Art for episode 1291

1291: The Election Special

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 30m
November 1st, 2020
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Associate Executive Producers: Jan Navis, Anonymous, Ryan Miller, Dame Christina, Judoka of Penn's Woods

Cover Artist: Sir Net Ned

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PCR
COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless '' OffGuardian
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 01:01
Torsten Engelbrecht and Konstantin DemeterLockdowns and hygienic measures around the world are based on numbers of cases and mortality rates created by the so-called SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests used to identify ''positive'' patients, whereby ''positive'' is usually equated with ''infected.''
But looking closely at the facts, the conclusion is that these PCR tests are meaningless as a diagnostic tool to determine an alleged infection by a supposedly new virus called SARS-CoV-2.
Unfounded ''Test, test, test,'...'' mantraAt the media briefing on COVID-19 on March 16, 2020, the WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:
We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test.''
The message was spread through headlines around the world, for instance by Reuters and the BBC.
Still on the 3 of May, the moderator of the heute journal '-- one of the most important news magazines on German television'-- was passing the mantra of the corona dogma on to his audience with the admonishing words:
Test, test, test'--that is the credo at the moment, and it is the only way to really understand how much the coronavirus is spreading.''
This indicates that the belief in the validity of the PCR tests is so strong that it equals a religion that tolerates virtually no contradiction.
But it is well known that religions are about faith and not about scientific facts. And as Walter Lippmann, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and perhaps the most influential journalist of the 20th century said: ''Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.''
So to start, it is very remarkable that Kary Mullis himself, the inventor of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, did not think alike. His invention got him the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1993.
Unfortunately, Mullis passed away last year at the age of 74, but there is no doubt that the biochemist regarded the PCR as inappropriate to detect a viral infection.
The reason is that the intended use of the PCR was, and still is, to apply it as a manufacturing technique, being able to replicate DNA sequences millions and billions of times, and not as a diagnostic tool to detect viruses.
How declaring virus pandemics based on PCR tests can end in disaster was described by Gina Kolata in her 2007 New York Times article Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn't.
Lack of a valid gold standardMoreover, it is worth mentioning that the PCR tests used to identify so-called COVID-19 patients presumably infected by what is called SARS-CoV-2 do not have a valid gold standard to compare them with.
This is a fundamental point. Tests need to be evaluated to determine their preciseness '-- strictly speaking their ''sensitivity''[1] and ''specificity'' '-- by comparison with a ''gold standard,'' meaning the most accurate method available.
As an example, for a pregnancy test the gold standard would be the pregnancy itself. But as Australian infectious diseases specialist Sanjaya Senanayake, for example, stated in an ABC TV interview in an answer to the question ''How accurate is the [COVID-19] testing?'':
If we had a new test for picking up [the bacterium] golden staph in blood, we've already got blood cultures, that's our gold standard we've been using for decades, and we could match this new test against that. But for COVID-19 we don't have a gold standard test.''
Jessica C. Watson from Bristol University confirms this. In her paper ''Interpreting a COVID-19 test result'', published recently in The British Medical Journal, she writes that there is a ''lack of such a clear-cut 'gold-standard' for COVID-19 testing.''
But instead of classifying the tests as unsuitable for SARS-CoV-2 detection and COVID-19 diagnosis, or instead of pointing out that only a virus, proven through isolation and purification, can be a solid gold standard, Watson claims in all seriousness that, ''pragmatically'' COVID-19 diagnosis itself, remarkably including PCR testing itself, ''may be the best available 'gold standard'.'' But this is not scientifically sound.
Apart from the fact that it is downright absurd to take the PCR test itself as part of the gold standard to evaluate the PCR test, there are no distinctive specific symptoms for COVID-19, as even people such as Thomas L¶scher, former head of the Department of Infection and Tropical Medicine at the University of Munich and member of the Federal Association of German Internists, conceded to us[2].
And if there are no distinctive specific symptoms for COVID-19, COVID-19 diagnosis '-- contrary to Watson's statement '-- cannot be suitable for serving as a valid gold standard.
In addition, ''experts'' such as Watson overlook the fact that only virus isolation, i.e. an unequivocal virus proof, can be the gold standard.
That is why I asked Watson how COVID-19 diagnosis ''may be the best available gold standard,'' if there are no distinctive specific symptoms for COVID-19, and also whether the virus itself, that is virus isolation, wouldn't be the best available/possible gold standard. But she hasn't answered these questions yet '' despite multiple requests. And she has not yet responded to our rapid response post on her article in which we address exactly the same points, either, though she wrote us on June 2nd: ''I will try to post a reply later this week when I have a chance.''
No proof for the RNA being of viral originNow the question is: What is required first for virus isolation/proof? We need to know where the RNA for which the PCR tests are calibrated comes from.
As textbooks (e.g., White/Fenner. Medical Virology, 1986, p. 9) as well as leading virus researchers such as Luc Montagnier or Dominic Dwyer state, particle purification '-- i.e. the separation of an object from everything else that is not that object, as for instance Nobel laureate Marie Curie purified 100 mg of radium chloride in 1898 by extracting it from tons of pitchblende '-- is an essential pre-requisite for proving the existence of a virus, and thus to prove that the RNA from the particle in question comes from a new virus.
The reason for this is that PCR is extremely sensitive, which means it can detect even the smallest pieces of DNA or RNA '-- but it cannot determine where these particles came from. That has to be determined beforehand.
And because the PCR tests are calibrated for gene sequences (in this case RNA sequences because SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be a RNA virus), we have to know that these gene snippets are part of the looked-for virus. And to know that, correct isolation and purification of the presumed virus has to be executed.
Hence, we have asked the science teams of the relevant papers which are referred to in the context of SARS-CoV-2 for proof whether the electron-microscopic shots depicted in their in vitro experiments show purified viruses.
But not a single team could answer that question with ''yes'' '-- and NB., nobody said purification was not a necessary step. We only got answers like ''No, we did not obtain an electron micrograph showing the degree of purification'' (see below).
We asked several study authors ''Do your electron micrographs show the purified virus?'', they gave the following responses:
Study 1: Leo L. M. Poon; Malik Peiris. ''Emergence of a novel human coronavirus threatening human health'' Nature Medicine, March 2020Replying Author: Malik PeirisDate: May 12, 2020Answer: ''The image is the virus budding from an infected cell. It is not purified virus.''
Study 2: Myung-Guk Han et al. ''Identification of Coronavirus Isolated from a Patient in Korea with COVID-19'', Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, February 2020Replying Author: Myung-Guk HanDate: May 6, 2020Answer: ''We could not estimate the degree of purification because we do not purify and concentrate the virus cultured in cells.''
Study 3: Wan Beom Park et al. ''Virus Isolation from the First Patient with SARS-CoV-2 in Korea'', Journal of Korean Medical Science, February 24, 2020Replying Author: Wan Beom ParkDate: March 19, 2020Answer: ''We did not obtain an electron micrograph showing the degree of purification.''
Study 4: Na Zhu et al., ''A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China'', 2019, New England Journal of Medicine, February 20, 2020Replying Author: Wenjie TanDate: March 18, 2020Answer: ''[We show] an image of sedimented virus particles, not purified ones.''
Regarding the mentioned papers it is clear that what is shown in the electron micrographs (EMs) is the end result of the experiment, meaning there is no other result that they could have made EMs from.
That is to say, if the authors of these studies concede that their published EMs do not show purified particles, then they definitely do not possess purified particles claimed to be viral. (In this context, it has to be remarked that some researchers use the term ''isolation'' in their papers, but the procedures described therein do not represent a proper isolation (purification) process. Consequently, in this context the term ''isolation'' is misused).
Thus, the authors of four of the principal, early 2020 papers claiming discovery of a new coronavirus concede they had no proof that the origin of the virus genome was viral-like particles or cellular debris, pure or impure, or particles of any kind. In other words, the existence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA is based on faith, not fact.
We have also contacted Dr Charles Calisher, who is a seasoned virologist. In 2001, Science published an ''impassioned plea'...to the younger generation'' from several veteran virologists, among them Calisher, saying that:
[modern virus detection methods like] sleek polymerase chain reaction ['...] tell little or nothing about how a virus multiplies, which animals carry it, [or] how it makes people sick. [It is] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint.''[3]
And that's why we asked Dr Calisher whether he knows one single paper in which SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated and finally really purified. His answer:
I know of no such a publication. I have kept an eye out for one.''[4]
This actually means that one cannot conclude that the RNA gene sequences, which the scientists took from the tissue samples prepared in the mentioned in vitro trials and for which the PCR tests are finally being ''calibrated,'' belong to a specific virus '-- in this case SARS-CoV-2.
In addition, there is no scientific proof that those RNA sequences are the causative agent of what is called COVID-19.
In order to establish a causal connection, one way or the other, i.e. beyond virus isolation and purification, it would have been absolutely necessary to carry out an experiment that satisfies the four Koch's postulates. But there is no such experiment, as Amory Devereux and Rosemary Frei recently revealed for OffGuardian.
The necessity to fulfill these postulates regarding SARS-CoV-2 is demonstrated not least by the fact that attempts have been made to fulfill them. But even researchers claiming they have done it, in reality, did not succeed.
One example is a study published in Nature on May 7. This trial, besides other procedures which render the study invalid, did not meet any of the postulates.
For instance, the alleged ''infected'' laboratory mice did not show any relevant clinical symptoms clearly attributable to pneumonia, which according to the third postulate should actually occur if a dangerous and potentially deadly virus was really at work there. And the slight bristles and weight loss, which were observed temporarily in the animals are negligible, not only because they could have been caused by the procedure itself, but also because the weight went back to normal again.
Also, no animal died except those they killed to perform the autopsies. And let's not forget: These experiments should have been done before developing a test, which is not the case.
Revealingly, none of the leading German representatives of the official theory about SARS-Cov-2/COVID-19 '-- the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI), Alexander S. Kekul(C) (University of Halle), Hartmut Hengel and Ralf Bartenschlager (German Society for Virology), the aforementioned Thomas L¶scher, Ulrich Dirnagl (Charit(C) Berlin) or Georg Bornkamm (virologist and professor emeritus at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Munich) '-- could answer the following question I have sent them:
If the particles that are claimed to be to be SARS-CoV-2 have not been purified, how do you want to be sure that the RNA gene sequences of these particles belong to a specific new virus?
Particularly, if there are studies showing that substances such as antibiotics that are added to the test tubes in the in vitro experiments carried out for virus detection can ''stress'' the cell culture in a way that new gene sequences are being formed that were not previously detectable '-- an aspect that Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock already drew attention to in her Nobel Lecture back in 1983.
It should not go unmentioned that we finally got the Charit(C) '' the employer of Christian Drosten, Germany's most influential virologist in respect of COVID-19, advisor to the German government and co-developer of the PCR test which was the first to be ''accepted'' (not validated!) by the WHO worldwide '' to answer questions on the topic.
But we didn't get answers until June 18, 2020, after months of non-response. In the end, we achieved it only with the help of Berlin lawyer Viviane Fischer.
Regarding our question ''Has the Charit(C) convinced itself that appropriate particle purification was carried out?,'' the Charit(C) concedes that they didn't use purified particles.
And although they claim ''virologists at the Charit(C) are sure that they are testing for the virus,'' in their paper (Corman et al.) they state:
RNA was extracted from clinical samples with the MagNA Pure 96 system (Roche, Penzberg, Germany) and from cell culture supernatants with the viral RNA mini kit (QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany),''
Which means they just assumed the RNA was viral.
Incidentally, the Corman et al. paper, published on January 23, 2020 didn't even go through a proper peer review process, nor were the procedures outlined therein accompanied by controls '-- although it is only through these two things that scientific work becomes really solid.
Irrational test resultsIt is also certain that we cannot know the false positive rate of the PCR tests without widespread testing of people who certainly do not have the virus, proven by a method which is independent of the test (having a solid gold standard).
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that there are several papers illustrating irrational test results.
For example, already in February the health authority in China's Guangdong province reported that people have fully recovered from illness blamed on COVID-19, started to test ''negative,'' and then tested ''positive'' again.
A month later, a paper published in the Journal of Medical Virology showed that 29 out of 610 patients at a hospital in Wuhan had 3 to 6 test results that flipped between ''negative'', ''positive'' and ''dubious''.
A third example is a study from Singapore in which tests were carried out almost daily on 18 patients and the majority went from ''positive'' to ''negative'' back to ''positive'' at least once, and up to five times in one patient.
Even Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, conceded in February that the PCR tests are ''only 30 to 50 per cent accurate''; while Sin Hang Lee from the Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory sent a letter to the WHO's coronavirus response team and to Anthony S. Fauci on March 22, 2020, saying that:
It has been widely reported in the social media that the RT-qPCR [Reverse Transcriptase quantitative PCR] test kits used to detect SARSCoV-2 RNA in human specimens are generating many false positive results and are not sensitive enough to detect some real positive cases.''
In other words, even if we theoretically assume that these PCR tests can really detect a viral infection, the tests would be practically worthless, and would only cause an unfounded scare among the ''positive'' people tested.
This becomes also evident considering the positive predictive value (PPV).
The PPV indicates the probability that a person with a positive test result is truly ''positive'' (ie. has the supposed virus), and it depends on two factors: the prevalence of the virus in the general population and the specificity of the test, that is the percentage of people without disease in whom the test is correctly ''negative'' (a test with a specificity of 95% incorrectly gives a positive result in 5 out of 100 non-infected people).
With the same specificity, the higher the prevalence, the higher the PPV.
In this context, on June 12 2020, the journal Deutsches rzteblatt published an article in which the PPV has been calculated with three different prevalence scenarios.
The results must, of course, be viewed very critically, first because it is not possible to calculate the specificity without a solid gold standard, as outlined, and second because the calculations in the article are based on the specificity determined in the study by Jessica Watson, which is potentially worthless, as also mentioned.
But if you abstract from it, assuming that the underlying specificity of 95% is correct and that we know the prevalence, even the mainstream medical journal Deutsches rzteblatt reports that the so-called SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests may have ''a shockingly low'' PPV.
In one of the three scenarios, figuring with an assumed prevalence of 3%, the PPV was only 30 percent, which means that 70 percent of the people tested ''positive'' are not ''positive'' at all. Yet ''they are prescribed quarantine,'' as even the rzteblatt notes critically.
In a second scenario of the journal's article, a prevalence of rate of 20 percent is assumed. In this case they generate a PPV of 78 percent, meaning that 22 percent of the ''positive'' tests are false ''positives.''
That would mean: If we take the around 9 million people who are currently considered ''positive'' worldwide '-- supposing that the true ''positives'' really have a viral infection '-- we would get almost 2 million false ''positives.''
All this fits with the fact that the CDC and the FDA, for instance, concede in their files that the so-called ''SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests'' are not suitable for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis.
In the ''CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel'' file from March 30, 2020, for example, it says:
Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms''
And:
This test cannot rule out diseases caused by other bacterial or viral pathogens.''
And the FDA admits that:
positive results ['...] do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease.''
Remarkably, in the instruction manuals of PCR tests we can also read that they are not intended as a diagnostic test, as for instance in those by Altona Diagnostics and Creative Diagnostics[5].
To quote another one, in the product announcement of the LightMix Modular Assays produced by TIB Molbiol '-- which were developed using the Corman et al. protocol '-- and distributed by Roche we can read:
These assays are not intended for use as an aid in the diagnosis of coronavirus infection''
And:
For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.''
Where is the evidence that the tests can measure the ''viral load''?There is also reason to conclude that the PCR test from Roche and others cannot even detect the targeted genes.
Moreover, in the product descriptions of the RT-qPCR tests for SARS-COV-2 it says they are ''qualitative'' tests, contrary to the fact that the ''q'' in ''qPCR'' stands for ''quantitative.'' And if these tests are not ''quantitative'' tests, they don't show how many viral particles are in the body.
That is crucial because, in order to even begin talking about actual illness in the real world not only in a laboratory, the patient would need to have millions and millions of viral particles actively replicating in their body.
That is to say, the CDC, the WHO, the FDA or the RKI may assert that the tests can measure the so-called ''viral load,'' i.e. how many viral particles are in the body. ''But this has never been proven. That is an enormous scandal,'' as the journalist Jon Rappoport points out.
This is not only because the term ''viral load'' is deception. If you put the question ''what is viral load?'' at a dinner party, people take it to mean viruses circulating in the bloodstream. They're surprised to learn it's actually RNA molecules.
Also, to prove beyond any doubt that the PCR can measure how much a person is ''burdened'' with a disease-causing virus, the following experiment would have had to be carried out (which has not yet happened):
You take, let's say, a few hundred or even thousand people and remove tissue samples from them. Make sure the people who take the samples do not perform the test.The testers will never know who the patients are and what condition they're in. The testers run their PCR on the tissue samples. In each case, they say which virus they found and how much of it they found. Then, for example, in patients 29, 86, 199, 272, and 293 they found a great deal of what they claim is a virus. Now we un-blind those patients. They should all be sick, because they have so much virus replicating in their bodies. But are they really sick '-- or are they fit as a fiddle?
With the help of the aforementioned lawyer Viviane Fischer, I finally got the Charit(C) to also answer the question of whether the test developed by Corman et al. '-- the so-called ''Drosten PCR test'' '-- is a quantitative test.
But the Charit(C) was not willing to answer this question ''yes''. Instead, the Charit(C) wrote:
If real-time RT-PCR is involved, to the knowledge of the Charit(C) in most cases these are ['...] limited to qualitative detection.''
Furthermore, the ''Drosten PCR test'' uses the unspecific E-gene assay as preliminary assay, while the Institut Pasteur uses the same assay as confirmatory assay.
According to Corman et al., the E-gene assay is likely to detect all Asian viruses, while the other assays in both tests are supposed to be more specific for sequences labelled ''SARS-CoV-2''.
Besides the questionable purpose of having either a preliminary or a confirmatory test that is likely to detect all Asian viruses, at the beginning of April the WHO changed the algorithm, recommending that from then on a test can be regarded as ''positive'' even if just the E-gene assay (which is likely to detect all Asian viruses!) gives a ''positive'' result.
This means that a confirmed unspecific test result is officially sold as specific.
That change of algorithm increased the ''case'' numbers. Tests using the E-gene assay are produced for example by Roche, TIB Molbiol and R-Biopharm.
High Cq values make the test results even more meaninglessAnother essential problem is that many PCR tests have a ''cycle quantification'' (Cq) value of over 35, and some, including the ''Drosten PCR test'', even have a Cq of 45.
The Cq value specifies how many cycles of DNA replication are required to detect a real signal from biological samples.
''Cq values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported,'' as it says in the MIQE guidelines.
MIQE stands for ''Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments'', a set of guidelines that describe the minimum information necessary for evaluating publications on Real-Time PCR, also called quantitative PCR, or qPCR.
The inventor himself, Kary Mullis, agreed, when he stated:
If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.''
The MIQE guidelines have been developed under the aegis of Stephen A. Bustin, Professor of Molecular Medicine, a world-renowned expert on quantitative PCR and author of the book A-Z of Quantitative PCR which has been called ''the bible of qPCR.''
In a recent podcast interview Bustin points out that ''the use of such arbitrary Cq cut-offs is not ideal, because they may be either too low (eliminating valid results) or too high (increasing false ''positive'' results).''
And, according to him, a Cq in the 20s to 30s should be aimed at and there is concern regarding the reliability of the results for any Cq over 35.
If the Cq value gets too high, it becomes difficult to distinguish real signal from background, for example due to reactions of primers and fluorescent probes, and hence there is a higher probability of false positives.
Moreover, among other factors that can alter the result, before starting with the actual PCR, in case you are looking for presumed RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the RNA must be converted to complementary DNA (cDNA) with the enzyme Reverse Transcriptase'--hence the ''RT'' at the beginning of ''PCR'' or ''qPCR.''
But this transformation process is ''widely recognized as inefficient and variable,'' as Jessica Schwaber from the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto and two research colleagues pointed out in a 2019 paper.
Stephen A. Bustin acknowledges problems with PCR in a comparable way.
For example, he pointed to the problem that in the course of the conversion process (RNA to cDNA) the amount of DNA obtained with the same RNA base material can vary widely, even by a factor of 10 (see above interview).
Considering that the DNA sequences get doubled at every cycle, even a slight variation becomes magnified and can thus alter the result, annihilating the test's reliable informative value.
So how can it be that those who claim the PCR tests are highly meaningful for so-called COVID-19 diagnosis blind out the fundamental inadequacies of these tests'--even if they are confronted with questions regarding their validity?
Certainly, the apologists of the novel coronavirus hypothesis should have dealt with these questions before throwing the tests on the market and putting basically the whole world under lockdown, not least because these are questions that come to mind immediately for anyone with even a spark of scientific understanding.
Thus, the thought inevitably emerges that financial and political interests play a decisive role for this ignorance about scientific obligations. NB, the WHO, for example has financial ties with drug companies, as the British Medical Journal showed in 2010.
And experts criticize ''that the notorious corruption and conflicts of interest at WHO have continued, even grown'' since then. The CDC as well, to take another big player, is obviously no better off.
Finally, the reasons and possible motives remain speculative, and many involved surely act in good faith; but the science is clear: The numbers generated by these RT-PCR tests do not in the least justify frightening people who have been tested ''positive'' and imposing lockdown measures that plunge countless people into poverty and despair or even drive them to suicide.
And a ''positive'' result may have serious consequences for the patients as well, because then all non-viral factors are excluded from the diagnosis and the patients are treated with highly toxic drugs and invasive intubations. Especially for elderly people and patients with pre-existing conditions such a treatment can be fatal, as we have outlined in the article ''Fatal Therapie.''
Without doubt eventual excess mortality rates are caused by the therapy and by the lockdown measures, while the ''COVID-19'' death statistics comprise also patients who died of a variety of diseases, redefined as COVID-19 only because of a ''positive'' test result whose value could not be more doubtful.
NOTES:-
[1] Sensitivity is defined as the proportion of patients with disease in whom the test is positive; and specificity is defined as the proportion of patients without disease in whom the test is negative.
[2] E-mail from Prof.'‰Thomas L¶scher from March 6, 2020
[3] Martin Enserink. Virology. Old guard urges virologists to go back to basics, Science, July 6, 2001, p. 24
[4] E-mail from Charles Calisher from May 10, 2020
[5] Creative Diagnostics, SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Multiplex RT-qPCR Kit
Torsten Engelbrecht is an award-winning journalist and author from Hamburg, Germany. In 2006 he co-authored Virus-Mania with Dr Klaus Kohnlein, and in 2009 he won the German Alternate Media Award. He has also written for Rubikon, S¼ddeutsche Zeitung, Financial Times Deutschland and many others.Konstantin Demeter is a freelance photographer and an independent researcher. Together with the journalist Torsten Engelbrecht he has published articles on the ''COVID-19'' crisis in the online magazine Rubikon, as well as contributions on the monetary system, geopolitics, and the media in Swiss Italian newspapers.
PCR inventor '' who died in 2019 '' did not say his test won't work for COVID-19 infections '' Australian Associated Press
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:02
The StatementA video on Facebook includes a claim that the inventor of the PCR test '' one of the main tests used to detect COVID-19 '' said the tests do not work to properly diagnose COVID-19 infections.
The video, posted to a Facebook page called ''NO CONSENT : For We Are Young and Free'', features a man criticising a July 18 article in The Australian newspaper about COVID-19 conspiracy theorists.
The speaker reads a number of quotes and attributes them to the inventor of the PCR test, the late US biochemist Kary B Mullis. Among the attributed quotes is the following: ''PCR basically takes a sample of your cells and amplifies any DNA to look for viral sequences, i.e. bits of non-human DNA that seem to match parts of a known viral genome. The problem is the test is known not to work''.
Another attributed quote is: ''the idea these kits can isolate a specific virus like COVID-19 is nonsense''.
The video has been viewed more than 3,100 times and attracted more than 120 comments since it was posted on July 18, 2020.
Similar claims about PCR testing have appeared online including here, here and here.
A Facebook video claims the PCR test inventor said the tests do not effectively diagnose COVID-19. The AnalysisThe quotes attributed to PCR test inventor Dr Kary B. Mullis are not from the Nobel Prize-winning American biochemist. The quotes have appeared online with various attributions online since March, 2020. Dr Mullis died in August, 2019, before the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The earliest example of the quoted lines found by AAP FactCheck is an entry published between March 13 and March 18, according to internet archive Wayback Machine, on a website that claims terrorist attacks such as 9/11 were staged. The lines on the website, copied below, are identical to the purported quotes read out in the video except for one omitted paragraph, shown in bold. They are not attributed to Dr Mullis but to an online commenter called ''VirusGuy'':
''PCR basically takes a sample of your cells and amplifies any DNA to look for 'viral sequences', i.e. bits of non-human DNA that seem to match parts of a known viral genome.
The problem is the test is known not to work.
It uses 'amplification' which means taking a very very tiny amount of DNA and growing it exponentially until it can be analysed. Obviously any minute contaminations in the sample will also be amplified leading to potentially gross errors of discovery.
Additionally, it's only looking for partial viral sequences, not whole genomes, so identifying a single pathogen is next to impossible even if you ignore the other issues.
(Omitted: The Mickey Mouse test kits being sent out to hospitals, at best, tell analysts you have some viral DNA in your cells. Which most of us do, most of the time. It may tell you the viral sequence is related to a specific type of virus '' say the huge family of coronavirus. But that's all.)
The idea these kits can isolate a specific virus like COVID-19 is nonsense.''
The page contents also appear, copied and pasted, in this Facebook post dated March 17, 2020.
In addition to the original comments coming from an anonymous online commenter, Dr Mullis died, aged 74, in August 2019, four months before the first signs of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China and six months before the World Health Organisation named the disease COVID-19, making it impossible for the late doctor to have spoken about COVID-19.
The same ''quotes'' have appeared elsewhere online, including on this site, presented as being from ''a widely respected professional scientist in the US'' on a medical forum.
Dr Mullis was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993 for his invention of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a laboratory method used to make a large number of copies of short sections of DNA from a very small sample of genetic material, enabling specific genes of interest to be detected or measured.
PCR testing is one of the two main tests used to detect a COVID-19 infection in Australia and has been approved by the government's Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Dr Ian Mackay, a virologist and adjunct associate professor with the University of Queensland, told AAP FactCheck the claims read out about PCR testing in the video show ''an extreme lack of understanding of PCR, PCR test design and use''.
One of the claims is that the process of DNA amplification, which grows a tiny amount of DNA exponentially, can also amplify contaminants leading to ''potentially gross errors of discovery''.
Dr Mackay said laboratories have processes in place to account for and prevent PCR contamination, including having controls to alert them if contamination has occurred.
In response to the claim ''the tests do not work'', Prof Mackay said the tests are ''extremely effective at very sensitively and specifically detecting SARS-CoV-2''.
''The leading tests have also been tested on SARS-CoV-2 RNA from infected patients, isolated and grown in cells in the lab '' so we know it is this virus that we're detecting,'' he said.
''The tests detect the viral sequences we expect them to and not other viruses.''
Regarding the claim in the video that it is ''next to impossible'' for PCR testing to identify a single pathogen because it only looks for partial viral sequences and not the whole COVID-19 sequence, Professor Mackay said PCR tests are in fact designed to look at partial viral sequences.
''That is by design, not an error or an oversight. We have only been able to quickly and relatively easily (compared to even a decade ago) detect entire viral genomes '' the science of genomics '' in very recent times. It is still costly, less sensitive and slower to determine the entire sequence of a virus compared to detecting its presence using a PCR test. And for cluster, outbreak, epidemic and pandemic control and for patient management '' detection the virus (which real-time PCRs do) is all that is needed,'' he said.
A claim that the inventor of PCR tests said the tests don't work in detecting COVID-19 is false. The VerdictBased on the evidence, AAP FactCheck found the Facebook post to be false. The quotes in the video are not from PCR test inventor Kary B. Mullis, who died in August 2019, before the discovery of COVID-19. The claims instead appear to have originated from an anonymous online commenter.
Claims about the effectiveness of PCR tests are incorrect. Virology expert Professor Ian Mackay said the claims show ''an extreme lack of understanding of PCR, PCR test design and use'' and that PCR tests are ''extremely effective at very sensitively and specifically detecting SARS-CoV-2''.
False '' The primary claims of the content are factually inaccurate.
* AAP FactCheck is accredited by the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network, which promotes best practice through a stringent and transparent Code of Principles. https://www.aap.com.au/
Britain records 23,012 more Covid cases - up 2,482 from yesterday | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 15:05
Britain has recorded 23,012 more Covid-19 cases, up 2,482 from yesterday, as Professor Neil Ferguson warns people 'will catch the virus and die' if they are allowed to mix on Christmas Day.
There were 174 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, down from 224 on Friday, including 33 deaths in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 141 fatalities in England.
Meanwhile Professor Ferguson, whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, said earlier today that schools may have to be closed to older pupils if restrictions on households mixing fail to stem the rise of infections, and that it will be a 'political judgement' as to whether regulations are relaxed over the festive season.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: 'It risks some transmission and there will be consequences of that. Some people will die because of getting infected on that day.
'But if it is only one or two days the impact is likely to be limited. So that is really a political judgment about the cost versus the benefits.'
It follows the prospects for a family Christmas descending into further confusion yesterday, as Downing Street insisted that relatives should be able to gather - but a minister warned it will not be 'normal'.
Professor Ferguson added: 'That (banning households mixing) should have a significant effect but as yet we have been unable to see it definitively.
'If we go beyond that there is a limit to what we can do in terms of reducing contacts, short of starting to target, for instance, the older years in schools and sixth form colleges where we know older teenagers are able to transmit as adults.
'Of course nobody wants to start moving to virtual education and closing schools even partially. The challenge may be that we are not able to get on top of the transmission otherwise.'
Yesterday the UK announced 20,530 infections and the deaths of 224 people. Last Saturday the Department of Health recorded 150 coronavirus victims, with another 16,171 cases.
Figures tend to be lower over the weekend due to a delay in processing the tests at laboratories.
In coronavirus news today:
Professor Neil Ferguson warned loved ones will 'catch Covid and die' if households mix at Christmas, but said the impact will be 'likely limited' if it is only for one or two days;The scientist said schools may have to be closed to older pupils if banning households from mixing doesn't have a 'significant effect' on the number of infections; He also predicts the NHS will be unable to cope if cases continue to increase at the present rate, saying that while infections among 18 to 21-year-olds were falling, they were continuing to rise in other age groups; Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland which saw the closure of pubs and restaurants in the central belt and a 6pm indoor hospitality curfew elsewhere are to be extended until November 2; One in 20 people with Covid-19 are still suffering symptoms eight weeks later, while one in 50 are struggling after three months, according to a study from King's College London; Gyms in Merseyside can reopen after a U-turn over their inclusion in the Liverpool City Region's Tier 3 restrictions; Dr Nick Scriven, former president of the Society for Acute Medicine, warned last night that cancellations would be 'inevitable' across large areas of the health service; P olice revealed plans to patrol the Anglo-Welsh border to stop families from crossing over for a half-term holiday as Wales is plunged into a two-week 'firebreak' lockdown; Scientific advisers have been warned the coronavirus is mutating and could become more infectious, according to SAGE papers; Only one in ten stay at home for two weeks after being told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, Sage documents reveal; Warrington will move into a Tier Three lockdown two days early as infection rate remains 'stubbornly high'. Military personnel are being drafted in to help enforce coronavirus restrictions in Tier 3 areas as f ive Army and Navy environmental health officers trained in 'outbreak management' were deployed in Liverpool on Friday. Meanwhile Dr Nick Scriven, former president of the Society for Acute Medicine, warned last night that cancellations would be 'inevitable' across large areas of the health service.
He said: 'I feel it is unrealistic to expect trusts across the country to meet the set elective targets in the current climate.'
The scientist (above), whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, said of regulations being relaxed: 'Some people will die because of getting infected on that day'
NHS trusts in Chesterfield, Northampton, Newcastle and Nottingham confirmed yesterday that they were postponing at least some non-urgent activity, while Rotherham, Liverpool, Bradford and Plymouth have announced similar actions in the last week.
Dr Rob Harwood, the chair of the British Medical Association's (BMA) hospital consultants committee, said trusts will have 'no choice' but to limit planned treatments for patients.
He told The Guardian: 'As we approach winter, it's likely that many trusts will have no choice but to continue to restrict their elective care services, which is incredibly worrying for both staff and patients, as backlogs increase and health conditions potentially worsen.'
Speaking on operations being cancelled, Dr Nick Scriven, the former president of the Society for Acute Medicine and a consultant physician, added: 'I think this is going to be inevitable across large areas of the health service as the pandemic and winter coincide.
'We know bed numbers are low compared with other countries and with the necessary infection control processes the 'functioning' of what we have is slowed down across the board.'
Emily Robertshaw spoke about the difficulties her 14-year-old son will have to face after his life-changing cochlear implant surgery was delayed.
The mother told Channel 4 News: 'I have yet to actually to break the news to him and he's back later, and it's going to be really difficult. He's had to have a lot of support building up to the operation.
'He's got significant learning disabilities so the preparation has been huge.'
Emily Robertshaw pictured with her 14-year-old son, whose life-changing cochlear implant surgery was delayed. The mother earlier said: 'I have yet to actually to break the news to him and he's back later, and it's going to be really difficult'
Professor Neil Ferguson said it will be a 'political judgement' as to whether regulations on households mixing are relaxed over the festive season. Pictured: a shopper in Wrexham last night as the 6pm 'fire break' lockdown approached
Doctors have warned that the mass cancellation of routine operations is 'inevitable'. The BMA's Dr Rob Harwood said NHS trusts will have 'no choice' but to limit planned treatments for patients as they approach winter
Professor Ferguson said schools may have to be closed to older pupils if restrictions on households mixing fail to stem the rise of coronavirus infections (pictured: an empty classroom at Manor Park School and Nursery in Cheshire)
Normal Christmas is 'wishful thinking', says SAGE adviser The idea that 'we can carry on as we are' and have a normal Christmas 'is wishful thinking in the extreme', a Government scientific adviser has said.
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said 'radical action' would be needed to stem the rise in coronavirus cases, particularly in regions with high incidence of the virus.
Prof Edmunds, who told MPs on Wednesday that tens of thousands of deaths could occur during this wave of the pandemic, said further measures are needed to bring cases down.
He said that a circuit-breaker is needed across the whole country or at least in areas where incidence is high.
'The only way that we can have a relatively safe and normal Christmas is if we take radical action now to reduce incidence '' at the very least in high incidence areas '' and keep the incidence low across the country by implementing a package of measures to reduce social contacts,' he said.
'The notion that we can carry on as we are and have a Christmas that we can celebrate normally with friends and family is wishful thinking in the extreme.'
Professor Ferguson also warned that the NHS will be unable to cope if coronavirus cases continue to increase at the present rate, saying that while infections among 18 to 21-year-olds were falling, they were continuing to rise in other age groups.
He explained: 'Unfortunately, in every other age group case numbers continue to rise at about the same rate they were.
'There are little hints of slowing, for instance in the North East of England, but we are not seeing the sort of slowing that we really need to to get on top of this.
'It is a worrying situation. We now have 8,000 people in hospital with Covid. That is about a third of the level we were at the peak of the pandemic in March.
'If the rate of growth continues as it is, it means that in a month's time we will above that peak level in March and that is probably unsustainable.
'We are in a critical time right now. The health system will not be able to cope with this rate of growth for much longer.'
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has said his own group was looking at how interventions might work over the winter, but these had not been requested by the Government.
Of Sage, he said: 'We haven't specifically been asked to look at different policies quite honestly, so nobody's asking us to say 'well what should we do here?'
'So these are things that we've really taken on ourselves and decided to look at ourselves.'
Sage documents revealed yesterday that only one in ten of people stay at home for two weeks when they are told to self-isolate.
Out of those who were told they had been in close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, just 10.9 per cent isolated for the following 14 days.
Government scientists claimed the crucial R rate has dropped slightly and an array of statistics revealed cases are no longer growing as quickly as they once were, although the epidemic is still growing (pictured: Boris Johnson in London yesterday)
Britain's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, Mr Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak take part in a coronavirus briefing on Thursday. The UK yesterday announced 20,530 more coronavirus cases
Christmas chaos as No10 says families CAN gather this year but minister warns it won't be 'normal' The prospects for a family Christmas descended further into confusion yesterday as Downing Street insisted families should be able to gather - but a minister warned it will not be 'normal'.
The mixed messages came as politicians desperately try to get a grip on a surge in coronavirus cases - with lockdowns tightening in many areas.
There are tough restrictions on people meeting indoors across much of the UK, but asked whether families should abandon hope of meeting up, a No10 spokesman said: 'The PM has been clear previously that he is hopeful that in many ways we could be able to get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas.
'As I say, we've been clear about the ambition to ensure that people may celebrate Christmas as a family this year.'
The comments contrasted with the stance taken by Treasury Chief Secretary Steve Barclay in a round of interviews yesterday morning.
He said: 'I think few people expect it to be exactly as it would normally because we will be living with this virus for some time.'
The study, carried out by King's College London, was discussed at their meeting in September.
Researchers collected data from a sample of 31,000 people between March 2 and August 5.
Based on answers to an online questionnaire, the team found that only one in ten said they had isolated for two weeks when told to by the Test and Trace scheme.
This is much lower than the 65 per cent who said they intended to quarantine if they received the alert.
There are tough restrictions on people meeting indoors across much of the UK, but asked whether families should abandon hope of meeting up, a No10 spokesman previously said: 'The PM has been clear previously that he is hopeful that in many ways we could be able to get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas.
'As I say, we've been clear about the ambition to ensure that people may celebrate Christmas as a family this year.'
The comments contrasted with the stance taken by Treasury Chief Secretary Steve Barclay in a round of interviews on Friday morning.
He said: 'I think few people expect it to be exactly as it would normally because we will be living with this virus for some time.
'And the chief medical officer and the chief scientific adviser have been very clear on that.
'But, your point really was about the ability of families to spend Christmas together '' that is something we all hope to be in a position to do.'
A Government scientific adviser has said the idea that 'we can carry on as we are' and have a normal Christmas 'is wishful thinking in the extreme'.
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said 'radical action' would be needed to stem the rise in coronavirus cases, particularly in regions with high incidence of the virus.
Data reveals hospitalised Covid-19 patients are dying quicker than they were before - in a week, rather than two. Pictured is a timescale of when men aged between 40-49 (top) 50-59 (middle) and 60-69 (bottom) die after symptoms start (bottom axis is days since symptoms started). The orange is the first wave, and the blue is the second wave
PHE data shows the number of cases per 100,000 people in the worst hit regions appeared to turn and start falling in the week up to October 11 after at least five weeks of continuous increases. London has had considerably lower infection rates
Second Tory MP stokes free school meals furyTwo Tory MPs have landed themselves in hot water after controversial remarks about free school meals.
Selaine Saxby hinted in a Facebook post hospitality firms dishing out food should not get government help despite being battered by the pandemic.
Meanwhile Ben Bradley was accused of a 'stigmatisation of working class families' in an incendiary tweet that suggested cash went to 'crack dens and brothels'.
Both MPs have been roundly criticised, with Mr Bradley called to apologise while some said Ms Saxby should resign.
It comes as civil society minister Baroness Barran defended the decision not to extend free school meals through the school holidays.
In a show of unity, hospitality businesses and councils turned their backs on the government and said they will provide free meal vouchers through the break.
The move followed a high-profile campaign by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford, who was made an MBE for his efforts earlier this month.
Prof Edmunds, who told MPs on Wednesday that tens of thousands of deaths could occur during this wave of the pandemic, said further measures are needed to bring cases down.
He said that a circuit-breaker is needed across the whole country or at least in areas where incidence is high.
'The only way that we can have a relatively safe and normal Christmas is if we take radical action now to reduce incidence '' at the very least in high incidence areas '' and keep the incidence low across the country by implementing a package of measures to reduce social contacts,' he said.
'The notion that we can carry on as we are and have a Christmas that we can celebrate normally with friends and family is wishful thinking in the extreme.'
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has said the only way to save the festive season was to impose a 'circuit breaker' lockdown now - something Labour has been demanding.
She told BBC Breakfast: 'The tier system so far has not worked to reduce infections.
'What we are looking at unfortunately '' given the Government doesn't seem to be willing to shift on this when half-term holidays are coming up '' what we are looking up to Christmas is an increasingly difficult situation in lots of parts of the country.'
Meanwhile, two Tory MPs have landed themselves in hot water after controversial remarks about free school meals.
Selaine Saxby hinted in a Facebook post hospitality firms dishing out food should not get government help despite being battered by the pandemic.
Ben Bradley was accused of a 'stigmatisation of working class families' in an incendiary tweet that suggested cash went to 'crack dens and brothels'.
Selaine Saxby (left) hinted in a Facebook post hospitality firms dishing out food should not get government help despite being battered by the pandemic. Ben Bradley (right) was accused of a 'stigmatisation of working class families' in an incendiary tweet that suggested cash went to 'crack dens and brothels'
Cafes, pubs and restaurants are offering free school meals for local children during half term after MPs rejected Marcus Rashford's campaign (pictured at FareShare in Manchester)
Only one in ten stay at home for two weeks when told to self isolate, Sage documents revealOnly one in ten stay at home for two weeks after being told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, Sage documents have revealed.
Of those who were told they had been in close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, just 10.9 per cent isolated for the following 14 days.
The alarming figures undermine the premise of the Test and Trace system, which aims to prevent the spread of the virus.
The main reasons people gave for not properly quarantining were not developing symptoms, not thinking it was necessary to stay away from those outside the household, or popping to the shops for food.
The figures were revealed in documents by Sage '' the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.
The study, carried out by King's College London, was discussed at their meeting in September.
Researchers collected data from a sample of 31,000 people between March 2 and August 5.
Based on answers to an online questionnaire, the team found that only one in ten said they had isolated for two weeks when told to by the Test and Trace scheme.
This is much lower than the 65 per cent who said they intended to quarantine if they received the alert.
Both MPs have been roundly criticised, with Mr Bradley called to apologise while some said Ms Saxby should resign.
