of Black Lives Matter, released a statement on May 30 calling for ''a national defunding of police.'' The organization published a video on June 6 arguing that ''defunding the police is the only way to stop pouring resources into a system that doesn't keep us safe.''
Both Black Lives Matter and Color of Change have seen a flood of corporate donations since George Floyd, a black man, died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, according to video.
Clothing company H&M donated $500,000 across three social justice organizations including Color of Change, H&M announced in a June 1 Instagram post.
Clif Bar announced a $100,000 donation split between two groups, including Color of Change, in a June 1 Facebook post.
Cisco announced on June 1 that it was splitting a $5 million donation across four social justice groups, including both Color of Change and Black Lives Matter.
At Cisco, we stand in solidarity with those taking action to eradicate systemic racism and inequality. Cisco CEO @chuckrobbins announced a $5M donation to @eji_org, @NAACP_LDF, @ColorofChange, @Blklivesmatter and our Fighting Racism and Discrimination Fund. #BlackLivesMatter
'-- Cisco (@Cisco) June 1, 2020
RITZ Crackers announced on June 4 that the company and its sister brands '-- OREO, Trident and Chips Ahoy! '-- had donated $500,000 to the NAACP and Black Lives Matter.
Degree pledged $100,000 to Black Lives Matter, the deodorant company announced in a June 1 tweet.
We will not stay silent on the issue of systemic racism. We stand with the Black community and recognize the importance of taking action to drive change. As a first step towards this, Degree is pledging $100K to @Blklivesmatter #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/YHP5nfzJTK
'-- Degree (@Degree) June 1, 2020
Food delivery service DoorDash donated $500,000 to Black Lives Matter, along with donations to other racial justice groups, the company announced in a June blog post.
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and his wife announced they would make a $700,000 donation to Color of Change, Black Lives Matter and a host of other organizations in June, Protocol reported. The couple also said they would match $300,000 in employee gifts to organizations.
Clothing brand Vans Inc. announced a $50,000 donation to Color of Change in June, according to the Orange County Business Journal.
Women's working space collective, The Wing, donated $200,000 to Color of Change in June, according to Protocol.
The Pok(C)mon Company International company announced on Twitter in June it would be making a $100,000 donation to Black Lives Matter.
Fashion and music merchandising company Bravado pledged to match employee donations to Black Lives Matter, among various other organizations, Protocol reported.
Workspace computer software company Dropbox pledged to donate $500,000 to Black Lives Matter in a June 3 blog post.
Women's undergarment company Spanx said it would donate $100,000 across multiple organizations, including Black Lives Matter, the NAACP and the Minnesota Freedom Fund, according to a June 3 Instagram post.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund has faced scrutiny for using donations to post bail for alleged violent criminals, including a woman charged with murder and a convicted rapist.
Beauty company Biossance announced it would donate $100,000 to Color of Change, Black Lives Matter, the ACLU and the Minnesota Freedom Fund in a June Instagram post.
Sportswear company Lululemon announced they donated a $250,000 sum to a variety of organizations, including Black Lives Matter, according to an Instagram post.
Japanese video game publishing company Square Enix made a $250,000 donation to Black Lives Matter and pledged to match employee contributions to Black Lives Matter, as well, the company announced in a June 2 tweet.
None of the companies other than DoorDash returned requests for comment.
''In the wake of the death of George Floyd, DoorDash has taken a series of steps to show our support for equality and to stand against discrimination, including by making donations to a number of national and local organizations and leveraging our platform to support Black-owned businesses,'' DoorDash global head of public affairs Taylor Bennett told the DCNF in an email.
''In partnership with our Black@DoorDash Employee Resource Group (ERG) and in consultation with civil rights leaders, we made donations to Black Lives Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Black Girls Code, and a number of local organizations across the country that work to empower local economies to promote equality,'' Bennett's email continued.
''Our goal with these donations and the other actions we announced is to stand with our employees and community members to fight injustice, inequality and discrimination and to support organizations that are working to root out structural and systemic racism and providing local community development, mentorship, education and entrepreneurship programs to support Black communities across the country,'' Bennett said.
His email did not address questions from the DCNF asking if DoorDash was aware that Black Lives Matter supports defunding the police at the time the donation was announced and whether DoorDash has a position on defunding the police.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.
Trump Calls For Boycott Against Goodyear Tires After Company Bans MAGA Attire, Allows BLM - American Greatness
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 00:27
President Trump on Wednesday called for a boycott of Goodyear Tires after the company initiated a ''zero-tolerance policy'' against ''MAGA attire,'' as well as the slogans ''Blue Lives Matter'' and ''All Lives Matter'' in their stores. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, according to an employee, does allow messaging from the violent Marxist group Black Lives Matter, as well as LGBTQ attire in their stores.
''Don't buy GOODYEAR TIRES,'' the president wrote on Twitter. ''They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).''
Don't buy GOODYEAR TIRES '' They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
A photo of a diversity training slide that was posted on social media, shows what's acceptable and what's not acceptable as part of Goodyear's zero-tolerance policy.
Acceptable: Black Lives Matter (BLM), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride.
Unacceptable: Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA Attire, Political Affiliated Slogans or Material.
Goodyear has released a statement after an employee said the slide presented in a training was discriminatory. https://t.co/H9B1gRu2r7
'-- WIBW (@wibw) August 18, 2020
According to WIBW-13, the slide was presented at the Topeka plant by an area manager and came from their corporate office out of Akron, Ohio.
''If someone wants to wear a BLM shirt in here, then cool. I'm not going to get offended about it. But at the same time, if someone's not going to be able to wear something that is politically based, even in the farthest stretch of the imagination, that's discriminatory,'' said the employee who took the photo.
The employee spoke to WIBW ''under the agreement of anonymity due to fears they could lose their job.''
A former chief of police who now writes for Law Enforcement Today also called for a boycott, pointing out that Goodyear tires are currently the tire of choice for police vehicles.
Interestingly, Goodyear is more than happy to sell their tires to police departments across the country. In fact, Goodyear tires are the tire of choice on a majority of newly manufactured police vehicles.
Perhaps it is time for police departments across the country to insist that perhaps another tire manufacturer which actually supports police have their tires installed on police vehicles. Maybe Firestone or Continental, who may be less woke than Goodyear, would like the opportunity for the police tire business.
At the very least, police agencies should look elsewhere when the time comes to replace the tires on their vehicles.
As a matter of fact, if the 800,000 police officers across the country, along with their families implemented a boycott on Goodyear, perhaps they would change their tune.
WIBW asked Goodyear if the slide was part of a training from their main office, but the company refused to answer, sending them politically correct corporate boilerplate in a PR statement instead.
Goodyear is committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace where all of our associates can do their best in a spirit of teamwork. As part of this commitment, we do allow our associates to express their support on racial injustice and other equity issues but ask that they refrain from workplace expressions, verbal or otherwise, in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as other similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of equity issues.
The employee who took the slide, however, suggested that Goodyear's attempt to ''foster an inclusive and respectful workplace,'' has resulted in a discriminatory policy.
''If we're talking about equality, then it needs to be equality,'' he said. ''If not, it's discrimination.''
Goodyear put out a statement Wednesday after the president called the company out, denying that the visual was ''created or distributed by Goodyear Corporate,'' nor part of a diversity training class.
The statement did seem to confirm that it is company policy to ban any form of advocacy that falls outside what they deem ''racial justice and equity issues.''
''In a bizarre and poorly written statement (''upmost,'' really?), Goodyear confirms that it endorses ''Black Lives Matter,'' an openly Marxist organization, as a ''racial justice'' matter, while banning the phrase ''Blue Lives Matter'' for being too political,'' tweeted the Federalist's Sean Davis.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany stood by the president's call for a boycott against Goodyear Wednesday afternoon when pressed by a reporter, who argued that the company's discriminatory policy was ''pretty standard and not that unusual.''
''I will stand at this podium and say Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue and Goodyear needs to come out and acknowledge that,'' McEnany said.
.@PressSec is asked about President Trump calling for a boycott of Goodyear:
"I will stand at this podium and say Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue and Goodyear needs to come out and acknowledge that." pic.twitter.com/YKET9VryJy
'-- Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 19, 2020
Zach Parkinson on Twitter: "Apparently, the DNC couldn't even find 30 people who were excited about Kamala Harris, so they had to duplicate someone's livesteram https://t.co/1cLhQRRkzg" / Twitter
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 04:08
Zach Parkinson : Apparently, the DNC couldn't even find 30 people who were excited about Kamala Harris, so they had to duplicate som'... https://t.co/GI6meR7Lel
Thu Aug 20 03:17:15 +0000 2020
Gerold Lampsire : @AZachParkinson Well nothing has changed at all Lol
Thu Aug 20 04:07:44 +0000 2020
Know your enemy : @AZachParkinson This completely describes the Democratic Party and DNC in a nutshell. Frauds. All. Of. Them.
Thu Aug 20 04:07:40 +0000 2020
Berry Richards : @AZachParkinson You missed the other two sets of dups.
Thu Aug 20 04:07:34 +0000 2020
Deb : @AZachParkinson They can't even find 30 people in CALIFORNIA! Trust me!
Thu Aug 20 04:07:12 +0000 2020
JamieReinhold : @AZachParkinson Haha haha
Thu Aug 20 04:07:09 +0000 2020
Diane : @AZachParkinson @RichardGrenell 🤣
Thu Aug 20 04:07:09 +0000 2020
Michelle Obama: You know I HATE politics
We are a nation of very fine people on both sides
NBC And ABC Win Monday Ratings With Democratic National Convention '' Deadline
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 19:53
From Democrats and Republicans rallying against Trump's handling of the pandemic to the emotional moment of silence for George Floyd to Michelle Obama's memorable ''It is what it is'' speech, it was all about the first night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention on Monday night. However, it was all about which network came out on top. For night one, NBC and ABC led the night with its telecast.
Both NBC and ABC shared the top spot delivering a 0.3 in the adults 18-49 demographic with CBS just a tenth behind with a 0.2. ABC raced ahead in viewership, netting 2.12 million viewers while NBC garnered 1.91 million viewers. CBS earned 1.74 million viewers. Overall, it seems that all three networks were pretty even with the 2020 DNC. However, the numbers are expected to be adjusted in the finals.
Univision delivered a 0.4 rating with its demo average, sharing the top spot of the night with NBC. The network's Monday lineup included La Rosa de Guadalupe (0.4, 1.280M), M(C)dicos (0.4 1.40M) and Como Tº No Hay Dos (0.4, 1.42M).
With the DNC taking over TV and streaming last night, the rest of the evening was filled with reruns. NBC aired a repeat of American Ninja Warrior while ABC served second helpings of Holey Moley and To Tell The Truth. CBS gave us reruns of their Monday night lineup of The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola and All Rise. At Fox, audiences watched reruns of 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star and The CW aired back-to-back episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
Broadcast TV Networks Worried About Airing Two Hours of Trump's Convention
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:13
Over the last few U.S. presidential election cycles, the major television networks have chosen to broadcast just one hour each night from the respective parties' political conventions, usually out of concern that anything more would impact viewership numbers and ad revenues.
But this year, another explanation was offered for keeping the broadcasts short: uncertainty over what airing President Donald Trump's coronation event might look and sound like.
Multiple sources told The Daily Beast that when Democratic officials met with various broadcast network executives about their convention coverage plans, the executives stressed that they could not broadcast two hours each night in part because they then would have to give the same airtime to Trump, and all the wild unpredictability that might entail from an editorial perspective.
''We don't know what that content is going to be,'' was the line offered up, according to one source.
While the Democrats decided months ago that their national convention would be a virtual event, it wasn't until July 23'--when Trump decided that the COVID-19 pandemic would make his plans for a gathering in Jacksonville unworkable'--that the GOP followed suit. The result was that the Democrats provided the networks with a detailed schedule of speakers and videos while the Republicans' convention schedule is still a moving target.
Executives at multiple networks told The Daily Beast privately that they were still almost completely in the dark about basic details of next week's RNC, including its format and its roster of speakers.
In the end, the networks have decided to broadcast the conventions from 10 p.m. through 11 p.m. each night (though, often, the events run longer), while cable-news networks have generally said they plan to cover the festivities from 9 p.m. onward. CNN and NBC's sister cable network, MSNBC, are airing all two hours of the nightly convention, punctuated by on-air commentary, while CBS and ABC are providing full coverage on their digital online outlets, ABC News Live and CBSN; Fox News, meanwhile, did not cover the first hour of the Democrats' opening convention night.
The breakdown in coverage plans mirrors what has been done in past conventions. In 2012 and 2016, the three major broadcast networks all opted to air just an hour live. But 2020 has proven different in substantive ways, and not just because of Trump.
For starters, the conventions themselves have been compressed because of the pandemic, and'--if the opening night is any indication'--much of the content being presented is now pre-packaged. The networks, moreover, are choosing to air recycled material during the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. slots rather than any new episodes of their popular shows (as production units have been shut down by the pandemic).
In 2012, for example, the DNC's lead-in on ABC one night was a new two-hour broadcast of The Bachelor, while its lead-in on NBC was American Ninja Warrior. The two reality-TV shows were the highest-rated programs on their respective networks. On Monday, NBC aired an old episode of American Ninja Warrior, while CBS aired a months-old episode of courtroom drama All Rise, and Fox broadcast 9-1-1: Lone Star.
And then there is the predicament that is broadcasting anything Trump-related.
The president has complicated editorial decisions for TV executives in part because of his penchant for peddling lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. Networks have come under intense scrutiny from media critics and Democrats for giving Trump unfiltered air time to spread propaganda and/or failing to fact-check some of his more dangerous claims in real-time.
That has been especially true during the coronavirus era, during which the president has routinely downplayed the severity of the pandemic, pushed unproven therapies, and attempted to discredit public-health experts that contradict his preferred policies.
The RNC also promises to be a hodgepodge of Trump sycophants, coronavirus skeptics, and alleged victims of ''cancel culture.'' In addition to a slate of expected speakers, including former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, Sens. Tim Scott and Joni Ernst, and Alice Johnson, the criminal-justice reform activist whose life sentence was commuted by Trump, others reportedly set to address the crowd include the St. Louis couple who were charged with unlawful use of a weapon after pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters earlier this year, and Nick Sandmann, a high-school graduate who became a conservative cause c(C)l¨bre after he sued media outlets for defamation following video of his face-to-face encounter with a Native American activist in D.C.
It's unclear if those concerns were at the heart of the networks' decision to keep the broadcasts to one hour in length, or whether they were a fig leaf to rationalize airing more ad-revenue-generating content compared to the telethon-like DNC spectacle.
''I would be very skeptical of that theory of why the networks are carrying them for only one hour,'' said former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, who has covered every political convention, Democrat and Republican, since he was a local reporter in Houston (and famously was knocked down by plainclothes security agents as he was broadcasting live from the floor of the 1968 Democratic confab in Chicago). ''I'm not cynical about it, but I'm skeptical because the networks in recent times never wanted to give the conventions very much time,'' Rather told The Daily Beast, ''because they can cram in more commercials with even deadwood content.''
