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England to have 3-tier lockdown system amid 'tipping point'
Sun, 11 Oct 2020 22:40
LONDON (AP) '-- Millions of people in northern England are anxiously waiting to hear how much further virus restrictions will be tightened in coming days as the British government confirmed Sunday that it will be introducing a new system for local lockdowns.
In response to the virus' resurgence, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce in Parliament on Monday a three-tier local lockdown system, formally known as ''Local COVID Alert Levels,'' for England, his office said.
Under the new system, the country will be placed into ''medium,'' ''high'' and ''very high'' alert levels. Johnson's office said the government is working with local leaders to decide which areas are covered by the very high alert level, and the appropriate interventions in those areas.
Details of what is involved at each level haven't been confirmed but the highest level is widely expected to involve the closure of pubs and restaurants and the banning of household mixing, both indoors and outside, among other measures.
The new lockdown system, which is intended to simplify the process by which local restrictions are imposed, has been widely anticipated for a couple of weeks following a sharp increase in new cases. Following further discussions early Monday, Johnson will inform lawmakers of the new system before hosting a briefing along with Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and the government's chief medical officer, Chris Whitty.
England's deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, warned that the U.K. is at a ''tipping point'' akin to where the country was in March.
''But we can prevent history repeating itself if we all act now,'' he said . ''Now we know where it is and how to tackle it '-- let's grasp this opportunity and prevent history from repeating itself.''
All across Europe including the U.K., there have been huge increases in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks following the reopening of large sectors of the economy, as well as schools and universities. Infection levels '-- and deaths '-- in the U.K. are rising at their fastest rates in months.
Without quick action, there are fears that U.K. hospitals will be overwhelmed in the coming weeks at a time of year when they are already at their busiest with winter-related afflictions like the flu. The U.K. has experienced Europe's deadliest outbreak, with an official death toll of 42,825, up another 65 on Sunday.
Although coronavirus infections are rising throughout England, northern cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle have seen a disproportionate increase. While some rural areas in eastern England have less than 20 cases per 100,000 people, some major metropolitan areas have recently recorded levels above 500 per 100,000, nearly as bad as Madrid or Brussels.
As a result, national restrictions such as a 10 p.m. curfew on pubs and restaurants have been supplemented by local actions, including in some cases banning contacts between households. In Scotland's two biggest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, pubs have already closed for 16 days to suppress the outbreak.
Liverpool's local leader has said he expects his city to face the most onerous restrictions from Wednesday.
Local leaders across northern England have vented their fury at the Conservative government over what they see as an ''inadequate'' wage support scheme that it announced Friday and for not properly telling them about the upcoming restrictions. The wage plan aims to help employees in companies that are forced to close because of virus restrictions, but mayors say it's not generous enough in paying only two-thirds of employees' wages and doesn't compensate those indirectly hit by any business closures, such as drink suppliers to pubs.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick on Sunday sought to assuage concerns that the government was being overly hierarchical in its approach. He also indicated that local authorities will be given more control over the national test and trace program, which has struggled to live up to Johnson's prediction that it would be ''world-beating.''
''In addition to the national infrastructure which is developing and increasing with every passing week, we're also going to be making use of local councils to do contact tracing in particular, because there is clear evidence that local councils are good at that, as you'd expect,'' he told the BBC.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
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Covid-19: New three-tier restrictions come into force in England - BBC News
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 09:45
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In Liverpool, revellers took to the city centre the night before new restrictions came into force The new three-tier system of Covid-19 restrictions has begun in England.
Most of the country is in the lowest tier - medium - but millions of people in the North and the Midlands face extra curbs on households mixing.
The Liverpool region is the only area to be under the toughest rules, with pubs and bars not serving meals closed.
Government health officials are due to meet later to discuss the possibility of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and some other areas joining the top tier.
Hours before the top tier rules came into force in Liverpool, police were forced to disperse large crowds in the city.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland is set to extend the half-term holidays for schools, from Monday, alongside other new measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
And in Wales a short circuit breaker lockdown is being "actively considered" by the government.
How will the three-tier lockdown system work? Five unanswered questions about the new system Laura Kuenssberg: Can Johnson hold out against more restrictions?The Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, tweeted that he had not spoken with the government about new restrictions since Friday, claiming pressure was being "piled on via media briefings".
He said he would set out, later today, "why the current Tier 3 [top tier] proposal is fundamentally flawed and why we won't accept it".
It comes after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for a two to three-week "circuit-breaker" lockdown in England to bring the infection rate under control.
The new three-tier system sees every area of England classed as being on medium, high or very high alert.
Areas on medium alert are subject to the national restrictions currently in force, including the rule of six on indoor and outdoor gatherings and the 22:00 closing time for pubs, bars and restaurants.
In addition to these restrictions, in areas on high alert - including north-east England, much of the North West and parts of the Midlands, along with West and South Yorkshire - different households are not allowed to mix indoors.
Areas on very high alert face extra curbs, with different households banned from mixing indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens.
Pubs and bars will be closed unless they are serving substantial meals and there is also guidance against travelling in and out of the area.
Further restrictions may be agreed for particular regions in the top tier and in the Liverpool City Region gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos will also close.
Covid Sage docs: What was the evidence and what happened? What is a circuit break? Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the system was a "moderate" and "balanced" approach to saving lives while trying to protect the economy.
But MPs in Liverpool said the city "risks being dragged back to the 1980s" without proper financial support alongside the new restrictions.
Parliament has approved the legislation to write a new three-tier system into law, but 42 Tory MPs rebelled in a vote to express their disapproval of the 22:00 closing time for pubs and restaurants in England.
Meanwhile, the Scottish government is to implement its own three-tier framework of restrictions later in October. In the meantime, pubs and restaurants in Scotland's central belt, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, were closed on Friday until 25 October as part of a package of short-term measures.
In Northern Ireland, hospitality businesses will only be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services for four weeks from Friday, alongside a raft of new restrictions.
Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said in a tweet that the executive "will do everything we possibly can to make sure there are protections in place for businesses, workers and families".
And in Wales, the Welsh Government is considering bringing in deeper lockdown measures over a short period of time, including closing pubs and restaurants during half term.
The government sees its three-tier system of localised restrictions as striking a balance between fighting the virus and protecting the economy.
However, Sir Keir Starmer's decision to back a much tougher England-wide temporary lockdown does mean there is now an alternative plan on the table. And it is a plan that came recommended by the government's own scientists.
Downing Street has not ruled out a "circuit break" completely - to do so, it maintains, would be irresponsible. But it has been very clear that it does not want to get there.
A senior government source accused Labour of playing politics but the move will increase the pressure on Mr Johnson to show that his alternative works - and does so quickly.
He is likely to have the backing of his own MPs - many of whom are not keen to go further for now at least. The former minister Andrew Mitchell - who has voiced criticism in recent days - said the three tier system must be given time to show results.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday evening, Sir Keir said current measures to curb the spread of coronavirus were not working and another course was needed to prevent a "sleepwalk into a long and bleak winter".
He added his proposal for a short national lockdown would not mean schools closing but it should take place across half-term to "minimise disruption".
However, he said it would mean all pubs, bars and restaurants would be closed and compensated.
SOCIAL DISTANCING: How have rules on meeting friends changed? FACE MASKS: When do I need to wear one?TESTING: How do I get a virus test?In addition, Sir Keir said:
Only essential work and travel would be allowed and everyone who can work from home should do soNon-essential offices should be closedHousehold mixing should be restricted to one household except for those who have formed support bubblesUK Parliament should "move to remote working"His comments came after documents revealed government scientific advisers called for such action three weeks ago.
Sir Keir said his proposals were in line with the recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
On Monday, a further 17,234 coronavirus cases were recorded in the UK, while 143 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland imposes four-week circuit breaker lockdown | UK News | Sky News
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 09:52
A four-week "circuit breaker" lockdown will come into force in Northern Ireland on Friday in an attempt to stall the rise in coronavirus infections.
First Minister Arlene Foster confirmed the move in a statement and said that the half-term holiday break for schools will be extended and now last two weeks, from 19 to 30 October.
Pubs and restaurants will also have to shut, unless they offer a takeaway service, but places of worship and gyms can stay open.
Image: Arlene Foster delivered her statement to the Stormont AssemblyIt comes after a meeting of the Stormont executive that extended into the early hours of this morning.
The Derry and Strabane Council area, which has additional restrictions, has been experiencing the highest infection rate in the UK and Ireland, with a seven day average of 970 cases per 100,000 people.
The restrictions include:
Household bubbles must be no bigger than 10 people from two householdsOvernight stays in other homes are bannedClosure of "close contact services" (unless required for essential health reasons)Indoor sport of all kinds suspended, apart from at an elite levelMass events involving more than 15 people are to be bannedOff licences and supermarkets will not be permitted to sell alcohol after 8pmHospitality sector to close, apart from takeaway servicesNo unnecessary travel should be undertakenUniversities and further education providers should provide distance learning as much as, and where possiblePeople are required to work from home where they canGyms to remain open for individual trainingPlaces of worship to remain open, as long as face coverings are wornWedding ceremonies and civil partnerships to be limited to 25 people with no receptions from 19 OctoberFunerals and committals to be limited to 25 people with no pre or post-funeral gatheringsRetail can remain openThe restrictions will initially last for four weeks, and any extensions will require a decision from the Northern Ireland Executive.
Ms Foster said of the fresh restrictions: "We fully appreciate that this will be difficult and worrying news for a lot of people.
"The Executive has taken this decision because it is necessary, and we discussed the impacts in great detail. We do not take this step lightly.
"We must reach a different place on both the numbers and on getting back to the basics of social distancing and I know everyone will want to work with us on that.
"Small acts can have large and important contributions to managing COVID-19."
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford told Kay Burley on Sky News that he was considering a similar move, while Therese Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, played down the prospect of a similar move in England.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the government to impose a short lockdown, accusing it of losing control of the pandemic.
Analysis: 'Stormont had no option'
By David Blevins, senior Ireland correspondent
It's not a race Northern Ireland wanted to win - the first full region of the UK to impose a so-called circuit-breaker lockdown.
But with Derry and Strabane Council District still recording the highest infection rate in the UK, Stormont had no option.
The two largest parties in the devolved government - the DUP and Sinn Fein - struggled to agree on the closure of schools.
In the end, they compromised - extending the half-term holiday to two weeks rather the full four weeks of the latest lockdown.
It's not a return to the stringent restrictions imposed in March - shops and places of worship will remain open with mitigations.
There is often division in the power-sharing coalition but they need to present a united front for these measures to be effective.
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Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:59
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Logan International Airport in Boston will start COVID testing by November - masslive.com
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:04
Logan International Airport in Boston will start testing passengers for COVID-19 later this year.
XpresSpa Group, a health and wellness company, announced it has begun building an XpresCheck COVID-19 testing facility at the Boston airport that is expected to be fully operational by November.
''XpresCheck is currently building a modular constructed testing facility within the International Arrival area, pre-security Terminal E, that is expected to host seven separate testing rooms with an anticipated capacity to administer over 400 tests per day,'' the company said.
The testing options will include a rapid molecular COVID-19 test, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test, and the Blood Antibody Test.
This will be XpresSpa Group's third airport testing site. They are also testing at JFK International Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
''We believe that our current presence in JFK and Newark, and upcoming expansion to Logan enables us to play an important role in supporting the return of domestic and international air travel to pre-pandemic levels by making sure both airport employees and travelers feel safe and confident when they come to the airport," said Doug Satzman, XpresSpa CEO, in a press release.
Earlier this year, a study using Logan Airport showed how coronavirus can spread on a plane however, in guidance for the public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that viruses do not spread easily on planes because of the way the air is filtered.
But in September, the CDC identified nearly 11,000 passengers on airlines who were potentially exposed to the coronavirus during flights, according to the Washington Post.
Some airlines, such as United Airlines, have also been testing passengers on certain flights.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
Contact-tracing data harvested from pubs and restaurants being sold on | News | The Sunday Times
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:38
Companies collecting data for pubs and restaurants to help them fulfil their contact-tracing duties are harvesting confidential customer information to sell.
Legal experts have warned of a ''privacy crisis'' caused by a rise in companies exploiting QR barcodes to take names, addresses, telephone numbers and email details, before passing them on to marketers, credit companies and insurance brokers. The concerns do not relate to the official NHS Covid contact-tracing app.
The ''quick response'' mobile codes have been widely adopted by the hospitality, leisure and beauty industries as an alternative to pen-and-paper visitor logs since the government ordered businesses to collect contact details to give to NHS Test and Trace if required.
Any data collected should be kept by the business for 21 days and must
The discovery of HIV-1
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 04:10
28 November 2018
Credit: Stocktrek Images, Inc. /Alamy Stock Photo
AIDS was first diagnosed in 1981 (MILESTONE 1) and, on the basis of epidemiological evidence, was soon speculated to be caused by an infectious agent. Around the same time, the first human retroviruses were discovered in T cells of leukemia patients and were associated with abnormal T cell replication. T cell function and numbers (MILESTONE 10, 13) are also affected in AIDS patients, and scientists hypothesized that a related retrovirus, preferentially infecting T cells, could be the infectious agent underlying AIDS.
Techniques developed during the work with animal and human retroviruses were essential to test this hypothesis and in isolating the putative retrovirus from AIDS patients. Scientists had already optimized in vitro culture conditions for long-term propagation of human T cells and relatively high retrovirus replication. They had developed sensitive techniques to detect reverse transcriptase, an enzyme essential and specific for retroviruses, and were able to identify retroviral particles by electron microscopy. Without this knowledge of retroviruses and essential techniques for their characterization, the discovery of HIV-1 would arguably have been much delayed.
In 1983, Luc Montagnier's team at the Pasteur Institute in Paris discovered HIV'1. Using the established techniques, they cultured T cells from a lymph node biopsy from a 33-year-old homosexual French patient with symptoms that can precede AIDS (subsequently called pre-AIDS), such as lymphadenopathy. Reverse transcriptase activity in the supernatant of this culture and the morphology of virions showed that they had isolated a retrovirus. They were able to infect T cells from a healthy donor, but attempts to infect other cell types, including B cells and fibroblasts, failed. The group concluded that this patient at risk for AIDS was infected with a T cell''tropic retrovirus, but an association with AIDS remained tentative at this point. In 2008, Luc Montagnier and Fran§oise Barr(C)-Sinoussi from his team were awarded the Nobel Prize for the isolation and characterization of HIV-1.
In 1984, Robert Gallo's team at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, isolated HIV-1 from a larger group of patients and suggested causative involvement of the virus in AIDS. They isolated the virus from 48 individuals, including patients with symptoms of pre'AIDS and patients with AIDS, mothers of juveniles with AIDS and one healthy male homosexual. Overall, they isolated HIV-1 in approximately 47% of patients with pre-AIDS or AIDS, but in none of 115 heterosexual individuals with no known risk for AIDS. In the same year, Gallo's group made another important contribution to the field that allowed production of virus in higher quantities, facilitating further studies. After testing several human cell lines, they identified a T cell line that was permissive for HIV-1 and allowed long-term propagation of patient isolates.
A third team of scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, and the California Department of Health Services in Berkeley further strengthened the link between AIDS and HIV-1. Using similar techniques as the other groups, Levy et al. detected HIV-1 in 22 of 45 AIDS patients and antibodies to HIV-1 in 86 AIDS patients tested, as well as in a high percentage of homosexual men. Their isolates were antigenically and structurally related to the first isolate described by Montagnier's group.
In less than two years, at least three groups had isolated and characterized HIV'1, showing an association of HIV-1 with AIDS and suggesting a causal link. Each group initially gave the virus a different name, based on the symptoms of patients from whom the virus was isolated or on similarities to known viruses. At the time, HIV-1 was called lymphadenopathy-associated virus, human T cell leukemia virus type III and AIDS-associated retrovirus, in addition to other names. In 1986, a group of scientists suggested the name HIV-1, which is how we know the virus today.
References 1.Poiesz, B. J. et al. Detection and isolation of type C retrovirus particles from fresh and cultured lymphocytes of a patient with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77, 7415''7419 (1980).
2.Barr(C)-Sinoussi, F. et al. Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Science 220, 868''871 (1983).
3.Gallo, R. C. et al. Frequent detection and isolation of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and at risk for AIDS. Science 224, 500''503 (1984).
4.Levy, J. A. et al. Isolation of lymphocytopathic retroviruses from San Francisco patients with AIDS. Science 225, 840''842 (1984).
Method and Madness; The Vindication of Robert Gallo - The New York Times
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 04:07
Credit... The New York Times Archives See the article in its original context from
December 26, 1993
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I have found the world kinder than I expected," Samuel Johnson remarked, "but less just." Of late, the world has not been particularly kind or just to Robert C. Gallo, a virologist at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.
For years, Gallo has been under a thick cloud of suspicion that he stole from French scientists the credit for discovering the AIDS virus. The suspicion has proved groundless.
As a Government appeals board concluded last month: "One might anticipate that from all this evidence, after all the sound and fury, there would be at least a residue of palpable wrongdoing. That is not the case."
Not even a residue?
No, and in truth, Gallo's achievement was greater than has been generally understood, since it far exceeded the mere co-discovery of the AIDS virus with which he is usually credited. Before AIDS was even heard of, he had begun developing the basic techniques for studying T-cells, a then-obscure component of the immune system, and had helped discover two new viruses that prey on them, causing rare diseases.
If fortune favors the prepared mind, as history of science textbooks like to say, Gallo was eminently ready to find the human immunodeficiency virus. Yethe helped other laboratories master the T-cell techniques he had developed, training a technician and supplying biological materials to the laboratory of Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
In May 1983, Montagnier's group first described a new virus from an AIDS patient but was unable to prove it was the causative agent.
A few months later, Gallo's laboratory had made several significant strides. He isolated his own samples of the new virus from patients. He found out how to grow the evanescent virus in bulk. He put beyond reasonable dispute that the new virus was the cause of AIDS. And on top of that, he devised a highly effective test for detecting the virus in blood.
At that time, in mid-1984, the AIDS virus was fast seeping into blood banks around the world. From the moment Gallo's blood test was instituted, lives began to be saved. Without him, others might have taken a considerable time to develop a blood test and thousands more lives would surely have been lost.
After 12 grim years, Gallo's blood test is still the only weapon of real value that scientists have yet managed to devise against this baffling disease. But far from basking in gratitude, Gallo has been subjected to years of humiliation. What prompted this cruel twist of fate?
IN BRIEF, A SCIENTIFIC PUZZLE LED TO A newspaper attack that triggered an insatiable Government inquiry. The puzzle was that the version of the AIDS virus Gallo used for his blood test turned out to have almost the same genetic sequence as Montagnier's virus. But the AIDS virus mutates so rapidly that any two versions so similar must be related. Did Montagnier's patient infect Gallo's patient? No, but in 1983 Montagnier had twice sent samples of his virus to Gallo.
One explanation was that the French virus had gotten loose in Gallo's lab and overgrown his own virus cultures. Cross-contamination is a common problem in virus labs, yet Gallo had insisted the two viruses behaved differently.
The other possibility was that Gallo had used the French virus for his experiments without isolating his own, a physical and intellectual theft. Given Gallo's competitive nature and his well-known thirst for recognition, the second possibility loomed large in people's minds.
An unusual piece of reporting gave the suspicion shape. John Crewdson, a Chicago Tribune reporter who won a Pulitzer prize while with The New York Times, spent 20 months investigating Gallo's work. His 50,000-word article of Nov. 19, 1989, described several cases in which colleagues and others believed Gallo had hogged credit for joint discoveries. Yet the article, despite its author's perseverance, had several defects.
It was relentlessly hostile to Gallo, interpreting one complex event after another to his discredit. It gave little weight to the possibility that Gallo's fierce competitiveness might have had something to do with the brisk pace of discovery. And despite every paragraph's insinuation that Gallo was capable of stealing the French virus, it failed to offer proof he had done so.
Nonetheless, the Crewdson article prompted an inquiry by a Government office now known as the Office of Research Integrity. Staffed mostly by scientists, the office's goal was to find the smoking gun Crewdson had so strongly implied was present. But in 1991 Gallo and Montagnier solved the festering mystery. The two scientists' original viruses were indeed different strains, as Gallo had said all along. But at some early stage a third and more vigorous virus had overgrown first Montagnier's cultures and, via the second of the samples he sent, those in Gallo's laboratory too. It was this third virus that explained the similar sequences. The only evidence for assuming Gallo had appropriated the French virus promptly evaporated.
But instead of dropping the case, O.R.I. plodded on. It claimed there were misstatements in Gallo's discovery papers, particularly in sections written by his colleague Mikulas Popovic, a Czech virologist. It accused Gallo and Popovic of "scientific misconduct," even while conceding the alleged misstatement was minor and "does not invalidate" the research.
When the O.R.I. case at last came before people familiar with the concept of due process, the Government's appeals board treated the office's work as something it must have trodden in. What O.R.I. claimed were false statements by Popovic, the appeals board judged as mere ambiguities caused by Popovic's imperfect English and not false at all when Popovic's intended meaning was accepted.
With the charge against Popovic pulverized, O.R.I. withdrew its case against Gallo, presumably foreseeing it would meet with equal contempt and whining that the appeals board had set a higher standard. In fact, it was O.R.I. that had proposed a lower one, claiming it only needed to prove a statement false to establish scientific misconduct, regardless of intent. Sorry, said the appeals board, the regulation defining scientific misconduct doesn't say "false." It says "falsification," which requires proving an intent to deceive.
From Crewdson's article to O.R.I.'s ignominious collapse took four years -- four years in which Gallo was diverted from fighting AIDS to fighting the ill-will and narrow vision of various accusers. "These were the most painful years and horrible years of my life," Gallo now says. "There is no doubt I lost significant time, and I feel obsessed to make up for it."
In Gallo's rush for the AIDS virus, he bruised many competitors. His critics mistook his sharp elbows for itchy fingers. They were far too slow to correct their misjudgment of the one scientific hero who has yet emerged in the fight against AIDS.
Scientists confirm HIV theory by sequencing 53-year old tissue
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 04:05
Researchers have extracted a near-complete HIV-1 genome from the lymph node tissue of a man in the Democratic Republic of Congo who has been embedded in wax since 1966.
BioMedical | Shutterstock
The nub of tissue, which is around the size of the nail on the pinky finger, was sliced from the 38-year old man who had been fixed with formalin in a protective block of paraffin, with the viral RNA hidden in his lymph node for more than 50 years.
Once freed from its wax casing, the near-complete HIV-1 genome that the team extracted supports the theory that the virus was transmitted to humans from monkeys within the first decade or two of the 20th century.
The genome, which provides a more accurate ''molecular clock'' for assessing the evolution of HIV, is the oldest example of an almost complete HIV-1 genome to date.
Analysis of the genome has shown that it does not demonstrate an evolutionary timeline that is any different from those generated from more recent samples and dispels the ''patient zero'' myth '' the theory that HIV was introduced to the United States after it was transmitted to a flight attendant.
HIV-1, which is one of the main viruses that causes AIDS, was first discovered in 1983. Older samples containing the genetic sequence of the virus are scarce and their genetic material has usually degraded.