It comes as civil society minister Baroness Barran defended the decision not to extend free school meals through the school holidays.
In a show of unity, hospitality businesses and councils turned their backs on the government and said they will provide free meal vouchers through the break.
The move followed a high-profile campaign by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford, who was made an MBE for his efforts earlier this month.
Greater Manchester moved into the highest alert level, Tier 3, on Friday morning, and Wales introduced its two-week 'firebreak' lockdown at 6pm last night.
Coventry, Stoke and Slough entered Tier 2 today, while talks between Westminster and civic leaders in Nottingham over possible Tier 3 restrictions were continuing yesterday.
The UK yesterday announced 20,530 more coronavirus cases and the deaths of 224 people but official data suggests the country's outbreak may finally be slowing down.
Positive tests are up 31 per cent on last Friday, when there were 15,650, and deaths have surged by 65 per cent in a week.
But Government scientists claimed the crucial R rate has dropped slightly and an array of statistics revealed cases are no longer growing as quickly as they once were, although the epidemic is still growing.
SAGE estimates the reproduction rate for the UK has fallen for the first time in a month, from between 1.3-1.5 to 1.2-1.4. The number - the key measure at the heart of Number 10's plan to control the virus - must stay below one, or the outbreak will continue to grow.
Scientific advisers have also been warned that the coronavirus is mutating and could become more infectious, according to SAGE papers.
The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) said the UK did not have the capability to research these mutations in depth and whether they would be harmful.
It's one of a number of papers released by the Government yesterday that give an insight into how scientists are steering the pandemic.
Only one in ten stay at home for two weeks after being told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, Sage documents have revealed. The alarming figures undermine the premise of the Test and Trace system (file photo)
The main reasons people gave for not properly quarantining were not developing symptoms, not thinking it was necessary to stay away from those outside the household, or popping to the shops for food (file photo)
The SAGE files: Papers presented to Government claim Covid-19 is mutatingScientific advisers have been warned that the coronavirus is mutating and could become more infectious, according to SAGE papers.
The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) said the UK did not have the capability to research these mutations in depth and whether they would be harmful.
It's one of a number of papers released by the Government yesterday that give an insight into how scientists are steering the pandemic.
The idea was explored in a scientific report handed to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which then presents the findings to the Government to help inform public health policy.
Another document shows how scientists have found that London has so far avoided a 'second wave' on the scale of those happening in other major cities in England, such as Liverpool and Manchester.
Experts speculate this is because more of the capital's population has some form of immunity to the coronavirus after having it already, compared to the North West, which did not have infections as high as London in the first wave.
The idea was explored in a scientific report handed to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which then presents the findings to the Government to help inform public health policy.
Another document shows how scientists have found that London has so far avoided a 'second wave' on the scale of those happening in other major cities in England, such as Liverpool and Manchester.
Experts speculate this is because more of the capital's population has some form of immunity to the coronavirus after having it already, compared to the North West, which did not have infections as high as London in the first wave.
Government research, supported by Imperial College London, reveals that in the capital, there are twice the number of people with antibodies than the national average (13 per cent), while the South West has the lowest (three per cent).
This has given them some form of immunity to catching the coronavirus again, or at least being protected from anything other than mild disease, it is thought.
The number of people admitted to hospital in London over the last week was 464 '-- roughly twice as high as at the beginning of the month. But this is well behind the peak of the first wave, when 883 people were admitted to hospital in a single day in March, analysis by the Evening Standard revealed.
In a meeting on September 10, before the rule of six or tiered lockdown was implemented to control the rapid increase in cases, scientists discussed the current state of the crisis.
The minutes read: 'Major cities, excluding London, appear to be experiencing faster increases in transmission than other areas.
'Though there remains variability between areas, it is almost certain that R is greater than 1 across large parts of England.
'This suggests that the epidemic is moving from being concentrated in local outbreaks to more widespread transmission.'
MANCHESTER TO REOPEN NIGHTINGALE HOSPITALThe NHS Nightingale Hospital in Manchester will reopen in the next week as the city heads into a local lockdown.
A local NHS boss today announced the temporary hospital, set up in the Manchester Central Conference Centre, will be brought back into use before the end of next week. It will become the first one in England to reopen.
It had closed in June when the first wave of the UK's outbreak burned out, but there are now fears that local hospitals will be inundated with Covid patients again.
The Nightingale will not be used to treat people seriously ill with coronavirus but instead opened to add capacity for 'additional rehabilitation'.
The NHS Nightingale for the North West was mothballed in June when the last coronavirus patient from the UK's first wave was discharged. Local health bosses say it will reopen by the end of next week
The city is entering Tier Three lockdown rules from midnight on Friday after a week of wrangling between the Government and the mayor, Andy Burnham, because the city has one of the highest infection rates in England.
In an announcement this morning, Professor Jane Eddleston, the boss of the Manchester University NHS Trust, confirmed the Nightingale would reopen.
'We will be opening the Nightingale, we expect that to be towards the end of next week,' she said.
'The Nightingale will not be used as a critical care facility and neither was it in the first phase, it will be used as a facility for patients to have additional rehabilitation.'
Professor Eddleston said there are around 95 people in intensive care beds with Covid-19 in the city, which is slightly more than a third of the 260 at the peak of the epidemic in April.
Despite decreases in coronavirus case numbers the NHS has had to provide beds for patients with the disease throughout the summer, she said. The health service in the area has set up Covid-free zones so it can carry on treating other patients.
Revolt brewing against lockdown rules: Focus group reveals voters are despairing of Boris Johnson's coronavirus policies and are prepared to break the rules to visit loved ones
By Simon Walters for the Daily Mail
Dramatic evidence of a growing revolt against the coronavirus lockdowns emerged last night.
The public think the rules won't work, they will break the law if necessary to see their loved ones and believe it is time to 'get Britain back to normal'.
These are among the key findings from focus groups that suggest traditional opinion polls have failed to spot a decisive change in attitudes toward the pandemic.
One leading pollster believes Britain could be witnessing a repeat of what happened in the 2015 election and the EU referendum.
Opinion polls forecast Labour's Ed Miliband would be prime minister and that Brexit would be rejected: focus groups indicated the opposite and were proved right each time.
Since the start of the pandemic most polls have suggested voters support lockdowns and, if anything, want the Government to impose even more stringent curbs.
Some have argued this is because furloughed workers have been able to stay at home on 80 per cent of their normal wages thanks to taxpayer funds.
Many Tory MPs opposed to Boris Johnson's three-tier lockdown system claim their stance is backed by many of their constituents.
The Daily Mail listened in to one of the focus groups, typical of several that have been conducted recently, and it echoed the MPs' views.
Carried out last Friday, and comprising a cross-section of society, both Tory and Labour, in London, Birmingham and Liverpool, it appears to show voters have lost faith in lockdowns and are no longer prepared to obey all the rules.
They also think the second wave of the virus will be less dangerous, are increasingly worried about the damage to jobs and the economy.
Meanwhile many will refuse a coronavirus vaccine for fear of side effects and there is continuing fury over rule breakers such as the Prime Minister's chief of staff Dominic Cummings.
People are pictured leaving Cardiff city centre as the pubs close before Wales entered a two-week 'firebreak' lockdown at 6pm on Friday
A couple wearing a visor and a mask to fend off the coronavirus go shopping in Knighton, a town that sits on the border between England and Wales, earlier this week
Revellers in Sheffield are out on the town for one last night tonight before their city is placed under the strictest lockdown measures, tier three
James Johnson of JL Partners, who acted as moderator in the focus group, says the findings were the same as those in similar studies he had hosted.
He said the results had convinced him the tide of opinion was turning against lockdowns.
He said that 'nuanced conversations' that take place in focus groups, which involve only a handful of people, have 'uncovered hidden truths' about the pandemic and attitudes to the Government's lockdown strategy.
Mr Johnson, who advised Theresa May in Downing Street, argues that the focus groups show a resolve to rely on common sense to avoid catching the virus rather than Government diktats.
Voters are 'fatigued' by the curbs and not prepared to carry on being compliant, especially when they see high-profile figures flouting them.
The public, he said, were confused by the rules and were as likely to watch comedian Matt Lucas parody Boris Johnson's stuttering Downing Street press conferences as watch the Prime Minister himself.
Mr Johnson says that on certain issues the intimate atmosphere of his focus groups enables participants to reveal their true feelings.
This is in contrast to box ticking opinion polls where around 1,000 voters are invited to give a flat yes or no answer to dozens of questions, usually online.
Police officers arriving in Cardiff city centre at 1745 before Wales will enter a two-week 'firebreak' lockdown at 6pm on Friday in an attempt to protect the country's NHS from being overwhelmed by the resurgence of coronavirus
People are pictured drinking in Soho, London this evening. A focus group has revealed that people are losing faith in lockdowns and are less willing to obey the rules
In his most recent focus group, Liverpool pensioner Brian complained: 'People with cancer, heart conditions, strokes, they're all dying.
'We are saving people with coronavirus but the rest of the population is dying from diseases we can control.'
The public knew lockdowns would 'always break down', he told the group.
Angela, 59, from Birmingham, said she went months without seeing her elderly parents earlier in the year and 'I'm not doing that again'.
Paul, a London property developer, ridiculed the 10pm curfew, saying the virus was 'just spread among crowds getting wasted in the streets.'
Steph, a charity worker, was equally robust, despite having had the virus herself.
She said Mr Cummings was 'disgusting' for breaking Covid rules, adding: 'We have to get back to normality.'
Publicly, the Government is maintaining its tough stance on lockdowns, insisting the rules are vital to stop the virus spiralling out of control.
However, privately, the Government's position is a different story: like the focus groups, it is rather more nuanced.
The Daily Mail understands ministers are encouraged by signs that predictions of hundreds of thousands more infections and tens of thousands more deaths in a second wave may be an overestimate.
According to reliable sources, there are signs that the infection rate among university students is falling.
And there is evidence the virus has lost up to 90 per cent of its lethal potency owing to mass wearing of masks.
That, together with more effective drugs, has reduced the fatality rate in hospital intensive care units.
'Let's get back to normal!': Thoughts and feelings of an exasperated public Q: What do you think of Government's coronavirus rules?
Alec, 61, consultant, London, Conservative
They are confusing, unenforceable and people won't take any notice of them.
Brian, 68, retired, Liverpool, Conservative
One member of the focus group said that the government's special adviser Dominic Cummings, pictured right, was 'disgusting' for having broken the rules
It's killing more people with cancer. Coronavirus is 40th on the list (of causes of death). People with heart conditions, strokes are all dying. We are saving people with coronavirus but the rest are dying from diseases we can control.
Amira, (female) 30, school admin officer, London, Labour
They don't (match) the statistics.
Paul, 48, property developer, Birmingham, Conservative
They are patronising and unjust.
Daniel, 24, student, London, Conservative
Confusing; people in government wouldn't stick to them.
Q: Will rules work?
Paul
No. The virus has no limit on time, race, gender. [The authorities] think it will go away at ten o'clock when pubs shut, but it's just spread among crowds getting wasted in the streets.
Brian
You can suppress it for a while but it'll always break out again.
Steph, 38, charity worker, Liverpool, Labour
We (already) tried lockdown, we have to get back to normality, how is a second lockdown going to be any different?
Q: Will you follow new rules?
Amira
No. I'm very close to my family. I didn't see them for six months in lockdown, I'm not doing it again.
Brian
We all followed the rules initially because we thought right, we've got to get rid of this virus. We've gone through all the pain of lockdown, now they want us to face another one. The consensus is they (the public) know it's not going to work, it's always going to break down.
Howard, 23, engineer, Liverpool
If you need to see your loved ones, see them. If you're popping round for the sake of it '' don't.
Angela, 59, Birmingham, Labour
I wear a mask when I go out but I shall still see my family because my parents are elderly. I had a few months of not seeing them ... and I'm not doing that again. Everything else I'm going to act normal because mentally I couldn't go through it again.
Daniel
I would break it (lockdown) to see my family '' for my mental health.
Paul
Not really. If you need to see your loved ones, see them.
Q: What should MINISTERS do instead?
Angela
Get on with it and be sensible, don't mix in big crowds. Get back to normal as much as we can.
Daniel
There should be a lockdown with very harsh penalties... for a short time. Then we could remove the virus and live how we want to.
Q: Why has trust in the rules collapsed?
Paul
If the Queen won't wear a mask, why should I bother?
Steph
Dominic Cummings' (behaviour) was disgusting, Matt Hancock put his arm round fellow MPs in the Commons.
Paul
You have Cummings on a jolly, the woman (MP) who went from Scotland to London and back with the virus and isn't being prosecuted. It's a cop out. And they want to fine us!
Brian
The Mail said the average age of a Covid person dying is 82 years, the average life expectancy is 81 years, so who are we protecting? There's good chance I would survive at 68.
Q: Would you have a Covid vaccine?
Angela
I don't believe in vaccines, wouldn't have one.
Paul
What happens if they bring one out that hasn't been trialled, and in five years we've all developed side effects? We'll all sue the Government because we were forced to have it.
Alec
I will take it because it will be a worldwide vaccine.
At last! NHS workers are 'set to get a vaccine in weeks' as the Government accelerates timetable for a mass roll-out before Christmas - while ministers introduce new laws to bypass EU approval for jab
By MICHAEL POWELL and GLEN OWEN for the Mail On Sunday
Plans are being drawn up for frontline NHS staff to receive a coronavirus vaccine within weeks, as the Government moves to accelerate the timetable for a mass roll-out.
An email sent by an NHS Trust chief to his staff, seen by The Mail on Sunday, reveals the Health Service is preparing for a national vaccination programme before Christmas.
It can also be disclosed that the Government has introduced new laws that would allow the UK to bypass the EU approval process if a safe and effective jab is ready before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31.
The move will boost optimism that a 'game-changing' vaccine will soon allow Boris Johnson to relax the social restrictions which have crippled the country since March.
In his memo to staff earlier this month, Glen Burley, chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Warwickshire, wrote: 'Our Trust, alongside NHS organisations nationally, has been told to be prepared to start a Covid-19 staff vaccine programme in early December.
'The latest intelligence states a coronavirus vaccine should be available this year with NHS staff prioritised prior to Christmas.'
Plans are being drawn up for frontline NHS staff to receive a coronavirus vaccine within weeks, as the Government moves to accelerate the timetable for a mass roll-out. An email sent by an NHS Trust chief to his staff, seen by The Mail on Sunday, reveals the Health Service is preparing for a national vaccination programme before Christmas. (Above, the memo, sent by Glen Burley, chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Warwickshire)
It can also be disclosed that the Government has introduced new laws that would allow the UK to bypass the EU approval process if a safe and effective jab is ready before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31
Despite facing continued criticism, Mr Hancock has pushed through new laws to strip the European Medicines Agency of the power to approve the vaccine if it is ready before the end of December. Instead, British watchdogs will be able to fast-track its production. (File image of an experimental Covid medicine being tested)
Mr Burley added that the vaccine was 'expected to be given in two doses, 28 days apart' and urged his colleagues to have had their flu shot by the end of November so they can qualify for a Covid-19 jab.
Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Trust, told a recent hospital board meeting: 'I'm hoping for a Covid-19 vaccine to be available to healthcare providers some time in December. It has not been confirmed yet but I'm hoping to be able to offer a Covid-19 vaccine to our staff.'
In other developments that emerged yesterday:
There was anger and frustration in Wales over 'farcical' lockdown restrictions on the sale of non-essential items which meant customers were able to buy vodka, but not baby clothes; Professor Neil Ferguson, the controversial academic whose modelling heavily influenced the national lockdown in March, was accused of scaremongering after saying that people 'will catch Covid-19 and die' if families are allowed to mix on Christmas Day; As 1.4 million people across South Yorkshire were plunged into the highest Tier 3 restrictions, another 174 deaths and 23,012 new confirmed cases were announced for the previous 24 hours; Hotel tycoon Sir Rocco Forte called for Matt Hancock to be sacked for his 'shambolic' handling of the crisis as a poll found 49 per cent of people think the Health Secretary breached a drinks curfew in a Commons bar, compared with just nine per cent who thought he did not; Rishi Sunak has asked Treasury officials to find ways of illustrating the crippling financial toll of the pandemic and is pushing to publish it alongside the statistics for cases and deaths; Banks faced fury as it emerged Barclays has set aside £745 million for bonuses, more than last year, and Lloyds will let most of its 65,000 employees work from home until at least next spring; Psychologists said Covid-19 may cause birth rates to fall, people to stay single for longer and for women to become more promiscuous; The global death toll exceeded 1,147,000, while police fought with young protesters angry at restrictions in the Italian city of Naples and the Polish president Andrzej Duda revealed that he had tested positive for the virus. Despite facing continued criticism, Mr Hancock has pushed through new laws to strip the European Medicines Agency of the power to approve the vaccine if it is ready before the end of December. Instead, British watchdogs will be able to fast-track its production.
A health official said: 'Although we still think it most likely that the vaccine will be ready early next year, Matt wants the freedom to operate if it all moves more quickly.'
The official added that under changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, which took effect on October 16, the UK was 'no longer beholden to the EU process if a vaccine is developed before 2021 and has strong evidence proving it is safe, high quality and effective'.
The memo outlines a programme of vaccinations which frontline NHS staff, such as this surgeon, will be first to get
They added: 'Should a vaccine be available before the end of the year, we have put in place robust measures to allow the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to authorise the vaccine for UK patients. This will only happen if there is a strong public health justification and the EU process is taking too long.'
The regulator will have autonomy to approve vaccines for the UK from 2021 in any case.
A senior Government source said: 'We have made sure that if a vaccine is proven safe and effective we won't be held back from deploying it by the need for approval from Brussels.'
NHS staff are most likely to receive the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which is in the final stages of trials.
The Government has already bought 100 million doses of the drug, which is administered in two doses. Under Government plans, frontline NHS staff and care home workers will be vaccinated first, followed by those aged over 80.
Human trials of the Oxford vaccine have been under way since April, involving about 20,000 volunteers worldwide. Scientists have reported a 'robust immune response' and no serious side-effects.
Last night, David Eltringham, managing director at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, said: 'We don't have a definite date for delivery of the vaccine, but we are making ready to deploy the vaccine from the beginning of December.'
Oxford's Covid jab 'has only been tested on 500 over-70s'By STEPHEN ADAMS for the Mail On Sunday
Britain's front-running Covid vaccine has only been tested on about 500 elderly people in this country, raising questions about how effective it might be for a vital section of the population.
There are high hopes for Oxford University's 'ChAdOx' jab but only 1,000 or so of the 10,000 people recruited to the UK arm of Oxford's trial are aged 70 or over. Half of them have been given the vaccine and half have had a placebo.
Last night, former immunisation 'tsar' Professor David Salisbury said the relatively small numbers might not be enough to generate a meaningful result.
'Clearly, if you've just got 500 vaccinated and you've given 500 the placebo and you are looking to see a significant difference in protection between the two'... you may not get much out, in terms of data,' he said.
However, he added that early results appeared to show that older people given Covid vaccines developed good immune responses, so he was hopeful they would work well in the elderly.
The issue is critical because the virus is much more deadly in older people. An 80-year-old is about 1,000 times more likely to die of the virus than a 20-year-old, while five out of every six Covid-related deaths have been in the over-70s.
Earlier this month, Kate Bingham, head of the UK's Vaccine Taskforce, gave a clear signal that Covid vaccination is to be aimed at older people, even though vaccines are often less effective in that group as their immune systems tend to respond less strongly.
For example, the flu vaccine given in 2016-17 was completely ineffective in the over-65s, according to data from Public Health England. It did, however, work well in younger people.
As Oxford's Covid vaccine works in a different way, there is no specific reason to believe it will be a dud in the elderly but all the leading jab contenders are acutely aware of the issue.
Oxford has launched parallel trials in Brazil, South Africa and the US '' but only the American 'arm' is enrolling over-65s. AstraZeneca, which is handling the US trial enquiries, refused to say how many over-65s have been recruited there so far.
Coronavirus antibody tests might come back negative for people who had mild cases '' BGR
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 12:46
Coronavirus immunity tests might return false negatives for people who experienced a mild or asymptomatic case of COVID-19.The conclusion comes from a new Oxford study that looked at the sensitivity ratings of antibody tests on patients who might have had the virus.The researchers found that a large number of people might get negative results in antibody tests despite possibly having had the illness at some point in the past few months.COVID-19 immunity is one of the most important topics of research right now, but the novel coronavirus is too new to give us a definitive answer to the most important question we have: Is reinfection possible? The management of outbreaks and future vaccination policies might hinge on the answer. Researchers think that the novel coronavirus will behave just like other human coronaviruses when it comes to immunity. We'll get six to twelve months of protection, but then reinfection could be possible.
Separately, researchers are looking to measure the actual number of COVID-19 cases in a community by performing antibody tests. These are specific ''witnesses'' of the infection that prove the immune system has eliminated the coronavirus and is ready to block it again upon a second encounter. But recent studies have shown that antibodies can vanish from the bloodstream as soon as two to three months after the first infection. The immune system would still have specialized T cells to fall back to in case of a second contact with the virus, so the immunity is not lost when the antibodies are gone. But antibody tests would not pick up T cells. That's a separate, more difficult test.
A new study now indicates that antibody tests fail to detect people who had mild coronavirus cases, which could become a real problem in a variety of situations. It's not that people who experience mild cases of COVID-19 do not develop an immune response. But the current tests have been created using samples from symptomatic patients, who were often hospitalized for treatment.
The Oxford study enrolled more than 9,000 healthcare workers and showed that a significant number of people tested negative for antibodies despite probably having had the virus. The researchers used a particular symptom that's been associated with COVID-19, and that's the sudden loss of smell and taste. Several other studies showed why the phenomenon occurs and proved that it's likely to test positive for COVID-19 after experiencing it. Not all people who get infected experience the symptom. That's why PCR tests are still needed to diagnose the illness correctly.
The Oxford study showed that of the 903 people who tested positive for antibodies on one test, 47% of them reported a loss of smell or taste. But there also was a group of subjects whose test results felt short of the threshold for a positive antibody result, which would mean they did not have the virus. Yet 30% of those also reported a loss of sense of taste or smell. That's a too-large percentage to be explained by a different condition that could lead to the sudden loss of smell and taste.
The researchers said that only some 3% of people who get common colds other conditions would report the loss of smell and taste as a symptom.
''You can see that below the cut-off, there is a rising proportion of people who report a loss of their sense of smell or taste, and this suggests that the test threshold is missing people with mild disease,'' Dr. Tim Walker explained the results toThe Telegraph. ''Of course, there will be plenty of people, too, who will have had no symptoms whatsoever and will still have antibodies.''
The study also showed that some 387 people who tested just below the threshold did not have any symptoms. These could have been asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, but the researchers could not demonstrate they had the virus.
The scientists used several antibody tests, including the Abbott diagnostic that's used for one in four antibody tests in the UK. The results indicate that the test is less sensitive than currently believed. Instead of 98% sensitivity, the test would be 11% less sensitive, according to the researchers. In other words, the test would miss plenty of COVID-19 survivors. The reason why this happens could be straightforward. The test has been devised using samples from symptomatic patients who have been treated for COVID-19 in hospitals.
The scientists suggested that samples from mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 survivors who had PCR tests that confirmed the illness could be used to improve the tests so that they'd identify patients with a lower antibody count.
On the other hand, the tests were devised in such a manner to make sure they would not give out false positives. Telling people who were not infected that they have antibodies could lead to a false sense of security, and they could then get infected.
Antibody testing could lead to the so-called ''immunity passports'' that we've addressed before. But if antibody tests can't detect people who experience mild and moderate infections, then these people would not be given documentation showing they've already survived the disease. Immunity passports do not exist per se, but some people could ask for proof that a person had the infection for various reasons, including travel and work.
The UK government commented on the study, saying that ''we do not yet know whether antibodies indicate immunity from reinfection with coronavirus or if they prevent transmission.'' The Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said that ''antibody testing is an important part of our testing strategy because it helps us understand how COVID-19 is spreading across the country.''
But if the Oxford study can be verified, then antibody testing can't help officials understand how the illness is spreading in a community. Add to that the study that said antibodies vanish three months after the infection, and you've got one more problem for studying herd immunity. The new Oxford study has been published online in pre-print form over on medRxiv, which means it hasn't been peer-reviewed.
Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Let Us Out!
Coronavirus France: Gridlock as people flee Paris before lockdown | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 12:16
Tens of thousands of Parisians last night caused massive traffic jams in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital ahead of the start of Emmanuel Macron's new national shutdown.
Video posted to Twitter shows huge numbers of Parisians attempting a mass exodus out of the city in a bid to avoid the 9pm curfew and the start of the second lockdown from midnight.
The night air was filled with the sound of blaring car horns while social media users estimated that Parisians had created 'hundreds of miles' of gridlock to escape to their second homes in the country.
Revellers also seized the opportunity to spend one last night with friends and family last night before bars and restaurants are closed as the French government plunges the country back into lockdown.
Meanwhile French people emptied supermarkets in a repeat of the panic-buying that swept Europe in March as Parisians and other city dwellers prepared for a month in confinement.
Shoppers stocked up on pasta and toilet roll while people queued outside hairdressers for a final trim. Office workers in the capital's business district hauled their equipment to cars and trains in preparation for WFH.
Emmanuel Macron's draconian measures are due to be enforced until at least December 1, with people required to carry documents justifying their reason for leaving home that will be subject to police checks.
Tens of thousands of Parisians last night caused massive traffic jams in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital ahead of the start of Emmanuel Macron's new national shutdown
View of traffic jams in Paris as traffic records have been broken in Paris ahead of the new shutdown coming into force
Parisians flocked to the Gare de Lyon to avoid confining themselves to the French capital during the shutdown
The exodus from Paris came amid anti-lockdown protests which saw a chair thrown in the window of a closed outdoor cafe
Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters gathered in Paris on the eve of the new restrictions, with some letting off flares
Protesters are cheered by a woman in a cafe as they voice their anger at the French government's new lockdown restrictions
French security forces wearing riot gear try to keep order during a march against Emmanuel Macron's new lockdown
Huge queues were seen outside the Gare de Lyon just hours before France's second national shutdown begins
Parisians flocked to the Gare de Lyon to avoid confining themselves to the French capital during the shutdown
Empty shelves of toilet paper are seen in a supermarket in Paris as thousands of city dwellers stock up for the new shutdown
Parisians made the most of their final night of freedom as they packed the bars ahead of new lockdown restrictions
Parisians flocked to the Gare de Lyon to avoid confining themselves to the French capital during the shutdown
After the start of the lockdown hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters gathered on the streets of Paris
A short while later, Paris was completely deserted, with the Eiffel Tower pictured standing alone as the shutdown starts
This map shows the 14-day Covid-19 infection rate in Europe. Most of France is in the highest category of 240 or more cases per 100,000 people, along with most of Spain, all of the Czech Republic, the North of England and many other regions around the continent. French leader Emmanuel Macron this week announced a new nationwide lockdown, claiming that 400,000 people will die of coronavirus if the country does nothing to control a second wave that will be 'more deadly' than the first
France's health minister yesterday warned that up to a million people may be infected with the disease, while Prime Minister Jean Castex extended mask requirements to schoolchildren as young as six.
French schools will stay open but the stay-at-home measures for adults are as strict as in the spring, with written paperwork needed to go outside for shopping, medical care or one hour a day of exercise.
President Macron said a curfew in Paris and other major cities had failed to stem the tide of infections, claiming that 400,000 people would die of Covid-19 if drastic action were not taken.
In a televised announcement, he said: 'Our target is simple: sharply reducing infections from 40,000 a day to 5,000 and slowing the pace of admissions to hospital and intensive care.'
Hospitals are already scrambling for intensive care beds and 'no matter what we do, nearly 9,000 people will be in intensive care by mid-November,' he said. The French leader called the new restrictions 'heartbreaking' but said he 'could never stand by and see hundreds of thousands of our citizens die'.
Bars, shops and restaurants are closing entirely again while France's government is urging businesses to have employees work from home 'five days a week'.
Mr Macron said some shops could be allowed to open in mid-November if the situation improves - but his scientific adviser's warning raises the prospect of lockdown measures continuing up to Christmas.
State-approved reasons for leaving households include buying essential goods, seeking medical attention or taking a daily one-hour allocation of exercise, the French government announced. Though bars and restaurants will close again, all public services, schools and essential workplaces will stay open.
Stores and businesses across France were also filled by people racing to get supplies on Thursday - and maybe a last-minute haircut - ahead of the new lockdown.
Yesterday the French government recorded 47,637 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, compared to 36,437 on Wednesday and a record high of 52,010 on Sunday.
The total number of infections rose to over 1.28 million while the death tally went up by 235 to 36,020. The number of people going into hospital with Covid-19 fell to 976, after three days of about 1,200 hospitalisations per day.
Revellers seized the opportunity to spend one final evening with friends and family on Thursday before bars and restaurants are closed
On Thursday, the French public health agency announced 47,637 new infections in 24 hours and 235 deaths, pushing the overall tally beyond 36,000
Emmanuel Macron announced new measures on Wednesday in an effort to curb the rising Covid infections across the country
The national measures will take effect from Friday morning until December 1 and are considered to be 'more flexible' than the country's first lockdown
Stores and businesses across France were also filled by people racing to get supplies on Thursday - and maybe a last-minute haircut - ahead of the new lockdown
Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters gather in Paris to protest the measures adopted by the French government
Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters gather in Paris to protest the measures adopted by the French government
Is Spanish strain of Covid-19 behind Europe's second wave? Scientists blame strain that was 'spread across continent by summer holidaymakers' A mutated strain of coronavirus that originated in Spain may be the culprit behind Europe's catastrophic second wave, a study has claimed.
An international team of scientists tracking the virus as it spreads and evolves, said the variant, called 20A.EU1, is behind 90 per cent of cases in the UK since summer.
Every virus mutation has its own genetic signature, which means they can be traced back to the place they originated.
The experts tracked 20A.EU1 back to a farm in northern Spain in June and believe it raced through the continent as holidaymakers returned over summer, when there was a lull in transmission and lockdowns were eased.
It raises questions about whether the spiralling second wave - which is forcing European nations to retreat back into national shutdowns - could have been averted by improved screening at airports and borders.
The scientists believe the strain is also behind 80 per cent of infections in Spain, 60 per cent in Ireland and up to 40 per cent in Switzerland and France.
All viruses naturally mutate as they spread through populations. There are hundreds of different variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, circulating around Europe.
However, only very few of these variants have spread as successfully and become as prevalent as the newly-identified strain.
There are now 21,183 people in hospital with Covid-19, compared to a high of more than 32,000 mid April. The number of people in intensive care went up by 111 to 3,156.
Essentials like pasta and toilet paper were in high demand, as were printer ink and electronics for working from home, while yoga mats were not to be found at many sporting goods stores.
'I'm stocking up, since we don't know when this will end,' said Catherine Debeaupuis, shopping at an electronics retailer in central Paris.
Just under 33 million people watched President Macron announce the grim news in a prime-time address on Wednesday - a mere five days after having said: 'it's still too early' to consider new lockdowns.
The president said hospitals would soon be overwhelmed by a virus that is spreading 'at a speed that even the most pessimistic did not predict.'
People will be allowed to leave home only if armed with a self-signed certificate stating their urgent business - food shopping, taking the kids to school, going to work if this cannot be done from home, going to the hospital or a pharmacy.
A certificate would also be needed by people wishing to go for a jog or walk their dog, within a limit of one hour and no further than one kilometre (0.6 miles) from home.
Funeral attendance will be limited to 30 and six for weddings. Those found breaking the rules, which will be policed, risk a fine of 135 euros.
Europe's infection rate has already overtaken America's for the first time since March, although cases are rising again in the US just days from the presidential election.
Germany also took action as Angela Merkel announced a so-called 'lockdown light', shutting bars and restaurants to fend off a 'national health emergency' while saying that schools and shops could stay open.
The return of lockdown measures across Europe has led to protests breaking out in Spain and Italy where crowds have let off fireworks and looted luxury stores to voice their rage at the tightening controls on public life.
Spain's parliament voted to extend the country's state of emergency.
During a meeting with European health ministers, WHO's European regional director Dr Hans Kluge said 'hospitalizations have risen to levels unseen since the spring' and deaths have sharply risen by more than 30 per cent.
He noted that Europe has now reported more than 10 million coronavirus cases and 'is at the epicenter of this pandemic once again.'
Coroanvirus cases are rising rapidly in most major European countries, prompting leaders to consider more lockdown measures. Curfews are now in place in Spain, Italy, and UK, with France and Germany announcing circuit breaker shutdowns
Cyprus and Lithuania are put on UK quarantine list with Britons facing dash back home to beat 4am deadline on Sunday to avoid 14-day isolation Cyprus and Lithuania have been removed from the Government's list of travel corridors, meaning travellers arriving in the UK from those places after 4am on Sunday must self-isolate for 14 days, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday.
Shapps added in a post on Twitter that the Government would not be adding any countries to the UK's list of travel corridors where Britons can travel without having to self-isolate this week.
Cyprus recorded just 91 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday while Lithuania had 413. Both totals are considerably lower than the UK figures, which showed 22,885 new cases on Tuesday.
While some Brits expressed confusion, tweeting from Cyprus that they felt perfectly safe there, others were enraged by today's announcement and questioned the logic of closing the travel corridor on the last day of the English half-term holiday, likely forcing many families to keep their kids at home for two weeks.
One Twitter user described taking Cyprus off the list as 'madness', sharing a photo taken on Wednesday night of a quiet-looking coastal view.
'It felt safe, organised and everyone was following the rules,' he said.
Another said there was 'no risk' in Cyprus, adding that people were tested on arrival as well as having to receive a negative test result before boarding a plane to leave.
'Mask wearing in hotels is compulsory and even outside,' he said.
'At the risk of sounding alarmist, I must express our very real concern,' Kluge said.
Speaking to Germany's parliament ahead of a virtual summit of EU leaders on Thursday evening aimed at better coordinating Europe's response to the disease, Merkel said her country faces 'a dramatic situation at the beginning of the cold season.'
Germany's disease control agency said local authorities reported 16,774 new positive tests for COVID-19 in the past day, pushing the country's total close to the half million-mark. The death toll stood at 10,272.
'The winter will be difficult, four long, difficult months. But it will end,' Merkel told lawmakers.
Under new restrictions going into effect Monday, German restaurants, bars, sports and cultural venues will be shut for four weeks. Gatherings are limited to 10 people from a maximum of two households and all non-essential journeys will be discouraged. Schools, kindergartens, stores and places of worship will remain open - albeit with safety precautions.
Merkel said authorities had no choice but to drastically reduce social contacts as three-quarters of infections in Germany now are no longer traceable.
'If we wait until the ICUs are full, then it will be too late,' she said.
Opposition leader Alexander Gauland of the far-Right Alternative for Germany party accused Merkel's government of 'wartime propaganda' and likened the pandemic to traffic, arguing that society accepts a certain number of car deaths each year but doesn't ban driving.
Berlin announced a new 10 billion-euro (£9billion) fund for businesses affected by the additional measures.
In Spain, authorities have been imposing incremental restrictions on free movement, nightlife and social gatherings, but they have refrained from a strict stay-at-home order like the one that curbed the first wave of infections but scarred the economy.
But with officials predicting that current levels of infection will produce a serious shortage of intensive care beds in November, some experts are already calling for a full lockdown.
Spanish regions like Catalonia and La Rioja have already closed bars and restaurants, while most of the rest have imposed curfews limiting nightlife. But extra subsidies have not accompanied the restrictions, prompting loud protests in Barcelona this week by business owners who banged pots, waved cocktail shakers and chanted 'We want to work!'
Spain's parliament, meanwhile, voted by a majority to keep the country's newly declared state of emergency in place until May to try to rein in the resurging pandemic, despite objections by some opposition parties. A vote to lift the measure could be held in March should things improve.
Spain has officially recorded more than 1.1 million COVID-19 cases, although authorities say the true figure could be at least three times higher. Its virus death toll is at least 35,000.
Spain and Italy have both seen deaths increase in recent weeks, although they are lower than during the first wave - unlike in the Czech Republic and other countries in Eastern Europe where deaths have risen to record levels
Germany also took action as Angela Merkel announced a so-called 'lockdown light', shutting bars and restaurants to fend off a 'national health emergency' while saying that schools and shops could stay open
As EU leaders met, officials in Brussels urged them to approve rapid virus tests, which are less reliable than standard kits but far quicker to provide results, and to prepare the vast amounts of cold storage that will be needed to keep large stocks of any virus vaccine once it becomes available.
With Belgium, France and Spain warning that their intensive care units could be overwhelmed within two weeks, the officials say it's vital that EU countries agree to share information about ICU capacity so patients can be treated across borders if necessary.
Russia, meanwhile, said that it has no plans to impose a nationwide lockdown.
'Despite a difficult epidemiological situation, right now we're much better prepared for working during an epidemic,' Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Russia has recorded more than 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, the highest number in Europe and the fourth largest tally worldwide.
As EU leaders met, officials in Brussels urged them to approve rapid virus tests as Covid-19 cases increase
New York Sets 3-Day Quarantine for Visitors Who Test Negative
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 21:09
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North Carolina Citizens Defy Proposed Mandatory Mask Law '' City Council Stunned by Turn Out Backs Down
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 12:17
Waynesville, NC citizens angry for being refused entry to City Hall Board Room '' Refuse to wear masks.
Comments by Brian ShilhavyEditor, Health Impact News
Some good news this week as apparently there is still a pulse among liberty-minded citizens in one small North Carolina town that turned out in mass to defy the City's attempt to mandate mask requirements.
When told they had to wear a mask to participate in the meeting, they refused, and the City Council and local police backed down in front of the angry crowd.
This is the kind of action it is going to take across the country to stop medical tyranny.
Waynesville caught off guard by public outcry over proposed mask mandateby Becky JohnsonThe Mountaineer
Excerpts:
Waynesville leaders backed down from a proposed local mask mandate Tuesday night after nearly 100 people packed town hall to voice their opposition.
Tensions rose before the meeting ever began when the assembled crowd '-- who were being held in the lobby until the doors opened '-- learned there wasn't going to be enough room for them all in the town board room.
Those wishing to speak were told to fill out forms and wait until their name was called. This didn't sit well with many in the crowd, who demanded the meeting be moved to the sidewalk outside so that everyone could see and hear it '-- touching off a loud chant of ''Take it outside.''
Town staff and police officers eventually quelled the crowd and convinced them that waiting for their turn to speak was the only option. Another uprising ensued after the waiting crowd was told they couldn't come in without a mask when their turn rolled around.
The vast majority weren't wearing a mask, given the whole reason they were there in the first place was to speak against the proposed mask mandate.
Some claimed exemptions for religious and health reasons, but others simply said they weren't going to wear one and it would violate their rights to be denied entry to a public hearing on that grounds.
In the end, masks were offered but not compulsory.
The mezzanine outside the town board room, which was packed shoulder to shoulder, well exceeded the fire code capacity. But attempts to disperse some of the waiting crowd to the main lobby downstairs was likewise abandoned as fruitless.
By now, more police officers had been called in to help manage crowd control. The five town board members had arrived through a back door of town hall and were being held in a private room until the meeting began.
Once the doors opened, the first 20 people in line got inside and claimed the limited seats. The rest could listen to audio from the meeting streamed over a speaker, but given the large crowd, only those in close proximity could hear what was transpiring.
Several in attendance left after seeing they wouldn't be admitted. Others continued to try to gain entry past police officers guarding the doorway. Staff meanwhile attempted to assure everyone they would eventually get a chance to speak '-- something that ultimately didn't happen, however.
One by one, those who had filled out a slip of paper to speak came in to take their turn at the mic. Town Attorney Bill Cannon tried to ban the audience outside the doors from clapping and cheering for speakers, threatening on several occasions to cut off the public hearing if it continued. Eventually, the door to the meeting room was simply closed to keep the sounds of clapping out.
To the chagrin of the waiting masses, Cannon cut off the hearing after 32 minutes, saying the allotted time for the hearing was up. Many still waiting outside to speak, who were previously told by town staff they would get their turn, were upset that the town cut off the public hearing.
Although the public hearing was officially closed, every town board meeting has a designated period of general public comment mandated by law to give constituents the chance to address their local elected officials.
So, some who didn't get their turn during the official public hearing instead decided to speak during the generic public comment session. However, they were cut off if they mentioned the word ''mask.''
They were told they weren't allowed to talk about masks during the public comment period because it had already been covered in the public hearing '-- despite most not actually getting to speak during the 32-minute hearing.
When a 16-year-old took the podium, as soon as she mentioned the word ''mask,'' Cannon interjected.
''Ma'am, this is not the public time period for talking about the ordinance and the masks,'' Cannon said.
Several in the audience chimed in calling for the young speaker to be given a break.
Janet Presson was among those who didn't get to speak in the public hearing and was barred from talking about masks during the public comment period, as well.
''We were told they were done with the mask issue and you couldn't say the 'm' word,'' Presson said. ''They did everything they could to silence our voices.''
She said the town was clearly unprepared to handle the turnout.
''I think they were dumbfounded and horrified,'' Presson said. ''Mask mandates are a major issue that affect every single person. It is a hot-button issue. They should have done some better planning.''
The latest indication is the town leaders will not sign the mask proclamation tonight as originally believed.
Watch the video here.
Ron Paul also covered this in his daily broadcast, The Liberty Report.
How To Beat The LockdownersWhen city authorities in Waynesville, NC, announced that they were considering a city mask mandate they had no idea what was about to hit them. At the city council meeting at which the discussion was to take place, a massive show of citizen opposition and participation stole the show from the mandate promoters. Also today, why is flu disappearing in the US and elsewhere as Covid ''cases'' continue to rise?
Comment on this article at HealthImpactNews.com.
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Published on October 29, 2020
Britain records 23,012 more Covid cases - up 2,482 from yesterday | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 15:05
Britain has recorded 23,012 more Covid-19 cases, up 2,482 from yesterday, as Professor Neil Ferguson warns people 'will catch the virus and die' if they are allowed to mix on Christmas Day.
