1302: Mink Road

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 19m
December 10th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Keith Saarloos, Sir Niels den Oliesjeik, Bob Dolland, Sir Net Ned, Jessica Bandstra, MICHAEL MANSELL, Jason Bybel

Associate Executive Producers: Sir B Loe, Sir Scampers, J Sal and the funky bunch out of Melbourne, FL, Charles VandeSande, Troy Angst, Tyler Christman, Nikki & The Luckydogs

Cover Artist: Comic Strip Blogger

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
25:28
COVID-19 Child Abuse
Guest producer
27:40
COVID-19 Mask up work around
Guest producer
29:33
COVID-19 Freedom Pass (Canada)
Guest producer
47:50
Ron Johnson Homeland Security Report on Existing Treatments for Covid-19
Guest producer
57:33
Ivermectin discussion
Guest producer
1:20:11
Beijing BJs
Guest producer
1:34:30
Beginning of First Donation Segment
Guest producer
2:06:42
Election UPDATE
Guest producer
2:19:22
US NAVY POSITIONING SHIPS OF BOTH COASTS
Gallop
2:47:10
Brexit segment
Guest producer
2:53:20
Beginning of Second Donation Segment
Guest producer
3:04:42
Cynthia Johnson
Guest producer
3:07:05
Cartoon network propaganda
Guest producer
3:12:47
End of show mixes
Guest producer
3:30:31
Meetup Announcements!
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
Let Us Out!
NYC bar owner runs over police officer after defying coronavirus rules | Euronews
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 06:23
USA
By Euronews with AP • last updated: 06/12/2020 - 16:55
Mac's Public House co-owner Danny Presti being arrested on December 1 after continuing to serve customers -
Copyright
AP PhotoThe co-owner of a New York City bar that has allegedly been defying coronavirus restrictions was arrested early on Sunday after running over a police officer with a car, authorities said.
Danny Presti fled from his bar, Mac's Public House, after police saw people entering it on Saturday night in violation of city and state closure orders, Sheriff Joseph Fucito said.
Officers attempted to arrest Presti as he left the bar early on Sunday, but Presti got into his car, struck an officer and kept driving for about 100 yards even as the officer was left hanging onto the hood, Fucito added.
Presti, 34, was eventually stopped and apprehended, the sheriff said. Charges against him were pending.
The injured police officer was taken to a hospital for treatment for injuries - their condition wasn't immediately available.
The Staten Island bar was the site of protests last week after the sheriff's office said plainclothes officers were able to go inside and order food and beverages on Tuesday. Presti was arrested at the time.
The tavern is in an area designated by Governor Andrew Cuomo as an orange zone because of spiking COVID-19 rates and was not supposed to be serving customers indoors.
But the owners had declared the bar an ''autonomous zone,'' a nod to protesters who claimed control over a Seattle neighbourhood in June.
Notitie Economische Zaken: opening horeca leidt tot minder besmettingen | RTL Nieuws
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 16:10
'Nog volop discussie in het kabinet' 08 december 2020 12:58 Aangepast: 3 uur 26 minuten geleden
Beeld (C) ANP Opening van restaurants zal het aantal besmettingen met corona eerder doen dalen dan stijgen. Dat staat in een analyse van de coronacijfers van het RIVM die is gemaakt door het ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat (EZK) en die de politieke redactie van RTL Nieuws heeft ingezien.
De notitie wordt vandaag door minister Wiebes en staatssecretaris Keijzer (Economische Zaken en Klimaat) ingebracht in de kabinetsvergadering over de aanpak van corona. Tijdens het Catshuisberaad van afgelopen zondag is hen gevraagd deze analyse te maken.
Achter de schermen valt te horen dat deze berekeningen van EZK bedoeld zijn voor het nieuwe jaar, maar volgens ingewijden blijven sommige bewindslieden hopen dat er toch iets mogelijk is met de horeca in de kerstvakantie.
NotitieIn de analyse staat dat op 14 oktober meerdere maatregelen zijn genomen. Het reproductiegetal (de r-waarde, het gemiddelde aantal mensen dat wordt besmet door iemand met corona) was toen 1.08. Na die maatregelen daalde de r-waarde tot 0.82. Maar op 13 november blijkt de r-waarde te zijn gestegen naar 1.04.
Lees ook: Deel horeca dreigt met ongehoorzaamheid: deuren open vanaf 17 januari
Daaruit concluderen de bewindslieden dat 'met een dichte horeca het r-getal weer wat oploopt, wat suggereert dat de invloed van de horeca op het r-getal zeer klein is en dat de daling en stijging sinds 14 oktober anders verklaard moet worden'.
Vervolgens stelt de analyse dat thuisbezoek van familie, vrienden en kennissen momenteel een belangrijke besmettingsbron is. Volgens het RIVM komt 20 procent van het totale aantal besmettingen uit de thuissituatie. Restaurants hadden ook voor de algehele horecasluiting slechts een beperkt aandeel in het aantal besmettingen.
Discussie in kabinet "Deze notitie laat zien dat ook in het kabinet de discussie over de horeca volop wordt gevoerd", zegt politiek verslaggever Fons Lambie. "Je hoort frustratie over de eindeloze horecasluiting. Dit wordt vanmiddag bediscussieerd in het kabinet. De vraag is of Rutte en De Jonge vanavond op de een of andere manier iets van perspectief kunnen geven aan de horeca: misschien een concrete datum of een concreet besmettingsniveau waarop de horeca wel open kan."
Openen met kerst veiligIn de week voor de algehele sluiting (6 tot en met 13 november) kwamen er 130 besmettingen uit de horeca. Daarvan betrof 27 procent besmettingen in een restaurant. In dezelfde week werden 1046 personen besmet na bezoek aan kennissen, familie en vrienden.
In de notitie staat dat de sluiting van de horeca lijkt te hebben geleid tot veel meer bezoek bij mensen thuis. Het RIVM rapporteert in het beeld tot 1 december dat het aantal besmettingen in de thuissituatie is verdriedubbeld tot 3261 personen.
Lees ook: Meer coronabesmettingen ondanks maatregelen, hoe zit dat?
En daaruit trekken Wiebes en Keijzer de conclusie dat coronabesmettingen niet aan (C)(C)n sector te koppelen zijn maar aan het plaatsvinden van onveilige contactmomenten. En dus zou het openen van de restaurant met kerst veilig kunnen zijn.
Versoepeling"Heropening van de gecontroleerde omgeving van de eetgelegenheden en restaurants zal het onveilige thuisbezoek flink doen beperken. Door middel van strikte voorwaarden en protocollen zal heropening van eetgelegenheden geen negatief effect hebben op de r-waarde. Bovenstaande argumentatie laat zelfs zien dat het goed denkbaar is dat de r-waarde zal dalen."
Met deze analyse hopen Wiebes en Keijzer hun collega's premier Rutte en vicepremier De Jonge te overtuigen van het nut en de noodzaak van een versoepeling van de coronamaatregelen voor de horeca. Tot nu toe verzetten die zich met hand en tand tegen versoepeling omdat dat tot een stijging van het aantal besmettingen zou leiden. Een versoepeling ligt gevoelig, want de cijfers zijn nog te slecht. Versoepelen kan pas als de dagelijkse ic-opnames rond de tien liggen, terwijl dat nu nog het dubbele is, zo valt te horen.
Openbaar makenGroenLinks-leider Jesse Klaver wil dat de notitie openbaar wordt gemaakt door het kabinet. Hij twittert: "De horeca wordt kei- en keihard geraakt. Nu blijkt uit een gelekte notitie dat het sluiten van de horeca misschien wel slechter uitpakt voor de besmettingen dan openhouden. Ik wil dat deze notitie onmiddellijk met de Kamer wordt gedeeld."
Altijd weten wat er speelt?Download de gratis RTL Nieuws-app en blijf op de hoogte.
"It's Panic Porn Clickbait" - Media Scare-Stories About Hospitals Are Misleading | Zero Hedge
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 16:31
You can't turn on your TV, flip open your tablet, or scroll your social media feed today without being bombarded by horrifying stories of over-worked nurses and doctors and throat-grabbing headlines about COVID-driven hospitalizations amid the casedemic.
Time to panic?
Perhaps not, as El Gato Malo (@boriquagato) notes in the following information-full twitter thread: while it's disappointing to see that we are back in the "media scare stories about hospitals" stage, the good news is that, just like last time, this is simply not the case.
They either have no idea what they are saying or are seeking to mislead...
Let's look.
That's a scary headline. It's also a false one.
We have data on this (and so would they if they bothered to get any)
Idaho: (as of 12/4) 57% of inpatient beds used, 14.6% covid. 74% overall ICU
90% of inpatient beds and ICU is normal. even 100% ICU is normal. 57% is staggeringly low, like OMG we're all going out of business low.
Calling that overwhelmed is outlandish.
ICU of 74% is also low.
Even 100% ICU is not "full", since all can flex to 125% - it's federal mandate.
Most ICU's can flex to 150-200% - they just do not leave the beds staffed when they are not needed. it's too expensive.
Hospitals are like airlines or hotels: they seek to be full, not empty; building capacity you do not use is how you lose money.
But hey, maybe they got PA right, huh?
Nope.
17% covid, 73% all beds, 82% all ICU.
Those are all low numbers, esp for this time of year. dec and jan are peak flu and pneumonia season.
Well, maybe Texas?
Nope.
15% covid, 73% all beds, 82% ICU. again, all low numbers.
And hey, if you do not believe me, go read the article linked below - the TX hospital CEO's will tell you the same...
Everyone is freaking out about Texas hospitals except for the people who actually run Texas hospitals.
This pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the panic patrol and their relationship to facts.
It's hard to get much clearer than this:
But TX children's hospital CEO mark wallace gave it a shot:
"There is not a scenario, in my opinion, where the demand for our beds ... would eclipse our capability," he continued.
"I cannot imagine that. I just cannot."
Seems like a classic case of "them that's scared don't know and them that know ain't scared."
Side with them that know.
This is not rocket science guys, it's hospital admin 101. You can always find some 2nd year resident having a meltdown and get a scare quote. it's why so many docs wash out of hospital practice.
But these are low numbers, not high.
There is no "crisis" in US hospitals, nor was there last time. Even perennial basket case NYC was never overwhelmed - they never used javits nor the hospital ship.
Pics like this are used to scare you...
Then you discover it's from 2018... in Pennsylvania.
Huh.
There were a zillion stories like this in 2018. It was all over NYC, you just did not notice them because it's not really a big deal. this sort of thing happens all the time.
And it happens all over: "california hospitals are a war zone of flu patients"
Again, from 2018. Remember panicking about it? Yeah, me neither.
It's like the whole world, egged on by media and government seeking to frighten and inflame rather than inform has lost all historical perspective this year.