The researchers write:
With very little direct biological data of HIV-1 from before the 1980s, far-reaching evolutionary and epidemiological inferences regarding the long pre-discovery phase of this pandemic are based on extrapolations by phylodynamic models of HIV-1 genomic sequences gathered mostly over recent decades.''
Understanding the origins of the HIV epidemicThe near-complete sequence extracted from this 1966 sample is ten years older than the previous oldest full-length sequence generated.
It provides a glimpse of how the virus looked when it was circulating undetected in central Africa, 15 years prior to a when a string of infections among gay men in the U.S., led to the acknowledgment that a new disease had emerged that researchers eventually called AIDS.
According to lead researcher Michael Worobey and team, calculating exactly when the HIV/AIDS pandemic originated is of great significance because it enables researchers to understand which factors did or did not contribute to the emergence of the causal virus.
Researchers have used the genetic sequences of viruses that infected people in earlier days of the AIDS epidemic to try to estimate when exactly the HIV virus jumped from primates to humans. By comparing differences in the viral sequences, researchers can estimate how long ago the sequences could have diverged from the same source.
This cannot determine when the jump to humans happened, but it can be used to deduce that it had to have been before a particular time.
Previous efforts to pinpoint the precise time of origin have suggested that the virus was introduced to humans during the early 20th century in Central Africa, where once-isolated populations had mixed and merged.
Now, Worobey says the new data suggest HIV probably did not move from primates to humans during the 1920s and Pepin thinks it may even have done so in the late 1800s
Worobey and team say their recovery of the first HIV-1 genome from the 1960s provides direct evidence that the estimates that have been made over the last 50 years are remarkably reliable.
The researchers write:
Analyses did not significantly alter root and internal node age estimates based on post-1978 HIV-1 sequences'... And, because this genome itself was sampled only about a half-century after the estimated origin of the pandemic, it empirically anchors this crucial inference with high confidence.''
Worobey, whose team performs virologic archaeology studies on old tissues and blood samples, says the research has involved many years of work: ''Just on that sequence, we've been plugging away for more than five years.''
Confirming the theoryIt should be noted that the work has so far only been posted on the preprint website bioRxiv and has not yet been submitted to a scientific journal or undergone peer review.
However, Oliver Pybus, a professor of evolution and infectious diseases at the University of Oxford, has praised the work, saying that the generation of a genetic sequence from an archived tissue specimen is technically impressive.
''Although its discovery doesn't substantially alter our current model of the early genetic history of the AIDS pandemic, it does improve our confidence in conclusions previously drawn from modern and partial HIV gene sequences,'' says Pybus.
Infectious Disease expert Jacques Pepin (University of Sherbrooke, Quebec) is an author of literature on the history of the AIDS epidemic and is currently working on the second edition of his book ''The Origin of AIDS,'' which is due to be published late next year. Pepin has called Worobey's work a ''technological feat'' and says he plans to factor in the updates in his latest publication.
In conclusion, Worobey and team write: ''This unique archival HIV-1 sequence provides direct genomic insight into HIV-1 in 1960s DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo], and, as an ancient-DNA calibrator, it validates our understanding of HIV-1 evolutionary history.''
Gryseels, S., et al. (2019). A near-full-length HIV-1 genome from 1966 recovered from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/687863.
Hunter Biden emails show leveraging connections with dad to boost Burisma pay
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:10
Hunter Biden discussed leveraging his connection to his father in a bid to boost his pay from a Ukrainian natural gas company, according to an email he sent around the time he joined the firm's corporate board.
In a lengthy memo to his then-business partner, Devon Archer, who already sat on the Burisma board, Biden repeatedly mentioned ''my guy'' while apparently referring to then-Vice President Joe Biden.
Under President Barack Obama, the elder Biden was the point person for US policy toward Ukraine, and he held a press conference there with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on April 22, 2014.
Hunter Biden's email to Archer is dated a little more than a week earlier.
''The announcement of my guys [sic] upcoming travels should be characterized as part of our advice and thinking- but what he will say and do is out of our hands,'' Hunter Biden wrote on April 13, 2014.
''In other words it could be a really good thing or it could end up creating too great an expectation. We need to temper expectations regarding that visit.''
The email, labeled from Robert Biden '-- Hunter's first name '-- is among a trove of messages, documents, photos and videos purportedly recovered from a MacBook Pro laptop that a Delaware computer shop owner told The Post was brought in for repair in April 2019 and never picked up.
In the email, Hunter Biden wrote to Archer, ''We need to ask for long term agreement and across the board participation. This is a huge step for us that could easily become very complicated. And if we are not protected financially regardless of the outcome we could find ourselves frozen out of a lot of current and future opportunities.
''The contract should begin now- not after the upcoming visit of my guy.
''That should include a retainer in the range of 25k p/m w/ additional fees where appropriate for more in depth work to go to BSF for our protection. Complete separate from our respective deals re board participation.''
It's unclear if Hunter Biden or Archer got any of the $25,000 a month mentioned.
Hunter Biden was reportedly paid as much as $50,000 a month by Burisma before his lawyer has said he ''stepped off'' the board in April 2019.
That move came amid increasing scrutiny about potential conflicts of interest involving his dad, who announced his candidacy for president that same month.
''BSF'' appears to refer to the high-profile law firm Boies, Schiller, Flexner, which represented Al Gore during the US Supreme Court battle over the results of the presidential 2000 election, which was won by George W. Bush.
Hunter Biden, a graduate of Yale Law School, was ''of counsel'' to the firm when he was asked to join the Burisma board in April 2014, according to a statement posted by his lawyer, George Mesires, on the website Medium in October.
The email to Archer contained 22 bullet points and bore the subject line ''Tmrw.''
In No. 22, Hunter Biden told Archer, ''Buy a cell phone from a 7/11 or CVS tmrw and ill do the same.''
Following the bullet points, Hunter Biden wrote, ''This could be the break we have been waiting for if they really are smart enough to understand our long term value. If they are looking to just use us until the storm passes then we risked far too much for far too little.
''Finally, we need to have a plan on how we develop a corporate entity or LLP that allows us to draw on funds generated here to free us from existing (under-producing current commitments) and to build our own investment and expansion strategy. Maintaining the status quo is not an option,'' he added.
''We can preserve our interest in the areas where minimal involvement is appropriate but should not get greedy and try to keep all the balls in the air that exist today.''
Hunter Biden then used a series of initials '-- RCP, RSTP and BHRT '-- to apparently refer to the men's other business interests that ''all make sense and can co-exist and progress without our day to day oversight.''
''But Advisors and the BD need a transition plan,'' he added.
The email wrapped up with Hunter Biden saying, ''We should also find a highly credible and discreet firm to perform due diligence and deep information for us on an ongoing basis. The kind of people that can get us information that's not available through a google search and some phone calls.''
''We can use our own funds to pay for it and I'm sure your buddies down in Little Creek have some trusted independent contacts that do that sort of work,'' he added.
The reference to Little Creek is unclear, but there is a US Navy station located in Virginia Beach, Va., that's called Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
In 2018, Archer was convicted in an unrelated Manhattan federal court case involving a scheme that defrauded the Oglala Sioux Indian tribe and multiple pension funds through the sale of $60 million worth of tribal bonds.
His conviction was later overturned by the presiding judge, who cited an ''unwavering concern that Archer is innocent,'' but reinstated this month by a Manhattan federal appeals court.
Archer faces a maximum of 25 years in prison at his scheduled sentencing in January.
Hunter Biden's lawyer refused to comment on the specifics but instead attacked Rudy Giuliani.
''He has been pushing widely discredited conspiracy theories about the Biden family, openly relying on actors tied to Russian intelligence,'' the lawyer, George R. Mesires, said of Giuliani.
The Joe Biden campaign did not return requests for comment.
Additional reporting by Ebony Bowden
Man Who Reportedly Gave Hunter Biden's Laptop to Rudy Giuliani Speaks Out in Bizarre Interview
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:11
Rudy Giuliani Promises To Share More "Private Text Messages" From "The Biden Crime Family" | Zero Hedge
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:12
As the furor over Twitter and Facebook's attempts to censor Wednesday morning's New York Post bombshell intensifies, Rudy Giuliani, who was named as the source of the documents in the NY Post story, just dropped a new video on Twitter where he outlines some of the alleged transgressions of "the Biden Crime Family".
Earlier, the NYP exposed never-before-publicized emails suggesting that Joe Biden's involvement with his son's business endeavors was much more active than he led the world to believe.
In other words, if the emails are genuine (and nobody has offered any credible evidence yet to suggest that they aren't) then it's clear the Biden lied about having never discussed business with his son.
In a tweet, Giuliani confirmed that he has more material that has yet to see the light of day, and teased the public that it would soon be made available on his website, which he said he launched to stop big tech from censoring the story.
The emails obtained from Hunter Biden's hard drive reveal Joe Biden lied about Burisma, and more.Tonight I react and share a private text message that describes the ongoing schemes by the Biden Crime Family.
HERE: https://t.co/1SAwTyEwk9 pic.twitter.com/9xPewCChWN
'-- Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) October 14, 2020e teased more evidence and outlined more allegations against not only Hunter Biden, but "the Biden Crime family", which he alleged benefited personally (and in the form of large payouts) from Joe Biden's various "point man" posts during his time as vice president.
Giuliani starts off with Hunter, first relitigating the scandals in Ukraine and China, before claiming that Hunter Biden is was not a recovering crack addict at the time he was making these deals, but an active crack addict, a label Giuliani applied with emphasis.
He went on to claim that some of the photos he has revealed, and more material he has yet to publish (though he teased that more would be coming soon) make Hunter Biden and the activities of the "Biden Crime Family" a national security risk, by making Biden liable for blackmail.
"Every time Joe Biden was named point man by Barack Obama, Joe Biden negotiated for the United States. Each time he negotiated, he failed. Each time, the Biden Crime family got millions of dollars from that country," Giuliani said.
Giuliani cited Iraq, what he said was the first example of this, outlining a scheme involving a $1.5 billion contract and Biden's brother, James Biden.
The former NYC mayor continues: "The question is, why did Joe Biden lie about it? The New York Post on its front page shows that Joe Biden has been lying about Burisma for 7 years," Giuliani added, again claiming that Biden "committed a crime".
Specifically, he named Hunter Biden, James Biden, Joe Biden and Sarah Biden, along with other unnamed family members, as "the Biden Crime Family."
The "crime family" framing of course harkens back to the "Clinton Crime family", as well as Giuliani's work as a prosecutor where he famously helped break the Mafia's stranglehold on the underworld, and much of the legitimate business happening in the territories they controlled.
Now, we can't help but wonder: will Giuliani drop the Hunter Biden sex tape
Rudy Found Biden Emails, Totally Weren't Stolen by Russia
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:37
These emails just fell off the back of a truck. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Rudy Giuliani has spent at least two years attempting to find some kind of Ukrainian dirt that can be used to discredit Joe Biden. Now he has unveiled his October surprise: emails, or images of what purport to be emails, between Hunter Biden and Burisma officials.
The conservative New York Post has a credulous account of how Rudy came across these emails. The Post claims somebody brought the computer to a repair shop in Delaware, but then never bothered to pay for the repair. The shop owner saw that the computer had a sticker for the Beau Biden Foundation. But instead of returning the computer to the Biden family, he made a copy of the hard drive and gave it to Rudy Giuliani's lawyer, before turning it over to the FBI.
Before we consider the plausibility of that story, the substance is worth briefly addressing. The emails, if they are legitimate, show once again that Hunter Biden was trying to gain influence for Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm that hired him, in an obvious ploy to gain an entry into Joe Biden's inner circle.
The primary lie in the Post's account is the claim that Burisma was being investigated by the Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who Biden demanded be fired. If that were true, it would suggest a quid pro quo: Burisma hires Biden's son Hunter, Biden demands firing of prosecutor investigating Burisma. The Post, echoing the Trump campaign's disinformation, claims ''Biden later bragged about forcing Ukrainian officials to fire a state prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.''
In fact, though, Shokin was not investigating Burisma. Shokin was considered corrupt and ineffectual, and Biden and the entire democratic world wanted him gone precisely because he was not probing corruption. ''Shokin was not investigating. He didn't want to investigate Burisma,'' Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center, told the Washington Post in July. ''And Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation.'' Kaleniuk also told Radio-Free Europe/Radio Liberty last year that Shokin ''dumped important criminal investigations on corruption associated with [former President Viktor] Yanukovych, including the Burisma case.''
Was Burisma paying Hunter Biden in an attempt to influence his father? Yes. Did Hunter deliver that influence? No. Biden did the opposite of what Burisma wanted.
The most important new claim in the email trove obtained by the Post is that ''Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm.'' Biden's campaign says a review of Biden's schedule from this time shows the meeting never occurred, and that the Post never even asked Biden about this allegation before printing it.
Now, what about the Delaware computer-shop origin story? The best thing you can say is that this account is not physically impossible, in that it does not violate any laws of of nature or require any discontinuity in the space-time continuum. It is not, however, a very plausible account.
To begin with, if you were a computer-repair shop in Delaware, and you had a Biden-owned computer that you repaired but weren't paid for, why would your first step be to reach out to Rudy Giuliani's attorney? Why wouldn't you go to the Bidens '-- who are fairly well known and easy to find in Delaware '-- to get paid? And why would the FBI even be allowed to investigate this computer without a search warrant?
The author of the Post's stories on the stolen Hunter Biden emails, Emma-Jo Morris, is a former Hannity segment producer-booker who has written a total of three articles, all of them covering the Biden story and published today. If Giuliani is obfuscating about how he came across these emails, Morris does not seem to be the reporter who is most likely to crack open his cover story.
While Giuliani has not previously demonstrated any deep network of contacts in the Delaware computer-repair world, he has a long-standing string of contacts in the Russian intelligence world. He has met publicly with Andriy Derkach, who has been officially designated as a Russian intelligence agent by the U.S. Treasury Department. Derkach and Giuliani have spent months plotting to obtain and publicize Russian-sponsored information or pseudo-information discrediting Biden. Also, this past January, Russian hackers reportedly obtained emails from Burisma.
But according to the Post, the stolen Burisma emails Giuliani found and shared with a Hannity producer have nothing to do with either the Russian agents who hacked Burisma emails or the Russian intelligence official whom he has been working with in broad daylight.
If that story is not true, then Trump's lawyer is cooperating with Russian intelligence operatives on a hack-and-leak operation to influence the presidential campaign. But that would never happen, would it?
This post has been updated with new developments.
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NBC, MSNBC And CNBC 'Talent And Staff' Are Reportedly Frustrated And Angry Over Upcoming Trump Town Hall | The Daily Caller
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:16
Multiple people at NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC are reportedly angry over NBC's decision to host a town hall for President Donald Trump Thursday, according to reporter Yashar Ali.
''I've heard from over a dozen NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC sources (talent and staff) and the frustration with and anger toward their employer for scheduling a town hall against Biden is palpable,'' Ali tweeted Wednesday. (RELATED: Reporter Yashar Ali Claims NBC News Editor Dafna Linzer Tried To Intimidate Him On Behalf Of The DNC)
I've heard from over a dozen NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC sources (talent and staff) and the frustration with and anger toward their employer for scheduling a town hall against Biden is palpable.
'-- Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) October 14, 2020
The second presidential debate, originally scheduled for Thursday, October 15, was canceled after Trump objected to a virtual format proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The format was presented following Trump's Oct. 2 announcement that he tested positive for COVID-19.
Instead of the debate, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden agreed to a town hall with ABC News Thursday, to air at 8 p.m. NBC announced Wednesday that it will hold a town hall for Trump at the same time '' reportedly prompting backlash from multiple ''talent and staff'' across the networks owned by NBCUniversal.
NBC's town hall will be outdoors and ''TODAY'' anchor Savannah Guthrie ''will moderate a conversation between Trump and a group of Florida voters,'' the network announced. The town hall will comply with guidelines and government regulations put in place amid the pandemic.
ABC News will not be moving its town hall despite NBC's announcement, according to Ali. NBC News did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.
Who will win the US election? Chinese vendors at 'the world's supermarket' think they have the answer, Society News - ThinkChina
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:06
(Photos: Yang Danxu, unless otherwise stated)
Come November, the identity of the next US president will be revealed. But business owner Li Qingxiang (pseudonym) from Yiwu, a city in China's Zhejiang province, already knows who the victor will be.
Li owns a small shop of less than five square metres in Yiwu International Trade Market. Without batting an eyelid, she makes a prediction that even political pundits dare not make: ''Of course Trump will win.''ãã
Her conviction lies in a set of mysterious data surrounding the ''Yiwu index''. ã
Location and demographics of Yiwu. (Graphic: Jace Yip)'Orders do not lie'ãFrom the sacks beneath the shelves, Li pulls out a blue banner measuring five by three feet. It has the words ''Trump 2020'' printed on it. Beneath the big wordings is incumbent US President Donald Trump's re-election campaign slogan ''Keep America Great''. ãã
Since the end of last year, her factory in Shaoxing, Zhejiang, has produced over 100,000 banners of this kind, which are sold for 4.80 RMB (approximately S$0.95) apiece. On the other hand, only a mere few thousand banners of the same size for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have been produced. ãã
She is thus very certain that Trump has a better chance of winning than his opponent Biden because ''orders do not lie''. ãã
A Trump banner sold in a shop in the Yiwu International Trade Market.While Biden is leading the polls in the US, a Ms Zhou from Yiwu's travel necessities shop still wishes to place her bet on Trump. ãã
This salesperson told Lianhe Zaobao that her colleague from the international business department was still receiving endless orders for Trump's campaign merchandise. A few days ago, a colleague also sent a message in the group chat requesting the factory to quickly process a batch of banners for Trump.
According to Ms Zhou, the factory has been receiving banner orders for the US presidential election since the end of last year. It first produced banners of various designs '-- over ten, to be exact '-- for Trump's campaign before gradually receiving orders for Biden's flags over the past two months. But there was only one design for Biden's banners, and the quantity produced was less than one-fifth of Trump's.ã
Campaign merchandise reflects voter sentimentEvery election, huge volumes of campaign merchandise '-- flags, baseball caps, T-shirts, rubber wristbands, latex masks and so on '-- for various US presidential candidates are purchased from the small international trade city of Yiwu in central Zhejiang and exported to the US. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year, masks and other face coverings printed with the presidential candidates' names and slogans were added to the lot.
Industry workers joke that the Yiwu index can have a butterfly effect on the Consumer Price Index on the other side of the world.
Known as ''the world's supermarket'', Yiwu is the world's biggest wholesale market of small commodities. Various China-made products across the country are consolidated here before they are exported to the world.
Shops selling small commodities line "the world's supermarket".Periodic ''Yiwu index'' reports reflecting the level of market activity are released based on the sales of commodities. Industry workers joke that the Yiwu index can have a butterfly effect on the Consumer Price Index on the other side of the world. ã
...the stronger the financial resources of the candidates, the more campaign merchandise they can purchase; the more supporters they have, the better the sales of their campaign products.
In the lead-up to the presidential election in 2016, American commentators generally thought that Hillary Clinton would win. Yiwu vendors, however, successfully predicted that it would be Trump who would have the last laugh based on campaign merchandise orders of both candidates. ãã
Following their accurate prediction, international pundits started to treat these orders as indicators of the US electoral situation. This method is not unfounded too '-- the stronger the financial resources of the candidates, the more campaign merchandise they can purchase; the more supporters they have, the better the sales of their campaign products.ãã
According to statistics, as of 21 August, Trump raised a total of US$1.2 billion (roughly S$1.64 billion) while Biden raised a mere US$699 million. As such, Trump is investing much more in campaign merchandise than Biden.ã
Based on the huge amount of orders they received for masks printed with the words ''Black Lives Matter'', Yiwu vendors knew that the demonstrations would drag on for some time. ã
Yiwu a unique window to global dynamicsWhile there is no rigorous scientific basis for predictions based on orders, international trends and changes in the commercial world have more than once been accurately transmitted to this city with a population of 1.3 million. What will happen next in Europe and the US? Ask the Yiwu vendors. ãã
In late May this year, the death of a black man George Floyd at the hands of the police sparked several weeks of Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice across the US and even Europe. Based on the huge amount of orders they received for masks printed with the words ''Black Lives Matter'', Yiwu vendors knew that the demonstrations would drag on for some time. ãã
One of the entrances to the Yiwu International Trade Market.All large-scale events require props and materials. As the world's largest small commodities wholesale factory, Yiwu has become a unique window to global dynamics. Yet the majority of local vendors do not like to waste time talking about these things. ãã
''We're just running a small business, we don't know who'd make a better US president,'' says Li.ãã
With business acumen, Li pays close attention to relevant news and quickly translates them into actions. Over two weeks ago, she has already replaced her Apple phone with a Huawei one. She says, ''Didn't they say that many functions of the Apple phone cannot be used anymore come September? I think Trump wants to sanction them? I contact my clients through WeChat. If I can't use WeChat anymore, all the records in my phone would be gone.''
Vendors care only about doing businessWhile she has accepted several orders of Trump merchandise, Ying Tong (pseudonym), who runs a printed mask business, does not hope that Trump will be re-elected. In fact, she hopes that Biden will win. ãã
A few days ago, she saw a video of Biden's speech when she was scrolling Douyin and was instantly drawn to him. She says, ''Biden said that he'll make it mandatory for all Americans to wear masks if he won. If that happens, we would be able to sell a lot of masks.''ãã
Masks sold as part of Trump's campaign merchandise.However, while vendors here play a part in the US elections once every four years in their own unique ways, most of them actually know nothing about the intense presidential election taking place on the other side of the world. Some do not even know who Trump is.
When I tried interviewing a store owner who sells face coverings, she was puzzled and confused. ''What elections?'' she asked. I then showed her photos of a face covering printed with Trump's face on my phone, to which she replied, ''Oh. We printed this person's face on our products before. How many do you want?'' ãã
Opportunities in crisis in YiwuThe predictions about the US election going around Yiwu may be just idle talk, but "the world's supermarket" is a genuine barometer for international trade and the global economy.
The temperature in Yiwu in early autumn is a blazing 38 degrees Celsius outdoors, but going into Yiwu International Trade Market, one is hit by how cold and deserted it is. At 11am, quite a few toy shops are not yet open, while some stall owners are chatting across the empty lanes. Others are watching drama series on their computers, or just dozing off.
Someone calculated that if one spent ten hours a day in the market and a minute at each stall, it would take four whole months to get through the entire market.
An empty corridor in Yiwu.This is the largest market complex for small commodities in Yiwu, comprising five huge buildings over a total area 18 times the size of the ''Birds Nest'' sports stadium in Beijing, with 75,000 stalls selling over 2 million varieties of small commodities to 210 countries around the world.
Someone calculated that if one spent ten hours a day in the market and a minute at each stall, it would take four whole months to get through the entire market.
Each level in each zone is categorised '-- bags and luggage, jewellery, umbrellas, stationery. From gym equipment worth thousands to buttons worth a few cents, they can all be found here. In the words of the locals: ''There are no items you cannot find, only items you cannot imagine.''
Business plummets as pandemic hits exportsBefore the pandemic, the Yiwu International Trade Market saw over 20,000 people a day.