There were 174 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, down from 224 on Friday, including 33 deaths in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 141 fatalities in England.
Meanwhile Professor Ferguson, whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, said earlier today that schools may have to be closed to older pupils if restrictions on households mixing fail to stem the rise of infections, and that it will be a 'political judgement' as to whether regulations are relaxed over the festive season.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: 'It risks some transmission and there will be consequences of that. Some people will die because of getting infected on that day.
'But if it is only one or two days the impact is likely to be limited. So that is really a political judgment about the cost versus the benefits.'
It follows the prospects for a family Christmas descending into further confusion yesterday, as Downing Street insisted that relatives should be able to gather - but a minister warned it will not be 'normal'.
Professor Ferguson added: 'That (banning households mixing) should have a significant effect but as yet we have been unable to see it definitively.
'If we go beyond that there is a limit to what we can do in terms of reducing contacts, short of starting to target, for instance, the older years in schools and sixth form colleges where we know older teenagers are able to transmit as adults.
'Of course nobody wants to start moving to virtual education and closing schools even partially. The challenge may be that we are not able to get on top of the transmission otherwise.'
Yesterday the UK announced 20,530 infections and the deaths of 224 people. Last Saturday the Department of Health recorded 150 coronavirus victims, with another 16,171 cases.
Figures tend to be lower over the weekend due to a delay in processing the tests at laboratories.
In coronavirus news today:
Professor Neil Ferguson warned loved ones will 'catch Covid and die' if households mix at Christmas, but said the impact will be 'likely limited' if it is only for one or two days;The scientist said schools may have to be closed to older pupils if banning households from mixing doesn't have a 'significant effect' on the number of infections; He also predicts the NHS will be unable to cope if cases continue to increase at the present rate, saying that while infections among 18 to 21-year-olds were falling, they were continuing to rise in other age groups; Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland which saw the closure of pubs and restaurants in the central belt and a 6pm indoor hospitality curfew elsewhere are to be extended until November 2; One in 20 people with Covid-19 are still suffering symptoms eight weeks later, while one in 50 are struggling after three months, according to a study from King's College London; Gyms in Merseyside can reopen after a U-turn over their inclusion in the Liverpool City Region's Tier 3 restrictions; Dr Nick Scriven, former president of the Society for Acute Medicine, warned last night that cancellations would be 'inevitable' across large areas of the health service; P olice revealed plans to patrol the Anglo-Welsh border to stop families from crossing over for a half-term holiday as Wales is plunged into a two-week 'firebreak' lockdown; Scientific advisers have been warned the coronavirus is mutating and could become more infectious, according to SAGE papers; Only one in ten stay at home for two weeks after being told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, Sage documents reveal; Warrington will move into a Tier Three lockdown two days early as infection rate remains 'stubbornly high'. Military personnel are being drafted in to help enforce coronavirus restrictions in Tier 3 areas as f ive Army and Navy environmental health officers trained in 'outbreak management' were deployed in Liverpool on Friday. Meanwhile Dr Nick Scriven, former president of the Society for Acute Medicine, warned last night that cancellations would be 'inevitable' across large areas of the health service.
He said: 'I feel it is unrealistic to expect trusts across the country to meet the set elective targets in the current climate.'
The scientist (above), whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, said of regulations being relaxed: 'Some people will die because of getting infected on that day'
NHS trusts in Chesterfield, Northampton, Newcastle and Nottingham confirmed yesterday that they were postponing at least some non-urgent activity, while Rotherham, Liverpool, Bradford and Plymouth have announced similar actions in the last week.
Dr Rob Harwood, the chair of the British Medical Association's (BMA) hospital consultants committee, said trusts will have 'no choice' but to limit planned treatments for patients.
He told The Guardian: 'As we approach winter, it's likely that many trusts will have no choice but to continue to restrict their elective care services, which is incredibly worrying for both staff and patients, as backlogs increase and health conditions potentially worsen.'
Speaking on operations being cancelled, Dr Nick Scriven, the former president of the Society for Acute Medicine and a consultant physician, added: 'I think this is going to be inevitable across large areas of the health service as the pandemic and winter coincide.
'We know bed numbers are low compared with other countries and with the necessary infection control processes the 'functioning' of what we have is slowed down across the board.'
Emily Robertshaw spoke about the difficulties her 14-year-old son will have to face after his life-changing cochlear implant surgery was delayed.
The mother told Channel 4 News: 'I have yet to actually to break the news to him and he's back later, and it's going to be really difficult. He's had to have a lot of support building up to the operation.
'He's got significant learning disabilities so the preparation has been huge.'
Emily Robertshaw pictured with her 14-year-old son, whose life-changing cochlear implant surgery was delayed. The mother earlier said: 'I have yet to actually to break the news to him and he's back later, and it's going to be really difficult'
Professor Neil Ferguson said it will be a 'political judgement' as to whether regulations on households mixing are relaxed over the festive season. Pictured: a shopper in Wrexham last night as the 6pm 'fire break' lockdown approached
Doctors have warned that the mass cancellation of routine operations is 'inevitable'. The BMA's Dr Rob Harwood said NHS trusts will have 'no choice' but to limit planned treatments for patients as they approach winter
Professor Ferguson said schools may have to be closed to older pupils if restrictions on households mixing fail to stem the rise of coronavirus infections (pictured: an empty classroom at Manor Park School and Nursery in Cheshire)
Normal Christmas is 'wishful thinking', says SAGE adviser The idea that 'we can carry on as we are' and have a normal Christmas 'is wishful thinking in the extreme', a Government scientific adviser has said.
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said 'radical action' would be needed to stem the rise in coronavirus cases, particularly in regions with high incidence of the virus.
Prof Edmunds, who told MPs on Wednesday that tens of thousands of deaths could occur during this wave of the pandemic, said further measures are needed to bring cases down.
He said that a circuit-breaker is needed across the whole country or at least in areas where incidence is high.
'The only way that we can have a relatively safe and normal Christmas is if we take radical action now to reduce incidence '' at the very least in high incidence areas '' and keep the incidence low across the country by implementing a package of measures to reduce social contacts,' he said.
'The notion that we can carry on as we are and have a Christmas that we can celebrate normally with friends and family is wishful thinking in the extreme.'
Professor Ferguson also warned that the NHS will be unable to cope if coronavirus cases continue to increase at the present rate, saying that while infections among 18 to 21-year-olds were falling, they were continuing to rise in other age groups.
He explained: 'Unfortunately, in every other age group case numbers continue to rise at about the same rate they were.
'There are little hints of slowing, for instance in the North East of England, but we are not seeing the sort of slowing that we really need to to get on top of this.
'It is a worrying situation. We now have 8,000 people in hospital with Covid. That is about a third of the level we were at the peak of the pandemic in March.
'If the rate of growth continues as it is, it means that in a month's time we will above that peak level in March and that is probably unsustainable.
'We are in a critical time right now. The health system will not be able to cope with this rate of growth for much longer.'
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has said his own group was looking at how interventions might work over the winter, but these had not been requested by the Government.
Of Sage, he said: 'We haven't specifically been asked to look at different policies quite honestly, so nobody's asking us to say 'well what should we do here?'
'So these are things that we've really taken on ourselves and decided to look at ourselves.'
Sage documents revealed yesterday that only one in ten of people stay at home for two weeks when they are told to self-isolate.
Out of those who were told they had been in close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, just 10.9 per cent isolated for the following 14 days.
Government scientists claimed the crucial R rate has dropped slightly and an array of statistics revealed cases are no longer growing as quickly as they once were, although the epidemic is still growing (pictured: Boris Johnson in London yesterday)
Britain's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, Mr Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak take part in a coronavirus briefing on Thursday. The UK yesterday announced 20,530 more coronavirus cases
Christmas chaos as No10 says families CAN gather this year but minister warns it won't be 'normal' The prospects for a family Christmas descended further into confusion yesterday as Downing Street insisted families should be able to gather - but a minister warned it will not be 'normal'.
The mixed messages came as politicians desperately try to get a grip on a surge in coronavirus cases - with lockdowns tightening in many areas.
There are tough restrictions on people meeting indoors across much of the UK, but asked whether families should abandon hope of meeting up, a No10 spokesman said: 'The PM has been clear previously that he is hopeful that in many ways we could be able to get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas.
'As I say, we've been clear about the ambition to ensure that people may celebrate Christmas as a family this year.'
The comments contrasted with the stance taken by Treasury Chief Secretary Steve Barclay in a round of interviews yesterday morning.
He said: 'I think few people expect it to be exactly as it would normally because we will be living with this virus for some time.'
The study, carried out by King's College London, was discussed at their meeting in September.
Researchers collected data from a sample of 31,000 people between March 2 and August 5.
Based on answers to an online questionnaire, the team found that only one in ten said they had isolated for two weeks when told to by the Test and Trace scheme.
This is much lower than the 65 per cent who said they intended to quarantine if they received the alert.
There are tough restrictions on people meeting indoors across much of the UK, but asked whether families should abandon hope of meeting up, a No10 spokesman previously said: 'The PM has been clear previously that he is hopeful that in many ways we could be able to get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas.
'As I say, we've been clear about the ambition to ensure that people may celebrate Christmas as a family this year.'
The comments contrasted with the stance taken by Treasury Chief Secretary Steve Barclay in a round of interviews on Friday morning.
He said: 'I think few people expect it to be exactly as it would normally because we will be living with this virus for some time.
'And the chief medical officer and the chief scientific adviser have been very clear on that.
'But, your point really was about the ability of families to spend Christmas together '' that is something we all hope to be in a position to do.'
A Government scientific adviser has said the idea that 'we can carry on as we are' and have a normal Christmas 'is wishful thinking in the extreme'.
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said 'radical action' would be needed to stem the rise in coronavirus cases, particularly in regions with high incidence of the virus.
Data reveals hospitalised Covid-19 patients are dying quicker than they were before - in a week, rather than two. Pictured is a timescale of when men aged between 40-49 (top) 50-59 (middle) and 60-69 (bottom) die after symptoms start (bottom axis is days since symptoms started). The orange is the first wave, and the blue is the second wave
PHE data shows the number of cases per 100,000 people in the worst hit regions appeared to turn and start falling in the week up to October 11 after at least five weeks of continuous increases. London has had considerably lower infection rates
Second Tory MP stokes free school meals furyTwo Tory MPs have landed themselves in hot water after controversial remarks about free school meals.
Selaine Saxby hinted in a Facebook post hospitality firms dishing out food should not get government help despite being battered by the pandemic.
Meanwhile Ben Bradley was accused of a 'stigmatisation of working class families' in an incendiary tweet that suggested cash went to 'crack dens and brothels'.
Both MPs have been roundly criticised, with Mr Bradley called to apologise while some said Ms Saxby should resign.
It comes as civil society minister Baroness Barran defended the decision not to extend free school meals through the school holidays.
In a show of unity, hospitality businesses and councils turned their backs on the government and said they will provide free meal vouchers through the break.
The move followed a high-profile campaign by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford, who was made an MBE for his efforts earlier this month.
Prof Edmunds, who told MPs on Wednesday that tens of thousands of deaths could occur during this wave of the pandemic, said further measures are needed to bring cases down.
He said that a circuit-breaker is needed across the whole country or at least in areas where incidence is high.
'The only way that we can have a relatively safe and normal Christmas is if we take radical action now to reduce incidence '' at the very least in high incidence areas '' and keep the incidence low across the country by implementing a package of measures to reduce social contacts,' he said.
'The notion that we can carry on as we are and have a Christmas that we can celebrate normally with friends and family is wishful thinking in the extreme.'
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has said the only way to save the festive season was to impose a 'circuit breaker' lockdown now - something Labour has been demanding.
She told BBC Breakfast: 'The tier system so far has not worked to reduce infections.
'What we are looking at unfortunately '' given the Government doesn't seem to be willing to shift on this when half-term holidays are coming up '' what we are looking up to Christmas is an increasingly difficult situation in lots of parts of the country.'
Meanwhile, two Tory MPs have landed themselves in hot water after controversial remarks about free school meals.
Selaine Saxby hinted in a Facebook post hospitality firms dishing out food should not get government help despite being battered by the pandemic.
Ben Bradley was accused of a 'stigmatisation of working class families' in an incendiary tweet that suggested cash went to 'crack dens and brothels'.
Selaine Saxby (left) hinted in a Facebook post hospitality firms dishing out food should not get government help despite being battered by the pandemic. Ben Bradley (right) was accused of a 'stigmatisation of working class families' in an incendiary tweet that suggested cash went to 'crack dens and brothels'
Cafes, pubs and restaurants are offering free school meals for local children during half term after MPs rejected Marcus Rashford's campaign (pictured at FareShare in Manchester)
Only one in ten stay at home for two weeks when told to self isolate, Sage documents revealOnly one in ten stay at home for two weeks after being told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, Sage documents have revealed.
Of those who were told they had been in close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, just 10.9 per cent isolated for the following 14 days.
The alarming figures undermine the premise of the Test and Trace system, which aims to prevent the spread of the virus.
The main reasons people gave for not properly quarantining were not developing symptoms, not thinking it was necessary to stay away from those outside the household, or popping to the shops for food.
The figures were revealed in documents by Sage '' the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.
The study, carried out by King's College London, was discussed at their meeting in September.
Researchers collected data from a sample of 31,000 people between March 2 and August 5.
Based on answers to an online questionnaire, the team found that only one in ten said they had isolated for two weeks when told to by the Test and Trace scheme.
This is much lower than the 65 per cent who said they intended to quarantine if they received the alert.
Both MPs have been roundly criticised, with Mr Bradley called to apologise while some said Ms Saxby should resign.
It comes as civil society minister Baroness Barran defended the decision not to extend free school meals through the school holidays.
In a show of unity, hospitality businesses and councils turned their backs on the government and said they will provide free meal vouchers through the break.
The move followed a high-profile campaign by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford, who was made an MBE for his efforts earlier this month.
Greater Manchester moved into the highest alert level, Tier 3, on Friday morning, and Wales introduced its two-week 'firebreak' lockdown at 6pm last night.
Coventry, Stoke and Slough entered Tier 2 today, while talks between Westminster and civic leaders in Nottingham over possible Tier 3 restrictions were continuing yesterday.
The UK yesterday announced 20,530 more coronavirus cases and the deaths of 224 people but official data suggests the country's outbreak may finally be slowing down.
Positive tests are up 31 per cent on last Friday, when there were 15,650, and deaths have surged by 65 per cent in a week.
But Government scientists claimed the crucial R rate has dropped slightly and an array of statistics revealed cases are no longer growing as quickly as they once were, although the epidemic is still growing.
SAGE estimates the reproduction rate for the UK has fallen for the first time in a month, from between 1.3-1.5 to 1.2-1.4. The number - the key measure at the heart of Number 10's plan to control the virus - must stay below one, or the outbreak will continue to grow.
Scientific advisers have also been warned that the coronavirus is mutating and could become more infectious, according to SAGE papers.
The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) said the UK did not have the capability to research these mutations in depth and whether they would be harmful.
It's one of a number of papers released by the Government yesterday that give an insight into how scientists are steering the pandemic.
Only one in ten stay at home for two weeks after being told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, Sage documents have revealed. The alarming figures undermine the premise of the Test and Trace system (file photo)
The main reasons people gave for not properly quarantining were not developing symptoms, not thinking it was necessary to stay away from those outside the household, or popping to the shops for food (file photo)
The SAGE files: Papers presented to Government claim Covid-19 is mutatingScientific advisers have been warned that the coronavirus is mutating and could become more infectious, according to SAGE papers.
The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) said the UK did not have the capability to research these mutations in depth and whether they would be harmful.
It's one of a number of papers released by the Government yesterday that give an insight into how scientists are steering the pandemic.
The idea was explored in a scientific report handed to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which then presents the findings to the Government to help inform public health policy.
Another document shows how scientists have found that London has so far avoided a 'second wave' on the scale of those happening in other major cities in England, such as Liverpool and Manchester.
Experts speculate this is because more of the capital's population has some form of immunity to the coronavirus after having it already, compared to the North West, which did not have infections as high as London in the first wave.
The idea was explored in a scientific report handed to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which then presents the findings to the Government to help inform public health policy.
Another document shows how scientists have found that London has so far avoided a 'second wave' on the scale of those happening in other major cities in England, such as Liverpool and Manchester.
Experts speculate this is because more of the capital's population has some form of immunity to the coronavirus after having it already, compared to the North West, which did not have infections as high as London in the first wave.
Government research, supported by Imperial College London, reveals that in the capital, there are twice the number of people with antibodies than the national average (13 per cent), while the South West has the lowest (three per cent).
This has given them some form of immunity to catching the coronavirus again, or at least being protected from anything other than mild disease, it is thought.
The number of people admitted to hospital in London over the last week was 464 '-- roughly twice as high as at the beginning of the month. But this is well behind the peak of the first wave, when 883 people were admitted to hospital in a single day in March, analysis by the Evening Standard revealed.
In a meeting on September 10, before the rule of six or tiered lockdown was implemented to control the rapid increase in cases, scientists discussed the current state of the crisis.
The minutes read: 'Major cities, excluding London, appear to be experiencing faster increases in transmission than other areas.
'Though there remains variability between areas, it is almost certain that R is greater than 1 across large parts of England.
'This suggests that the epidemic is moving from being concentrated in local outbreaks to more widespread transmission.'
MANCHESTER TO REOPEN NIGHTINGALE HOSPITALThe NHS Nightingale Hospital in Manchester will reopen in the next week as the city heads into a local lockdown.
A local NHS boss today announced the temporary hospital, set up in the Manchester Central Conference Centre, will be brought back into use before the end of next week. It will become the first one in England to reopen.
It had closed in June when the first wave of the UK's outbreak burned out, but there are now fears that local hospitals will be inundated with Covid patients again.
The Nightingale will not be used to treat people seriously ill with coronavirus but instead opened to add capacity for 'additional rehabilitation'.
The NHS Nightingale for the North West was mothballed in June when the last coronavirus patient from the UK's first wave was discharged. Local health bosses say it will reopen by the end of next week
The city is entering Tier Three lockdown rules from midnight on Friday after a week of wrangling between the Government and the mayor, Andy Burnham, because the city has one of the highest infection rates in England.
In an announcement this morning, Professor Jane Eddleston, the boss of the Manchester University NHS Trust, confirmed the Nightingale would reopen.
'We will be opening the Nightingale, we expect that to be towards the end of next week,' she said.
'The Nightingale will not be used as a critical care facility and neither was it in the first phase, it will be used as a facility for patients to have additional rehabilitation.'
Professor Eddleston said there are around 95 people in intensive care beds with Covid-19 in the city, which is slightly more than a third of the 260 at the peak of the epidemic in April.
Despite decreases in coronavirus case numbers the NHS has had to provide beds for patients with the disease throughout the summer, she said. The health service in the area has set up Covid-free zones so it can carry on treating other patients.
Revolt brewing against lockdown rules: Focus group reveals voters are despairing of Boris Johnson's coronavirus policies and are prepared to break the rules to visit loved ones
By Simon Walters for the Daily Mail
Dramatic evidence of a growing revolt against the coronavirus lockdowns emerged last night.
The public think the rules won't work, they will break the law if necessary to see their loved ones and believe it is time to 'get Britain back to normal'.
These are among the key findings from focus groups that suggest traditional opinion polls have failed to spot a decisive change in attitudes toward the pandemic.
One leading pollster believes Britain could be witnessing a repeat of what happened in the 2015 election and the EU referendum.
Opinion polls forecast Labour's Ed Miliband would be prime minister and that Brexit would be rejected: focus groups indicated the opposite and were proved right each time.
Since the start of the pandemic most polls have suggested voters support lockdowns and, if anything, want the Government to impose even more stringent curbs.
Some have argued this is because furloughed workers have been able to stay at home on 80 per cent of their normal wages thanks to taxpayer funds.
Many Tory MPs opposed to Boris Johnson's three-tier lockdown system claim their stance is backed by many of their constituents.
The Daily Mail listened in to one of the focus groups, typical of several that have been conducted recently, and it echoed the MPs' views.
Carried out last Friday, and comprising a cross-section of society, both Tory and Labour, in London, Birmingham and Liverpool, it appears to show voters have lost faith in lockdowns and are no longer prepared to obey all the rules.
They also think the second wave of the virus will be less dangerous, are increasingly worried about the damage to jobs and the economy.
Meanwhile many will refuse a coronavirus vaccine for fear of side effects and there is continuing fury over rule breakers such as the Prime Minister's chief of staff Dominic Cummings.
People are pictured leaving Cardiff city centre as the pubs close before Wales entered a two-week 'firebreak' lockdown at 6pm on Friday
A couple wearing a visor and a mask to fend off the coronavirus go shopping in Knighton, a town that sits on the border between England and Wales, earlier this week
Revellers in Sheffield are out on the town for one last night tonight before their city is placed under the strictest lockdown measures, tier three
James Johnson of JL Partners, who acted as moderator in the focus group, says the findings were the same as those in similar studies he had hosted.
He said the results had convinced him the tide of opinion was turning against lockdowns.
He said that 'nuanced conversations' that take place in focus groups, which involve only a handful of people, have 'uncovered hidden truths' about the pandemic and attitudes to the Government's lockdown strategy.
Mr Johnson, who advised Theresa May in Downing Street, argues that the focus groups show a resolve to rely on common sense to avoid catching the virus rather than Government diktats.
Voters are 'fatigued' by the curbs and not prepared to carry on being compliant, especially when they see high-profile figures flouting them.
The public, he said, were confused by the rules and were as likely to watch comedian Matt Lucas parody Boris Johnson's stuttering Downing Street press conferences as watch the Prime Minister himself.
Mr Johnson says that on certain issues the intimate atmosphere of his focus groups enables participants to reveal their true feelings.
This is in contrast to box ticking opinion polls where around 1,000 voters are invited to give a flat yes or no answer to dozens of questions, usually online.
Police officers arriving in Cardiff city centre at 1745 before Wales will enter a two-week 'firebreak' lockdown at 6pm on Friday in an attempt to protect the country's NHS from being overwhelmed by the resurgence of coronavirus
People are pictured drinking in Soho, London this evening. A focus group has revealed that people are losing faith in lockdowns and are less willing to obey the rules
In his most recent focus group, Liverpool pensioner Brian complained: 'People with cancer, heart conditions, strokes, they're all dying.
'We are saving people with coronavirus but the rest of the population is dying from diseases we can control.'
The public knew lockdowns would 'always break down', he told the group.
Angela, 59, from Birmingham, said she went months without seeing her elderly parents earlier in the year and 'I'm not doing that again'.
Paul, a London property developer, ridiculed the 10pm curfew, saying the virus was 'just spread among crowds getting wasted in the streets.'
Steph, a charity worker, was equally robust, despite having had the virus herself.
She said Mr Cummings was 'disgusting' for breaking Covid rules, adding: 'We have to get back to normality.'
Publicly, the Government is maintaining its tough stance on lockdowns, insisting the rules are vital to stop the virus spiralling out of control.
However, privately, the Government's position is a different story: like the focus groups, it is rather more nuanced.
The Daily Mail understands ministers are encouraged by signs that predictions of hundreds of thousands more infections and tens of thousands more deaths in a second wave may be an overestimate.
According to reliable sources, there are signs that the infection rate among university students is falling.
And there is evidence the virus has lost up to 90 per cent of its lethal potency owing to mass wearing of masks.
That, together with more effective drugs, has reduced the fatality rate in hospital intensive care units.
'Let's get back to normal!': Thoughts and feelings of an exasperated public Q: What do you think of Government's coronavirus rules?
Alec, 61, consultant, London, Conservative
They are confusing, unenforceable and people won't take any notice of them.
Brian, 68, retired, Liverpool, Conservative
One member of the focus group said that the government's special adviser Dominic Cummings, pictured right, was 'disgusting' for having broken the rules
It's killing more people with cancer. Coronavirus is 40th on the list (of causes of death). People with heart conditions, strokes are all dying. We are saving people with coronavirus but the rest are dying from diseases we can control.
Amira, (female) 30, school admin officer, London, Labour
They don't (match) the statistics.
Paul, 48, property developer, Birmingham, Conservative
They are patronising and unjust.
Daniel, 24, student, London, Conservative
Confusing; people in government wouldn't stick to them.
Q: Will rules work?
Paul
No. The virus has no limit on time, race, gender. [The authorities] think it will go away at ten o'clock when pubs shut, but it's just spread among crowds getting wasted in the streets.
Brian
You can suppress it for a while but it'll always break out again.
Steph, 38, charity worker, Liverpool, Labour
We (already) tried lockdown, we have to get back to normality, how is a second lockdown going to be any different?
Q: Will you follow new rules?
Amira
No. I'm very close to my family. I didn't see them for six months in lockdown, I'm not doing it again.
Brian
We all followed the rules initially because we thought right, we've got to get rid of this virus. We've gone through all the pain of lockdown, now they want us to face another one. The consensus is they (the public) know it's not going to work, it's always going to break down.
Howard, 23, engineer, Liverpool
If you need to see your loved ones, see them. If you're popping round for the sake of it '' don't.
Angela, 59, Birmingham, Labour
I wear a mask when I go out but I shall still see my family because my parents are elderly. I had a few months of not seeing them ... and I'm not doing that again. Everything else I'm going to act normal because mentally I couldn't go through it again.
Daniel
I would break it (lockdown) to see my family '' for my mental health.
Paul
Not really. If you need to see your loved ones, see them.
Q: What should MINISTERS do instead?
Angela
Get on with it and be sensible, don't mix in big crowds. Get back to normal as much as we can.
Daniel
There should be a lockdown with very harsh penalties... for a short time. Then we could remove the virus and live how we want to.
Q: Why has trust in the rules collapsed?
Paul
If the Queen won't wear a mask, why should I bother?
Steph
Dominic Cummings' (behaviour) was disgusting, Matt Hancock put his arm round fellow MPs in the Commons.
Paul
You have Cummings on a jolly, the woman (MP) who went from Scotland to London and back with the virus and isn't being prosecuted. It's a cop out. And they want to fine us!
Brian
The Mail said the average age of a Covid person dying is 82 years, the average life expectancy is 81 years, so who are we protecting? There's good chance I would survive at 68.
Q: Would you have a Covid vaccine?
Angela
I don't believe in vaccines, wouldn't have one.
Paul
What happens if they bring one out that hasn't been trialled, and in five years we've all developed side effects? We'll all sue the Government because we were forced to have it.
Alec
I will take it because it will be a worldwide vaccine.
At last! NHS workers are 'set to get a vaccine in weeks' as the Government accelerates timetable for a mass roll-out before Christmas - while ministers introduce new laws to bypass EU approval for jab
By MICHAEL POWELL and GLEN OWEN for the Mail On Sunday
Plans are being drawn up for frontline NHS staff to receive a coronavirus vaccine within weeks, as the Government moves to accelerate the timetable for a mass roll-out.
An email sent by an NHS Trust chief to his staff, seen by The Mail on Sunday, reveals the Health Service is preparing for a national vaccination programme before Christmas.
It can also be disclosed that the Government has introduced new laws that would allow the UK to bypass the EU approval process if a safe and effective jab is ready before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31.
The move will boost optimism that a 'game-changing' vaccine will soon allow Boris Johnson to relax the social restrictions which have crippled the country since March.
In his memo to staff earlier this month, Glen Burley, chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Warwickshire, wrote: 'Our Trust, alongside NHS organisations nationally, has been told to be prepared to start a Covid-19 staff vaccine programme in early December.
'The latest intelligence states a coronavirus vaccine should be available this year with NHS staff prioritised prior to Christmas.'
Plans are being drawn up for frontline NHS staff to receive a coronavirus vaccine within weeks, as the Government moves to accelerate the timetable for a mass roll-out. An email sent by an NHS Trust chief to his staff, seen by The Mail on Sunday, reveals the Health Service is preparing for a national vaccination programme before Christmas. (Above, the memo, sent by Glen Burley, chief executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Warwickshire)
It can also be disclosed that the Government has introduced new laws that would allow the UK to bypass the EU approval process if a safe and effective jab is ready before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31
Despite facing continued criticism, Mr Hancock has pushed through new laws to strip the European Medicines Agency of the power to approve the vaccine if it is ready before the end of December. Instead, British watchdogs will be able to fast-track its production. (File image of an experimental Covid medicine being tested)
Mr Burley added that the vaccine was 'expected to be given in two doses, 28 days apart' and urged his colleagues to have had their flu shot by the end of November so they can qualify for a Covid-19 jab.
Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Trust, told a recent hospital board meeting: 'I'm hoping for a Covid-19 vaccine to be available to healthcare providers some time in December. It has not been confirmed yet but I'm hoping to be able to offer a Covid-19 vaccine to our staff.'
In other developments that emerged yesterday:
There was anger and frustration in Wales over 'farcical' lockdown restrictions on the sale of non-essential items which meant customers were able to buy vodka, but not baby clothes; Professor Neil Ferguson, the controversial academic whose modelling heavily influenced the national lockdown in March, was accused of scaremongering after saying that people 'will catch Covid-19 and die' if families are allowed to mix on Christmas Day; As 1.4 million people across South Yorkshire were plunged into the highest Tier 3 restrictions, another 174 deaths and 23,012 new confirmed cases were announced for the previous 24 hours; Hotel tycoon Sir Rocco Forte called for Matt Hancock to be sacked for his 'shambolic' handling of the crisis as a poll found 49 per cent of people think the Health Secretary breached a drinks curfew in a Commons bar, compared with just nine per cent who thought he did not; Rishi Sunak has asked Treasury officials to find ways of illustrating the crippling financial toll of the pandemic and is pushing to publish it alongside the statistics for cases and deaths; Banks faced fury as it emerged Barclays has set aside £745 million for bonuses, more than last year, and Lloyds will let most of its 65,000 employees work from home until at least next spring; Psychologists said Covid-19 may cause birth rates to fall, people to stay single for longer and for women to become more promiscuous; The global death toll exceeded 1,147,000, while police fought with young protesters angry at restrictions in the Italian city of Naples and the Polish president Andrzej Duda revealed that he had tested positive for the virus. Despite facing continued criticism, Mr Hancock has pushed through new laws to strip the European Medicines Agency of the power to approve the vaccine if it is ready before the end of December. Instead, British watchdogs will be able to fast-track its production.
A health official said: 'Although we still think it most likely that the vaccine will be ready early next year, Matt wants the freedom to operate if it all moves more quickly.'
The official added that under changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, which took effect on October 16, the UK was 'no longer beholden to the EU process if a vaccine is developed before 2021 and has strong evidence proving it is safe, high quality and effective'.
The memo outlines a programme of vaccinations which frontline NHS staff, such as this surgeon, will be first to get
They added: 'Should a vaccine be available before the end of the year, we have put in place robust measures to allow the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to authorise the vaccine for UK patients. This will only happen if there is a strong public health justification and the EU process is taking too long.'
The regulator will have autonomy to approve vaccines for the UK from 2021 in any case.
A senior Government source said: 'We have made sure that if a vaccine is proven safe and effective we won't be held back from deploying it by the need for approval from Brussels.'
NHS staff are most likely to receive the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which is in the final stages of trials.
The Government has already bought 100 million doses of the drug, which is administered in two doses. Under Government plans, frontline NHS staff and care home workers will be vaccinated first, followed by those aged over 80.
Human trials of the Oxford vaccine have been under way since April, involving about 20,000 volunteers worldwide. Scientists have reported a 'robust immune response' and no serious side-effects.
Last night, David Eltringham, managing director at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, said: 'We don't have a definite date for delivery of the vaccine, but we are making ready to deploy the vaccine from the beginning of December.'
Oxford's Covid jab 'has only been tested on 500 over-70s'By STEPHEN ADAMS for the Mail On Sunday
Britain's front-running Covid vaccine has only been tested on about 500 elderly people in this country, raising questions about how effective it might be for a vital section of the population.
There are high hopes for Oxford University's 'ChAdOx' jab but only 1,000 or so of the 10,000 people recruited to the UK arm of Oxford's trial are aged 70 or over. Half of them have been given the vaccine and half have had a placebo.
Last night, former immunisation 'tsar' Professor David Salisbury said the relatively small numbers might not be enough to generate a meaningful result.
'Clearly, if you've just got 500 vaccinated and you've given 500 the placebo and you are looking to see a significant difference in protection between the two'... you may not get much out, in terms of data,' he said.
However, he added that early results appeared to show that older people given Covid vaccines developed good immune responses, so he was hopeful they would work well in the elderly.
The issue is critical because the virus is much more deadly in older people. An 80-year-old is about 1,000 times more likely to die of the virus than a 20-year-old, while five out of every six Covid-related deaths have been in the over-70s.
Earlier this month, Kate Bingham, head of the UK's Vaccine Taskforce, gave a clear signal that Covid vaccination is to be aimed at older people, even though vaccines are often less effective in that group as their immune systems tend to respond less strongly.
For example, the flu vaccine given in 2016-17 was completely ineffective in the over-65s, according to data from Public Health England. It did, however, work well in younger people.
As Oxford's Covid vaccine works in a different way, there is no specific reason to believe it will be a dud in the elderly but all the leading jab contenders are acutely aware of the issue.
Oxford has launched parallel trials in Brazil, South Africa and the US '' but only the American 'arm' is enrolling over-65s. AstraZeneca, which is handling the US trial enquiries, refused to say how many over-65s have been recruited there so far.
Artificial intelligence model detects asymptomatic Covid-19 infections through cellphone-recorded coughs | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 13:10
Asymptomatic people who are infected with Covid-19 exhibit, by definition, no discernible physical symptoms of the disease. They are thus less likely to seek out testing for the virus, and could unknowingly spread the infection to others.
But it seems those who are asymptomatic may not be entirely free of changes wrought by the virus. MIT researchers have now found that people who are asymptomatic may differ from healthy individuals in the way that they cough. These differences are not decipherable to the human ear. But it turns out that they can be picked up by artificial intelligence.
In a paper published recently in the IEEE Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology, the team reports on an AI model that distinguishes asymptomatic people from healthy individuals through forced-cough recordings, which people voluntarily submitted through web browsers and devices such as cellphones and laptops.
The researchers trained the model on tens of thousands of samples of coughs, as well as spoken words. When they fed the model new cough recordings, it accurately identified 98.5 percent of coughs from people who were confirmed to have Covid-19, including 100 percent of coughs from asymptomatics '-- who reported they did not have symptoms but had tested positive for the virus.
The team is working on incorporating the model into a user-friendly app, which if FDA-approved and adopted on a large scale could potentially be a free, convenient, noninvasive prescreening tool to identify people who are likely to be asymptomatic for Covid-19. A user could log in daily, cough into their phone, and instantly get information on whether they might be infected and therefore should confirm with a formal test.
''The effective implementation of this group diagnostic tool could diminish the spread of the pandemic if everyone uses it before going to a classroom, a factory, or a restaurant,'' says co-author Brian Subirana, a research scientist in MIT's Auto-ID Laboratory.
Subirana's co-authors are Jordi Laguarta and Ferran Hueto, of MIT's Auto-ID Laboratory.
Vocal sentiments
Prior to the pandemic's onset, research groups already had been training algorithms on cellphone recordings of coughs to accurately diagnose conditions such as pneumonia and asthma. In similar fashion, the MIT team was developing AI models to analyze forced-cough recordings to see if they could detect signs of Alzheimer's, a disease associated with not only memory decline but also neuromuscular degradation such as weakened vocal cords.
They first trained a general machine-learning algorithm, or neural network, known as ResNet50, to discriminate sounds associated with different degrees of vocal cord strength. Studies have shown that the quality of the sound ''mmmm'' can be an indication of how weak or strong a person's vocal cords are. Subirana trained the neural network on an audiobook dataset with more than 1,000 hours of speech, to pick out the word ''them'' from other words like ''the'' and ''then.''
The team trained a second neural network to distinguish emotional states evident in speech, because Alzheimer's patients '-- and people with neurological decline more generally '-- have been shown to display certain sentiments such as frustration, or having a flat affect, more frequently than they express happiness or calm. The researchers developed a sentiment speech classifier model by training it on a large dataset of actors intonating emotional states, such as neutral, calm, happy, and sad.
The researchers then trained a third neural network on a database of coughs in order to discern changes in lung and respiratory performance.
Finally, the team combined all three models, and overlaid an algorithm to detect muscular degradation. The algorithm does so by essentially simulating an audio mask, or layer of noise, and distinguishing strong coughs '-- those that can be heard over the noise '-- over weaker ones.
With their new AI framework, the team fed in audio recordings, including of Alzheimer's patients, and found it could identify the Alzheimer's samples better than existing models. The results showed that, together, vocal cord strength, sentiment, lung and respiratory performance, and muscular degradation were effective biomarkers for diagnosing the disease.
When the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold, Subirana wondered whether their AI framework for Alzheimer's might also work for diagnosing Covid-19, as there was growing evidence that infected patients experienced some similar neurological symptoms such as temporary neuromuscular impairment.
''The sounds of talking and coughing are both influenced by the vocal cords and surrounding organs. This means that when you talk, part of your talking is like coughing, and vice versa. It also means that things we easily derive from fluent speech, AI can pick up simply from coughs, including things like the person's gender, mother tongue, or even emotional state. There's in fact sentiment embedded in how you cough,'' Subirana says. ''So we thought, why don't we try these Alzheimer's biomarkers [to see if they're relevant] for Covid.''
''A striking similarity''
In April, the team set out to collect as many recordings of coughs as they could, including those from Covid-19 patients. They established a website where people can record a series of coughs, through a cellphone or other web-enabled device. Participants also fill out a survey of symptoms they are experiencing, whether or not they have Covid-19, and whether they were diagnosed through an official test, by a doctor's assessment of their symptoms, or if they self-diagnosed. They also can note their gender, geographical location, and native language.
To date, the researchers have collected more than 70,000 recordings, each containing several coughs, amounting to some 200,000 forced-cough audio samples, which Subirana says is ''the largest research cough dataset that we know of.'' Around 2,500 recordings were submitted by people who were confirmed to have Covid-19, including those who were asymptomatic.
The team used the 2,500 Covid-associated recordings, along with 2,500 more recordings that they randomly selected from the collection to balance the dataset. They used 4,000 of these samples to train the AI model. The remaining 1,000 recordings were then fed into the model to see if it could accurately discern coughs from Covid patients versus healthy individuals.
Surprisingly, as the researchers write in their paper, their efforts have revealed ''a striking similarity between Alzheimer's and Covid discrimination.''
Without much tweaking within the AI framework originally meant for Alzheimer's, they found it was able to pick up patterns in the four biomarkers '-- vocal cord strength, sentiment, lung and respiratory performance, and muscular degradation '-- that are specific to Covid-19. The model identified 98.5 percent of coughs from people confirmed with Covid-19, and of those, it accurately detected all of the asymptomatic coughs.
''We think this shows that the way you produce sound, changes when you have Covid, even if you're asymptomatic,'' Subirana says.
Asymptomatic symptoms
The AI model, Subirana stresses, is not meant to diagnose symptomatic people, as far as whether their symptoms are due to Covid-19 or other conditions like flu or asthma. The tool's strength lies in its ability to discern asymptomatic coughs from healthy coughs.
The team is working with a company to develop a free pre-screening app based on their AI model. They are also partnerning with several hospitals around the world to collect a larger, more diverse set of cough recordings, which will help to train and strengthen the model's accuracy.
As they propose in their paper, ''Pandemics could be a thing of the past if pre-screening tools are always on in the background and constantly improved.''
Ultimately, they envision that audio AI models like the one they've developed may be incorporated into smart speakers and other listening devices so that people can conveniently get an initial assessment of their disease risk, perhaps on a daily basis.
This research was supported, in part, by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
Barricades in Madrid, clashes in Barcelona, looting in Logrono as anti-lockdown protests grip Spain (VIDEOS) '-- RT World News
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 04:54
Spain has been gripped violence, with anti-lockdown protesters clashing with police in multiple cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, over the state and regional governments' move to toughen Covid-19 restrictions.
Protesters torched garbage containers and erected makeshift barricades on Gran V­a, and reportedly smashed several store fronts elsewhere in central Madrid on Saturday night.
When police moved in to clear the unruly gathering, they were pelted with stones and flares, and reportedly fired blank bullets forcing the protesters to disperse into nearby streets.
Meanwhile in Barcelona, police officers were once pelted with stones and other projectiles, as they tried to disperse a smaller-scale anti-lockdown protests for the second consecutive night.
The regional government of Catalonia approved a new package of measures this week, including the perimeter confinement of each municipality, limiting people to their own district on weekends.
Also on rt.com Violent clashes in Barcelona as protesters hurl missiles at police after Catalonia closes borders over Covid (VIDEOS) Clashes also took place in the Spanish city of Logrono, where protesters burned trash containers, smashed windows and looted several shops.
Heated protests were also reported in Granada, Malaga and Bilbao.
Spain's prime minister Pedro Sanchez urged Spaniards, in a Saturday night tweet, to show patience and demonstrate ''responsibility, unity and sacrifice'' to defeat the global pandemic, while condemning the ''violent and irrational behavior'' by a ''small minority'' of the population.
Disturbios y enfrentamientos entre la Polic­a Nacional y manifestantes en la Gran V­a de Madrid, a pocos minutos de entrar en vigor el toque de queda impuesto por el gobierno de Espa±a. Decenas de personas protestan contra las restricciones #31octpic.twitter.com/Aqa8ed6Rdm
'-- Sergio Novelli (@SergioNovelli) November 1, 2020Spain's parliament approved a six-month extension to the national state of emergency last week , granting regional authorities more power to tackle the country's second wave of Covid-19. This is Spain's third extension to the state of emergency during the pandemic and will be in force until May 9, but with the option for it to be lifted on March 9.