Indeed, it is true that American TV viewers have waning interest in the conventions as of late. According to Nielsen, about 18.7 million Americans tuned into the first night of the DNC convention on the major television networks, a nearly 28 percent drop from viewership during the Democrats' 2016 convention.
Rather added that while the Democrats so far have provided well-produced political theater amounting to effective messaging, especially Michelle Obama's speech, the comparatively disorganized Republicans, under Trump's reality-show influence, might end up as more exciting'--and perhaps surreal'--to watch.
''I think it's one of the things that Trump and the Republicans are banking on,'' he said. ''It will be unpredictable, will have surprises, and they'll be hoping that people will tune in just to see what's going to happen.''
Certainly, the days of gavel-to-gavel convention coverage have now become a distant memory'--the broadcast networks starting slashing airtime for the political parties' quadrennial infomercials in 1984'--and we are firmly in the short-attention-span age of the nominating convention-lite.
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FBI BUZZ: FBI Intervened in Smollett Race Hoax After Sen. Kamala Harris Showed Up in Phones Records '' True Pundit
Sun, 16 Aug 2020 20:48
The beltway buzz is that the FBI took its mysterious '-- and still unexplained '-- interest in the Jussie Smollett race hoax case after Sen. Kamala Harris was implicated in Smollett's phone records.
And how many times did Smollett ring the Senator after his arrest by Chicago Police? Or did they speak before the hoax and staged assault?
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Did she call him? When and why?
Many unanswered questions linger but that is normally the situation when the FBI is involved in a high-profile case.
The buzz about Kamala's phones and Jussie has been circling in federal law enforcement circles and the beltway but has yet to go mainstream because Harris' campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination has sputtered.
And perhaps for good reason. If we are hearing this, there is little doubt DNC bosses are hearing it as well.
After all '-- Harris and Smollett are close friends. Perhaps they just wanted to chat.
For weeks pundits debated, without a clear consensus, why the FBI had intervened early in the case, which was spearheaded by Chicago PD. Why did the FBI assign one of its premier child sex crimes and child sex trafficking investigators to work on an assault case?
Let's recap. The FBI quietly assisted in the case after Smollett's phone records were obtained by Chicago Police and at that point Smollett had yet to have been charged. The FBI's participation in the investigation was not public until stories broke revealing its participation in the case. However, in a new probe, after charges against Smollett were mysteriously dismissed the FBI launched a separate investigation to pinpoint why the charges were dropped and who tampered with the investigation.
That investigation appears to be ongoing.
Now the Sen. Kamala Harris Intel dovetails into the FBI initial, unexplained intervention in the case. If phone records from Harris, her office or her surrogates were flagged on Smollett's communications before or after the alleged race hoax, it is understandable why a left-leaning and corrupt FBI would be asked to step in and disarm this powder keg.
Internal Chicago Police records show detectives employed a top FBI Supervisory Special Agent specializing in investigating the trafficking of sexually exploited children, child prostitution and aggravated child sexual abuse to help investigate the Smollett assault hoax case.
During early stages of the investigation, records show, Chicago Police shared Intel with the FBI and FBI Special Agent Gregory Wing was working the investigation daily alongside city detectives.
But Wing supervises the Child Sex Crimes and Violent Crimes Against Children squad in the FBI's Chicago Field Office and is considered one of the top agents investigating child sex trafficking in the country, according to the FBI.
What is one of FBI's premier child sex crimes and child sex trafficking investigators doing working an assault case? Wing and his FBI task force track down high-profile pedophiles and pimps. He doesn't intervene with local assault cases.
One internal Chicago PD document from the Smollett case states: ''Per request of FBI Special Agent Greg Wing, the forwarded a copy of the search warrant Number 19SW5223, which was issued pertaining to the Apple Incorporated held iCloud account controlled by Jussie Smollett to FBI analyst Mariella Lopez via email '... The received an email reply indicating receipt of this document.''
The question is why is Wing working an assault case with Chicago Police? And what did one of the FBI's top sex crimes investigator want with a subpoena on Smollett's phone records? Or Smollett's phone records?
The FBI and Chicago Police, however, are not commenting on what the FBI's child sex crime unit is doing involved in the Smollett case. The Chicago Police records of the case mention Wing and his cooperation in several documents, including helping detectives coordinate logistics and working the daily tenets of the investigation. Much of the file, however, is redacted.
It gets worse. Remember Kim Foxx and her Obama connections?
A former top aide of President Barack Obama who also served as Michelle Obama's chief of staff in the White House colluded and interfered with Chicago prosecutors and police to have the Jussie Smollett investigation taken over by the corrupt FBI.
Documents showing text messages and email chains revealed Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's asked Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to turn the Jussie Smollett investigation over to the FBI before she recused herself from the case.
The documents, obtained by NBC 5 via a Freedom of Information Act request, show correspondence between Foxx, an unknown person and Tina Tchen, a one-time assistant to former President Barack Obama and Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama.
In an email, Tchen said she knows the Smollett family and said they ''have concerns about the investigation'' into his alleged hate crime attack, which police now say was hoax staged to boost his career.
Harris wasted no time Tweeting about the 'attack' on Smollett shortly after news of the event broke:
So we have the Obama's and a U.S. Senator all implicated in a Chicago-based race hoax allegedly perpetrated by a Hollywood star. And the good Senator had been pushing an anti-lynching bill at the same time Smollett claimed two white Trump supporters put a noose around his neck and beat him down in the street. Those white guys turned out to be two Nigerian-American brothers who Smollett hired, according to police.
Harris sponsored the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, legislation that would criminalize lynching for the first time in American history.
No wonder the FBI was directed to step in.
If word got out to the public about a cover up like this, it could be bad for all involved.
Conveniently, Harris' bill was passed in the Senate in February, 16 days after Smollett was ''attacked'' yet BEFORE details went public that the 'assault was' staged:
''Lynchings were acts of violence'--they were horrendous acts of violence, and they were motivated by racism,'' she said. ''With this bill, we finally have a chance to speak the truth about our past and make clear that these hateful acts should never happen again.''
Irony is a funny thing. '-- Thomas Paine
Anyone see Jussie Smollett lately? I'm sure Feds are working hard on that case. Rumor: Kamala's phone popped on Jussie's phone records hours after the hoax. Little wonder she is poised to drop out of the pres race. Can you imagine if that went public? I guess it just did. Whoops.
'-- Mike 'Thomas Paine' Moore (@Thomas1774Paine) November 4, 2019
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --
Trump announces surprise pardon for Susan B. Anthony, convicted of voting in 1873, on women's suffrage centennial '-- RT USA News
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:47
US President Donald Trump has announced he will issue a full posthumous pardon for women's suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony in honor of the hundredth anniversary of women getting the vote. Anthony was convicted of voting in 1873.
The president announced that Anthony, a pivotal figure in the women's suffrage movement, would receive a ''full and complete pardon'' on Tuesday in celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
The activist was charged and convicted '-- by a jury of 12 men '-- of voting in her hometown of Rochester, New York in the November 1872 federal election ''without having a lawful right to vote'... being then and there a person of the female sex.''
Admitting he was ''surprised it hadn't been done before,'' Trump asked an assembled audience of women, ''What took so long?'' He hailed the 19th Amendment as a ''monumental victory for equality, for justice, and a monumental victory for America'' and approvingly noted that in 2020, ''women dominate the United States, I think we can say that very strongly.''
Susan B. Anthony was arrested in 1872 for casting a vote in her hometown of Rochester, NY and was later convicted. She refused to pay the fine, but authorities took no further legal action against her. The presidential pardon posthumously clears her record.
'-- Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 18, 2020The president had been hinting a big pardon was in the works in recent days. However, he poured cold water on some of the speculation on Monday, telling reporters on Air Force One that while he had plans to pardon someone ''very, very important'' on Tuesday, it wouldn't be NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden or his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn.
Trump had broached the idea of a pardon for Snowden over the weekend, however, telling reporters at a press conference that he was ''going to start looking at it'' because ''there are a lot of people who think he is not being treated fairly.''
Also on rt.com Snowden sees 'bend in the arc of history' as 'only the worst people' are speaking against a possible pardon from Trump Last year, the president commemorated the upcoming 19th Amendment centennial with a run of one-dollar silver coins featuring Anthony (who has previously appeared on a dollar coin) as well as other prominent backers of women's suffrage including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Ida B. Wells.
Earlier this week, he urged Congress to approve the construction of a monument honoring the women's suffrage movement in Washington DC, similar to a statue expected to be unveiled in New York's Central Park later this month.
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DNC fact check: Michelle Obama and the 'kids in cages' - Chicago Tribune
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:56
Michelle Obama assailed President Donald Trump on Monday for ripping migrant children from their parents and throwing them into cages, picking up on a frequent and distorted point made widely by Democrats.
She's right that Trump's now-suspended policy at the U.S.-Mexico border separated thousands of children from their families in ways that had not been done before. But what she did not say is that the very same ''cages'' were built and used in her husband's administration, for the same purpose of holding migrant kids temporarily.
MICHELLE OBAMA, on Americans: ''They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages.''
THE FACTS: The reference to cages is misleading and a matter that Democrats have persistently distorted.
Trump used facilities that were built during the Obama-Biden administration to house children at the border. They are chain-link enclosures inside border facilities where migrants were temporarily housed, separated by sex and age.
At the height of the controversy over Trump's zero-tolerance policy at the border, photos that circulated online of children in the enclosures generated great anger. But some of those photos '-- by The Associated Press '-- were taken in 2014 and depicted some of the thousands of unaccompanied children held by President Barack Obama.
When that fact came to light, some Democrats and activists who had tweeted the photos deleted their tweets. But prominent Democrats have continued to cite cages for children as a distinctive cruelty of Trump.
The former first lady was correct, however, in addressing the removal of children from parents at the border.
The Obama administration separated migrant children from families under certain limited circumstances, like when the child's safety appeared at risk or when the parent had a serious criminal history.
But family separations as a matter of routine came about because of Trump's ''zero tolerance'' enforcement policy, which he eventually suspended because of the uproar. Obama had no such policy.
Trump congratulates far-right activist Laura Loomer on GOP primary win | TheHill
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 13:45
August 19, 2020 - 07:27 AM EDT By John BowdenPresident Trump praised a far-right candidate with a history of spreading anti-Muslim rhetoric after her Republican primary victory in a Florida House race.
In a tweet shortly after midnight on Wednesday, Trump said that Laura Loomer has "a great chance against a Pelosi puppet" in November, referring to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Loomer's Democratic opponent, Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), is favored to win the district.
Loomer was banned from ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft in 2017 after a public tweet threat in which she told the companies that she "never want[s] to support another Islamic immigrant driver," along with others calling for "someone... to create a non Islamic form of @uber or @lyft."
"Isn't it ironic how the twitter moment used to celebrate 'women, LGBTQ, and minorities' is a picture of Ilhan Omar ?" she added in a 2018 message shortly before being banned from Twitter as well, referring to the Democratic Minnesota congresswoman. "Ilhan is pro Sharia Ilhan is pro-FGM Under Sharia, homosexuals are oppressed & killed. Women are abused & forced to wear the hijab. Ilhan is anti Jewish."
Loomer told The Hill previously that a victory in her primary would mark the "first time a deplatformed candidate will get a party nomination."
"I'm going to win," she added at the time.
Tyler O'Neil on Twitter: "Those BLM letters next to Elizabeth Warren are... not subtle. Thanks to @texasbryanP for pointing it out and @vodkapundit for the screenshot. #DemConvention #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/RY0Y3ZdDu7" / Twitter
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:12
Tyler O'Neil : Those BLM letters next to Elizabeth Warren are... not subtle. Thanks to @texasbryanP for pointing it out and'... https://t.co/KMR2fekMYY
Thu Aug 20 02:27:12 +0000 2020
Pirate1955 : @Tyler2ONeil @texasbryanp @VodkaPundit staged for sure.wonder if she is blk now with indian too
Thu Aug 20 09:31:03 +0000 2020
Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "Kimberly will work with the Trump Administration and we will bring Baltimore back, and fast. Don't blow it Baltimore, the Democrats have destroyed your city!" / Twitter
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:14
Donald J. Trump : Kimberly will work with the Trump Administration and we will bring Baltimore back, and fast. Don't blow it Baltimor'... https://t.co/kICsJ1tRRT
Wed Aug 19 03:49:57 +0000 2020
Light workers
Galactic Federation of Light: Current Situation '' Era of Light
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 04:00
It is with great joy that we see that people have risen in consciousness during this pandemic. Soon, however, there will be a new pandemic that aims to make people begin to see their lives on a new and more personal level. To have the opportunity to try to get a creativity in their life to influence their situation which can be difficult.
The economic situation will change, as will the structural reality of the political agenda. Before that, however, it will be a difficult situation for all people. There will be a lack of much of what pertains to everyday life. To start collecting some food, for example, is preferable but not to collect so that others suffer. This pandemic is coming soon and being prepared is a good prerequisite for coping with much of what is happening. This is likely to happen within this year. It will not be the same as during this pandemic, but there will be more people who become dependent on subsidies due to lack of money and also lack of food.
Unemployment is reaching very high levels all over the world and people are starting to protest against the rulers who have amassed fortunes for their own sake. This must come to light and these leaders will have to take their punishment from the people who are tired of lying. It will be a turbulent time and many will give up and leave the planet but this state will end and when the people have decided that another world must become a reality, a new world order will come that reverses the difficult but necessary state. Everything must come to light to be transformed and people must forgive and have compassion. Then comes the Event and this will probably happen within a few years.
We would like all lightworkers to send their light to the whole world. To all the nooks and crannies, to transform everything that is not of light into light. You light workers are the anchors in this great plan and the work you do is fantastic. Light has already won but there are still places left on Earth that need to be forgiven and transformed into light.
People will need your help in the near future and you are the ones who can explain how everything works. Not everyone has understood what is happening in the world and in the Universe. All have been raised to the fourth and fifth dimensions, which means that all have changed. Everyone who wants and can, is welcome to the new world and a new time.
God's grace is great for people.
The Galactic Federation of Lights
Many thanks '.... In love I earn'.... I AM
>> Source >> Channel: Inger Noren
Belarus live: No election '²unless you kill me'² '-- Lukashenko
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 13:09
Facing growing protests, President Alexander Lukashenko has said no fresh elections will take place in Belarus. Germany's president has called on Lukashenko to enter into dialogue with the opposition.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier calls for an end to violence EU leaders hold an emergency summit on Belarus Factory workers and state media employees have joined a general strike Germany says it is considering wider sanctions against Belarus Opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has urged security forces to join her side All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)
12:30 Poland on Monday pledged '‚¬11 million ($13 million) in funding to help Belarussians to pay for visas and resettle in neighboring Poland.