Vendor Luo Dexiang tells us that the zone selling toys, jewellery, and crafts is the oldest and most popular in the market. Before the pandemic, it was ''chock-full of people'', but now the crowd is only about a third of what it used to be. ''A lot of those who came were foreigners, but now we need to wait for our borders to reopen,'' he says.
Over 500,000 purchasers visit Yiwu each year, from the Middle East, India, Africa, South America, Eastern Europe, and others. But with the global pandemic, international travel has been restricted, and now the scattered foreign faces seen are mostly long-term vendors living in Yiwu.
A mask and wig vendor in Yiwu.Without foreign buyers, it is difficult to grow new customers. Most small-commodities vendors can only communicate online to hold on to their old customers, and Luo's shop has seen significantly fewer orders from old customers.
Luo sells wigs, party costumes, and monster masks, but as people are unable to gather during the pandemic, sales of these party supplies have plummeted. The shop recently received an order of about 10,000 RMB from an old customer from the Philippines; in previous years, this customer's orders were about 100,000 RMB.
Vendors find a way to surviveHowever, amid the anxiety, helplessness, and uncertainty, there is also the desire to survive, rather than be a sitting duck. Accessories vendors take turns to go in and out of the live streaming studio set up in the market to promote their products online. Some vendors live stream from their shops to promote new products to overseas customers.
The studio where vendors can live stream to sell their products.Bedding vendor Zhou Jinfu (pseudonym) recalls that even after SARS in 2003 and the financial crisis of 2009, ''things were never this bad''. Fortunately, the factory made it through the worst in the first half of the year, and slowly started to recover in July.
He says, ''Ups and downs are normal. There is opportunity in crisis. If business is good, no one would think of improving. Everyone would count on old customers and products. Now, with that sense of crisis, people are looking for breakthroughs and innovations.''
Over the past six months, Zhou's company has pushed for product innovation, such as incorporating cultural elements and developing a brand story, as well as experimenting with new materials and improving production techniques.
He says that previously, with a steady stream of foreign orders, the domestic market was overlooked. Now, there is a realisation that selling within the country is a way out. ''A market of 1.4 billion people is right at our doorstep, so why go after something far at the expense of something near?''
In April this year, the number of shops in Yiwu broke 600,000.
'Trading chicken feathers for sugar'?Yiwu's difficulties are not totally due to Covid-19. Before the pandemic swept the world's economy and trade, this town built on the small-commodities economy was already facing difficulties reinventing itself.
E-commerce vendors pose a challenge to brick-and-mortar shops, while rising costs of materials and manpower have reduced their profits. Traditional workshops are also facing pressure to change as the economy undergoes restructuring.
Many local vendors sighed that ''business is getting more difficult''. However, few have backed out.
In April this year, the number of shops in Yiwu broke 600,000. According to statistics, it took nearly 30 years for the number of shops to hit 100,000, but only 10 months to go from 500,000 to 600,000.
The vendors in Yiwu continue the spirit of "trading chicken feathers for sugar", meaning to do any trade for profit, no matter how small.Many vendors in Yiwu, including the ''newbies'' who have flocked there in recent years to set up their business, all believe that as long as they pass on the spirit of ''trading chicken feathers for sugar'' (é¸æ¯æç"), they can continue to create a miracle.
''Trading chicken feathers for sugar'' is a sort of cry, or slogan. During the 1970s and 1980s, when resources were scarce, the vendors of Yiwu would walk along the streets and alleys shaking their rattle drums, trading pieces of processed sugar for unwanted items like chicken feathers, just to make a small profit. This is how the Yiwu market began.
This urge to fight for success, recognising that every bit counts and seizing opportunities as they come along, together with hard work and pragmatism, has rubbed off on generations of Yiwu people and settlers. Zhou Liang (pseudonym) came to Yiwu 15 years ago from Sichuan. He now has his own factory with tens of millions in annual sales.
He told this reporter that the most important business lesson he learned in Yiwu is there are no shortcuts to success. ''A rubber band, a button, a keychain, may earn a few cents in profit, but as long as you're willing to work and go for it, there is money to be earned.''
Designer Liu Yuanli shows off her creations.Liu Yuanli left Anhui for Yiwu in 2012. Initially, her monthly pay was only 2,500 RMB, but she picked up some design skills and was able to find a job as a product designer with a monthly pay of 14,000 RMB.
But Liu Yuanli has not given up on her dream of setting up her own business. Two years ago, she and her husband put in 200,000 RMB to set up a workshop to produce children's hair accessories under her own brand. The fledgling business is uncertain due to the pandemic, but Liu is determined: ''We should go for it while we're young. It is our own business, no matter how small.''
Related: Roaming China's "Manhattan'' ghost towns | Trade war? There are always business opportunities to be found | Can the domestic market save jobs, livelihoods and companies in China? | Street stalls: Saviour of livelihoods for ordinary Chinese after Covid-19?
Rocker Tommy Lee 'Threatens' To Return To Greece If Trump Gets Reelected | The Daily Wire
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:18
Rocker Tommy Lee of Motley Crue has ''threatened'' to move back to his country of origin if President Trump gets reelected in November.
Speaking with The Big Issue, the famous drummer said that President Trump is ''embarrassing'' America before the rest of the world.
''Dude, I swear to God if that happens then I'm coming over to visit the UK '' I'm out of here. I'll go back to my motherland, go back to Greece and get a house on one of the islands,'' Lee declared.
''The thing that stings the most is that I feel like we're embarrassing. I feel like people in Europe and the rest of the world look at America and think: 'What the f**k are you guys doing over there? Stop voting for celebrities and get someone real to run the country,''' he continued.
Lee went on to say that President Trump will ''do anything'' to win the White House in November and urged people to get out and vote for a Biden landslide victory.
''This guy [Trump] is going to do anything to win. It's going to be skullduggery, shenanigans, subterfuge,'' he said. ''And also, I feel that if we don't come out to vote in the numbers we need for a landslide that's not in his favour, he's going to contest the election. I don't think he's going to want to leave the White House. This thing is not a lock. I don't care what the polls say.''
Tommy Lee marches to a particularly nasty brand of leftist politics. Last year, he reposted to Instagram a viral statement from another social media user warning conservatives that progressives will pay them ''back so f***ing hard'' for President Trump.
''You 'Trumpsters' better pray that liberals never gain control of the [White House] again because we are going to pay you back so f***ing hard for all this s***,'' the post read
''Planned Parenthoods on every damn corner. We're going to repaint Air Force One p**** hat pink and fly it over your beloved Bible Belt 6 days a week, tossing birth control pills, condoms & atheist literature from the cockpit,'' it continued. ''We're going to tax your mega churches so bad that Joel [Osteen] will need to get a job at [Chick-fil-A] to pay his light bill. Speaking of [Chick-fil-A], we're buying all those and giving them to any LGBTQ person your sick cult leaders tortured with conversion therapy. Try the McPence. It's a boiled unseasoned chicken breast that you have to eat in the closet with your mother.''
As the post went on, it vowed to take away people's guns ''melt them down and turn them into a gargantuan metal mountain emblazoned with the face of Hillary Clinton.''
''ALL parks will be renamed Rosa Parks asap,'' it said. ''We're replacing Confederate statues with [Black Lives Matter] Leaders & Mexican immigrants. Every single public school will be renamed after a child that was kidnapped by this regime. And after we fumigate the [White House], we're repainting the whole thing rainbow.''
The post ended with a promise to take over Fox News and transform it ''into a family refugee shelter.''
''We're turning [Fox News host Sean] Hannity's office into a giant unisex bathroom with changing tables & free tampons,'' it said. ''And every single time a 'Trumpster' complains about any of the changes, we're adding an openly gay character to a Disney movie.''
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member .
When will there be a second stimulus check? We worked out some possible dates - CNET
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:31
Did you know? Different groups will get their stimulus checks at different times.
Sarah Tew/CNET The timeline for another stimulus check is a moving target, one we've been tracking ever since the first whispers caught our ears of another direct payment to help people in the US through the coronavirus recession . But with a three-way tug of war building in the nation's capitol , it's hard to say what will happen.
Talks could fall through until after the Nov. 3 election , or something could come together at the very last minute. We keep adjusting our projections -- we've mapped out four scenarios below -- based on the developments in Washington. Regardless of when a final bill passes that includes another stimulus payment (and by the way, that $1,200 cap is just the beginning ), there are other factors to keep in mind that will determine where in the scrimmage you stand, including the eventual qualifications, which could change .
For example, were you aware of the different groups of people who are likely to be in line to receive a check weeks and months before people at the end of the line? We explain what's going on and help you figure out which group you might be in, and how to possibly fall into a different category. While the dates might change, the overall schedule for when payments are sent should remain about the same.
Here's everything you need to know about the current state of negotiations. And read on for details that have to do with when your check could come -- regardless of when it's approved. (This story is updated often.)
What are the new dates the IRS could send my check on?Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said it would take about a week to process the first payments, when and if another stimulus check is signed into law. "I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people's direct accounts," he said in August.
We've speculated as to some potential dates if a bill becomes law before the Nov. 3 election or after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2021, based on current negotiations in Washington. Keep reading for more information.
Possible dates a second stimulus check could go out Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4 House passes final bill Oct. 26 Nov. 23 Dec. 7 Feb. 1 Senate passes final bill Oct. 27 Nov. 30 Dec. 8 Feb. 2 President signs Oct. 28 Dec. 1 Dec. 9 Feb. 3 First direct deposits sent Week of Nov. 16 Week of Dec. 14 Week of Dec. 21 Week of Feb. 8 First paper checks sent Week of Nov. 30 Week of Dec. 21 Week of Jan. 4 Week of Feb. 15 First EIP cards sent Week of Dec. 21 Week of Jan. 5 Week of Feb. 1 Week of Mar. 15 Why would someone get a check quicker than me?The IRS has so far sent money to at least 160 million people three different ways, starting with people who filed for direct deposit. Some people with more complicated scenarios are still waiting for their checks or even for catch-up payments . This creates a de facto priority order that could lead some Americans to receive their checks days or even weeks before others. We expect the IRS will adopt roughly the same system for sending out a second stimulus check in 2020 as it did with the first stimulus check, which was approved in March.
Read more: Estimate the size of your check with our stimulus calculator
Direct deposit is fastest: People who already have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS or who provide that info when and if registration opens again should be first in line to receive a stimulus check. An electronic transfer of funds is faster and more efficient, which is why this group largely got their first payment faster.
Now playing: Watch this: Next stimulus checks: What to expect
Social Security beneficiaries: With the first stimulus payment, many Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with the federal government received checks in the first week, though not always the first day.
People who get paper checks: The IRS began to mail checks about a week later to those without direct deposit data on file.
Keep track of the coronavirus pandemic.
EIP card recipients: Economic Impact Payment debit cards are prepaid Visa cards the IRS sent to about 4 million people starting in mid-May. If the IRS follows the same payment priority order, this group could begin to see their checks weeks after the first direct deposit transfers go out.
Last group: People who received checks after June, are still waiting to receive their stimulus payment or did not know they need to complete an extra step . Direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who weren't part of the previous groups. Here's what could be holding up the stimulus check delivery for some and how to contact the IRS to report a missing, lost or stolen check.
What's the longest I might have to wait for my check? While we expect most people to get their money sooner, if the first round is any indication, it could still take months for the IRS to send all the checks. Six months after the first stimulus payments went out, the federal agency is still trying to track down millions of people who may be owed money.
And even with the experience of processing roughly 160 million payments in the IRS' back pocket, some people would probably need to clear a few hurdles to receive their money. Here are common roadblocks that held up the first stimulus check .
There's hope that the IRS could speed up delivery of a second check, if it's authorized.
Angela Lang/CNET Where can I find more resources to help? If you're still waiting on the first round of payments, you can track the status of your stimulus check , learn how to report your no-show check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn't arrived .
And here are resources about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance , what you can do if you've lost your job , what to know about evictions and late car payments , if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and how to take control of your budget .
Microsoft takes down massive hacking operation that could have affected the election - CNN
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:17
Washington (CNN Business)Microsoft has disrupted a massive hacking operation that it said could have indirectly affected election infrastructure if allowed to continue.
The company said Monday it took down the servers behind Trickbot, an enormous malware network that criminals were using to launch other
cyberattacks, including a strain of highly potent
Microsoft said it obtained a federal court order to disable the IP addresses associated with Trickbot's servers, and worked with telecom providers around the world to stamp out the network. The action coincides with an offensive by US Cyber Command to disrupt the cybercriminals, at least temporarily, according to
The Washington Post.
Microsoft ( MSFT ) acknowledged that the attackers are likely to adapt and seek to revive their operations eventually. But, Microsoft said, the company's efforts reflect a "new legal approach" that may help authorities fight the network going forward.
Trickbot allowed hackers to sell what Microsoft said was a service to other hackers '-- offering them the capability to inject vulnerable computers, routers and other devices with other malware.
That includes ransomware, which Microsoft and US officials have warned could pose a risk to websites that display election information or to third-party software vendors that provide services to election officials.
"Adversaries can use ransomware to infect a computer system used to maintain voter rolls or report on election-night results, seizing those systems at a prescribed hour optimized to sow chaos and distrust," Microsoft VP of security Tom Burt wrote in a
Ransomware seizes control of target computers and freezes them until victims pay up '-- though experts urge those affected by ransomware not to encourage hackers by complying with their demands. The Treasury Department has warned that paying ransoms could violate US sanctions policy.
He added: "We have now cut off key infrastructure so those operating Trickbot will no longer be able to initiate new infections or activate ransomware already dropped into computer systems."
A separate technical report by Microsoft on Monday said Trickbot has been used to spread the Ryuk
ransomware. Security experts say Ryuk has been attacking 20 organizations per week, and was reportedly the ransomware that Universal Health Services, one of the nation's largest hospital companies.
But Trickbot has also been used to spread false and malicious emails containing malware that tried to lure victims in with messaging surrounding Black Lives Matter and Covid-19, Microsoft said.
Microsoft said Trickbot has infected more than 1 million computing devices globally since 2016 and that its operators have acted on behalf of both governments and criminal organizations, but their exact identity remains ambiguous.
Taking down Trickbot follows a series of attacks that became
highly publicized in recent weeks: One targeting Tyler Technologies, a software vendor used by numerous local governments, and Universal Health Services, one of the nation's largest hospital companies. A statement on Tyler Technologies' website has said the company does not directly make election software and the software it does produce that is used by election officials to display voting information is separate from its internal systems that were affected by the attack.
Ransomware could pose a risk to the election process if systems designed to support voting are brought down, according to Check Point threat analyst Lotem Finkelsteen, but so far experts regard it as "mainly a hypothetical threat right now."
VOTE BIDEN GET 'CROOKED': Hillary Auditions for SecDef in 5000-Word Pro-Biden Article Which Admits Massive Defense Jobs Cuts Plan
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:35
Former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and Benghazi belittler Hillary Clinton has penned a 5000-word opinion editorial for Foreign Affairs magazine '' a scarcely-read yet important foreign policy industry publication. The article clearly aims to establish Clinton as a potential Biden pick for Secretary of Defense: one of the most powerful cabinet positions in the U.S. government.The Trump campaign will surely see the audition by the very unpopular Hillary Clinton as a gift in the final days of the U.S. Presidential campaign. The idea of voting for Joe Biden and waking up with Hillary Clinton will send chills up the spine of even many Democrats, to whom both Clinton and Biden represent an old, tired, globalist worldview at odds with a ''progressive'' or even populist Democrat trajectory.
And Clinton appears to know this, too.
Her article contains a number of veiled mea culpas over globalism, though she repeatedly lumps the blame at Donald Trump's door for many of the problems caused '' in a national security sense '' by his predecessors:
''For decades, policymakers have thought too narrowly about national security and failed to internalize'--or fund'--a broader approach that encompasses threats not just from intercontinental ballistic missiles and insurgencies but also from cyberattacks, viruses, carbon emissions, online propaganda, and shifting supply chains. There is no more poignant example than the current administration's failure to grasp that a tourist carrying home a virus can be as dangerous as a terrorist planting a pathogen. President Barack Obama's national security staff left a 69-page playbook for responding to pandemics, but President Donald Trump's team ignored it, focusing instead on the threat of bioterrorism.''
The article even critiques U.S. reliance of China, a key part of Donald Trump's platform in both 2016 and 2020. She writes:
''[T]he pandemic has underscored how much the United States relies on China and other countries for vital imports'--not just lifesaving medical supplies but also raw materials such as rare-earth minerals and electronic equipment that powers everything from telecommunications to weapons systems.''
And while also appearing to lambast her own side's heartlessness over job losses '' she calls the left's ''learn to code'' mantra ''fanciful and condescending'' '' she also gives away that a Democratic plan for the ''modernization'' of the U.S. military would lead to massive job losses:
''No one should pretend that every defense job can be saved or replaced. Cutting hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending over the next decade will inevitably inflict a painful toll on families and communities across the country.''
The admission will further serve as a boon to the Trump campaign seeking to bolster its support amongst military families after a fake news onslaught wherein The Atlantic magazine invented sources in order to drive a wedge between the President and his traditional base.
The questions should now be asked of the Biden campaign:
Do you intend to appoint Hillary Clinton to the role of Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, or a similar high-level cabinet posiiton?Does Hillary's admission of major jobs cuts in the defense sector reflect the Biden campaign's priorities?Has Joe Biden spoken with Hillary Clinton over her prospective role in a Biden administration, or on national security matters? Raheem Kassam Raheem Kassam is the Editor-in-Chief of the National Pulse, and former senior advisor to Brexit leader Nigel Farage. Kassam is the best-selling author of 'No Go Zones' and 'Enoch Was Right', a co-host at the War Room: Impeachment podcast, a Lincoln fellow at the Claremont Institute, and a fellow at the Bow Group think tank. Kassam is an academic advisory board member at the Institut des Sciences Sociales, Economiques et Politiques in Lyon, France. He resides in Washington, D.C.
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The Parrot and Bin Laden
The Atheist Conservative: >> Alan Howell Parrot
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 12:10
'.... and Osama bin Laden.
It seems that bin Laden is not in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan, but in Iran. And it is possible he is being held captive there.
Ken Timmerman tells the story:
A new documentary film premiering at the prestigious Tribeca film festival in New York this week presents stunning new evidence that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is living in Iran, where the Iranian regime is sheltering him.
The film, ''Feathered Cocaine,'' began as a simple documentary of the illicit trade in hunting falcons to Middle East desert sheikhs. But as filmmakers Thorkell (Keli) Hardarson and rn Marino Arnarson delved deeper into their subject, they discovered a dark underworld in which terrorism and falcon smuggling met with astonishing regularity.
In March 2008, the filmmakers ventured into Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics along with Alan Parrot, the head of the Union for the Conservation of Raptors, a conservationist group that seeks to protect wild falcons, to interview a falcon smuggler they code-named ''T-2.''
For three days, the team waited in a mountain village while the smuggler kept them under surveillance from afar. Satisfied that they hadn't been followed, he granted them a 55-minute interview '-- only if they agreed to disguise his voice and his appearance. '...
''T-2'' told the filmmakers that he met bin Laden by chance in late November 2004 at a falcon-hunting camp in northeastern Iran.
''I met him five times after 2004,'' he said. ''The last time we met was in October 2007. Every time, it was in Iran.'' '...
''Feathered Cocaine'' includes excerpts from the footage with ''T-2,'' as well as interviews with lawyer John Loftus, former CIA clandestine officer Bob Baer, and others, including this reporter and former Washington Post reporter and terrorism expert Steve Coll.
Loftus revealed that ''T-2'' provided the filmmakers with the specific frequencies of small transmitters bin Laden had strapped to the backs of his hunting falcons so he could find them if they failed to return to base. Loftus said the CIA could use that information to track bin Laden and capture him, and that he offered it to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and to the heads of other U.S. intelligence agencies at the request of the filmmakers, with no response.
Last year, they approached ''Rewards for Justice,'' the State Department office that is offering a $50 million reward for information leading to bin Laden's capture, but never received any acknowledgement of their information.
Speaking to a packed house after the Tribeca premier on Friday, Parrot was asked to speculate about why ''T-2'' agreed to talk to the filmmakers, because the details surely would allow bin Laden to guess his identity.
''I believe that bin Laden wanted 'T-2' to send a message through us,'' Parrot said. ''He wanted the world to know that he was in Iran, but that he couldn't leave.''
In the movie, Parrot said the Iranian regime is giving bin Laden ''a long leash'' but is holding his family hostage in Tehran in the event bin Laden revealed his relationship to them. ''This was confirmed by one of bin Laden's sons last year,'' Parrot said.
Omar bin Laden, who married a British woman and broke with his father before the 9/11 attacks, revealed in December 2009 that seven of his siblings were living in Tehran and seeking to leave the country.
The story of American-born falconer Alan Howell Parrot lies at the center of this extraordinary tale and lends it credibility. Parrot began breeding falcons and selling them to the king of Saudi Arabia and then to the president of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) in the late 1970s, and was a frequent guest at their royal palaces and elaborate hunting camps in the wilds of southern Afghanistan.
In the late 1990s, so was renegade Saudi financier Osama bin Laden. Parrot described the royal hunting camps ''al-Qaida's board room,'' because they gave bin Laden the opportunity to spend weeks of quality time with wealthy backers from the U.A.E. and other gulf states.
Parrot alleges that bin Laden's royal backers transferred ''hundreds of millions of dollars'' in cash to him during these hunting expeditions, as well as military equipment and off-road vehicles. The movie includes footage of a U.A.E. military C-130 transport plane landing at a makeshift airstrip in western Pakistan to deliver equipment to the hunting camps.
''I see bin Laden as a falcon smuggler,'' Parrot states in the film, ''and in that capacity I went after him. All the locals in Kandahar hated bin Laden because he stole all the falcons.''
If only that had been his worst crime!
Osama bin Laden could have been eliminated at one of those camps. The CIA was for doing it, but President Clinton decided against it.
After al-Qaida blew up two U.S. embassies in Africa in July 1998, the CIA also began hunting for bin Laden in earnest. Local agents in Afghanistan spotted him at a royal hunting camp near Kandahar in February 1999, according to an account that appeared in the final report of the 9/11 Commission.
CIA Director George Tenet asked the White House for permission to launch a cruise missile strike on the camp on Feb. 8, 1999, but soon ran into interference from an unusual source: Richard Clarke, the top counter-terrorism adviser to President Clinton.
As the 9/11 Commission report concluded, ''policymakers were concerned about the danger that a strike would kill an Emirati prince or other senior officials who might be with bin Laden or close by,'' so they called off the strike.
On March 7, 1999, Richard Clarke called Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the U.A.E. defense minister, to ''express his concerns about possible associations between Emirati officials and bin Laden,'' the 9/11 Commission report states.
It is not clear whether Clarke told Mohammed that U.S. intelligence had evidence that U.A.E. officials were with bin Laden in Afghanistan, but after the call, bin Laden and his patrons quickly dispersed and the camps were dismantled.
Clarke claims the CIA approved the tip-off call. However, former CIA official John Mayer III told the commission it was ''almost impossible'' for the CIA to have approved Clarke's move .