They are telling it like it ain't.
It's panic porn clickbait.
There is no excuse for reporting like this in an age when anyone can check this tool in seconds and see the actual figures.
I suggest you all bookmark it - use it to check the stories you're being told.
The sanity you save may be your own.
* * *
(by way of background, El Gato Malo is also the Twitter-er who provided a thorough dismantling of the false-positive-PCR-Test-driven 'casedemic')
PCR
Florida Department of Health mandates reporting of cycle threshold values for PCR tests - Alachua Chronicle
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 01:37
December 6, 2020
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
The Florida Department of Health quietly sent out a memo by email on Friday afternoon, mandating that ''Cycle threshold (CT) values and their reference ranges, as applicable, must be reported by laboratories to FDOH via electronic laboratory reporting or by fax immediately.''
The full memo can be read here.
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The most common type of COVID-19 testing uses a technology called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in which a sample is doubled until the amount of viral material exceeds a threshold. The cycle threshold is the value at which the sample exceeds the threshold, and various scientific papers recommend a maximum of 25-34 cycles to detect viral material that can be grown in culture (thus more likely to indicate that the patient is infectious). It is common for COVID-19 tests to run 38-40 doubling cycles, resulting in some unknown number of positive results for people who are not infectious.
It is unclear whether these results will be publicized or whether this is a first step toward changing the definition of a COVID-19 case in Florida.
Rebekah Jones says Florida agents raided home, took computer
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 14:58
A Florida data scientist who built the state's COVID-19 dashboard, but was then fired after she said she refused to manipulate data, said her home was raided by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents Monday. The FDLE confirmed to WESH 2 News that agents had executed a search Monday at the home of Rebekah Jones. Jones said in a series of tweets Monday afternoon that agents knocked on her door around 8 a.m. Monday and took ''all her tech.'' "They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids," Jones' tweet said. Jones helped create the dashboard that tracks coronavirus in Florida. She says she was fired after refusing to manipulate data and claimed that current health department employees were manipulating the information. She made her own dashboard after she was fired. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in June called Jones' claims about data manipulation a conspiracy theory. "You have no evidence for it. You need to move on, I mean you really do. It's embarrassing," the governor said in June. Jones said the agents that entered her home on Monday showed her a warrant based on a complaint filed by the Florida Department of Health.The video Jones shared on Twitter shows agents entering her home with guns drawn and calling for her husband to come downstairs, according to Jones. The FDLE confirmed in a statement to WESH 2 News that the warrant was served after a complaint was filed by Florida Department of Health. ''This morning FDLE served a search warrant at a residence on Centerville Court in Tallahassee, the home of Rebekah Jones. FDLE began an investigation November 10, 2020 after receiving a complaint from the Department of Health regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only. Agents believe someone at the residence on Centerville Court illegally accessed the system. When agents arrived, they knocked on the door and called Ms. Jones in an attempt to minimize disruption to the family. Ms. Jones refused to come to the door for 20 minutes and hung-up on agents. After several attempts and verbal notifications that law enforcement officers were there to serve a legal search warrant, Ms. Jones eventually came to the door and allowed agents to enter. Ms. Jones' family was upstairs when agents made entry into the home," the FDLE statement said. According to the search warrant, an unidentified subject gained access to the multi-user account State ESF8 Planning and sent a group text which said: "It's time to speak up before another 17,000 are dead. You know this is wrong. You don't have to be part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it's too late."- From StateESF8 Planning.ESF8 is Florida's emergency support function for public health and medical. U.S. Rep. Val Demings responded to Jones' video in a tweet on Monday night. She called it troubling and said more information is needed.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. '--A Florida data scientist who built the state's COVID-19 dashboard, but was then fired after she said she refused to manipulate data, said her home was raided by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents Monday.
The FDLE confirmed to WESH 2 News that agents had executed a search Monday at the home of Rebekah Jones.
Jones said in a series of tweets Monday afternoon that agents knocked on her door around 8 a.m. Monday and took ''all her tech.''
"They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids," Jones' tweet said.
This content is imported from Twitter.You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
1/There will be no update today.At 8:30 am this morning, state police came into my house and took all my hardware and tech.
They were serving a warrant on my computer after DOH filed a complaint.
They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids.. pic.twitter.com/DE2QfOmtPU
'-- Rebekah Jones (@GeoRebekah) December 7, 2020Jones helped create the dashboard that tracks coronavirus in Florida. She says she was fired after refusing to manipulate data and claimed that current health department employees were manipulating the information.
She made her own dashboard after she was fired.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in June called Jones' claims about data manipulation a conspiracy theory.
"You have no evidence for it. You need to move on, I mean you really do. It's embarrassing," the governor said in June.
Jones said the agents that entered her home on Monday showed her a warrant based on a complaint filed by the Florida Department of Health.
The video Jones shared on Twitter shows agents entering her home with guns drawn and calling for her husband to come downstairs, according to Jones.
The FDLE confirmed in a statement to WESH 2 News that the warrant was served after a complaint was filed by Florida Department of Health.
''This morning FDLE served a search warrant at a residence on Centerville Court in Tallahassee, the home of Rebekah Jones. FDLE began an investigation November 10, 2020 after receiving a complaint from the Department of Health regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only. Agents believe someone at the residence on Centerville Court illegally accessed the system.
When agents arrived, they knocked on the door and called Ms. Jones in an attempt to minimize disruption to the family. Ms. Jones refused to come to the door for 20 minutes and hung-up on agents. After several attempts and verbal notifications that law enforcement officers were there to serve a legal search warrant, Ms. Jones eventually came to the door and allowed agents to enter. Ms. Jones' family was upstairs when agents made entry into the home," the FDLE statement said.
According to the search warrant, an unidentified subject gained access to the multi-user account State ESF8 Planning and sent a group text which said: "It's time to speak up before another 17,000 are dead. You know this is wrong. You don't have to be part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it's too late."- From StateESF8 Planning.
ESF8 is Florida's emergency support function for public health and medical.
U.S. Rep. Val Demings responded to Jones' video in a tweet on Monday night. She called it troubling and said more information is needed.
This content is imported from Twitter.You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Public health journal ''seeking further expert advice'' on January paper about COVID-19 PCR testing by high-profile virologist '' Retraction Watch
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 15:42
After a petition from nearly two dozen people in Europe, the United States and Asia, a public health journal says it is investigating an article it published last January about a way to detect the virus that causes COVID-19.
The paper, ''Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR,'' appeared in Eurosurveillance. It was received on January 21 and accepted on January 22, a remarkably quick turnaround under normal circumstances, although not unheard of during the pandemic. It has been cited well over 800 times, according to Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science.
The senior author of the work was Christian Drosten, of the Charit(C) University Hospital in Berlin, who became something of a celebrity virologist '-- the Anthony Fauci of Germany '-- in the early days of the pandemic. As Science reported in late April, Drosten's podcast, Coronavirus Update, became the most popular podcast in Germany, garnering more than 1 million downloads per episode.
But, as with Fauci in the United States, Drosten has become a target of criticism, largely from political conservatives, who complain that what they consider to be flawed science is informing economically damaging policies. An article in May in Bild, a right-wing tabloid, accused Drosten of having ''worked dishonestly,'' and peddling ''false conclusions'' about the infectivity of the SARS-Co-V2 virus. But the newspaper apparently only gave him an hour to respond to their questions.
As Bloomberg reported in September, Drosten's handling of the Bild story earned him hero status on social media:
A German model proposed to him on Twitter, demanding a response within the hour or else she'd assume they're engaged. ZSK, a punk band in Berlin, released a song called I Have Better Things to Do. The accompanying music video features a cartoon Drosten angrily throwing away a cellphone with Bild on its screen and blasting viruses with laser beams shooting out of his eyeballs.
The petition doesn't call Drosten dishonest. But it does demand that Eurosurveillance retract his group's paper for a litany of ''scientific and methodological blemishes,'' which it enumerates in detail (10 points, to be precise). The second author of the petition, Bobby Rajesh Malhotra, described what he called ''the very specific behavioral-patterns, underlying market-architecture, fraudulent scientific methods, orthodox rituals of the vast pharma-wasp nest set around the queen wasp Christian Drosten'' in a 124-tweet thread in October.
Central to the group's claims is the notion that Drosten and colleagues failed to prove that PCR testing can identify the SARS-Co-V-2 virus. The result, they claim, has been:
worldwide misdiagnosis of infections attributed to SARS-CoV-2 and associated with the disease COVID-19. We are confronted with stringent lockdowns which have destroyed many people's lives and livelihoods, limited access to education and these imposed restrictions by governments around the world are a direct attack on people's basic rights and their personal freedoms, resulting in collateral damage for entire economies on a global scale.
The statement from Eurosurveillance reads:
We have recently received correspondence regarding a paper published this year, questioning both the content and the editorial procedures used to evaluate the article prior to publication. We can assure our readers and authors that we take comments relating to scientific content, the processing of articles and editorial transparency seriously.
All articles published by the journal are peer-reviewed by at least two independent experts in the field (or at least one in the case of rapid communications). The article in question was also peer-reviewed by two experts on whose recommendation the decision to publish was made.
Eurosurveillance is seeking further expert advice and discussing the current correspondence in detail. We will, according to our existing procedures, evaluate the claims and make a decision as soon as we have investigated in full. In the meantime, it would be unfair to all concerned to comment or discuss further until we have looked at all the issues.
Drosten has not yet responded to a request for comment. (For the record: We gave him nearly 48 hours, not one.)
Like Retraction Watch? You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that's not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at team@retractionwatch.com.
Vaccines and Such
'I literally don't know': Operation Warp Speed scientist can't explain Trump's vaccine order
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 14:47
The chief scientist of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed was unable to explain President Donald Trump's latest executive order Tuesday, which aims to prioritize shipment of the coronavirus vaccine to Americans over other countries.
Moncef Slaoui, who Trump tapped in May to head up the administration's efforts to hasten vaccine development, appeared puzzled when asked to clarify the president's order during an interview on ABC's ''Good Morning America.''
Advertisement''Frankly, I don't know, and frankly, I'm staying out of this. I can't comment,'' Slaoui said. ''I literally don't know.''
''You don't know?'' asked anchor George Stephanopoulos.
''Yes,'' Slaoui said.
''But you're the chief science adviser for Operation Warp Speed,'' Stephanopoulos pressed.
Advertisement''Our work is, you know, rolling,'' Slaoui replied. ''We have plans. We feel that we can deliver the vaccines as needed. So I don't know exactly what this order is about.''
Indeed, it remains unclear how Trump's executive order would be enforced, as drugmakers are already making agreements to deliver supplies for other countries.