Under this new extension, regional governments have the power to control freedom of movement and curfew times without having to go through complicated fortnightly procedures in parliament. Since then, many regions have toughened their coronavirus measures, with nighttime curfews, lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Also on rt.com Boris Johnson announces new 4-week England lockdown '' all pubs, restaurants & 'non-essential' shops to shut down Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Coronavirus antibody tests might come back negative for people who had mild cases '' BGR
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 12:46
Coronavirus immunity tests might return false negatives for people who experienced a mild or asymptomatic case of COVID-19.The conclusion comes from a new Oxford study that looked at the sensitivity ratings of antibody tests on patients who might have had the virus.The researchers found that a large number of people might get negative results in antibody tests despite possibly having had the illness at some point in the past few months.COVID-19 immunity is one of the most important topics of research right now, but the novel coronavirus is too new to give us a definitive answer to the most important question we have: Is reinfection possible? The management of outbreaks and future vaccination policies might hinge on the answer. Researchers think that the novel coronavirus will behave just like other human coronaviruses when it comes to immunity. We'll get six to twelve months of protection, but then reinfection could be possible.
Separately, researchers are looking to measure the actual number of COVID-19 cases in a community by performing antibody tests. These are specific ''witnesses'' of the infection that prove the immune system has eliminated the coronavirus and is ready to block it again upon a second encounter. But recent studies have shown that antibodies can vanish from the bloodstream as soon as two to three months after the first infection. The immune system would still have specialized T cells to fall back to in case of a second contact with the virus, so the immunity is not lost when the antibodies are gone. But antibody tests would not pick up T cells. That's a separate, more difficult test.
A new study now indicates that antibody tests fail to detect people who had mild coronavirus cases, which could become a real problem in a variety of situations. It's not that people who experience mild cases of COVID-19 do not develop an immune response. But the current tests have been created using samples from symptomatic patients, who were often hospitalized for treatment.
The Oxford study enrolled more than 9,000 healthcare workers and showed that a significant number of people tested negative for antibodies despite probably having had the virus. The researchers used a particular symptom that's been associated with COVID-19, and that's the sudden loss of smell and taste. Several other studies showed why the phenomenon occurs and proved that it's likely to test positive for COVID-19 after experiencing it. Not all people who get infected experience the symptom. That's why PCR tests are still needed to diagnose the illness correctly.
The Oxford study showed that of the 903 people who tested positive for antibodies on one test, 47% of them reported a loss of smell or taste. But there also was a group of subjects whose test results felt short of the threshold for a positive antibody result, which would mean they did not have the virus. Yet 30% of those also reported a loss of sense of taste or smell. That's a too-large percentage to be explained by a different condition that could lead to the sudden loss of smell and taste.
The researchers said that only some 3% of people who get common colds other conditions would report the loss of smell and taste as a symptom.
''You can see that below the cut-off, there is a rising proportion of people who report a loss of their sense of smell or taste, and this suggests that the test threshold is missing people with mild disease,'' Dr. Tim Walker explained the results toThe Telegraph. ''Of course, there will be plenty of people, too, who will have had no symptoms whatsoever and will still have antibodies.''
The study also showed that some 387 people who tested just below the threshold did not have any symptoms. These could have been asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, but the researchers could not demonstrate they had the virus.
The scientists used several antibody tests, including the Abbott diagnostic that's used for one in four antibody tests in the UK. The results indicate that the test is less sensitive than currently believed. Instead of 98% sensitivity, the test would be 11% less sensitive, according to the researchers. In other words, the test would miss plenty of COVID-19 survivors. The reason why this happens could be straightforward. The test has been devised using samples from symptomatic patients who have been treated for COVID-19 in hospitals.
The scientists suggested that samples from mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 survivors who had PCR tests that confirmed the illness could be used to improve the tests so that they'd identify patients with a lower antibody count.
On the other hand, the tests were devised in such a manner to make sure they would not give out false positives. Telling people who were not infected that they have antibodies could lead to a false sense of security, and they could then get infected.
Antibody testing could lead to the so-called ''immunity passports'' that we've addressed before. But if antibody tests can't detect people who experience mild and moderate infections, then these people would not be given documentation showing they've already survived the disease. Immunity passports do not exist per se, but some people could ask for proof that a person had the infection for various reasons, including travel and work.
The UK government commented on the study, saying that ''we do not yet know whether antibodies indicate immunity from reinfection with coronavirus or if they prevent transmission.'' The Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said that ''antibody testing is an important part of our testing strategy because it helps us understand how COVID-19 is spreading across the country.''
But if the Oxford study can be verified, then antibody testing can't help officials understand how the illness is spreading in a community. Add to that the study that said antibodies vanish three months after the infection, and you've got one more problem for studying herd immunity. The new Oxford study has been published online in pre-print form over on medRxiv, which means it hasn't been peer-reviewed.
Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
THE PROJECT | Copsforcovidtruth
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:11
As we watch on with fear as Europe's flu season begins, covid-19 cases spike and governments start implementing even more harsh lockdowns. it's difficult to feel positive as we bear witness to what appears to be a cycle we are likely to encounter again.
The questionable tactics employed in the name of public health interests, must be reviewed thoroughly to ensure proper process is adhered to preserve our health, while also upholding our sovereignty and basic human rights.
It is said the definition of insanity is to repeat the mistakes of the past, expecting a different result. Watching the upheaval in Europe tells us that the people have learned and spoken, but the government hasn't listened. We cannot afford to make the same mistakes again.
Central to the government response is the enforcement of their restrictions. Our police forces have been propelled into unprecedented circumstances and demanded to enforce arbitrary rules without due diligence and in the unfolding chaos, we have been witness to the paradox of brutality in the name of health and well-being.
In the process public trust in government and the police is corroding almost as rapidly as suspicions around their intentions, questioning agendas, corporate influence, nepotism, partiality and how Chief Health Officers that were not elected, can dictate in what appears to be an autocracy.
The central plot in the George Lucas classic Star Wars, is a battle between an evil Empire and a virtuous Rebellion, fighting injustice and in 2020 you can easily be excused for thinking we are living this.
But the actions of a few do not reflect the many. Our police forces protect us and many are good, honest and caring individuals who are doing their best to keep our communities safe. Is it really fair to become so apprehensive of the very people who have made it their job to serve and protect us? We can only judge them by their actions.
It is now apparent that some officers share these same concerns. Concerns about what they are being asked to do. Concerns about oppressive rule and their part enforcing them. They see the erosion of trust occurring and as human liberties and freedoms are removed from their family, friends and communities in which they live, the burden is heavy.
But one brave officer has had the courage and conviction to speak out. A Senior Constable from the New South Wales police force, Alexander Cooney has asked the Commissioner in an open letter to challenge the directions they are being given, instead of simply acquiescing to them and in the process, restore community trust and a return to normalcy.
He has started a movement he calls "Cops for Covid Truth" and his letter is a compelling read. At Advocate Me, we have thrown all our resources in supporting him and openly inviting Police Officers across all the States and Territories to join his movement.
A unity is forming here in Australia and around the world. People are demanding truth, transparency and accountability in government and with some members of the police force lending their weight to this probe, it may be the very thing that shifts the balance of power in this way.
If this really is a George Lucas battle between the virtuous and an evil Empire, it cannot endure without its storm troopers. May the force be with us.
Serene Teffaha and the team
Advocate Me
Alabama cuts COVID deaths with no underlying conditions from 130 to 13 - al.com
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:12
FILE - This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. AP
A change in criteria used to determine some coronavirus deaths in Alabama has lowered that count by more than 100.
Data from the Alabama Department of Public Health now shows 13 of the state's 2,914 COVID-19 deaths were among people with no underlying health conditions. The age range for those deaths is 53-88 with a median age of 73.
Two days ago, ADPH listed 130 COVID-19 deaths among those with no underlying conditions with an age range of 33-103 and median age of 76.
The change comes after ADPH added a number of questions to its death investigation process, including whether the person was considered obese, defined as a BMI of 30 or higher. The inclusion led to a reclassification of deaths among people who were previously considered to have no underlying conditions.
According to ADPH, Alabama has the 6th highest adult obesity rate in the nation with 36.2% of the population listed as having a BMI of 30 or higher.
Obesity has ''shown to be associated with poorer health outcomes among COVID-19 cases,'' ADPH said in a statement.
Alabama has reported 2,914 COVID deaths among those with underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, diabetes and now, obesity. Forty-eight of the state's COVID deaths among those with underlying conditions are now listed under the obesity category with the remainder moved to other categories.
The largest number of the state's COVID deaths'' 1,849 or 64% - were those with cardiovascular disease. Fifty-seven percent were listed as having multiple underlying medical conditions.
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Indiana National Guard trains for nursing home deployment
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:16
INDIANAPOLIS '-- The Indiana National Guard will join the battle against COVID-19 next week.
On Friday, the Indiana National Guard soldiers started training at Camp Atterbury for their mission to help the state fight the coronavirus inside nursing homes.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, R-Indiana, ordered the deployment on Wednesday. The Guardsmen will mobilize into teams spread out to 133 of the state's hardest-hit long-term care facilities. Starting Monday, 399 guard members will work in more than 130 long-term care facilities.
Over the next three weeks, the National Guard will broaden its support to all 534 of Indiana's long-term care facilities.
In total, 1,350 Guardsmen will be working seven days a week in the facilities through the end of December. The Indiana State Health Department will provide the soldiers with scrubs and personal protective equipment that includes masks, gloves, goggles, and gowns.
''They're going to help the staff through things like wellness checks at entrance points, taking temperatures, monitoring compliance for a CDC guidelines, helping to sanitize compartments, those kinds of things that will actually allow the staff to focus their energy and effort on our most vulnerable population," Indiana's Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles told WRTV.
The National Guard's ultimate purpose here is to help nursing home employees focus exclusively on their patients.
''We're to help people, so we have to understand the people we are helping, the situations they are in, so we can help them to the best of our abilities and support the CDC," Andrew Williamson, a Nation Guard soldier, said.
According to the state, soldiers will be tested for COVID-19 before they are placed in a facility and will continue to be tested during their assignment.
Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Influenza vs covid
Thread by @amuse on Thread Reader App '' Thread Reader App
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 13:35
2020 will be remembered as the year America cured influenza. Previously between 140k-800K Americans were hospitalized and 12K-80K Americans died from the flu each year. This year there have been almost no flu hospitalizations or deaths. How did we do it? Money!
It turns out if the government agrees to reimburse hospitals 20% more for Covid-19 patients than Flu patients almost everyone will have Covid-19. The rules don't require a positive test only a probable case (i.e. use your judgement).
What does this mean? It means we have no idea how many people are being hospitalized for Covid-19 and no idea how many people actually die from the virus.
COVID-19 Data Dashboard - Hospital Capacity Snapshot | NHSN | CDC
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 13:55
Estimates of hospital capacity were available at the national and state levels. These estimates used data that hospitals submitted to the NHSN COVID-19 Module and statistical methods that included weighting (to account for non-response) and multiple imputation (to account for missing data). The estimates (number and percentage) are shown along with 95% confidence intervals that reflect random error.
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IMPORTANT: Data displayed on this page was submitted directly to CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and does not include data submitted to other entities contracted by or within the federal government.
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NWO Great Reset
Ben Rickert on Twitter: "Former Vatican Cardinal - Carlo Maria Vigano informing Donald Trump about "The Great Reset" that is underway. https://t.co/UTeUmiejUs" / Twitter
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:48
Ben Rickert : Former Vatican Cardinal - Carlo Maria Vigano informing Donald Trump about "The Great Reset" that is underway. https://t.co/UTeUmiejUs
Fri Oct 30 12:51:54 +0000 2020
Icarus : @Ben__Rickert The 'build back better' slogan is every where. Or something close to that. Canada's Trudeau is a gl'... https://t.co/3BSLspvUuL
Fri Oct 30 14:41:59 +0000 2020
Libertarian : @Ben__Rickert Good letter !
Fri Oct 30 14:36:09 +0000 2020
J Rock '­• : @Ben__Rickert Supposed email from a parliament member in Canada, unknown source (1/2) https://t.co/nTv3WePSaG
Fri Oct 30 14:33:05 +0000 2020
J Rock '­• : @Ben__Rickert Supposed email from a parliament member in Canada, unknown source (2/2) https://t.co/1Pif4dDzHZ
Fri Oct 30 14:32:35 +0000 2020
Tickettothemoon : @Ben__Rickert If this is authentic, then #45 definitely isn't for $XRP
Fri Oct 30 14:22:36 +0000 2020
Langston Pondexter : @Ben__Rickert Alex Jones was not playing around!!
Fri Oct 30 14:21:19 +0000 2020
ðŸ·ðŸ¾ðŸ"ðŸ>>ðŸ¾ðŸðŸ¾ðŸ>>ðŸ¾ðŸ…‚ : @Ben__Rickert Citations
Fri Oct 30 14:19:23 +0000 2020
Knowledge is Power : @Ben__Rickert @cjtruth @GenFlynn @realDonaldTrump @DonaldJTrumpJr @randyhillier @BusyDrT @SheilaGunnReid @Yukon_Strong @JuliansRum
Fri Oct 30 14:18:42 +0000 2020
Modern Major Generalist : @Ben__Rickert When are they going to get around to excommunicating this guy? Hard to tell if he just likes the noto'... https://t.co/HViX9bOjrh
Fri Oct 30 14:17:35 +0000 2020
MonteKrysto : @Ben__Rickert Masons are in control
Fri Oct 30 14:12:18 +0000 2020
John Isaacson : @Ben__Rickert A huge answer to prayer. As a former pastor myself, I recently wrote a similar letter which I sent to'... https://t.co/pRuw93UKDS
Fri Oct 30 14:04:28 +0000 2020
Eddy_1929_Depression : @Ben__Rickert He is absolutely correct it's clear as day
Fri Oct 30 14:01:43 +0000 2020
MitchBob : @Ben__Rickert ''The alternative is to vote for a person who is manipulated by the deep state, gravely compromised by'... https://t.co/zUwxj6Xmsj
Fri Oct 30 13:59:52 +0000 2020
AG : @Ben__Rickert @adamcurry @NoAgendaNation
Fri Oct 30 13:41:05 +0000 2020
(L. Acidophilus)~inside : @Ben__Rickert Yesssss https://t.co/Suhiw0hoxY
Fri Oct 30 13:39:24 +0000 2020
jane : @Ben__Rickert @maneco1964 Very true
Fri Oct 30 13:35:30 +0000 2020
Ø­Ø"يب hasib : @Ben__Rickert I love the info you put out , what I want to know is; what is your solution ?
Fri Oct 30 13:32:29 +0000 2020
Antoine Cardyn : @Ben__Rickert @MarkBardi again
Fri Oct 30 13:24:18 +0000 2020
tryna change the world : @Ben__Rickert Thoughts? I think he's right. I've felt all along this was the plan IMO smh
Fri Oct 30 13:21:00 +0000 2020
Mr Boulugre : @Ben__Rickert My BS detector is tinglingSeems a little bit to much to me.... Even if true it would lead to massive'... https://t.co/HUQjesGPnc
Fri Oct 30 13:16:13 +0000 2020
Valery : @Ben__Rickert One question: Did you swallow all at once or bit by bit?
Fri Oct 30 13:11:35 +0000 2020
Xavier : @Ben__Rickert I keep saying this, but whoa. These are some crazy times were living in right now.#GreatReset'... https://t.co/YAT67gvjl9
Fri Oct 30 13:10:06 +0000 2020
Kraynyak : @Ben__Rickert Chilling...freedom, liberty & personal destiny are on the ballot November 3rd...
Fri Oct 30 13:09:30 +0000 2020
Renee Smith : @Ben__Rickert A former vactican cardinal must not be bias about his views but write the letter objectively.
Fri Oct 30 13:05:57 +0000 2020
Mark Hughes : @Ben__Rickert Propaganda from the deep forces ostensibly attacking the deep forces.
Fri Oct 30 13:05:17 +0000 2020
Finisterrae : @Ben__Rickert The guy has read to many fiction books
Fri Oct 30 13:03:09 +0000 2020
Ken B. : @Ben__Rickert If this is authentic, How the heck is it that it has become public?
Fri Oct 30 12:57:01 +0000 2020
Jake Tiley : @Ben__Rickert see banco monte paschi ...vatican bank ...Mob Communications Inc $MCI
Fri Oct 30 12:53:58 +0000 2020
Will Next WTO Head Impose a Gates and Davos Agenda? | New Eastern Outlook
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 18:18
It is all but certain that the next head of the influential World Trade Organization (WTO) will be an African by birth and a woman. But neither is what makes the all-but certain naming of Nigerian-born Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala cause for alarm. Rather it is who she is and who she presently is tied to that insure she will implement the unfolding agenda of the Great Reset transformation of the world economy, using the coronavirus pandemic as a prime lever. She presently heads an organization created by the seeming omnipresent (not omniscient) Bill Gates together with the Davos World Economic Forum'--both involved in implementing the Great Reset''and she is deeply tied to the prime institutions of globalization and international finance. Some background we should know about.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has just won the unanimous support of the 55 nations of the African Union, defeating an Egyptian candidate. As of this writing she faces certain approval over her South Korean opponent. On October 17, the 55 member countries of the African Union voted to back Okonjo-Iweala against her only remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea, their current Minister of Trade. The Nigerian candidate claims also to have the backing of a group of Caribbean and Pacific states, bringing the number of countries officially endorsing her candidacy to 79 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO. It looks like a done deal.
Who is Okonjo-Iweala?
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala comes from senior ministerial posts in Nigeria, one of the world's most corrupt states with a 2019 Transparency International index of 146 from 180 states evaluated. Notably, she was Finance Minister in the Nigerian government twice, first under President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003''2006. Then again, from 2011''2015 under President Goodluck Jonathan when she was named Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy. Though she was never charged with corruption, in 2015 almost $20 billion was discovered ''lost'' after an audit by PriceWaterhouseCoopers of state oil revenues. She also convinced Goodluck Jonathan to lift gasoline subsidies in 2012 triggering massive street protests as many Nigerians see cheap gasoline as the only benefit they get from the country's vast oil wealth. Cutting such subsidies is standard World Bank fare.
As Finance Minister she backed the usual IMF/World Bank demands for slashing state subsidies for gasoline and privatization of electricity. It was no surprise, as Okonjo-Iweala was with the World Bank in Washington for 25 years. After Obasanjo terminated her first stint as Finance Minister, she returned to the World Bank to become Managing Director of Operations from 2007''2011. Several times she made clear her ambition to become head of the World Bank, a post traditionally filled by an American Citizen. Indeed, she went so far as to take American citizenship in 2019 when the World Bank post again became vacant, but to no avail.
The World Bank is one of the pivotal UN-based instruments for advancing the globalist corporatist economic agenda, along with the IMF. Like the IMF the World Bank uses its money as a carrot to impose draconian conditionalities on recipient governments in developing countries. This is called the ''Washington Consensus'' and imposes an unsuitable ''free market'' agenda that inevitably includes demands to slash state budgets, cut state subsidies to food and fuel, make the currency convertible and cheap, and eliminate protectionist barriers. The Structural Adjustment Programs of the World Bank and IMF in West Africa led countries to prioritize debt payments over investment in public services including in education, infrastructure or basic health services. In short, it is a brutal form of what has been called technocratic neo-colonialism, far more sinister than the British or French or Belgians ever managed because they use Africans or other developing country technocrat ''faces'' to impose the draconian austerity that forces countries to open to foreign plunder, typically by the western corporate giants.
GAVI and Gates
Okonjo-Iweala left the corrupt government of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 to become Chairman of GAVI-The Vaccine Alliance, where she sits until today. GAVI stands for Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. It was founded in 2000 with an initial $750 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates was joined by the World Bank and GAVI was all agreed at the Davos World Economic Forum, the globalist hub at the center of the Great Reset. GAVI claims to have spent more than $4 billion on vaccines. Its main target is vaccinating every child in Africa, India and the developing world. GAVI declares on its website, ''As part of its mission to save lives, reduce poverty and protect the world against the threat of epidemics, Gavi has helped vaccinate more than 822 million children in the world's poorest countries.''
The Board of GAVI includes, in addition to Chairman Okonjo-Iweala, one of the world's largest vaccine makers, GSK, as well as the Gates Foundation, World Bank, WHO and UNICEF. Under the chairmanship of Okonjo-Iweala, GAVI has been involved in the scandalous spread of polio in Africa as a result of their polio vaccine strategy. As well also in India GAVI and the Gates Foundation were sued in Indian High Courts for ''criminally negligent trialling the vaccines on a vulnerable, uneducated and under-informed population'' school administrators, students and their parents'' who were not provided informed consent or advised of potential adverse effects or required to be monitored post-vaccination.'' A number of vaccinated Indian girls died after receiving HPV vaccines from GSK, a board member of GAVI.
Most recently, under Okonjo-Iweala's term as Chairman of GAVI, cases of paralytic polio resulted in African and Indian children who had been vaccinated by GAVI and Gates Foundation Oral Polio Vaccine programs. GAVI and Gates did so despite the fact they knew that the OPV had been dropped by the US CDC in 1992 from its vaccine schedule in the US because it was causing polio. Under the GAVI-Gates polio vaccination program polio cases have been registered in more than a dozen African countries including Angola, Congo, Nigeria and Zambia and Okono-Iweala's Nigeria. But the shocking thing is that the outbreaks are all reportedly caused by the Gates-backed oral polio vaccine. GAVI and Gates engage in a colossally corrupt and even criminal enterprise in which the tax exempt Gates Foundation invests in vaccine companies like GSK and others that then sell their vaccines to huge new markets such as Africa and India. As stock prices in GSK rise as a result of rising sales of vaccines, Gates Foundation net worth rises too. ''Charity'' for profit is the model.
In short Okonjo-Iweala's role as head of the corrupt GAVI as well as World Bank and Nigerian Finance Ministry make her a superb candidate to head the globalist World Trade Organization. Looking further into her ties adds to that picture.
Revealing Board Ties
While taking the position as Chairman of GAVI Okonjo-Iweala also became ''Senior Advisor'' to Lazard Ltd., a US investment bank which claims to be the world's largest independent investment bank, with principal executive offices in New York City, Paris and London. The current Lazard board includes among others Richard Haass, head of the New York Council on Foreign Relations. Lazard chairman Kenneth Jacobs sits on the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group. Then in 2018, while still advising Lazard and heading Gates' GAVI, she joined the board of Jack Dorsey's Twitter, infamous these days for massive political censorship.
She also took a position in 2018 on the Board of the major international bank Standard Chartered, whose major shareholder is the government sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, and whose banking operations are in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In 2012 the New York Department of Financial Services accused Standard Chartered of hiding $250 billion (!) in transactions involving Iran, labelling it a ''rogue institution.'' The bank has been involved in money laundering US sanctions-violations also involving Myanmar, Libya and Sudan and Hong Kong, where it has major business with China. The Nigerian WTO candidate is well-connected to the world of global finance powers that be, in short.
The former Nigerian Finance Minister and World Bank official is also well-versed in the globalist dystopian UN Agenda 2030 backed by the Davos WEF and Gates. She is co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate which calls for ''bold climate action,'' alongside the head of the IMF, and former head of the agribusiness giant Unilever among others. She also served on the UN Secretary General's High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the infamous ''sustainable development'' agenda. And she is listed as an ''Agenda Contributor'' to the Davos World Economic Forum.
The WTO Agenda
If she is elected which seems all but a done deal, she will head one of the central globalist institutions. The WTO was created in 1995 to advance the Davos agenda of globalization, arguably one of the most economically destructive agendas in history. WTO rules on agriculture trade were drafted by the agribusiness cartel companies led by Cargill to force open agriculture markets in the developing countries to agribusiness products from the global food cartel companies. Rather than eliminate food subsidies in the North American and EU producer countries, subsidies of over 40% on key products have allowed giant agribusiness companies like Unilever to flood local markets in Africa and Asia which bankrupt local small producers, forcing them to flood into urban centers for cheap labor. As one analyst put it, reforms demanded by the WTO have destroyed guaranteed prices and state-sponsored extension services, and governments of the Global South have had to dismantle programs for food security and rural assistance in favor of those that would help them meet WTO mandates.
With her ties to Bill Gates, to the World Bank, the Word Economic Forum, to international finance and even Twitter, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is well-suited to supervise the planned imposition of the totalitarian agenda of the Gates-WEF Great Reset. That she will owe her election to WTO to the backing of African and other developing country governments is a bitter commentary on the cynical manipulations of the Powers That Be in today's world.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook''.
GDP Magic Numbers
GDP Grows 33%...Breaks All-Time Record
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:07
The U.S. GDP boomed at 33.1% rate in Quarter 3, which marks the biggest GDP growth for a quarter ever.
U.S. GDP booms at 33.1% rate in Q3, better than expected https://t.co/TuW42O1Z7H
'-- CNBC (@CNBC) October 29, 2020
GDP Boom! 33.1% https://t.co/wrPYtaIGAd
'-- PollWatch (@PollWatch2020) October 29, 2020
CNBC: Third-quarter gross domestic product, a measure of the total goods and services produced in the July-to-September period, expanded at a 33.1% annualized pace, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
That came after a 31.4% plunge in the second quarter and was better than the 32% estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The previous post-World War II record was the 16.7% burst in the first quarter of 1950.
This is great for everyday Americans. Even while dealing a pandemic President Trump is showing he can still rebuild America's economy.
This is ***double*** the previous quarterly economic growth record, which was set 70 years ago https://t.co/eXGNrpLkQX
'-- Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) October 29, 2020
This also bodes well for President Trump's re-election prospects. 56% of Americans say they are better off thanks to President Trump and this is just going to secure even more votes.
The Palmieri Report is a Pro-America News Outlet founded by Jacob Palmieri two years ago at the age of 19. Since its founding, it has gotten over 2M pages views and over 20k followers. The Palmieri Report is dedicated to giving people the truth so that they can form their own informed political opinions.
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Ministry of Truthiness
My Resignation From The Intercept - Greenwald
Thu, 29 Oct 2020 20:22
Today I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept, the news outlet I co-founded in 2013 with Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, as well as from its parent company First Look Media.
The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept's editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression.
The censored article, based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden's conduct. Not content to simply prevent publication of this article at the media outlet I co-founded, these Intercept editors also demanded that I refrain from exercising a separate contractual right to publish this article with any other publication.
I had no objection to their disagreement with my views of what this Biden evidence shows: as a last-ditch attempt to avoid being censored, I encouraged them to air their disagreements with me by writing their own articles that critique my perspectives and letting readers decide who is right, the way any confident and healthy media outlet would. But modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it. So censorship of my article, rather than engagement with it, was the path these Biden-supporting editors chose.
The censored article will be published on this page shortly (it is now published here). My letter of intent to resign, which I sent this morning to First Look Media's President Michael Bloom, is published below.
As of now, I will be publishing my journalism here on Substack, where numerous other journalists, including my good friend, the great intrepid reporter Matt Taibbi, have come in order to practice journalism free of the increasingly repressive climate that is engulfing national mainstream media outlets across the country.
This was not an easy choice: I am voluntarily sacrificing the support of a large institution and guaranteed salary in exchange for nothing other than a belief that there are enough people who believe in the virtues of independent journalism and the need for free discourse who will be willing to support my work by subscribing.
Like anyone with young children, a family and numerous obligations, I do this with some trepidation, but also with the conviction that there is no other choice. I could not sleep at night knowing that I allowed any institution to censor what I want to say and believe '-- least of all a media outlet I co-founded with the explicit goal of ensuring this never happens to other journalists, let alone to me, let alone because I have written an article critical of a powerful Democratic politician vehemently supported by the editors in the imminent national election.
But the pathologies, illiberalism, and repressive mentality that led to the bizarre spectacle of my being censored by my own media outlet are ones that are by no means unique to The Intercept. These are the viruses that have contaminated virtually every mainstream center-left political organization, academic institution, and newsroom. I began writing about politics fifteen years ago with the goal of combatting media propaganda and repression, and '-- regardless of the risks involved '-- simply cannot accept any situation, no matter how secure or lucrative, that forces me to submit my journalism and right of free expression to its suffocating constraints and dogmatic dictates.
From the time I began writing about politics in 2005, journalistic freedom and editorial independence have been sacrosanct to me. Fifteen years ago, I created a blog on the free Blogspot software when I was still working as a lawyer: not with any hopes or plans of starting a new career as a journalist, but just as a citizen concerned about what I was seeing with the War on Terror and civil liberties, and wanting to express what I believed needed to be heard. It was a labor of love, based in an ethos of cause and conviction, dependent upon a guarantee of complete editorial freedom.
It thrived because the readership I built knew that, even when they disagreed with particular views I was expressing, I was a free and independent voice, unwedded to any faction, controlled by nobody, endeavoring to be as honest as possible about what I was seeing, and always curious about the wisdom of seeing things differently. The title I chose for that blog, ''Unclaimed Territory,'' reflected that spirit of liberation from captivity to any fixed political or intellectual dogma or institutional constraints.
When Salon offered me a job as a columnist in 2007, and then again when the Guardian did the same in 2012, I accepted their offers on the condition that I would have the right, except in narrowly defined situations (such as articles that could create legal liability for the news outlet), to publish my articles and columns directly to the internet without censorship, advanced editorial interference, or any other intervention permitted or approval needed. Both outlets revamped their publication system to accommodate this condition, and over the many years I worked with them, they always honored those commitments.
When I left the Guardian at the height of the Snowden reporting in 2013 in order to create a new media outlet, I did not do so, needless to say, in order to impose upon myself more constraints and restrictions on my journalistic independence. The exact opposite was true: the intended core innovation of The Intercept, above all else, was to create a new media outlets where all talented, responsible journalists would enjoy the same right of editorial freedom I had always insisted upon for myself. As I told former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller in a 2013 exchange we had in The New York Times about my critiques of mainstream journalism and the idea behind The Intercept: ''editors should be there to empower and enable strong, highly factual, aggressive adversarial journalism, not to serve as roadblocks to neuter or suppress the journalism.''
When the three of us as co-founders made the decision early on that we would not attempt to manage the day-to-day operations of the new outlet, so that we could instead focus on our journalism, we negotiated the right of approval for senior editors and, especially the editor-in-chief. The central responsibility of the person holding that title was to implement, in close consultation with us, the unique journalistic vision and journalistic values on which we founded this new media outlet.
Chief among those values was editorial freedom, the protection of a journalist's right to speak in an honest voice, and the airing rather than suppression of dissent from mainstream orthodoxies and even collegial disagreements with one another. That would be accomplished, above all else, by ensuring that journalists, once they fulfilled the first duty of factual accuracy and journalistic ethics, would be not just permitted but encouraged to express political and ideological views that deviated from mainstream orthodoxy and those of their own editors; to express themselves in their own voice of passion and conviction rather stuffed into the corporatized, contrived tone of artificial objectivity, above-it-all omnipotence; and to be completely free of anyone else's dogmatic beliefs or ideological agenda '-- including those of the three co-founders.
The current iteration of The Intercept is completely unrecognizable when compared to that original vision. Rather than offering a venue for airing dissent, marginalized voices and unheard perspectives, it is rapidly becoming just another media outlet with mandated ideological and partisan loyalties, a rigid and narrow range of permitted viewpoints (ranging from establishment liberalism to soft leftism, but always anchored in ultimate support for the Democratic Party), a deep fear of offending hegemonic cultural liberalism and center-left Twitter luminaries, and an overarching need to secure the approval and admiration of the very mainstream media outlets we created The Intercept to oppose, critique and subvert.
As a result, it is a rare event indeed when a radical freelance voice unwelcome in mainstream precincts is published in The Intercept. Outside reporters or writers with no claim to mainstream acceptability '-- exactly the people we set out to amplify '-- have almost no chance of being published. It is even rarer for The Intercept to publish content that would not fit very comfortably in at least a dozen or more center-left publications of similar size which pre-dated its founding, from Mother Jones to Vox and even MSNBC.
Courage is required to step out of line, to question and poke at those pieties most sacred in one's own milieu, but fear of alienating the guardians of liberal orthodoxy, especially on Twitter, is the predominant attribute of The Intercept's New-York based editorial leadership team. As a result, The Intercept has all but abandoned its core mission of challenging and poking at, rather than appeasing and comforting, the institutions and guardians most powerful in its cultural and political circles.
Making all of this worse, The Intercept '-- while gradually excluding the co-founders from any role in its editorial mission or direction, and making one choice after the next to which I vocally objected as a betrayal of our core mission '-- continued publicly to trade on my name in order to raise funds for journalism it knew I did not support. It purposely allowed the perception to fester that I was the person responsible for its journalistic mistakes in order to ensure that blame for those mistakes was heaped on me rather than the editors who were consolidating control and were responsible for them.
The most egregious, but by no means only, example of exploiting my name to evade responsibility was the Reality Winner debacle. As The New York Times recently reported, that was a story in which I had no involvement whatsoever. While based in Brazil, I was never asked to work on the documents which Winner sent to our New York newsroom with no request that any specific journalist work on them. I did not even learn of the existence of that document until very shortly prior to its publication. The person who oversaw, edited and controlled that story was Betsy Reed, which was how it should be given the magnitude and complexity of that reporting and her position as editor-in-chief.
It was Intercept editors who pressured the story's reporters to quickly send those documents for authentication to the government '-- because they was eager to prove to mainstream media outlets and prominent liberals that The Intercept was willing to get on board the Russiagate train. They wanted to counter-act the perception, created by my articles expressing skepticism about the central claims of that scandal, that The Intercept had stepped out of line on a story of high importance to U.S. liberalism and even the left. That craving '-- to secure the approval of the very mainstream media outlets we set out to counteract '-- was the root cause for the speed and recklessness with which that document from Winner was handled.
But The Intercept, to this very day, has refused to provide any public accounting of what happened in the Reality Winner story: to explain who the editors were who made mistakes and why any of it happened. As the New York Times article makes clear, that refusal persists to this very day notwithstanding vocal demands from myself, Scahill, Laura Poitras and others that The Intercept, as an institution that demands transparency from others, has the obligation to provide it for itself.
The reason for this silence and this cover-up is obvious: accounting to the public about what happened with the Reality Winner story would reveal who the actual editors are who are responsible for that deeply embarrassing newsroom failure, and that would negate their ability to continue to hide behind me and let the public continue to assume that I was the person at fault for a reporting process from which I was completely excluded from the start. That is just one example illustrating the frustrating dilemma of having a newsroom exploit my name, work and credibility when it is convenient to do so, while increasingly denying me any opportunity to influence its journalistic mission and editorial direction, all while pursuing an editorial mission completely anathema to what I believe.
Despite all of this, I did not want to leave The Intercept. As it deteriorated and abandoned its original mission, I reasoned to myself '-- perhaps rationalized '-- that as long as The Intercept at least continued to provide me the resources to personally do the journalism I believe in, and never to interfere in or impede my editorial freedom, I could swallow everything else.
But the brute censorship this week of my article '-- about the Hunter Biden materials and Joe Biden's conduct regarding Ukraine and China, as well my critique of the media's rank-closing attempt, in a deeply unholy union with Silicon Valley and the ''intelligence community,'' to suppress its revelations '-- eroded the last justification I could cling to for staying. It meant that not only does this media outlet not provide the editorial freedom to other journalists, as I had so hopefully envisioned seven years ago, but now no longer even provides it to me. In the days heading into a presidential election, I am somehow silenced from expressing any views that random editors in New York find disagreeable, and now somehow have to conform my writing and reporting to cater to their partisan desires and eagerness to elect specific candidates.
To say that such censorship is a red line for me, a situation I would never accept no matter the cost, is an understatement. It is astonishing to me, but also a reflection of our current discourse and illiberal media environment, that I have been silenced about Joe Biden by my own media outlet.
Numerous other episodes were also contributing causes to my decision to leave: the Reality Winner cover-up; the decision to hang Lee Fang out to dry and even force him to apologize when a colleague tried to destroy his reputation by publicly, baselessly and repeatedly branding him a racist; its refusal to report on the daily proceedings of the Assange extradition hearing because the freelance reporter doing an outstanding job was politically distasteful; its utter lack of editorial standards when it comes to viewpoints or reporting that flatter the beliefs of its liberal base (The Intercept published some of the most credulous and false affirmations of maximalist Russiagate madness, and, horrifyingly, took the lead in falsely branding the Hunter Biden archive as ''Russian disinformation'' by mindlessly and uncritically citing '-- of all things '-- a letter by former CIA officials that contained this baseless insinuation).
I know it sounds banal to say, but '-- even with all of these frustrations and failures '-- I am leaving, and writing this, with genuine sadness, not fury. That news outlet is something I and numerous close friends and colleagues poured an enormous amount of our time, energy, passion and love into building.
The Intercept has done great work. Its editorial leaders and First Look's managers steadfastly supported the difficult and dangerous reporting I did last year with my brave young colleagues at The Intercept Brasil to expose corruption at the highest levels of the Bolsonaro government, and stood behind us as we endured threats of death and imprisonment.
It continues to employ some of my closest friends, outstanding journalists whose work '-- when it overcomes editorial resistance '-- produces nothing but the highest admiration from me: Jeremy Scahill, Lee Fang, Murtaza Hussain, Naomi Klein, Ryan Grim and others. And I have no personal animus for anyone there, nor any desire to hurt it as an institution. Betsy Reed is an exceptionally smart editor and a very good human being with whom I developed a close and valuable friendship. And Pierre Omidyar, the original funder and publisher of First Look, always honored his personal commitment never to interfere in our editorial process even when I was publishing articles directly at odds with his strongly held views and even when I was attacking other institutions he was funding. I'm not leaving out of vengeance or personal conflict but out of conviction and cause.
And none of the critiques I have voiced about The Intercept are unique to it. To the contrary: these are the raging battles over free expression and the right of dissent raging within every major cultural, political and journalistic institution. That's the crisis that journalism, and more broadly values of liberalism, faces. Our discourse is becoming increasingly intolerant of dissenting views, and our culture is demanding more and more submission to prevailing orthodoxies imposed by self-anointed monopolists of Truth and Righteousness, backed up by armies of online enforcement mobs.
And nothing is crippled by that trend more severely than journalism, which, above all else, requires the ability of journalists to offend and anger power centers, question or reject sacred pieties, unearth facts that reflect negatively even on (especially on) the most beloved and powerful figures, and highlight corruption no matter where it is found and regardless of who is benefited or injured by its exposure.
Prior to the extraordinary experience of being censored this week by my own news outlet, I had already been exploring the possibility of creating a new media outlet. I have spent a couple of months in active discussions with some of the most interesting, independent and vibrant journalists, writers and commentators across the political spectrum about the feasibility of securing financing for a new outlet that would be designed to combat these trends. The first two paragraphs of our working document reads as follows:
American media is gripped in a polarized culture war that is forcing journalism to conform to tribal, groupthink narratives that are often divorced from the truth and cater to perspectives that are not reflective of the broader public but instead a minority of hyper-partisan elites. The need to conform to highly restrictive, artificial cultural narratives and partisan identities has created a repressive and illiberal environment in which vast swaths of news and reporting either do not happen or are presented through the most skewed and reality-detached lens.
With nearly all major media institutions captured to some degree by this dynamic, a deep need exists for media that is untethered and free to transgress the boundaries of this polarized culture war and address a demand from a public that is starved for media that doesn't play for a side but instead pursues lines of reporting, thought, and inquiry wherever they lead, without fear of violating cultural pieties or elite orthodoxies.
I have definitely not relinquished hope that this ambitious project can be accomplished. And I theoretically could have stayed at The Intercept until then, guaranteeing a stable and secure income for my family by swallowing the dictates of my new censors.
But I would be deeply ashamed if I did that, and believe I would be betraying my own principles and convictions that I urge others to follow. So in the meantime, I have decided to follow in the footsteps of numerous other writers and journalists who have been expelled from increasingly repressive journalistic precincts for various forms of heresy and dissent and who have sought refuge here.
I hope to exploit the freedom this new platform offers not only to continue to publish the independent and hard-hitting investigative journalism and candid analysis and opinion writing that my readers have come to expect, but also to develop a podcast, and continue the YouTube program, ''System Update,'' I launched earlier this year in partnership with The Intercept.
To do that, to make this viable, I will need your support: people who are able to subscribe and sign up for the newsletter attached to this platform will enable my work to thrive and still be heard, perhaps even more so than before. I began my journalism career by depending on my readers' willingness to support independent journalism which they believe is necessary to sustain. It is somewhat daunting at this point in my life, but also very exciting, to return to that model where one answers only to the public a journalist should be serving.
* * * * * * * *
LETTER OF INTENT TO RESIGN
-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: ResignationDate: Thu, 29 Oct 2020 10:20:54 -0300From: Glenn Greenwald <xxxxxxxx@theintercept.com>To: Michael Bloom <xxxxxxxxx@firstlook.media>, Betsy Reed <xxxxxxx@theintercept.com>
Michael -
I am writing to advise you that I have decided that I will be resigning from First Look Media (FLM) and The Intercept.
The precipitating (but by no means only) cause is that The Intercept is attempting to censor my articles in violation of both my contract and fundamental principles of editorial freedom. The latest and perhaps most egregious example is an opinion column I wrote this week which, five days before the presidential election, is critical of Joe Biden, the candidate who happens to be vigorously supported by all of the Intercept editors in New York who are imposing the censorship and refusing to publish the article unless I agree to remove all of the sections critical of the candidate they want to win. All of that violates the right in my contract with FLM to publish articles without editorial interference except in very narrow circumstances that plainly do not apply here.
Worse, The Intercept editors in New York, not content to censor publication of my article at the Intercept, are also demanding that I not exercise my separate contractual right with FLM regarding articles I have written but which FLM does not want to publish itself. Under my contract, I have the right to publish any articles FLM rejects with another publication. But Intercept editors in New York are demanding I not only accept their censorship of my article at The Intercept, but also refrain from publishing it with any other journalistic outlet, and are using thinly disguised lawyer-crafted threats to coerce me not to do so (proclaiming it would be ''detrimental'' to The Intercept if I published it elsewhere).
I have been extremely disenchanted and saddened by the editorial direction of The Intercept under its New York leadership for quite some time. The publication we founded without those editors back in 2014 now bears absolutely no resemblance to what we set out to build -- not in content, structure, editorial mission or purpose. I have grown embarrassed to have my name used as a fund-raising tool to support what it is doing and for editors to use me as a shield to hide behind to avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes (including, but not only, with the Reality Winner debacle, for which I was publicly blamed despite having no role in it, while the editors who actually were responsible for those mistakes stood by silently, allowing me to be blamed for their errors and then covering-up any public accounting of what happened, knowing that such transparency would expose their own culpability).