''When the former bin Laden unit chief found out about Clarke's call, he questioned CIA officials, who denied having given such a clearance ,'' the report states. ''Imagery confirmed that, less than a week after Clarke's phone call, the camp was hurriedly dismantled and the site was deserted.''
Does Iran Harbor Osama Bin Laden? | ACD
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 12:18
By Huffington Post | by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 @ 3:40AM
Posted April 2, 2009 | 01:40 PM (EST) Osama Bin Laden is in Iran, asserts Alan Howell Parrot, the director of The Union for the Conservation of Raptors (UCR '' www.savethefalcons.org). In fact, he has been stating this, offering evidence of Bin Laden's sighting in Iran, since November 2004 to a great number of U.S. government officials at the Department of Defense, the FBI, Senators, and even to the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Gen. Michael V. Hayden. No one responded. Falconry is a 2,000-year-old tradition among Arabs, especially princes and sheikhs. They gather several times a year in well- equipped hunting camps in the Arabian deserts, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, among other places, to hunt with falcons that cost $100,000 and in some cases more than $2 million. Not surprisingly, the illegal trade in falcons is valued at more than $300 million annually.
Falconry is so popular in the Middle East that the founder of the Saudi kingdom, Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud, was known as ''the Falcon of the Peninsula'' (Al Saqr al Jazira). Saudi Prince Fahd bin Sultan described Falconry as the Arabs' ''form of golf, a place to relax and conduct business.'' Bin Laden is also known as an avid Falconer. Former White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke told the 9/11 Commission that in the 1999 the U.S. ''planned to bomb a Falconry camp in Pakistan when Osama bin Laden was present.'' That raid, however, ''was scrubbed because a minister from the United Arab Emirates was a member of the hunting party.''
Encouraged by president-elect Barak Obama's statement on January 14 in an interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric that his ''preference obviously would be to capture or kill him [Bin Laden]'', Parrot sent a letter to the Rewards for Justice program at the State Department detailing his efforts to track Bin Laden and providing information of bin Laden's whereabouts. Parrot also noted that he had discussed the matter with Iranian officials and that ''a negotiated and political (i.e. not-military) solution is available'' with the Iranian leadership. The letter was sent on January 20, but Parrot has yet to hear from Washington.
Parrot's story is as unconventional as he is. A Falconer who, in 1974, just 18 years old, began his career training hunting falcons for the Shah of Iran. He excelled in his work and was retained by wealthy Arabs in Kuwait and the Gulf States who flew him regularly from Ithaca, NY '' he studied biology at Cornell University '' to the Middle East. He left school after 3 years in favor of trapping and training falcons for The United Emirates (UAE) president and Abu Dhabi¾'s ruler Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayyan From 1981- 1991 he continued to work for Zayed, who hosted him in his many palaces where Parrot met and befriended many of the ruler's guests, including the late Yasser Arafat, who also enjoyed Zayed's largess for many years. Sheikh Zayed's recommendation opened doors to employment with other Arab leaders. Parrot also worked for Saudi Crown Prince '' now King '' Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
A true bird lover, Parrot could not tolerate the illegal smuggling and abuse of falcons he witnessed the world over, and from 1978 -1984 he participated as a civilian undercover agent in ''Operation Falcon,'' conducted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) to stop the multi-million dollar international smuggling of North American falcons to the Middle East. That operation resulted in the arrest of 300+ falcon smugglers the world over. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the former Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., was also caught smuggling falcons from the U.S. on board a Royal Saudi Airlines charted plane. Bandar paid his $150,000 fine to the Department of Justice from his Washington DC Riggs Bank account. It was the same account which Bandar's wife used to pay two of the 9/11 hijackers. True to form, Bandar threatened the U.S. government with oil sanctions if the story leaked; not surprisingly, the public remained in the dark.
In praise of his work in Operation Falcon, Parrot received two letters of commendation from the Canadian government. Together with a dedicated team of like-minded falcon lovers, Parrot continued to collect evidence on falcon smuggling throughout Central Asia, Russia, China, and the Middle East. In 2001 he established The Union for the Conservation of Raptors (UCR), a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Its mandate pertains ¾'to the conservation and sustainable management of raptors, with specialized expertise on Middle East falconry practices and smuggling cartels with operational linkage to al-Qaeda.¾-- Parrot found out that the Secretariat for the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has violated its own mandate by licensing illegal trade in sport-falcons to Arab rulers and sheikhs. This led to the creation of 'five star' tented cities erected throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and Afghanistan, like the royal falconry camp that served as Al Qaeda's de facto 'Board room,' referenced in the 9/11 Commission Report.
Parrot's passion to save the falcons led him and his expert team to bin Laden. In November 2004 a UCR field operator in Iran happened to meet bin Laden. Parrot brought the very detailed and seemingly convincing evidence to my attention. I then introduced him to former senior US military officials. Between November 2004 and January 2009 Parrot says he has ''diligently reported UCR meetings with Bin Laden in Iran, to U.S. government agencies. At no time did the Bush Administration request interviews with any of the UCR field operators who tracked and met bin Laden in Iran.'' Parrot provided accounts of bin Laden¾'s movement and details of six meetings UCR's operators had with bin Laden in Iran; some were held near Zehedan, in Southern Iran, others in a safe house North of Tehran and in Mashhad. Moreover, Parrot claims that he has negotiated with Iranian officials the transfer of bin Laden from Iran to the custody of the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud al Fisal. Since these detailed reports have been persistent and the sources appear reliable, one hopes that the Obama Administration would follow them up. If indeed the Iranian regime harbors Osama bin Laden, it should be a major factor in the U.S. dealings with Iran.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed '' and How to Stop It, is director of American Center for Democracy
Safari Club - Wikipedia
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 12:25
The Safari Club was a covert alliance of intelligence services formed in 1976 that ran clandestine operations around Africa at a time when the United States Congress had limited the power of the CIA after years of abuses and when Portugal was withdrawing from Africa. Its formal members were the pre-revolution Iran (Pahlavi dynasty), Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and France. The group maintained informal connections with the United States, South Africa, Rhodesia and Israel. The group executed a successful military intervention in Zaire in response to an invasion from Angola. It also provided arms to Somalia in its 1977''1978 conflict with Ethiopia. It organized secret diplomacy relating to anti-Communism in Africa, and has been credited with initiating the process resulting in the 1979 Egypt''Israel Peace Treaty.
Organization Edit Alexandre de Marenches initiated the pact with messages to the four other countries'--and to newly independent Algeria, which declined to participate.
The original charter was signed in 1976 by leaders and intelligence directors from the five countries:
France '' Alexandre de Marenches, Director of the Service de Documentation Ext(C)rieure et de Contre-Espionnage (SDECE), the external intelligence agencySaudi Arabia '' Kamal Adham, Director of Intelligence Al Mukhabarat Al A'amahEgypt '' General Kamal Hassan Ali, Director of the Intelligence MukhabaratMorocco '' General Ahmed Dlimi, Director of Intelligence and commander of the Royal Moroccan ArmyIran '' General Nematollah Nassiri of SAVAK (Iranian Intelligence)The charter begins: "Recent events in Angola and other parts of Africa have demonstrated the continent's role as a theatre for revolutionary wars prompted and conducted by the Soviet Union, which utilizes individuals or organizations sympathetic to, or controlled by, Marxist ideology."
The group's purpose was therefore to oppose Soviet influence by supporting anti-Communists. The charter also says that the group intends to be "global in conception". Its formation has been attributed to interlocking interests of the countries involved (which were already cooperating to some degree). Alongside ideological pursuit of global anti-Communism, these included the more concrete goals of military strategy and economic interests. (Examples include international mining operations and investments in apartheid South Africa's Transvaal Development Company.)
Infrastructure Edit The club sat on ninety-one acres of magnificent landscape, with Mount Kenya as a backdrop. There were mountain streams, rose gardens, waterfalls flowing into quiet pools'... Peacocks, storks, ibexes, and exotic birds strolled about'...''
Ronald Kessler, The Richest Man in the World: The Story of Adnan Khashoggi, 1986
Mount Kenya Safari Club, from which the alliance derives its name.
The Safari Club takes its name (reportedly de Marenches' idea) after the exclusive resort in Kenya where the group first met in 1976. The club was operated by Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi'--also a friend of Adham's.
The original charter establishes that an operations centre would be built by 1 September 1976 in Cairo. The group made its headquarters there, and its organization included a secretariat, a planning wing, and an operations wing. Meetings were also held in Saudi Arabia and in Egypt. The group made large purchases of real estate and secure communications equipment.
The creation of the Safari Club coincided with the consolidation of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). The BCCI served to launder money, particularly for Saudi Arabia and the United States'--whose CIA director in 1976, George H. W. Bush, had a personal account. "The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations. With the official blessing of George Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a worldwide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world in order to create the biggest clandestine money network in history."
BCCI also served as an intelligence gathering mechanism by virtue of its extensive contacts with underground organizations worldwide. "They contrived, with Bush and other intelligence-service heads, a plan that seemed too good to be true. The bank would solicit the business of every major terrorist, rebel, and underground organization in the world. The invaluable intelligence thus gained would be discreetly distributed to 'friends' of the BCCI."
United States involvement Edit The United States was not a formal member of the group, but was involved to some degree, particularly through its Central Intelligence Agency. Henry Kissinger is credited with the American strategy of supporting the Safari Club implicitly '-- allowing it to fulfill American objectives by proxy without risking direct responsibility. This function became particularly important after the U.S. Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973 and the Clark Amendment in 1976, reacting against covert military actions orchestrated within the government's Executive branch.
An important factor in the nature of U.S. involvement concerned changing domestic perceptions of the CIA and government secrecy. The Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee had recently launched investigations that revealed decades of illegal operations by the CIA and the FBI. The Watergate scandal directed media attention at these secret operations served as a proximate cause for these ongoing investigations. Jimmy Carter discussed public concerns over secrecy in his campaign, and when he took office in January 1977 he attempted to reign in the scope of covert CIA operations. In a 2002 speech at Georgetown University, Prince Turki of the Saudi Arabian intelligence service described the situation like so:
In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Iran. The principal aim of this club was that we would share information with each other and help each other in countering Soviet influence worldwide, and especially in Africa.
As the Safari Club was beginning operations, former CIA Director Richard Helms and agent Theodore "Ted" Shackley were under scrutiny from Congress and feared that new covert operations could be quickly exposed. Peter Dale Scott has classified the Safari Club as part of the "second CIA" '-- an extension of the organization's reach maintained by an autonomous group of key agents. Thus even as Carter's new CIA director Stansfield Turner attempted to limit the scope of the agency's operations, Shackley, his deputy Thomas Clines, and agent Edwin P. Wilson secretly maintained their connections with the Safari Club and the BCCI.
Undercover operations without congressional oversight Edit The Safari Club used an informal division of labor in conducting its global operations. Saudi Arabia provided money, France provided high-end technology, and Egypt and Morocco supplied weapons and troops. The Safari Club typically coordinated with American and Israeli intelligence agencies.
Safari Club Debut: Shaba Province of Zaire Edit The Safari Club's first action came in March''April 1977, in response to the Shaba I conflict in Zaire after a call for support was made in the interest of protecting the French and Belgium mining. The Safari Club answered and came to the aid of Zaire'--led by the Western-backed and anti-Communist Mobutu'--in repelling an invasion by the Front for the National Liberation of the Congo (FNLC). France airlifted Moroccan and Egyptian troops into Shaba province and successfully repelled the attackers. Belgium and the United States also provided material support. The Shaba conflict served as a front in the Angolan Civil War and also helped to defend French and Belgian mining interests in the Congo.
The Safari Club ultimately provided $5 million USD in assistance for Jonas Savimbi's National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
Egypt''Israel peace talks Edit The group helped to mediate talks between Egypt and Israel, leading to Sadat's visit to Jerusalem in 1977, the Camp David Accords in 1978, and the Egypt''Israel Peace Treaty in 1979. This process began with a Moroccan member of the Safari Club personally transporting a letter from Yitzhak Rabin to Sadat (and reportedly warning him of a Libyan assassination plot); this message was followed by secret talks in Morocco'--supervised by King Hassan II'--with Israeli general Moshe Dayan, Mossad director Yitzhak Hofi and Egyptian intelligence agent Hassan Tuhami. Immediately after CIA Director Stansfield Turner told an Israeli delegation that the CIA would no longer provide special favors to Israel, Shackley (who remained active in the Safari Club) contacted Mossad and presented himself as their CIA contact.
Ethiopia and Somalia Edit Map showing
Ogaden region of Ethiopia in relation to Somalia
The Safari Club backed Somalia in the 1977''1978 Ethio-Somali War after Cuba and the USSR sided with Ethiopia. This conflict erupted when Somalia attempted to gain control over the (ethnically Somali) Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Prior to the war, the USSR had supported both states militarily. After failing to negotiate a ceasefire, the USSR intervened to defend Ethiopia. The Soviet-backed Ethiopian forces'--supported by more than ten thousand troops from Cuba, more than one thousand military advisors, and about $1 billion worth of Soviet armaments'--defeated the Somali army and threatened a counter-attack. The Safari Club approached Somali leader Siad Barre and offered arms in exchange for repudiating the Soviet Union. Barre agreed, and Saudi Arabia paid Egypt $75 million for its older Soviet weapons. Iran supplied old weapons (reportedly including M-48 tanks) from the U.S.
The events of Somalia brought unique divergence between the official policies of the U.S. and the Safari Club. Carter, perturbed by Somalia's unexpected aggressiveness, decided against publicly backing Somalia, and the shah of Iran was forced to deliver the message from Carter that "You Somalis are threatening to upset the balance of world power." But On 22 August 1980, Carter's Department of State announced a broad plan for military development in Somalia, including construction of a base as well as economic and military aid to the Somali army.[citation needed ] This policy would continue into the Reagan administration.
Arming and funding the Mujahideen Edit Safari Club members, the BCCI, and the United States cooperated in arming and funding the Afghan mujahideen to oppose the Soviet Union. The core of this plan was an agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia to match each other in funding Afghan resistance to the USSR. Like military support for Somalia, this policy began in 1980 and continued into the Reagan administration.
Further developments Edit President Jimmy Carter and the
Shah of Iran in White House, 15 November 1977.
The Safari Club could not continue as it was when the 1978''1979 Iranian Revolution neutralized the Shah as an ally. However, arrangements between the remaining powers continued on the same course. William Casey, Ronald Reagan's campaign manager, succeeded Turner as director of the CIA. Casey took personal responsibility for maintaining contacts with Saudi intelligence, meeting monthly with Kamal Adham and then Prince Turki. Some of the same actors were later connected to the Iran''Contra affair.
The existence of the Safari Club was discovered by the Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, who was permitted to review documents confiscated during the Iranian Revolution.
See also Edit Foreign relations of South Africa during apartheidHalloween MassacreLe CercleOperation Condor, a similar covert anti-communist alliance of South American intelligence services.References Edit ^ U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels, The New York Times, Jan. 23, 2016 ^ a b c d Cooley, Unholy Wars, p. 17. ^ a b Heikal, Iran: The Untold Story (1982), p. 113. ^ a b Cooley, Unholy Wars, p. 15. ^ a b Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim (2004), p. 84. "The existence of the club came to light after the 1979 Iranian Revolution when Mohamed Heikal, a highly respected Egyptian journalist and onetime advisor to President Nasser, was given permission by the new Khomeni government to go through the deposed Shah's archives. Heikal came upon an agreement setting up a formal association, dated September 1, 1976, and signed by the heads of several intelligence agencies, all strategic allies of the United States in the Cold War. ^ Miglietta, American Alliance Policy (2002), p. 20. "The Shah provided covert assistance to groups seeking to destabilize the governments of Soviet allies in the region such as Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as providing assistance to pro-Western governments such as Oman and South Vietnam. In an effort to further advance these goals, the Shah associated Iran with a group of conservative Middle Eastern and African states in an informal organization known as the Safari Club. This group was dedicated to blocking the spread of Soviet influence in the third world." ^ a b c Robert Lacey, Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia, London: Penguin, 2009; ISBN 9781101140734; p. Google Books preview. ^ a b Heikal, Iran: The Untold Story (1982), p. 114. ^ Cooley, Unholy Wars, p. 16. ^ Heikal, Iran: The Untold Story (1982), p. 112. ^ Scott, The Road to 9/11 (2008), pp. 62''63. "The Safari Club met at an exclusive resort of the same name in Kenya, which in the same year, 1976, was visited and eventually bought by Adham's friend Adnan Kashoggi. ^ Trento, Prelude to Terror (2005), p. 104. ^ Trento, Prelude to Terror (2005), p. 105. ^ Cooley, Unholy Wars, p. 15. "The Carter team adopted a method of avoiding the stigma of direct CIA involvement in covert operations which could go wrong and backfire on the United States. It was a method which Henry Kissinger, first as President Richard Nixon's national security advisor, then as Secretary of State, had refined and applied with skill: get others to do what you want done, while avoiding the onus or blame if the operation fails." ^ Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim (2004), pp. 80''84. ^ a b c Peter Dale Scott, "Launching the U.S. Terror War: the CIA, 9/11, Afghanistan, and Central Asia", Asia''Pacific Journal 10(12), 16 March 2012. ^ Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, February 2002, quoted in Trento, Prelude to Terror (2005), p. 102. ^ Trento, Prelude to Terror (2005), p. 113''114. "Shackley, who still had ambitions to become DCI, believed that without his many sources and operatives like Wilson, the Safari Club '-- operating with Helms in charge in Tehran '-- would be ineffective. Shackley was well aware that Helms was under criminal investigation for lying to Congress about the CIA in Chile. Shackley had testified before the same grand jury. Unless Shackley took direct action to complete the privatization of intelligence operations soon, the Safari Club would not have a conduit to DO resources. The solution: create a totally private intelligence network using CIA assets until President Carter could be replaced." ^ Trento, Prelude to Terror (2005), p. 314. "The Safari Club was run by the Saudis. It was a club to serve their purposes through the CIA. Shackley and Wilson were not members; only nations could belong. Shackley and Wilson were men who served the club in exchange for power, influence, and money." ^ Bronson, Thicker than Oil (2006), p. 132. "Each Safari Club member brought unique capabilities. France supplied technical equipment for communications and security. Egypt and Morocco provided weapons and manpower. Saudi Arabia financed the group's efforts. The club worked because it reinforced preexisting arrangements. The Saudis were already buying French Mirages for Egypt's arsenal and providing Morocco with financial aid, which by 1980 amounted to around $1 billion a year." ^ Issandr el Amrani, "Security Policy and Democratic Reform in Morocco: Between Public Discourse and Reality"; in Arab State and Neo-Liberal Globalization : The Restructuring of State Power in the Middle East, ed. Laura Guazzone and Daniela Pioppi; Ithaca Press, 2009; ISBN 9780863723391; p. 307. "[Morocco] took part in an informal intelligence-gathering and military operations network known as the 'Safari Club', a late 1970s US-led effort at destabilization of pro-Soviet Sub-Saharan African countries involving France, Egypt, (pre-revolutionary) Iran and Saudi Arabia, created to some extent to enable parts of the American intelligence community to conduct undercover operations without congressional oversight. Morocco's role in that particular initiative was to provide 'muscle' for counter-insurgency operations, as it did in 1978 in Kowelzi, a mining city in southern Zaire that had been overtaken by rebels." ^ Ibrahim Warde, The Price of Fear: Al-Qaeda and the Truth Behind the Financial War on Terror, London: I.B.Taurus, 2007; ISBN 9781850434245; p. 133."The various members of that group contributed in different ways. Saudi Arabia's contribution was by and large limited to providing money. Under such 'checkbook diplomacy,' the Saudi government would finance, with no questions asked, covert operations in countries such as Angola and Nicaragua." ^ Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim (2004), p. 85. "The club's first success was in the Congo. Faced with a rebellion in mineral-rich Katanga (now Shaba) province in April 1977 and a plea for help from French and Belgian mining interests conveyed through their close ally Mobutu, the club combined French air transport with logistical support from diverse sources to bring Moroccan and Egyptian troops to fight the rebellion." ^ Elaine Windrich, "The laboratory of hate: The role of clandestine radio in the Angolan War", International Journal of Cultural Studies 3(2), 2000; accessed via Sage, DOI: 10.1177/136787790000300209. ^ Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim (2004), p. 85. "The club registered an even greater success when it helped bring about the historic rapprochement between two strategic American allies, Egypt and Israel, laying the ground for Anwar al-Sadat's pathbreaking November 1977 visit to Jerusalem." ^ Heikal, Iran: The Untold Story (1982), p. 116. "In a way, however, the Club could claim responsibility for President Sadat's initiative which took him to Jerusalem in November 1977. The first letter suggesting a meeting came from Rabin when he was still Israeli Prime Minister and was carried to Sadat by Ahmed Duleimi, the Moroccan representative in the Club, and it was under the auspices of King Hassan that an initial meeting took place in Morocco between Moshe Dayan and an Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister." ^ Cooley, Unholy Wars, pp. 17''18. ^ Xavier Cornut, "The Moroccan connection", Jerusalem Post, 22 June 2009. ^ Trento, Prelude to Terror (2005), p. 110. "According to Crowley, Shackley 'went out, dropped a quarter in the telephone, and contacted Mossad. He went around Turner and contacted Mossad and said he would be their man in the Agency. Shackley moved quickly to fill the Angleton void." ^ Lefebvre, Arms for the Horn (1992), pp. 179. ^ Gebru Tareke, "The Ethiopia-Somalia War of 1977 Revisited", The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 33(3), 2000; accessed via JStor. ^ Bronson, Thicker than Oil (2006), p. 134. "Encouraged by Saudi Arabia, Safari Club members approached Somali president Siad Barre and offered to provide the arms he needed if he stopped taking Russian aid. Barre agreed. Egypt then sold Somalia $75 million worth of its unwanted Soviet arms, with Saudi Arabia footing the bill." ^ Miglietta, American Alliance Policy (2002), p. 78. "American military goods were provided by Egypt and Iran, which transferred excess arms from their inventories. It was said that American M-48 tanks sold to Iran were shipped to Somalia via Oman." ^ Lefebvre, Arms for the Horn (1992), p. 188. "Washington had done little to control, and seemingly had encouraged, Egypt, Iran, and Saudi Arabia to take advantage of the more liberal policies of other Western states and make third-party arms transfers to Somalia. Reports surfaced that U.S.-made M-48 tanks, originally sold to Iran, had reached Somalia by way of Oman." ^ Ofira Seliktar, Failing the Crystal Ball Test: The Carter Administration and the Fundamentalist Revolution in Iran, Westport CT: Praeger, 2000; ISBN 9780275968724; p. 53. "Iran became a crucial player in the Red Sea Entente'--known as the Safari Club'--which also included Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Egypt. In the early seventies the shah put down a leftist rebellion in Dhofar and helped Morocco fight Polissario guerrillas in Sahara. However, when the shah moved to help Somalia in its struggle with Marxist Ethiopia, the Carter administration rebuffed his effort, signalling that the Entente was dead." ^ Lefebvre, Arms for the Horn (1992), pp. 176''177. ^ Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim (2004), p. 86. ^ Miglietta, American Alliance Policy (2002), p. 78. "This led the Red Sea Entente countries of Saudia Arabia and Iran, as well as Somalia, to view Washington as having let them down and backing away from its commitments at the last moment." ^ Roy Pateman, "Intelligence Operations in the Horn of Africa"; in Disaster and Development in the Horn of Africa, ed. John Sorenson; Houndmills & London: Macmillan, 1995; ISBN 0-333-60799-6; p. 61. "France had some influence in Somalia, both through its presence in neighboring Djibouti and via its membership of the Safari club, that played a key role in persuading Siad Barre to expel the Soviets in 1978 in exchange for arms (Faligot and Krop 1989:257). For a while, after the Soviet ouster, the US developed Somalia as a regional base. According to the former US Charg(C) d'affaires in Mogadishu, in ten years the US spend $50m on Somalia; $17m was devoted to construction of a massive communications centre at the embassy, and much of the rest in retooling a Soviet-built radar complex (Rawson:1992)." ^ Scott, The Road to 9/11 (2008), p. 64. "A key example would soon be the 1980s CIA support of the resistance in Afghanistan, where CIA's disastrous favoring of drug traffickers had grown directly out of the Safari Club arrangement and was partly handled through BCCI. This loss of control will emerge as a major factor in our nation's slouching toward the tragedy of 9/11". ^ Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, New York: Penguin, 2004; ISBN 9781594200076; pp. 81''82. ^ Scott, American War Machine (2010), p. 172. "It is certain that, with the blessing of Casey'--who had his own direct contacts with Rappaport, BCCI, and the global drug connection'--Shackley, Khashoggi, and their contacts led to Iran''Contra. At least one member of Shackley's group, Richard Secord, then created an airline that brought Islamist mujahideen to Afghanistan. Another, neoconservative Michael Ledeen, contributed not only to Iran''Contra but also, with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, to the creation of the Project for the New American Century." ^ David Seddon, "Safari Club", Political and Economic Dictionary of the Middle East, London: Europa (Taylor & Francis), 2004; ISBN 9781857432121; p. 590. ^ Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim (2004), p. 87. "The Safari Club vindicated the essence of the Kissinger perspective: the constraints of democracy at home required that the United States work through proxies in the international arena. In the search for proxies, South Africa continued to have a special place. ^ Scott, The Road to 9/11 (2008), p. 62. "The Halloween Massacre reversed another apparent victory for the public state over the deep state. [...] the new CIA director, George H.W. Bush, found a way to avoid the newly imposed rules of congressional oversight. ^ Scott, The Road to 9/11 (2008), p. 105. "The role of de Marenches is significant, and explains a lot about his subsequent impact on U.S. policy in Afghanistan. De Marenches was a right-winger, a member of the Pinay Circle that claimed credit for the election of Margaret Thatcher's government in Britain. De Marenches had also helped with Kamal Adham of Saudi intelligence (and later BCCI) to organize the so-called Safari Club that worked in the 1970s to reconcile Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco in the face of the Soviet threat." ^ Scott, The Road to 9/11 (2008), p. 63. "These offshore events in 1976 were mirrored by a similar arrangement for off-loading former CIA agents and operations in Latin America. This was the Confederaci"n Anticomunista Latinoamaericana (CAL) and its death-squad collaboration Operation Condor. Operation Condor was a coalition of intelligence agencies of CAL countries, chiefly Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay. The CAL was funded through the World Anti-Communist League by the governments of South Korea and Taiwan and'--once again'--the petrodollars of Saudi Arabia." Sources Edit Bronson, Rachel. Thicker than Oil: Oil:America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 9780195167436Heikal, Mohamed. Iran: The Untold Story: An Insider's Account of America's Iranian Adventure and Its Consequences for the Future. New York: Pantheon, 1982. ISBN 0-394-52275-3Cooley, John. Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism. London: Pluto Press, 1999; 3rd edition, 2002. ISBN 9780745319179Lefebvre, Jeffrey A. Arms for the Horn: U.S. Security Policy in Ethiopia and Somalia, 1953''1991. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992. ISBN 9780822985334Mamdani, Mahmood. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terrorism. New York: Pantheon, 2004. ISBN 0-375-42285-4Miglietta, John P. American Alliance Policy in the Middle East, 1945-1992: Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002. ISBN 9780739103043Scott, Peter Dale. The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America. University of California Press, 2008. ISBN 9780520258716Scott, Peter Dale. American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. ISBN 9781442205895Trento, Joseph J. Prelude to Terror: Edwin P. Wilson and the Legacy of America's Private Intelligence Network. New York: Carroll & Graf (Avalon), 2005. ISBN 9780786717668
The Axis Of Evil '-- The Safari Club, CIA & B.C.C.I Bank | by Adam Fitzgerald | Medium
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 12:38
''In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran.'' (Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi intelligence from 1977''2001)
The Safari Club was founded on September 1,1976'...An Egyptian reporter digging through Iranian government archives had unearthed the documents which showed this secretive club operating within the Middle East region. The group plays a secret role in political intrigues in many countries, mostly in Africa and the Middle East while being primarily funded thru secret back door deals and from the governments banks and independent operations. One of the primary functions of generating funds to satisfy their secret operations and tasks was thru the Pakistani merchant bank, Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). Saudi Intelligence Minister Kamal Adham was the director general of Saudi Arabia's Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah or the general intelligence directorate. Known as a very gregarious man, he also served as a royal counselor to both King Faisal and King Khalid.