The White House is hosting a vaccine summit Tuesday, at which Trump is expected to congratulate Operation Warp Speed officials and others involved in the U.S. vaccine distribution effort.
But representatives from vaccine developers Pfizer and Moderna, which have already filed for emergency authorization of their shots from the Food and Drug Administration, will not be in attendance.
AdvertisementSlaoui's remarks also come amid fallout from a New York Times story published Monday, which reports that administration officials turned down an offer from Pfizer to purchase additional vaccines in July.
Now, Pfizer may be unable to supply the U.S. with sufficient vaccines before next June because of subsequent deals with other countries, the Times reported.
Sarah Owermohle contributed to this report.
Trump to Sign 'America First' Executive Order on COVID-19 Vaccines Tuesday '' NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 14:52
KEY POINTSPresident Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday designed to ensure that U.S. efforts to assist other countries in vaccinating their populations against COVID-19 take on a lower priority than domestic inoculations.In a call with reporters Monday afternoon, a senior administration official described the order as primarily a ''reaffirmation of the president's commitment to America First.''Additionally, the order directs a handful of government agencies, including the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development, to work together to help international partners and allies procure COVID-19 vaccines, the official said.President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday designed to ensure that U.S. efforts to assist other countries in vaccinating their populations against COVID-19 take on a lower priority than domestic inoculations.
In a call with reporters Monday afternoon, a senior administration official described the order as primarily a ''reaffirmation of the president's commitment to America First.'' Additionally, the order directs a handful of government agencies, including the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development, to work together to help international partners and allies procure COVID vaccines, the official said.
CNBC has not reviewed the proposed text of the executive order, which could prove to be largely symbolic. The plans for the executive order were earlier reported by Fox News.
An administration official told NBC News on Monday that the timeline for providing foreign assistance will be shaped by supply and demand but is anticipated to begin in the second quarter. President-elect Joe Biden will take office on Jan. 20 and is likely to shape his own policy for obtaining and distributing COVID-19 vaccines, possibly limiting the impact of Trump's order.
Trump is expected to sign the order after delivering remarks at the start of a COVID-19 summit at the White House on Tuesday, a senior administration official said on Monday's call. The event will feature talks with administration officials and drug distributors, who will discuss the process of reviewing vaccine candidates and distributing them, the official said.
Trump has largely ignored the growing coronavirus crisis in recent weeks despite a surge in infections and a mounting death toll that has surpassed 2,000 fatalities per day, instead focusing on legal efforts to overturn the results of November's presidential election.
Nonetheless, the signing will come at a particularly critical phase of vaccine development.
Trump will sign the order just days before the Food and Drug Administration meets, on Thursday, to review a promising vaccine made by Pfizer and German drugmaker BioNTech.
That vaccine may be authorized for use as soon as the end of this week. The FDA will meet to discuss another candidate, made by Moderna, on Dec. 17.
While some particularly vulnerable Americans could be vaccinated shortly after the vaccines are approved, officials are warning that it will take months for everyone who wants a vaccine to receive one.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar predicted on Sunday that vaccines are not likely to be available to everyone who requests one until the second quarter.
The Trump administration signed a deal over the summer to purchase 100 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine if it worked, enough to supply 50 million Americans.
On Monday afternoon, The New York Times reported that the administration declined an offer from Pfizer at the time for additional doses.
The paper, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, reported that the company may now be limited in how much vaccine it can supply as a result of its commitments to other countries and may not be able to provide additional vaccine to the U.S. until June.
A spokesperson for the HHS, pressed by the Times about whether the government missed an opportunity to purchase more of Pfizer's vaccine, said, ''We are confident that we will have 100 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine as agreed to in our contract, and beyond that, we have five other vaccine candidates.''
A spokesperson for Pfizer told the Times that ''the company is not able to comment on any confidential discussions that may be taking place with the U.S. government.''
The White House and the HHS did not immediately provide details of the executive order. Pfizer and BioNTech did not reply to emails seeking comment.
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SCOTUS
Republican Attorneys General join legal action against Pennsylvania mail-in ballots | fox43.com
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 14:41
Republican Attorneys General from 10 states filed an amicus curiae brief in support of two lawsuits challenging Pennsylvania's three-day mail-in ballot extension.
HARRISBURG, Pa. '-- Republican Attorneys General from 10 states joined together to file an amicus curiae brief in support of two lawsuits asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review Pennsylvania's three-day extension to receive mail-in ballots.
The brief was filed Nov. 9 in support of Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar and Scarnati v. Boockvar by the Attorney General of Missouri and joined by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas.
Both lawsuits challenge a decision made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in October mail-in ballots could be counted if they were received by Friday, Nov. 6.
An amicus curiae brief, also known as an amicus brief, is filed by someone not a party to a case who assists a court by offering additional information on the case in question.
The Republican Attorneys General's amicus brief argues the three-day ballot acceptance extension violates the U.S. Constitution elections clause, which states, ''The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.''
The Attorneys General said at a press conference announcing the amicus brief that the Pennsylvania legislature'--and not the Pennsylvania Supreme Court'--is the only body with the power to change election ballot rules.
''The actions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court are one of the most breathtaking abuses of judicial authority that I've seen in my four-plus years as Attorney General,'' said Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter (R).
However, the Supreme Court has in the past construed the term ''Legislature'' extremely broadly to include any entity or procedure that a state's constitution permits to exercise lawmaking power, according to the Constitution Center.
The head of the amicus brief effort, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R), said the legal action would have an impact beyond Pennsylvania in assuring the American people that elections are run fairly.
''Beyond just the outcome, the principals are very important that the legislature is given the authority by the United States Constitution to create a framework by which elections are going to be held,'' Schmitt said.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to rule on the ballot extension decision, in effect allowing it to stay in place. The Justices wrote in an opinion that they could revisit the issue after the election.
However the chances are slim that the Supreme Court will take up the case again, legal experts said, especially given that the ruling was in place while Pennsylvanians were voting.
''If the Supreme Court had taken the case two weeks ago, the rules could have been place before the election. Now people will have voted after hearing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's ruling, and the Supreme Court would be in the position of undoing an election that has already occurred,'' said Michael Dimino, law professor at Widener University Commonwealth Law School.
The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts commented on the amicus brief, writing in an email,
''The [U.S. Supreme] Court's Opinion speaks for itself.''
A separate Supreme Court ruling ordered Pennsylvania's counties to segregate ballots that arrived after 8 p.m. Election Day.
But even if the Supreme Court were to strike down Pennsylvania's three-day ballot acceptance extension, it likely would not change the election's outcome. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has said the number of ballots that arrived after Election Day was possibly in the hundreds, but flipping the state's election outcome would requires thousands more ballots.
The Republican Attorneys General said changing the outcome, however, wasn't the point of the lawsuit.
''Irrespective of who the president is, we will continue to ensure the rule of law is respected,'' said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R).
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) responded to the filing in a statement:
''This is the latest meritless lawsuit to challenge Pennsylvania's election, which was overseen by bipartisan election officials and was lawful, fair and secure. For months, the vast majority of these lawsuits have been dismissed and found to have no merit by Courts at all levels, and this one is no different. I am confident Pennsylvania law will be upheld and the will of the people of the Commonwealth will be respected in this election.''
Steal the Vote
Law enforcement investigates voter data theft in Maricopa County
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:10
Law enforcement officials served a search warrant at the home of a Fountain Hills man and seized computers, hard drives and other storage devices as part of an investigation into voter data theft from the Maricopa County Recorder's Office website.
The property was seized Nov. 5.
The search warrant sought records relating to computer intrusion or conspiracy to commit computer intrusion from Oct. 21 through early November.
According to the warrant, investigators were looking for records, information and communications related to the office's:
Login credentials and accounts.Voter registration records and information, including protected voters' information.The transfer, sharing or dissemination of voter registration records and information, including protected voters' information.Unauthorized access to the office's website and computer systems.Attempts or threats to damage computer systems.The Maricopa County IT security staff identified the intrusion, according to Megan Gilbertson, spokesperson for the office.
"Analysis by county IT security staff indicates an unauthorized individual gathered publicly accessible voter information from the Maricopa County Recorder's Office website. Additional security controls were put in place to mitigate against this activity occurring in the future," Gilbertson said in a statement.
"The Maricopa County Recorder's Office has reported this to proper authorities and law enforcement personnel, and there is an ongoing investigation by the FBI at this time. The county is cooperating with the investigation." Gilbertson said.
The property was seized from the residence of Elliot Kerwin, who identifies himself on LinkedIn as an information technology professional.
Kerwin could not immediately be reached for comment.
'‹The FBI did not confirm or deny the investigation and said the agency would have no further comment, according to a spokesperson.
DNI Ratcliffe: Elex 'Issues' Have To Be Settled Before Winner Declared
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 21:24
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BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Third Suspect from State Farm Center 'Suitcase Scandal' Identified as Ralph Jones, Sr. - Who Was in the News for Shady Deal with ATL Mayor Keisha Bottoms
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 21:18
We've reported numerous times on events in Georgia on election night at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. We've now uncovered more on the incident that exemplifies the 2020 election in Georgia.On election night we were told that voting stopped in Georgia's State Farm Arena due to a water main break. President Trump was way ahead in the election at that time. But a couple days later we uncovered that the water main break never happened. First an attorney in the Atlanta area asked for information related to the event via an freedom of information request and he shared with us that the only item he received was a couple of text messages related to the event:
After posting this, we found out that the water department in Atlanta never even received a call regarding the water main break.It was a scam.
TRENDING: BREAKING HUGE: Major National Security Issue Identified Related to China's Connection to Dominion Voting Machines
Next it was uncovered that a mother and daughter team, Ruby Freeman and her daughter ''Shaye'' Moss as well as a couple others, stuck around after sending everyone home and started running ballots through tabulators. Ballots were pulled out from under a table that were previously covered up and processed with no Republican observers.
The mother '' daughter team have become infamous in the annals of voter corruption:
BREAKING: CROOKED GEORGIA ELECTIONS SUPERVISER Filmed Pulling Out Suitcases of Ballots from Beneath Table IS IDENTIFIED '-- IT'S RUBY'S DAUGHTER! (Video)
On Sunday night we uncovered another observation of events that night.
One of the other individuals who stuck around moved from his regular station and moved to another cube where he held numerous calls with someone as the ballot counting went on. Yaacov Apelbaum at the Illustrated Primer points out where this mysterious man in red placed himself:
According to the composite, the man in red makes two phone calls on Election Night at 10:58pm which then triggers the removal of the ballot cases from under the table covered in black material. Within a couple minutes four boxes of ballots are wheeled out from under the table.
We now believe the man taking the calls and organizing the massive ''suitcase'' scandal that night is Ralph Jones.
Ralph Jones is the registrations chief at Fulton County Government.