Separately, Poland's deputy foreign minister suggested that European Union funds should be used to support Belarus.
"The EU has an instrument in the form of the European Endownment for Democracy," Marcin Przydacz said during a committee meeting in Poland's parliament.
"We would like such a signal to be sent from the perspective of the leadership of the EU, so that other countries would follow suit."
Latvia's prime minister echoed Poland's sentiments, indicating that the Latvian government would support the use of funding to support strengthening civil society in Belarus, reported the Interfax news agency.
The European Endownment for Democracy (EED) was established in 2013 by the EU and EU member states to foster democracy. The EED provides "fast and flexible technical and financial support to democratization and human rights promotion in the European neighborhood," according to its website.
11:35 Belarusian opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said that she was ready to lead the nation. Speaking in a video address from Lithuania, where she fled following the election, Tsikhanouskaya said she was ready to facilitate a rerun of the disputed election.
"I'm ready to take on the responsibility and act as a national leader in order for the country to calm down, return to its normal rhythm, in order for us to free all the political prisoners and prepare legislation and conditions for organizing new presidential elections,'' she said.
Tsikhanouskaya also urged security and law enforcement officers to switch allegiance from Lukashenko's government, adding that they would be pardoned for their past actions if they did so now.
Read more: Belarus: Tsikhanouskaya calls on security forces to switch allegiance
11:20 Neighboring Lithuania and Poland say they are monitoring the situation on their borders with Belarus.
The Belarusian army has begun exercises in the western Grodno region bordering the two NATO members and has plans to deploy additional troops there. The drills were announced on the weekend after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko accused NATO of a military buildup near the border '-- a charge the military alliance rejected.
"We are witnessing Belarusian efforts to further escalate and develop a narrative about the so-called foreign threats," Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis told the AFP news agency on Monday.
Dainius Gaizauskas, the chair of Lithuania's parliamentary committee on national security and defense, said there was no reason to respond to the drills: "We believe (the exercise) does not pose a large threat to our national security and I can assure you that Lithuania will not react in any way."
Meanwhile, Polish Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz said his country would "also look at what happens at our borders," adding: "We will not be passive in this observation."
11:00 EU leaders will hold an emergency video conference on Wednesday to discuss the disputed Belarus election. EU Council President Charles Michel called the meeting after Moscow said it was ready to provide military help to its ally.
"The people of Belarus have the right to decide on their future and freely elect their leader," Michel tweeted, saying Wednesday's virtual summit would begin at 12:00 pm (1000 UTC). "Violence against protesters is unacceptable and cannot be allowed."
10:48 German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has urged President Alexander Lukashenko to hold talks with the opposition to resolve the crisis.
"I appeal to President Lukashenko to follow the path of dialogue '' not to resort to violence," Steinmeier said in Berlin.
He praised the protesters' courage, adding that pictures of hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets were "dramatic and moving."
"The people of this long-suffering but proud country deserve our solidarity and support."
He also said the Belarusian army should not "sin against its own people through violence."
10:46 Workers across Belarus have downed tools after the country's opposition called for a nationwide strike on Monday. Staff at the country's state broadcaster have walked off the job in support of mass protests, and about 5,000 striking workers from the Minsk Tractor Works plant marched down the streets of Minsk demanding that Lukashenko step down and cede his post to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leading opposition candidate.
Read more: Belarus television broadcasts empty studio as state media joins general strike
10:17 Germany has called for an end to the crackdown on peaceful protesters in Belarus and for political prisoners to be released "immediately and unconditionally."
At least two people have died in the post-election demonstrations, while several thousand have been arrested.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said there should be a "national dialogue" between Lukashenko and the opposition "to surmount the crisis," adding that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) could play a role with a "review of the election."
Seibert also said Germany was prepared to back broader EU sanctions against Belarus. The bloc's foreign ministers agreed on Friday to draw up a list of Belarusian officials who would be targeted with sanctions.
"Of course we are looking at the option of expanding the sanctions to other leading figures," Seibert told reporters.
10:05 Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has told workers at a tractor plant in Minsk that there will be no new presidential vote.
The ex-Soviet state has been gripped by mass protests since the 65-year-old leader's disputed reelection on Sunday. The opposition and the EU say the vote was neither free nor fair, and have demanded a rerun.
The official Belta news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying he would be willing to share power, and to change the constitution, but that he would not bow to pressure from protesters to hold new elections.
"You speak about unfair elections and want fair ones?" the president asked. "I have an answer for you. We had the elections. Unless you kill me, there will be no other elections," he was quoted as saying by TASS news agency and Tut.by.
nm/aw (AFP, Reuters)
Pope Francis Calls for 'Justice' in Belarus Following Rigged Election
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 14:09
Pope Francis called for justice in Belarus on Sunday following an allegedly rigged presidential election that reinstated dictator Alexander Lukashenko and ignited nationwide protests.
Promising prayers for ''dramatic situations in the world that are causing people to suffer,'' the pontiff said his thoughts go to ''dear Belarus.''
''I am following attentively the post-electoral situation in that nation and I call for dialogue, the rejection of violence and the respect for justice and the law,'' the pope told crowds gathered in Saint Peter's Square for his weekly Angelus address. ''I entrust all Belarusians to the protection of the Madonna, Queen of Peace.''
Belarus' presidential election last weekend ended with Lukashenko winning nearly 80 percent of the vote, continuing his uninterrupted 26-year reign.
Last Sunday, over 1,000 citizens gathered in the capital, Minsk, to protest the election results, with the demonstrations quickly turning violent as state security forces descended on the capital to quell the unrest.
Riot police employed flash grenades, tear gas, and water cannons to disperse crowds and crack down on protesters.
Follow @tdwilliamsrome
Go Podcasting!
Apple announces Apple Music radio - Apple
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:45
PRESS RELEASE August 18, 2020
Apple Music 1 and two new stations, Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country, feature exclusive original shows from the world's top music hosts and artists
Apple Music premieres new Apple Music radio.
Cupertino, California '-- Apple today announced two new live global radio offerings on Apple Music, now available to music fans in 165 countries. Beginning today, Beats 1, the flagship global radio station, will be renamed Apple Music 1, and two additional radio stations will launch:
Apple Music Hits, celebrating everyone's favorite songs from the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, and
Apple Music Country, spotlighting country music.
Since Apple Music's launch in 2015, Beats 1 has grown into one of the most-listened-to radio stations in the world, consistently delivering the best in-depth artist interviews, more global exclusives and premieres than anywhere else, and unique programming that produces culture-moving, news-making moments year after year. Throughout its evolution, Beats 1 has established an inherent camaraderie with the artist community and championed human curation and discovery '-- an approach that will continue across the three stations.
''For the past five years, if ever there was a meaningful moment in music culture, Beats 1 was there bringing human curation to the forefront and drawing in listeners with exclusive shows from some of the most innovative, respected, and beloved people in music,'' said Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music, Beats, and International Content. ''Now, Apple Music radio provides an unparalleled global platform for artists across all genres to talk about, create, and share music with their fans, and this is just the beginning. We will continue to invest in live radio and create opportunities for listeners around the world to connect with the music they love.''
Beats 1 Now Renamed Apple Music 1 Apple Music's flagship Beats 1 global radio station has now been renamed Apple Music 1.
With state-of-the-art studios in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and London, Apple Music 1 is the center for pop culture conversation and artist-led programming, and the global destination for artists from around the world to release new music, break news, and speak directly to their fans. Apple Music 1 is led by cornerstone presenters Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, Brooke Reese, Dotty, Hanuman Welch, Matt Wilkinson, Nadeska, Rebecca Judd, and Travis Mills, and offers a lineup of shows from the biggest names in music, including Action Bronson, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Joe Kay, Lil Wayne, Frank Ocean, Vince Staples, and The Weeknd, as well as new shows from Aitch, Kerwin Frost, HAIM, Lady Gaga, Nile Rodgers, Travis Scott, Young M.A, and many more.
Apple Music 1 also features several shows dedicated to celebrating the vibrancy of Latin music around the world, including a new show from J Balvin and listener favorites ''Dale Play! with Sandra Pe±a'' and ''La F"rmula Radio with El Guru.'' The station is also home to ''Africa Now Radio with Cuppy,'' showcasing the very best local African music and artists.
''Apple Music is home '-- it's home to artists, it's home to fans, and it's home to incredible music,'' said Zane Lowe, Apple Music's global creative director and host. ''I'm an obsessive music nerd. I love searching for the most exciting new artists and playing them right alongside the most essential, established artists of our time, because great music does not know the difference and Apple Music fans just want to hear great music. That's what Apple Music radio is all about.''
Introducing Apple Music Hits
Apple Music Hits offers a full catalog of the biggest songs fans know and love from the '80s, '90s, and 2000s.
Apple Music Hits offers a full catalog of the biggest songs fans know and love from the '80s, '90s, and 2000s. The station features remarkable new shows from notable artists and hosts, connecting listeners with the stories behind the most popular songs in the world.
Apple Music Hits will be helmed by daily on-air hosts Jayde Donovan, Estelle, Lowkey, Jenn Marino, Sabi, Nicole Sky and Natalie Sky, George Stroumboulopoulos (''House of Strombo''), along with special shows from Ari Melber and others. Fans can also tune in to hear new exclusive shows from artists like Backstreet Boys, Ciara, Mark Hoppus, Huey Lewis, Alanis Morissette, Snoop Dogg, Meghan Trainor, Shania Twain, and more.
Introducing Apple Music Country
Apple Music Country showcases an increasingly diverse genre with a talent roster full of country's most exciting voices.
Radio is part of the fabric of country music culture, and Apple Music Country amplifies that experience for the modern fan. As country music evolves and expands around the world, Apple Music Country aims to be the definitive place for every lane of an increasingly diverse genre. The station offers a mix of the best music of today while introducing fans to the stars of tomorrow and reminding them of the legendary artists and tracks that have shaped and defined country music along the way.
Apple Music Country's talent roster boasts a wide range of country's most exciting voices, including daily on-air hosts Kelleigh Bannen, Ty Bentli, Bree, Alecia Davis, Ward Guenther, Nada, and Tiera, plus weekly shows from Ashley Eicher and Kelly McCartney. Fans can also enjoy new exclusive shows from artists like Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, BRELAND, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Morgan Evans, Florida Georgia Line, Pat Green, Willie Jones, Chrissy Metz, Midland, Rissi Palmer, The Shires, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen, alongside exclusive shows from legendary producers and songwriters like Dave Cobb, Jesse Frasure, and Luke Laird, and journalist Hunter Kelly.
Fans can enjoy
Apple Music radio wherever they listen to Apple Music, including iPhone, iPad, iPod, CarPlay, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, HomePod, and on the web at
They can also ask Siri to play ''Apple Music 1,'' ''Apple Music Hits,'' or ''Apple Music Country.''
About Apple MusicApple loves music. With iPod and iTunes, Apple revolutionized the music experience by putting a thousand songs in your pocket. Today, Apple Music takes this to the ultimate with over 60 million songs, thousands of playlists, and daily selections from the world's best music experts, including all of the artists and hosts broadcasting daily across its Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country global live streams. Since 2015, Apple Music has welcomed tens of millions of subscribers in 167 countries. Streaming seamlessly to iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, HomePod, and CarPlay, Apple Music is the most complete music experience on the planet.
Images of Apple Music Radio
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple's five software platforms '-- iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS '-- provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple's more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.
Out There
Scientists say 'anomaly' in Earth's magnetic field is splitting
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 01:13
By Mike Wehner, BGR
August 19, 2020 | 4:18pm
There are many reasons why life is able to exist on Earth. We're the right distance from the Sun, our planet has an abundance of liquid water (but not too much to cover all of the land), and our atmosphere is nice and thick, protecting us from radiation and hazards in space. Earth's magnetic field is very important as well, as it protects our atmosphere from charged particles flying through space that would otherwise slowly tear it away.
Now, scientists have observed changes in what they are calling a ''dent'' in Earth's magnetic field, and the so-called South Atlantic Anomaly is splitting. In the short term, this phenomenon could create a headache for satellite operators, as protection for their spacecraft over this region would be lessened. In the long term? We really don't know what it means.
Scientists have known about this strange feature of Earth's magnetic field for some time, but over the past decade, it's been gradually changing. Researchers believe that the dent is now splitting into two halves, which is leaving scientists wondering exactly what is happening.
Observing changes to the magnetic field is one thing, but spotting the forces at work that are driving the change is a bit different. Researchers observing changes to the magnetic patterns deep within the Earth have found that there are some seriously strange things happening in the area immediately below the anomaly.
View Gallery
This stereoscopic visualization shows a simple model of the Earth's magnetic field. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Cent
The Sun expels a constant outflow of particles and magnetic fields known as the solar wind and vast clouds of hot plasma and radiation called coronal mass ejections. NASA Goddard / Bailee DesRocher
When solar material streams strikes Earth's magnetosphere, it can become trapped and held in two donut-shaped belts around the planet called the Van Allen Belts. NASA Goddard / Tom Bridgman
''As the core motion changes over time, due to complex geodynamic conditions within the core and at the boundary with the solid mantle up above, the magnetic field fluctuates in space and time too. These dynamical processes in the core ripple outward to the magnetic field surrounding the planet, generating the SAA and other features in the near-Earth environment '' including the tilt and drift of the magnetic poles, which are moving over time.''
''The observed SAA can be also interpreted as a consequence of weakening dominance of the dipole field in the region,'' Weijia Kuang of NASA Goddard's Geodesy and Geophysics Laboratory said in a statement. ''More specifically, a localized field with reversed polarity grows strongly in the SAA region, thus making the field intensity very weak, weaker than that of the surrounding regions.''
At the moment, scientists don't believe the strange dent in the magnetic field will pose a threat to our planet's ability to support life. It would take a much more dramatic change in Earth's magnetosphere to trigger an event that would threaten our existence. In the meantime, scientists will continue to study the anomaly and attempt to learn more about how the forces within our planet are affecting its magnetic field.
VIDEO-Todd With Trump on Twitter: "OMG 🱠he exposes Kamala for who she really is - a damn socialist liberal liar & he does it from the pulpit 🲠Evil can run it's course & it may think it's won, but it can NEVER win over Gods Grace &
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:46
Todd With Trump : OMG 🱠he exposes Kamala for who she really is - a damn socialist liberal liar & he does it from the pulpit ðŸ²Evil'... https://t.co/9l13Gu5JSE
Tue Aug 18 13:34:23 +0000 2020
VIDEO-QAnon: Trump lauds bizarre conspiracy theory - BBC News
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:39
QAnon: Trump lauds bizarre conspiracy theory
The president said he did not know much about the bizarre conspiracy theory, except that its adherents like him.