Just 3.5 years prior, The Bank Credit Commerce International (BCCI) was founded in 1972 by a Pakistani named Agha Hasan Abedi, who was an associate of Adham's. Many countries aligned with the Safari Club would have closed door meetings with the bank's leading managers. In time the Central Intelligence Agency would also shadow the Club, but would not become an official member. Instead it remained as a close partner of it's formal members. George H.W. Bush, Director of the CIA, would open an account with BCCI, and have many dealings with important members within the banks account holders. In time, BCCI becomes the fastest growing bank in the world, as Time magazine will describe it as not just a bank, but also ''a global intelligence operation and a Mafia-like enforcement squad. Operating primarily out of the bank's offices in Karachi, Pakistan, the 1,500-employee black network has used sophisticated spy equipment and techniques, along with bribery, extortion, kidnapping, and even, by some accounts, murder. The black network '-- so named by its own members '-- stops at almost nothing to further the bank's aims the world over.''
The Club's purpose was therefore to oppose Soviet influence by supporting anti-Communists. John P. Miglietta's book, American Alliance Policy In the Middle East 1945''1992, outlined the importance for the formation of the Safari Club:
''The Shah provided covert assistance to groups seeking to destabilize the governments of Soviet allies in the region such as Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as providing assistance to pro-Western governments such as Oman and South Vietnam. In an effort to further advance these goals, the Shah associated Iran with a group of conservative Middle Eastern and African states in an informal organization known as the Safari Club. This group was dedicated to blocking the spread of Soviet influence in the third world.''
As the Safari Club was beginning operations, former CIA Director Richard Helms and agent Theodore Shackley were under scrutiny from Congress and feared that new covert operations could be quickly exposed.. Peter Dale Scott has classified the Safari Club as part of the ''second CIA'' '-- an extension of the organization's reach maintained by an autonomous group of key agents. Thus even as Carter's new CIA director Stansfield Turner attempted to limit the scope of the agency's operations, Shackley, his deputy Thomas Clines and agent Edwin P. Wilson secretly maintained their connections with the Safari Club and the BCCI.
The ''Safari Club'' which was formed thru covert means, was signed by five of each countries dignitaries:
Alexandre de Marenches, (le Service de Documentation Ext(C)rieure et de Contre-Espionnage, France's external intelligence agency)
Kamal Adham (Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Directorate)
Kamal Hassan Ali (Egyptian Director of Intelligence)
Ahmed Dlimi (Moroccan Director of Intelligence and commander of the Moroccan Army)
General Nematollah Nassiri (Iran's SAVAK)
They would all sign to the charter, kept in a locked safe under the watchful eyes of Alexandre de Marenches. The goal was pretty straight forward, to stop the impending force of communism from the Soviet Union, by affiliating and financially supporting the ''anti-communists''. Here the old adage, ''the enemy of my enemy is my friend'' would come into play for certain countries of the Safari Club. Although the United States was itself not a member, the CIA led by William Colby (Director) was involved thru back-door deals, continued by it's next director and even more ''fiercely'' loyal to the apparatus, George H.W. Bush in 1977. The name of the Safari Club was of course de Marenches idea after his trip with notable associates to a resort in Kenya in 1976 where they first met along with Adham, Ali and Nassiri. It's headquarters would be in Cairo, Egypt. The Safari Club would begin opening accounts, made thru CIA Director Bush in 1977, using B.C.C.I Bank as its main conduit to funnel large sums of money, to the tune of tens of millions to Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi who was also close friends with Kamal Adham Saudi Dierctor of the GID. Adham was also appointed by Saudi King Faisal to head the GID as well as begin to have closer affairs with Egypt and its State Security Investigations Service intelligence arm.
April 27,1978'...Nur Muhammad Tarak and the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) otherwise known as the Khalq faction supported by the Marxist supporters in the former Soviet Union seize total power in Afghanistan, Afghanistan President Sardar Mohammed Daoud is overthrown and murdered in a coup led by pro-communist rebels. While the country implements better education and a more secular point of view, mass executions take place (including of many conservative religious leaders) and political oppression unprecedented in Afghan history, igniting a revolt by mujaheddin rebels. Following a general uprising in April 1979, Taraki was deposed by Khalq rival Hafizullah Amin in September.
Hafizullah Amin along with the Afghan communists were even more brutal against the Sunni farmers and Afghan population. Their tactics were capricious in it's apathy which shocked even the Soviet handlers in the communist homeland of the Soviet Union. By December, Amin's government had lost control of much of the country, prompting the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan, execute Amin, and install Parcham leader Babrak Karmal as president. U.S. President Jimmy Carter was surprised to hear from his White House advisers that the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan, it was seen as a complete power move for global domination, and wrest away the power structure from the United States in the Middle East. As soon as the smoke cleared after the invasion, Carter was determined to respond vigorously to what he considered a dangerous provocation. In a televised speech, he announced sanctions on the Soviet Union, promised renewed aid to Pakistan, and committed the U.S. to the Persian Gulf's defense.
Other countries began to follow suit. British prime minister Margaret Thatcher enthusiastically backed Carter's tough stance, although British intelligence believed ''the CIA was being too alarmist about the Soviet threat to Pakistan. By early 1980, Carter initiated a program to arm the mujaheddin through Pakistan's ISI and secured a pledge from Saudi Arabia to match U.S. funding for this purpose. U.S. support for the mujaheddin accelerated under Carter's successor, Ronald Reagan.
The CIA began covertly assisting the Afghan rebels by providing them with arms and funding thru numerous faction led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-e Islami, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf leader of the Islamic Union for Liberation of Afghanistan and Ahmad Shah Massoud leader of the Jamiat-e Islami. The main Afghan services office, or Maktab al-Khiadamat, was led by three people who helped assist Islamic and Afghan fighters from around the world to inject the cause for Jihad, they were Abdullah Azzam, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama Bin Laden. This office would also benefit from funding from the CIA and Saudi elites in the kingdom.
The Pakistan ISI, CIA and British MI6 would begin funneling hundreds of millions as well as military grade weaponry to the Mujaheddin some of that funding even saw its way thru to the hands of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Abdul Rasol Sayyaf and even to the Mahktab al-Khidamat in its main office in Peshawar, Pakistan. Although according to Ayman al-Zawahiri, none of that money from the CIA saw its way to Osama Bin Laden, who refused any American funding as he had used his assets from his father's construction business to help build roads and have construction equipment brought in from the Saudi firm Saudi BinLadin Group. Stinger missiles, approved by U.S President Ronald Reagan and assisted by CIA Director George H.W.Bush, thru ''Operation Cyclone'' had helped turn the tide of the war to the benefit of the Mujaheddin, and the CIA was the primary benefactor. The CIA had also began funneling money to the Mujaheddin recruitment offices (Mahktab al-Khidamat) inside the United States in major junctures like Arizona, Chicago, Oklahoma, New York & New Jersey.
With the Iranian Revolution in full tilt, the Safari Club ceased operations, but would continue to exist under more covert means. By this time William Casey was now the Director of the CIA and began solidifying the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. They both would use the Soviet-Afghan War as the means to an end, to finally eliminate the Communist bloc from expanding any further, but the final result would have a more far-reaching and dangerous adversary in ''Islamic Extremism'' which would be supported by the Saudi Kingdom as a means to divert attention away from being itself a victim of said terrorism. Hundreds of millions would find its way to madrassas thru-ought Southeast Asia and in the United States, with the CIA either looking the other way or being completely ignorant of said funding.
These funds would help build and recruit Sunni extremists (Wahhabi) from all over the world, and some even made their way in the states outlined above, where the backlash wouldn't be felt until the 1990's. Near the end of the Soviet-Afghan war, the B.C.C.I Bank had now accesses to 4 billion dollars held in 145 branches in 46 countries. With hidden accounts and money laundering from some of the world's most nefarious individuals including, Osama Bin Laden, Mummar Ghaddafi, Abu Nidal and even the Medellin Cartel. According to a Time Report by Richard Lacayo in 2001, when B.C.C.I had been brought unto the light by a British investigation code-named ''Sandtsrom'' the CIA along with the National Security Agency (United States) had many accounts in the now suspect bank.
''Alan Fiers, head of the CIA's Central America task force from 1984 to 1986, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of lying to Congress about when high- ranking intelligence officials first learned of the illegal diversion of funds to the contras. Fiers said he became aware of the diversions and informed Clair George, then the CIA's deputy director for operations, in the summer of 1986. But, Fiers said, George ordered him to deny any knowledge of the transfers when he testified before the House intelligence committee that October. In exchange for being allowed to plead guilty to two misdemeanors instead of more serious felonies, Fiers is now assisting Walsh's investigation. With his help, Walsh will probably seek a perjury indictment of George and perhaps other present and former government officials.''
The Sandstrom Report draft can be viewed here:
By 1989, the Soviets retreated under the mediation of Pakistan held by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. With a full withdrawal in plan, the U.S affinity with the war ended suddenly to the surprise of even other world agencies, it left the Mujaheddin without any plan for w future, as many of them returned back to their countries of origin, and left Afghanistan in a state of dismay and turmoil as two civil wars took place killing far more in just 9 years than ten years of war with the Soviets. This would anger some of the Sunni affiliates and their radical Islamists, this would come back to haunt the United States in the years to come.
The Iran-Contra scandal had saw itself come under ''full swing'' with the Reagan administration feigning full ignorance on the matter, but not from pentagon officials and even some within the State Department who had taken the fall for siphoning funds from under then general Oliver North who had been tasked to supervise the funds which was supposed to make it's way to Iran in hopes of releasing American hostages (Iran was under an arms embargo at this time), but some of this funding went to the Contras in Nicaragua in their conflict with ''anti-Sandinista'' against the Socialist regime. However Defense Secretary, Caspar Weinberger, had taken down handwritten notes ensuing the full notice and compliance from U.S President Reagan, who had feigned innocence on this matter, was well aware of the transfer of funds and weapons to ''moderate elements'' within Iran.
By 1991, B.C.C.I Bank had been forced to close worldwide, the spectacle of the Iran-Contra affair had damaged the State Department, the Arab Nationalist states replaced by the ''Wahhabi Ideology'' and rise of it's ''ultra-orthodoxy'''....with the CIA returning to full swing, by its former Director Bush by regrouping the Safari Club underground. The beginning of a more volatile world would begin to take place this time in the form of international-Islamic terrorism, which had begun back in 1979, with the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia, the Egyptian Islamists assassinating President Anwar Sadat, the Iranian revolution under Ayatollah Khomeini and of course the CIA's assistance, externally and internally, of the many Islamic charities and recruitment offices (Mahktab al-Khidamat) offices in the United States.
A war was beginning to take place around the world, and more notably inside the United States, a ''Frankenstein'' monster would rise with the doctor being the Central Intelligence Agency.
SEAL Team 6 and what really happened on America's deadliest day in Afghanistan
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 13:05
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SEALs' families blame federal officials for fatal attack - The Virginian-Pilot - The Virginian-Pilot
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 13:13
The parents of four U.S. servicemen killed when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, including members of Virginia Beach-based SEAL Team 6, are suing Vice President Joe Biden and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, alleging that they prompted the attack by divulging the SEAL team's role in killing Osama bin Laden.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, also names Iran, Afghanistan and Afghan President Hamid Karzai as defendants.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting down the Chinook transport helicopter on Aug. 6, 2011 - three months after the U.S. assault on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, in which the al-Qaida leader was killed.
Eight Afghan troops and 30 American military members were killed in what was the deadliest assault on U.S. forces in the Afghanistan war.
The lawsuit alleges that Biden and Panetta revealed the Navy SEALs' role in the bin Laden mission, making them targets for a retaliatory attack.
U.S. officials said none of the SEALs killed in the shootdown was involved in the bin Laden mission.
The lawsuit further alleges that the Afghan commandos on the helicopter were last-minute replacements who were not properly vetted and, in concert with Karzai, disclosed classified information to the Taliban that resulted in the fatal attack.
"Adding insult to injury," the lawsuit adds, the U.S. military, "while prohibiting any mention of a Judeo-Christian God, invited a Muslim cleric to the ramp ceremony for the fallen Navy SEAL Team VI members, who disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen by damning them as infidels to hell in the name of Allah."
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the lawsuit's characterization of the cleric's Quranic recitation and prayer is based on an inaccurate and misleading translation.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Billy and Karen Vaughn, parents of SEAL commando Aaron Vaughn; Charles and Mary Ann Strange, father and stepmother of Navy cryptologic technician Michael Strange; Sidh Douangdara, father of Navy dog handler John Douangdara; and Doug and Shaune Hamburger, parents of Army National Guardsman Patrick Hamburger.
Vaughn, Strange and Douangdara were all assigned to Oceana Naval Air Station's Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach.
That's home to Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the official name of the elite force known as SEAL Team 6.
The parents are seeking $200 million in damages, an apology "for allowing a Muslim cleric to desecrate the souls of their sons," and another memorial service with no Muslim cleric present.
They are represented by Larry Klayman, an activist attorney, founder of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch and onetime unsuccessful Republican Senate candidate in Florida.
The defendants in the case have not yet filed a response to the allegations.
Last year, Klayman filed an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking to keep President Barack Obama off the ballot in Florida, alleging that he wasn't a "natural born citizen."
Military Virginia Beach
VIDEO-BREAKING: CIA WHISTLEBLOWER'S EVIDENCE GOES PUBLIC, DEEP STATE SCRAMBLING IN DAMAGE CONTROL MODE - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 03:55
Webster's Dictionary changes definition of 'preference' to match Democrats' attack on Amy Coney Barrett | The Post Millennial
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 20:16
Websters gave the public a real time glimpse into how political pressure can create a propagandist interpretation of something as basic as language itself.Webster's Dictionary has changed its definition of the term preference to include the new understanding that it is "offensive" as regards "sexual preference." This new definition was made in real time, after Senator Mazie Hirono claimed the long standing, inoffensive term, was offensive, on the Senate floor. This claim was made to discredit Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, and for no other reason.
Taking its cue from Sen. Mazie Hirono and the many disingenuous Twitter objectors to the term "sexual preference," as used by Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings, Websters gave the public a real time glimpse into how political pressure can create a propagandist interpretation of something as basic as language itself. They didn't need anyone to tell them to make the change, they merely made it so as to be in keeping with the newest iteration of leftist ideology.
As recently as last month, Webster's Dictionary included a definition of ''preference'' as ''orientation'' or ''sexual preference.'' TODAY they changed it and added the word ''offensive."Insane - I just checked through Wayback Machine and it's real.
(via @ThorSvensonn & @chadfelixg) pic.twitter.com/oOq1SNtCP2
'-- Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) October 14, 2020Just one month ago, as pointed out by editor and podcaster Steve Krakauer, this notion that the term "preference" could be understood as "offensive" in the context of "sexual preference" was neither part of Webster's dictionary nor of the LGBTQ lexicon.
The concept that the term "sexual preference" was offensive was entirely made up by social media pundits who couldn't find anything else wrong with Barrett or her testimony, so they manufactured outrage surrounding the term. Then they decided that the meaning of the term had always been thus, that the term was offensive through and through and always had been. Joe Biden used the term just recently. And the LGBT community has a long history of being totally fine with the term.
And then, in a supremely Orwellian move, the dictionary backed up the politicians' and pundits' claims that the word had always meant what they decided only yesterday it meant.
Websters Dictionary changed the meaning of a word to support the claims of politicians and social justice activists, claims that were only leveled in order to discredit a judge's character, not her work, her ethos, or her values.
The dictionary has effectively destroyed the past, and in so doing, they give power to the ideologues of the present, who will find that their interpretations, grandstanding statements, and partisan perspectives will not be questioned. There will simply be no evidence to use to question it.
If, in several months, or even a few years, a question were to be raised as to whether the concept of sexual preference were offensive, there may be little to no record of it ever having been different than Mazie Hirono pointed out yesterday.
The claim that the term was offensive had been tested on Twitter for all of one day, and by the time she sat down across from Amy Coney Barrett in the afternoon, it had already been decided, by essentially a hive-mind group think operation, that the term was offensive and always has been.
We watched this happen in real time on Tuesday, and it exemplifies just what we have to fear, and what the consequences are. Here's how it happened:
In the morning, Senator Dianne Feinstein asked Judge Barrett a question as to how she would rule in a hypothetical case that brought the constitutionality of same-sex marriage into question.
Barrett replied that she would not discriminate based on "sexual preference." Social media blew up at her use of this term, saying that Barrett's invocation of the term "preference" shows that she in fact would discriminate against LGBT persons, because it shows that she believes sexual orientation is a choice.
sexual preference part 1. Barrett says unequivocally not discriminate on the basis of "sexual preference." pic.twitter.com/W2W5865oNI
'-- libby emmons (@libbyemmons) October 14, 2020By that afternoon, Sen. Hirono was able to wield Barrett's wrongspeak into a full-throated smear of Barrett as a homophobic, activist judge who would be unable to rule objectively in cases concerning LGBT persons.
WATCH: Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono attacks Amy Coney Barrett for using the term "sexual preference" pic.twitter.com/o3qh3VTx2g
'-- The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 13, 2020Then the dictionary changed its meaning of the words, simply and entirely to back up Sen. Hirono, and the disgruntled social media pundits.
After Sen. Hirono accused Barrett of saying the wrong thing, and therefore believing the wrong thing, Barrett apologized.
Amy Coney Barrett apologizes after Sen. Hirono (D-HI) calls her out for mistaking "sexual preference" for "sexual orientation." pic.twitter.com/Gp94UvPF6c
'-- The Recount (@therecount) October 13, 2020The facts of the matter are that Judge Barrett said the right thing, yet the way she said the right thing was used to indicate that she had actually said the wrong thing, a thought crime for which she then offered a mea culpa.
We are watching the hijacking of language, discourse, and reality happen in real time. Propaganda is made in a moment, but its impact is lasting. Websters' editors change of language was done not for linguistic, but political reasons. Altering the past to justify the present is not an acceptable use of the dictionary.
We're independent and can't be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.