We have video of Ralph Jones taking time out to speak with Ruby Freeman while she was filmed counting ballots.
Here is the video of Ralph and Ruby Freeman.
Ralph Jones Jr. has his own consulting firm and did work for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.Mayor Bottoms paid Ralph Jones Jr's consulting firm $3,600 during her runoff last year.
And then she won her runoff! What a great investment!
The AJC reported on Keisha and Ralph in 2018.
According to records obtained by Channel 2 Action News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the campaign paid more than $3,600 to RJ Mays Consulting, whose registered agent is Ralph Jones Sr., registration chief of the county's election department.
The filings raise questions about potential conflicts of interest and what experts called an alarming lack of separation between a top election employee and active political campaign.
And Ralph's son Ralph Jones Jr. was Keisha's online social media director.
FYI '-- We have a huge update coming on this guy.
EXCLUSIVE: MORE ON SUSPECT RALPH JONES SR.- Was Outed by Loud Mouth Gabriel Sterling - Son, Ralph Jones Jr., Is the OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN for Democrat US Senate Candidate Warnock Linked to Stacey Abrams
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 21:19
The pieces are falling together.We've identified Ralph Jones, Sr. as the supervisor running the late night ballot counts in Atlanta in secret after sending all Republicans home from the arena.
BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Third Suspect from State Farm Center 'Suitcase Scandal' Identified as Ralph Jones, Sr. '' Who Was in the News for Shady Deal with ATL Mayor Keisha Bottoms
Gabriel Sterling, the loud mouth and no doubt crooked Georgia Elections representative, spoke about 'Ralph' in an interview on Newsmax earlier this week. The Ralph that Sterling is referring to is Ralph Jones Sr. who was involved in a scandal with the Atlanta Mayor and who also was supervising the team that stuck around Atlanta's State Farm Arena on Election night and began counting ballots brought out from under a table.
TRENDING: BREAKING HUGE: Major National Security Issue Identified Related to China's Connection to Dominion Voting Machines
Sterling knows Ralph by first name. (Is Sterling one of the individuals calling Ralph at midnight on election night?) See video of interview below at the 11:10 mark where he refers to Ralph and again at the 12:00 mark where Sterling says:
And that's actually Ralph in the red shirt right there and he's the one who told me to stay back and continue to work.''
Jones' son, Ralph Mays Jones Jr is connected to the Atlanta mayor involved in a scandal and directly to Stacey Abrams per his Facebook page:
Aljazeera reported that Ralph Jones' son is the official spokesman for Democratic US Senate candidate Raphael Warnock's campaign:
Ralph Jones Jr, a spokesman for Democratic US Senate candidate Raphael Warnock's campaign, praised Abrams' contribution to Democratic gains in Georgia, saying she ''helped register hundreds of thousands of new voters, many of whom are young people of colour, and the turnout in this election has already blown past expectations''.
This is also noted on his Facebook page.
Ralph Jones Jr. also includes links to his work with Democratic candidate Warnock on his LinkedIn page.
What the hell is going on in Georgia?
Ron on Twitter: "Remember those tiny packs of seeds sent from China to random addresses in America earlier this year? The rumor floating around is that China was checking which addresses were still valid for mail-in or absentee voting." / Twitter
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 05:56
Ron : Remember those tiny packs of seeds sent from China to random addresses in America earlier this year?The rumor floa'... https://t.co/mtVykBeOO2
Mon Dec 07 11:02:37 +0000 2020
Reported Burst Pipe in Atlanta Ballot-Count Area Was Overflowing Urinal: Investigator
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 16:58
The Election Day incident in Atlanta's State Farm Arena that was first reported as a burst pipe turned out to be an overflowing urinal, a state investigator said Dec. 6.
Officials in Fulton County said late Nov. 3 that a pipe had burst in the arena around 6:07 a.m., causing a delay of several hours in counting absentee ballots. They also referred to the incident as ''a water leak.''
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office opened an investigation into the incident.
Frances Watson, the chief investigator for the office, said in a Dec. 6 court filing that the investigation revealed the water leak ''was actually a urinal that had overflowed.''
The overflowing ''did not affect the counting of votes by Fulton County later that evening,'' she wrote.
Gabriel Sterling, voting implementation systems manager for Raffensperger's office, told reporters last month that what happened ''wasn't a water main break.''
''What it was was, during the off-season and during the pandemic, they shut off the toilets. They were turned off and there was a leak that got around one of the edges of the shut off valves. And over time, over time, over time, it is just like we said, we got hit with a hurricane,'' he said.
Jessica Corbitt, a county spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement to The Epoch Times in November that staff members at State Farm Arena notified Fulton County Registration & Elections ''of a water leak affecting the room where absentee ballots were being tabulated.''
''The State Farm Arena team acted swiftly to remediate the issue. Within 2 hours, repairs were complete,'' she said. ''No ballots were damaged, nor was any equipment affected. There was a brief delay in tabulating absentee ballots while the repairs were being conducted. Ballots were not moved outside of the room during this incident (it occurred on the other side of the room from the area where ballots were located.)''
Asked about the results of the investigation on Dec. 7, Corbitt told The Epoch Times via email: ''It was the water from the urinal that caused the issue. So our statement stands.''
Asked whether the water leak did, in fact, stem from a burst pipe, she declined to answer directly and referred to her previous statement.
Dwight Brower, Fulton County's election chief, told the county's Board of Commissioners on election night that ''there was a pipe that burst in the room where we actually had ballots.''
''Thank goodness that none of those ballots were damaged,'' he added.
Filing boxes sit off to the side at an absentee ballot processing room at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 2, 2020. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)Ralph Jones, another county official, told the board, ''we had a pipe that was busted.''
''We were down for four hours,'' from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Jones said.
Robb Pitts, the chairman of Fulton County Board of Commissioners, was asked about the incident by lawmakers during a Georgia Senate Government Oversight Committee hearing on Dec. 3.
''That thing has taken the life of his own. There was a water, actually, there was a leak. The floor above where we were counting ballots at State Farm Arena, according to Steve Koonin, CEO of Atlanta Hawks,'' he said.
''And it was repaired within two hours. No ballots were damaged. No equipment was damaged. End of story. So how this has gotten to be what it is, I have no idea.''
The Hawks didn't immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for details about how Koonin learned of the leak, who was responsible for repairs, and whether he was questioned as part of the investigation.
Pitts said he wasn't there at the time so he couldn't answer when asked if the room had been secured when people were asked to leave.
Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez, Fulton County's director of external affairs, also said she wasn't in the arena at the time, but had spoken to staff members who were.
''My understanding is that the workers who were responsible for those ballots never left the room. They were in the room the entire time. They had to stop working for a period of about two hours and that was the reason it was brought up in the first place, is there was a slight delay of a couple of hours where they couldn't access the entire room, but they did not leave. And the ballots remained in the custody of the sworn workers,'' she said.
Dominion
Soros Promotes Smartmatic Chairman to Open Society President - The National Pulse
Sun, 06 Dec 2020 21:22
December 5, 2020 Natalie Winters Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, the chairman of the voting company Smartmatic, has been promoted to the role of President within George Soros's Open Society Foundation.The December 4th announcement adds to the long list of intricate ties Malloch-Brown has to the progressive megadonor, including renting a home from him in New York. Malloch-Brown will be filling in for Patrick Gaspard, who many allege will join Joe Biden's cabinet, potentially as Secretary of Labor.
''Succeeding him as president will be Mark Malloch-Brown, the former UN deputy secretary'general and UK minister, who currently serves on the Foundations' Global Board. Malloch-Brown will take over effective January 1,'' the Open Society Foundation's press release reads. The press release contains no reference to Malloch-Brown's position as Chairman of Smartmatic, the voting company that has seen its results tampered with and enjoys a close relationship to Dominion.
Speaking on behalf of Smartmatic, Malloch-Brown himself admitted in 2010 that ''part of our technology is licensed from Dominion.''
Prior to his promotion, Malloch-Brown served as Vice-President of Soros's Quantum Fund as well as vice-chairman of Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Institute.
Malloch-Brown's new position, however, adds to the growing list of suspicious connections U.S. voting companies have with anti-Trump actors, as Soros has funneled millions into beating President Trump.
Natalie Winters Natalie Winters is a Senior Reporter at the National Pulse and producer of The National Pulse TV show.
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Robb Hurst, CPA 🐸 on Twitter: "Ware County, Ga has broken the Dominion algorithm: Using sequestered Dominion Equipment, Ware County ran a equal number of Trump votes and Biden votes through the Tabulator and the Tabulator reported a 26% lead for Biden.
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 06:25
Robb Hurst, CPA 🐸 : Ware County, Ga has broken the Dominion algorithm:Using sequestered Dominion Equipment, Ware County ran a equal n'... https://t.co/MqNaIulW7k
Sun Dec 06 12:11:54 +0000 2020
Brian Schwartz : @robbhurstCPA https://t.co/1acxPEr5Bn
Tue Dec 08 05:59:23 +0000 2020
Bob McMarsh : @robbhurstCPA What now?
Tue Dec 08 05:54:18 +0000 2020
Patte Cachee : @robbhurstCPA Why why why do you lie? Fact check dude, before undermining America.
Tue Dec 08 05:47:15 +0000 2020
Jacob Blaustein : @robbhurstCPA You say without showing it.
Tue Dec 08 05:31:34 +0000 2020
REVEALED: Dominion/Smartmatic 'Noncompete' Agreement Emerges Despite Claims of Being 'Fierce Competitors'
Sun, 06 Dec 2020 21:23
Despite the insistence between Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic '' two of the tech firms embroiled in election glitch allegations '' that the pair are ''fierce competitors,'' court documents analyzed by The National Pulse actually reveal the pair actually have a ''noncompetition'' agreement. According to the summary of law firm Potter Anderson Corroon, in 2009, Dominion was a defendant in a 2009 suit against Smartmatic:
''The license agreement contained a noncompetition provision, which, among other things, prohibited Smartmatic from ''develop[ing], market[ing] or sell[ing] any Licensed Product in the United States.''In other words, it would be illegal for the two firms to compete '' a direct contradiction with the claims by the firms as well as by media organizations as allegations of fraud swirl.
As a follow-up lawsuit notes: ''the agreement's noncompetition provision prohibited the plaintiffs from selling the licensed products in the United States.''
This unearthed ruling discredits Dominion's insistence it is a ''fierce competitor to Smartmatic.''
79_Smartmatic_20Int_27l_20Corp_20v._20Dominion_20Voting_20Sys._20Int_27l_20Corp._205_201_2013_20 by Raheem Kassam on Scribd
Media outlets have peddled similar narratives, with an Associated Press ''fact-check'' article sharing Smartmatic's statement that ''the two companies are competitors in the marketplace,'' ostensibly without doing any actual fact-checking on the firm's claim.