But all this time, as things worsened, I reasoned that as long as The Intercept remained a place where my own right of journalistic independence was not being infringed, I could live with all of its other flaws. But now, not even that minimal but foundational right is being honored for my own journalism, suppressed by an increasingly authoritarian, fear-driven, repressive editorial team in New York bent on imposing their own ideological and partisan preferences on all writers while ensuring that nothing is published at The Intercept that contradicts their own narrow, homogenous ideological and partisan views: exactly what The Intercept, more than any other goal, was created to prevent.
I have asked my lawyer to get in touch with FLM to discuss how best to terminate my contract. Thank you -
Glenn Greenwald
The Lincoln Project is becoming a media business - Axios
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 12:36
The Lincoln Project is looking to beef up its media business after the election, sources tell Axios.
Driving the news: The group is in talks with the United Talent Agency (UTA) to help build out Lincoln Media and is weighing offers from different television studios, podcast networks and book publishers.
Why it matters: Lincoln's plan is part of the new trend of activists developing massive audiences for political influence that they are then able to spin into commercial media success.
Flashback: After the 2016 campaign, former Obama staffers launched Crooked Media, which now boasts a sprawling network of podcasts, streaming video, live tours and events. Catch up quick: The Lincoln group, which is run by prominent "Never-Trumper" Republicans like Ron Steslow, Rick Wilson, George Conway, Jennifer Horn, Reed Galen, Mike Madrid and Steve Schmidt, has transformed from an election-focused advertising PAC into a media company with millions of followers.
Already, its main account boasts a following bigger than the GOP's main account and the main accounts of groups like Crooked Media on Twitter. To date, it has focused its media efforts mostly on podcasts and streaming, with some experiments in newsletters and enormous success selling merchandise. "As a media business, we're putting a pretty big bet on the idea that they know how to get audiences," says Ra Kumar, a UTA agent who represents the Lincoln Project's Rick Wilson. Kumar notes that the level of outreach UTA has received about Hollywood firms wanting to work with the project has been unprecedented. To that end, the group recently launched a new ad campaign promoting a music video it made for Demi Lovato's new song, ''Commander in Chief."Details: The group, formed in late 2019, has been approached by several media and entertainment companies and podcast platforms looking to launch franchises from its brand. .
The group is currently working with a documentarian and a motion picture producer to create a non-fiction film after the election. It's also attracted interest from TV studios looking to work with the Lincoln Project to help develop a "House of Cards"-like fiction series. One source notes that a few linear TV networks have indicated interest in having Lincoln Project's streaming show "LPTV" on their networks. UTA has a long-standing relationship with Rick Wilson working in partnership with his literary managers at Fletcher & Company.By the numbers: The Lincoln Project's current media efforts were never meant to be spun out into independent media ventures, but they've grown quickly enough to catch the attention of Hollywood heavyweights.
The Lincoln Project podcast, which launched in mid-June, has consistently been ranked as one of the top podcasts on Apple in news and politics. It sees roughly 1.5 million downloads per month, and is on track to hit 2 million downloads in October.LPTV, which streams on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, includes two shows, "The Breakdown," hosted by senior advisor Tara Setmayer and co-founder Rick Wilson, and" Vote for America," hosted by co-founder Jennifer Horn. The company says it had 16 million views so far across both shows.Its gear store has already fulfilled 70,000 orders accounting for more than $1.8 million in total sales through mid-October, $670,000 of which the group says is profit. In terms of staffing, the group has 4 full-time staffers working on its podcast, and several more working on its TV shows.Between the lines: The group has poured millions of dollars into pithy anti-Trump advertising spots, all of which have been produced in-house.
Its media success has helped it secure record levels of fundraising, making it one of the top outside spenders of the 2020 election. Those media channels have also helped it lure thousands of small-dollar donations from fans, which is notable, given that most big political PACs are floated almost exclusively by donors with big pockets. Be smart: For the Lincoln Project, becoming a media entity happened serendipitously, but it's been helpful in accomplishing its advocacy goals nonetheless.
"We discovered in doing research that voters are getting lots of information from streaming and podcasts," says Rick Wilson, veteran Republican strategist and co-founder of the Lincoln Project. "We decided to build those things as advocacy vectors. We didn't set out to become a media company, but we've inadvertently become a content creation machine."Yes, but: The group will face new scrutiny as it further explores media.
Already, it's being criticized by the online left for stealing memes without attribution.Its brand of Republicanism may have a limited future in a country where Trump has long commanded unquestioning support from vast swathes of the GOP.It may also have difficulty sustaining interest after Election Day. What's next: For now, the group's immediate focus is next week's election. But in its effort to defeat "Trumpism," a culture of blind loyalty to the president, the group says it will be pushing harder into media products that help it speak to centrists.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct that the Lincoln Project is in talks with UTA. A previous version said they'd signed with UTA.
Freedom of Expression
Free Expression vs Free Speech
As a former professor of Constitutional law, I thought that I could help you (and hence the quality of the show) with some information about the terminology of "free expression", "freedom of expression", etc.
As a former professor of Constitutional law, I thought that I could help you (and hence the quality of the show) with some information about the terminology of "free expression", "freedom of expression", etc.
When Mark Zuckerberg used the language of freedom of expression - as you and JCD noted - Zuckerberg was probably reading a statement prepared for him, by a lawyer.
In U.S. jurisprudence, via their discussions and rulings on the meanings and limits of the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has expanded the concept of "speech" as to include actions which are designed to convey information, e.g., flag burning, burning of a draft registration card, and marching down the street topless.
The court has held that at times, said symbolic acts, are expressive acts, hence speech. That is to say, for the purpose of legal analysis - as to what the government may or may not criminalize, such acts are to be treated as if they were pure speech (or written text).
Of course, some the legal opinions have used pretzel-like clarity to generate results that oppose harmless efforts to convey an idea:
In Morse vs Frederick, 551 U.S. 393 (2007), the Supreme Court held that a young man could be suspended from school for holding up a banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" because the then 18-year-old testified that he was NOT making a political statement and not exercising his religion or religious beliefs.
In U.S. v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968), the Court held that burning a draft card WAS an act of political speech, but that the criminal prohibition against it was UNRELATED to deterring or limiting political speech. (Conviction upheld).
And while flag burning is kinda cool, there is NO silent dancing allowed at the Jefferson memorial - because silent dancing (dancing without any audible music) is NOT solemn enough. (Take that you heathens who would separate Church and State).
https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2011/05/when-did-dancing-thomas-jefferson-memorial-become-crime8231
Best
JCJ
Trudeau says 'freedom of expression has limits' after French terror attacks | The Post Millennial
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 12:58
Justin Trudeau's response to Islamic terrorist attacks in France has attracted criticism after he said "freedom of expression is not without limits."Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's response to Islamic terrorist attacks in France has attracted criticism after he said "freedom of expression is not without limits."
Trudeau was commenting on a series of events that have rocked the French nation, after a French teacher was beheaded for showing his students a Charlie Hebdo cartoon which depicted the Prophet Mohammed.
While the French President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for the nation's secularism, Justin Trudeau implied that there was no point in doing things that unnecessarily hurt others.
Trudeau told reporters in French that he would ''always defend freedom of expression, but freedom of expression is not without limits.''
Trudeau continued by equating the cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with crying fire in a crowded theatre: ''We don't have the right, for example, to cry fire in a crowded cinema; there are always limits.''
''In a pluralistic, diverse and respectful society like ours, we must be aware of the impact of our words, of our actions on others, particularly these communities and populations who still experience enormous discrimination."
Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole took a more solid stance on this issue, saying ''if France is attacked, all democracies are attacked.''
''I want to express my solidarity with the French allies. Terrorists will not make us bow. Here in Canada, we will fight to create a country proud of its principles, its openness and its freedom of expression,'' he added.
Trudeau's comments attracted some criticism from European commentators. British comedian Andrew Doyle, for instance, said that "Trudeau is the latest prominent figure to take the predictable line of: 'I believe in freedom of speech, BUT...'"
Justin Trudeau is the latest prominent figure to take the predictable line of: "I believe in freedom of speech, BUT..."He claims that disrespect causes "injury". It doesn't. That would be guns and knives wielded by unreconstructed religious fanatics.https://t.co/EO5Rbh6R5k
'-- Andrew Doyle (@andrewdoyle_com) October 31, 2020"He claims that disrespect causes 'injury.' It doesn't. That would be guns and knives wielded by unreconstructed religious fanatics," Doyle concluded.
President Macron has not yet responded to Trudeau's comments.
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Free speech has limits, Canada's Trudeau says - CGTN
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:00
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended free speech on Friday, but added that it was "not without limits" and should not "arbitrarily and needlessly hurt" certain communities.
"We will always defend freedom of expression," Trudeau said in response to a question about the right to show a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, as Charlie Hebdo magazine did.
"But freedom of expression is not without limits," he added. "We owe it to ourselves to act with respect for others and to seek not to arbitrarily or unnecessarily injure those with whom we are sharing a society and a planet."
"In a pluralist, diverse and respectful society like ours, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the impact of our words, of our actions on others, particularly these communities and populations who still experience a great deal of discrimination," he said.
As he had done the day before with the leaders of the European Union, Trudeau insisted on condemning the recent "appalling and appalling" terrorist attacks in France.
"It is unjustifiable and Canada wholeheartedly condemns these acts while standing with our French friends who are going through extremely difficult times," he said.
Three people were stabbed to death on Thursday in a church in Nice, in southern France, by a Tunisian man who was apprehended.
Anger erupted in the Middle East after the attacks against France and President Emmanuel Macron, vilified for having defended the right to publish the cartoons in France.
Macron made the comments during a tribute last week to Samuel Paty, a teacher beheaded in the street for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class in a course on freedom of expression.
(With input from AFP)
2020
Stanford Study Links Trump Rallies to 700 COVID-19 Deaths
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 05:09
Eighteen Trump rallies may have led to more than 700 COVID-19 deaths, including among people who did not attend the rallies, according to a new working paper from Stanford University researchers.
While Joe Biden has tailored his presidential campaign toward smaller, more socially distanced events during the pandemic, President Donald Trump has made a selling point of his packed rallies, where mask use is often scarce. The Stanford paper studied 18 Trump rallies this year, and linked them to a significant spike in COVID-19 cases'--approximately 30,000'--in surrounding counties.
The paper, from the school's economics department, has not been peer reviewed, leading epidemiologists to raise some caveats about its findings. However, one such infectious disease expert told The Daily Beast that the study's broader findings do suggest a post-Trump COVID bump, and further illustrate the effect of wearing a mask.
The study's authors wrote that their findings affirmed previous warnings about large gatherings.
''Our analysis strongly supports the warnings and recommendations of public health officials concerning the risk of COVID-19 transmission at large group gatherings, particularly when the degree of compliance with guidelines concerning the use of masks and social distancing is low,'' they wrote. ''The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death.''
Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an infectious diseases expert at UCLA who was not involved with the study, said it ''does indeed raise the possibility that these outdoor rallies increased the incidence of COVID in counties where they occurred.''
Klausner raised several caveats, noting that the study's authors had not individually counted deaths, but looked at post-rally COVID surges, applied COVID death rates in the affected counties and predicted the number of deaths that had resulted from the rallies. The method meant researchers could not control for certain demographic factors, like the age of the affected people, he said. (Old age appears to be a significant factor in COVID death rates.)
Other epidemiologists, like Michael Mina of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also urged caution in extrapolating too much from the study.
''There are better ways to look at this data through actual infectious disease epidemic lenses,'' Mina told Politico. ''It offers a data point, but nothing I would want to draw any strong conclusions from. It is also so overtly political that it makes it hard to distinguish if there were decisions made out of perhaps unrecognized bias.''
Klausner and another epidemiologist who spoke to Politico said the study's methods seemed generally sound, if a little speculative.
Fifteen of the 18 Trump rallies (held from June to September across multiple states) were held outside. COVID-19 research has suggested outdoor events with good ventilation are safer than indoor events with poor air circulation. Despite that, the researchers recorded a notable uptick in COVID-19 cases in surrounding areas after the rallies. Meanwhile, similar studies on outdoor Black Lives Matter rallies this summer did not find a notable outbreak among protest participants.
The difference might have been mask use, Klausner noted.
Although Black Lives Matter rallies ''had crowding, a lot of people yelling, and other attributes we associate with COVID, you had a much higher percentage of mask-wearing,'' compared to Trump rallies where fewer people were photographed in protective gear, he noted.
''Lack of masks may have been the key difference between Black Lives Matter rallies and Trump rallies,'' Klausner said.
How Biden plans to undo Trump's 'America First' foreign policy and return US to world stage - CNNPolitics
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 13:03
By Kylie Atwood and Nicole Gaouette, CNN
Updated 7:25 AM EDT, Sat October 31, 2020
Washington(CNN) After four years of norm-bending, treaty-disrupting and alliance-shaking foreign policy from the Trump administration, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is promising to return the US to its more traditional role on the world stage.
Biden has said he will make significant changes to US foreign policy should he win Tuesday's presidential election. People familiar with the former vice president's plans say he would immediately reverse Trump policies on Iran, climate change and the World Health Organization.
Biden's goals share a common theme that breaks sharply with President Donald Trump's isolationist approach: rebuilding alliances, a strategy meant to repair frayed US international ties and reflect his belief that America's toughest challenges, including the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, require international cooperation and coordination.
"Trump's 'America First' has been 'America Alone,'" said Brian McKeon, a Biden foreign policy adviser and a former White House and Pentagon adviser in the Obama administration. "On his first day in office, [Biden] will get on the phone to key allies and say that America is back and America has your back."
Here's a breakdown of what a Biden foreign policy would look like:
Returning to the table with alliesTrump has "poked his finger in the eye of all our friends and allies, and he's embraced every autocrat in the world ... we have lost all our friends," Biden told CNN's Jake Tapper in September.
Biden's advisers say he believes US national security is stronger, and more impactful, when it is approached in partnership with treaty allies. "We have a network of alliances that the Chinese don't have, the Russians don't have and we are stronger when we work together with these allies," McKeon said.
View Trump and Biden head-to-head polling
Trump has publicly questioned and denigrated the value of the US' most longstanding alliances, including with NATO, Germany, South Korea and Japan. He has also pulled the US from the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord, the World Health Organization and a slew of other United Nations agencies.
Biden will convene a "Summit for Democracy" in the first year of his presidency to "bring together the world's democracies to strengthen our democratic institutions, honestly confront nations that are backsliding, and forge a common agenda," the former vice president wrote in a Foreign Affairs essay. Corruption, human rights and the fight against authoritarianism will be major themes.
Climate crisisBiden has declared he would rejoin the Paris climate accord "on day one" and then "rally the world to push our progress further."
Trump, who took the US out of the Paris Agreement, called it "one of the greatest disasters of all time."
The Democratic candidate told a CNN town hall last year that he would ask countries in the agreement to boost their commitments "because we've learned so much just in the last three years about the science, about what has to happen quicker." Biden also pledged to sign a "series of new executive orders" that surpasses the climate ambition of the Obama-Biden administration and to develop tools to crack down on China's use of coal and their outsourcing of carbon pollution.
IranEarly in his campaign Biden said he would rejoin the Iran nuclear deal if Iran starts complying with the pact, a move that advisers say will require close work with allies and a near immediate start of new negotiations.
"If Tehran returns to compliance with the deal, I would re-join the agreement and work with our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran's other destabilizing activities," Biden said during a foreign policy speech last year.
Iran announced last year that it would no longer limit itself to the restrictions contained in the deal in response to the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign.
Covid and the WHOA return to the World Health Organization is also on Biden's list of immediate policy changes. This comes after Trump, earlier this year, said that the US would leave the organization.
Biden advisers say he would work to reform the WHO and focus on ensuring that China abides by international protocols when it comes to pandemic protections. Biden would also reverse Trump's decision to pull US health scientists out of China, where they worked on pandemic detection and surveillance.
Build your own road to 270 electoral votes with CNN's interactive map
The precise plan for how a Biden administration would reenter the WHO and hold it accountable will be determined during a transition, his advisers say.
They add that at home, Biden's focus will be on vaccinating every American. Advisers say Biden's Covid response team would bring together domestic and foreign experts.
China The US-China relationship is probably the most consequential and tricky one any modern American president has to deal with.
Biden called Trump erratic on China and his foreign policy advisers have said that the President's approach -- particularly taking action without consulting allies -- has undermined the ultimate goal of competing with China. Biden has said there are areas where it is in the US interest to work with Beijing, including on climate change and North Korea. Biden advisers say he will work closely with allies to present a united front on issues such as technology, including Huawei and 5G, intellectual property theft and China's expansion in Asian waters.
In public comments, Biden has reflected the Obama administration view that incorporating China into the world system is the most effective way of ensuring it adheres to international rules and norms. In the past, Biden supported most favored nation status for China and allowing it into the World Trade Organization. "We wanted China to grow. We don't want to have a war with China," Biden said in a recent interview with CNN's Jake Tapper when asked about his support for those initiatives in the past.
RussiaThe last remaining nuclear proliferation pact, the New START Treaty, expires shortly after the election. Biden aides say that if the Trump administration fails to renew it, he will make it a top priority to extend the agreement.
Otherwise, Biden wants to work closely with allies to counter Russian aggression and disinformation, saying in the second presidential debate that Moscow "will pay a price" for its election interference and declaring Russia the biggest threat to America's security.
AfghanistanBiden's advisers say he wants to wind down military commitments in Afghanistan and continue to support intra-Afghan negotiations, but don't offer details on how he will do that. That's partially because it's not clear exactly what sort of situation they'll inherit, they say.
It is unclear if Biden will give his team the green light to directly engage with the Taliban, like the Trump administration has.
Biden advisers emphasize that during the Obama administration, Biden opposed both the surge in Afghanistan in 2009 and the intervention in Libya in 2011. "I would not say he is quick to support military intervention unless he sees that it is warranted based on national security interest and that we can accomplish our objectives," McKeon said.
Former President Barack Obama recently said that Biden was "probably the person who was most restrained in terms of use of military force" among his foreign policy advisers, saying Biden had learned from his vote in support of the Iraq War, which he has been criticized for.
YemenIn a stark contrast to the Trump administration, Biden would end support for the Saudi Arabia-led intervention in Yemen, which many in Congress oppose because of reports of ongoing and serious human rights violations. There has been a major push from the progressive arm of the Democratic Party for Biden to adopt this policy.
North KoreaBiden has ridiculed Trump's pursuit of friendly relations with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un, who has continued his country's nuclear program despite concessions and high-level meetings.
"He's made some cockamamie deal to his good friend, sending love letters to Kim Jung-un...What in God's name is that all about," Biden asked on CNN. Trump "gave him legitimacy. We had firm, firm constraints on what they could buy and what they could sell in their economies. He's blown it. He's giving them so much credibility. They're closer to a nuclear weapon than they were before. He did the same thing in Iran. I mean, this America first has made America alone."
Biden said during the last presidential debate that in order for him to meet with Kim, the North Korean leader would need to agree to draw down his nuclear capacity. Putting the bar so high -- given that Kim is unlikely to make that commitment -- has made South Korea, which favors engagement, nervous.
Israel and the PalestiniansBiden aides signal some shifts from Trump's approach. The President has made some controversial moves to favor Israel -- including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and declaring the city to be Israel's capital, but these steps will be hard to reverse.
Biden has said he will not move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv, but that he will restore engagement with Palestinians that Trump has cut off, will reopen the US consulate in East Jerusalem that was meant to serve the Palestinian population, restore assistance to Palestinians and the United Nations agency that supports them and help reopen the Palestinian Liberation Organization mission in the US, which was shut down by Trump.
"Biden is a strong supporter of the state of Israel and assistance to it and always has been. But he also believes in a two-state solution in dealing with Palestinians and not taking measures that make it harder to get to a two-state solution," McKeon said.
Rebuilding the State DepartmentBiden has committed to rebuilding the diplomatic corps of the State Department.
Obama said that Trump has "systematically tried to decimate our entire foreign policy infrastructure," during an interview earlier this month. He added that Biden would rely on the expertise of career diplomats and rebuild the State Department.
Former senior diplomats who left the department due to the way that the Trump administration treated career diplomats have warned that if nothing is done, the damage could be irreversible.
"The damage may be generational," wrote Michael McKinley, a widely respected 4-time ambassador who testified during impeachment and resigned last year, in an Atlantic essay last week. He spoke about how politicized the department had become under the Trump administration.
Biden Crime Family
Executive Order 12333 '-- Central Intelligence Agency
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 14:45
United States Intelligence ActivitiesDecember 4, 1981(As Amended by Executive Orders 13284 (2003), 13355 (2004)and 13470 (2008))
Table of ContentsPreamble
Part 1. Goals, Directions, Duties, and Responsibilities with Respect to United States Intelligence Efforts
1.1 Goals
1.2 The National Security Council
1.3 Director of National Intelligence
1.4 The Intelligence Community
1.5 Duties and Responsibilities of the Heads of Executive Branch Departments and Agencies
1.6 Heads of Elements of the Intelligence Community
1.7 Intelligence Community Elements
1.8 The Department of State
1.9 The Department of the Treasury
1.10 The Department of Defense
1.11 The Department of Homeland Security
1.12 The Department of Energy
1.13 The Federal Bureau of Investigation
Part 2. Conduct of Intelligence Activities
2.1 Need
2.2 Purpose
2.3 Collection of information
2.4 Collection Techniques
2.5 Attorney General Approval
2.6 Assistance to Law Enforcement and other Civil Authorities
2.7 Contracting
2.8 Consistency With Other Laws
2.9 Undisclosed Participation in Organizations Within the United States
2.10 Human Experimentation
2.11 Prohibition on Assassination
2.12 Indirect Participation
2.13 Limitation on Covert Action
Part 3. General Provisions
3.1 Congressional Oversight
3.2 Implementation
3.3 Procedures
3.4 References and Transition
3.5 Definitions
3.6 Revocation
3.7 General Provisions
Timely, accurate, and insightful information about the activities, capabilities, plans, and intentions of foreign powers, organizations, and persons, and their agents, is essential to the national security of the United States. All reasonable and lawful means must be used to ensure that the United States will receive the best intelligence possible. For that purpose, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, (Act) and as President of the United States of America, in order to provide for the effective conduct of United States intelligence activities and the protection of constitutional rights, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Part 1 Goals, Directions, Duties, and Responsibilities with Respect to United States Intelligence Efforts
1.1 Goals. The United States intelligence effort shall provide the President, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council with the necessary information on which to base decisions concerning the development and conduct of foreign, defense, and economic policies, and the protection of United States national interests from foreign security threats. All departments and agencies shall cooperate fully to fulfill this goal.
(a) All means, consistent with applicable Federal law and this order, and with full consideration of the rights of United States persons, shall be used to obtain reliable intelligence information to protect the United States and its interests.
(b) The United States Government has a solemn obligation, and shall continue in the conduct of intelligence activities under this order, to protect fully the legal rights of all United States persons, including freedoms, civil liberties, and privacy rights guaranteed by Federal law.
(c) Intelligence collection under this order should be guided by the need for information to respond to intelligence priorities set by the President.
(d) Special emphasis should be given to detecting and countering:
(1) Espionage and other threats and activities directed by foreign powers or their intelligence services against the United States and its interests;
(2) Threats to the United States and its interests from terrorism; and
(3) Threats to the United States and its interests from the development, possession, proliferation, or use of weapons of mass destruction.
(e) Special emphasis shall be given to the production of timely, accurate, and insightful reports, responsive to decisionmakers in the executive branch, that draw on all appropriate sources of information, including open source information, meet rigorous analytic standards, consider diverse analytic viewpoints, and accurately represent appropriate alternative views.
(f) State, local, and tribal governments are critical partners in securing and defending the United States from terrorism and other threats to the United States and its interests. Our national intelligence effort should take into account the responsibilities and requirements of State, local, and tribal governments and, as appropriate, private sector entities, when undertaking the collection and dissemination of information and intelligence to protect the United States.
(g) All departments and agencies have a responsibility to prepare and to provide intelligence in a manner that allows the full and free exchange of information, consistent with applicable law and presidential guidance.
1.2 The National Security Council.
(a) Purpose. The National Security Council (NSC) shall act as the highest ranking executive branch entity that provides support to the President for review of, guidance for, and direction to the conduct of all foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and covert action, and attendant policies and programs.
(b) Covert Action and Other Sensitive Intelligence Operations. The NSC shall consider and submit to the President a policy recommendation, including all dissents, on each proposed covert action and conduct a periodic review of ongoing covert action activities, including an evaluation of the effectiveness and consistency with current national policy of such activities and consistency with applicable legal requirements. The NSC shall perform such other functions related to covert action as the President may direct, but shall not undertake the conduct of covert actions. The NSC shall also review proposals for other sensitive intelligence operations.
1.3 Director of National Intelligence. Subject to the authority, direction, and control of the President, the Director of National Intelligence (Director) shall serve as the head of the Intelligence Community, act as the principal adviser to the President, to the NSC, and to the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters related to national security, and shall oversee and direct the implementation of the National Intelligence Program and execution of the National Intelligence Program budget. The Director will lead a unified, coordinated, and effective intelligence effort. In addition, the Director shall, in carrying out the duties and responsibilities under this section, take into account the views of the heads of departments containing an element of the Intelligence Community and of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
(a) Except as otherwise directed by the President or prohibited by law, the Director shall have access to all information and intelligence described in section 1.5(a) of this order. For the purpose of access to and sharing of information and intelligence, the Director:
(1) Is hereby assigned the function under section 3(5) of the Act, to determine that intelligence, regardless of the source from which derived and including information gathered within or outside the United States, pertains to more than one United States Government agency; and
(2) Shall develop guidelines for how information or intelligence is provided to or accessed by the Intelligence Community in accordance with section 1.5(a) of this order, and for how the information or intelligence may be used and shared by the Intelligence Community. All guidelines developed in accordance with this section shall be approved by the Attorney General and, where applicable, shall be consistent with guidelines issued pursuant to section 1016 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-458) (IRTPA).
(b) In addition to fulfilling the obligations and responsibilities prescribed by the Act, the Director:
(1) Shall establish objectives, priorities, and guidance for the Intelligence Community to ensure timely and effective collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence, of whatever nature and from whatever source derived;
(2) May designate, in consultation with affected heads of departments or Intelligence Community elements, one or more Intelligence Community elements to develop and to maintain services of common concern on behalf of the Intelligence Community if the Director determines such services can be more efficiently or effectively accomplished in a consolidated manner;
(3) Shall oversee and provide advice to the President and the NSC with respect to all ongoing and proposed covert action programs;
(4) In regard to the establishment and conduct of intelligence arrangements and agreements with foreign governments and international organizations:
(A) May enter into intelligence and counterintelligence arrangements and agreements with foreign governments and international organizations;
(B) Shall formulate policies concerning intelligence and counterintelligence arrangements and agreements with foreign governments and international organizations; and
(C) Shall align and synchronize intelligence and counterintelligence foreign relationships among the elements of the Intelligence Community to further United States national security, policy, and intelligence objectives;
(5) Shall participate in the development of procedures approved by the Attorney General governing criminal drug intelligence activities abroad to ensure that these activities are consistent with foreign intelligence programs;
(6) Shall establish common security and access standards for managing and handling intelligence systems, information, and products, with special emphasis on facilitating:
(A) The fullest and most prompt access to and dissemination of information and intelligence practicable, assigning the highest priority to detecting, preventing, preempting, and disrupting terrorist threats and activities against the United States, its interests, and allies; and
(B) The establishment of standards for an interoperable information sharing enterprise that facilitates the sharing of intelligence information among elements of the Intelligence Community;
(7) Shall ensure that appropriate departments and agencies have access to intelligence and receive the support needed to perform independent analysis;
(8) Shall protect, and ensure that programs are developed to protect, intelligence sources, methods, and activities from unauthorized disclosure;
(9) Shall, after consultation with the heads of affected departments and agencies, establish guidelines for Intelligence Community elements for:
(A) Classification and declassification of all intelligence and intelligence-related information classified under the authority of the Director or the authority of the head of a department or Intelligence Community element; and
(B) Access to and dissemination of all intelligence and intelligence-related information, both in its final form and in the form when initially gathered, to include intelligence originally classified by the head of a department or Intelligence Community element, except that access to and dissemination of information concerning United States persons shall be governed by procedures developed in accordance with Part 2 of this order;
(10) May, only with respect to Intelligence Community elements, and after consultation with the head of the originating Intelligence Community element or the head of the originating department, declassify, or direct the declassification of, information or intelligence relating to intelligence sources, methods, and activities. The Director may only delegate this authority to the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence;
(11) May establish, operate, and direct one or more national intelligence centers to address intelligence priorities;
(12) May establish Functional Managers and Mission Managers, and designate officers or employees of the United States to serve in these positions.
(A) Functional Managers shall report to the Director concerning the execution of their duties as Functional Managers, and may be charged with developing and implementing strategic guidance, policies, and procedures for activities related to a specific intelligence discipline or set of intelligence activities; set training and tradecraft standards; and ensure coordination within and across intelligence disciplines and Intelligence Community elements and with related non-intelligence activities. Functional Managers may also advise the Director on: the management of resources; policies and procedures; collection capabilities and gaps; processing and dissemination of intelligence; technical architectures; and other issues or activities determined by the Director.
(i) The Director of the National Security Agency is designated the Functional Manager for signals intelligence;
(ii) The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is designated the Functional Manager for human intelligence; and
(iii) The Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is designated the Functional Manager for geospatial intelligence.
(B) Mission Managers shall serve as principal substantive advisors on all or specified aspects of intelligence related to designated countries, regions, topics, or functional issues;
(13) Shall establish uniform criteria for the determination of relative priorities for the transmission of critical foreign intelligence, and advise the Secretary of Defense concerning the communications requirements of the Intelligence Community for the transmission of such communications;
(14) Shall have ultimate responsibility for production and dissemination of intelligence produced by the Intelligence Community and authority to levy analytic tasks on intelligence production organizations within the Intelligence Community, in consultation with the heads of the Intelligence Community elements concerned;
(15) May establish advisory groups for the purpose of obtaining advice from within the Intelligence Community to carry out the Director's responsibilities, to include Intelligence Community executive management committees composed of senior Intelligence Community leaders. Advisory groups shall consist of representatives from elements of the Intelligence Community, as designated by the Director, or other executive branch departments, agencies, and offices, as appropriate;
(16) Shall ensure the timely exploitation and dissemination of data gathered by national intelligence collection means, and ensure that the resulting intelligence is disseminated immediately to appropriate government elements, including military commands;
(17) Shall determine requirements and priorities for, and manage and direct the tasking, collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of, national intelligence by elements of the Intelligence Community, including approving requirements for collection and analysis and resolving conflicts in collection requirements and in the tasking of national collection assets of Intelligence Community elements (except when otherwise directed by the President or when the Secretary of Defense exercises collection tasking authority under plans and arrangements approved by the Secretary of Defense and the Director);
(18) May provide advisory tasking concerning collection and analysis of information or intelligence relevant to national intelligence or national security to departments, agencies, and establishments of the United States Government that are not elements of the Intelligence Community; and shall establish procedures, in consultation with affected heads of departments or agencies and subject to approval by the Attorney General, to implement this authority and to monitor or evaluate the responsiveness of United States Government departments, agencies, and other establishments;
(19) Shall fulfill the responsibilities in section 1.3(b)(17) and (18) of this order, consistent with applicable law and with full consideration of the rights of United States persons, whether information is to be collected inside or outside the United States;
(20) Shall ensure, through appropriate policies and procedures, the deconfliction, coordination, and integration of all intelligence activities conducted by an Intelligence Community element or funded by the National Intelligence Program. In accordance with these policies and procedures:
(A) The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall coordinate the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence collected through human sources or through human-enabled means and counterintelligence activities inside the United States;
(B) The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency shall coordinate the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence collected through human sources or through human-enabled means and counterintelligence activities outside the United States;
(C) All policies and procedures for the coordination of counterintelligence activities and the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence inside the United States shall be subject to the approval of the Attorney General; and
(D) All policies and procedures developed under this section shall be coordinated with the heads of affected departments and Intelligence Community elements;
(21) Shall, with the concurrence of the heads of affected departments and agencies, establish joint procedures to deconflict, coordinate, and synchronize intelligence activities conducted by an Intelligence Community element or funded by the National Intelligence Program, with intelligence activities, activities that involve foreign intelligence and security services, or activities that involve the use of clandestine methods, conducted by other United States Government departments, agencies, and establishments;
(22) Shall, in coordination with the heads of departments containing elements of the Intelligence Community, develop procedures to govern major system acquisitions funded in whole or in majority part by the National Intelligence Program;
(23) Shall seek advice from the Secretary of State to ensure that the foreign policy implications of proposed intelligence activities are considered, and shall ensure, through appropriate policies and procedures, that intelligence activities are conducted in a manner consistent with the responsibilities pursuant to law and presidential direction of Chiefs of United States Missions; and
(24) Shall facilitate the use of Intelligence Community products by the Congress in a secure manner.
(c) The Director's exercise of authorities in the Act and this order shall not abrogate the statutory or other responsibilities of the heads of departments of the United States Government or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Directives issued and actions taken by the Director in the exercise of the Director's authorities and responsibilities to integrate, coordinate, and make the Intelligence Community more effective in providing intelligence related to national security shall be implemented by the elements of the Intelligence Community, provided that any department head whose department contains an element of the Intelligence Community and who believes that a directive or action of the Director violates the requirements of section 1018 of the IRTPA or this subsection shall bring the issue to the attention of the Director, the NSC, or the President for resolution in a manner that respects and does not abrogate the statutory responsibilities of the heads of the departments.
(d) Appointments to certain positions.
(1) The relevant department or bureau head shall provide recommendations and obtain the concurrence of the Director for the selection of: the Director of the National Security Agency, the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis, the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, the Director of the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence of the Department of Energy, the Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of the Treasury, and the Executive Assistant Director for the National Security Branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If the Director does not concur in the recommendation, the department head may not fill the vacancy or make the recommendation to the President, as the case may be. If the department head and the Director do not reach an agreement on the selection or recommendation, the Director and the department head concerned may advise the President directly of the Director's intention to withhold concurrence.
(2) The relevant department head shall consult with the Director before appointing an individual to fill a vacancy or recommending to the President an individual be nominated to fill a vacancy in any of the following positions: the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; uniformed heads of the intelligence elements of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps above the rank of Major General or Rear Admiral; the Assistant Commandant of the Coast Guard for Intelligence; and the Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
(e) Removal from certain positions.
(1) Except for the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose removal the Director may recommend to the President, the Director and the relevant department head shall consult on the removal, or recommendation to the President for removal, as the case may be, of: the Director of the National Security Agency, the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis, the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, and the Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of the Treasury. If the Director and the department head do not agree on removal, or recommendation for removal, either may make a recommendation to the President for the removal of the individual.
(2) The Director and the relevant department or bureau head shall consult on the removal of: the Executive Assistant Director for the National Security Branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Director of the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence of the Department of Energy, the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, the Assistant Commandant of the Coast Guard for Intelligence, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. With respect to an individual appointed by a department head, the department head may remove the individual upon the request of the Director; if the department head chooses not to remove the individual, either the Director or the department head may advise the President of the department head's intention to retain the individual. In the case of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Secretary of Defense may recommend to the President either the removal or the retention of the individual. For uniformed heads of the intelligence elements of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps, the Director may make a recommendation for removal to the Secretary of Defense.
(3) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit or otherwise affect the authority of the President to nominate, appoint, assign, or terminate the appointment or assignment of any individual, with or without a consultation, recommendation, or concurrence.
1.4 The Intelligence Community. Consistent with applicable Federal law and with the other provisions of this order, and under the leadership of the Director, as specified in such law and this order, the Intelligence Community shall:
(a) Collect and provide information needed by the President and, in the performance of executive functions, the Vice President, the NSC, the Homeland Security Council, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, senior military commanders, and other executive branch officials and, as appropriate, the Congress of the United States;
(b) In accordance with priorities set by the President, collect information concerning, and conduct activities to protect against, international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, intelligence activities directed against the United States, international criminal drug activities, and other hostile activities directed against the United States by foreign powers, organizations, persons, and their agents;
(c) Analyze, produce, and disseminate intelligence;
(d) Conduct administrative, technical, and other support activities within the United States and abroad necessary for the performance of authorized activities, to include providing services of common concern for the Intelligence Community as designated by the Director in accordance with this order;
(e) Conduct research, development, and procurement of technical systems and devices relating to authorized functions and missions or the provision of services of common concern for the Intelligence Community;
(f) Protect the security of intelligence related activities, information, installations, property, and employees by appropriate means, including such investigations of applicants, employees, contractors, and other persons with similar associations with the Intelligence Community elements as are necessary;
(g) Take into account State, local, and tribal governments' and, as appropriate, private sector entities' information needs relating to national and homeland security;
(h) Deconflict, coordinate, and integrate all intelligence activities and other information gathering in accordance with section 1.3(b)(20) of this order; and
(i) Perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence activities as the President may direct.
1.5 Duties and Responsibilities of the Heads of Executive Branch Departments and Agencies. The heads of all departments and agencies shall:
(a) Provide the Director access to all information and intelligence relevant to the national security or that otherwise is required for the performance of the Director's duties, to include administrative and other appropriate management information, except such information excluded by law, by the President, or by the Attorney General acting under this order at the direction of the President;
(b) Provide all programmatic and budgetary information necessary to support the Director in developing the National Intelligence Program;
(c) Coordinate development and implementation of intelligence systems and architectures and, as appropriate, operational systems and architectures of their departments, agencies, and other elements with the Director to respond to national intelligence requirements and all applicable information sharing and security guidelines, information privacy, and other legal requirements;
(d) Provide, to the maximum extent permitted by law, subject to the availability of appropriations and not inconsistent with the mission of the department or agency, such further support to the Director as the Director may request, after consultation with the head of the department or agency, for the performance of the Director's functions;
(e) Respond to advisory tasking from the Director under section 1.3(b)(18) of this order to the greatest extent possible, in accordance with applicable policies established by the head of the responding department or agency;
(f) Ensure that all elements within the department or agency comply with the provisions of Part 2 of this order, regardless of Intelligence Community affiliation, when performing foreign intelligence and counterintelligence functions;
(g) Deconflict, coordinate, and integrate all intelligence activities in accordance with section 1.3(b)(20), and intelligence and other activities in accordance with section 1.3(b)(21) of this order;
(h) Inform the Attorney General, either directly or through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Director of clandestine collection of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities inside the United States not coordinated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
(i) Pursuant to arrangements developed by the head of the department or agency and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and approved by the Director, inform the Director and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, either directly or through his designee serving outside the United States, as appropriate, of clandestine collection of foreign intelligence collected through human sources or through human-enabled means outside the United States that has not been coordinated with the Central Intelligence Agency; and
(j) Inform the Secretary of Defense, either directly or through his designee, as appropriate, of clandestine collection of foreign intelligence outside the United States in a region of combat or contingency military operations designated by the Secretary of Defense, for purposes of this paragraph, after consultation with the Director of National Intelligence.
1.6 Heads of Elements of the Intelligence Community. The heads of elements of the Intelligence Community shall:
(a) Provide the Director access to all information and intelligence relevant to the national security or that otherwise is required for the performance of the Director's duties, to include administrative and other appropriate management information, except such information excluded by law, by the President, or by the Attorney General acting under this order at the direction of the President;
(b) Report to the Attorney General possible violations of Federal criminal laws by employees and of specified Federal criminal laws by any other person as provided in procedures agreed upon by the Attorney General and the head of the department, agency, or establishment concerned, in a manner consistent with the protection of intelligence sources and methods, as specified in those procedures;
(c) Report to the Intelligence Oversight Board, consistent with Executive Order 13462 of February 29, 2008, and provide copies of all such reports to the Director, concerning any intelligence activities of their elements that they have reason to believe may be unlawful or contrary to executive order or presidential directive;
(d) Protect intelligence and intelligence sources, methods, and activities from unauthorized disclosure in accordance with guidance from the Director;
(e) Facilitate, as appropriate, the sharing of information or intelligence, as directed by law or the President, to State, local, tribal, and private sector entities;
(f) Disseminate information or intelligence to foreign governments and international organizations under intelligence or counterintelligence arrangements or agreements established in accordance with section 1.3(b)(4) of this order;
(g) Participate in the development of procedures approved by the Attorney General governing production and dissemination of information or intelligence resulting from criminal drug intelligence activities abroad if they have intelligence responsibilities for foreign or domestic criminal drug production and trafficking; and
(h) Ensure that the inspectors general, general counsels, and agency officials responsible for privacy or civil liberties protection for their respective organizations have access to any information or intelligence necessary to perform their official duties.
1.7 Intelligence Community Elements. Each element of the Intelligence Community shall have the duties and responsibilities specified below, in addition to those specified by law or elsewhere in this order. Intelligence Community elements within executive departments shall serve the information and intelligence needs of their respective heads of departments and also shall operate as part of an integrated Intelligence Community, as provided in law or this order.
(a) The Central Intelligence Agency. The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency shall:
(1) Collect (including through clandestine means), analyze, produce, and disseminate foreign intelligence and counterintelligence;
(2) Conduct counterintelligence activities without assuming or performing any internal security functions within the United States;
(3) Conduct administrative and technical support activities within and outside the United States as necessary for cover and proprietary arrangements;
(4) Conduct covert action activities approved by the President. No agency except the Central Intelligence Agency (or the Armed Forces of the United States in time of war declared by the Congress or during any period covered by a report from the President to the Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution, Public Law 93-148) may conduct any covert action activity unless the President determines that another agency is more likely to achieve a particular objective;
(5) Conduct foreign intelligence liaison relationships with intelligence or security services of foreign governments or international organizations consistent with section 1.3(b)(4) of this order;
(6) Under the direction and guidance of the Director, and in accordance with section 1.3(b)(4) of this order, coordinate the implementation of intelligence and counterintelligence relationships between elements of the Intelligence Community and the intelligence or security services of foreign governments or international organizations; and
(7) Perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence as the Director may direct.