Published duration 6 hours ago
Section BBC News
VIDEO-Blacked-out. Covered-up. Shut down. - YouTube
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:15
VIDEO-Peter Gammo '...¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ on Twitter: "Some clips of Biden from the DNC. They're pretty hard to watch. Biden is not well. https://t.co/LA84EbnsAF" / Twitter
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:08
Peter Gammo '...¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ : Some clips of Biden from the DNC. They're pretty hard to watch.Biden is not well. https://t.co/LA84EbnsAF
Wed Aug 19 07:14:40 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Cincinnati Reds need to fire Thom Brennaman immediately
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:07
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 16: Cincinnati Reds television broadcaster Thom Brennaman looks on prior to a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on June 16, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Dodgers defeated the Reds 3-1. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The Thom Brennaman Era with the Cincinnati Reds should be over effective immediately.The Cincinnati Reds have been a family tradition in the Brennaman family. Marty Brennaman was the longtime announcer for the team, broadcasting games from 1974 through 2019. Once he retired, his son, Thom Brennaman, took over the microphone, continuing the family legacy into this season.
And that is where the legacy should come to an end, especially after a comment made by the younger Brennaman before the second game of the Reds doubleheader against the Royals.
*warning* Homophobic language in the video
And here, we see the true side of Thom Brennaman. He had no idea that his microphone was hot, and was just spewing forth whatever he felt at the time. And what he felt certainly has no place in the game at all.
Brennaman has been a broadcaster since 1986, a part of various team broadcasts, the national Fox Sports games, and even called NFL postseason contests. He has a high profile in the industry, especially following in the footsteps of his father.
But it is time for that journey to end. He needs to be removed from the Reds' broadcasts immediately, his time with the team over. And once that happens, one has to wonder if he will work in another high profile capacity again.
This is not a situation where an apology written by some beleaguered Public Relations representative will be enough. It is also not a situation where promises of sensitivity training and a suspension will be enough. The Reds need to act, and they need to act in a definitive manner. Immediately.
We can only hope that the microphone is left on when the Cincinnati Reds drag Thom Brennaman out of the booth. For once, he would get to say something worth listening to.
VIDEO-DNC 2020: Obama blasts Trump's 'reality show' presidency - BBC News
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:03
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Obama and top Democrats go after Donald TrumpBarack Obama accused Donald Trump of treating the US presidency like "one more reality show", in a withering speech to the Democratic convention.
The former US president said his Republican successor "hasn't grown into the job because he can't".
At the White House, Mr Trump hit back that he was only elected because of the "horror" Mr Obama left Americans.
On the third night of the Democratic conference, Kamala Harris accepted the vice-presidential nomination.
The grand finale of the four-night convention will see Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden deliver a speech on Thursday.
The Biden-Harris ticket will challenge President Trump and his Vice-President Mike Pence for the White House in the election on 3 November.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced Democrats to abandon the cheering throngs and razzmatazz that are the hallmarks of the quadrennial party convention in favour of a virtual event of pre-recorded and live speeches.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Joe Biden: Will it be third time lucky in 2020?What did Obama say?On Wednesday night, Mr Obama unleashed possibly his most scathing attack yet about Mr Trump, speaking live from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
He said: "He has [Mr Trump] shown no interest in putting in the work. No interest in finding common ground.
"No interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends.
"No interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves."
He said the consequences of the Trump presidency have been "our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before".
The former president lamented "the circus of it all, the meanness and the lies and the conspiracy theories".
"Do not let them take away your power," he implored American voters. "Do not let them take away your democracy."
Mr Obama encouraged voters to elect his former vice-president, Mr Biden, in 76 days' time - praising him as "my friend" and "a brother".
According to the Associated Press news agency, sources close to Mr Obama say he fully supports Mr Biden, but is concerned about engagement among younger voters and especially voters of colour.
Former US presidents mostly observe a dignified public silence about their successors.
But Mr Obama warned four years ago while still in office that he would regard it as a "personal insult" if Americans elected Mr Trump, then the Republican candidate and a former star of TV's The Apprentice.
The 44th president has become gradually more outspoken about his successor as he has watched him dismantle his legacy.
On Monday night at the Democratic convention, Michelle Obama delivered an impassioned attack on her husband's successor, painting him as incompetent and "clearly in over his head". Her salvo was especially striking to many Americans because US first ladies, serving and former, tend to carefully steer clear of the political fray.
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Media caption Michelle Obama: Trump is "wrong president" for USHow did Trump respond?During a White House news conference on Wednesday, Mr Trump was asked about his predecessor's remarks.
"I see the horror that he's left us and the stupidity of the transactions he made," the US president said.
"Look at how bad he was, how ineffective a president he was, he was so ineffective, so terrible.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption What happens at the US conventions?"Now President Obama did not do a good job, and the reason I'm here is because of President Obama and Joe Biden."
He added: "They did such a bad job that I stand before you as president."
In a subsequent tweet, Mr Trump said: "Welcome, Barack and Crooked Hillary. See you on the field of battle!"
The president is expected to accept his re-nomination as the Republican candidate from the White House lawn next week during his party's convention.
Who else spoke at the convention?On Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, also assailed the man who thwarted her White House ambitions.
Speaking from her home in Chappaquiddick, New York, she said: "I wish Donald Trump had been a better president. But, sadly, he is who he is."
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption What do young Democrats think of Joe Biden?The former first lady and ex-secretary of state added: "For four years, people have said to me, 'I didn't realise how dangerous he was.' 'I wish I could go back and do it over.' Or worst, 'I should have voted.'
"Well, this can't be another woulda coulda shoulda election."
She added: "Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are."
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Who is Kamala Harris? A look at the life and career of a historic VP pick Obama's legacy on the ballot Barack Obama and Donald Trump are exchanging barbs in near real time now. While the former president has offered oblique criticism in the past, in his Democratic National Convention speech he attacked the current president by name.
For more than three years, Trump has treated the 2016 election - one he narrowly won - as a full-throated repudiation of his predecessor and governed accordingly. That has been a risky assumption, given that polls indicate Mr Obama is currently one of the most popular political figures in the nation, while Mr Trump has been net negative for most of his presidency.
Wednesday's clash suggests that the forthcoming election between Mr Trump and Joe Biden, Americans will be more than just a choice between two men, it also will be one between two legacies - Mr Obama's and Mr Trump's.
And both the current and former presidents are treating it accordingly.
VIDEO-Martha gets into heated argument with president of largest teachers union - YouTube
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:50
VIDEO-This is what is WRONG with journalism today - YouTube
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:48
VIDEO-OMG I'm Speechless! Unbelievable Mainstream News from Spain - UNREAL! - YouTube
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:30
VIDEO-Peter Navarro accuses Democrats and the Chinese Communist Party of being in cahoots in 2020 election | Fox News
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:02
Published August 19, 2020
Last Update 13 hrs ago
Joe Biden has said Trump is 'going after China in the wrong way'White House trade adviser Peter Navarro accused the Democratic Party and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of being in cahoots in the 2020 presidential election to defeat President Trump.
Navarro leveled the accusation Wednesday in the driveway of the White House. When asked by a reporter for proof of the accusation, he replied: "It's obvious."
"What I think is happening here is the Democrat Party and the Chinese Communist Party have entered into a common cause to defeat Donald J. Trump and their whole strategy is based on blaming this administration for a global pandemic created by the Chinese Communist Party," said Navarro, the director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro speaks with reporters at the White House, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
He blasted Democrats for faulting Trump for the coronavirus pandemic and failing to blame China during the Democratic National Convention. The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 172,000 Americans and the subsequent recession has forced about 56 million Americans to file unemployment claims.
The Trump administration has recently taken an aggressive stance with China, from closing the Houston Chinese consulate to threatening to ban the popular Chinese-owned app TikTok. Navarro said if Democrat Joe Biden wins the presidency in November, he'd "turn" the U.S. over to the Chinese Communist Party and the American people should be "fearful."
"If the Biden folks are able to win in November, they're basically going to turn this country over to the Chinese Communist Party," Navarro said. "That's the takeaway."
During an interview earlier this month with NPR's Up First, Biden said he would reevaluate the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese imports and he criticized Trump's unilateral approach to countering China's rising influence.
''We're going after China in the wrong way,'' Biden said. ''China is stealing intellectual property. China is conditioning being able to do business in China based on whether or not you have 51% Chinese ownership. That's got to end."
''The way China will respond is when we gather the rest of the world ... That's when things begin to change. That's when China's behavior is going to change," he added.
Throughout the convention, Democrats have accused Trump of downplaying the COVID-19 threat, peddling misinformation to the American people and failing to quickly enact national policies that would have kept Americans healthy.
One of the more blistering attacks came from Kristin Urquiza, who said her father died from COVID-19 after believing Trump that the virus was under control and would disappear.
"My dad was a healthy 65-year-old," Urquiza said on the first night of the DNC. "His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life."
VIDEO-Obama shreds Trump's 'reality show' presidency, vows his former VP Biden will save US democracy & solve all America's problems '-- RT USA News
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 04:24
Former US president Barack Obama said the Trump administration had turned the presidency into a ''reality show'' in his speech to the Democratic convention, holding up Joe Biden as a panacea for all of the country's troubles.
Addressing the third night of his party's national convention on Wednesday, the ex-POTUS took an uncharacteristically harsh tone on President Donald Trump, saying he hadn't ''grown into the job because he can't'' while laying blame for the Covid-19 crisis squarely on his administration.
''I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously, that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. But he never did,'' Obama said.
He's shown no interest in putting in the work, '... no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends, no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.
Also on rt.com 'Take it from me': Still bitter Hillary Clinton warns Americans that Trump & 'foreign adversaries' could steal election AGAIN The consequences of Trump's failures have been ''severe,'' he went on, holding him ultimately responsible for ''170,000 Americans dead'' in the pandemic, ''millions of jobs gone, ... our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.''
Obama insisted that a Biden administration would make that all go away and then some, vowing that he would bring Covid-19 ''under control,'' ''expand healthcare,'' ''rescue the economy'' and ''restore our standing in the world'' '' quite a tall order.
Do not let them take away your power, do not let them take away your democracy'... You can give our democracy new meaning. You can take it to a better place.
Trump met the speech with a number of tweets '' in standard all-caps style '' blasting the former president for spying on his 2016 campaign while questioning his sluggish endorsement for Biden, which didn't come until a late stage in the primary season.
Obama gave the best speech I've heard in my lifetime and all we get from our sitting president is two angry all caps tweets. 🤣ðŸ¤...''¸
'-- Kay (@kaycalista) August 20, 2020Obama's address also became a hot topic elsewhere on social media, prompting fawning reactions from supporters, who dubbed the talk ''spell-binding'', ''expertly delivered'' and ''truly presidential.'' Critics of President Trump, meanwhile, compared his two-tweet response to the speech itself, apparently finding it lacking.
Some observers noted that Obama's speech departed from his typical ''uplifting promises of hope and change,'' however, instead focusing on ''negativity'' and ''complaints.''
He acted like a school principal chastising unruly students. His whole speech was a major wet blanket. So much for hope and change.
'-- Geri Fitzgerald '¥¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡²ðŸ' (@GeriFitzgerald) August 20, 2020Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
VIDEO-(((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio on Twitter: "Wow. Obama using his speech to carry water for Antifa and other agitators that are burning down buildings, beating bystanders, and trying to murder cops. Peaceful protesters though, am I right!? So utterl
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 04:24
(((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio : Wow. Obama using his speech to carry water for Antifa and other agitators that are burning down buildings, beating'... https://t.co/Vms9IzmvOD
Thu Aug 20 02:43:11 +0000 2020
Michael : @jasonrantz Obama gave an amazing speech all the haters out there just can't deal with the truth he brought. Make u'... https://t.co/IZFKnpfZTA
Thu Aug 20 04:22:26 +0000 2020
Mike Keller : @jasonrantz @jtLOL No you are not right these people that was there to peaceful protesters are not the ones going nuts.
Thu Aug 20 04:18:35 +0000 2020
Kindness Matters : @jasonrantz Was there any truth in his speech at all?? He just made stuff up ðŸ
Thu Aug 20 04:16:09 +0000 2020
VIDEO-MSNBC on Twitter: "''I have a hunch that every living former president would speak from the same deep well of despair,'' @NicolleDWallace says of fmr. President Obama's #DemConvention speech. ''We cannot fathom the fury...that every former livi
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 04:21
MSNBC : ''I have a hunch that every living former president would speak from the same deep well of despair,'''... https://t.co/BLQ9aRHQEE
Thu Aug 20 03:41:06 +0000 2020
The AP Experience : @MSNBC @NicolleDWallace Bias as hell
Thu Aug 20 04:21:26 +0000 2020
kenneth p. mullis : @MSNBC @NicolleDWallace TDSSo sad.
Thu Aug 20 04:21:26 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Rick Klein on Twitter: "Harris: "There is no vaccine for racism. We've gotta do the work."" / Twitter
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 03:30
Rick Klein : Harris: "There is no vaccine for racism. We've gotta do the work."
Thu Aug 20 03:01:40 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Aaron Rupar on Twitter: "REPORTER: QAnon believes you are secretly saving the world from this cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Are you behind that? TRUMP: Is that supposed to be a bad thing? We are actually. We are saving the world. https://t.co/rP
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 01:22
Aaron Rupar : REPORTER: QAnon believes you are secretly saving the world from this cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Are you behi'... https://t.co/a6i2VzSYC2
Wed Aug 19 22:13:09 +0000 2020
Han-Ming Shen/HMS : @atrupar It is really unbelievable that a sitting president of the US gave such an answer! I have to say that Trump'... https://t.co/yYMZSmIa22
Thu Aug 20 01:22:34 +0000 2020
Guy Mersereau : @atrupar Only possible answer you could give
Thu Aug 20 01:22:19 +0000 2020
USNavyVeteran : @atrupar So Aaron do we put you into the Category of Supporting Pedophiles or nah?
Thu Aug 20 01:22:05 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Mass. Students Required To Get Flu Shot - YouTube
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 01:08
VIDEO-Tony Dokoupil examines the risks of mail-in voting - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:10
VIDEO-World watches Google's war on Aussie journalism - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:09
VIDEO-History to 'vindicate Swedish COVID-19 strategy' - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:07
VIDEO-SO SAD! Crazy Pelosi Rambles, Forgets what She's Saying In Front of MILLIONS of Americans - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:06
VIDEO-8mins10secs-Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Gov. Jay Inslee on lawsuit over USPS changes - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:56
VIDEO-Dem Rep Maxine Waters Calls for Activation of 25th Amendment, Removing Trump
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:54
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California said Saturday that President Donald Trump should be removed from office using the 25th Amendment.
During an MSNBC interview, Waters objected to Trump's comments acknowledging that questions have been raised about whether Sen. Kamala Harris of California, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential candidate, might not meet the citizenship qualifications for president.
''I have no idea if that's right,'' Trump said Thursday, according to Fox News.
To Waters, those were fighting words.