The two companies in question '' Dominion and Smartmatic '' have come under intense scrutiny following the 2020 election.
Democrat-heavy Dominion improperly counted ballots to create a fraudulent win for Joe Biden in Antrim County, Michigan and caused several other ''glitches'' that required extended voting hours and delayed results.
And Smartmatic has ties to the Venezuelan government, having contracted on behalf of dictator Hugo Chavez to provide voting machines in the country's 2004 election.
Despite these credible claims on the shady nature of Smartmatic and Dominion, bolstered by the companies lying about their competition arrangement, establishment media outlets have fought to smear this criticism as a ''baseless conspiracy.''
Natalie Winters Natalie Winters is a Senior Reporter at the National Pulse and producer of The National Pulse TV show.
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China
How a suspected Chinese spy gained access to California politics - Axios
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 05:57
A suspected Chinese intelligence operative developed extensive ties with local and national politicians, including a U.S. congressman, in what U.S. officials believe was a political intelligence operation run by China's main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015, Axios found in a yearlong investigation.
Why it matters: The alleged operation offers a rare window into how Beijing has tried to gain access to and influence U.S. political circles.
While this suspected operative's activities appear to have ended during the Obama administration, concerns about Beijing's influence operations have spanned President Trump's time in office and will continue to be a core focus for U.S. counterintelligence during the Biden administration.Clockwise from top left: Fang with then-Dublin City Councilmember Eric Swalwell at an October 2012 student event; undated photo of Fang, now former Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison and Rep. Judy Chu; Fang with then-Rep. Mike Honda and then-San Jose city Councilmember Ash Kalra at a March 2014 event at the Chinese Embassy in D.C. Sources: Renren, Facebook, FacebookThe woman at the center of the operation, a Chinese national named Fang Fang or Christine Fang, targeted up-and-coming local politicians in the Bay Area and across the country who had the potential to make it big on the national stage.
Through campaign fundraising, extensive networking, personal charisma, and romantic or sexual relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors, Fang was able to gain proximity to political power, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials and one former elected official. Even though U.S. officials do not believe Fang received or passed on classified information, the case "was a big deal, because there were some really, really sensitive people that were caught up" in the intelligence network, a current senior U.S. intelligence official said. Private but unclassified information about government officials '-- such as their habits, preferences, schedules, social networks, and even rumors about them '-- is a form of political intelligence. Collecting such information is a key part of what foreign intelligence agencies do. Among the most significant targets of Fang's efforts was Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.).
Fang took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell's 2014 re-election campaign, according to a Bay Area political operative and a current U.S. intelligence official. Swalwell's office was directly aware of these activities on its behalf, the political operative said. That same political operative, who witnessed Fang fundraising on Swalwell's behalf, found no evidence of illegal contributions.Federal Election Commission records don't indicate Fang herself made donations, which are prohibited from foreign nationals.Fang helped place at least one intern in Swalwell's office, according to those same two people, and interacted with Swalwell at multiple events over the course of several years.A statement from Swalwell's office provided to Axios said: "Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person '-- whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn't seen in nearly six years '-- to the FBI. To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story."
What happened: Amid a widening counterintelligence probe, federal investigators became so alarmed by Fang's behavior and activities that around 2015 they alerted Swalwell to their concerns '-- giving him what is known as a defensive briefing.
Swalwell immediately cut off all ties to Fang, according to a current U.S. intelligence official, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.Fang left the country unexpectedly in mid-2015 amid the investigation. She did not respond to multiple attempts by Axios to reach her by email and Facebook.Between the lines: The case demonstrates China's strategy of cultivating relationships that may take years or even decades to bear fruit. The Chinese Communist Party knows that today's mayors and city council members are tomorrow's governors and members of Congress.
In the years since the Fang probe, the FBI has prioritized investigations into Chinese influence operations, creating a unit in May 2019 within the bureau solely dedicated to countering Beijing's activities at the state and local levels. U.S. national security officials believe the threat posed by China has only grown with time. "She was just one of lots of agents," said a current senior U.S. intelligence official. Beijing "is engaged in a highly sophisticated malign foreign influence campaign," FBI director Chris Wray said in a July 2020 speech. These efforts involve "subversive, undeclared, criminal, or coercive attempts to sway our government's policies, distort our country's public discourse, and undermine confidence in our democratic processes and values," Wray said.The FBI declined to comment. The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.
Details: Axios spoke with four current and former U.S. intelligence officials about the case over a period of more than a year. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media about the case.
Axios also spoke with 22 current and former elected officials, political operatives, and former students who knew Fang personally when she was based in the United States.The cover: How Fang workedIllustration: Sarah Grillo/AxiosFang's friends and acquaintances said she was in her late 20s or early 30s when she was based in the U.S. and was enrolled as a student at a Bay Area university.
She used political gatherings, civic society conferences, campaign rallies, and campus events to connect with elected officials and other prominent figures, according to U.S. intelligence officials, Bay Area political operatives, former students, and current and former elected officials who knew her.
U.S. intelligence officials believed she was overseeing likely unwitting subagents whom she helped place in local political and congressional offices. Fang attended regional conferences for U.S. mayors, which allowed her to grow her network of politicians across the country. She also engaged in sexual or romantic relationships with at least two mayors of Midwestern cities over a period of about three years, according to one U.S. intelligence official and one former elected official. At least two separate sexual interactions with elected officials, including one of these Midwestern mayors, were caught on FBI electronic surveillance of Fang, according to two intelligence officials. Axios was unable to identify or speak to the elected officials. Between 2011 and 2015, Fang's activities brought her into contact with many of the Bay Area's most prominent politicos.
She volunteered for Ro Khanna's unsuccessful 2014 House bid, according to a former campus organizer and social media posts. (Khanna, a Democrat, was elected to the House in 2016.) Khanna's office said he remembers seeing Fang at several Indian American political gatherings but did not have further contact with her. Khanna's office said the FBI did not brief him on her activities. Khanna's 2014 campaign staff said that Fang's name does not appear in their staff records, though they said that their records do not include all volunteers.Flyer for fundraiser for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Source: FacebookFang helped with a fundraiser for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) in 2013, according to a flyer from the event Fang shared on Facebook. She appeared in photos over multiple years with a host of California politicians, including Khanna, Swalwell, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and then-Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.).Gabbard "has no recollection of ever meeting or talking with her, nor any recollection of her playing a major role at the fundraiser," a spokesperson said in an email to Axios. Fremont City Councilmember Raj Salwan, whose name appears on the flyer, told Axios he was unaware of Fang's role in the event and her name was added to the flyer by other Asian American leaders.Chu's office said they have no records of Christine Fang. Honda said he had no memory of meeting Fang. From left: Fang with Fremont City Councilmember Raj Salwan (L) and then-U.S. House candidate Ro Khanna at a September 2013 fundraiser for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Fang helped organize a 2012 town hall for Rep. Judy Chu. Sources: FacebookThe bottom line: U.S. officials believe Fang's real reason for being in the U.S was to gather political intelligence and to influence rising U.S. officials on China-related issues.
Close relationships between a U.S. elected official and a covert Chinese intelligence operative can provide the Chinese government with opportunities to sway the opinion of key decision-makers.Beijing may aim to influence foreign policy issues directly related to China, or issues closer to home, such as partnering with Chinese companies for local investment '-- an issue particularly salient among local-level officials such as mayors and city council members. Sounding the alarm: The U.S. responseIllustration: Sarah Grillo/AxiosU.S. counterintelligence officials said they believe Fang acted at the direction of China's Ministry of State Security (MSS), the country's main civilian spy agency.
U.S. officials first noticed Fang through surveillance they were conducting on a different person '-- a suspected MSS officer working undercover as a diplomat in the San Francisco consulate, a current U.S. counterintelligence official said. The suspected officer used the consulate as a base to do outreach to state and local-level U.S. politicians, including inviting them on trips to China, the official said.The official added that both Fang and the suspected officer were focused on gathering political intelligence and conducting influence operations in the Bay Area. (Axios corroborated through U.S. State Department records that a Chinese diplomat with the same name as the suspected MSS officer was stationed in San Francisco during the period Fang was there.)Fang and the suspected officer met or spoke on numerous occasions, leading U.S. officials to look into Fang's own background and activities, the official said. However, Fang's main intelligence handlers were believed to be based in China, according to two U.S. officials.Fang was put under FBI surveillance, four current and former U.S. officials said. The FBI's San Francisco Division led a counterintelligence investigation into Fang's activities, according to one current and one former U.S. intelligence official.
"The fact that she was traveling around the country" getting close to U.S. politicians "was a big red flag," said one of the officials. "She was on a mission."What happened next: Senior U.S. intelligence officials provided multiple defensive briefings around 2015 to warn targeted local and national politicians about Fang's connections to Chinese intelligence and potential Chinese assets in their offices, one of these officials said.
U.S. intelligence officials also provided multiple briefings to White House officials and members of Congress on the case, a current senior official said.Bill Harrison, the mayor of Fremont, California, at that time, said he knew Fang because she volunteered in his office and participated in numerous local political and community events. Harrison told Axios that in August 2015 he was contacted by FBI officials who warned him about Fang's suspected activities in the Bay Area. Bureau officials said Fang's activities were part of a "long game play" targeting local politicians, Harrison recalled. The FBI told him the Chinese government's strategy is "to strike up a relationship with you and see if you move up the line," Harrison said.How it ended: Fang left the U.S. suddenlyIllustration: Sarah Grillo/AxiosU.S. officials said China's intelligence operation broke up in mid-2015 when Fang left the U.S. amid the FBI-led probe.
Fang had planned to travel to Washington, D.C., to attend a June 2015 event. But shortly beforehand, she said she could no longer attend because she unexpectedly needed to return to China, according to an acquaintance from California on the same trip, who spoke with Axios.Many of Fang's political contacts in the Bay Area were surprised and confused about her sudden departure from the country.
"When she left kind of abruptly, we all kind of scratched our heads," recalled Harrison, the former Fremont mayor. (The FBI reached out to Harrison after Fang's departure.)"She disappeared off the face of everything," remembered Gilbert Wong, the former mayor of Cupertino, California, who had seen Fang frequently at political events. But in the months surrounding her departure, rumors swirled in Bay Area political circles that the FBI was investigating her, according to four local organizers, political operatives, and elected officials who knew her.Fang has not returned to the U.S., said intelligence officials and her former political acquaintances. She appears to have largely cut off contact with her U.S.-based friends and the networks she spent years building in California.
The Justice Department has filed no public charges against Fang.
Why Beijing targets California's Bay AreaData: FEC; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
The Bay Area offers ideal conditions for a foreign intelligence operative aiming to identify and target ambitious local politicians with national aspirations.