(b) The Defense Intelligence Agency. The Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency shall:
(1) Collect (including through clandestine means), analyze, produce, and disseminate foreign intelligence and counterintelligence to support national and departmental missions;
(2) Collect, analyze, produce, or, through tasking and coordination, provide defense and defense-related intelligence for the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, other Defense components, and non-Defense agencies;
(3) Conduct counterintelligence activities;
(4) Conduct administrative and technical support activities within and outside the United States as necessary for cover and proprietary arrangements;
(5) Conduct foreign defense intelligence liaison relationships and defense intelligence exchange programs with foreign defense establishments, intelligence or security services of foreign governments, and international organizations in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4), 1.7(a)(6), and 1.10(i) of this order;
(6) Manage and coordinate all matters related to the Defense Attach(C) system; and
(7) Provide foreign intelligence and counterintelligence staff support as directed by the Secretary of Defense.
(c) The National Security Agency. The Director of the National Security Agency shall:
(1) Collect (including through clandestine means), process, analyze, produce, and disseminate signals intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions;
(2) Establish and operate an effective unified organization for signals intelligence activities, except for the delegation of operational control over certain operations that are conducted through other elements of the Intelligence Community. No other department or agency may engage in signals intelligence activities except pursuant to a delegation by the Secretary of Defense, after coordination with the Director;
(3) Control signals intelligence collection and processing activities, including assignment of resources to an appropriate agent for such periods and tasks as required for the direct support of military commanders;
(4) Conduct administrative and technical support activities within and outside the United States as necessary for cover arrangements;
(5) Provide signals intelligence support for national and departmental requirements and for the conduct of military operations;
(6) Act as the National Manager for National Security Systems as established in law and policy, and in this capacity be responsible to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director;
(7) Prescribe, consistent with section 102A(g) of the Act, within its field of authorized operations, security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling, and distribution of signals intelligence and communications security material within and among the elements under control of the Director of the National Security Agency, and exercise the necessary supervisory control to ensure compliance with the regulations; and
(8) Conduct foreign cryptologic liaison relationships in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4), 1.7(a)(6), and 1.10(i) of this order.
(d) The National Reconnaissance Office. The Director of the National Reconnaissance Office shall:
(1) Be responsible for research and development, acquisition, launch, deployment, and operation of overhead systems and related data processing facilities to collect intelligence and information to support national and departmental missions and other United States Government needs; and
(2) Conduct foreign liaison relationships relating to the above missions, in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4), 1.7(a)(6), and 1.10(i) of this order.
(e) The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency shall:
(1) Collect, process, analyze, produce, and disseminate geospatial intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions;
(2) Provide geospatial intelligence support for national and departmental requirements and for the conduct of military operations;
(3) Conduct administrative and technical support activities within and outside the United States as necessary for cover arrangements; and
(4) Conduct foreign geospatial intelligence liaison relationships, in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4), 1.7(a)(6), and 1.10(i) of this order.
(f) The Intelligence and Counterintelligence Elements of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The Commanders and heads of the intelligence and counterintelligence elements of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps shall:
(1) Collect (including through clandestine means), produce, analyze, and disseminate defense and defense-related intelligence and counterintelligence to support departmental requirements, and, as appropriate, national requirements;
(2) Conduct counterintelligence activities;
(3) Monitor the development, procurement, and management of tactical intelligence systems and equipment and conduct related research, development, and test and evaluation activities; and
(4) Conduct military intelligence liaison relationships and military intelligence exchange programs with selected cooperative foreign defense establishments and international organizations in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4), 1.7(a)(6), and 1.10(i) of this order.
(g) Intelligence Elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Under the supervision of the Attorney General and pursuant to such regulations as the Attorney General may establish, the intelligence elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall:
(1) Collect (including through clandestine means), analyze, produce, and disseminate foreign intelligence and counterintelligence to support national and departmental missions, in accordance with procedural guidelines approved by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Director;
(2) Conduct counterintelligence activities; and
(3) Conduct foreign intelligence and counterintelligence liaison relationships with intelligence, security, and law enforcement services of foreign governments or international organizations in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4) and 1.7(a)(6) of this order.
(h) The Intelligence and Counterintelligence Elements of the Coast Guard. The Commandant of the Coast Guard shall:
(1) Collect (including through clandestine means), analyze, produce, and disseminate foreign intelligence and counterintelligence including defense and defense-related information and intelligence to support national and departmental missions;
(2) Conduct counterintelligence activities;
(3) Monitor the development, procurement, and management of tactical intelligence systems and equipment and conduct related research, development, and test and evaluation activities; and
(4) Conduct foreign intelligence liaison relationships and intelligence exchange programs with foreign intelligence services, security services or international organizations in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4), 1.7(a)(6), and, when operating as part of the Department of Defense, 1.10(i) of this order.
(i) The Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State; The Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of the Treasury; The Office of National Security Intelligence, Drug Enforcement Administration; The Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security; and the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Department of Energy. The heads of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State; the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of the Treasury; the Office of National Security Intelligence, Drug Enforcement Administration; the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security; and the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Department of Energy shall:
(1) Collect (overtly or through publicly available sources), analyze, produce, and disseminate information, intelligence, and counterintelligence to support national and departmental missions; and
(2) Conduct and participate in analytic or information exchanges with foreign partners and international organizations in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4) and 1.7(a)(6) of this order.
(j) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The Director shall collect (overtly or through publicly available sources), analyze, produce, and disseminate information, intelligence, and counterintelligence to support the missions of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, including the National Counterterrorism Center, and to support other national missions.
1.8 The Department of State. In addition to the authorities exercised by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research under sections 1.4 and 1.7(i) of this order, the Secretary of State shall:
(a) Collect (overtly or through publicly available sources) information relevant to United States foreign policy and national security concerns;
(b) Disseminate, to the maximum extent possible, reports received from United States diplomatic and consular posts;
(c) Transmit reporting requirements and advisory taskings of the Intelligence Community to the Chiefs of United States Missions abroad; and
(d) Support Chiefs of United States Missions in discharging their responsibilities pursuant to law and presidential direction.
1.9 The Department of the Treasury. In addition to the authorities exercised by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of the Treasury under sections 1.4 and 1.7(i) of this order the Secretary of the Treasury shall collect (overtly or through publicly available sources) foreign financial information and, in consultation with the Department of State, foreign economic information.
1.10 The Department of Defense. The Secretary of Defense shall:
(a) Collect (including through clandestine means), analyze, produce, and disseminate information and intelligence and be responsive to collection tasking and advisory tasking by the Director;
(b) Collect (including through clandestine means), analyze, produce, and disseminate defense and defense-related intelligence and counterintelligence, as required for execution of the Secretary's responsibilities;
(c) Conduct programs and missions necessary to fulfill national, departmental, and tactical intelligence requirements;
(d) Conduct counterintelligence activities in support of Department of Defense components and coordinate counterintelligence activities in accordance with section 1.3(b)(20) and (21) of this order;
(e) Act, in coordination with the Director, as the executive agent of the United States Government for signals intelligence activities;
(f) Provide for the timely transmission of critical intelligence, as defined by the Director, within the United States Government;
(g) Carry out or contract for research, development, and procurement of technical systems and devices relating to authorized intelligence functions;
(h) Protect the security of Department of Defense installations, activities, information, property, and employees by appropriate means, including such investigations of applicants, employees, contractors, and other persons with similar associations with the Department of Defense as are necessary;
(i) Establish and maintain defense intelligence relationships and defense intelligence exchange programs with selected cooperative foreign defense establishments, intelligence or security services of foreign governments, and international organizations, and ensure that such relationships and programs are in accordance with sections 1.3(b)(4), 1.3(b)(21) and 1.7(a)(6) of this order;
(j) Conduct such administrative and technical support activities within and outside the United States as are necessary to provide for cover and proprietary arrangements, to perform the functions described in sections (a) though (i) above, and to support the Intelligence Community elements of the Department of Defense; and
(k) Use the Intelligence Community elements within the Department of Defense identified in section 1.7(b) through (f) and, when the Coast Guard is operating as part of the Department of Defense,
(h) above to carry out the Secretary of Defense's responsibilities assigned in this section or other departments, agencies, or offices within the Department of Defense, as appropriate, to conduct the intelligence missions and responsibilities assigned to the Secretary of Defense.
1.11 The Department of Homeland Security. In addition to the authorities exercised by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security under sections 1.4 and 1.7(i) of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall conduct, through the United States Secret Service, activities to determine the existence and capability of surveillance equipment being used against the President or the Vice President of the United States, the Executive Office of the President, and, as authorized by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the President, other Secret Service protectees and United States officials. No information shall be acquired intentionally through such activities except to protect against use of such surveillance equipment, and those activities shall be conducted pursuant to procedures agreed upon by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General.
1.12 The Department of Energy. In addition to the authorities exercised by the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence of the Department of Energy under sections 1.4 and 1.7(i) of this order, the Secretary of Energy shall:
(a) Provide expert scientific, technical, analytic, and research capabilities to other agencies within the Intelligence Community, as appropriate;
(b) Participate in formulating intelligence collection and analysis requirements where the special expert capability of the Department can contribute; and
(c) Participate with the Department of State in overtly collecting information with respect to foreign energy matters.
1.13 The Federal Bureau of Investigation. In addition to the authorities exercised by the intelligence elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice under sections 1.4 and 1.7(g) of this order and under the supervision of the Attorney General and pursuant to such regulations as the Attorney General may establish, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall provide technical assistance, within or outside the United States, to foreign intelligence and law enforcement services, consistent with section 1.3(b)(20) and (21) of this order, as may be necessary to support national or departmental missions.
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Part 2 Conduct of Intelligence Activities
2.1 Need. Timely, accurate, and insightful information about the activities, capabilities, plans, and intentions of foreign powers, organizations, and persons, and their agents, is essential to informed decisionmaking in the areas of national security, national defense, and foreign relations. Collection of such information is a priority objective and will be pursued in a vigorous, innovative, and responsible manner that is consistent with the Constitution and applicable law and respectful of the principles upon which the United States was founded.
2.2 Purpose. This Order is intended to enhance human and technical collection techniques, especially those undertaken abroad, and the acquisition of significant foreign intelligence, as well as the detection and countering of international terrorist activities, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and espionage conducted by foreign powers. Set forth below are certain general principles that, in addition to and consistent with applicable laws, are intended to achieve the proper balance between the acquisition of essential information and protection of individual interests. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to apply to or interfere with any authorized civil or criminal law enforcement responsibility of any department or agency.
2.3 Collection of information. Elements of the Intelligence Community are authorized to collect, retain, or disseminate information concerning United States persons only in accordance with procedures established by the head of the Intelligence Community element concerned or by the head of a department containing such element and approved by the Attorney General, consistent with the authorities provided by Part 1 of this Order, after consultation with the Director. Those procedures shall permit collection, retention, and dissemination of the following types of information:
(a) Information that is publicly available or collected with the consent of the person concerned;
(b) Information constituting foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, including such information concerning corporations or other commercial organizations. Collection within the United States of foreign intelligence not otherwise obtainable shall be undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or, when significant foreign intelligence is sought, by other authorized elements of the Intelligence Community, provided that no foreign intelligence collection by such elements may be undertaken for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons;
(c) Information obtained in the course of a lawful foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, international drug or international terrorism investigation;
(d) Information needed to protect the safety of any persons or organizations, including those who are targets, victims, or hostages of international terrorist organizations;
(e) Information needed to protect foreign intelligence or counterintelligence sources, methods, and activities from unauthorized disclosure. Collection within the United States shall be undertaken by the FBI except that other elements of the Intelligence Community may also collect such information concerning present or former employees, present or former intelligence element contractors or their present or former employees, or applicants for such employment or contracting;
(f) Information concerning persons who are reasonably believed to be potential sources or contacts for the purpose of determining their suitability or credibility;
(g) Information arising out of a lawful personnel, physical, or communications security investigation;
(h) Information acquired by overhead reconnaissance not directed at specific United States persons;
(i) Incidentally obtained information that may indicate involvement in activities that may violate Federal, state, local, or foreign laws; and
(j) Information necessary for administrative purposes. In addition, elements of the Intelligence Community may disseminate information to each appropriate element within the Intelligence Community for purposes of allowing the recipient element to determine whether the information is relevant to its responsibilities and can be retained by it, except that information derived from signals intelligence may only be disseminated or made available to Intelligence Community elements in accordance with procedures established by the Director in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and approved by the Attorney General.
2.4 Collection Techniques. Elements of the Intelligence Community shall use the least intrusive collection techniques feasible within the United States or directed against United States persons abroad. Elements of the Intelligence Community are not authorized to use such techniques as electronic surveillance, unconsented physical searches, mail surveillance, physical surveillance, or monitoring devices unless they are in accordance with procedures established by the head of the Intelligence Community element concerned or the head of a department containing such element and approved by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Director. Such procedures shall protect constitutional and other legal rights and limit use of such information to lawful governmental purposes. These procedures shall not authorize:
(a) The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to engage in electronic surveillance within the United States except for the purpose of training, testing, or conducting countermeasures to hostile electronic surveillance;
(b) Unconsented physical searches in the United States by elements of the Intelligence Community other than the FBI, except for:
(1) Searches by counterintelligence elements of the military services directed against military personnel within the United States or abroad for intelligence purposes, when authorized by a military commander empowered to approve physical searches for law enforcement purposes, based upon a finding of probable cause to believe that such persons are acting as agents of foreign powers; and
(2) Searches by CIA of personal property of non-United States persons lawfully in its possession;
(c) Physical surveillance of a United States person in the United States by elements of the Intelligence Community other than the FBI, except for:
(1) Physical surveillance of present or former employees, present or former intelligence element contractors or their present or former employees, or applicants for any such employment or contracting; and
(2) Physical surveillance of a military person employed by a non-intelligence element of a military service; and
(d) Physical surveillance of a United States person abroad to collect foreign intelligence, except to obtain significant information that cannot reasonably be acquired by other means.
2.5 Attorney General Approval. The Attorney General hereby is delegated the power to approve the use for intelligence purposes, within the United States or against a United States person abroad, of any technique for which a warrant would be required if undertaken for law enforcement purposes, provided that such techniques shall not be undertaken unless the Attorney General has determined in each case that there is probable cause to believe that the technique is directed against a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. The authority delegated pursuant to this paragraph, including the authority to approve the use of electronic surveillance as defined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as amended, shall be exercised in accordance with that Act.
2.6 Assistance to Law Enforcement and other Civil Authorities. Elements of the Intelligence Community are authorized to:
(a) Cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies for the purpose of protecting the employees, information, property, and facilities of any element of the Intelligence Community;
(b) Unless otherwise precluded by law or this Order, participate in law enforcement activities to investigate or prevent clandestine intelligence activities by foreign powers, or international terrorist or narcotics activities;
(c) Provide specialized equipment, technical knowledge, or assistance of expert personnel for use by any department or agency, or when lives are endangered, to support local law enforcement agencies. Provision of assistance by expert personnel shall be approved in each case by the general counsel of the providing element or department; and
(d) Render any other assistance and cooperation to law enforcement or other civil authorities not precluded by applicable law.
2.7 Contracting. Elements of the Intelligence Community are authorized to enter into contracts or arrangements for the provision of goods or services with private companies or institutions in the United States and need not reveal the sponsorship of such contracts or arrangements for authorized intelligence purposes. Contracts or arrangements with academic institutions may be undertaken only with the consent of appropriate officials of the institution.
2.8 Consistency With Other Laws. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to authorize any activity in violation of the Constitution or statutes of the United States.
2.9 Undisclosed Participation in Organizations Within the United States. No one acting on behalf of elements of the Intelligence Community may join or otherwise participate in any organization in the United States on behalf of any element of the Intelligence Community without disclosing such person's intelligence affiliation to appropriate officials of the organization, except in accordance with procedures established by the head of the Intelligence Community element concerned or the head of a department containing such element and approved by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Director. Such participation shall be authorized only if it is essential to achieving lawful purposes as determined by the Intelligence Community element head or designee. No such participation may be undertaken for the purpose of influencing the activity of the organization or its members except in cases where:
a) The participation is undertaken on behalf of the FBI in the course of a lawful investigation; or
(b) The organization concerned is composed primarily of individuals who are not United States persons and is reasonably believed to be acting on behalf of a foreign power.
2.10 Human Experimentation. No element of the Intelligence Community shall sponsor, contract for, or conduct research on human subjects except in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. The subject's informed consent shall be documented as required by those guidelines.
2.11 Prohibition on Assassination. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in or conspire to engage in assassination.
2.12 Indirect Participation. No element of the Intelligence Community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this Order.
2.13 Limitation on Covert Action. No covert action may be conducted which is intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies, or media.
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Part 3 General Provisions
3.1 Congressional Oversight. The duties and responsibilities of the Director and the heads of other departments, agencies, elements, and entities engaged in intelligence activities to cooperate with the Congress in the conduct of its responsibilities for oversight of intelligence activities shall be implemented in accordance with applicable law, including title V of the Act. The requirements of applicable law, including title V of the Act, shall apply to all covert action activities as defined in this Order.
3.2 Implementation. The President, supported by the NSC, and the Director shall issue such appropriate directives, procedures, and guidance as are necessary to implement this order. Heads of elements within the Intelligence Community shall issue appropriate procedures and supplementary directives consistent with this order. No procedures to implement Part 2of this order shall be issued without the Attorney General's approval, after consultation with the Director. The Attorney General shall provide a statement of reasons for not approving any procedures established by the head of an element in the Intelligence Community (or the head of the department containing such element) other than the FBI. In instances where the element head or department head and the Attorney General are unable to reach agreements on other than constitutional or other legal grounds, the Attorney General, the head of department concerned, or the Director shall refer the matter to the NSC.
3.3 Procedures. The activities herein authorized that require procedures shall be conducted in accordance with existing procedures or requirements established under Executive Order 12333. New procedures, as required by Executive Order 12333, as further amended, shall be established as expeditiously as possible. All new procedures promulgated pursuant to Executive Order 12333, as amended, shall be made available to the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.
3.4 References and Transition. References to "Senior Officials of the Intelligence Community" or "SOICs" in executive orders or other Presidential guidance, shall be deemed references to the heads of elements in the Intelligence Community, unless the President otherwise directs; references in Intelligence Community or Intelligence Community element policies or guidance, shall be deemed to be references to the heads of elements of the Intelligence Community, unless the President or the Director otherwise directs.
3.5 Definitions. For the purposes of this Order, the following terms shall have these meanings:
(a) Counterintelligence means information gathered and activities conducted to identify, deceive, exploit, disrupt, or protect against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, or assassinations conducted for or on behalf of foreign powers, organizations, or persons, or their agents, or international terrorist organizations or activities.
(b) Covert action means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include:
(1) Activities the primary purpose of which is to acquire intelligence, traditional counterintelligence activities, traditional activities to improve or maintain the operational security of United States Government programs, or administrative activities;
(2) Traditional diplomatic or military activities or routine support to such activities;
(3) Traditional law enforcement activities conducted by United States Government law enforcement agencies or routine support to such activities; or
(4) Activities to provide routine support to the overt activities (other than activities described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3)) of other United States Government agencies abroad.
(c) Electronic surveillance means acquisition of a nonpublic communication by electronic means without the consent of a person who is a party to an electronic communication or, in the case of a nonelectronic communication, without the consent of a person who is visibly present at the place of communication, but not including the use of radio direction-finding equipment solely to determine the location of a transmitter.
(d) Employee means a person employed by, assignedor detailed to, or acting for an element within the Intelligence Community.
(e) Foreign intelligence means information relating to the capabilities, intentions, or activities of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, foreign persons, or international terrorists.
(f) Intelligence includes foreign intelligence and counterintelligence.
(g) Intelligence activities means all activities that elements of the Intelligence Community are authorized to conduct pursuant to this order.
(h) Intelligence Community and elements of the Intelligence Community refers to:
(1) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
(2) The Central Intelligence Agency;
(3) The National Security Agency;
(4) The Defense Intelligence Agency;
(5) The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency;
(6) The National Reconnaissance Office;
(7) The other offices within the Department of Defense for the collection of specialized national foreign intelligence through reconnaissance programs;
(8) The intelligence and counterintelligence elements of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps;
(9) The intelligence elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
(10) The Office of National Security Intelligence of the Drug Enforcement Administration;
(11) The Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence of the Department of Energy;
(12) The Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State;
(13) The Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of the Treasury;
(14) The Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security;
(15) The intelligence and counterintelligence elements of the Coast Guard; and
(16) Such other elements of any department or agency as may be designated by the President, or designated jointly by the Director and the head of the department or agency concerned, as an element of the Intelligence Community.
(i) National Intelligence and Intelligence Related to National Security means all intelligence, regardless of the source from which derived and including information gathered within or outside the United States, that pertains, as determined consistent with any guidance issued by the President, or that is determined for the purpose of access to information by the Director in accordance with section 1.3(a)(1) of this order, to pertain to more than one United States Government agency; and that involves threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests; the development, proliferation, or use of weapons of mass destruction; or any other matter bearing on United States national or homeland security.
(j) The National Intelligence Program means all programs, projects, and activities of the Intelligence Community, as well as any other programs of the Intelligence Community designated jointly by the Director and the head of a United States department or agency or by the President. Such term does not include programs, projects, or activities of the military departments to acquire intelligence solely for the planning and conduct of tactical military operations by United States Armed Forces.
(k) United States person means a United States citizen, an alien known by the intelligence element concerned to be a permanent resident alien, an unincorporated association substantially composed of United States citizens or permanent resident aliens, or a corporation incorporated in the United States, except for a corporation directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments.
3.6 Revocation. Executive Orders 13354 and 13355 of August 27, 2004, are revoked; and paragraphs 1.3(b)(9) and (10) of Part 1 supersede provisions within Executive Order 12958, as amended, to the extent such provisions in Executive Order 12958, as amended, are inconsistent with this Order.
3.7 General Provisions.
(a) Consistent with section 1.3(c) of this order, nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(1) Authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(2) Functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
/s/ Ronald ReaganThe White HouseDecember 4, 1981
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@amuse on Twitter: "BREAKING NEWS: The Biden's were working to sell 14% of Rosneft Oil Company to the Chinese to circumvent US sanctions on Russia. FBI Director Christopher Wray represented Rosneft." / Twitter
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 00:51
@amuse : BREAKING NEWS: The Biden's were working to sell 14% of Rosneft Oil Company to the Chinese to circumvent US sanction'... https://t.co/1r64XE9yug
Thu Oct 29 18:34:46 +0000 2020
John Schreiber 🎃 : @amuse @RonColeman This is incredible!
Fri Oct 30 00:49:34 +0000 2020
US Ministry of Truth : @amuse @dbongino @TomFitton @marklevinshow
Fri Oct 30 00:47:25 +0000 2020
EXCLUSIVE SOURCE: Biden Daughter's Diary Details 'Not Appropriate' Showers With Joe As Child - National File
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 03:35
National File has obtained what a whistleblower has identified as a copy of the complete diary of Ashley Blazer Biden, the 39-year-old daughter of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, dating from during the 2020 presidential campaign. National File also knows the reported precise location of the physical diary, and has been told by a whistleblower that there exists an audio recording of Ashley Biden admitting this is her diary.In the diary, which our source says belongs to the former vice president's daughter, the author writes of her struggle with drug abuse. Ashley Biden's struggle with drugs was widely publicized in 2009.
According to our source, the diary also details Ashley Biden's unhealthy relationship with sex, and the ''probably not appropriate'' showers she shared as a young girl with her father, Joe Biden.
Joe Biden dances the hora with Ashley at her wedding in 2012After declaring she was ''here for sexual trauma'' in the previous entry, on page 23 of the diary, dated January 30, 2019, the author explores the topic of sexual abuse and how it may have led to her overactive sex drive. ''I've had one of my hardest days '' my sex drive is out of f**king control. Like literally, I am in heat,'' wrote the author.
Read More: FULL RELEASE: Ashley Biden Diary Reveals Child Sex Trauma, Drug Abuse, Resentment For Joe '' Whistleblower
''I know it's not the healthiest way to deal with things but @ least it's better than drugs,'' she wrote, adding that she thought she needed ''sex to feel good.''
The author then explored why she felt this need to have sex, saying she believes she was molested as a child.
''Was I molested. I think so '' I can't remember specifics but I do remember trauma,'' wrote the author, before listing a series of potential incidents, one of which may have included Ashley Biden's cousin Caroline Biden, as the author says she remembers ''being somewhat sexualized'' alongside a person named ''Caroline.''
Read More: DIARY: Biden's Daughter Ashley Resents Him For His Money, Control, Emotional Manipulation '' Whistleblower
The author then wrote that she remembers ''showers with my dad'' that were ''probably not appropriate.''
On page 83, in an entry dated July 22, 2019, the author wrote that she received a phone call from her father, Joe Biden according to our source, who cried on the phone while expressing his worry for her in the days leading up to July 30-31 Democratic Primary Debate.
Read More: ADDICTION: Diary Entries Show Ashley Biden's Alleged Battle With Cocaine, 'Hard' Drugs '' Whistleblower
''My dad cried on the phone saying he has the debate in a week and 'Now has to worry about [the author],''' she wrote. ''And he cried. Maybe he knows what he is doing and it's worked but my feelings of guilt often are overwhelming.''
In at least two entries, the author explicitly identifies herself as Ashley Blazer Biden.
National File obtained this document from a whistleblower who was concerned the media organization that employs him would not publish this potential critical story in the final 10 days before the 2020 presidential election. National File's whistleblower also has a recording of Ashley Biden admitting the diary is hers, and employed a handwriting expert who verified the pages were all written by Ashley. National File has in its posession a recording of this whistleblower detailing the work his media outlet did in preparation of releasing these documents. In the recording, the whistleblower explains that the media organization he works for chose not to release the documents after receiving pressure from a competing media organization.
This diary surfaces after Hunter Biden, the son of the Democrat presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has been exposed as having ''underage obsessions'' and corrupt business dealings as evidenced by emails and images provided by the New York Post and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
National File, as the media organization that published reports about the Pelosi family's Ukraine dealings and the potentially illegal affairs of Democrat Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, believes the public has a right to read these entries that were obtained for National File by Patrick Howley, the reporter who broke the Veterans Affairs scandal, and the Ralph Northam racist yearbook photo.
Last year Ashley Biden was profiled by The List, which claimed that her ''transformation is turning heads.'' She was credited as working as a ''social worker, activist, and entrepreneur.''
Lin Wood on Twitter: "Rod Rosenstein worked for the maw firm of King & Spalding. Sally Yates worked for the law firm of King & Spalding. Christopher Wray worked for the law firm of King & Spalding. Do the math & connect the dots. Speak tru
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 04:32
Lin Wood : Rod Rosenstein worked for the maw firm of King & Spalding. Sally Yates worked for the law firm of King & Spalding.'... https://t.co/qB8PxO4BMK
Fri Oct 30 03:33:04 +0000 2020
National security nightmare of Hunter Biden's laptop | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 03:06
The son of the man expected by many to be America's next President abandoned a laptop containing a treasure trove of top-secret material, including his father's private emails and mobile phone numbers, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
In an astonishing lapse, Hunter Biden chose to protect his MacBook Pro computer '' crammed with what an IT expert last night described as a 'national security nightmare' and 'classic blackmail material' '' with a single, simple password: Hunter02.
Remarkably, the 50-year-old businessman and self-confessed drug addict took the machine to a back-street IT store in Delaware in April 2019 to get it repaired '' yet never returned to collect it.
Its existence was revealed by the New York Post last month, but the staggering scale and sensitivity of its contents '' easily accessible to a hacker with a modicum of skill '' is only revealed for the first time today.
The material, none of which was encrypted or protected by anything as basic as two-factor authentication, includes:
Joe Biden's personal mobile number and three private email addresses as well as the names of his Secret Service agents; Mobile numbers for former President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary and almost every member of former President Barack Obama's cabinet; A contact database of 1,500 people including actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, former Presidential candidate John Kerry and ex-FBI boss Louis Freeh; Personal documents including Hunter's passport, driver's licence, social security card, credit cards and bank statements; Details of Hunter's drug and sex problems, including $21,000 spent on one 'live cam' porn website and 'selfies' of him engaging in sex acts and smoking crack cocaine; While Hunter has been accused of using his family name to help with deals with Ukrainian and Chinese firms, there is nothing on the laptop to implicate Joe Biden in any wrongdoing.
One email relating to a failed Chinese deal refers to a payment of ten per cent to 'the Big Guy', which some have suggested is the presidential hopeful.
However, Mr Biden has insisted: 'I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.'
Last night, IT expert Chris Greany said it was 'staggering' the laptop had not been encrypted.
New laptop revelations: An IT expert last night described as a 'national security nightmare' and 'classic blackmail material' the revelation that Hunter Biden protected his laptop - which was filled with with a treasure trove of top-secret material - with a single, simple password: Hunter02. He is pictured with what appears to be drug parephenelia in his mouth
A contact database of 1,500 people included the numbers of Bill and Hillary Clinton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, her ex-husband Coldplay singer Chris Martin, former Presidential candidate John Kerry and ex-FBI boss Louis Freeh
Unpaid bill: A message from porn site Jasmin, shows Hunter's attempt to buy credit was 'declined due to insufficient funds on the credit card'. He shelled out more than $21,000 to one adult 'live cam' porn website
The full letter from Jasmin.com. Hunter Biden became so addicted to illicit sexual thrills that he once spent $11,400 on a single night of debauchery at a New York strip club
'It's a data breach and dangerous to have this type of material floating around,' said the former police commander, who advised successive British Foreign Secretaries on laptop security.
'For someone prominent, there is not only a risk of great reputational damage but also a risk of blackmail should the material fall into the wrong hands.'
Twitter boss berated for censoring story In an act of 'politically motivated censorship', Twitter deliberately prevented users from sharing a link to a front-page newspaper article about Hunter Biden's private life and his controversial business ties to Ukraine.
It included the claim that he arranged a meeting between his father Joe and a Ukrainian energy company on whose board Hunter served.
Both men have denied any impropriety but normally an accusation alone of this nature involving a US presidential nominee would set the news agenda alight.
But with Facebook also imposing restrictions pending 'independent verification' by 'fact checkers', the article published by the New York Post fizzled out.
In what became a curious case of a disappearing story, Republicans claimed it had been suppressed to avoid helping President Trump's re-election campaign.
Twitter boss Jack Dorsey (pictured) Twitter was criticised after the site prevented users from sharing a link to a front-page newspaper article about Hunter Biden's private life and his controversial business ties to Ukraine
Quizzing Twitter's chief executive Jack Dorsey during a virtual Senate hearing last week, Texas senator Ted Cruz asked: 'Who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?' Mr Dorsey has apologised for Twitter's action and said its treatment of the New York Post story was 'unacceptable'.
Republicans have long accused the bosses of technology companies of double standards for editing, deleting or fact-checking Mr Trump's posts while allowing harmful hate speech to remain on their services.
But anger over the Hunter Biden story has not been confined to the Right.
Last week investigative Left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald resigned from The Intercept, the news website he co-founded, after claiming he was silenced over an article critical of Joe Biden.
'The Intercept's editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression,' he wrote.
The revelations come just 48 hours before Americans give their verdict at the end of a rancorous election campaign.
They will send shockwaves through Mr Biden's campaign team, which is desperate to avoid last-minute scandals that may erode his eight-point lead in the polls.
Donald Trump has accused the mainstream US press and social media giants of ignoring '' and even burying '' the Hunter laptop affair.
He claims a liberal, pro-Democrat elite is 'protecting' his rival.
Hunter's laptop contains 11 gigabytes of material and covers the period from when Mr Biden served as Vice President under Mr Obama to when Hunter dropped it at the Mac Store in Wilmington.
A small selection of its contents was leaked to the press by Mr Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, sparking unsubstantiated claims that the material may have been fabricated by Russia to derail Mr Biden's White House bid.
Others have suggested the laptop and its contents are a hoax perpetuated by China to weaken Mr Biden.
Yet neither Hunter nor his father have questioned that the laptop was left at the Delaware store nor the authenticity of material from it that has so far appeared in the media.
Evidence seen by The Mail on Sunday appears to confirm that Hunter left the laptop at the shop and the FBI later picked it up.
Last night, lawyers for Hunter declined to comment.
Representatives for Mr Biden did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
A forensic cyber expert hired to analyse material downloaded from the laptop says it is authentic.
'I have been doing this for 20 years and there is nothing to suggest the laptop or its contents have been interfered with or altered in any way,' said the expert, who has worked with US law enforcement agencies.
'There is no sign of data being added. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the real deal.'
The FBI, which took possession of a copy of the computer hard drive last December, declined to confirm or deny if it was carrying out an investigation.
However, Tony Bobulinski, one of Hunter's former business partners, claims he was interviewed by FBI agents in Washington on October 23 and during that meeting handed over mobile phone records that match material on the laptop.
Last night, a source familiar with the contents of the MacBook Pro said: 'The sheer volume of personal and financial information indicates Hunter has been potential blackmail fodder for years.
'It seems almost inconceivable that Hunter Biden, the son of the man likely to become our next President, was so naive and reckless that he did not have basic encryption or even a two-stage password to protect such highly sensitive material.'
Information stored on the laptop includes names and mobile phone numbers sent to Hunter by staff in Mr Biden's office at the White House in June 2015, a few days after the funeral of Hunter's brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer, aged 46.
As well as the Clintons, there are numbers for two of America's most powerful political leaders '' Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
An earlier email from November 2011 lists the names and mobile numbers for Mr Biden's Secret Service detail while he was Vice President.
A source said: 'This is all a flagrant breach of security.
'If a hostile state or individual had managed to hack into Hunter's computer ''and it wouldn't have been difficult considering the lack of security on it '' they would have easily found out who was guarding the Vice President and potentially been able to threaten family members of those Secret Service members.'
After his brother's death, Hunter '' while still married, but separated from his first wife Kathleen '' had an affair with Beau's widow, Hallie.
Emails sent to Hunter Biden displayed the phone numbers of prominent figures within Barack Obama's administration
Another document showed a list of secret service personnel who would be travelling on a trip
Personal documents including Hunter's passport, driver's licence, social security card, credit cards and bank statements; were also contained on the laptop - raising fears about blackmail threats to the
Gift for identity thieves: Hunter Biden's social security card
Joe Biden's personal mobile number and three private email addresses as well as the names of his Secret Service agents. A credit card is pictured
Hunter's laptop contains 11 gigabytes of material and covers the period from when Mr Biden served as Vice President under Mr Obama to when Hunter dropped it at the Mac Store in Wilmington. His driving license is pictured
Hunter's Amex card. IT experts said grave consequences could have followed 'If a hostile state or individual had managed to hack into Hunter's computer ''and it wouldn't have been difficult considering the lack of security on it'
The laptop contains scores of text messages between them as well as emails between Hunter and Kathleen as their relationship imploded and a bitter divorce battle began.
In one angry note to Kathleen, Hunter says: 'Have I ever missed a tuition payment or mortgage payment, a play or a game or anything that ever mattered'... Do you know what I've done to make that possible.
'Do you have any idea of the level of degradation?'
Hunter has long been considered the black sheep of the Biden family with his alcohol, drug and sex problems making headlines in America '' although his father has loyally stood by him.
After Hunter publicly acknowledged his battle with alcohol and drugs in April 2019 '' the same month in which he visited the Mac Store '' Mr Biden said: 'Beau was my soul. Hunter is my heart.'
Even last week, the man strongly tipped to become America's 46th President described his son as 'the smartest guy I know'. It is doubtful whether his campaign managers or supporters share that view.
Hunter Biden's laptop lays bare the world of depravity that makes him a target for blackmail: He spent $21,000 on a porn 'live cam' site and $11,400 in a strip club in a single night
By Caroline Graham in Los Angeles for the Mail On Sunday
Hunter Biden became so addicted to illicit sexual thrills that he once spent $11,400 on a single night of debauchery at a New York strip club and shelled out more than $21,000 to one adult 'live cam' porn website.
The scale of the descent of Joe Biden's son into a morass of drugs, drink and sleaze '' leaving him open to possible blackmail attempts '' is laid bare in hundreds of documents and photographs on his abandoned laptop.
The 50-year-old spent a fortune on escorts and ran up massive hotel bills, often paying for multiple rooms in a single night.
Graphic photographs show him apparently smoking crack cocaine from a pipe and engaging in sex acts with unidentified women.
Hunter Biden became so addicted to illicit sexual thrills that he once spent $11,400 on a single night of debauchery at a New York strip club and shelled out more than $21,000 to one adult 'live cam' porn website.
Porn site: Hunter shelled out more than $21,000 to one adult 'live cam' porn website Jasmin.com
One message from the Jasmin porn site, shows Hunter's attempt to buy credit was 'declined due to insufficient funds on the credit card'
One email sent to Hunter Biden was from 'hookup' website Adultfriendfinder.com, which he appeared to be a member of
Another email showed that a woman who was interested in Hunter had sent him a private message on one of the platforms
While Hunter's demons have been well chronicled '' not least during his divorce from first wife Kathleen, who alleged in court documents that his interests included 'drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations' '' the scale of his recklessness is staggering.
After his father became Vice President in 2009, Hunter asked the Security Service to stop deploying agents to accompany him.
It reluctantly agreed '' a decision that gave the politician's son more freedom to indulge his vices.
A source familiar with the contents of the laptop, including bank statements and credit card receipts, said: 'Hunter's spending on porn sites is staggering. At one point his credit card was rejected by a site because it was maxed out.
'There are multiple hotel room charges for the same night. He spends thousands on escorts.
It's no secret that Hunter has addiction issues, but the contents of the laptop and the apparent lack of security around either Hunter or his computer must raise doubts.
After his father became Vice President in 2009, Hunter asked the Security Service to stop deploying agents to accompany him
'He was obviously highly vulnerable to a potential blackmail attempt from external forces who might seek to influence his father.'
In an interview last year, Hunter openly described at length his lurch into the seedy world of drugs and sleaze.
'Everyone has trauma. There's addiction in every family,' he told The New Yorker magazine. 'I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel '' it's a never-ending tunnel.'
That tunnel took in the Hustler Club in New York, where he spent £8,800 in a single night in September 2018, and the Streamray porn website from which he bought a five-figure sum of services in just six months.
The Biden Files contain log-in details and passwords for numerous sex sites and multiple payments to women whose names link back to escort websites.
One message from the Jasmin porn site, shows Hunter's attempt to buy credit was 'declined due to insufficient funds on the credit card'.
Emails reveal desperate pleas for Hunter to get help from his family. An email from his first wife, Kathleen, says: 'You told me if you started drinking again it would kill you. I feel like you are torturing me.'
Emails reveal desperate pleas for Hunter to get help from his family. An email from his first wife, Kathleen, says: 'You told me if you started drinking again it would kill you. I feel like you are torturing me.'
The secret service reluctantly agreed to give up accompanying Hunter after his father became Vice President in 2009
Begging him to return to rehab, his sister Ashley writes: 'You are a Biden. Remember that. This isn't how we work.'
Hunter's obsession with sexual imagery is clear. As well as selfies taken with unidentified women and a video of him engaged in a sex act, the laptop contained bizarre oil paintings of him naked while sprawled on a bed.
When sober, Hunter appears tormented by the damage that his behaviour is causing.
'Guilt is an appropriate emotion when we've wronged someone (including ourselves),' he wrote on one document stored in the poorly protected computer.
'Guilt that isn't acknowledged becomes shame. And shame becomes either narcissism, and addiction, and pain, and an empty life.'
The source said: 'When you see the contents, the picture you are left with is of a troubled man who is desperately trying to maintain the family image in public, but who is falling apart behind the scenes.
'He has the pressure of living up to the Biden name, but, in private, he dives into this dark world. He was a sitting duck for anyone who might seek to blackmail him.'
Hunter Biden's idea for a 'really serious tragic dramatic comedy'
Hunter Biden's laptop contains numerous Hollywood screenplay 'pitches' he had drafted
The laptop contains numerous Hollywood screenplay 'pitches' drafted by Hunter Biden.
A source said: 'He has always dreamed about making a story about his life.'
One reads:
A Mystery to Myself:
(A really seriously tragic dramatic comedy).
In the span of eight years:
My father is elected Vice President of the United States.
I loose [sic] the entirety of my business.
I find a new way of doing business and replace most my income.
I relapse after 7 years of sobriety.
I go back to rehab.
The secret service follow me.
There are also oil paintings of a naked Hunter sprawled across an unmade bed and images of a tattoo on his back that appears to show long, black scratch marks running from his shoulders to his waist.
The source added: 'In his mind he's a Renaissance man. He writes poetry and wants to have a movie made of his life. But, as with most things, these are just pipe dreams. The reality is Hunter is a liability for his father. If Joe wins, one of the first tasks will be figuring out how to keep Hunter out of trouble for the next four years.'
An unkempt man left his laptop in a nondescript computer store in a Delaware shopping mall - and never returned Unkempt and unshaven, the man stumbled into the nondescript computer store at a Delaware shopping mall.
Entering The Mac Shop carrying three water-damaged computers, he approached owner John Paul MacIsaac, who later claimed that he smelled alcohol on the customer's breath.
Mr MacIsaac was able to fix two of the machines, but the third was beyond repair.
Then the customer gave his name: Hunter Biden.
The seemingly innocuous encounter on April 12, 2019, has now become a global news story reaching the White House via Silicon Valley and inhabited by a colourful cast of characters.
As well as the albino shop owner, there's Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, a burly wrestler turned US Navy officer, a nerdy tech wizard and the President himself.
Mr MacIsaac, 44, completed a one-page form with Hunter's name, address and mobile phone details '' all of which have been verified '' and a bill for $85 due on completion of the work.