''The president of the United States of America is unbelievably divisive. The president lies. He's pitting people against each other, going back to the old birther argument that they attempted to use against Obama,'' she said, referring to the controversy over whether former President Barack Obama was in fact a citizen and eligible for the presidency.
TRENDING: Watch Christie Savage Kasich for Trump Attack, Then Dem Contributor Joins in: 'We Don't Want Him Either!'
''This is a president that is the most deplorable human being that I have ever encountered in my life. And he's undermining our democracy. We cannot take any more of this president,'' said Waters, who has insisted Trump be impeached from the first moments of his presidency.
ðŸ--·Mad Maxine is calling for Section 4 of Amendment 25 to remove President Trump!
ðŸ--·Take a look at this woman and tell me if she's even human! pic.twitter.com/MJVuvJCRrA
'-- ðŸŒ>>ðŸ(C)ºDestiny, RN, BSNðŸ(C)ºðŸŒ>> (@Destiny3650) August 16, 2020
While attacking Trump, Waters said attacking someone is wrong when Trump does it.
Do you think most Democrats agree with Maxine Waters?
56% (954 Votes)
44% (763 Votes)
''This president is not only attacking the person that was just appointed or selected by Biden to be his vice president, and he is not hesitant to do it. This man has no shame. The name-calling, he called her nasty, on and on and on. I don't know how much more the American people can take,'' she said.
Waters then said that issues related to whether the Postal Service can handle the volume of mail the upcoming election will generate and Trump's comments opposing mass mail-in voting mean he should be removed from office.
''As a matter of fact, when you couple that with what he's doing, undermining our democracy, tearing up our post office, I believe that it is time for Section 4 of Amendment 25 to be put in place and his cabinet should send to Nancy Pelosi, the speaker, as identified in the Constitution, that this man should be removed from office,'' Waters said.
''Section 25 should be put in place,'' she insisted, referring to the 25th Amendment, which outlines a process for removing an incapacitated sitting president.
''He is dangerous. He is tearing up, again, this country, undermining our democracy. And I want to tell you something, I'm getting more complaints about what he's doing to the post office than I have on any other issue in my district. He cannot have our post office. He cannot do this. we've got to stop him,'' she said, according to Breitbart, which posted a clip of the full interview.
RELATED: Trump Proclaims 'If You Can Protest In Person, You Can Vote In Person'
Democrats have claimed that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is out to gut the Postal Service ahead of the election. On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows noted that Democratic claims are nothing more than fear-mongering, according to Fox News.
''This will all go away because what we are seeing is Democrats are trying to use this to their political advantage,'' Meadows said.
Meadows told CNN Democrats are pushing a ''narrative that's not based on facts'' and that sorting machine removal that has become a big deal in Washington is routine, according to USA Today.
''There's no sorting machines that are going offline between now and the election,'' Meadows said. ''That's something that my Democrat friends are trying to do to stoke fear out there. That's not happening.''
Many on Twitter pushed back at what Waters had to say.
''They need their medicine, their groceries, they need their disability & social security checks!''
Pretty positive the USPS doesn't handle most these. Paper checks? Who is still getting paper checks? Groceries are by companies like Shipt who handle it themselves.
'-- Zaggs (@Zaggs) August 16, 2020
Wait, if Democrats are so cocky and confident that Joe Biden is going to win, why is Mad Max pulling this stunt? https://t.co/Q3FNUQ3mMn
'-- Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 16, 2020
But Waters insisted to MSNBC that Trump needs to be removed based upon fears of what might take place.
''I'm not even supportive of just having a hearing. I want to have an injunction against the president based on all the actions that he has taken that is so obvious that it is political, that he is trying to destroy the post office because he believes that mail-in voting, absentee voting will defeat him and he will do anything,'' Waters said, according to Breitbart.
''It was referred to by one of my friends as the 'scorched earth' approach. This president will do anything to try and stay in office. So I think we need to get right to the court with an injunction. I will be talking with the speaker about that today. He has demonstrated that he is undermining the democracy,'' she said.
''It is in defiance of the Constitution and I want him to be stopped. I don't think a hearing is enough. I think that we need to go directly to the courts and try to get an injunction against any more movements by him,'' Waters said.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
VIDEO-Super Funny Kimberly Klacik US Congress Political Ad - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:24
VIDEO-Lawyer Josh Dubin Reviews Kamala Harris' Criminal Justice Record - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:20
VIDEO-7NEWS Melbourne on Twitter: "Police are preparing to launch their aerial arsenal as part of a crackdown on COVID rule breakers. High powered drones will be used to find people not wearing masks, and cars too far from home. https://t.co/5zYfOfohG3 @t
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 19:53
7NEWS Melbourne : Police are preparing to launch their aerial arsenal as part of a crackdown on COVID rule breakers. High powered dro'... https://t.co/EG4mI0kj52
Mon Aug 17 08:34:45 +0000 2020
1COR1:30-31 : @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling They can shove their drones where the sun don't shine!
Wed Aug 19 19:52:41 +0000 2020
Steve White : @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling I wonder if big brother is wearing his mask?
Wed Aug 19 19:52:05 +0000 2020
@QCanada : @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling This is disgusting. We the people need to rise up.
Wed Aug 19 19:51:45 +0000 2020
Michael Viala : @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling Believe them when they say in their own words ''There is no escaping'' these drones https://t.co/tyMWhBEne3
Wed Aug 19 19:51:20 +0000 2020
🐠Galaxyswirl 🐠: @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling The fact that the prison colony is becoming a prison state is funny to me
Wed Aug 19 19:50:15 +0000 2020
WideEyeWilly : @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling All this is going to do is start a drone War are you kidding me they going to shoot those'... https://t.co/ztsFAVsPDY
Wed Aug 19 19:45:08 +0000 2020
optionz : @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling @TheResetSniper
Wed Aug 19 19:38:35 +0000 2020
Bethany : @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling I've seen that movie before... https://t.co/BGbaxiw6cW
Wed Aug 19 19:37:41 +0000 2020
God's Joshua : @7NewsMelbourne @tdolling Shoot them down patriots ''—¸ðŸ'¯
Wed Aug 19 19:36:45 +0000 2020
RubyStrom : @7NewsMelbourne @CharlsQ1 @tdolling Absolute insanity
Wed Aug 19 19:33:31 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Corey A. DeAngelis on Twitter: "A public high school in Indiana is doing a "virtual fire drill" today. https://t.co/XoaLx3OTrT" / Twitter
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 16:39
Corey A. DeAngelis : A public high school in Indiana is doing a "virtual fire drill" today.https://t.co/XoaLx3OTrT
Wed Aug 19 15:35:11 +0000 2020
shayna Grunewald : @DeAngelisCorey https://t.co/Ap0dqKXw4W
Wed Aug 19 16:36:43 +0000 2020
Rachael Morin : @DeAngelisCorey Disenroll, do ACTUAL homeschooling.
Wed Aug 19 16:35:25 +0000 2020
Thatoneguy : @DeAngelisCorey Wow! https://t.co/gLIWdLryy2
Wed Aug 19 16:34:52 +0000 2020
CharlotteO : @DeAngelisCorey But do the kids have to wear their masks at home during the virtual fire drill? 🤣
Wed Aug 19 16:34:51 +0000 2020
Secret Jewish Prophet : @DeAngelisCorey Eh, my work has active shooter PowerPoints. Being told what to do in an emergency isnt so weird, pr'... https://t.co/Cx68qaIbhx
Wed Aug 19 16:31:41 +0000 2020
Sean Murray : @DeAngelisCorey Beachgrove? Roncalli just down the road, upgrade your education
Wed Aug 19 16:29:26 +0000 2020
catie lord : @DeAngelisCorey Oh for F**ks sake.
Wed Aug 19 16:26:47 +0000 2020
muck frog : @DeAngelisCorey https://t.co/31FC2vgC3o
Wed Aug 19 16:26:45 +0000 2020
Sparkling Jules : @DeAngelisCorey Get outta here!
Wed Aug 19 16:25:19 +0000 2020
Homeschool Indy : @DeAngelisCorey Beech Grove Supt. Kaiser's base salary is $192K. Just saying.
Wed Aug 19 16:21:37 +0000 2020
Mikey Tucker : @DeAngelisCorey Demonstration of how Public Education and learning from home do not go together.
Wed Aug 19 16:21:09 +0000 2020
CrusaderSaracen : @DeAngelisCorey https://t.co/bDcBKfKEzY
Wed Aug 19 16:19:35 +0000 2020
Rob Sellers : @DeAngelisCorey Just WOW!! I guess this counts towards hours for a diploma though.
Wed Aug 19 16:19:05 +0000 2020
The Kate Awakening : @DeAngelisCorey LOL
Wed Aug 19 16:18:51 +0000 2020
Dealing Dave : @DeAngelisCorey Boo
Wed Aug 19 16:17:24 +0000 2020
Cricketman : @DeAngelisCorey Most things done or taught in public schools are useless.
Wed Aug 19 16:17:11 +0000 2020
Walter : @DeAngelisCorey @badcarma69 https://t.co/ArQCVFbpNI
Wed Aug 19 16:15:40 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Anderson Cooper clashes with MyPillow creator over therapeutic (Entire Interview Part 1) - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:19
VIDEO-Anderson Cooper and the MyPillow Guy Got Scrappy on CNN '' OutKick
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:19
If you watch television, you haven't been able to escape MyPillow creator Mike Lindell, whose commercials are omnipresent. It appears as though he's also an investor in oleandrin, and had the treatment pitched to President Trump.
Today, Lindell did an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN. The two got scrappy as they went back and forth about Lindell's belief in the drug. United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson's name also kept being brought up:
Mike Lindell, creator of MyPillow, is promoting an unproven Covid-19 treatment, and the President is said to be "enthusiastic."
In a wild live interview, @AndersonCooper challenged Lindell:"You really are like a snakeoil salesman'... telling people to drink your amazing elixir." pic.twitter.com/lCjhfkMUVZ
'-- CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 18, 2020
It seems safe to say that no minds will be changed from this exchange.
Written by Ryan Glasspiegel Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.
More From: OKTC
VIDEO-BNN Bloomberg on Twitter: "'The restart of our economy needs to be green': Freeland on de-carbonization of Canadian economy https://t.co/9yYk37pi2c" / Twitter
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:16
BNN Bloomberg : 'The restart of our economy needs to be green': Freeland on de-carbonization of Canadian economy https://t.co/9yYk37pi2c
Tue Aug 18 20:38:34 +0000 2020
It's Mr.Kitchen to you good sir! : @BNNBloomberg Hasn't there been enough time off already Jesus christ
Wed Aug 19 15:14:10 +0000 2020
CDNHousingMarket : @BNNBloomberg Restart it by building home supply, new cities other than Toronto
Wed Aug 19 15:13:05 +0000 2020
Linda Detox : @BNNBloomberg https://t.co/iLhT9nAFXz
Wed Aug 19 15:11:41 +0000 2020
Thumper : @BNNBloomberg I am a proud Canadian but not anymore I live in British Columbia we should separate from the Firehall'... https://t.co/Nuh7BwjvAe
Wed Aug 19 15:07:50 +0000 2020
J Hamilton : @BNNBloomberg A vote for this is a vote for #CronyCapitalism, aka higher taxes and/or inflation plus higher cost of living.
Wed Aug 19 15:06:24 +0000 2020
VIDEO-James Woods on Twitter: "This is the lady who interviewed #JoeBiden, correct? That is the extent of his intercourse with the press for this entire Presidential campaign, correct? https://t.co/5WyjG50IXy" / Twitter
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 15:02
James Woods : This is the lady who interviewed #JoeBiden, correct? That is the extent of his intercourse with the press for this'... https://t.co/UqecaDfHa9
Tue Aug 18 07:21:46 +0000 2020
shelly🇺🇸ðŸ'🐾 : @RealJamesWoods This pig is just disgusting! How TF do people allow their kids to look up to this trash!? ðŸ¤...''¸ no w'... https://t.co/JgLzSB888a
Wed Aug 19 15:00:36 +0000 2020
Tinfoil Hat Lady : @RealJamesWoods Typical
Wed Aug 19 14:59:16 +0000 2020
🅹🅴🆂 : @RealJamesWoods @dicktherich https://t.co/wIahJjKJlZ
Wed Aug 19 14:58:13 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Ezra Levant 🍁 on Twitter: "Australia will force citizens to inject a Chinese-made vaccine. ''No jab, no pay'' he says. No travel. No going to restaurants. Of course Trudeau will do the same. https://t.co/kXdrzQ2Zkg" / Twitter
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 14:58
Ezra Levant 🍁 : Australia will force citizens to inject a Chinese-made vaccine. ''No jab, no pay'' he says. No travel. No going to re'... https://t.co/Q2nPF7KFah
Wed Aug 19 12:23:58 +0000 2020
ðŸ'—👠Pink Beach Girl ðŸ‘ðŸ'— : @ezralevant @leapete19877808 https://t.co/Mht5Ns7YDT
Wed Aug 19 14:58:01 +0000 2020
Fuzzy Roes ''' : @ezralevant @libertytarian and Alex Jones months ahead and dead on the money again.This is pure medial fascism. P'... https://t.co/9k6WusQ536
Wed Aug 19 14:54:02 +0000 2020
Bernertron : @ezralevant Wow...
Wed Aug 19 14:53:56 +0000 2020
'š'¸ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ Jack Fox 🇨ðŸ‡...ðŸ...Š : @ezralevant @CitoyenneColere Look at the shame on his face.
Wed Aug 19 14:53:45 +0000 2020
Scotti : @ezralevant https://t.co/tITjKt6zyN
Wed Aug 19 14:53:05 +0000 2020
lil'Qngel : @ezralevant back off, nazis🖕🖕🖕🖕
Wed Aug 19 14:52:37 +0000 2020
Zachary Klassen : @ezralevant Also not to worry my Aussie friends, vaccine or not you can always travel to Canada, we let anyone in.
Wed Aug 19 14:51:09 +0000 2020
Fullstance : @ezralevant Look at how he stumbles through clarifying the Plan of Forced Injection. Forced Injection! "We will wit'... https://t.co/qqkOyfHWKM
Wed Aug 19 14:50:46 +0000 2020
Scott Leisman : @ezralevant better get those marxists out of power.
Wed Aug 19 14:49:28 +0000 2020
Trader Joe : @ezralevant This guy is a horrible awful person.
Wed Aug 19 14:49:05 +0000 2020
MrGmoney : @ezralevant When will Australia fight back against tyranny and gestapo policies
Wed Aug 19 14:48:11 +0000 2020
Thea Hallon : @ezralevant If the vaccine works, why penalize the people who won't take it ?