The big picture: Some of America's most powerful politicians got their start in Bay Area politics, and China recognizes California's importance. The MSS has a unit dedicated solely to political intelligence and influence operations in California.
Silicon Valley is also the world's most important center for the technology industry, making it a hotbed for Chinese economic espionage. Russian intelligence has also long targeted the Bay Area.California's economy is the largest of all the U.S. states, giving California state lawmakers significant influence over national trends. Democrats dominate the Bay Area, from mayors to its numerous U.S. congressional districts, and anyone seeking proximity to power needs to be in their political circles.
Context: The FBI's extensive surveillance of left-wing political groups in the 1960s and 1970s has created a lingering distrust of the bureau that still exists today in Bay Area politics.
The Bay Area has one of the largest and oldest Chinese American communities in the country. Keeping tabs on Chinese diaspora communities is a top priority of China's intelligence services, U.S. officials said.
China's spy services want to influence these communities to become more predisposed to the regime, as well as surveil and stamp out potential organized opposition to the Communist Party.Access to local political offices can give Beijing's intelligence operatives opportunities to collect information on communities of Chinese descent in the United States. A high-profile example of this occurred in the 2000s, when China's Ministry of State Security allegedly recruited a San Francisco-based staffer in Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office. This person, who was fired when the FBI alerted Feinstein to his activities, was responsible for liaising with the local Chinese community. What's at stake: Chinese Americans find themselves in a difficult position in 2020, being squeezed both by influence campaigns from the Chinese government and a rise in anti-Chinese racism in the United States.
"We want to fight against racism, we want to call it out," Wong, the former mayor of Cupertino, told Axios. "But if there's a spy, we definitely support full prosecution and we don't support China penetrating the Chinese community.""How do we address this issue without infringing on Chinese American rights?" he added.Khanna said in a statement: "I respect the need for law enforcement to protect our nation from espionage. [But] we need strict guardrails to make sure the FBI's investigations do not have collateral damage to the privacy of American citizens or to the legitimacy of Asian Americans in this country.'' He underscored his concern about "the chilling effect" of overbroad surveillance on Chinese American political participation. How Fang rose to prominence among Bay Area politicosIn 2011, Fang enrolled as a student at California State University East Bay, where she served as the president of the school's Chinese Student Association and president of the campus chapter of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA), a national organization that encourages Asian Americans to get involved in civic affairs.
She used those positions as her initial platform to gain access to political circles. She frequently invited political figures, business executives, and Chinese consular officials to attend the flurry of high-profile events she organized over a period of several years, according to current and former local officials, former students, Bay Area politicos, and social media activity. Fang's first known contact with numerous politicians, including Swalwell, Harrison, Chu, and then-candidate Khanna was through her role as president of these organizations.Fang received a campus pride award for the work she did on behalf of the Chinese Student Association during the 2012''2013 academic year. During this time, Fang maintained unusually close ties to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco.
It's common for Chinese student association presidents to communicate frequently with Chinese consular officials.But Fang's relationship to the San Francisco consulate was especially close, according to social media posts, event flyers, photographs, and one current U.S. intelligence official. A ''certificate of honor'' awarded to Fang by the Chinese consulate in San Francisco for her work as president of the CSU East Bay Chinese Student Association. Source: RenrenAs Fang branched out into off-campus politics, she relied heavily on her APAPA affiliation. Many of Fang's activities were "under the auspices of APAPA," said one Bay Area political operative, an observation echoed by five other Bay Area political figures and activists.
Henry Yin, who is president of the APAPA Bay Area region chapter, told Axios in a phone call that he had seen Fang at numerous events and remembered her as being ''very active.''APAPA is ''not involved with foreign countries,'' said Yin, adding that the organization tries "to make connections with concerned citizens for the betterment of Asian and Pacific Islanders, and also benefit all citizens at large."Fang soon became a mainstay at Bay Area political events, fundraising for candidates and bringing along donors.
"She was everywhere," said Raj Salwan, a current Fremont City councilmember, expressing a sentiment echoed by several other current and former local officials who spoke to Axios. "She was an active student. I was surprised at how active she was and how she knew so many politicos."Fang's Facebook friends list is a virtual who's who of local Bay Area politicos, and includes city council members, current and former mayors, Khanna, and Swalwell's father and brother.
She positioned herself "to be the connector between the Asian American community and members of Congress," recalled a Bay Area political operative who knew her.One photo, taken at a March 2014 event at the Chinese Embassy in D.C., shows Fang together with Honda and Ash Kalra '-- at the time a San Jose city councilmember, later elected to the California State Assembly in 2016. A representative of Kalra's office said he does not remember meeting Fang. Fang attended events in support of former San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, according to an acquaintance present at the gatherings. (Lee, who began serving as mayor in 2011, passed away in 2017 while in office.)What they're saying: Several acquaintances in political circles told Axios that Fang was "charismatic" and "well liked" '-- though others described her behavior as "secretive" and even "suspicious."
"Christine was a political player and she was someone who was good to know," said a former campus political organizer who knew her. But others found her less substantive. ''She never really, to me, was interested on the policy side,'' recalled the Bay Area political operative. Few seemed to know Fang on a personal level. Several acquaintances told Axios she seemed to come from wealth '-- she drove a white Mercedes, according to one official '-- but said she never spoke about her family or her hometown.
Fang's connection to SwalwellFrom left: Fang and Swalwell at a 2013 Lunar New Year banquet, held at CSU East Bay; Fang and Swalwell at another 2013 event; Fang and Swalwell at an October 2012 CSU East Bay event. Sources: Facebook, Facebook, RenrenFang's ties to Rep. Eric Swalwell, which began when he was a councilmember for Dublin City, California, demonstrate China's long game.
Swalwell rose to prominence rapidly, and in late 2012 became one of the youngest members of the U.S. House. In January 2015, Swalwell was assigned a seat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, serving as the lead Democrat on the subcommittee on CIA oversight.Details: Fang's earliest known engagement with Swalwell occurred through the Chinese Student Association. By 2014, she had risen in local political circles and developed close ties to Swalwell's office.
Fang "was a bundler" for Swalwell and other candidates, according to a Bay Area political operative with direct knowledge of her efforts. A current U.S. intelligence official confirmed her activity for Swalwell; a local elected official also said she brought in donors for other candidates. Bundlers persuade others to write checks for campaigns; they can bring in substantial sums of money as well as deepen the campaign's engagement with target communities, making bundlers a valuable and thus potentially influential ally to a candidate.The Bay Area political operative who witnessed Fang fundraising on Swalwell's behalf was concerned whether donors she brought in were legally permitted to donate. They found no evidence of illegal contributions.Fang facilitated the potential assignment of interns into Swalwell's offices, the political operative said. In at least one case, an intern recommended by Fang was placed into Swalwell's D.C. office, this person said. A current U.S. intelligence official confirmed the intern placement.For Fang, targeting Swalwell made sense. His 2012 campaign '-- which was something of a longshot bid, pitting a young and relatively inexperienced city official against a longtime incumbent from the same party '-- relied heavily on Asian American support, said a former congressional staffer from the East Bay.
That made Swalwell's ties to the Chinese American community, and particularly APAPA, the Asian American civic organization, especially important.Fang sought out mayors around the U.S. Illustration: Sarah Grillo/AxiosFang attended conferences for mayors around the U.S., according to three U.S. intelligence officials, as well as numerous current and former politicians who knew her.
Why it matters: By attending conferences for local officials, Fang went to extraordinary lengths to meet and befriend U.S. politicians, ostensibly as part of her activities as a Chinese agent, U.S. officials believe.
Details: Fang engaged in sexual or romantic relationships with at least two mayors of Midwestern cities, said one U.S. intelligence official and one former elected official.
At a 2014 conference in Washington, an older Midwestern mayor "from an obscure city" referred to Fang as his "girlfriend" and insisted the relationship was genuine despite the clear age difference between Fang and himself, according to former Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong, who was directly present for the conversation.Fang also had a sexual encounter with an Ohio mayor in a car that was under electronic FBI surveillance, said one current U.S. official. When the mayor asked why Fang was interested in him, Fang told him she wanted to improve her English, the same official said. What they're saying: Wong told Axios he knew Fang from her political activities in California, where she would attend fundraisers and Chinese cultural events.
But Wong said he was "shocked" to see her appear at an event for U.S. municipal officials hosted by the Chinese Embassy in D.C. in March 2014. Wong told Axios he had gone to D.C. twice that year to attend mayor-focused events, and that he saw Fang at both of those events.At the Chinese Embassy event, Fang introduced Wong to the mayor of Shenzhen, a city that, like Cupertino, is home to a major tech industry. She translated so that the two mayors could have a conversation.The bottom lineIllustration: Sarah Grillo/AxiosU.S. intelligence officials believe China's spy services have become more aggressive and emboldened, including in their U.S.-focused influence and political intelligence-gathering operations. Fang's case shows how a single determined individual, allegedly working for Beijing, can gain access to sensitive U.S. political circles.
Libsyn Asks Court To Cancel Stock Held By Chinese Shareholders Over Alleged Fraud. | Podcast News Daily | insideradio.com
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 16:41
The new management team at Libsyn is facing a lingering legal headache that stretches across two continents. Libsyn on Friday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver asking a federal judge to cancel the stock held by a group of Chinese shareholders '' three former executives including former company Chairman Zhang Hongcheng and five Chinese venture capital firms '' that Libsyn alleges schemed to steal millions of dollars from its former parent company FAB Universal.
''While the Ponzi scheme defendants' wrongdoing set forth by this complaint goes back a number of years, Libsyn through its investigation and due diligence only recently has discovered the full scope and extent of it as well as the devastating harm and injury that it is causing to Libsyn and its shareholders,'' it told the court in a 36-page lawsuit.
The case dates to 2012 when a Libsyn predecessor company known as Wizzard Software Corporation merged with the China-based Digital Entertainment International Ltd (DEI). As part of the merger, it issued shares to the group it is now suing. That stock was worth approximately $30.8 million, giving the Chinese shareholders a 49% stake.
But DEI was not what it seemed and what had been sold as a thriving digital media company was merely a distributor of pirated music, films, games, mobile phone software and education
materials. Eventually Libsyn said it uncovered ''massive fraud'' at the Chinese operations. When former CEO Christopher Spencer and CFO John Busshaus went to China to investigate they found the business abandoned and that the CEO had been detained by the Chinese authorities. Later, DEI executives were arrested by Chinese authorities, charged with various crimes, and found guilty. Seven Chinese nationals, including three of those named in the Libsyn lawsuit, eventually were sentenced to prison.