Hunter Biden dropped off his MacBook at the computer store the Mac Shop, which is based in a Delawre shopping mall
He told his customer he would need to copy the contents of the MacBook on to an external hard drive to recover them and the process would take a few days.
The man left '' but never returned. Under US law, when 90 days had passed, the uncollected laptop legally became Mr MacIsaac's property.
He decided to look at the recovered material on the laptop '' which is now in the hands of the FBI as part of an investigation in which Mr MacIsaac is a material witness '' and says a chill ran down his spine.
The Mail on Sunday today reveals some of that material for the first time '' exposing how the son of the man tipped to be America's next President left himself wide open to blackmail.
Mr MacIsaac fears repercussions. 'I have everything documented. I have everything saved. But the shop is over.
'I won't be able to sustain my business'... too many people are angry.'
He eventually alerted the FBI who collected the laptop on December 9, 2019.
The owner of the computer store, John Paul MacIsaac, later claimed that he smelled alcohol on Biden's breath. Under US law, when 90 days had passed, the uncollected laptop legally became Mr MacIsaac's property
An agent left a 'receipt for property' and a Grand Jury subpoena ordering Mr MacIsaac to testify about its contents.
At this point, the story becomes murkier.
Mr MacIsaac began emailing various senators about what he had found.
After getting no reply, he contacted Mr Giuliani who put him in touch with his lawyer, Robert Costello.
On October 14, the New York Post ran a front-page story with the headline: BIDEN SECRET EMAILS.
Inside they published a few emails relating to Hunter's business dealings in the Ukraine and alleged links to his father.
Joe and Hunter Biden have denied any impropriety.
Strangely, the story got little traction in the US media.
Stranger still, Twitter blocked the New York Post's account while Facebook and Google censored any mention of the article. Under pressure, they relented.
Even when Tony Bobulinski, a former US Navy serviceman and ex-wrestling champion who was Hunter's business partner, went on Trump-supporting Fox News to confirm he had emails verifying those on the laptop, the story was largely ignored.
Meanwhile, a cyber-security expert hired by a freelance journalist drove to Mr Costello's home on October 19 to copy the hard drive.
He then spent 'hundreds of hours' verifying the information and satisfying himself that the data had not been interfered with.
Finally, as Mr Trump fumed about the absence of media coverage for the Biden Files, the material was offered to The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline.
Why the PDF Is Secretly the World's Most Important File Format
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 04:58
A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail.
The Portable Document Format, or PDF, is everywhere. But it's still a format that causes headaches for the average person.
Just take former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who may not be the average person, but who runs into issues with the PDF just like the best of us.
Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller's most recent indictment of Manafort noted how the lobbyist and his colleague, Richard Gates, collaborated on modifying a PDF document by converting the document into Word format, changing an amount in the document, then changing it back to a PDF.
This created something called a paper trail, bolstering Mueller's case against Manafort.
It's not often, of course, that the PDF gets this level of notice. The PDFs origin story is a bit more boring than that of the MP3, which was built around the contours of Suzanne Vega's unaccompanied voice on ''Tom's Diner,'' and the ZIP file, which came to life in a brutal legal battle that was egged on by the whims of BBS users.
But the PDF still has a story, and that story is that of a format that promises to be even more valuable in the decades to come. Here's why.
''What industries badly need is a universal way to communicate documents across a wide variety of machine configurations, operating systems and communication networks. These documents should be viewable on any display and should be printable on any modern printers. If this problem can be solved, then the fundamental way people work will change.''
'-- John E. Warnock, the cofounder of Adobe, discussing his thought process around the need for a simple document format in an essay revealing the existence of The Camelot Project (which is, of course, in PDF format). Warnock, who was also responsible for helping to develop Adobe's bedrock PostScript document scripting language, noted that PostScript and its sister language Display PostScript was too heavy for most computers being made at the time he wrote his essay, around 1990. ''The Display PostScript and PostScript solutions are the correct long-term solution as the power of machines increases over time, but this solution offers little help for the vast majority of today's users with today's machines,'' he explained.
Why the ''killer app'' for the PDF may have been, of all things, tax forms
Around the time that Warnock and his colleagues at Adobe were trying to figure out the difficult problems of creating a simple file format that could be used to read documents on regular people's computers, the Internal Revenue Service was dealing with an annual headache that it faced in working with the US Postal Service.
Basically, every year just before tax season, the IRS would mail out tax forms to hundreds of millions of people around the United States. This annual mailing was, during non-Census years, the largest annual mailing that the postal service had to deal with'--around 110 million individual mailings annually, according a 1991 New York Times article. And the IRS, dealing with a complicated tax code, had to manage and deal with a wide variety of exceptions and differing forms, for both businesses and individual taxpayers.
This was not only incredibly wasteful'--never a good thing when you're the Internal Revenue Service'--but it represented something of a logistical nightmare, because it also hinted at the ways that paper gummed up the works throughout the federal government.
This was a situation where the PDF would have been of immense value. Certainly, software solutions had existed on the market at that time'--among others, TurboTax on the PC and MacInTax on the Mac'--but the average American user wasn't necessarily at a point where they would trust their computer to do their taxes. But they might be cool with printing the forms.
Fortunately, Adobe was ready. At the end of 1992, the company first showed off its PDF technology, given the brand name Acrobat, at the trade show COMDEX. The trade press of the time wrote of Acrobat with much excitement, as it represented the ability to take a document as it would show up on a printed page'--if it even needed to be printed at all. It was even named ''Best of the Show'' that year.
But Warnock admitted that, early on, his approach to solving the problem of aggressive paper didn't catch on right away.
''When Acrobat was announced, the world didn't get it. They didn't understand how important sending documents around electronically was going to be,'' Warnock said in a 2010 interview with Knowledge@Wharton.
But the fact of the matter was, Adobe had the perfect use case already out there in the form of the IRS, not to mention the rest of corporate America.
An Adobe Acrobat 1.0 promotional video.
Adobe had a potential solution to cut down on the mountains of paper being produced by offices the world over. And as Adobe had the de facto market standard already with PostScript, it also had the inside lane. You can see where this is going.
According to NetworkWorld, the IRS was already distributing tax forms in PDF format in early 1994, a move that helped build broad momentum behind the format.
But one element was missing, and that element was the web, which made the concept of accessing tax documents relatively easy. And by the 1996 tax season, that element was ready to go, as the Internal Revenue Service booted up its web servers'--complete with more than 600 documents ready for download in PDF format, according to a 1996 column from tech guru Kim Komando.
A case study on Adobe's website notes that the IRS went all-in on the PDF around this time, giving copies of its software to more than 100,000 employees at as of 2001, and saving millions of dollars in printing costs in the process.
Beyond saving all the mailing of most of those forms, it helped the company save lots of headaches by making materials easier to find in audits. Instead of having to put stuff in obscure file cabinets, it could be accessed electronically by tax examiners and auditors.
''In terms of employee satisfaction alone, Acrobat pays for itself,'' an IRS official told Adobe. ''Add to that the benefits of easier document administration and less paper storage, and it's clear that Acrobat and Adobe PDF provide real returns to the agency and the people we serve.''
Clearly there's some fluff in that quote, but the IRS was very much a microcosm of the business world at large. The PDF, in a very short amount of time, became one of the most important ways business users shared documents. (Academia, of course, quickly bought in as well.)
The PDF simplified the hard work of going to Kinko's, because the file format was able to easily embed assets like fonts and images, streamlining one of the hardest parts of getting a file printed. (Of course, you generally couldn't make changes in PDF form.) Eventually, the PDF became searchable and even editable.
And most importantly, in the case of the IRS, ''fillable.'' The IRS quickly created versions of its tax forms that allowed end users to put in their own numbers, and, eventually, even their own signatures.
While none of this was as lightweight as, say, a text file nor as flexible as HTML, it sure beat PostScript for the average person.
And the PDF became the long-term solution.
''PDF has become a de facto global standard for more secure and dependable information exchange since Adobe published the complete PDF specification in 1993. Both government and private industry have come to rely on PDF for the volumes of electronic records that need to be more securely and reliably shared, managed, and in some cases preserved for generations.''
'-- A portion of the foreword of the ISO 32000-1 standard, the first standardized version of the full PDF specification in 2008. While Adobe first created the PDF in 1993, it left the format open so that other companies could use it, allowing it to become a de facto standard. (Adobe largely charged for the creative tools.) But in 2007, Adobe worked with the International Standards Organization to create an open standard for the technology. The move highlighted just how prevalent the standard had become.
Perhaps the most important role of the PDF in the modern day is archival
Let's just admit something straight out: Standardization is boring.
It's a dull topic, but it's something that is incredibly important in the world of archival. The reason for this is obvious, of course: If you randomly change the way you produce and store microfilm, for example, that microfilm becomes a pain to reuse.
But this also cuts both ways. There are things that you don't necessarily want out of a standard. Let's say you don't care about interactivity because you're trying to digitize documents that date back hundreds of years.
Still, there may be niceties you want, like the ability to make the text searchable. And perhaps you want to ensure maximum compatibility, working with all variants of a tool.
All these reasons, and more, are why the PDF/A format was created in 2005. Unlike a standard PDF, which is designed to take advantage of the fact it's made for a computer, PDF/A was designed to be maximally reproducible, to the point where it could replace a printed document if the original paper was lost.
''Everything that is required to render the document the exact same way, every time, is contained in the PDF/A file: fonts, colour profiles, images etc. PDF/A is also an ISO standard, guaranteeing that future software generations will know how to open and render PDF/A files,'' explains Shawna McAlearney, a marketing specialist for Appligent Document Solutions, in an FAQ on the PDF Association website.
This is good for organizations such as the Internet Archive and the Library of Congress, who are saving information for the long haul and need it to be readable 30 years from now. But it does lead to some controversy at times in the archival space, such as when the format was extended in 2012 to allow for the embedding of files like spreadsheets and HTML documents.
But some critics of the quick uptake of the PDF/A are out there. In a paper on the subject, Marco Klindt of the Zuse Institute Berlin lays out a variety of issues with the format from an archival perspective, including (among other things) that it can be cumbersome to use.
(Notably, usability expert Jakob Nielsen has also strongly come out against the use of PDFs for the same reason, stating on his consultancy's website: ''PDF is good for printing, but that's it. Don't use it for online presentation.'')
Klindt, who also lays out legal and integrity issues with the format, suggests that the desire for a suitable preservation format limited discussion of whether or not the format really made sense in the long run.
''Familiarity of PDF led to fast and widespread adoption of PDF/A as a solution in the field of digital archiving,'' he writes. ''This fact may have muted prophetic voices demanding the quest for and development of more suitable content containers for research work (text and data) with reuse in mind.''
Even if this is the case'--certainly I've loaded my share of 300-megabyte PDFs over the years, and there are plenty of documents online that have no business being PDFs'--it's certainly worth admiring how much the format has done to digitize and protect our collective knowledge.
In 50 years, these PDFs, even with their weaknesses, will help us document history with little of the ephemeral nature of the web. And unlike in paper form, those PDFs won't suffer from frayed pages.
The history of our generation will probably be in PDF form.
''[Adobe's] board wanted to kill it. I said, 'There's just no way. This is solving an important problem, and we are going to hang in there until it works.'''
'-- Warnock, speaking to Knowledge@Wharton about Acrobat's early years. These days we take for granted the fact that PDFs are common basically everywhere online, but there was a point when the PDF format was in such dire shape that Adobe had to stop charging for Acrobat Reader, a move Warnock described as a ''very risky choice.'' (They charge lots of money for Acrobat instead.) But the decision to stick with the client and make it free ultimately proved the key to Adobe's success as a company. Even though people might be quicker to think of Photoshop when they think of Adobe, a 2013 profile of the Adobe cofounder by his alma mater, the University of Utah, ultimately put the company's success at the feet of the document format Warnock created. ''The PDF put Adobe on the map,'' author Jason Matthew Smith wrote.
Going back to Manafort, is there anything he could have done differently in his case, to prevent it from becoming an outright embarrassment?
According to the PDF Association, the answer is most certainly yes.
Beyond the fact that the conversion from Word to back creates subtle changes in format that can be tracked, software like Adobe Acrobat can be used to directly edit the text in a file!
Here's the association's take:
Manafort could have readily altered the PDF himself. Had he done so, he would have avoided a key part of the paper trail that may land him in federal prison. He probably even had a PDF editor already on his computer.
In the money-laundering business, after all, it seems likely that one would frequently need to assemble pages from multiple PDF files; you need a PDF editor for that. For most of his money-laundering career, Manafort was almost certainly just one or two clicks away from the editor mode.
The result is that PDF editing is likely to play a significant role in a major political scandal.
The story of the invention of the PDF may not have a legal battle at the center of it or a hook like a Suzanne Vega song to push its story forward, but it does have this scandal. And love it or hate it, Manafort's awkward use of a tool used by basically everyone really highlights how prevalent the PDF really is.
Joe Biden has finally disclosed his biggest campaign bundlers - Vox
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 04:59
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden finally disclosed the roster of his biggest fundraisers on Saturday, unveiling the names of the 820 people who have helped him build a big-money juggernaut.
The list includes Biden surrogates like former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); Hollywood filmmakers like Lee Daniels and Jeffrey Katzenberg; Silicon Valley billionaires like Reid Hoffman and Ron Conway. The campaign did not specify how much these people raised for Biden efforts beyond that it was more than $100,000.
The release on a Saturday evening came at the last possible moment: Election Day is on Tuesday, and more than 90 million people have already voted, having done so without clarity on who his largest fundraisers are or what influence they may have had on his candidacy. Biden's last-minute disclosure was a sharp departure from precedent in the Democratic Party, whose presidential candidates have regularly disclosed their so-called ''bundlers'' in a nod to transparency.
And that's why campaign-finance reformers had grown concerned that Biden had not yet followed his predecessors Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's lead in releasing his bundlers for the general election.
Biden's campaign had declined to answer inquiries about their bundlers until last week, when it told The New York Times that it would release their names by the end of October (which ended Saturday.) Both Obama and Clinton released updates on the list of people helping them raise big money at consistent intervals; Biden's only prior update came on a Friday evening just after Christmas in 2019 during the Democratic primary with about 230 names, before his bundling operation beefed up in earnest.
''Congratulations on clearing an artificially low bar they set for themselves that defeats the entire purpose of transparency '-- allowing voters to know who is funding the campaigns asking for their support before casting their ballots,'' said Tyson Brody, a Democratic operative who worked for Bernie Sanders and backs Biden, but is critical of the influence of large campaign contributors.
It makes strategic sense that the Biden campaign would not to draw attention to the bundlers who have helped him turn a lagging fundraising operation into a surprising powerhouse. Biden has worked to position himself as the candidate with the interest of the working and middle classes in mind, giving himself the nickname ''Middle-Class Joe,'' and casting the general election ''as a campaign between Scranton and Park Avenue.''
And so, the Biden campaign has tried to draw focus to its small-dollar, online fundraising operation, rather than the celebrities, Silicon Valley billionaires, and Wall Street executives whose support undercuts some of the campaign's messaging. That's an especially important task for Biden given that many of these characters are prone to draw the scorn of the left, which is already skeptical of Biden and wants to see big campaign contributors play a smaller role in politics.
And the Trump campaign hasn't been in much of a place to argue for transparency. Trump hasn't released any information about his own bundlers at all.
So there's been limited scrutiny. The upshot of that is that the 90 million people who have already cast ballots ended up voting with incomplete information about the people who helped the campaigns raise the money that may have influenced those very votes.
The debate over bundler disclosure reflects a key campaign question of the Trump era: Should Trump's own tactics set the standard for his Democratic rivals? Or should Democrats '-- who claim to prioritize reducing the role of money in politics '-- aspire to a higher, or at least the pre-Trump, standard?
Campaigns are only legally required to disclose bundlers who are registered lobbyists '-- everything else is voluntary. Trump and his most immediate GOP predecessor at the top of the ticket, Mitt Romney, declined to share any additional information. But prior to their campaigns, there had been a bipartisan tradition of at least offering some information in order to help voters understand who carried unofficial influence in their campaign; that was done by both John McCain and George W. Bush, who pioneered the modern bundling system and made being a bundler into something of a bragging right.
Bundlers do the often painstaking work of soliciting their networks for high-dollar campaign contributions: inviting their business associates to campaign events, making introductions to campaign staffers, and recruiting more bundlers to serve alongside them. Bundling can often end up be fiercely competitive, with campaigns closely tracking how much individuals have raised and bundlers sometimes finding themselves in competition for positions on leaderboards.
Although Biden released just a single tier of information on the amounts that his bundlers raised, the campaign privately has six different levels of membership for its finance committee: ranging from a ''Protector'' who helps the campaign raise $50,000 to a ''Biden Victory Partner'' who brings home $2.5 million, according to a campaign document seen by Recode. Mementos that Biden has sent that top level of bundler include a gold-and-blue pin.
The Biden campaign sends out these buttons to the bundlers who have raised over $2.5 million for his bid.A reminder of how the Joe Biden big-money machine works. pic.twitter.com/GRIYE0Otsl
'-- Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) October 26, 2020Despite his preference to talk about his low-dollar fundraising operation, Biden has built an impressive big-money machine.
EXCLUSIVE: FBI Dir. Wray Profited from Hunter Biden's Illegal China-Russia Kickback Deal; Is This Why the FBI Covered Up Hunter's Laptop? '' True Pundit
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:51
EXCLUSIVE: FBI Dir. Wray Profited from Hunter Biden's Illegal China-Russia Kickback Deal, per Records & High-Placed Feds. Is This Why the FBI Has Covered Up Hunter's Laptop? Guess Who Else Cashed In on Hunter's Deal? AG William Barr. You couldn't make this up if you tried.
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The Thomas Paine Podcast pulls the curtains back on yet another D.C. protection racket scheme '-- this one should be the end of Christopher Wray's FBI tenure. Listen above.
Noodle Gun
Civil Rights Officials Call Northwestern's Bluff on Racism
Thu, 29 Oct 2020 21:57
Last week, four members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, urging her to investigate Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law after multiple professors '-- including the school's interim dean '-- confessed to being ''racist.'' One of them confessed to being a ''gatekeeper of white supremacy.'' While the staff likely went through this woke ''anti-racist'' rite of confession as an exercise meant to prop up the idea of ''institutional racism,'' accusations of racism at a federally-funded university are serious.
''We write to express our concern regarding the admitted racism of several employees at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law,'' four members of the 8-member civil rights commission wrote in a letter exclusively provided to PJ Media. The commission members made sure to clarify that they wrote ''as four members'' of the commission and ''not on behalf of the Commission as a whole.''
''During a recent online town-hall meeting, several employees publicly admitted that they are racists, and one even admitted to acting as a 'gatekeeper of white supremacy,''' the commissioners noted. ''Included in this number of admitted racists was James B. Speta, the law school's Interim Dean and the Elizabeth Froehling Horner Professor of Law.''
Indeed, Speta and others confessed their racism during the online event. Emily Mullin, executive director of major gifts at the law school, confessed, ''I am a racist and a gatekeeper of white supremacy.'' Author Rod Dreher noted that a reader claimed Speta was ''forced to say'' that is a racist, even though he is not.
Northwestern U. law school had a town hall meeting online recently. Everybody began w/ a ritual denunciation of themselves as racist. Reader: "Prof. Speta is not a racist. He is a wonderful man universally loved by students. It makes me sad that he is forced to say otherwise." pic.twitter.com/O45UX8ver2
'-- Rod Dreher (@roddreher) September 1, 2020
The civil rights commissioners noted that ''the Pritzker School of Law participates in Title IV federal financial-aid programs, and thus must abide by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,'... which provides that '[n]o person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.'''
''Based on these facts, we ask that you consider conducting an investigation into the Pritzker School of Law's potentially discriminatory practices'--similar to your investigation into Princeton University's potentially discriminatory practices'--and that you take any additional action that you deem appropriate,'' the commissioners added.
Last month, Betsy DeVos called the bluff of Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber. Eisgruber had participated in the same woke rite of confession, publishing a letter confessing to the ongoing racism at his university under his leadership. It seems the president aimed to use this confession as a rhetorical weapon to push Marxist critical race theory.
Yet DeVos responded by launching an investigation into the university. If Princeton really is racist, the Department of Education reasoned, its policies violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Therefore, it should lose federal funding.
''Based on [Princeton's] admitted racism, the U.S. Department of Education is concerned Princeton's nondiscrimination and equal opportunity assurances in its Program Participation Agreements from at least 2013 to the present may have been false,'' the DOE letter to Princeton reads. Therefore, the DOE opened an investigation.
Betsy DeVos Calls Princeton's Bluff: If You Really Are Racist, No More Federal Funding''Anti-racism''The ''anti-racist'' movement argues that America is drenched in ''institutional racism'' and that people must essentially brainwash themselves to escape their racist assumptions. In his book Stamped From the Beginning, scholar Ibram X. Kendi explains the basic logic of ''anti-racism'': People of all races are inherently equal, but some races have more money/prominence than others, therefore the society must be racist.
Kendi attacks two different groups of people: outright racists and ''assimilationists.'' He argues that most Americans still harbor racist ideas, and he claims that any explanation for racial disparities besides ''structural racism'' is inherently racist because it blames the victim.
America's long and successful struggle to ban outright racial discrimination in the law does not matter to the ''anti-racist'' movement. It does not matter that black people tend to dominate sports like basketball and football due to their individual training and success. It does not matter that a wide variety of factors explains why police tend to regard young black men with more suspicion, most notably crime rates.
Black people are more likely to face stigma and they are more likely to be seen as representatives of the black community, rather than being seen as individuals. This is a double-edged sword: it means black people are unjustly regarded with suspicion but it also means that there is a bias in favor of black people in some schools, jobs, and professions.
Yet reformers have worked hard to excise racial discrimination from American law. Attorney General Bill Barr recently explained why he believes there is no such thing as ''systemic racism.''
''To me the word 'systemic' means that it's built into the institution and I don't think that's true,'' the AG said. ''I think our institutions have been reformed in the past 60 years, and if anything is built-in, it's a bias to nondiscrimination and safeguards against [racism.]''
Eisgruber, like Speta, did not intend to confess to violating federal discrimination law. He meant to signal his virtue and convince people that America is institutionally racist in order to further his own political and ideological goals. That makes the Department of Education's response brilliant '-- perhaps even hilarious.
Accusations and confessions of racism are serious, or at least, they used to be. Thanks to the logic of ''anti-racism,'' a completely colorblind policy '-- one that judges people not ''by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,'' in Martin Luther King Jr.'s words '-- would still be considered ''racist'' because the free actions of free individuals result in racially disproportionate outcomes.
Federal law rightly prohibits many kinds of racial discrimination, but it prohibits discrimination on an individual level. Federal law does not require schools like Princeton to admit exactly 73.09 percent white students, 16.42 Asian students, and 5.78 percent black students, so that the student body represents the population of Princeton, N.J. In fact, by these measures, Princeton University is ''racist'' in favor of black people (9 percent of the undergraduate population) and Asians (25 percent of undergraduates, even higher percentages in post-grad classes).
The ''anti-racist'' measurement is actually more racist. The government arguably has a role in preventing racial discrimination when it comes to opportunities, but it has no business ensuring exact racial representation in outcomes. That would be absurd.
If America adopts the ''anti-racist'' definition of ''racism,'' the government cannot prevent racial discrimination when it comes to opportunities and individuals. At that point, preventing racial discrimination must mean achieving proportionate outcomes.
This broader definition of racism justifies both brainwashing and an unguided, destructive revolution. Riots across America have arguably oppressed black people far more than the U.S. supposedly does. The riots have destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 26 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black.
The Department of Education was right to call Princeton's bluff here, and it would be right to call Northwestern Law School's bluff as well. Words have meaning, and the ''anti-racist'' revolution must be stopped.
Letter to Secretary DeVos w'... by PJ Media
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Tyler O'Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.
BAM: Trump Eviscerates the Noxious Marxism Behind the Riots and the 1619 ProjectBlack Pastors Demand Nike Drop the 'Anti-Christian' Marxist Black Lives Matter MovementThis Activist's Marxist Brainwashing Explains Why Antifa Has Terrorized Portland for 51 NightsThe Real Problem With 'Anti-Racism'
The Girl Scouts Are Facing Backlash for This Controversial Tweet
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:45
Click here to read the full article.
The Girl Scouts are in the news right now, and it's not about cookies. Rather, the organization is under fire after posting a now-deleted tweet congratulating Amy Coney Barrett for being the fifth woman appointed to the Supreme Court. And now, many people are vowing to boycott the organization due to their seemingly partisan actions.
lol the girl scouts had to delete this incredibly bad post pic.twitter.com/vCA7SR0oa0
'-- i bless the rains down in castamere (@Chinchillazllla) October 28, 2020
''Congratulations Amy Coney Barrett on becoming the 5th woman appointed to the Supreme Court since its inception in 1789,'' the organization tweeted. The tweet included an image showing the five women justices '-- Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Barrett.
Barrett is the third conservative justice appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald Trump, and is the successor of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her appointment to the Supreme Court has struck fear that the court will now be likely to overturn rulings concerning access to health care and Roe v. Wade.
The Girl Scouts' tweet was interpreted by many as support for Barrett, and it made users question the organization's decision to post in the first place.
Amy Coney Barrett believes trans girls shouldn't be in @girlscouts because she doesn't believe that trans girls ARE girls.
Barrett served on the board for private schools that barred admission to LGBTQ students and students with LGBTQ parents.
No, David, you're wrong on this. https://t.co/6eFvoTo6Yj
'-- Charlotte Clymer ðŸ"¸'ðŸŒ (@cmclymer) October 29, 2020
After deleting their original tweet, the Girl Scouts clarified that their post congratulating Barrett was not intended to be a political statement.
Girl Scouts of the USA is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. We are neither red nor blue, but Girl Scout GREEN. We are here to lift up girls and women.
'-- Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) October 28, 2020
''Earlier today, we shared a post highlighting the five women who have been appointed to the Supreme Court. It was quickly viewed as a political and partisan statement which was not our intent and we have removed the post,'' said the organization's official Twitter page. They continued, ''Girl Scouts of the USA is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. We are neither red nor blue, but Girl Scout GREEN. We are here to lift up girls and women.''
''The personal is political.''
Political questions are questions of morals, values, and humanity. Are these not the things you are there to help teach, @girlscouts?
We are all deeply impacted by politics. We should be teaching young people to be fluent in it. https://t.co/8ZoFLgrOfJ
'-- brittany packnett cunningham. (@MsPackyetti) October 29, 2020
However, their response still garnered criticism for choosing to step back from important issues. '''The personal is political' Political questions are questions of morals, values, and humanity. Are these not the things you are there to help teach, @girlscouts? We are all deeply impacted by politics. We should be teaching people to be fluent in it,'' said activist Brittany Cunningham.
And in the Girl Scouts' efforts to distance themselves from politics and deleting the tweet, it launched an even larger divide between those who support Justice Barrett and those who don't.
*Googles ''How do you make your own thin mints.''
'-- Zach Braff (@zachbraff) October 28, 2020
'Thin Mints' started to trend as its own term while some pondered making their own homemade recipes instead of buying from their local Girl Scout troops this year.
Before you go, check out this roundup of ethical toy brands we love:
(C) Provided by SheKnows ethical charitable toy brands
''Not Pro-Black'': Wisconsin Students Unanimously Vote To Remove Lincoln Statue As Racist '' JONATHAN TURLEY
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 13:29
We previously discussed the effort at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to have the famous statue of Abraham Lincoln removed as racist. The student government has now voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that calls for the removal of the Abraham Lincoln statue on campus. The students declared that the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, advocated for the 13th Amendment, and led the war against the South and slavery was ''not pro-Black'' and a ''remnant of White Supremacy.'' That would likely have come as something of a surprise to John Wilkes Booth.One issue that was raised by student is that Lincoln ordered the execution of 38 Dakota men and signed the Homestead Act, which gave settlers land forcibly taken from Native Americans.
As I previously discussed, Lincoln's role in the Dakota executions is legitimately controversial but has been presented without some countervailing facts. The Sioux or Dakota uprising occurred not long after Minnesota became a state and involved the death of hundreds of settlers. The Army crushed the Sioux and captured hundreds. A military tribunal sentenced 303 to death for alleged crimes against civilians and other crimes. The trial itself was a farce with no real representation or reliable evidence. Lincoln reviewed the transcripts of the 303 and told the Senate:
''Anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another outbreak on one hand, nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty on the other, I ordered a careful examination of the records of the trials to be made, in view of first ordering the execution of such as had been proved guilty of violating females.''
However, only two men were found guilty of rape and Lincoln later expanded the criteria to include those who participated in ''massacres'' of civilians as opposed to battles with the Army.
Lincoln however commuted the sentence of 264 of the 303 convicted.
This is not the first time Lincoln has faced the ire of some in Wisconsin. When Lincoln called the nation to war against the South, many in Wisconsin did not support the cause and rioted against Lincoln. Ultimately, however, Wisconsin sent multiple regiments who fought valiantly in the War and sacrificed much to defeat both the South and slavery.
Having a statue to a leader like Lincoln is not an endorsement of his entire legacy. I have heavily criticized Lincoln for the unconstitutional suspension of habeas corpus and the loss of free speech rights as well as other decisions. We learn from such public memorials, which can be augmented with a more full historical context and criticism. However, to say that Lincoln is a symbol of white supremacy ignores his pivotal role in fighting slavery, a cause for which he would ultimately give his own life.
Here is the petition in support of keeping the statue where it is if you want to support Old Abe.
liberticidal - Wiktionary
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 13:53
English Edit Etymology Edit liberty +'Ž -cidal
Adjective Edit liberticidal (comparative more liberticidal, superlative most liberticidal)
That destroys liberty, liberticide.They claim that a party has the right to participate fully in political life even if it is avowedly and openly liberticidal.
Protagonists in social struggles, national liberation movements, and campaigns for citizens' rights, they invariably founded totalitarian, oppressive, and liberticidal regimes.
Costco Drops Coconut Milk Brand Linked to Monkey Labor | VegNews
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:49
This week, big box chain Costco announced that it will no longer carry products made by Thailand-based coconut milk producer Chaokoh after an investigation revealed that the brand uses forced monkey labor to pick coconuts. Investigators on behalf of animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia visited four ''monkey schools,'' eight farms, and one coconut-picking competition, to discover that chained monkeys'--who were likely illegally captured from the wild as babies'--were forced to climb trees and pick coconuts for worldwide distribution. When the animals were not picking coconuts, they were chained to old tires or kept in tiny cages. According to PETA Asia, the animals displayed many signs of mental distress and some would have their canine teeth removed if they tried to defend themselves. According to PETA Asia, the use of forced monkey labor is prevalent in Thailand, which supplies coconuts for products made by Chaokoh and Aroy-D.
Costco joins 25,000 retailers'--including Walgreens, Food Lion, and Stop & Shop'--which, following PETA's investigation, have banned the sale of coconut products linked to monkey labor. ''No kind shopper wants monkeys to be chained up and treated like coconut-picking machines,'' PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. ''Costco made the right call to reject animal exploitation, and PETA is calling on holdouts like Kroger to follow suit.''
Coconut growers in other regions'--including Brazil, Hawaii, and Colombia'--typically use harvesting methods that do not involve monkey labor such as tractor-mounted hydraulic elevators, willing human tree-climbers, and rope or platform systems.
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Green new Dill
Protecting nature is vital to escape 'era of pandemics' '' report | Wildlife | The Guardian
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 23:35
Show caption Regenerated palm oil trees growing on the site of a destroyed tropical rainforest in Kuala Cenaku, Riau province, as deforestation continues in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photograph: Dimas Ardian/Getty
Wildlife The world is in an ''era of pandemics'' and unless the destruction of the natural world is halted they will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, kill more people and affect the global economy with more devastating impact than ever before, according to a report from some of the world's leading scientists.
The emergence of diseases such as Covid-19, bird flu and HIV from animals was entirely driven by the razing of wild places for farming and the trade in wild species, which brought people into contact with the dangerous microbes, the experts said.
''The risk of pandemics is increasing rapidly, with more than five new diseases emerging in people every year, any one of which has the potential to become pandemic,'' the report says.
The wetlands of Pantanal in Mato Grosso state, Brazil. The area has been hit by its worst fires in more than 47 years, destroying vast areas of vegetation and wildlife. Photograph: Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty It estimates there are more than 500,000 unknown viruses in mammals and birds that could infect humans.
The current approach to disease outbreaks is trying to contain them and develop treatments or vaccines, which the scientists say is a ''slow and uncertain path''. Instead the root causes must be tackled, including stopping the demolition of forests to produce meat, palm oil, metals and other commodities for richer countries.
The costs of such a transformative change would be ''trivial'', the experts found, compared with the trillions of dollars of damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic alone. Their proposed solutions include a global surveillance network, taxing damaging meat production and ending taxpayer subsidies that ravage the natural world.
A man walks past a poster warning people that consuming wildlife is illegal, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China. Photograph: Alex Plavevski/EPA ''There is no great mystery about the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic, or of any modern pandemic,'' said Peter Daszak, the chair of the group convened by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, (Ipbes) to produce the report. ''The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on our environment.''
''We're seeing pandemics every 20-30 years,'' said Daszak, who is also the president of EcoHealth Alliance, and they were getting more frequent and damaging. ''We can escape the era of pandemics, but this requires a much greater focus on prevention, in addition to reaction.''
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the UN, World Health Organization and others have warned that the world must tackle the cause of these outbreaks and not just the health and economic symptoms. In June, leading experts called the pandemic an ''SOS signal for the human enterprise'', but little government action has been taken.
Deadly diseases from wildlife thrive when nature is destroyed, study finds The report was produced by 22 experts in fields including zoology, public health, economics and law, and representing every continent. It cites more than 600 studies, a third of which were published since 2019. ''It's really state of the art in terms of its scientific basis,'' said Anne Larigauderie, the executive secretary of Ipbes.
The report says the rise in emerging diseases is driven by ''the recent exponential rise in consumption and trade, driven by demand in developed countries and emerging economies, as well as by [rising population] pressure''.
A Liberian hunter holds up the leg of a Red Deer to sell as bushmeat on a roadside in Grand Bassa county, Liberia. Photograph: Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA Daszak added: ''Clearly, in the face of Covid-19, with more than one million human deaths, and huge economic impacts, [the current] reactive approach is inadequate. There is enough science that shows a way forward and would involve transformative change that rethinks our relationship with nature.''
Cost of preventing next pandemic 'equal to just 2% of Covid-19 economic damage' The scientists call for a high-level intergovernmental council on pandemic prevention to provide decision-makers with the best evidence, predict high-risk areas and coordinate the design of a global disease surveillance system.
High-risk species, such as bats, rodents, primates and water birds should be removed from the $100bn a year legal wildlife trade, they said, and there must be a crackdown on the illegal wildlife trade.
Marmots in a cage. The plague can jump from the species to humans through the bite of the tarbagan flea or through consumption of meat. Photograph: Courtesy of Weibo They also said emerging disease risk must be factored into decisions on large developments and called for meat production to be taxed. ''Meat consumption is rising so dramatically, and it's so clearly associated with pandemics,'' Daszak said.
''Many of these policies may seem costly and difficult to execute,'' the report says. ''However, economic analysis suggests their costs [of about $50bn a year] will be trivial in comparison to the trillions of dollars of impact due to Covid-19, let alone the rising tide of future diseases.''
Daszak said: ''For each of the policies there are pilot studies that show they work '' they just need to be scaled up and taken seriously. This is classic public health '' an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.''
The report was widely welcomed by other experts. Guy Poppy, an ecology professor at Southampton University, said the report's comprehensive analysis of solutions was valuable. ''The link between planetary health and human health was already becoming increasingly recognised, but Covid-19 has brought it to the front of everyone's minds,'' he said.
Prof John Spicer, a marine zoologist at the University of Plymouth, said: ''The Covid-19 crisis is not just another crisis alongside the biodiversity crisis and the climate change crisis. Make no mistake, this is one big crisis '' the greatest that humans have ever faced.''
But he said that by offering solutions the report ''is a document of hope, not despair '... the question is not can we [act], but will we?''
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Chemtrails
As Climate Disasters Pile Up, a Radical Proposal Gains Traction - The New York Times
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:24
The idea of modifying Earth's atmosphere to cool the planet, once seen as too risky to seriously consider, is attracting new money and attention.
The Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland in 2010. Solar geoengineering is meant to mimic the atmospheric cooling that occurs after big volcanic eruptions. Credit... Halld"r Kolbeins/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images WASHINGTON '-- As the effects of climate change become more devastating, prominent research institutions and government agencies are focusing new money and attention on an idea once dismissed as science fiction: Artificially cooling the planet, in the hopes of buying humanity more time to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
That strategy, called solar climate intervention or solar geoengineering, entails reflecting more of the sun's energy back into space '-- abruptly reducing global temperatures in a way that mimics the effects of ash clouds spewed by volcanic eruptions. The idea has been derided as a dangerous and illusory fix, one that would encourage people to keep burning fossil fuels while exposing the planet to unexpected and potentially menacing side effects.
But as global warming continues, producing more destructive hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other disasters, some researchers and policy experts say that concerns about geoengineering should be outweighed by the imperative to better understand it, in case the consequences of climate change become so dire that the world can't wait for better solutions.
''We're facing an existential threat, and we need to look at all the options,'' said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at the Columbia Law School and editor of a book on the technology and its legal implications. ''I liken geoengineering to chemotherapy for the planet: If all else is failing, you try it.''
On Wednesday, a nonprofit organization called SilverLining announced $3 million in research grants to Cornell University, the University of Washington, Rutgers University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and others. The work will focus on practical questions, such as how high in the atmosphere to inject sunlight-reflecting aerosols, how to shoot the right size particles into clouds to make them brighter, and the effect on the world's food supply.
Kelly Wanser, SilverLining's executive director, said the world is running out of time, and protecting people requires trying to understand the consequences of climate intervention. She said the goal of the work, called the Safe Climate Research Initiative, was ''to try to bring the highest-caliber people to look at these questions.''
The research announced Wednesday adds to a growing body of work already underway. In December, Congress gave the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration $4 million to research the technology. NOAA will also start gathering data that will let it detect whether other countries start using geoengineering secretly. And Australia is funding experiments to determine whether and how the technology can save the Great Barrier Reef.
''Decarbonizing is necessary but going to take 20 years or more,'' Chris Sacca, co-founder of Lowercarbon Capital, an investment group that is one of SilverLining's funders, said in a statement. ''If we don't explore climate interventions like sunlight reflection now, we are surrendering countless lives, species, and ecosystems to heat.''
One way to cool the earth is by injecting aerosols into the upper layer of the atmosphere, where those particles reflect sunlight away from the earth. That process works, according to Douglas MacMartin, a researcher in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University whose team received funding. ''We know with 100 percent certainty that we can cool the planet,'' Dr. MacMartin said in an interview.
What's still unclear, he added, is what happens next.
Temperature, Dr. MacMartin said, is a proxy for a lot of climate effects. ''What does it do to the strength of hurricanes? What does it do to agriculture yields? What does it do to the risk of forest fires?''
To help answer those questions, Dr. MacMartin will model the specific weather effects of injecting aerosols into the atmosphere above different parts of the globe, and also at different altitudes. ''Depending on where you put it, you will have different effects on the monsoon in Asia,'' he said. ''You will have different effects on Arctic sea ice.''
Another institution getting money as part of the new initiative is the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., which is funded by the National Science Foundation and has what its researchers call the world's most sophisticated earth system model.
Image The sky over the northeast Pacific area streaked with clouds that form around the particles from ship exhaust. Credit... NASA Earth Observatory The grant from SilverLining will pay for the center to run and analyze hundreds of simulations of aerosol injection, testing the effects on weather extremes around the world. One goal of the research is to look for a sweet spot '-- the amount of artificial cooling that can reduce extreme weather events, without causing broader changes in regional precipitation patterns or similar impacts.
''Is there a way, in our model world at least, to see if we can achieve one without triggering too much of the other?'' said Jean-Francois Lamarque, director of the center's Climate and Global Dynamics laboratory.
NOAA is starting its own research into solar geoengineering. And in August, the agency announced that it would begin measuring aerosol levels in the stratosphere, creating a baseline so the agency can tell if those levels change later.
One of the advantages of having that information, according to Troy Thornberry, a research scientist at NOAA who studies atmospheric composition and chemical processes, is that it would let NOAA determine if aerosol levels increase '-- a sign that some other country may be intentionally injecting aerosol without announcing it.
Injecting aerosol into the stratosphere isn't the only way to bounce more of the sun's rays back into space. The Australian government is funding research into what's called ''marine cloud brightening,'' which is meant to make clouds more reflective by spraying saltwater into the air. The goal is to get salt particles to act as nuclei in those clouds, encouraging the formation of many small water droplets, which will increase the brightness of the clouds.
Australian researchers say they hope the technique can save the Great Barrier Reef. Rising water temperatures during so-called marine heat waves are accelerating the die-off of the reef, and making marine clouds more reflective may be able to cool water temperatures enough to slow or stop that decline.
In March, Daniel Harrison, a biological oceanographer at Southern Cross University in Australia, tested the technology by using 100 nozzles to spray water into the air.
''The results were quite encouraging,'' Dr. Harrison said in a phone interview. One of the challenges, he said, will be using the technology on a large enough scale to make a difference. He estimated it would probably take 500 to 1,000 stations such as barges or platforms spraying water, or a smaller number of moving vessels, to cover the entire reef.
The University of Washington is also working on marine cloud brightening and was another recipient of a SilverLining grant. Sarah Doherty, program manager for the university's Marine Cloud Brightening project, said the challenge would be building spray nozzles that consistently produce the right size particles. between 30 and 100 nanometers, and finding ways to prevent them from sticking together.
The project aims to understand how the clouds respond, and also predict the regional and global climate response. Dr. Doherty said her team hoped to field-test the spray system in the next 12 to 18 months.
''The whole idea of the research we're doing,'' she said, ''is to make sure you don't go out and inadvertently change things in a way that's going to cause damage.''