Wed Aug 19 14:48:11 +0000 2020
VIDEO-'Low Bar 2020': Twitter users roll their eyes at Biden saying that ALL Latino kids speak Spanish '-- RT USA News
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 14:17
Democratic nominee for US president Joe Biden appeared to have said that all Latino kids speak Spanish during his speech about the community's importance. It provoked online outrage, both about the comment and the MSM silence.
Biden made the provocative statement during a virtual forum organized by Voto Latino '' an organization that encourages young Latino voters to register to cast their ballot.
''Latinos are among the fastest-growing populations in the United States,'' Biden told American composer Lin-Manuel Miranda on Tuesday. ''Already one quarter of our school children '... are Latinos, speak Spanish'', he said, reiterating, ''One quarter!''
The remark seems to have been ignored by the mainstream media, but it did provoke outrage online. It was perceived as insensitive, homogenizing the US Latinos who speak a broad variety of languages besides Spanish, including French and Portuguese, and those who speak only English.
''Joe Biden literally said today that all Latino kids speak Spanish, and I didn't see a blip of it anywhere,'' said a Twitter user on Tuesday, having uncovered the clip.
A commenter chimed in, saying that Biden's remark fits well with his ''grandpa who didn't mean anything by it'' persona.
tbh "all latino kids speak spanish" is perfectly within in the Dumbass Grandpa Who Didn't Mean Nothing By It wheelhouse
'-- Nathan Bernhardt (@jonbernhardt) August 19, 2020''Low Bar 2020'' '' was a joking suggestion for the septuagenarian Democrat's campaign slogan.
Low Bar 2020"lower than you thought it could be"(please clap)
'-- Charles 👁 Sprickman (@CSS_Sporklab) August 19, 2020Another Twitter comedian proposed that maybe next time Biden would use the politically correct term and say, ''All Latinx kids speak Spanish''.
I'm fully confident that if keep on him we can get him to say that all *Latinx* kids speak Spanish by the end of his firsr term
'-- Joel@Enbies4Israel.com 🕊🧑🇮🇱 (@whitefeeIings) August 19, 2020The former vice president has a known problem with Latino voter enthusiasm, helped only by the fact that his opponent Donald Trump is even less popular with the community. And it's difficult to see how his frequent gaffes will help him change that.
The Democratic nominee was in hot water on 6 August, after saying that Latinos are ''incredibly diverse '... unlike the African American community''. That comment gained so much attention that even Trump tweeted out that Biden ''is no longer worthy of the Black vote''.
Also on rt.com 'Biden no longer worthy of the black vote': Trump pounces on 'Sleepy Joe' for controversial diversity statement Like this story? Share it with a friend!
VIDEO-Belarus live updates: EU rejects Belarus election result
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 14:12
EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, say the bloc does not recognize Belarus' presidential elections. They have vowed sanctions on those behind violence against protesters. Follow DW for the latest.
All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)
13:30 The EU will give '‚¬53 million ($63 million) originally earmarked for the Belarusian government to civil society in the country, victims of the state's crackdown on protesters and the country's efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, von der Leyen says.
13:25 Von der Leyen says Belarus' future must be decided by the people of Belarus.
13:22 European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair.
13:20 Michel says the EU will soon impose new Belarus sanctions.
13:17 At a video conference after the European Council meeting, its president, Charles Michel, say the violence against peaceful protesters was shocking and unacceptable.
13:11 German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the states of the EU do not recognize the result of the presidential election in Belarus.
12:56 DW correspondent Nick Connolly is currently in Minsk, meeting with protesters to hear more about why they are taking to the streets. One student who was protesting said: "I'm only 20 and all that time I've lived under Lukashenko. He's the scariest person you've ever seen. When I got to Minsk and found out what happened I cried for two days."
12:30 Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted that the EU, including the Netherlands, "cannot accept the results of these elections."
11:27 Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says Western countries should focus on their own problems instead of on what is happening in Belarus.
"I would want for them to first and foremost consider the protests against coronavirus isolation in Germany and other countries in Europe," he said in comments carried by state news agency Belta.
"They have a lot of problems. They should not point to Belarus to divert attention from the problems that exist in France, the US, Germany and so on."
He has also ordered police in Minsk to put down protests, saying people were "tired" and demanding "peace and quiet."
Read more: Exclusive: Lukashenko regime 'clearly' at an end in Belarus, says Sch¤uble
11:03 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused foreign powers of using the unrest to interfere in Belarus, according to Russia's TASS and Interfax news agencies.
He said there was no need for outside mediation in the ex-Soviet state, adding that statements from EU countries were driven by geopolitics.
France and Germany have appealed to Moscow, a close Belarus ally, to push for dialogue to resolve the crisis peacefully.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said it saw no need for Russia to help Belarus militarily or otherwise.
Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said outside interference in Belarus was unacceptable, and that the situation should be solved internally by Belarusians themselves.
Read more: Is Belarus closer to the West or to Russia?
10:15 EU leaders have kicked off an emergency video summit to discuss the political crisis in Belarus.
EU Council President Charles Michel tweeted that the bloc's member states had a clear message: "Violence has to stop and a peaceful and inclusive dialogue has to be launched."
"The leadership of #Belarus must reflect the will of the people," he said.
Belarus has been rocked by mass protests since authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in elections on August 9. The opposition accuses the 65-year-old of rigging the vote to secure a sixth term after 26 years in power.
Ahead of the EU meeting, Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya urged leaders not to recognize the "fraudulent elections."
"The August 9 elections were neither fair, nor transparent. The results were falsified," Tsikhanouskaya said in a video message, which was delivered in English. "Lukashenko has lost all legitimacy in the eyes of our nation and the world."
Catch up on Tuesday's Belarus developments here.
nm/stb (AFP, Reuters)
VIDEO-Trump says Oracle could handle TikTok: 'Great company' | Fox Business
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 13:52
President Trump on Tuesday said Oracle could take on TikTok after he issued an executive order that would ban the video app if its U.S. operations remain under Chinese control.
With Microsoft as a leading contender to acquire the app, The Financial Times reported Tuesday that Oracle is "seriously considering" purchasing the app's operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
"Oracle is a great company," the president said while answering questions during a White House event, adding that the owner, billionaire Larry Ellison, is a "tremendous person" and the software company "could handle it."
He added that his Aug. 6 executive order to ban TikTok in the U.S. if it is not acquired by an American company will be effective on Sept. 15. The administration gave the social media company 45 days to shift its operations.
TikTok is suing the Trump administration over the executive order.
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %ORCLORACLE CORPORATION55.88+0.70+1.28%The president and other U.S. officials have argued that the app poses a threat to national security and the personal data of its users because it is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance and all Chinese companies must comply with government requests for information under a 2017 national intelligence law.
India banned the app and dozens of others amid tensions with China. Members of the U.S. Military, Wells Fargo employees and TSA employees have been barred from downloading the app, citing security reasons, and the Senate passed a bill on Aug. 6 that would ban the app on government devices.
TikTok has been downloaded more than 2 million times, according to app data and analytics company Sensor Tower, and it is estimated that nearly a third of its user base is under the age of 13, The New York Times reported on Aug. 14.
VIDEO-City of Austin resumes cleanups of underpasses that have become makeshift homeless camps
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 13:51
City of Austin resumes cleanups of underpasses that have become makeshift homeless camps
File image of crews cleaning up a homeless camp under an Austin overpass. (CBS Austin)
Tents, carts and trash have piled up under Austin overpasses.
"This is an area that we need to make sure is clean and safe for all residents," said Kyle Carvell, Public Affairs Manager with Austin Public Works.
The underpass near Ben White Boulevard and Burleson Road is where some homeless people call home. The pandemic forced underpass cleanups to be put on hold for a few months. But today, crews were back at it, clearing multiple locations along I-35 and highways 183 and 290 of debris, this time with a new approach.
"The biggest change is probably the use of additional protective equipment," said Carvell. "Our staff and our contract crews wear masks, gloves, they keep the proper distance from each other and any community members that we're serving at these locations."
RELATED: Gov. Abbott says cities that defund police will have their property tax revenue frozen
The City of Austin resumes cleanups of underpasses that have become makeshift camps. This comes after a pause of several months due to coronavirus safety concerns.
But what hasn't changed Carvell says is the impact they realize this has on the homeless people living in these areas. The city works closely with Austin-Travis County EMS and Austin Public Health in addressing this population.
"We understand that this is a disruptive process for individuals, we don't characterize these as homeless camp cleanups," said Carvell. "These are underpass cleanups, this is the public right of way. We would need to be there to cleanup regardless if there were people living at these locations."
Moving forward, the city says its working to make its cleanups more effective through the Violet Bag Program, where homeless individuals are encouraged to gather garbage in the area ahead of city cleanups.
VIDEO-Defund Austin Police Department: Leaders react to Greg Abbott | kvue.com
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 13:49
Austin leaders quickly reacted to the proposal.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- Days after the Austin City Council voted to cut 34% of the Austin Police Department budget, the governor of Texas announced he and other state leaders are proposing legislation that would retaliate against cities that defund their police departments.
Gov. Greg Abbott, along with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, spoke at a press conference on Aug. 18 in Fort Worth. The three are proposing legislation that will freeze property tax revenue for cities that vote to defund their police departments.
Austin leaders quickly reacted to the proposal.
"Today, a group of all-white members of our state government, including Gov. Greg Abbott, attacked the Black Lives Matter movement. Gov. Abbott could have held a press conference to express his support for the George Floyd Act," Councilmember Greg Casar's statement read in part. "The message from the tens of thousands of Austinites who made their voices heard in this year's budget process was clear: We must decrease our over-reliance on police to handle all of our complex public safety challenges and instead reinvest in domestic violence shelters, mental health first responders and more. That's what our City Council did, and it's exactly the work we're committed to continue."
WATCH: Mayor Adler talks Austin police budget cuts on KVUE Daybreak
Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza said in a statement, "Our country is getting really tired of staged political theater and they want real systemic change."
"Policing is not the same thing as public safety, especially when we see continued and growing racial disparities in who gets targeted more often for arrests and searches," Garza's statement read in part. "If the governor really cared about public safety, he would expand Medicaid; he would invest in our childcare infrastructure that is crumbling right before our eyes; he would have mandated masks earlier in this pandemic."
Councilmember Natasha Harper-Madison also criticized the governor's handling of the pandemic in response to the proposed legislation.
"I'm not at all surprised to see our state leaders do anything they can to try to distract from their catastrophic handling of the pandemic," she said in part on Facebook. "This is just another tired example of their disdain for local control and actual democracy. In order to punish us for reallocating our public safety dollars in response to unprecedented community demand, Gov. Abbott's proposal would effectively defund everything else under the City's purview, including parks, streets, sanitation and public health."
Councilmember Jimmy Flannigan also chimed in:
"I am disappointed in the governor's extreme rhetoric about what I believe to be the most fiscally responsible reform movement in municipal history, where we are taking the largest bureaucracy in the city's general fund and going through it line-by-line to ensure that Austin taxpayers are getting the most from their investment '' as I assume the governor meant when he proposed his 4% cut to DPS three years ago."
As did Councilmember Pio Renteria:
''Our state Republicans are once again overreaching their heavy hand to undermine local rule. The City of Austin reallocated funds from APD towards other programs that address public safety. These funds went to opening a new family violence shelter, expanding our care for those dealing with addiction, and increasing aid to those facing homelessness among many other things. Today's theatrics were nothing more than short-term opportunism from Governor Abbott, who has offered no new solutions to the ongoing public safety discussion. The Governor has ignored the cost of human life, public health, and public safety as he pushes our schools to reopen. He has been insensitive to the ongoing racial strife within our communities and the damaging impact of COVID-19 on black and brown families. His continued mismanagement of our state's response to COVID-19, which has contributed to the loss of more than 10,000 lives, gives me no confidence in his ability to manage public safety if he were given the chance."
Last week, the Austin City Council cut roughly 34% of the Austin Police Department's $434 million total budget. Gov. Abbott said that move puts Texans in danger.
''They will never be able to increase property tax revenue again if they defund police,'' Abbott said from the Bob Bolen Public Safety Center in North Texas. "Defunding the police puts Texans in danger and invites lawlessness into our cities, and cities that endanger their residents should not be able to turn around and raise more taxes from those same Texans."
VIDEO - Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez nominates Bernie Sanders at DNC
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 13:27
Democratic rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seconded the nomination of fellow progressive Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont, as the party's presidential pick during the Democratic National Convention roll call vote Tuesday evening, even though Joe Biden was the only candidate left standing.
Ocasio-Cortez's nomination was largely procedural since convention rules call for nominations for each candidate that passes the delegate threshold. Even though Sanders rescinded his candidacy, he netted enough delegates during the primary to qualify.
''In a time when millions of people in the United States are looking for deep systemic solutions to our crises of mass evictions, unemployment, and lack of health care, and '‹esp­ritu del pueblo'‹ and out of a love for all people, I hereby second the nomination of Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America,'' said Ocasio-Cortez.
United Auto Workers union president Bob King was the first to nominate Sanders.
The DNC drew mass critical attention for allotting Ocasio-Cortez a mere minute of speaking time while non-Democrats like John Kasich and Colin Powell are given prime billing. Critics believed the speaking slot lengths were examples of the party prioritizing an olive branch to GOP voters over the concerns of members of their own party.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during the virtual Democratic National Convention on Aug. 18, 2020. (via Reuters TV)Ocasio-Cortez's brief roll call vote was made, she said, in solidarity with the goals she shared with Sanders, including universal health care and a higher minimum wage, as well as a dozen other progressive platforms.
In January, Ocasio-Cortez flatly declared that in ''any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party.'' Still, Ocasio-Cortez has said she would vote for Biden and support the Democratic ticket.
Since Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most influential surrogates for fellow progressive Sanders, an endorsement by her, even if belated, carries significant clout, not only with younger Democrats but with those who felt alienated from centrist policies and abandoned by Washington's status quo.
She did not mention Biden by name during her Tuesday night remarks, however.
The lack of tacit support may telegraph struggles ahead for the Biden campaign in their courting of progressives.
On Twitter shortly after her appearance, Ocasio-Cortez wished Biden well.''I extend my deepest congratulations to @JoeBiden - let's go win in November,'' she tweeted.
Read more from Yahoo News:
You don't need the U.S. Postal Service to deliver your mail-in ballot
Trump says children are 'almost immune' to COVID-19. Doctors don't agree.
Memorable moments from past conventions
Should you send your child back to school? Here's how to weigh the coronavirus risks
How the coronavirus could change college sports forever
VIDEO - Former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden's 2020 Democratic National Convention Speech | FULL - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 13:21
VIDEO - Former President Bill Clinton's 2020 Democratic National Convention Speech | FULL - YouTube
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 13:21
VIDEO-JohnQCanadianToo 🇨ðŸ‡... on Twitter: "@adamcurry DUDE! ''BUILD BACK BETTER'' Starts at 1:00." / Twitter
Wed, 19 Aug 2020 05:02
JohnQCanadianToo 🇨ðŸ‡... : @adamcurry DUDE! ''BUILD BACK BETTER'' Starts at 1:00. https://t.co/3wyKdsy84v
Wed Aug 19 04:50:57 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Dr. Tore Lindeman on The Healthcare Octopus - YouTube
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 21:37
VIDEO-1m20 don't rape me - TEASER: ShadowGate - Coming Soon!