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Senate Democrats unlikely to boycott Barrett confirmation vote despite procedural gripes
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 23:11
| October 12, 2020 06:40 PM
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said Monday that he knows of no Democrats who plan to boycott the final floor confirmation vote of President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, following the close of the first day of her confirmation hearing.
''I've heard no speculation along those lines. I haven't heard anything. I'm planning on voting on the floor unless my not voting stops her from moving forward. We'll see,'' Durbin told the Washington Examiner.
During a press conference on Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared that Democrats would not provide a quorum for votes to advance Barrett's confirmation in an effort to delay the confirmation before the election.
"We will talk about when the actual vote occurs in committee and on the floor. Democrats will not supply the quorum," Schumer said. "Period."
A quorum is the minimum number of members necessary for a committee or a full Senate to conduct business and hold votes. In the Senate, 51 members must be present to have a quorum; in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the quorum is nine members, including two in the minority party.
If at least one of the Democrats fails to report to vote Barrett out of committee as a means to stall her confirmation, Republicans could vote on a discharge resolution that would remove the responsibility of considering the Barrett nomination from the committee, allowing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call the nomination to the floor for a full vote.
Republicans on the committee could also change the rules to eliminate the requirement that two Democrats be present at the committee confirmation vote.
Senate Judiciary Democrats appear resigned to the idea that Barrett, a judge for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, will be confirmed unless one Republican committee member votes against her nomination or two additional Republicans oppose her nomination on the floor of the Senate during the final confirmation vote.
Democrats criticized Republicans for holding the confirmation hearings, saying the GOP is putting those in attendance on Capitol Hill from lawmakers to staff at risk of getting infected by the COVID-19 virus, pointing to members of the Judiciary Committee, such as Republican Sens. Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, who were already infected.
Republicans control 53 votes in the Senate. Only two Republicans, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, have indicated they will vote against Barrett's nomination on the floor, and after Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney indicated he would support Barrett's nomination, the nomination will not need a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence to advance to the floor.
Senate Prepares To Subpoena Tech CEOs Over Social Media's Legal Shield
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:35
ToplineA Senate committee is asking the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter to testify on Section 230, a 24-year-old liability shield that tech companies claim is essential to keeping social media companies alive but President Trump and many Democrats alike have criticized for varying '-- and often contradictory '-- reasons.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee ... [+] in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill October 23, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images Key FactsThe Senate Commerce Committee voted unanimously to approve subpoenas for the three companies' leaders Thursday, but the subpoenas will not be issued if the CEOs agree to testify voluntarily, a committee spokesperson said.
Republicans and Democrats on the committee are looking for tech leaders to testify on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, though some of the committee's Democrats are largely focused on antitrust and privacy issues, CNBC reported.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed to testify voluntarily on October 28, Twitter announced Friday afternoon, but the company wants his testimony to focus on election integrity rather than what it called ''reactionary and politicized'' proposals to reform Section 230.
Section 230, passed in 1996, says operators of ''interactive computer services'' like social media sites are not considered publishers, meaning they usually aren't legally liable for most types of content posted by their users.
Supporters say this law gives social media companies like Facebook and Google the legal flexibility they need to host user-generated content on their sites, and it allows them to moderate content without fearing lawsuits.
Some opponents say this liability shield is too broad, arguing it protects large tech companies from the consequences of their moderating practices, though lawmakers disagree over whether social media outlets should moderate more or less aggressively.
Twitter, Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Key BackgroundLawmakers from both parties have called for reforms to Section 230, but their common ground largely stops there. Trump and several congressional Republicans claim social media companies' moderating practices are unfair to conservatives, an allegation fueled partly by Twitter's efforts to check misinformation by Trump. Some Democrats, meanwhile, say social media companies should be held responsible for misinformation on their platforms, meaning more extensive content moderation. Members of both parties have proposed taking away legal immunity for egregious content like child sexual abuse, but that proposal has also drawn critics who warn it could be too broad. The most recent change to Section 230 was in 2018, when Trump signed a law that took away liability protections for sex trafficking-related content.
Chief CriticNot every lawmaker supports changing Section 230. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, one of the law's authors, has argued Section 230 protects free expression and allows smaller tech companies with fewer resources to compete. ''If you unravel 230, then you harm the opportunity for diverse voices, diverse platforms, and, particularly, the little guy to have a chance to get off the ground,'' he told Vox last year.
TangentA group of tech CEOs last testified before Congress in July, but lawmakers focused on antitrust concerns. They grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, among others, about allegations of anticompetitive behavior.
Further ReadingSenate panel votes to subpoena CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter (Politico)
Legal Shield for Social Media Is Targeted By Trump (New York Times)
What Is Section 230 '-- And Why Does Trump Want To Change It? (Forbes)
Facebook, Twitter make editorial decision to limit NY Post Biden story
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 20:26
Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019.
Erin Scott | Reuters
Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday limited the distribution of a New York Post story that claims to show "smoking gun" emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son.
"While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners," tweeted Andy Stone, a spokesman for Facebook. "In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform."
The unverified story alleges Biden's son Hunter Biden attempted to introduce to a top executive at a Ukrainian company Hunter Biden worked for.
Andrew Bates, spokesman for the Biden campaign, responded to the New York Post's story in a statement:
"Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as 'not legitimate' and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump Administration officials have attested to these facts under oath," Bates said.
"The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story," he added. "They certainly never raised that Rudy Giuliani -- whose discredited conspiracy theories and alliance with figures connected to Russian intelligence have been widely reported -- claimed to have such materials.
"Moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden's official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place."
The editorial decision to reduce the spread of the story is a significant one for Facebook. The social media company has long professed to stand for freedom of speech and rejected the idea that it be an arbiter of truth.
But the company has pulled a 180 recently, banning numerous types of problematic content on its services, including anti-vaccination ads, Holocaust denial, and pages and groups espousing the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Twitter blocked the story later on Wednesday. It decided to limit the spread of the article due to the lack of authoritative reporting around the origins of the information in it, a spokeswoman for the company said.
Specifically, the article was found in violation of Twitter's Hacked Material Policy, which doesn't "permit the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets."
Hunter Biden story trips social media misinformation alarms - Axios
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:34
In 2016, hacked emails and foreign meddling shaped the political fight, and social media took much of the blame. Afterwards, the platforms designed circuit breakers to avoid a repeat in 2020.
What's happening: Those breakers tripped Wednesday at both Facebook and Twitter to stop the spread of a New York Post story that reported allegations about Joe Biden's son Hunter, based on what the paper said were emails provided to it Sunday by Rudy Giuliani.
Yes, but: The action by the platforms drew a swift backlash from conservatives '-- with the ironic result of drawing more attention to the material.
The big picture: For years, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has positioned Facebook as a free-speech champion. "When it's not absolutely clear what to do, we should err on the side of free expression," he said almost exactly a year ago in a speech at Georgetown.
Zuckerberg's sense of what's "absolutely clear" has apparently evolved since then, as Facebook is increasingly banning fringe movements, prohibiting Holocaust denial and flagging questionable content around the presidential election, the COVID-19 pandemic and white-supremacy groups.Facebook announced Wednesday that it would slow the distribution of the Post story while its third-party fact checkers reviewed it.
By taking this slow-down approach, Facebook is answering critics who have pointed out that its take-down policies often kick in only after malicious posts have been seen by millions.Meanwhile, Twitter took even stronger action, removing all tweets that linked to the Post story.
Twitter cited its "Hacked Material Policy," which says Twitter doesn't "permit the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets."What they're saying: Conservatives in Congress and beyond immediately protested.
"This is a Big Tech information coup. This is digital civil war," tweeted Sohrab Ahmari, op-ed editor at the New York Post.Between the lines: The nature of the Post story, which relies on a trove of emails claimed to have been found on a laptop at a repair shop and funneled to Giuliani, echoes the "hack and leak" scenario that disrupted the 2016 election '-- and that newsrooms and digital platforms have been on guard against during this election cycle.
Many experts counsel stopping hoaxes and disinformation campaigns early, before they have gone viral.The Post story rings all the foreign-disinformation alarms in the book. But it's also the product of a long-established, though also heavily partisan, media outlet, and the swift action against it will rankle a lot of journalists.Of note: While some have posited that Facebook is moderating conservative content more aggressively as prospects for a Biden win increases, one Facebook veteran told Axios that's not a factor.
According to the source, the company and Zuckerberg are concerned about the possibility of violence around the election, and that's paving the way for stronger content moderation moves. Our thought bubble: The imminent election and the frenzy of information operations surrounding it are forcing Facebook and Twitter to make tough calls in real time and limiting their options to please everyone.
What's next: There's still nearly three weeks till Nov. 3, so expect more tough calls. And those on the left cheering should recognize that, sooner or later, Facebook or Twitter will turn down the volume on a questionable story that they have embraced.
About the International Fact-Checking Network - Poynter
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 23:17
The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) is a forum for fact-checkers worldwide hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. These organizations fact-check statements by public figures, major institutions and other widely circulated claims of interest to society.
It launched in September 2015, in recognition of the fact that a booming crop of fact-checking initiatives could benefit from an organization that promotes best practices and exchanges in this field.
Among other things, the IFCN:
Monitors trends and formats in fact-checking worldwide, publishing regular articles on the dedicated Poynter.org channel.Provides training resources for fact-checkers.Supports collaborative efforts in international fact-checking, including fellowships.Convenes a yearly conference (Global Fact).Is the home of the fact-checkers' code of principles.The IFCN is led by Alexios Mantzarlis, who joined Poynter after co-founding and editing Pagella Politica, an Italian political fact-checking website.
Poynter's IFCN has received funding from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Duke Reporters' Lab, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations and the Park Foundation.
BREAKING: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Locked Out of Twitter For Sharing NY Post Article on Hunter Biden
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:28
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has been locked out of Twitter for posting the explosive New York Post story on Hunter Biden.The shocking story has been censored by all of the big tech giants in a clear effort to protect former Vice President Joe Biden.
ð¨ð¨ð¨'.... Twitter seriously LOCKED the WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY Kayleigh McEnany out of her Twitter account over the Hunter Biden NY Post story pic.twitter.com/dq7Kli6CnY
'-- Memelord (@dailydigger19) October 14, 2020
TRENDING: BREAKING: Joe Biden Calls a Lid and Hides in His Basement After Explosive Revelations From Hunter Biden's Recovered Hard Drive
Twitter claimed that McEnany ''violated our rules against distribution of hacked materials,'' despite the fact that sharing hacked and/or stolen materials is protected under the First Amendment, as long as you were not part of commissioning the crime.
President Donald Trump has also now weighed in on the major censorship scandal on Twitter.
''So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of 'Smoking Gun' emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost,'' Trump tweeted from Air Force One en route to a campaign rally in Iowa.
''It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!!!
The Posts explosive article describes an alleged 2015 email from Burisma energy executive Vadym Pozharskyi thanking Hunter Biden for ''giving an opportunity to meet your father.''
Biden has previously claimed ''I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,''I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.''
Twitter has now banned the sharing of the article, even in direct private messages on the platform. It is also being ''limited'' on Instagram and Facebook.
NJ schools consider changes in curriculum in wake of BLM protests
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 18:00
Last spring, as racial justice protests swept through the nation, Montclair High School senior Genesis Whitlock rallied with a local Black Lives Matter chapter. The group, which included high school students and alumni, quickly zeroed in on a topic close to home: ending racial inequities in their own school system.
Their demands to the district: the desegregation of classrooms, more Black teachers and leadership, anti-racism training and more diversity in the curriculum.
''We are trying to mobilize students and not only look at racism on a national level, but also focus on Montclair,'' Whitlock said.
The Montclair students are not alone. Across the nation, demonstrations that started as a protest of police brutality are also fueling demands to dismantle racism and promote inclusion in local schools. In New Jersey, students and their supporters have rallied and petitioned for change in dozens of districts, including Ridgewood, Sparta, Wayne, West Morris, West Milford and Metuchen.
Activists are calling for schools to include more diverse voices in classroom lessons, to hold anti-racism training and to hire more teachers of color. In response, some districts have pledged to review curriculums and reconsider policies on discipline and student placement, two areas that advocates say are prone to bias.
In Montclair, officials pledged in their school year goals to improve students' access to higher-level classes and to continue "restorative justice" programs that focus on problem resolution rather than punishment. In August, the school board passed an anti-racism resolution and added a Week of Action for Black Lives Matter, from Feb. 1 to 5, to the calendar.
The district also created a position of student representative to the school board and appointed Whitlock to the post. The senior said she and other students intend to keep up their activism.
''It's about showing up throughout the year and looking at nuances" of racism, she said. ''It's not going to just stop after the anti-racism policy.''
Social studies 'in the crosshairs'In Ridgewood, a group called Ridgewood for Black Liberation has demanded that district officials remove what they view as a Eurocentric curriculum. They also called for increased Black leadership and staff and for anti-racism training, in which participants acknowledge racist beliefs and structures and work to undo them.
"We need to change the way that we teach and talk about race and actually teach the real history of United States," said Emily Rizzo, an organizer with Ridgewood for Black Liberation, calling for schools to confront "our white supremacist history."
With districts preoccupied with the coronavirus, and local budgets shredded by the pandemic, it remains to be seen how far school leaders are willing to go. But districts and activists are engaging.
In Ridgewood, teachers created online forums for staff and students to discuss civil unrest and anti-racist tactics, said Mark Ferreri, supervisor of Social Studies, World Languages & Business at Ridgewood schools. They also compiled a database of related articles and resources for teachers to use in classroom lessons.
Ferreri and a group of administrators and staff also met with local civic groups, including Ridgewood for Black Liberation, to hear about their experiences and their ideas on promoting diversity and equity.
Not a normal school year:When gym class goes virtual, NJ phys ed teachers have to get creative
For subscribers:Push to defund police gains no traction in NJ as state's largest towns increase funds for cops
And during sessions this summer, teachers made recommendations on equity and inclusion in instruction. Ferreri offered an example: Second-year U.S. history teachers will make Jim Crow '-- a set of laws and customs once used to restrict African American rights '-- a primary topic when teaching about the era after the Civil War, he said.
''It's always been a holistic approach, but obviously the death of George Floyd put us in a position where social studies is in the crosshairs,'' he said, referring to the Black man whose death in police custody in Minneapolis sparked widespread protests.
Story continues below gallery
Some of the districts where students are pushing for reform have few students of color but are seeing a groundswell of support for diverse education. For instance, in Ridgewood, just 1% of students identified as Black in the 2018-19 school year.
In Wayne, it was 1.6%. Nonetheless, more than 5,000 alumni, parents and teachers have signed a petition calling for an evaluation of the social studies curriculum and for more Black history content.
The district has pledged to evaluate instruction, student outcomes and hiring practices in the 2020-21 school year and to create a plan of action. A committee will also review calls to change the Indians mascot, which some view as offensive. Wayne also is partnering with the Race Card Project, a web-based initiative that invites people to reflect on their experiences and thoughts about race.
''We recognize that our schools are powerful agents of change and we can play a significant part in a fairer and more just future for all,'' officials wrote in an August school board resolution declaring diversity, equity and inclusion among its annual goals.
In the Mountain Lakes School District in Morris County, a group of current and former students demanded the creation of a "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board," amassing 730 signatures on an online petition.
"That is an ongoing topic," Superintendent Michael Fetherman said last month. "I assure you the conversations have started and we're eager to continue."
'Liberal indoctrination'There has been pushback from critics who say teaching about racism as integral to the founding and history of the U.S. stokes anti-American sentiment and discourages patriotism.
In a speech last month, President Donald Trump decried the movement to teach about the nation's history of slavery and discrimination as "liberal indoctrination" and a "form of child abuse."
"Our mission is to defend the legacy of America's founding, the virtue of America's heroes, and the nobility of the American character," Trump said.
As local school boards take up anti-racism measures, a few have heard similar criticisms. In West Milford, former Councilman Michael Hensley said demands in a petition for anti-racist education were not harmless.
"This anti-white philosophy and its radical ideology is really meant to inflict harm upon our children, child abuse, in fact," he said, adding that it would hurt students' self-esteem "if it is rushed into and adopted prematurely."
Black experience:NorthJersey.com readers hope to combat racism with conversation
Debate:Do police officers belong in NJ schools? Racial justice protests stir debate
New Jersey has a long way to go to undo persistent racism in what is considered one of the most segregated school systems in the nation, advocates say.
The state also has among the widest discipline gaps in the nation, suspending Black and Hispanic students at far greater rates than their white peers, federal data shows. And while about half of the 1.4 million children in public schools are of color, only 16% of their teachers are, according to the state Department of Education.
Tackling problems of racism in school involves far more than a new policy or an anti-racism workshop, said Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price, an anti-racism educator in New Jersey and an organizer with Black Lives Matter at School, a national coalition.
For schools to move forward, they need to work with the community and be rooted in clear principles that go beyond the idea of diversity, equity and inclusion, she said. People need to do research and review data about the experiences that Black, brown and Indigenous students face in school and look at what they have been doing to perpetuate racism, Aryee-Price said.
"This is not a one-time thing," she said. "This is not a moment. This is actually a lifetime of work."
Staff Writer William Westhoven contributed to this story.
Hannan Adely is an education and diversity reporter for NorthJersey.com. To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
Rivendell Bicycle Works Offers Black Reparations Pricing (BRP) - BIKEPACKING.com
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 03:04
Just in, Rivendell Bicycle Works is rolling out reparations pricing for Black customers and offering the opportunity to contribute to the Black Reparations Pricing (BRP) fund through regular purchases'...
Posted by Logan Watts
In a blog post/press release, Rivendell's CEO, Grant Petersen announced that the 26-year-old San Francisco Bay Area bicycle company will be offering Black Reparations Pricing (BRP) for Black customers starting on October 12th. Petersen states:
''The American bicycle industry has been racist, often overtly racist, since 1878, and Rivendell has been obliviously'--not ''obviously'''--racist ever since 1994. We say this not to scold the industry, not to scold other bicycle businesses, and not to be on trend.For the last two years, Rivendell Bicycle Works has offered a 45 percent discount to Black customers who shopped in person. COVID has curtailed that. They are going national with the same plan, but now with a name and an acronym: Black Reparations Pricing (BRP).
Ten percent of Rivendell's bikes and frames will be allocated for BRP. In the 12-month period beginning October, 2020, they'll make about 850 bikes, 85 of which will be set aside for the discount program.
In its BRP plan, Rivendell adds, ''Racism doesn't respond to inaction or self-proclamation. In other words, it doesn't go away when you know, even in your bones, that all people are created equal. It responds to anti-racist action. Reparations are an example. Not because Reparations are ''a nice thing to do,'' but because they're owed.
Reparations acknowledges that, in this country, white wealth'--recent or inherited/generational, has been 'earned' by the labor of Black people, who, even after slavery, were never given a leg up. Your non-Black tycoon great-grampa may have been born poor, may have been a sharp and clever go-getter at the top of his class, but he wasn't born Black.''
According to Rivendell, Black Reparations Pricing is the same 45% off of typical walk-in sales prices (retail x 0.55). Ten percent of their bikes and frames will be allocated for BRP. In addition, Rivendell is also offering their customers the opportunity to contribute to the BRP fund with every purchase they make! Find full details on the BRP over at rivbike.com's Blahg.
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Kraft removes 'send noods' mac and cheese campaign after backlash | The Independent
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 22:52
Kraft has taken down its recent advertising campaign that called on people to ''send noods'' after it faced backlash.
Last week, the food manufacturer unveiled the new campaign, which encouraged mac and cheese fans to send a free box to loved ones amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in celebration of National Noodle Day.
In addition to sharing posts related to the campaign on the company's social media accounts, Kraft also released a video featuring former Saturday Night Live actor Vanessa Bayer.
''In these strange times, people are in need of extra comfort. That's why it's always a nice gesture to send noods," she said in the since-deleted video, according to BuzzFeed. "To be clear, I'm not advocating you send nudes to anyone. ... Send noods, not nudes."
On social media, the campaign sparked widespread backlash among customers, with some accusing the brand of ''sexualising mac 'n' cheese,'' according to BuzzFeed.
Others announced their intention to boycott Kraft over a belief that the campaign was promoting child exploitation or encouraging children to send nude photos with the campaign, BuzzFeed reports.
While the campaign images have been removed from Instagram, the posts are still up on Twitter, where the criticism has continued.
''Seems a little inappropriate for a food mostly loved by children??'' one person commented.
Another said: ''Wtf. This is not good. Your target audience is small children and you're making a joke about sending noods.''
''@kraftcheese Really? Send Noods? Send Nudes? To kids? This is how you're marketing to them? My promise to you is this - I'll never buy another Kraft food product again. I'll do everything I can to educate myself on what you carry,'' someone else tweeted.
Following the backlash, the company shared a statement on Instagram where it said the promotion had resulted in more than 20,000 consumers receiving boxes of mac and cheese but that the content would be removed from its channels.
Kraft takes down campaign asking customers to 'send noods' (Instagram/Kraft)"For National Noodle Day last Tuesday, we encouraged adults to send free noodles to loved ones to provide comfort and make them smile," Kraft said. ''The social promotion resulted in over 20,000 consumers across the country receiving boxes of America's favourite Kraft Mac and Cheese.
''We sincerely appreciate and hear all of your feedback. The content will be removed from our channels."
The Independent has contacted Kraft for comment.
Kraft Removes 'Send Noods' Campaign | PEOPLE.com
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 17:28
The campaign was met with criticism from some Instagram users, who said the company "sexualized mac 'n' cheese"
Kraft has removed social media posts after receiving some backlash for their most recent online campaign.
Earlier this month, the food conglomerate revealed a new #SendNoods promotional campaign, which called on fans of their classic mac and cheese to send a free box '-- or a coupon to redeem one '-- to loved ones amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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Shortly after it was first announced, however, the campaign was met with intense criticism from some social media users, who said the company "sexualized mac 'n' cheese," according to BuzzFeed News.
Now Kraft has removed the ad altogether and says they "appreciate all the feedback" that they have received.
RELATED: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Now Has Unicorn Shapes
The campaign first began with a video featuring former Saturday Night Live cast member Vanessa Bayer.
"In these strange times, people are in need of extra comfort. That's why it's always a nice gesture to send noods so they know you're thinking of them," the comedian said in the since-deleted video, per BuzzFeed News. "Noods, I mean. Not nudes."
In another later post, per the outlet, Kraft posted an image of a blurred bowl of mac and cheese with messaging about sending noods plastered behind it.
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While tens of thousands of people participated in the campaign, it also sparked some uproar, with many people voicing their disapproval for the ad and some even calling for a boycott of the brand.
"This is not okay. Don't you realize that a huge portion of the people who actually eat your mac n' cheese are children?!" one commenter wrote, according to BuzzFeed News. "Please delete this!! Unacceptable!"
RELATED VIDEO: Food for Cheese Lovers! Mac N Cheese
On their official Instagram Story, Kraft noted that they would be removing the content from their channels altogether.
"For National Noodle Day last Tuesday, we encouraged adults to send free noodles to loved ones to provide comfort and make them smile," they began.
Kraft's Instagram Story
"The social promotion resulted in over 20,000 consumers across the country receiving boxes of America's favorite Kraft Mac and Cheese."