But doing business in China can be opaque and it was only last month when Libsyn's new management team '' lead by President and Chief Operating Officer Laurie Sims and CFO Richard Heyse '' learned about and obtained an English translation of a criminal judgment entered in China against the group that the extent of the wrongdoing became clear.
What Libsyn Wants
Today the group of Chinese investors, some of whom are in prison, hold about 27% of Libsyn's outstanding stock. And what has prompted the company to go to court is that it has learned a number of those sent to jail as part of the Ponzi scheme will soon be released from Chinese jails.
Libsyn is asking U.S. District Judge Daniel Domenico to cancel the stock held by the Chinese nationals, totaling 7,177,350 shares. It is a move that would benefit other shareholders by reducing its total number of outstanding shares from 26,588,220 to 19,410,870 and boost the Libsyn stock price by about 37%.
The company is also asking the court to block the Chinese share owners from participating in any votes if or when stockholder approval is needed. The complaint said that one of Libsyn's current business strategies is to explore buying other podcast companies and ''other strategic alternatives'' to ''continue to remain competitive'' with Spotify and iHeartMedia. It is worried the Chinese stock owners could block a sale or other deal from winning approval.
Libsyn also said the group has been enjoying a ''creeping takeover'' as the company has reduced its share count to stock repurchases. That has meant that their stake has grown from 24.5% in January to the current 27% combined interest.
Summons have been issued but serving them in China will probably be difficult. Libsyn said in the suit that most of the names and addresses for the shareholders were fictitious, saying they appeared to be ''merely aliases and front names.''
Libsyn Regains Compliance
While the court case could take months or years to resolve, Libsyn has disclosed that it regained compliance with its loan agreement with First Commonwealth Bank. Libsyn told investors last month that as part of its effort to ''normalize'' its tax situation it had been out of compliance with the terms of the loan agreement since March 31. The problem was more of an on-paper issue however since Libsyn has more than enough money in the bank to pay off the remaining $3.6 million balance on the loan that will mature in December 2023.
Section 230
Reps. Gabbard & Gosar Introduce 'Break Up Big Tech' Bill to Remove Legal Immunity from Big Tech Who Censor Users | Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 13:59
Washington, DC '--Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04) introduced the Break Up Big Tech Act of 2020, which would remove the Section 230 legal immunity shield that protects interactive computer service providers '-- like big tech monopolies and social media companies '-- who engage in certain manipulative practices, including acting as publishers and censoring certain users.
''Big tech monopolies like Google and Facebook have made billions of dollars by creating online platforms that monetize our private information, use manipulative and destructive algorithms, and act as publishers choosing what information they want to censor or publish. They undermine our freedom of speech and treat us and our attention as the product, monetizing it to line their pockets with more money without any regard for the damaging consequences,'' said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard . ''This bill removes the legal immunity that service providers have taken advantage of to act with impunity, while maintaining Section 230 protections for those who provide truly neutral social media platforms or search engines without the use of manipulative algorithms.''
''Big Tech monopolies continue to censor and manipulate users without consent or liability. The Break Up Big Tech Act revokes liability protections for bad Samaritans and instead empowers users,'' said Rep. Paul Gosar . ''I am proud to work with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on the Don't Push My Buttons Act , Stop the Censorship Act , and now the Break Up Big Tech Act to reform Section 230 and protect online consent and free speech instead of censorship and manipulation.''
Background: The Breakup Big Tech Act of 2020 would take away legal immunity from interactive computer service providers that engage in certain manipulative activities, including social media companies who act as publishers by moderating and censoring content. Specifically, the Breakup Big Tech Act of 2020 would remove legal immunity for providers that engage in the following activities:
Selling and displaying personalized as well as contextual advertising without user's consent
Collecting data for commercial purposes other than the direct sale of the interactive computer service, i.e. turning the user into a commodity or otherwise monetizing the transmission of content
Acting as a marketplace in the digital space by facilitating the placement of items into the stream of commerce
Employing digital products and designs intended to engage and addict users to the service
Acting as a publisher by using algorithms to moderate or censor content without opt-in from users
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act generally provides liability immunity for online companies that publish information provided by third-party users. The regulation creates a ''Good Samaritan'' liability protection for those running interactive computer services should they remove third-party materials deemed obscene or objectionable so long as it is done in good faith. The law is out of date and has not kept up with the destructive practices of big tech monopolies, who are essentially acting as publishers with the use of manipulative algorithms.
In October, Rep. Gabbard and Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04) introduced H.R.8515 , the ''Don't Push My Buttons'' Act which would reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act by limiting immunity from liability for online platforms that curate content for users based on collected personal data, unless users explicitly choose to receive curated content. Reps. Gabbard and Gosar are also cosponsors of H.R.7808 , the Stop the Censorship Act. About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai'i's Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the HawaiÊ>>i State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the HawaiÊ>>i Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major in the Army Reserves. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard... Follow Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on social media:
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Iran
Iran Says Nuclear Scientist Was Assassinated Using Satellite-Controlled Gun | Zero Hedge
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:23
Iranian nuclear scientist and military researcher Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated using sophisticated electronic equipment controlled via satellite link, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in a gun and car bomb attack on the outskirts of Tehran on Nov. 27, was driving on a highway east of the capital when the weapon "zoomed in" on him "using artificial intelligence," Mehr said on Sunday, quoting Commodore Ali Fadavi, deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. As General Ramezan Sharif, IRGC spokesman added, "the assassination of a scientist on the street with a satellite device can not undermine our security."
According to Bloomberg, various accounts of the assassination have emerged since the incident. While early news reports said he was caught in a gunfight between his bodyguards, others said that in a scene seemingly inspired by Breaking Bad, he was fired at by a remote-controlled machine gun mounted on a pick-up truck operated by someone who later fled the country.
Last week the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said a remotely controlled weapon was used in the ambush that claimed the scientist's life. The operation was "very complicated" and didn't require human presence on the site at the time of the attack.
The incident is the second targeted killing of a high-ranking Iranian official since January, when outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike on General Qassem Soleimani.
Iranian officials have accused Israel of masterminding Fakhrizadeh's assassination. Iranian media reported that the remains of the weapon that killed him, which was recovered from the scene, indicated that it originated from the Israeli military. In response, Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said his government had no idea who killed Fakhrizadeh, but added that whoever did made the world a safer place because the Iranian physicist took ''an active part in creating a nuclear weapon.''
Iran has denied trying to militarize its nuclear research, saying it's purely civilian in purpose.
Brexit
In Last-Ditch Bid for Brexit Deal, Leaders' Theatrics Show the Stakes - The New York Times
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 06:21
Boris Johnson and the European Union's president are preparing their domestic audiences for either a landmark accord requiring compromise or a breakdown that will disrupt cross-channel trade.
Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission's president, at a news conference this weekend after a phone call with Britain's prime minister, Boris Johnson. Credit... Pool photo by Julien Warnand LONDON '-- It can be hard, in the climactic days of a high-stakes negotiation, to separate theatrics from substance '-- and so it was on Saturday evening, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, hung up after an hourlong phone call.
Ms. von der Leyen said Britain and the European Union would send their negotiators back to the table in a last-ditch effort to close the gaps holding up an agreement on their post-Brexit trading relationship. Mr. Johnson's aides released a vivid photo of him on the phone, gesturing in the glare of an old-fashioned desk lamp, like a wartime prime minister battling on behalf of his country.
On Monday, the two leaders will speak again to determine whether a deal can be struck by a Dec. 31 deadline. If not, the European Union will begin imposing tariffs on British goods. Four and a half years after Britons voted narrowly to leave the union, the final act of the long-running Brexit drama is at hand.
With the outcome so uncertain, Britain and the European Union are preparing their domestic audiences either for a landmark accord that will require compromise on both sides '-- or for a breakdown that will disrupt cross-channel trade, pitching both Britain and Europe into uncharted territory as the economies of both have been battered by the pandemic.
Nobody disputes that there are genuine differences between the two sides, ranging from state aid to fishing rights.
''There is still some distance to travel, and the distance has yet to be traveled, because it involves concessions that are painful,'' said Mujtaba Rahman, an analyst at the political risk consultancy Eurasia Group. ''That's part of the reason both sides have a vested interest in being seen to be fighting.''
Image Mr. Johnson will have to decide whether the European Union's demands conflict with his vision of British sovereignty. Credit... Neil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock That is especially true of Mr. Johnson, who won election last year by promising to ''get Brexit done.'' Under the terms of the withdrawal agreement he signed with Brussels, Britain formally left the European Union last January. But it agreed to abide by the bloc's rules and regulations for an 11-month transition period until the two hammered out more permanent trade arrangements.
Now, Mr. Johnson will have to decide whether the European Union's demands are too much of a threat to his vision of British sovereignty. He knows that striking an accord that is seen as a betrayal of Brexit could be toxic, wrecking his relations with the faction of the Conservative Party that helped him to power. The same Brexiteers ruthlessly disposed of Mr. Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May.
After months of grinding negotiations, the two sides are wrestling over the same issues that have divided them from the start: state aid to industries '-- known as the ''level playing field'' '-- and European Union access to British fishing waters.
Fishing has become a charged issue as President Emmanuel Macron of France, facing his own next election in 2022, has pushed for continued access for French fishing fleets. Mr. Johnson has made big promises to his country's fishermen, who have complained for years about sharing Britain's waters with continental boats, which in some areas can catch much more than British ones.
Although economically insignificant '-- its annual contribution to Britain's economy is less than that of the fashionable London department store Harrods '-- the fishing industry is politically totemic because of its importance to coastal towns, where there are few other sources of employment.
Image Fishermen off the coast of Brixham, in England's southwest, in February. Fishing rights are an important sticking point in talks between Britain and the European Union. Credit... Andrew Testa for The New York Times Last week, the French prime minister, Jean Castex, visited the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, in France's far north, to reassure fishermen. The country's Europe minister, Cl(C)ment Beaune, warned that Paris would veto any unsatisfactory trade deal. Because Britain sells much of the fish it catches inside the European Union, analysts believe a deal is in the interests of both sides and will therefore not be the cause of a collapse.
Perhaps harder to bridge is the gap over rules on fair competition, an issue where the two sides are still talking past each other.
Mr. Johnson says that since Britain wants only a basic free trade deal '-- similar to the one Canada struck with the European Union '-- Britain should not be tied to European rules. But officials in Brussels fear that Britain, as a large economy on Europe's doorstep, could adopt lower labor or environmental standards, flood the European market and undercut continental companies.
Mr. Johnson appears willing to preserve existing standards that Britain agreed to as a member of the European Union, but not to adopt ones that Brussels might put in place in the future. For him, analysts said, this is a question of sovereignty and independence, which he views as the prime dividend of Brexit.