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 20:47
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VIDEO-WATCH: Michelle Obama's full speech at the Democratic National Convention | 2020 DNC Night 1 - YouTube
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 15:56
VIDEO-Amaka Ubaka on Twitter: "Here is how Fox News anchor Chris Wallace reacted to #MichelleObama speech last night #DNCConvention #DNC2020 https://t.co/Ku3z5YCVWN" / Twitter
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:51
Amaka Ubaka : Here is how Fox News anchor Chris Wallace reacted to #MichelleObama speech last night #DNCConvention #DNC2020 https://t.co/Ku3z5YCVWN
Tue Aug 18 12:02:44 +0000 2020
julie burke : @AmakaUbakaTV All this reporter are liars they all put more stories to get worst so ppl got panic, they're against'... https://t.co/LLZo0qaNRr
Tue Aug 18 14:46:17 +0000 2020
T. Witter : @AmakaUbakaTV BEST. SPEECH. EVER. #BidenHarris2020 #TrumpForPrison
Tue Aug 18 14:38:19 +0000 2020
Frank Neubauer : @AmakaUbakaTV Thank you Chris, keep up the good work.We need reporter like you, especially in times like this.
Tue Aug 18 14:35:49 +0000 2020
Kyle Ruggles 🇨ðŸ‡... : @AmakaUbakaTV She took him to town!Take all of them down!#RIPGOP
Tue Aug 18 14:11:53 +0000 2020
Paulette diamant : @AmakaUbakaTV Thanks Chris for standing up for Trump. Michelle Obama showed her true colors when obummer was in off'... https://t.co/hkQbnuEd7V
Tue Aug 18 14:00:04 +0000 2020
Der Kardinal : @AmakaUbakaTV With one side of Michele Obama's mouth she says that ''when they go low, we go high,'' but out of the o'... https://t.co/0leJhWlMEr
Tue Aug 18 13:58:14 +0000 2020
TheFabulousJoeyB : @AmakaUbakaTV Wow, look at Fox News being all honest and everything... What's going on?
Tue Aug 18 13:25:58 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Trump hits back at Michelle Obama over 'extremely divisive' DNC speech | TheHill
Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:25
President Tump on Tuesday complained that former first lady Michelle Obama Michelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Memo '-- Michelle Obama shines, scorching Trump Michelle Obama takes hatchet to Trump record, character in convention speech Read: Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention MORE 's speech a night earlier at the Democratic National Convention was "extremely divisive," hitting back after she said he's "in over his head."
"She was over her head, and frankly she should've made the speech live, which she didn't do," Trump said during a White House event commemorating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. "She taped it. It was taped a long time ago because she had the wrong deaths. She didn't even mention the vice presidential candidate in the speech."
"She gets these fawning reviews. If you gave a real review it wouldn't be so fawning," Trump added. "I thought it was a very divisive speech. Extremely divisive."
The former first lady delivered the closing speech on the first night of the DNC, blistering Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and arguing he has shown he is incapable of handling the responsibilities of the presidency.
"Donald Trump Donald John TrumpThe Memo '-- Michelle Obama shines, scorching Trump Trump lashes out at Cuomo after his Democratic convention speech Biden seeks to win over progressives and Republicans on night one MORE is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head," Obama said in her speech, which was taped before Sen. Kamala Harris Kamala HarrisSanders urges supporters to back Biden: 'Price of failure is just too great to imagine" Vulnerable Senate Democrat urges unity: 'Not about what side of the aisle we're on' Whitmer faults Trump for fighting other Americans more than virus MORE (D-Calif.) was added to the Democratic ticket last Tuesday.
"He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is," she added, a reference to Trump's own detached assessment of the death toll in the United States from the pandemic, which by Wednesday was over 170,000.
The former first lady's speech had clearly gotten under Trump's skin. He tweeted about it multiple times earlier Monday, though he did not criticize her by name in those messages. Instead, he targeted the Obama administration, dinging it for its handling of the swine flu outbreak and asserting that he "would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren't for the job done by your husband."
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VIDEO-CNN Poll: Biden and Trump matchup tightens as enthusiasm hits new high - CNNPolitics
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 14:08
(CNN)Joe Biden's lead over Donald Trump among registered voters has significantly narrowed since June, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, even as the former vice president maintains an advantage over the President on several top issues and his choice of California Sen. Kamala Harris as a running mate earns largely positive reviews.
And on the eve of
the party conventions, a majority of voters (53%) are "extremely enthusiastic" about voting in this year's election, a new high in CNN polling in presidential election cycles back to 2003.
Overall, 50% of registered voters back the Biden-Harris ticket, while 46% say they support Trump and Pence, right at the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Among the 72% of voters who say they are either extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this fall, Biden's advantage over Trump widens to 53% to 46%. It is narrower, however, among those voters who live in the states that will have the most impact on the electoral college this fall.
Across 15 battleground states, the survey finds Biden has the backing of 49% of registered voters, while Trump lands at 48%.
The pool of battleground states in this poll includes more that Trump carried in 2016 (10) than were won by Hillary Clinton (5), reflecting the reality that the President's campaign is more on defense than offense across the states. Taken together, though, they represent a more Republican-leaning playing field than the nation as a whole.
The movement in the poll among voters nationwide since June is concentrated among men (they split about evenly in June, but now 56% back Trump, 40% Biden), those between the ages of 35 and 64 (they tilt toward Trump now, but were Biden-leaning in June) and independents (in June, Biden held a 52% to 41% lead, but now it's a near even 46% Biden to 45% Trump divide).
Trump has also solidified his partisans since June. While 8% of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents in June said they would back Biden, that figure now stands at just 4%. And the President has boosted his backing among conservatives from 76% to 85%.
But the survey suggests that Trump's voters are a bit more likely to say that they could change their minds by November (12% say so) than are Biden's backers (7%).
More voters say their choice of candidate is about Trump than say it is about Biden. Nearly 6 in 10 say they support the candidate they do because of their view of Trump (29% say their Biden vote is more to oppose Trump, 30% say they are casting a Trump vote in support of him), while only 32% say Biden is the deciding factor (19% are voting in favor of Biden, 13% casting a ballot to oppose him).
Overall, 54% disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job as president and 42% approve. That's an uptick since June, and about on par with Trump's ratings from earlier this year. It still lands the President near the bottom of a list of historical approval ratings for presidents seeking reelection just ahead of their nominating conventions. Trump lands ahead of Jimmy Carter (33% approval) and George H.W. Bush (35%), but below Barack Obama (48%), George W. Bush (49%), Bill Clinton (53%) and Ronald Reagan (54%).
Trump's favorability rating remains underwater nationally (43% see him favorably, 55% unfavorably), a bit worse than Biden's 46% favorable to 47% unfavorable even split. In the battleground states, though, voters' views on the two candidates are almost even: 52% have an unfavorable opinion of Biden, 54% of Trump. Both candidates are viewed favorably by 45% in those states.
Kamala Harris seen as a good pick
Harris joins the ticket with a narrowly positive favorability rating (41% have a favorable view, 38% unfavorable), which is an improvement since May when 32% of Americans said they had a positive view of her and 33% a negative one.
Biden's selection of Harris is rated as excellent or pretty good by most (52%), and 57% say it reflects favorably on Biden's ability to make important presidential decisions. Most say she is qualified to be president should that be necessary (57%). And a majority, 62%, say her selection does not have much effect on their vote. People of color, though, are more likely than White people to say her selection makes them more likely to back Biden (28% among people of color, 18% among whites).
Compared with other recent Democratic running mates, Harris fares well. The 30% who call her selection excellent outpaces the share who said so in CNN polling on John Edwards in 2004, Biden in 2008, Joe Lieberman in 2000 or Tim Kaine in 2016. And the 57% who say she is qualified to serve as president if that becomes necessary is only topped by Biden (63%) and Al Gore in 1992 (64%).
On the issues
The poll suggests that supporters of the two candidates are living in alternate universes when it comes to the issues that matter to their vote. Overall, the economy, coronavirus, health care, gun policy and race relations are rated as extremely important by at least 40% of voters. But there are large gaps between Biden and Trump voters on the importance of these issues. Seventy percent of Biden voters say the coronavirus is critically important vs. 24% of Trump voters. Among Trump backers, 57% rate the economy as extremely important, while 37% of Biden voters agree. Majorities of Biden supporters (57% in each case) call health care and race relations extremely important, while only about 1 in 5 Trump backers agree (20% on health care, 22% on race relations).
Biden tops Trump as better able to handle most of the issues tested in the poll: Racial inequality in the US, the coronavirus outbreak, health care and foreign policy. Trump wins out on handling the economy. Voters are closely divided over which candidate would keep Americans safe from harm (50% say Biden would, 47% Trump). And more generally, Biden is more often seen as having "a clear plan for solving the country's problems" (49% choose Biden to 43% Trump) and as better able to "manage the government effectively" (52% Biden to 44% Trump).
And when it comes to these top issues, nearly all Trump and Biden supporters think their man is the right one for the job. Just 1% of Biden backers say they would trust Trump over Biden to handle racial inequality in the US, and only 2% would trust Trump to handle the coronavirus outbreak. On the flip side, 2% of Trump voters say they would prefer Biden on the economy, and only 4% choose him on the coronavirus outbreak.
Overall, Biden holds the edge on a range of positive traits often seen as valuable in a run for the White House. Most say he cares about people like them (53% Biden, 42% Trump), shares their values (52% Biden to 43% Trump), and is honest and trustworthy (51% Biden to 40% Trump). More also say Biden will unite the country and not divide it (55% Biden to 35% Trump). But in this matchup between two septuagenarians, voters are split over which one has the stamina and sharpness to be president (48% say Trump, 46% Biden).
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS August 12 through 15 among a random national sample of 1,108 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer, including 987 registered voters. The survey also includes an oversample of residents of 15 battleground states for a total subsample of 636 adults and 569 registered voters from those states. That subset was weighted to its proper share of the overall adult population of the United States. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. It is 4.0 points among registered voters and 5.4 points for results for registered voters in the battleground states.
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Mon, 17 Aug 2020 14:00
VIDEO-Covid-19 vaccine trials have been slow to recruit Black and Latino people -- and that could delay a vaccine - CNN
Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:31
(CNN) The multi-billion-dollar effort to get a coronavirus vaccine on the market could see delays because researchers haven't recruited sufficient numbers of minorities to join the clinical trials.
Of the 350,000 people who've registered online for a coronavirus clinical trial, 10% are Black or Latino, according to Dr. Jim Kublin, executive director of operations for the Covid-19 Prevention Network.
That's not nearly enough, as study subjects in trials are supposed to reflect the population that's affected. Research shows that more than half of US coronavirus cases have been among Black and Latino people.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, gave the Moderna trial, the first in Phase 3 in the United States, a "C" grade for recruiting minorities.
"From the first week I saw the numbers, and they were not as encouraging as I would have liked," Collins told CNN.
The stakes are high. Operation Warp Speed, the government's effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine, says it aims to deliver 300 million doses by January -- a speed unheard of in the history of vaccine clinical trials.
If not enough Black people and other minorities enroll, the panel of experts who monitor the trials could force a delay until they get the numbers they need.
"That's something that's been actively discussed," said Dr. Nelson Michael, coordinator of community engagement activities for Operation Warp Speed. "There's a lot of concern."
Michael said several factors have led to "a perfect storm of not goodness" for recruiting Black study subjects: historical abuse of Black people in medical experiments like Tuskegee; present racial injustices and health care disparities; and recent social unrest and the financial strain placed on the Black community by the faltering economy.
Black leaders agree that it's a challenge to recruit Black people into the vaccine trials, especially since it needs to happen very quickly -- the first two Phase 3 clinical trials started in late July and expect to finish enrollment in September.
"This is a very, very tall order," said Dr. James Powell, a Cincinnati physician who has been approached with requests to encourage Black participation in the vaccine trials.
"When we Black people hear 'clinical trials,' we think 'we're not going to be researched on,' and that's across economic status and across educational status, not just one sector," said Renee Mahaffey Harris, president of The Center for Closing the Health Gap in Cincinnati.
Moderna and Pfizer, the two US companies currently in Phase 3 trials, won't reveal how many of their participants are from minority groups. Each trial eventually expects to recruit 30,000 participants.
Moderna's 89 trial sites across the United States are "actively working within their local communities to reach a diverse population of volunteers," Ray Jordan, a company spokesman, wrote in an email. "We hope to achieve a shared goal that the participants in the (Covid-19 vaccine) study are representative of the communities at highest risk for COVID-19 and of our diverse society."
A Fourth of July Zoom call At 10:20 p.m. on July 3, NIH's Collins sent an email to colleagues asking for a Zoom meeting the next day.
"I certainly ruined everybody's holiday," Collins remembers.
But he said the topic was "absolutely critical." He wanted to discuss how to recruit groups such as minorities and older people into the trials.
Collins says he told those at the July 4 meeting, including Michael and Dr. Anthony Fauci, that they had to make sure the trials "didn't go down the wrong path, because the default was clearly going to be that a lot of young white people would be likely to sign up, and we would have a trial that was scientifically way short of what it needed to be and would not engender anybody's confidence."
Federal law and NIH policy mandate inclusion of minorities into clinical trials because vaccines and drugs might have a different effect on them than they do on White people.
If an insufficient number of minorities sign up, the experts monitoring the trials might require additional recruitment.
"The Data Safety Monitoring Board could slow the trial down," Michael said. "If the demographics aren't right, they could tell the sponsor to slow enrollment down until you hit different numbers. They could say 'We do not want you to develop a vaccine tested for safety and efficacy basically on a single ethnic group.' "
There's another reason why researchers are trying to include minorities.
If everyone who volunteered for a coronavirus vaccine trial got their shot and then stayed home, at the end of the study they would likely all test negative for the virus, not necessarily because the vaccine worked, but because they never encountered the virus in the first place.
That's why in any vaccine study, including this one, researchers seek out study subjects who are most likely to come in contact with the virus in their daily lives.
That's health care workers, for example, and also minorities, who are more likely to have essential jobs that require in-person work, and more likely to live in multigenerational, multifamily households, among other factors.
A study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examining reports of nearly 600,000 cases where race was indicated, found that while 13% of the population is Black, 22% of cases were Black. The report also found that while 18% of the US population is Latino, 33% of cases were Latino.
Since about half of case reports don't indicate race, researchers have also looked at the incidence of Covid-19 on a county level. While nearly 20% of US counties are disproportionately Black, they account for 52% of Covid-19 diagnoses and 58% of Covid-19 deaths nationally, according to the report published last month in the Annals of Epidemiology.