France
Orthodox priest shot in Lyon, France; assailant flees: police source | News , World | THE DAILY STAR
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 18:17
Oct. 31, 2020 | 06:33 PM (Last updated: October 31, 2020 | 06:37 PM)
Police officers patrol by the Arc de Triomphe near the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)
Reuters
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Trudeau says 'freedom of expression has limits' after French terror attacks | The Post Millennial
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 12:58
Justin Trudeau's response to Islamic terrorist attacks in France has attracted criticism after he said "freedom of expression is not without limits."Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's response to Islamic terrorist attacks in France has attracted criticism after he said "freedom of expression is not without limits."
Trudeau was commenting on a series of events that have rocked the French nation, after a French teacher was beheaded for showing his students a Charlie Hebdo cartoon which depicted the Prophet Mohammed.
While the French President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for the nation's secularism, Justin Trudeau implied that there was no point in doing things that unnecessarily hurt others.
Trudeau told reporters in French that he would ''always defend freedom of expression, but freedom of expression is not without limits.''
Trudeau continued by equating the cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with crying fire in a crowded theatre: ''We don't have the right, for example, to cry fire in a crowded cinema; there are always limits.''
''In a pluralistic, diverse and respectful society like ours, we must be aware of the impact of our words, of our actions on others, particularly these communities and populations who still experience enormous discrimination."
Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole took a more solid stance on this issue, saying ''if France is attacked, all democracies are attacked.''
''I want to express my solidarity with the French allies. Terrorists will not make us bow. Here in Canada, we will fight to create a country proud of its principles, its openness and its freedom of expression,'' he added.
Trudeau's comments attracted some criticism from European commentators. British comedian Andrew Doyle, for instance, said that "Trudeau is the latest prominent figure to take the predictable line of: 'I believe in freedom of speech, BUT...'"
Justin Trudeau is the latest prominent figure to take the predictable line of: "I believe in freedom of speech, BUT..."He claims that disrespect causes "injury". It doesn't. That would be guns and knives wielded by unreconstructed religious fanatics.https://t.co/EO5Rbh6R5k
'-- Andrew Doyle (@andrewdoyle_com) October 31, 2020"He claims that disrespect causes 'injury.' It doesn't. That would be guns and knives wielded by unreconstructed religious fanatics," Doyle concluded.
President Macron has not yet responded to Trudeau's comments.
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FedNow
Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin White Paper: A 12-Year Old Summary of Robust Unstructured Simplicity | Bitcoin News
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 05:11
Cryptocurrency supporters all around the world are celebrating the fact that today is the 12th anniversary of the Bitcoin white paper, a summary of the invention created by the pseudonymous inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin's inventor published the paper on metzdowd.com's Cryptography Mailing list and ever since then, the financial world hasn't been the same.
12 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto decided to let the world in on Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer electronic cash system that took the world by storm. The very first time Nakamoto published the paper was at 2:10 p.m. Eastern Standard, on metzdowd.com. There's a lot we don't know about Bitcoin's inventor and to this day the anonymous creator's identity is still unknown. However, we do know that Nakamoto was a legendary genius and could have been a single person or even a group of people.
Bitcoin's inventor specifically chose to publish the ''Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper'' paper on metzdowd.com mainly because of the Cryptography Mailing list, a pipermail message service that was operated by a group of visionaries and cypherpunks.
The cypherpunks had been trying to create reliable digital money since the 1990s and several experiments like Wei Dai's b money circulated on the message service. We also know that Satoshi wrote the codebase for Bitcoin before the famous white paper was published.
Then on October 31, 2008, on the eve of Halloween, Satoshi wrote:
I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.
The system Nakamoto created, has given birth to a massive counter-economy worth close to $400 billion, just in the market capitalization of all 7,000+ cryptocurrencies alone. Since the paper was first introduced, it has been cited 12,425 times to-date and mentioned in tens of thousands of articles during the last 12 years. Minus the paper's citations, the Bitcoin white paper is 3,457 words in length and is composed of 16,686 characters excluding the arithmetic.
Excerpt from Satoshi's Bitcoin white paper published on Oct. 31, 2008.At the end of the paper, Nakamoto uses the term ''we,'' and stresses that the paper is a proposal that describes a system of electronic transactions ''without relying on trust.''
Nakamoto added:
We started with the usual framework of coins made from digital signatures, which provides strong control of ownership, but is incomplete without a way to prevent double-spending. To solve this, we proposed a peer-to-peer network using proof-of-work to record a public history of transactions that quickly becomes computationally impractical for an attacker to change if honest nodes control a majority of CPU power.
Excerpt from Satoshi's Bitcoin white paper published on Oct. 31, 2008.Nakamoto then called the network ''robust in its unstructured simplicity.'' Of course, at that time when Satoshi published the white paper, nobody knew that the anonymous author literally developed the first working solution to the Byzantine Generals' Problem.
Bitcoin's creator knew that the infamous Byzantine Generals' Problem, something that plagued computer scientists for decades, was officially solved and Nakamoto detailed this fact in some of the earliest messages to the community.
Of all the mysterious clues about Satoshi's identity, the paper is one of the most succinct economic papers ever written. The white paper is so well crafted that many people think that it may have been written by another person, other than the online persona people communicated with until Dec. 2010.
Speculation aside, the paper gives a clear definition of the network and is considered a must-read for every cryptocurrency newb joining the counter-economy.
For some reason, on Halloween eve, Nakamoto felt the urge to tell the world there is a need for an electronic payment system ''based on cryptographic proof instead of trust.'' This in turn would allow ''any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.'' With the central banks creating money out of thin air, the need has never been more clear.
What do you think about Satoshi Nakamoto publishing the Bitcoin white paper 12 years ago today? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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White PaperImage Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, The Bitcoin white paper,
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5G
Trump is pushing a massive no-bid contract of 5G spectrum to a Republican-connected company
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 12:35
Attribution: AFP via Getty Images
Trump is pushing a massive no-bid contract of 5G spectrum to a Republican-connected company
Oct 21, 2020 7:34am PDT by Laura Clawson,
Daily Kos Staff
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VIDEO - Dark To Light: An Interview With Patrick Byrne - UncoverDC
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 14:49
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It is one heck of a show today as Tracy Beanz of UncoverDC.com does a solo interview with Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.com, who tells his story long form in an hour-long conversation you DO NOT want to miss. Patrick was kind enough to agree to come back this Friday to answer questions and talk more with us. We are encouraging people to send their questions to info@uncoverdc.com for consideration.
Make sure to head over to Patrick's blog, entitled ''DeepCapture.''
Also, make sure to support Frank and the Quite Frankly show. It's getting very serious out there, and everyone needs to support people they love.
VIDEO-Don Lemon: 'Had to get rid of' friends who support Trump | TheHill
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:52
CNN anchor Don Lemon Don Carlton LemonDon Lemon: 'Had to get rid of' friends who support Trump Schwarzenegger: California GOP has gone 'off the rails' with unofficial ballot boxes CNN's Lemon, MSNBC's Maddow rail against NBC for Trump town hall: 'Embarrassing ratings ploy' MORE on Thursday said that he ''had to get rid of'' friends supporting President Trump Donald John TrumpPoll: Trump leads Biden by 7 points in Iowa Biden campaign cancels event in Texas after pro-Trump cars surrounded its bus Obama shooting three pointer while campaigning for Biden goes viral MORE "because they're too far gone," adding that he would be friends with them again if ''they want to live in reality.''
The commentary came during a handoff between anchor Chris Cuomo Chris CuomoThe 'Anonymous' saga ended with a dud '-- a perfect example of the problem of Trump-era media Don Lemon: 'Had to get rid of' friends who support Trump Who is 'Anonymous' author Miles Taylor? MORE and Lemon.
''I had to get rid of them because they're too far gone,'' Lemon said to Cuomo of his Trump-supporting friends. ''I try and I try and I try, they say something really stupid and then I'll show them the science and I'll give them the information, and they still repeat those talking points.
"I had to get rid of a lot of people in my life because sometimes you've just got to let them go. I think they have to hit rock bottom like an addict, right? And they have to want to get help, they have to want to know the truth, they have to want to live in reality, they have to want to be responsible not only for other people's lives but for their lives.''
CNN's @donlemon: "I have many people who I love in my life '... There are a lot of friends I had to really get rid of because they are so non-sensical when it comes to [Trump]. If they're willing to come back and willing to live in reality, then I will welcome them with open arms'' pic.twitter.com/eLsVX1qAdD
'-- Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 30, 2020The comments from Lemon, who is frequently critical of the president, come after he faced pushback earlier this year for laughing for an extended period of time after panelist Rick Wilson of The Lincoln Project dubbed Trump supporters the "credulous boomer rube demo."
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden Joe BidenPoll: Trump leads Biden by 7 points in Iowa Biden campaign cancels event in Texas after pro-Trump cars surrounded its bus Obama shooting three pointer while campaigning for Biden goes viral MORE 's national lead in the RealClearPolitics index of polls is 7.2 points as of Friday morning, and the race in key battleground states is 3.2 points.
VIDEO-CNN's Don Lemon says Trump supporters are like 'drug addicts' | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:51
CNN host Don Lemon sparked outrage on Thursday night when he told a national audience that he has cut out friends because they supported President Trump, likening them to drug addicts who have 'hit rock bottom.'
'I had to get rid of a lot of people in my life because sometimes you've just got to let them go,' Lemon told colleague Chris Cuomo at the start of his CNN Tonight broadcast on Thursday.
'I think they have to hit rock bottom like an addict, right?
'And they have to want to get help, they have to want to know the truth, they have to want to live in reality, they have to want to be responsible not only for other people's lives but for their lives.'
The 54-year-old cable news host talked about growing up and living in several 'red states,' where he made friends with people who are now supporters of the president.
CNN host Don Lemon (left) compared supporters of President Trump (right) on Thursday to drug addicts who have 'hit rock bottom.' He revealed that he has ended friendships with people because they are 'too far gone' in their support of the president
CNN's @donlemon: "I have many people who I love in my life '... There are a lot of friends I had to really get rid of because they are so non-sensical when it comes to [Trump]. If they're willing to come back and willing to live in reality, then I will welcome them with open arms'' pic.twitter.com/eLsVX1qAdD
'-- Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 30, 2020'You know what the sad thing is? And I'll be honest with you ... I've had many people who I love in my life - and yeah I come from a red state (Louisiana), I've lived in several red states, there are a lot of friends who I've had to really get rid of because they are so nonsensical when it comes to this issue,' Lemon said.
'They have every single talking point that they hear on state TV and that they hear from this president, they repeat it and they're blinded by it.'
Lemon continued: 'I had to get rid of them because they're too far gone.
'I try and I try and I try, they say something really stupid and then I'll show them the science and I'll give them the information, and they still repeat those talking points.'
He added: 'It's so sad. And I don't know if after this I'll ever be able to go back and be friends with those people because, at a certain point, you just say they're too far gone and I've got to let them go.
'And if they're willing to come back, they're willing to live in reality, then I would welcome them with open arms.
'But I can't do it, I can't do it anymore.'
On Twitter, social media users blasted Lemon. One Twitter user commented: 'Run like hell, people! Don't ever look back!'
Another Twitter user wrote sarcastically: 'What a big-hearted open-minded guy that Don Lemon is!'
Chris McIntire tweeted: 'Those people he ''let go'' are better off.'
Another Twitter user commented: 'Great friend! Have serious doubts that these people were really friends!'
Twitter user Evan Hanifee wrote: 'So much for diversity of thought I guess.
On Twitter, social media users blasted Lemon. One Twitter user commented: 'Run like hell, people! Don't ever look back!'
Another Twitter user commented: '''I'm not crazy, everyone else is!'''
Twitter user Evan Hanifee wrote: 'So much for diversity of thought I guess.'
Another Twitter user commented: 'Great friend! Have serious doubts that these people were really friends!'
Chris McIntire tweeted: 'Those people he ''let go'' are better off.
Another Twitter user wrote sarcastically: 'What a big-hearted open-minded guy that Don Lemon is!'
Twitter users blasted Lemon, saying he was promoting intolerance of other people's viewpoints
'The irony is astounding.'
Another Twitter user commented: '''I'm not crazy, everyone else is!'''
Lemon has in recent months ignited controversy for critical on-air comments about Trump supporters.
In August, Lemon said that backers of the president suffer from 'cognitive dissonance' for getting behind a 'bad person' like Trump.
On the August 28 broadcast, Lemon came on the air to take over from Cuomo.
The two men then discussed Trump.
When Cuomo suggested to Lemon that Trump supporters acknowledged his flaws but thought Joe Biden would be worse for the country as president, Lemon responded: 'I think you're letting them off easy.'
'I don't believe that it's just because they think Joe Biden would be worse,' he said.
'I think it's because they like it, not [at] a certain level, on many levels. They like what he presents. They like the lies, one would have to.
In January, Trump slammed Lemon as the 'dumbest man on television' after the CNN host and two guests - Wajahat Ali (left) and Rick Wilson (right) - mocked the president and his 'credulous boomer rube' supporters during an on-air segment
Lemon laughed hysterically throughout the segment and, at one point, wiped tears from his eyes as his guests put on accents to mock Trump and his supporters
'If you don't like the lies, then you're not a supporter. They like the shiny objects.
'They like the racism. They like the misogyny.
'They like all of it because if they didn't, they wouldn't support him.'
Lemon continued: 'So there's either a disconnect or cognitive dissonance going on where you have to believe that you made the right choice, because you just can't somehow, in your mind, admit that you made the wrong choice, that this is a bad person, that he is a liar, that you overlook all of those things because of what?'
He added: 'Maybe you're not digging deep enough in yourself. It's not Donald Trump's issue, it's yours.'
In January, Lemon once again drew fire after he openly mocked and laughed at Trump supporters with two guests on the air.
The CNN host started crying with laughter when his two guests - ex-Republican strategist Rick Wilson and New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali - suggested Trump's supporters were uneducated and couldn't point out countries on a map.
The panel were discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's testy interview with an NPR reporter about Ukraine and ousted US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Following the interview, the reporter said Pompeo cursed at her and repeatedly 'used the F-word' and asked her: 'Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?'
Both of Lemon's guests were critical of Pompeo's response to the interview and put on accents as they mocked Trump and his supporters.
'(Pompeo) knows deep in his heart that Donald Trump couldn't find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter 'U' and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it,' Wilson said.
'He knows that this is an administration defined by ignorance of the world. That's partly him playing to their base and to their audience, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump that wants to think that "Donald Trump's the smart one and y'all elitists are dumb!".'
Ali also joined in saying: ''You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling... your readin', your geography, knowin' other countries. Only them elitists know where Ukraine is.'
Lemon laughed hysterically throughout the segment and, at one point, wiped tears from his eyes.
'That was a good one. I needed that,' Lemon said.
The backlash against Lemon and CNN was swift with Trump and his daughter Ivanka among those lashing out.
'Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!),' the president tweeted with a clip of the CNN segment.
Ivanka Trump also weighed in by tweeting: 'You consistently make fun of half the country and then complain that it is divided. The arrogance, mocking accents and smug ridicule of this nation's "Real Elites" is disgusting.'
VIDEO-Wow this is real '' gloria.tv
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:49
DefendTruthQuebec stabbings leave at least 2 dead, 5 injured1102 hours agoFirst Lady Melania Trump 'unapologetically' supports gay Republicans5589yesterdaySoros and EU Declare WAR on Polish Catholics '-- Catholic Arena5506yesterdayARGENTINA - CHINA Argentina joins Beijing's Asian bank2290yesterdayNot for kids1484Oct 30Oregon's public health authority announced COVID deaths in clown makeup4554Oct 28Seen this one?2619Oct 28Wilton Gregory Is the Deep Church - Crisis Magazine3319Oct 27Pope's same-gender civil unions support scorned in Spanish Church: Bishops' secretary criticises '...1296Oct 27The question stands?3428Oct 27Unbelievable2699Oct 27his photo is more obscene than any of them...516Oct 27There Is No COVID Plan2433Oct 26Two nuns behind Donald Trump at Ohio rally. One of them is praying.3863Oct 24Here you go Joe Biden!1645Oct 23Key Part Of Last Night1640Oct 23San Francisco Priest tells gay parish: Pope Francis supports same-sex civil unions2504Oct 23Undercover video: Google managers admit to suppressing conservative voices11371Oct 22Department of Justice sues Google, alleging it maintains a search monopoly463Oct 20Courageous Priest Proclaims Joe Biden is an Embarrassment to Catholicism559Oct 20
VIDEO-Alpha News on Twitter: "Joe Biden responds to the loud Pro Trump counter rally https://t.co/GyyPRVB5cu" / Twitter
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:36
Alpha News : Joe Biden responds to the loud Pro Trump counter rally https://t.co/GyyPRVB5cu
Fri Oct 30 22:14:31 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Deus Pascit Corvos on Twitter: "@MichaelYeadon3 Better still show this one. https://t.co/1uLZLsOxxj" / Twitter
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:29
Deus Pascit Corvos : @MichaelYeadon3 Better still show this one. https://t.co/1uLZLsOxxj
Fri Oct 30 12:32:37 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Build. Back. Better. Fairtrade Together - YouTube
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 13:19
VIDEO-Free speech, free expression are fundamental rights that have to be defended, urges Von der Leyen - YouTube
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 12:52
VIDEO-Is AIDS U.S. $90B Taxpayer Dollars A Global Slush Fund? - YouTube
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 12:31
VIDEO-CNN's Camerota: Democrats ''Worried,'' ''Very Concerning,'' ''It's Not Going Biden's Way'' In FL - YouTube
Sun, 01 Nov 2020 02:51
VIDEO-Kamala Harris introduced as "the next president of the United States" - YouTube
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 23:08
VIDEO-Boris Johnson announces four-week national Covid lockdown in England | World news | The Guardian
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 21:53
A second national lockdown will be imposed across England from midnight on Thursday with all nonessential shops, restaurants, pubs and leisure facilities to close for at least four weeks, Boris Johnson has said.
The prime minister dramatically escalated the country's response to the pandemic in a press conference on Saturday evening, telling the public that ''we must act now to contain this autumn surge'', with measures due to remain in place until 2 December.
People have been told to ''stay at home'' where possible, but will be allowed to leave their homes for education, medical appointments, to shop for essential goods, and to work if they cannot work from home.
Outdoor exercise will also be permitted, with members of the same household or one person from another household.
People will be allowed to leave home to care for vulnerable people, or to escape injury or harm. Takeaways and deliveries will continue to be allowed.
The furlough scheme, covering 80% of the wages of workers who are temporarily laid off, will be extended throughout November, the prime minister said.
Announcing the extension, Johnson apologised for the impact of coronavirus measures on businesses, saying: ''I'm under no illusions about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure such hardship this year and I'm truly, truly sorry for that.''
Under the new regulations, which will be published in full on Tuesday and voted on by MPs on Wednesday, households will be banned from mixing indoors, with the exception of for childcare and other forms of support.
Support bubbles will remain in place, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
Boris Johnson announces new one-month lockdown for England '' videoUnlike the first national lockdown introduced in March, schools, colleges and universities will remain open, as will childcare and early years care.
''We cannot let this virus damage our children's futures any more than it has already,'' Johnson said.
People who can work from home will be asked to do so, but those working in manufacturing and construction will be encouraged to continue going to work.
Johnson also announced a ban on overnight stays and outbound international travel, unless the trips are for work, while places of worship will be open for private prayer but not for services. He also confirmed that the Premier League would continue.
Despite the imposition of stricter new measures, shielding guidance will not be reinstated.
However, Johnson said those who are over 60, or have health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus, should be especially careful and minimise their contact with others.
He said it was vital to keep non-coronavirus healthcare operating, and insisted that people should continue to attend appointments and use NHS services.
The prime minister said the government would seek to end the measures in early December, but said the exit strategy from the regulations would vary according to the severity of the virus transmission rates in different areas of England.
He said he hoped the measures could enable families to reunite over Christmas.
''Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different. but it's my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now we can allow families across the country to be together,'' he said.
Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, described the restrictions as ''a devastating blow'' to business communities.
Market confidence has been ''hit hard by the unclear, stop-start approach'' taken by governments across the UK during the pandemic, he said.
He added: ''Many firms are in a much weaker position now than at the start of the pandemic, making it far more challenging to survive extended closures or demand restrictions.''
He called for government support for businesses facing hardship, whether through loss of demand or closure, to be boosted.
He said: ''The government must not squander the time afforded to them through another lockdown to enable mass testing and fix test and trace systems '' which hold the key to a lasting exit strategy for both public health and the economy.''
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel trade organisation Abta, said: ''Today's announcement that holidays in the UK and abroad will not be allowed under lockdown in England will mean a complete shutdown for travel businesses which have already been severely damaged by the pandemic '' but public health must come first.
''We're pleased to see the government has recognised the significant impact the latest lockdown will have on businesses and has extended the furlough scheme until the start of December.
''The government must also make good progress with the Global Travel Taskforce, ensuring a testing regime is ready to go as soon as lockdown is lifted. Anyone due to travel imminently on a package holiday should speak to their travel company to discuss their options.''
Labour leader Keir Starmer said it was unfair to pretend to the public that Christmas ''will be normal''. The Labour leader told reporters: ''I don't think Christmas will be normal and I think we need to level with the public on that.
''This lockdown is going on to at least 2 December, everybody's seen the figures, and, therefore, I don't think it's fair to pretend that Christmas is going to be normal in any sense of the word.''
The prime minister's announcement follows a sharp increase in the spread of coronavirus across England in recent weeks. The Office for National Statistics estimated that 568,100 people were infected with the virus in the week ending 23 October alone.
According to modelling shared by the government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, without further action, the NHS would breach its fixed and surged bed capacity by the first week of December.
VIDEO-TruJester on Twitter: "@THErealDVORAK @adamcurry Truaninonashufodopressure https://t.co/dPApm4VSZG" / Twitter
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 21:47
TruJester : @THErealDVORAK @adamcurry Truaninonashufodopressure https://t.co/dPApm4VSZG
Sat Oct 31 21:13:52 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Paul McCartney On Countdown - YouTube
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 17:35
VIDEO-Sandie (@baseball10momma) / Twitter
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 14:30
Log in Sign up Sandie
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VIDEO-Exclusive: Peter Navarro'--'Arc of Toughness' on China to Continue Under a Second Trump Administration - YouTube
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 12:50
VIDEO-Songbird | Official Trailer [HD] | Coming Soon - YouTube
Sat, 31 Oct 2020 12:46
VIDEO - (1541) [5 HOURS] Steve Ballmer - Developers developers developers - YouTube
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 18:02
VIDEO-Ep. 1765 The PCR Testing Fiasco | Tom Woods
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:23
Subscribe To The Tom Woods ShowKevin McKernan joins me to discuss the problems with PCR testing during the pandemic, and why they're yielding results that are, to say the least, unhelpful.
About Kevin:In 2000 Kevin founded Agencourt Biosciences Corporation, which specialized in manufacturing DNA and RNA purification technology known as SPRI. It became the largest private DNA sequencing company at its time and received NHGRI grants to become their fifth genome center.
Beckman Coulter acquired Agencourt in 2005 and jointly spun out Agencourt Personal Genomics, which invented and commercialized the SOLiD Sequencer. Applied Biosystems acquired ApG in 2006.
After five years with Applied Biosystems/Life tech, Kevin left to start Medicinal Genomics and Courtagen Life Sciences.
Courtagen was a high complexity CLIA lab that performed clinical diagnostic testing using PCR and sequencing.
Medicinal Genomics is a cannabis Genomics company that builds Viral and microbial PCR assays for the cannabis field.
SponsorPress House Coffee, the official coffee of the Tom Woods Show, is the most delicious I've ever tasted. You can get that classic diner coffee you love, but you can also get delicious flavors '-- and it's not the usual add-a-chemical kind of ''flavored'' coffee, but real coffees blended to create amazing results. Take 20% off your first order with coupon code WOODS at PressHouseCoffee.com.
Guest's PostKevin McKernan on PCR Testing
Related LinkCOVID-19 Study
Listener Website MentionedHomeschoolBurrito.com
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VIDEO-KT McFarland: US-India military intelligence agreement is a 'huge development' - YouTube
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 13:50
VIDEO-El Paso County Judge orders 2-week shutdown of all non-essential businesses due to virus surge - KVIA
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 13:27
EL PASO, Texas '-- El Paso County's top elected official ordered a two-week shutdown of non-essential activities as of midnight Thursday after the area's hospitals and medical resources were overwhelmed by coronavirus illness.
County Judge Ricardo Samaniego announced the measure during a news conference Thursday evening. Among the non-essential services ordered to be closed, effective at midnight Thursday, are tattoo, hair and nail salons, as well as gyms and in-person dining. He also appealed to residents to avoid all non-essential activities. Grocery and drug stores, funeral homes, health care services and government activities were among the activities deemed essential.
Samaniego said all election-related activities, including campaigns and voting, also were deemed essential activities.
''Our hospitals are at capacity, our medical professionals are overwhelmed, and if we don't respond we will see unprecedented levels of death,'' said Samaniego.
Local hospitals announced earlier this week they were asking some patients with illnesses other than Covid-19 to be airlifted to other medical centers to free up bed space.
Samaniego assured that county officials ''have done everything possible'' to avoid shutting down the county's economy.
''We need to build capacity for hospitals, build capacity, to shore up contact tracing and identify hot spots,'' he said.
Samaniego said conversations with Gov. Greg Abbott for support ''were not fruitful." Had that support been forthcoming several weeks ago, this shutdown might not have been needed, Samaniego said.
On Sunday night, Samaniego had ordered a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Violators could be fined $500 under the order, but the curfew did not apply to people who are going to or from work or out for essential services, including grocery stores and healthcare.
Yet each day for the past week, more than 1,000 new cases were confirmed in El Paso County. Also, persons with other health problems have chosen not to seek hospital treatment because they believed they would be turned away because of the Covid-19 crush, he said.
''The hard truth is that the persons who are dying are El Pasoans. They're not in Austin and I have the responsibility to do everything I can,'' Samaniego said.
The move comes after Abbott's statewide executive order recently allowed some non-essential businesses to reopen to 75% capacity.
Messages to Abbott's office about the judge's action were not immediately returned, however the state attorney general tweeted his view that the county's action was in violation of the governor's order.
El Paso officials reported two new Covid-19 deaths Thursday, bringing the total deaths to 585, and 1,128 new positive tests, bringing the total active cases to more than 14,000.
Read the full text of the Judge's orderEffective at midnight Thursday, El Paso Judge Ricardo Samaniego is ordering a shutdown of all non-essential services for a two-week period. · For the duration of this order, all individuals living within the County of El Paso are ordered to temporarily stay at home or at their place of residence unless they are working in an essential job or accessing essential services. · All businesses that are non-essential must close:o Tattoo Parlorso Hair Salonso Nail Salonso Gymso Massage businesseso In-person dining Retail- and food-to-go is still permitted. · All essential businesses remain open:o Polling Sites*o Schools that provide meal serviceso Childcare facilitieso Grocery storeso Funeral serviceso All healthcare offices and facilitieso Pharmacieso Government operationso Post officeso And others listed in Order · *Election Activities are essential services and not affected by this Ordero Election activities shall be considered an essential function and under no circumstances does this Order affect the voting or campaigning for candidates on the November 3, 2020 ballot.o Election activities shall continue to follow Public Health Authority Orders and Guidelines relating to election activities.o The public should be assured that election activities are safe and significant steps have been taken to provide a sanitary environment as well as follow all appropriate social distancing and face covering measures.o ALL POLLING SITES SHALL REMAIN OPEN to continue election activities.
Watch the Judge's entire news conferenceKey slides from the Judge's presentationApp Breaking News Alert Bar / Biz/Tech / Coronavirus Video / El Paso / Health / News / Top Stories / Video
VIDEO-HUGE BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden Has a PornHub Account Where He Uploaded His Personal Porn - Including with Family Member
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 13:23
The Biden Family wants America to believe that they are the typical hard working American family, but nothing could be further from the truth.Joe Biden said his son Hunter had done ''nothing but good things his whole life'' per the Daily Mail in a report on Valentine's day earlier this year:
Joe Biden on Thursday defended his son, Hunter Biden, saying he was a 'good' guy who 'has done nothing but good things his whole life' even after he was made to pay child support to a stripper he impregnated out of wedlock.
Last month, Hunter Biden agreed to pay child support to an Arkansas woman, Lunden Roberts, who was a stripper at a Washington, DC, club that he frequented.
TRENDING: HUGE BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden Has a PornHub Account Where He Uploaded His Personal Porn - Including with Family Member
In November, DNA testing proved Biden, 49, as the father of Roberts' child, after she filed a paternity suit in May 2019 in Independence County, Arkansas.
Breitbart shared the following on Twitter:
WOW pic.twitter.com/xvNP0maCdA
'-- Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 22, 2020
Additional information uncovered this past week shows a different story.
On Monday it was uncovered that VP Biden and his wife colluded to suppress Hunter's actions with a certain minor. On Tuesday we uncovered information showing how Hunter put his family at risk for Russian Blackmail after participating in seedy actions in West Hollywood with at least one Russian woman. On Wednesday we reported that Hunter took pictures exposing himself in the presence of a minor. This morning we reported that Hunter was accused of ''Walking Around Naked Watching Porn Masturbating and Doing Drugs'' in front of a minor.
This all is on top of accusations of Hunter being involved in the Vice President's pay-for-play scandal around the world while the VP was in office. No Hunter does not appear to be all the VP claimed he was.
Today we completely destroy any idea that the Biden family and Hunter Biden are All American heroes. Hunter Biden not only was involved in depraved activities, he filmed them and took pictures of these events too and today we have evidence that he published and promoted these activities at the porn website PornHub.Below you can see an image from Hunter's profile at Pornhub. Hunter established the user account RHEast where he called himself 'Harper'.
We know this is Hunter's account and one of the reasons is because of the screen shot below where one of his pages bookmarked is ''Joe Biden Smiling''.
But we also are able to confirm this account with Hunter because the pictures and videos in the account are also on the Hunter Biden laptop that was recently uncovered. There are pictures of two women on top of Hunter on PornHub and these same pictures were located on his laptop.
One of the women in the picture with the two girls on Hunter's PornHub account can also be traced back to a woman in a pool at a Hollywood location.
We've also tied another picture on his home page with another picture on his laptop. This account is not made up. It is Hunter's account:
A shocking piece of information in this squalid story is found on Hunter's site. The picture of the woman's behind on his PornHub home page is that of a family member! Hunter also includes pictures of that same woman within his account.
Below is the entire composite.
Why would the Biden family use Hunter as their bag man in their pay-to-play scheme? Hunter was an animal and a mess. He admittedly did drugs. He was with seedy people in seedy places yet the family did all they could to cover it all up. This tells you all you need to know about Joe Biden's judgment. Joe Biden should never come close to the White House ever again.
VIDEO-Tom Elliott on Twitter: "CNBC's Shep Smith to Dr. Fauci: ''Why can't we'' impose "an 111-day lockdown" like Melbourne? https://t.co/OA9nvOBDc9" / Twitter
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 03:39
Tom Elliott : CNBC's Shep Smith to Dr. Fauci: ''Why can't we'' impose "an 111-day lockdown" like Melbourne? https://t.co/OA9nvOBDc9
Wed Oct 28 23:19:31 +0000 2020
Deborah Lemley : @tomselliott When the media and elites talk about lock downs, they mean for you not thee!!!!
Fri Oct 30 03:36:41 +0000 2020
Elizabeth Woolman : @tomselliott Wait...Shepard Smith is at CNBC?? When did this happen lol?
Fri Oct 30 03:36:12 +0000 2020
Alyson Frost : @tomselliott These are the CDC statistics...not mine, the CDC...because you know...science...https://t.co/LfFRBZBWRh
Fri Oct 30 03:34:48 +0000 2020
D. Hozempa : @tomselliott Because we have CFS Syndrome...Common Fucking Sense Syndrome.
Fri Oct 30 03:21:25 +0000 2020
HARLEYQTXOXO : @tomselliott Hell to the no. Not shutting down again. https://t.co/uWui85L8WJ
Fri Oct 30 03:20:31 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Breaking911 on Twitter: "WATCH: As Biden struggles to answer a question, his campaign staff orders reporters away https://t.co/ExRvIjJ9Wk" / Twitter
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 03:33
Breaking911 : WATCH: As Biden struggles to answer a question, his campaign staff orders reporters awayhttps://t.co/ExRvIjJ9Wk
Tue Oct 27 03:39:15 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calls Austin 'one of the most dangerous cities in America'
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 00:42
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calls Austin 'one of the most dangerous cities in America'
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the City of Austin a "disaster" and said it's now "one of the most dangerous cities in America and defiantly in Texas" after funding changes to APD (Photo/video: CBS Newspath/KHOU)
AUSTIN, Texas '--Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the City of Austin a "disaster" and said it's now "one of the most dangerous cities in America and definitely in Texas" after funding changes to the Austin Police Department.
Patrick made the comment at a "Back the Blue" press conference in Houston on Wednesday.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the City of Austin a "disaster" and said it's now "one of the most dangerous cities in America and defiantly in Texas" after funding changes to APD
Earlier this month, Governor Greg Abbott blamed rising property crime rates in the capital city on "defunding" and "deemphasizing" police.
Patrick also mentioned a plan floated by Gov. Abbott earlier this year about the Texas Department of Public Safety taking over the Austin Police Department after Austin City Council voted in August to cut $150 million from APD, with immediate cuts totaling $21.5 million.
Patrick also claims that parents are "afraid" to send their kids to the University of Texas because "Mayor Adler has defunded the police."
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the City of Austin a "disaster" and said it's now "one of the most dangerous cities in America and defiantly in Texas" after funding changes to APD (Photo/video: CBS Newspath/KHOU)
Gov. Abbott has directing DPS to increase patrols around the University of Texas in response to robberies in the West Campus area this month.
Read Patrick's full comments below:
The city of Austin is a disaster, if you haven't been there, a great city now one of the most dangerous cities in America and definitely in Texas. We have already been talking with the Governor and I talked with others about taking over Austin, the state taking over policing in that city and if that is the plan that will be a high priority bill for the senate to pass. The budget is usually number one but that will be in the top 5 but we will pass that bill and if we have to protect the citizens of Austin from the bridge to beyond UT Campus where parents now are afraid to send their students because Mayor Adler has defunded the police and the city council has defunded the police endangering the police and all the citizens. Then that's what we are going to do and the next session we know the budget will be tight but there always dollars to defend the police and the citizens lives that's our number one job. I'm proud that we in the Senate and the House in 2015 passed the law for body cameras, I am proud.... we have done it all in Texas we are not going to tolerate.The basis for Patrick's claims is unclear, as the FBI reports that Austin's violent crime rate is lower than Texas as a whole.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler responded to CBS Austin, pointing out that according to Crime Mappers, Austin is not even in the top 10 for most dangerous cities in the U.S.:
''I think the governor is coming after Austin right now because we're getting closer and closer to the election, and he's looking for a way to make people scared, so that they vote for people in his party.'' ''We took about 4% out of our police budget and what we said was we're not going to fire any officers, we're not going to cut any officers' pay, but we're going to take some unfilled positions and we're going to take that money and we're going to take some of the people that are experiencing homelessness and in tents and on our corners, off our corners, and not in tents, we're going to put them in housing, so that our police don't have to spend time with them.''
VIDEO-UPS finds Biden docs; Top journalist resigns over Biden story; $3.5M fake goods from China seized - YouTube
Thu, 29 Oct 2020 23:31
VIDEO-France will not give in to terror after Nice attack, Macron says | France | The Guardian
Thu, 29 Oct 2020 20:37
Macron says France 'will not give in to terror' after Nice attack '' video
FrancePresident calls for firmness and unity after man with knife kills three people in church
Thu 29 Oct 2020 12.13 EDT
France will not give in to terror, Emmanuel Macron has said in a call for firmness and unity after the country's latest terrorist attack left three people dead.
The president issued a sombre but defiant message after a man armed with a knife killed two women and a man in the Notre Dame basilica in central Nice, the second such attack in France in less than a fortnight.
The man entered the church carrying a large knife at around 9am; within 10 minutes he had killed two people and fatally injured a third.
One of the victims was a 70-year-old woman who had been in the basilica praying since shortly after it opened at 8.30am. Some reports suggested she had been decapitated, others that her throat was cut.
A man, believed to be the church sexton, was the second victim. He was named as Vincent Loqu(C)s, 55, and a father of two children. He also reportedly had his throat cut.
A woman in her 30s was stabbed several times and critically injured but managed to escape from the church to a nearby bar, where she died of her injuries. Police described the scene as a ''vision of horror''.
City police who were first at the scene shot the killer several times after he reportedly refused to drop the knife, injuring him in the shoulder. By 9.10am the attacker had been ''neutralised''. French officials praised the prompt action of officers from Nice's municipal force in preventing further bloodshed.
The national anti-terrorist prosecutor has opened an investigation into ''killings linked to a terrorist organisation''.
Nice attack: knife attacker kills three people at church in France '' video report The attacker was named by French media as Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian national who reportedly entered France illegally via Lampedusa, Italy, at the beginning of October. Aoussaoui was not carrying any identity papers apart from a document from the Italian Red Cross and police have not officially confirmed his identity.
The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said the attacker had shouted ''Allahu Akbar'' several times while he was being arrested.
Estrosi said one of the female victims had been decapitated, but he had no details of how the two others had been killed.
''We have two people killed inside the church '... and a third person who was in a bar facing the church where she had taken refuge,'' Estrosi said. ''Enough is enough '... We have to remove this Islamo-fascism from our territory.''
The attack on Thursday morning came 13 days after an 18-year-old man beheaded Samuel Paty, 47, a history teacher, outside his high school north-east of Paris. The professor had shown pupils caricatures, including one of the prophet Muhammad published in the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, during a discussion on freedom of speech.
Macron promised after Paty's murder to crack down on Islamist extremism, including shutting down mosques and other organisations accused of fomenting radicalism and violence. His comments sparked angry protests across the Muslim world. Pictures of the president were burned and there were calls for a boycott of French goods.
Macron also made reference on Thursday to the 2016 killing of Father Jacques Hamel, a Catholic priest whose throat was cut by two men inside his Normandy church.
Emmanuel Macron talks to emergency workers at the scene of the attack. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/AFP/Getty Images ''It is France that is under attack,'' the president said. ''Three of our compatriots died at the basilica in Nice today and at the same time a French consular site was attacked in Saudi Arabia.
''I want to express, first and foremost, the nation's support for the Catholics of France and elsewhere. After 2016, with the killing of Father Hamel, it is the Catholics of our country attacked once more, and just before All Saints' Day. We are at their side in order that religion can be freely exercised in our country. People can believe or not believe, all religions can be practised, but today the nation is beside our Catholic compatriots.
''My second message is to Nice and the people of Nice who have already suffered as a result of the Islamist terrorist folly. This is the third time terrorism has struck your city and you have the support and solidarity of the nation.
''If we have been attacked once again, it is because of our values, our taste for freedom; the freedom to believe freely and not give in to any terror. We will give in to nothing. Today we have increased our security to deal with the terrorist threat.''
Macron said the French military was being mobilised to protect all places of worship, particularly Catholic churches, for the religious holiday of All Saints Day on Sunday. The number of soldiers on the streets is to be raised from 3,000 to 7,000 and troops will be deployed outside schools for the return to class on Monday.
The public prosecutor was expected to give details of Thursday morning's attack at a press conference later, the president said.
''Our absolute determination in the face of these acts will continue and we will protect all our citizens. In response, my message is one of absolute firmness and unity. There is only one community in France, the national community,'' he said.
''All of you, whatever your religion, whether you believe or not, must unite and not give in to a spirit of division. All citizens are deeply shocked and shaken by what has happened. Firmness and unity is our line today and it is the line we will follow tomorrow.''
Police stand in front of the church after the attack. Photograph: Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images A witness to the Nice attack, a man called David who runs the Brioche Chaude restaurant opposite the church, told BFMTV he had alerted the police.
''I was selling croissants when a man came in and said to me: 'Sir, there's a decapitated woman in the cathedral.' I didn't believe him at first but he repeated it. I went to the cathedral and saw the municipal police and called to them. They came quickly.
''I went back [to the restaurant] and pulled down the security grille.''
Police immediately locked down the city centre.
They have taken fingerprints of the attacker to establish if he is known to security services. Officers are also examining CCTV recordings to establish his movements beforehand. Nice is one of the few French cities with an extensive CCTV network.
'I'm so shocked': parishioners remember church warden killed in Nice attack '' video David-Olivier Reverdy, of the French police union Alliance Police Nationale, said security forces had warned of a heightened terrorist threat over the last few days, but that it was impossible to have officers everywhere to prevent attacks.
''We should recognise that police officers, municipal and national, were quickly at the scene and were able to neutralise the individual before he could cause any further injuries or deaths,'' he said.
The Conseil Fran§ais du Culte Musulman (French Muslim Council, CFCM) condemned Thursday's attack and called on Muslims to cancel their Mawlid celebrations '' from 28-29 October to mark the birth of the Prophet '' as a ''sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their loved ones''.
Estrosi said the whole of Nice was deeply shocked: ''Before it was a school professor, this time the Islamo-fascist barbarism chose to attack inside a church. Again, it is very symbolic.''
Just two hours after the Nice attack, police in Avignon shot and killed a man with a firearm who had assaulted a merchant of North African descent. Officials said the man was shot after refusing to drop his weapon and ignoring a warning shot. Avignon prosecutor Philippe Guemas said the man belonged to extreme-right group Generation Identity and appeared to be ''psychologically unstable''.
Also on Thursday, Le Progr¨s newspaper reported that a man in ''traditional Afghan dress'' and carrying a knife was arrested in Lyon, and a Saudi man was arrested in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after injuring a guard at the French consulate with a ''sharp tool'', state television reported.
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VIDEO-Cames Jrantas on Twitter: "@adamcurry @THErealDVORAK" / Twitter
Thu, 29 Oct 2020 20:45
Cames Jrantas : @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK https://t.co/KBVDIEDsL1
Thu Oct 29 20:39:57 +0000 2020

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