Then, alluding that were aware of the backlash they have received, Kraft added, "We sincerely appreciate and hear all of your feedback. The content will be removed from our channels."
New Relic employees report unrest over work culture, CEO's donations - oregonlive.com
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:42
One of Portland's largest tech employers, software company New Relic, appears increasingly at odds with its own workers over its response to the resurgent civil rights movement.
The conflict has been amplified by CEO Lew Cirne's large donation to a private Christian school that excludes gay students and opposes gay rights. He has also donated money to a controversial evangelist who proselytizes to Jews. Cirne's wife is a contributor to President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, another sore point for many New Relic employees even though she has no role with the company.
The dispute echoes employee activism at other big tech companies like Google and Facebook, which have resisted workers' calls for a more active response on social and political issues.
New Relic has similarly sought to draw boundaries between its business and the larger cultural and political tumult. The conflict has grown increasingly personal inside the company, though, with nasty exchanges on internal online discussions and sharp words from Cirne. He says that some of his staff are too focused on the company's internal culture at the expense of its customers.
Some employees, in turn, say Cirne's personal values appear out of step with the broad message of inclusion the company presents. They see his wife's donations to Trump as antithetical to the company's stated values and ask why he would donate to a school that singles out gays, lesbians and transgender students for exclusion.
''That is deeply concerning to me, especially to someone who is queer. I don't feel like those diversity and inclusion initiatives are real or will be protective of me,'' one New Relic employee told The Oregonian/OregonLive. She asked not to be identified speaking about her employer, saying she no longer feels comfortable being herself at work. She says she feels victim of a ''bait and switch,'' saying the company lured her into a false sense of security with its diversity pledges.
New Relic declined a request for comment from Cirne on his charitable activities, his social and religious views, or his political leanings.
The company's recruiting webpage features a rainbow logo and professes support for LGBTQ+ employees. ''Our culture is genuine, honest, and inclusive, and encourages each of us to be ourselves at work, every day,'' the website proclaims. Like many tech companies, New Relic employs a chief diversity officer.
But some employees say Cirne's private actions, and his confrontational tone during internal discussions, belie that pledge. An employee who also asked not to be identified accuses Cirne of ''engaging in Trump-like behaviors,'' and says Cirne's wife's donations to the president's campaign make New Relic's diversity initiatives feel like ''gross lip service.''
A reckoning point
Though little known outside the tech industry, New Relic makes a class of widely used software that helps organizations monitor how their website is performing and how customers are using it. Its revenues were just shy of $600 million in its last fiscal year, up 25%.
Years of rapid growth have made Cirne extraordinarily wealthy. As New Relic's founder and CEO, Cirne owns shares worth more than $400 million altogether. He has set aside an enormous portion of his wealth for charity, giving his philanthropic foundation New Relic stock worth more than $100 million.
Originally from Canada, Cirne is a tech entrepreneur who worked as a software engineer at Apple before starting a company called Wily Technology, which sold to CA Technologies in 2006 for $375 million. ''New Relic'' is an anagram of his name (''Lew Cirne'').
New Relic's headquarters are in San Francisco, where Cirne works, but its engineering office is in downtown Portland. The company has more than 600 employees there (working from home during the pandemic) and plays a leading role in the city's tech community on a variety of issues, including active support of diversity efforts.
For months, New Relic employees in both Oregon and California have been vocal on the company's internal message boards about Black Lives Matter and other civil rights causes. While New Relic has tweeted its support for the movement and affirmed its commitment to diversity within its work force, some employees want more '' demanding, for example, a commitment that the company not do business with federal immigration authorities.
The issue created a fault line between Cirne and some employees. In a discussion on New Relic's internal messaging service in June, the CEO lamented the dispute and upbraided employees.
''I am disappointed at the tone that this channel has taken,'' Cirne wrote, according to a copy of his message provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive. ''It feels more combative than the New Relic dialogues I am used to. It is clear that some of you are devoting more energy and attention inwards, than towards our customers.''
However, Cirne then offered to hold an all-hands meeting to share his thoughts on social issues and how he wants the company to operate. When an employee replied that he had a meeting previously scheduled, and asked if the CEO's talk would be recorded, Cirne shot back: ''I would move your meeting. I have.''
Two days later Cirne sent a scolding memo to the entire company, admonishing employees to work harder and warning that New Relic was trailing competitors. Most controversially, Cirne said he was shutting down further internal debate over New Relic's public response to Black Lives Matter and other civil rights issues. He invited employees to leave New Relic if they disagreed with the company's approach.
''This matter is off the table for further discussion,'' he said.
The memo further divided the company. Some employees saw it as exactly the kind of direction the company needed to get back on track and revive the flagging business.
Others found it deeply alienating.
''Overall, morale is very low and a lot of people are looking for new opportunities because it seems like the open culture we loved is dead and not coming back,'' one New Relic employee said.
After Cirne issued his June memo, New Relic began requiring employees to agree to new code of conduct for online behavior. The memo banned discriminatory remarks based on age, disability, gender, sexuality and other protective classes. But some employees zeroed in on other elements of the document, which bars ''revisiting a discussion that has already been addressed,'' spreading rumors, or using emojis to endorse an online remark that violates other prohibitions.
If an employee engages in ''unacceptable behavior,'' the document warns, ''we will investigate and take any action deemed appropriate, which may include termination.''
The family foundation
Incensed by the disputes and fraying internal culture, New Relic employees began looking at Cirne's family charity, the Beloved in Christ Foundation, funded with New Relic stock donated by the CEO. Cirne's wife is the foundation's president and he is its chairman and treasurer.
From 2016 to 2018, the foundation gave more than $7 million to a variety of nonprofits, including Christian youth groups and family camps, disaster recovery efforts and international relief groups. In September, Cirne told employees that Beloved in Christ will aid victims of the wildfires that burned more than 1 million acres across Oregon.
Most donations appear generous and uncontroversial, but a few stand out to employees. In 2018, the most recent year for which Cirne's foundation has reported its charitable activities, it gave $250,000 to Faith Academy of Marble Falls, a private Christian school near Austin, Texas.
Faith Academy says it operates under a fundamentalist interpretation of scripture that opposes gay marriage, and the school rejects gay students and their supporters.
''Faith Academy retains the right to refuse enrollment to or to discontinue enrollment of any student who engages in, but not necessarily limited to, sexual immorality, including any student who professes to be homosexual/bisexual/transgender or is a practicing homosexual/bisexual/transgender, as well as any student who condones, supports, or otherwise promotes such practices,'' the student handbook reads.
Such sentiments are irreconcilable with New Relic's stated commitment to diversity, according to the New Relic employee who complained of a ''bait and switch'' on the company's approach to diversity. She said Faith Academy immediately jumped out to her when she reviewed Cirne's charitable giving.
''Someone who has those values is not going to be supportive of open discourse along those lines,'' she said. She said she feels the donations are reflective of someone who treats queer employees as ''second-class citizens.''
Cirne's foundation also gave more than $50,000 to organizations run by an evangelist named Sid Roth. Raised a Jew, Roth now proclaims Jesus Christ as the messiah and proselytizes to the Jewish community.
In 2010, after Roth claimed to have mailed 125,000 copies of his evangelical tome to Jewish households in the Northeast, the Anti-Defamation League condemned his actions as ''deeply offensive and deceitful.'' The organization said Roth presented his work as an authentic celebration of Judaism, but that it was actually part of an effort to convert Jews to Christianity.
The Anti-Defamation League says it no longer tracks Roth's activities, but Bob Horenstein with the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland said Roth and people like him are essentially trying to trick Jews into believing they can remain in their faith while also accepting Jesus as the messiah.
''We find their tactics to be deceitful, misleading,'' Horenstein said. ''And it's an affront to us.''
While Horenstein said Cirne ''can do what he wants'' in terms of donations, he said efforts to target Jews with evangelical messages are frankly offensive, carrying an implicit message ''that Jews are not complete individuals.''
Especially galling to some New Relic employees is the financial support Cirne's wife, Kirsten Vliet, has given to President Trump. The president is ferociously unpopular in Portland and in San Francisco, the cities where New Relic operates. Some employees said they particularly oppose the president's stances on gay and transgender rights and on immigration.
Though Cirne himself is registered as an unaffiliated voter in California, and federal records list no political donations from him, his wife has donated more than $28,000 to Trump's campaign and Republican campaign efforts since June 2019.
Politics in tech
Employee activism appears on the rise across the tech industry, with Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook and others facing demands from their workers that the businesses take more active stances on social issues or in political movements.
Companies have been divided in their responses. Some, like Microsoft, say they welcome workers' passion. Others resist the pressure.
Brian Armstrong, CEO of cryptocurrency company Coinbase, wrote last month that his company will stay out of politics, ''focusing on what we have in common, not where we disagree, especially when it's unrelated to our work.'' Subsequently, Armstrong offered employees up to six months of severance if they oppose the policy, according to the trade publication The Block.
Coinbase said last week that at least 60 employees, 5% of its workforce, have accepted the buyout offers. (Coinbase opened a large Portland customer service office in 2018.)
New Relic's paradox is that the identity of the company, which is outwardly supportive of diversity, appears in conflict with the personal views of its CEO, according to Jeanne Enders, a business management professor at Portland State University.
''His personal donations could be considered evidence that he does not authentically stand behind the statements made by the company which means the company loses credibility for both internal stakeholders (employees) and any external stakeholders who care about these issues and select their business partners based partly on cultural fit,'' Enders wrote in an email. ''Loss of credibility is the first step to loss of legitimacy for business organizations.''
It may be that Cirne sees his own family's political and social views as being in keeping with the company's position that employees bring their full selves to work each day. But Enders said executives, especially a CEO like Cirne, have special roles as leaders of their organizations.
''Is he willing to lose good employees and perhaps customers to stand for the courage of his convictions?'' she asked. ''If the answer is yes, then he needs to align the firm's stated values more closely to his own actions in order to lead authentically and develop a more authentic (organizational) culture.''
-- Mike Rogoway | twitter: @rogoway | 503-294-7699
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'Unmasking' probe commissioned by Barr concludes without charges or any public report - The Washington Post
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 17:43
The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the matter.
The revelation that U.S. Attorney John Bash, who left the department last week, had concluded his review without criminal charges or any public report will rankle President Trump at a moment when he is particularly upset at the Justice Department. The department has so far declined to release the results of Bash's work, though people familiar with his findings say they would likely disappoint conservatives who have tried to paint the ''unmasking'' of names '-- a common practice in government to help understand classified documents '-- as a political conspiracy.
The president in recent days has pressed federal law enforcement to move against his political adversaries and complained that a different prosecutor tapped by Barr to investigate the FBI's 2016 investigation of his campaign will not be issuing any public findings before the election.
Legal analysts feared that Bash's review was yet another attempt by Trump's Justice Department to target political opponents of the president. Even if it ultimately produced no results of consequence, legal analysts said, it allowed Trump and other conservatives to say Obama-era officials were under scrutiny, as long as the case stayed active.
The department '-- both under Barr and Trump's previous attorney general, Jeff Sessions '-- has repeatedly turned to U.S. attorneys across the country to investigate matters of Republican concern, distressing current and former Justice Department officials, who fear that department leaders are repeatedly caving to Trump's pressure to benefit his allies and target those he perceives as political enemies.
Kerri Kupec, the Justice Department's top spokeswoman, had first revealed Bash's review in May, after Republican senators made public a declassified list of U.S. officials, including former vice president Joe Biden, who made requests that would ultimately reveal the name of Trump adviser Michael Flynn in intelligence documents in late 2016 and early 2017.
In an appearance on Fox News that month, Kupec told host Sean Hannity that Barr had tapped Bash, the top federal prosecutor in San Antonio, to review Obama-era officials' unmasking requests. She said that though the practice ''inherently isn't wrong,'' the frequency with which requests were made or the motive for making them could be ''problematic.''
How a Flynn theory became central to the Trump reelection campaign
Though ''unmasking'' is common and appropriate because it allows government officials to better understand a document they are reading, Trump and others suggested the list of requests that ultimately revealed Flynn's name showed wrongdoing.
Bash's team was focused not just on unmasking, but also on whether Obama-era officials provided information to reporters, according to people familiar with the probe, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation. But the findings ultimately turned over to Barr fell short of what Trump and others might have hoped, and the attorney general's office elected not to release them publicly, the people familiar with the matter said. The Washington Post was unable to review the full results of what Bash found.
Bash announced last week that he was leaving the department '-- surprising many in the Justice Department because the move came so close to the election '-- though he made no mention of the unmasking review. He said in a statement that he had informed the attorney general of the decision a month earlier and had ''accepted an offer for a position in the private sector.'' He gave formal resignation letters to the president and the attorney general on Oct. 5, and his last day was Friday.
Before being nominated as the U.S. attorney, Bash worked in the Solicitor General's Office and as an associate counsel to Trump. Bash thanked Trump and others in the statement, and Barr offered his ''gratitude'' for Bash's service.
''I appreciate his service to our nation and to the Justice Department, and I wish him the very best,'' Barr said.
Asked Tuesday if Bash had quit over anything related to unmasking, Kupec said, ''No, that was not my understanding.'' At the time Bash's departure was announced, she had said of the unmasking review, ''Without commenting on any specific investigation, any matters that John Bash was overseeing will be assumed by Gregg Sofer,'' who was tapped to replace Bash as the U.S. attorney. She declined this week to comment specifically on the status of the unmasking investigation.
Bash declined to comment. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in San Antonio said he could not immediately comment.
Q&A: What is 'unmasking,' who does it and why
It was not immediately clear why the department was holding back Bash's findings. Officials do not generally discuss investigations that have been closed without criminal charges '-- though Bash's case is unusual because it was announced publicly by the department spokeswoman. Justice Department policies and tradition, too, call for prosecutors not to take public steps in cases close to an election that might affect the results.
Before Bash's appointment, Kupec had said that a different federal prosecutor, John Durham in Connecticut, also had been looking at unmasking as part of his broader investigation into the FBI's 2016 probe of whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the election. It was not clear how Durham's and Bash's work intersected.
Barr recently told some Republican lawmakers that no report of Durham's investigation would be released before the November election, though unlike Bash's review, Durham's work seems to be ongoing, people familiar with the matter said. Trump has in recent days called the delay in the Durham case ''a disgrace,'' and asserted that his 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, should be jailed. He was previously critical of another prosecutor specially tapped by then-Attorney General Sessions to investigate matters related to Clinton, but whose case ended with no public report or allegations of wrongdoing.
Barr had said previously he would not hold back Durham's findings because of concerns about any impact on the election, as investigators were not focused on political candidates.
From early on in the Trump administration, some GOP lawmakers have sought to investigate and highlight Obama-era unmasking requests, believing them to be inappropriate. The effort was initially pushed in part by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), though the House Intelligence Committee he chaired at the time also asked U.S. spy agencies to reveal the names of U.S. individuals or organizations contained in classified intelligence on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
In May, Republican Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.), Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Rand Paul (Ky.) breathed new life into the effort, releasing a list of those who had made unmasking requests. The list included the names of more than three dozen former Obama administration officials. Among them were Biden, former White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, former FBI director James B. Comey, former CIA director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.
Then-acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell had declassified and personally delivered the list to the Justice Department '-- his arrival captured by a pre-positioned Fox News camera '-- on the same day the Justice Department moved to drop criminal charges against Flynn.
Acting intelligence chief Grenell gave DOJ list of Obama officials who 'unmasked' Michael Flynn
Paul said at the time that ''we sort of have the smoking gun because we now have the declassified document with Joe Biden's name on it.'' And Trump renewed his broader attacks on the investigation of possible coordination between Russia and his campaign, suggesting those involved should be jailed.
''I'm talking with 50-year sentences,'' Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network.
Kupec soon appeared on Fox News and announced Bash's inquiry. His work came on top of that of Durham and U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen in St. Louis, who had been tapped specially to review the Flynn case and ultimately advised that the Justice Department should drop it.
The end of Bash's case is similar to that of a review conducted by John Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, who was asked in November 2017 by Sessions to look into concerns raised by Trump and his allies in Congress that the FBI had not fully pursued cases of possible corruption at the Clinton Foundation and during Clinton's time as secretary of state. The Post reported in January that the inquiry had effectively ended with no tangible results. In the months that followed, Trump bemoaned the state of the inquiry on Twitter, asserting that Huber ''did absolutely NOTHING.''
''He was a garbage disposal unit for important documents & then, tap, tap, tap, just drag it along & run out of time,'' Trump wrote.
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VIDEO-Gov. Cuomo: 'I Don't Care' About Your Religion -- 'You Have to Follow the Rules of the State'
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:54
Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) responded to religious groups filing separate federal lawsuits against him over his new restrictions limiting attendance at religious gatherings amid a spike in cases in some New York City neighborhoods.
Cuomo told ''CNN Newsroom'' acknowledged that it is a ''complicated'' situation because of different cultural aspects, but said that everyone has to ''follow the rules,'' no matter their religion.
''They are not following the rules. We know what happens when you don't follow the rules: the infection rate goes up,'' Cuomo advised. ''And it just proves our point from the get-go. We know how to control the virus, but you have to control the virus. You have to be disciplined. And when you don't follow the rules, it goes up. And that's what's happening in these very small clusters. Now, these are religious groups, it tends to get more complicated, frankly, because of some cultural aspects. But that's what we're seeing in New York.''
''The cluster is a predominantly ultra-orthodox cluster,'' he continued. ''The Catholic schools are closed because they happen to be in that cluster, but the issue is with that ultra-orthodox community. This is not a matter of religious freedom, right? I don't care if you're a Roman Catholic, you're Jewish, you're Muslim, you're an atheist, you have to follow the rules of the state, the laws of the state. And I understand the beliefs of the ultra-orthodox, I've been very close to them all my life. I'm a big supporter of theirs, but they have to follow the rules, Jim, because we're seeing the truth. And the truth is if you don't follow the rules, the infection rate spreads, people get sick, and then you make others sick. You know, we're talking about Brooklyn. We're not talking about a hermetically sealed community in a rural area. This is in the middle of Brooklyn. They will make other people sick.''
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent
VIDEO-Obama And Larry Sinclair Song - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:21
VIDEO-Missouri blames database error on website for COVID-19 spike | News Headlines | kmov.com
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:16
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP/KMOV) '-- Two days after a ''database extract error'' incorrectly showed a massive one-day increase in coronavirus cases in Missouri, the problem remains unresolved.
But Dr. Randall Williams, the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services told News 4 it'll be fixed soon, "We worked on it all day Saturday and Sunday and are working on it today. Plan to have it resolved by Wednesday," said Williams.
On Saturday, more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported, which would be nearly 3,000 more than the previous record for a single day.
AP Williams said the state's in the process of migrating data from three computer databases to just one. He believes a computer erroneously combined statistics from multiple days and reported it as a one-day total.
"We're trying to backtrack and figure out from an information technology standpoint why that number got generated," he said.
Because the system is being fixed, the state had not updated any data on Monday, including the number of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations.
Dr. Alex Garza, the head of the St. Louis Area Pandemic Task Force, said software glitches will happen but that many are counting on the state being able to track accurate and trustworthy numbers.
"People count on these numbers to understand how the pandemic is going, looking for hot spots, all of those other things. Really important they get to the bottom of this and get the software glitches fixed," said Garza.
In late September, the state began using a new dashboard for tracking COVID-19 that provides additional data, including per capita cases by jurisdiction, rankings of counties by infection rates, and comparing Missouri to other states on several metrics.
INMATE ILLNESS NEAR 2,500
Nearly 2,500 Missouri prison inmates have been infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to information on the state Department of Corrections' website.
The state reported 2,447 total inmate cases of COVID-19, but just two deaths from the disease. Meanwhile, 710 prison staff members have been infected, with one death.
Nine Missouri prisons have topped 100 confirmed cases among inmates, led by 468 cases at the prison in Farmington and 366 in nearby Bonne Terre. Both prisons are in St. Francois County, about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis.
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
VIDEO-Democrats: Virus? What Virus? - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:15
VIDEO-Jake Tapper says Trump is trying to "kill off" his supporters - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:04
VIDEO-Truck-it but don't Crack It?ð on Twitter: "From Joe's speech today in Cincinnati. Carrying natzhee fa ... wait, what!! @JoeBiden https://t.co/emdRCBwING" / Twitter
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:03
Truck-it but don't Crack It?ð : From Joe's speech today in Cincinnati. Carrying natzhee fa ... wait, what!!@JoeBiden https://t.co/emdRCBwING
Mon Oct 12 22:30:59 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Benghazi Whistleblower explains what is Coming! #AMP Fest - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 12:01
VIDEO-Kanye West releases first presidential campaign ad - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:59
VIDEO-GOP candidate running against Maxine Waters unleashes viral campaign ad - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:27
VIDEO-Pelosi interview gets heated: You don't know what you're talking about - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:11
VIDEO-Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter: "The Biden family has spent decades in Washington, DC enriching themselves by selling access to Joe Biden's taxpayer funded office. Hunter Biden is corrupt. Jim Biden is corrupt. Joe Biden is corrupt. MUST WATCH!!! https
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:01
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Wed Oct 14 19:47:15 +0000 2020
Maddie Johnson : @DonaldJTrumpJr Projection again Donny from the grifting #TrumpCrimeFamily
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VIDEO-The BIDEN CRIME FAMILY'S Payoff Scheme | Rudy Giuliani's EXCLUSIVE Reaction - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:40
VIDEO-Premier Andrews electorate office vandalised for the second time in a month - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:30
VIDEO-Voters Blame Pelosi Over Trump For Stimulus Impasse: Poll | Zero Hedge
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:13
A new poll reveals that more Americans blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the stalled stimulus deal than President Trump.
According to a poll conducted Oct. 9-11 by left-leaning YouGov, 43% of those polled blamed Pelosi for failing to reach a stimulus deal, while 40% blame President Trump. 17% were unsure.
Pelosi, the target of a new bill introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) which seeks to remove her over a 'lack of mental fitness,' got into a testy exchange on Tuesday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer - biting his head off when he asked why she wouldn't accept Trump's $1.8 trillion stimulus deal (while citing several prominent Democrats who want her to take it).
"I don't know why you're always an apologist and many of your colleagues are apologists for the Republican position," replied Pelosi.
Things got contentious at the end of the interview between Speaker Pelosi and Wolf Blitzer ð"ð"ð" pic.twitter.com/vZWp08evB0
'-- Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 13, 2020As the Daily Caller notes, Rep. Ro Khanna tweeted on October 11 that the $1.8 trillion "is significant & more than twice [the] Obama stimulus" (to which Pelosi scoffed).
People in need can't wait until February. 1.8 trillion is significant & more than twice Obama stimulus. It will allow Biden to start with infrastructure. Obama won in 08 by doing the right thing on TARP instead of what was expedient. Make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court. https://t.co/qAEtd049sW
'-- Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) October 11, 2020
VIDEO-The Rest Of The Story - Paul Harvey - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:04
VIDEO-ISOLATION/INTERNMENT Camps in Canada - YouTube
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 10:01
VIDEO-Think Austin's homeless problem is getting worse? Service providers say things are actually better | KXAN Austin
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 04:03
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Driving through Austin during the pandemic, you might notice some homeless camps look like they're growing, or that there are more tents popping up.