After that Fourth of July meeting, the mission was clearer than ever: Engage minority communities to encourage them to join the clinical trials.
"There is a tremendous amount of pressure on this now. I've never seen community engagement get this level of play. Not even close. Ever," Michael said.
'I'm an old white guy' Collins and Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have made it clear they they're not the ones to speak directly to minorities to increase trust in vaccines.
"I'm an old white guy at NIH," Collins told USA Today in June. "Credibility is not going to come from another bunch of government officials pounding the table and saying, 'This is good for you.'"
Fauci told CBS News last month that "a '¯white'¯ guy like me with a suit like me and a tie on going in, talking to people who are people that you don't usually relate to every day" wasn't the best approach.
"You want to go into the African American community with people who look and think and act like the people you're trying to convince," he said.
That's Mahaffey Harris, who has been doing advocacy and development work with minority communities for 30 years.
On August 5, Mahaffey Harris received a call from a doctor asking her to recruit minorities into the Moderna vaccine trial.
She knows she didn't give him the answer he was looking for.
At this point, Mahaffey Harris won't recruit people for the clinical trials. She won't even put information about the trials on Covid19communityresources.com, a website run by her group, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and other organizations.
"I am always cautious when I'm being contacted by anyone involved in pharmaceutical research because I, as a Black woman, never want to be a part of engaging and recruiting people for research that ends up having any bias in it or any hint of impropriety, like what happened at Tuskegee," she said.
She told the coronavirus researcher she will meet with him later this month.
She has received these calls in the past for other clinical trials.
"They'll say, 'I need 100 people' and I say, 'I'm not just going to get you 100 people," she said.
None of this surprises Dawn Baker, the first person in the United States to receive a coronavirus vaccine as part of a Phase 3 clinical trial.
After getting her first shot, Baker, a Black TV news anchor in Savannah, Georgia, received much love and support from her community, but also disbelief.
"Dawn done lost her damn mind," one woman wrote on Facebook.
"i got 2 words...TUSKEGEE EXPERIMENT," another wrote, referring to the infamous medical studies that abused Black men.
Two people just posted GIFs of Black people shaking their heads "no."
Baker received her shot three weeks ago, but said concerned Black people are still coming up to her, asking if she's feeling OK.
"I told them I've never felt better," said Baker, who doesn't know if she received the vaccine or the placebo. "But I can tell they're not sure if they believe me."
Government efforts to engage minorities The NIH says it has "engagement efforts" with various groups, such as those that represent Black churches and Black doctors and nurses. Operation Warp Speed, a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, says it has engaged with minority organizations as well.
Collins noted that some of the Moderna sites are commercial and others are a part of NIH's network. He said when the trial began July 27, the commercial sites started up first, and the NIH sites have opened up more recently.
"The NIH funded sites are in a better position to be able to emphasize and do the community engagements, to try to reach out to minority communities," he said. "Watch this space -- we're going to see this improve I think fairly rapidly," he said.
He added he had a meeting with top Moderna executives on July 10.
"I heard from them that they were really committed to this kind of diversity in enrollment," Collins said. "I heard absolutely strong endorsement of that from Stephane Bancel, the CEO, and from Stephen Hoge, the president. I was not concerned that they were considering this just a nice thing to do; they were clearly very committed."
The NIH set up the Covid-19 Prevention Network to recruit participants into the trials. In the next week to 10 days, the network will be releasing materials, such as print and radio spots and videos for social media, targeted to specific groups, including minorities, according to Kublin, the network's executive director of operations.
"I wish it had started a month go," Kublin said. "We have, all of us, been working 24/7 to make this happen as quickly as possible."
Michele Andrasik, the director of community engagement for the network, said she recognizes the hurdle to recruiting minorities for trials, but is optimistic that progress can be made as her group works on outreach programs in partnership with community groups.
"I think there are ways we can address the challenges that are inherent at the pace of what we've all been asked to do," Andrasik said.
What's not working: warp speed As the name Operation Warp Speed suggests, the government and pharmaceutical companies are working quickly to come up with a vaccine against Covid-19.
Moderna and Pfizer started their Phase 3 trials July 27 and plan to fully enroll them in September. That's a speed unheard of in the history of vaccine clinical trials.
But Black leaders interviewed for this story said mistrust of medical institutions and the government, based on centuries of abuse and injustices, can't be undone that fast.
"That doesn't happen at warp speed," said Dr. James Powell, a principal investigator for Project IMPACT, or Increase Minority Participation and Awareness of Clinical Trials, a part of the National Medical Association, which represents African-American physicians and their patients.
"They're not going to get the numbers for next month that they want. You have to build that trust," added Dr. Doris Browne, the president of the NMA.
This mistrust is not just based on the Tuskegee experiment, where from 1932 until 1972, Black men were subjects in a syphilis study without their knowledge or consent and were not offered penicillin to treat their disease.
It's also the legacy of Dr. J. Marion Sims, considered the father of modern gynecology, who in the mid-1800s experimented on slaves in the South, performing surgeries without their consent and without the use of anesthesia before surgery.
And from the 1940s until the 1970s, in several studies, researchers exposed hundreds of study subjects, mostly Black people, to potentially fatal amounts of radiation, according to Harriet Washington, author of "Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Experimentation from Colonial Times to the Present."
Injustices and disparities continue to this day.
"African-American people get treated differently. They have less access to doctors. When they describe their symptoms, they are not believed as often as Whites are. Medical technology is withheld from them. All of these things are a matter of record," said Washington, a lecturer in bioethics at Columbia University.
"Now we're approaching them with an experimental vaccine that we're offering as a benefit -- but asking people to trust that is asking a great deal," she added. "There's a risk to taking an experimental vaccine. There's just no way to sugar coat that."
Phase 1 and 2 trials of experimental coronavirus vaccines, with dozens or hundreds of study subjects each, have shown the vaccine to be safe. While some participants did experience symptoms such as fever and muscle aches, they felt better after a day or two.
Black leaders interviewed for this story said part of the problem is they were contacted by vaccine researchers just days or weeks ago, which didn't leave them much time.
John Daniels is an attorney advising a Covid-19 advisory group for the Church of God in Christ, the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States with millions of adherents, predominantly African American. He said he received a call requesting help just two weeks ago.
"This has to be vetted through a process," he said. "At the Church of God in Christ we have a health advisory group that involves a dozen or so national experts and it takes time to walk through this and translate it to the 1,500 ministers and say what are we going to do for the six to eight million people who are in our church."
Daniels and other leaders wondered why they were contacted so recently when it's been known for many months that minorities would be needed in the trial.
"The researchers knew where they needed to be. Why did they wait until now?" said Powell of Project IMPACT.
The key for researchers to get what they want, he and others said, is to invest in long-term relationships with the Black community, and not call just at the beginning of a trial, asking Black people to roll up their sleeves and take the injections.
"Mistrust is always there when you don't invest in trustworthiness," he said.
Browne, the NMA president, said the vaccine researchers should have involved Black doctors from the start, as part of the planning and implementation of the trials.
"We are not in any way going to come in at the last minute to be utilized as an entr(C)e to get African-Americans or other people of color involved in a program where we don't have a clear understanding of every phase of it," she said.
What could work: relationships Dr. Paul Bradley knew in advance that his office in Savannah would be the very first site in the United States to give someone an injection in a Phase 3 coronavirus clinical trial.
He knew that the first person he injected would get media attention. He thought about who that person should be, and Dawn Baker's name came immediately to mind.
Bradley has been Baker's family doctor for more than 30 years. He knows Baker is well-loved and has tremendous credibility in Savannah. Plus, he knew that, as a local TV anchor, she would handle interviews flawlessly.
And yes, she's Black -- that was a bonus, he said. He knew she'd inspire other Black people, and White people, too, to join the trial.
He asked her if she was interested, and she said yes.
"We've developed a great rapport. I go to events, and he's there. I've met his family. It's not just a medical relationship. I really do trust him," Baker said. "I knew Dr. Bradley wouldn't do anything to hurt me."
The next day, many of the people who came to Bradley's office to volunteer -- both Black and White -- cited Baker as the reason.
Baker said she knows there's resistance in her community to joining clinical trials, and she hopes she made a difference.
"Maybe since I was at least bold enough to come forward right now, that might change that -- that could eventually save their lives," she said. "I hope that maybe just seeing my face will help them to change their opinions about that."
Bradley's connections to the community helped in other ways, too.
He's known Savannah Mayor Van Johnson for years, and the two have discussed the trials. After they talked, the mayor posted an article about the trials on his Facebook page. Recently on his "Friday Fun" Facebook livestream show, one of his guests was Dr. Carlos del Rio, who's running Moderna's trial at Emory University in Atlanta.
"I don't take this lightly, to speak the truth and tell people to check it out and be a part of something," the mayor said. "If it wasn't for the people who stood up for the polio trials, we'd still have polio around."
Then Bradley spoke with Ricky Temple, pastor of Overcoming by Faith, one of the largest churches in Savannah with 3,000 members.
Ask any vaccine researcher about recruiting Black clinical trial participants, and they'll mention the power of churches. Their hope is that during a Sunday sermon, a preacher will encourage his or her flock to sign up.
Before he spoke with Bradley, CNN asked Temple if he'd ever consider speaking about the trials from his Sunday pulpit.
Temple laughed.
"You can't just have a preacher say, 'in our announcements today, trials are going to be held, and they're looking for Black people,'" Temple said. "The audience is going to be -- 'What they're going to come and put a germ in me?' They're going to be scared to death -- "you gonna put coronavirus in me?'"
After speaking with Bradley, Temple surveyed those close to him in the church, asking if he should bring the clinical trials up at a Sunday service.
"I met with my staff, and no one supported me doing it. They were 100% no, because of Tuskegee. I asked members, I asked families, and I got the same response. It was incredibly consistent. What I heard was fear," Temple said.
Temple's decision: to create a "courageous conversation" about the clinical trials with leaders in his church.
"We're big readers in our church, and I'll send out some documents. We have many medical professionals in our congregation, and I'll get them together, and we'll discuss this," he said.
He wonders why he has to put together documents that can address the fears about clinical trials. If the US government is so anxious to get minorities to enroll in the trials, why hasn't someone created a website, or even a pamphlet, with information?
Temple said one of the first things he'll distribute to his church leadership is information about how, in 1997, then-President Bill Clinton apologized for the Tuskegee study, saying that the men were "lied to by their government," that the experiment was an "outrage" and "deeply, profoundly, morally wrong." Clinton said he was sorry "that this apology has been so long in coming."
Temple thinks that might make a difference in the eyes of his congregants.
"I'll create these courageous conversations, because this is something we should pray about, something we should care about," he said. "I think this could be an interesting education you can have if you open your heart to it."
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  • 0:27
    things are under control it went right
  • 0:28
    on time and right at the same at the
  • 0:30
    right speed i'm john cena
  • 0:35
    whatever you did there was great we did
  • 0:37
    a zephyr report and an opening all at
  • 0:39
    the same time
  • 0:40
    that my friends is a professional
  • 0:44
    that's what's going on there okay so
  • 0:45
    economy stable
  • 0:48
    uh this is the uh official who is
  • 0:52
    that's what the zephyr says this is the
  • 0:54
    zephyr economic report yeah the zephyr
  • 0:56
    is their leading indicator
  • 0:57
    thanks thanks for thanks for reminding
  • 1:00
    us of that
  • 1:01
    and we got breaking news in this morning
  • 1:03
    breaking news last minute news
  • 1:05
    because i've got some breaking news
  • 1:06
    coming at us right now
  • 1:08
    um we've got uh are we ready to report
  • 1:11
    that yeah here we go
  • 1:15
    okay break it the breaking news is this
  • 1:18
    former trump advisor steve bannon has
  • 1:21
    been arrested
  • 1:22
    and charged with conspiracy to commit
  • 1:24
    wire fraud
  • 1:25
    in relation to support of the building
  • 1:28
    the border wall
  • 1:30
    so this that he's charged with fraud in
  • 1:33
  • 1:34
    with fundraising okay that's what we've
  • 1:37
    got to report for you as of right now
  • 1:39
  • 1:39
    oh yeah actually lots of details there
  • 1:43
    did they haul them away
  • 1:44
    in uh in cuffs and cuffs they give them
  • 1:46
    the perp walk
  • 1:47
    i i don't know as i i need to know why
  • 1:50
    who arrested him
  • 1:51
    uh someone in authority
  • 1:54
    no idea no idea yes
  • 1:58
    must be um so
  • 2:01
    question how about the power out there
  • 2:03
    where you are i mean we're seeing
  • 2:04
    reports but
  • 2:05
    and it's like i don't know how bad is it
  • 2:09
    i don't know it's power's on here it's
  • 2:12
    not going on everything reports you guys
  • 2:13
    get from out of state or seem very
  • 2:15
  • 2:18
    and a bunch of threats oh we're going to
  • 2:20
    have to do this and that because it's so
  • 2:21
    hot you know we can't handle all the
  • 2:22
  • 2:23
    right and then newsome says he's going
  • 2:25
    to sue them and
  • 2:27
    take their company away if they don't uh
  • 2:30
    stop these threats
  • 2:31
    yeah and so it's just i don't know i
  • 2:33
    have no idea all i know is on
  • 2:36
    him you know that's so weird i mean i i
  • 2:38
    did get
  • 2:39
    one email from a producer who said his
  • 2:41
    power had been out for three
  • 2:43
    hours and it was you know like 90
  • 2:45
  • 2:46
    so somewhere it's happening somewhere in
  • 2:49
    in here
  • 2:50
    well they said they were going to do
  • 2:52
    some rolling blackouts to keep the
  • 2:54
    you know you you read the letter from
  • 2:56
    the engineer
  • 2:57
    the last show i believe yeah which might
  • 3:00
    be worth rereading but
  • 3:01
    the uh they said there's going to be
  • 3:04
    it's going to be from they're going to
  • 3:05
    go you're going to be cut off for a
  • 3:06
    couple hours and then you're going to
  • 3:08
    they're going to go roll to somebody
  • 3:09
    else's so nobody's going to be left
  • 3:11
    overnight so they're
  • 3:12
    so their freezer doesn't you know thaws
  • 3:15
    all the meat out
  • 3:18
    i i do have i do have an update oh yes
  • 3:21
    they do have a map
  • 3:22
    they do have a map on the news that they
  • 3:24
    show and it shows little
  • 3:26
    red dots where the power has been cut
  • 3:28
    off as
  • 3:29
    it tends to be in san jose area and
  • 3:32
    scattered around
  • 3:32
    it's not yeah it's just dubious well
  • 3:36
    uh got another state's falling apart
  • 3:39
    okay yes i got another email from
  • 3:42
    an engineer so the last time we heard
  • 3:43
    from a ge ge engineer now we have an
  • 3:46
    engineer from
  • 3:47
    ladwp which is the los angeles