On Thursday, Austin Public Health will provide an update to the city on its efforts to provide affordable housing, as its focus has shifted toward a different public health crisis'' combating COVID-19.
Kevin Ludlow, who lives in the Windsor Park neighborhood in east Austin, says he's watched the large homeless encampment behind his home grow worse as the pandemic stretches on.
He spoke with KXAN about the issue in early August, shortly before the city's Watershed Protection Department directed a cleanup there.
Ludlow says just days after the cleanup, the encampment was back to the way it had looked before. Now, he says it's even worse '-- with crime and drugs.
''There's dozens and dozens and dozens of needles that you come across,'' Ludlow said.
The homeowner says he sometimes cleans parts of the encampment himself, with a rake. He says he and other neighbors have also spent extra money to try to provide some sense of security as they worry about property crimes.
''I've got these ridiculous floodlights that are in the far back of my backyard now that light up the entire creek behind my house,'' he said. ''Most of us have cameras, you know, just things like that. They don't necessarily stop things, but they at least help us to be more aware when they're happening. You know, these are real costs that we're incurring.''
Austin's Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, or ECHO, says homelessness actually has not increased during the pandemic in Austin, even though it might look like it has.
ECHO's Housing for Health Systems Manager Niki Kozak has observed that there aren't as many cleanups going on due to the pandemic. She also says people may notice more tents popping up across town because advocates have been giving more out.
''So that they can better social distance and self isolate and try to follow CDC guidelines as best as they can without having a home to live in,'' Kozak explained
Kozak says ironically, COVID-19 has strengthened Austin's response to homelessness with collaborative new programs like the ''EAT Initiative, which delivers 2,000 paper bags of food weekly to people living on the streets.
She says the pro lodges housing people at high risk of infection during the pandemic have also helped some in need of immediate shelter.
In addition, Kozak says many non-profits have gotten extra funding from the CARES Act as a result of the pandemic.
''And we are working together to turn those dollars into a real housing programs,'' she says.
Ludlow says he supports those programs but wants them paired with more action in his neighborhood.
''There just has to be some basic level of enforcement,'' he said.
The city's Watershed Protection Department says it has plans for another cleanup in Ludlow's neighborhood in the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, KXAN got an up on ATX Help's plan for a large Sprung Shelter. That was supposed to go up on the state's encampment site in East Austin, in an effort led by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Homeless solution progress: ATX Helps fundraising still short of its $14M goalFundraising for the shelter, however, is still far short of the $14 million goal, with only $1.4 million raised, so far. The Chamber of Commerce says its coalition's board is currently working on a plan for next steps when it comes to spending the money it has raised.
VIDEO-Frank Luntz Suffered a Stroke, Met With Joe Biden Afterwards
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 17:59
Pollster Frank Luntz is going public with the news that he suffered a stroke earlier this year. And he's sharing a heartwarming story about being comforted by former Vice President Joe Biden.
Appearing on Morning Joe Thursday, Luntz revealed that he had a stroke in January while conducting a focus group in New Hampshire. After a week in the hospital, he ran into Joe Biden '-- who instantly sought to comfort him when he received the news.
''When he was informed of what happened to me '... he came over to me, and gave me the biggest hug,'' Luntz said. ''And he didn't let go. And I know how that felt. '... It's like all this weight had left me.''
The pollster lauded Biden's empathy.
''Joe Biden is a kind man,'' Luntz said. ''He's a decent man. He's been through hell himself, on several occasions.''
Luntz used the story as an appeal for a more civil presidential race.
''I don't like the ugliness of this campaign,'' Luntz said. ''It doesn't have to be this way. Where are they getting the information? They're being fed the information. We don't watch our news to inform us. We watch our news to affirm us. And that's probably the greatest strategy of the American political process. And our undecided voters feel it every day '... we should ask these candidates to inspire us, not to offend us.''
Watch above, via MSNBC.
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VIDEO-You have a secret health score and it's as dystopian as it sounds - YouTube
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 17:36
VIDEO-Cryptography vs. Big Brother: How Math Became a Weapon Against Tyranny - YouTube
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 17:24
VIDEO-I was voting for Biden but this changed my mind to Trump - YouTube
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 17:19
VIDEO-Ultimate Rap League GOTV Battle Rap - Charlie Clips & DNA | Joe Biden For President 2020 - YouTube
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 17:06
VIDEO-Joe Biden Campaign Launches First-Ever Battle Rap Ad - XXL
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 16:13
With exactly three weeks until American citizens will make their way to the polls to cast their ballots on Election Day, the upcoming 2020 election has already proven itself to be one of the most crucial moments in history. Now, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate for vice president, Senator Kamala Harris, have joined forces with the Ultimate Rap League (URL) to emphasize the importance of voting on Nov. 3 in a unique and untraditional, yet conceivable manner.
On Tuesday (Oct. 13), the Biden-Harris campaign unveiled the Ultimate Rap League Biden GOTV (Get Out the Vote) Battle Rap featuring veteran MCs DNA and Charlie Clips. Both rappers can be seen in the four-minute campaign ad utilizing their superlative lyricism as they dissect why it's imperative to vote next month. DNA plays the part of a friend schooling Charlie Clips on the importance of voting.
"So, when you tell me to go and vote, go and vote/Well, the reason why it's such a hard one/'Cause how we expect our people to get jobs and the president can't even get the job done," Charlie Clips spits to DNA halfway through the campaign ad.
While the initial scene of the ad takes place on a basketball court in Washington, D.C., near Howard University, the visual later transitions to the two men standing feet away from the White House.
"So, you think because you brought me here that I'm just supposed to confide in Biden?/What about the innocent Blacks that get snatched out of their car just for riding?/We don't even ask for much/All we do is ask for respect/Before they did what they did to George Floyd/This country had they foot on our necks/Now, do you understand why I'm upset?" Clips rhymes.
"I feel you/'Cause every time we throw the system a uppercut, all they give us in return is low blows/But Biden and Harris got a plan to outlaw the chokehold/It's inspiring/Donald Trump is The Apprentice/But now it's our turn to do the firing," DNA responds off the top of the dome.
Charlie Clips, a well-known battle rapper with an unmatched quick-witted rhyming style, also starred on the improv comedy competition show Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out for seven seasons. The Harlem native performed at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in 2015, as well. Not to mention, he's also a part of Cannon's roster on the actor-mogul's Ncredible Entertainment record label.
As for DNA, born Eric St. John, his lyrical prowess has undeniably earned him his stripes as a master in the battle rap game. The Queens MC set the tone at the 2019 BET Hip-Hop Awards, winning the event's first-ever battle rap contest, taking home the $25,000 grand prize. He is also the founder of the battle rap collective NWX. Aside from the rap game, he's also amassed success penning jingles for the NFL, NBA, ESPN, STARZ and more.
His role in the Ultimate Rap League GOTV Battle Rap campaign ad was to make an impact for those watching. "For me, I felt like it would be not only a positive thing, but also an impactful thing to use my talent and my words for a great cause, which is having everybody vote," DNA tells XXL on his decision to participate in the Biden-Harris campaign ad. "Especially in these times with the president that we have right now...and everything that's happening in 2020."
Kamau Marshall, Director of Strategic Communications for Biden for President said in a statement, "Our collaboration with the Ultimate Rap League is an example of how our campaign is taking innovative approaches to engage the diverse communities across the United States. These artists are influencers within their respective communities, and we're thrilled to showcase their artistry while delivering a key message to voters about how a Biden-Harris administration would advance Black America."
Check out the Ultimate Rap League GOTV Battle Rap campaign ad for Joe Biden for President featuring Charlie Clips and DNA below.
See 20 Times Rappers Reminded You Who's Really Running Things
VIDEO - Eli Lilly pauses trial of antibody drug Trump touted as COVID-19 'cure' over safety concern | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 09:48
Wed Oct 14, 2020 / 1:57 AM EDT
Michael Erman and Carl O'Donnell
(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N ) said on Tuesday that the government-sponsored clinical trial of its COVID-19 antibody treatment similar to one taken by U.S. President Donald Trump has been paused because of a safety concern.
Trump touted the Lilly drug, along with the antibody treatment from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN.O ) that he received for his COVID-19, as tantamount to a cure in a video he posted last week.
The announcement comes one day after Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N ) said it was forced to pause a large high-profile trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine because a volunteer fell ill. J&J said it does not yet know if that person was given the vaccine or a placebo.
AstraZeneca Plc's (AZN.L ) U.S. trial for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine has also been on hold for over a month after a volunteer in its UK study fell ill. Trials of that vaccine resumed in other regions after a brief halt.
Lilly said earlier this month it was applying for emergency use authorization (EUA) for the antibody drug, LY-CoV555, for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 based on data from another clinical trial.
It is not uncommon to pause drug trials to investigate safety concerns, and such actions do not necessarily indicate a serious problem. Because of the urgent need for drugs and vaccines to tackle a pandemic that has claimed over 1 million lives worldwide - and the speed with which they are being developed - these trials have come under intense scrutiny.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the ACTIV-3 independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended a pause in enrollment," Lilly spokeswoman Molly McCully said in an emailed statement. "Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study."
The Indianapolis-based drugmaker did not comment on the implications for the paused trial, called ACTIV-3, which is testing the treatment on COVID-19 patients who require hospitalization, or on its other ongoing trials. It is also testing the drug in nursing homes to see if it can prevent staff and residents from getting infected.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Lilly began its ACTIV-3 trial in August and is aiming to recruit 10,000 patients primarily in the United States.
The trial compares patients who receive its antibody drug plus Gilead Sciences Inc's (GILD.O ) antiviral drug remdesivir with those who receive remdesivir alone.
Lilly sought the EUA from U.S. regulators after publishing data in September showing LY-CoV555 helped cut hospitalization and emergency room visits for COVID-19 patients. The treatment is being developed with Canadian biotech AbCellera.
Lilly shares closed nearly 3%.
(Reporting by Michael Erman and Carl O'Donnell in New York; Additional reporting by Deena Beasley in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
VIDEO-Yaakov Pollak on Twitter: "When you thought that 2020 can't have more virtue signalling, the BC leaders debate tonight proved otherwise https://t.co/r9nNxKeMo0" / Twitter
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 07:46
Yaakov Pollak : When you thought that 2020 can't have more virtue signalling, the BC leaders debate tonight proved otherwise https://t.co/r9nNxKeMo0
Wed Oct 14 05:57:03 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Exclusive: Remington Arms new owners discuss future of Ilion plant & workers
Wed, 14 Oct 2020 00:42
The question mark has been replaced by an exclamation point; new owners say that Remington Arms will remain in Ilion.
"No matter what, we will keep a footprint in Ilion. That's 100%. It's the legacy of the company, so I don't see Ilion ever going away, not as long as I have anything to do with the ownership," says Managing Partner, Richmond Italia. "So, definitely, we will always keep a footprint there. Question is, how big will that footprint be?"
It will be much smaller, at least to start.
"We've agreed to bring back 200 hourly employees, as we discussed earlier. Anything more than that basically comes down to our negotiations with the state," says Italia. Roughly 700 people worked at the plant recently, including the 200-250 who worked on the Marlin line, which was bought, at auction, by Sturm, Ruger & Co. Italia says Remington Arms will be strictly an outdoor/sporting company, and will not make military weapons.
Local state lawmakers are already working on making sure Remington stays in Ilion.....or close.
"I even have calls in to the governor's office today, to get the governor involved in the effort," says Senator James Seward. "Those connections are being made as we speak and those conversations will begin in earnest very very soon."
While the new owners are aware of Remington's iconic name and presence in Ilion, and are committed to preserving both, they say the Ilion plant is outdated and does not lend itself to safe, large-scale, efficient production.
"Unfortunately, the legacy building that we have in Ilion, based on four floors is just not ideal for manufactuirng in today's age," says Italia. "So, the ideal scenario is to basically find and move into maybe retrofit another building that somebody had left behind or build new."
Senator Seward is on that, as well.
"We've already started discussions in terms of alternate sites, locally, right near their current site," says the senator.
Italia says the Round Hill Group, which recently bought Remington Arms at auction, is committed not only to growing in New York State, but also to preserving the jobs of the people who work at the Ilion plant, who, he says, are the best at what they do.
"Am I open to other areas of New York? Only if they're within commuting distance of our employee base. Because the only reason we're considering New York is because of the employee base."
Both the company The United Mine Workers of America say the union isn't going anywhere.
"We don't anticipate the union leaving remington at all," said Phil Smith, Director of Communications and Government Affairs, UMWA. "I don't want to presuppose what our position would be at bargaining, but our goal here is to make sure all of our members get back to work, back to the same jobs they were working before, back to the same pay rate they were working before."
Smith says the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is taking over the pension plan, and members should see no change in benefits.
VIDEO-Curtis Houck on Twitter: "When even *CNN* and *Wolf Blitzer* are grilling Nancy Pelosi on why Democrats continue to reject any and all Republican stimulus offers, you know Dems might be playing politics. Watch as Pelosi snaps after failing to answer
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 22:48
Curtis Houck : When even *CNN* and *Wolf Blitzer* are grilling Nancy Pelosi on why Democrats continue to reject any and all Republ'... https://t.co/GKBg8DdXNJ
Tue Oct 13 21:27:32 +0000 2020
ðTheResistance #BidenHarris2020 : @CurtisHouck It's always funny to see Republicans complain about the Dems not compromising when it's the Republican'... https://t.co/wxbBHwsvaG
Tue Oct 13 22:48:34 +0000 2020
Tony pablo : @CurtisHouck Her legislation is garbage to make sure voting can be counted till the end of time and the illegal vot'... https://t.co/wJF4vkCYcE
Tue Oct 13 22:48:08 +0000 2020
Gail M. Ferguson : @CurtisHouck Nancy is having a major league hissy fit. She just can't stand not getting her own way.'... https://t.co/ePWc8mS0wY
Tue Oct 13 22:47:47 +0000 2020
Craig : @CurtisHouck Pelosi knows the people who are starving for a $1200 check? That's nothing. She's sicker than Biden is'... https://t.co/uWSNW5d3QA
Tue Oct 13 22:47:44 +0000 2020
VIDEO-An inside look at how Amazon in Romulus has changed to keep up with COVID-19 pandemic demands
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 22:43
Latest NewsMany people relying on Amazon to get them through pandemicROMULUS, Mich. '' With stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules in effect due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many people have relied on Amazon to get them through the last several months.
Local 4'²s Hank Winchester was given access to the massive Amazon distribution center in Romulus as workers process all the pandemic orders.
COVID-19 pandemic has led to fewer children getting vaccinated, more dog bites Metro Detroit parents setting up groups of students to help with remote learning this fall Vaping might increase risk of contracting coronavirus in teens, young adults Earlier this year, some employees threatened to walk off the job over safety concerns, but the company made necessary changes.
The differences are obvious as you walk in the door: temperature and health checks, cleaning crews, signage and technology reminding people to keep a safe distance.
From the main distribution floor to the break room, changes were made to address COVID-19 concerns. Some employees at the facility were unhappy with how Amazon responded to the pandemic. They were vocal and wanted change.
Employees are now in place with one task: to monitor social distancing. There are 50 team members on the lookout. Overall, the company is spending more than $4 billion on coronavirus-related initiatives.
There's a massive effort to keep up with demand while making sure employees are safe in company buildings and trucks.
You can watch Help Me Hank's inside look at Amazon in the video posted above .
Here's how Detroit homeowners can see if they're eligible for property tax assistance Russia's coronavirus vaccine announcement met with skepticism How, where 54 types of activities, services, businesses are restricted in Michigan Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.
About the Authors:Hank Winchester Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.
Derick Hutchinson Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.
VIDEO-It's all coming out ( share share share ) - YouTube
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 16:11
VIDEO-Ginsburg Rule - YouTube
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 14:24
VIDEO - Mark Cuban Talks NBA Tanking, BLM, and China with Megyn Kelly '' OutKick
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 13:57
Monday, Mark Cuban appeared on the Megyn Kelly Show . The NBA owner spun the NBA's tank-job as hard as he could, discussing the league's ratings collapse, Black Lives Matter, and the NBA's relationship with China.
Billionaire NBA owner Mark Cuban joined @MegynKelly for an in-depth, wide-ranging conversation on family and raising kids, the NBA and the social justice movement, NBA ratings and business with China and more '' subscribe/download the FULL interview here: https://t.co/F96HgI7HIW
'-- The Megyn Kelly Show (@MegynKellyShow) October 12, 2020
As Outkick has written , the 2020 NBA Finals are an historic disaster '-- with games down as much as 58% year-over-year. Kelly accurately blames the league's decision to go political for the millions of Americans turning away.
''You wear a pink ribbon to support breast cancer is one thing. Putting BLM in the middle of the court when it's not supported by virtually any Republican in the country [is another],'' she started.
Cuban then oddly asked Kelly ''which BLM group'' she was referring to.
''It's a group founded by Marxists, who want to dismantle the nuclear family and defund the police,'' Kelly responded.
Cuban claimed that BLM.com and the movement were not the same: ''You never, ever heard [the NBA] talk about Marxism.''
Kelly got him again: ''To pretend BLM '-- dot com, or otherwise '-- is not about defunding the police is dishonest. The basketball players have made clear, they support that.''
Cuban didn't deny that certain players want to dismantle the police. ''Individual players can have their opinions,'' he says. The NBA ''is interested in police reform. We've never talked about defunding the police.''
Though Cuban is correct the NBA, as a unit, has never stated they are for defunding police, the league has fully embraced BLM. The group, as Kelly notes, ''devotes'' itself to defunding law enforcement agencies across the country.
Cuban tried to argue that there was no one speaking for BLM, but that isn't true either.
''The co-founder of BLM, Patrisse Cullors, was on TV saying, 'We should abolish law enforcement,''' Kelly noted.
For some reason, Cuban claimed that networks were simply re-airing Cullors' quotes.
''Your audience is fleeing,'' Kelly said on the topic of viewership decline. ''They object to the politicization of the league'... [The NBA] has suffered.''
Kelly broke down the Finals' turnout:
''Lowest Finals opener ever. Game 2, another new low. Game 3, down an unprecedented 58% from last year.
''This is during a marquee matchup with the Lakers and Heat. Last year, they had some team in Canada. That matchup is crushing what we are seeing now.''
Kelly summed up the series: ''This is an unprecedented viewership collapse.''
Here is where the discussion got good. Cuban used the same excuses the sports media has used for years to distract from the NBA's tanking numbers. He blamed the media outlets that Kelly chose to cite: ''The sources might not be reflective of reality.'' Kelly said she read about the NBA ratings on Outkick.
''You are not looking outside NBA ratings to see what is happening in media,'' Cuban fired back. He also mentioned horse racing's decline.
As I explained last week , NBA defenders are now comparing the league to niche sports '-- like horse racing and hockey. But in 2016, the same media members compared the NBA with the NFL.
Which one is it? Is the NBA on its way to catching the NFL, or is it a niche sport catered to a specific audience?
A reminder how the media reacted when the NFL's numbers were down: https://t.co/qvEWdaoMie pic.twitter.com/W0wpqpxjmB
'-- Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) December 3, 2019
Later in the interview, the two got into the NBA's business relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
Kelly asked point-blank, ''Why won't you and the NBA condemn'' China?
''I put a priority on domestic issues,'' Cuban returned. ''I'm against all human rights violations around the world. China is not the only country with human rights violations.''
I credit Mark Cuban for going on the podcast and discussing these issues. Most wouldn't do that. But on the topic of China, he went from spin-master to world-class dodger.
Nearly every time Kelly asked him to be specific about condemning China, he responded by saying he's ''against all human rights violations.'' He even gave this same vague response when Kelly asked him directly if he condemns the genocide going on in China.
To be clear: I don't believe that Cuban is indifferent to what is going on in China. However, he is putting business ahead of human rights. China ''is a customer of ours,'' he explained to Kelly. ''And I'm OK with doing business with China.''
If Cuban, LeBron James, or Adam Silver really wanted to effect change outside the world of basketball, then they would denounce China. They won't.
We encourage you to listen to the whole interview.
Follow Bobby Burack on Twitter @burackbobby_.
VIDEO-What is a APU? Explained by "CAPTAIN" Joe - YouTube
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:36
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:30
This city deserves a better class of podcast CDN. And I'm gonna give it to them. Your browser does not support the audio element.
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VIDEO-SV News ð¨ on Twitter: "REPORTER: ''56% of Americans say they are better off today than they were 4 years ago under the Obama-Biden admin. Why should they vote for you?'' JOE BIDEN: ''Well. If they think that... They probably shouldn't...''
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:12
SV News ð¨ : REPORTER: ''56% of Americans say they are better off today than they were 4 years ago under the Obama-Biden admin. W'... https://t.co/LmRMkG651M
Tue Oct 13 03:38:01 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Socialists are using 'hysteria over COVID as a weapon of economic destruction' - YouTube
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:09
VIDEO-Ben Rickert on Twitter: "The Central Bank Game Plan In Under 3 Minutes - Richard Werner https://t.co/8XL8W5Qgvg" / Twitter
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:03
Ben Rickert : The Central Bank Game Plan In Under 3 Minutes - Richard Werner https://t.co/8XL8W5Qgvg
Mon Oct 12 05:19:41 +0000 2020
888 : @Ben__Rickert ð§.. Seems legit
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Tue Oct 13 08:28:12 +0000 2020
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Tue Oct 13 07:03:16 +0000 2020
Ben Rickert : Full Presentation: https://t.co/qKgqWRCkDY
Tue Oct 13 06:02:23 +0000 2020
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VIDEO-Erik de Vlieger on Twitter: "Blij voor @eelcobvr en @erikmouthaanrtl https://t.co/zjKQDFvnnU" / Twitter
Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:03
Erik de Vlieger : Blij voor @eelcobvr en @erikmouthaanrtl https://t.co/zjKQDFvnnU
Mon Oct 12 21:45:51 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Putin Informs Hacking Expert Megyn Kelly That She Has No Idea What She's Talking About - YouTube
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 23:34
VIDEO-2011 Atlantic Council Awards Dinner - Vice President Joe Biden - YouTube
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 13:27
VIDEO-2020-10-11 | Alan Howell Parrot BOMBSHELL - Benghazi | Bin Laden | Iran | US Govt
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 12:01
First published at 03:02 UTC on October 12th, 2020.
Nicholas Noe - Benghazi WhistleblowerCharles Woods - Ty Woods FatherAlan Howell Parrot, a Falcon Trainer, is the special guest on a zoom call just recorded today and presented at #Ampfest2020 in Miami Florida.
Nicholas Noe - Benghazi WhistleblowerCharles Woods - Ty Woods FatherAlan Howell Parrot, a Falcon Trainer, is the special guest on a zoom call just recorded today and presented at #Ampfest2020 in Miami Florida.
VIDEO-Benghazi Bombshell - EXCLUSIVE! - PureSocialTV
Mon, 12 Oct 2020 11:58
Nicholas Noe - Benghazi Whistleblower
Charles Woods - Ty Woods Father
Alan Howell Parrot, a Falcon Trainer, is the special guest on a zoom call just recorded today and presented at #Ampfest2020 in Miami Florida.
Please share and lets support our President by getting the truth out.