Yet the fear in continental Europe is that this could effectively give Britain a veto over future European policy. For ambitious leaders like Mr. Macron, that would threaten the sovereignty of the European Union at a time when he and others are seeking a more muscular role in the global economy.
''It's about the E.U. being a geopolitical platform in the world, having a voice in the competition with China and in its relationship with the new Biden administration in the U.S.,'' Mr. Rahman said.
Mr. Johnson must also consider his relations with President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who opposed Brexit.
Image The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has warned Mr. Johnson not to do anything that could threaten the Good Friday Agreement. Credit... Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times The Johnson government recently introduced legislation giving it the power to renege on parts of its withdrawal agreement with the European Union that deal with Northern Ireland. That antagonized the Europeans, but it also ruffled Mr. Biden, because such moves could lead to the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Mr. Biden warned Mr. Johnson not to do anything in his Brexit negotiations that would threaten the Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. If London and Brussels strike a trade deal, Mr. Johnson would almost certainly remove the offending language from the legislation.
In the meantime, however, his ministers insist they will go ahead with the Northern Ireland bill, which is scheduled to return to the House of Commons on Monday. That could inject another combustible element into the talks. With time running out, analysts are nervous that any miscalculation could lead to a breakdown in talks with the European Union.
''If both sides were prepared to jump on an equal basis, you could see a deal,'' said David Henig, director of the U.K. Trade Policy Project at the European Center for International Political Economy, a research institute.
''Any prime minister would prefer a deal,'' Mr. Henig added, ''but Boris Johnson has backed himself into a big corner '-- and while all logic runs toward an agreement, momentum and emotion are running against.''
BLM
Senator Booker proposes to buy farmland and gift it to black farmers
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 06:27
WASHINGTON, DC- Following the 2020 election cycle, Democrats have already began drafting new and odd legislation to correct supposed wrong doings.
One of the outlandish proposals is by Democrat Senator Cory Booker, who wants to buy farm land from white farmers and give it away to their black counterparts.
The Justice for Black Farmers Act was announced on Thursday by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. A press release on Booker's website explains that the policy is necessary for ''correcting historic discrimination'' that caused black farmers to lose land and money.
I'm proud to team up with @ewarren and @SenGillibrand to introduce the Justice for Black Farmers Act.
We need to balance the scales after decades of systemic racism within @USDA have harmed Black farmers. https://t.co/aV7y8CcufX
'-- Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 24, 2020
The news release states:
''Today, U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced landmark legislation aimed at addressing and correcting historic discrimination within the U.S. Department of Agriculture in federal farm assistance and lending that has caused black farmers to lose millions of acres of farmland and robbed black farmers and their families of hundreds of billions of dollars of inter-generational wealth.''
While this legislation sounds decently normal, it's true plan is quite shocking.
Booker's brilliant scheme to give land back to black farmers is to buy it from ''willing sellers'' and give it to black farmers ''at no cost to the eligible black individuals.''
With this in mind, the legislation seems quite egregious and could very well lead to a disaster scenario of poorly equipped farmers receiving 160 acres of land without the proper tools to maintain it.
Not to mention the large chunk of funding the policy would require. The bill would create an Equitable Land Access Service in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that would set aside $8 billion annually for purchasing land to give away. Booker is hopeful that 20,000 grants will be doled out over the course of nine years.
Despite the hefty price of enacting this legislation, the three senators maintain that it is necessary for righting past wrongs. The press release argues:
''In 1920 there were nearly 1 million Black farmers in the United States. Today, due to this history of discrimination, it is estimated that there are less than 50,000 remaining Black farmers.''
Booker corroborated this line of thinking and said:
''Overtly discriminatory and unjust federal policy has robbed Black families in the United States of the ability to build and pass on intergenerational wealth.''
The senator continued:
''When it comes to farming and agriculture, we know that there is a direct connection between discriminatory policies within the USDA and the enormous land loss we have seen among Black farmers over the past century.
The Justice for Black Farmers Act will work to correct this historic injustice by addressing and correcting USDA discrimination and taking bold steps to restore the land that has been lost in order to empower a new generation of Black farmers to succeed and thrive.''
Another sponsor of the bill, Massachusetts Senator and two time failed Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, argued in favor of the bill saying:
''For decades, racist policies have robbed Black farmers of the economic opportunity to thrive in our country's agricultural industry.
I'm glad to cosponsor Senator Booker's bill, which goes a long way toward restoring and protecting property rights of Black farmers, rooting out discriminatory policies, and providing Black farmers with the necessary tools to succeed,'' said Senator Warren.''
For decades, racist policies have robbed Black farmers of the opportunity to thrive in the agricultural industry. I'm glad to cosponsor @SenBooker's bill to restore & protect Black farmers' property rights, root out discrimination, & empower Black farmers. https://t.co/Iae0oZxzCq
'-- Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 20, 2020
The third sponsor of the bill, New York Senator Gillibrand, spoke about the legislation as well. Gillibrand deemed it the American government's responsibility to ''investigate this systemic discrimination'' and solve it.
The senator stated:
''Black farmers and ranchers have been historically excluded in agricultural industries and inequities in federal aid have stripped them from their land. It is not only our responsibility to investigate this systemic discrimination, we must end and correct it so that the next generation of Black farmers can bloom.''
Gillibrand went on to say:
''The Justice for Black Farmers Act will ensure the Department of Agriculture puts an end to discriminatory practices that have harmed Black agricultural producers for more than a hundred years.
I thank Senator Booker for his leadership on this issue and I'm proud to cosponsor this legislation to make farming more equitable and inclusive.''
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American spirit: Farmers come together to harvest 1,000 acres for neighbor who had a heart attackCROSBY, ND '' Riots. Looting. Arson. Murder. These are all things taking place in America right now as one ideology attempts to spread its anti-American mentality.
But there is one thing of which individuals in those groups didn't account:
The American Spirit.
It has been on full display and one need look no further than the North Dakota farm of Lane Unhjem.
See, here in America, we care about one another. We help our neighbors, in times of need and in times of plenty. We help, quite simply, because it is the right thing to do.
We do not destroy other people's livelihoods in the name of some radical hatred masquerading as a cause of justice.
In America, we take scripture to heart, even though we may not always realize it.
In Matthew 22, we read about a question that Jesus is asked and answered:
''Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?''
Jesus replied:
''' Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.''
Love your neighbor as yourself. While many people in places such as Portland and Seattle must be wondering, how badly do these people hate themselves to be treating their neighbors this way, Lane and his family saw what neighborly love really looks like.
Earlier this month, Unhjem was in the middle of harvesting when his combine caught fire. While trying to contain that situation, he suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be evacuated to Minot, where he was hospitalized, according to North Dakota TV station KFYR.
When other members of the farming community heard what had happened, they knew what they had to do for their neighbor.
They showed up at his farm with 11 combines, 6 grain carts and 15 semis to get his durum wheat and canola crops harvested and into the bin. Family friend Jenna Binde said:
''I talked to a couple of farmers, got their equipment, and then other people just started calling and we had equipment offered from all over the place in the county, and their workers to go with it.''
As neighbor Don Anderson pointed out in his Facebook post, you reap what you sow. And in this story, it was figuratively and literally.
''Now that Lane's health is being taken care of, it came time for his friends and neighbors to spring into action, which is common in small town life.
''Approximately 40 to 50 farmers, driving combines, pulling grain carts, driving semis and various other harvest related items, converged on the Unhjem farmstead and they will take care of harvest for Lane and his family today. I believe there was about a dozen combines involved.
''The Unhjems have a beautiful crop that will be safe in the bins today, and more importantly they have the comfort of knowing that they have a community of friends that are helping, praying and doing whatever they can to help them get through this tough time.
''What a great sense of pride we can all have knowing that when we face something like this, we're not alone.''
Not only were they able to harvest the crops in under eight hours, but they also reaped the spiritual harvest of knowing they loved their neighbor as themselves, and that comes full circle so often. Binde commented:
''You help your neighbor out when they need it, and don't expect anything in return.''
These are words that the rioters, looters, arsonists, murders and other violent offenders dressed in black and wearing masks should learn.
They are hellbent on hurting and destroying, not helping. They seek everything for free rather than serving with no expectations of being compensated in some way.
Believe it or not, this writer used to live in North Dakota, spending three years in the farming community of Wahpeton. We were right on the North Dakota/Minnesota state line. I spent time helping farmers in our church with their harvests. It is no easy task. What these men and women did for the Unhjems was massive.
They took time away from their own harvests. They used their equipment, fuel and manpower. This was a big deal. And yet, they did it willingly. No one is going to send Lane a bill for their services.
What they put on full display through their acts of loving kindness was the American Spirit.
It is that spirit that made this country what it is. It is what will keep this nation strong. And it is what will defeat those hellbent on her destruction.
Law Enforcement Today recently brought us another story that reminds us to look for the good.
'--
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much ''stuff'' happening in the world on social media, it's easy for things to get lost.
Adrianna San Marco Adrianna San Marco is a Sophomore at Syracuse University studying Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. In addition to writing for Law Enforcement Today, she works as a Special Correspondent at LifeZette and a New York correspondent for Campus Reform. She also engages in conservative activism as a Recruitment Director for Young Americans for Liberty.
Space Force
Former Israeli space security chief says aliens exist, humanity not ready - The Jerusalem Post
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 06:54
This "Galactic Federation" has supposedly been in contact with Israel and the US for years, but are keeping themselves a secret to prevent hysteria until humanity is ready. NGC 4866, a lenticular galaxy, is shown in this NASA handout provided on July 19, 2013. Situated about 80 million light-years from earth, this image was captured by the Advanced Camera for Surveys, an instrument on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
(photo credit: REUTERS/EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY/NASA/ESA HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Has the State of Israel made contact with
aliens?
According to retired Israeli general and current professor Haim Eshed, the answer is yes, but this has been kept a secret because "humanity isn't ready."
Speaking in an interview to
Yediot Aharonot, Eshed '' who served as the head of Israel's space security program for nearly 30 years and is a three-time recipient of the Israel Security Award '' explained that Israel and the US have both been dealing with aliens for years.
And this by no means refers to immigrants, with Eshed clarifying the existence of a "Galactic Federation."
The 87-year-old former space security chief gave further descriptions about exactly what sort of agreements have been made between the aliens and the US, which ostensibly have been made because they wish to research and understand "the fabric of the universe." This cooperation includes a secret underground base on Mars, where there are American and alien representatives.
If true, this would coincide with US President Donald Trump's creation of the Space Force as the fifth branch of the US armed forces, though it is unclear how long this sort of relationship, if any, has been going on between the US and its reported extraterrestrial allies.
But Eshed insists that Trump is aware of them, and that he was "on the verge" of disclosing their existence. However, the Galactic Federation reportedly stopped him from doing so, saying they wished to prevent mass hysteria since they felt humanity needed to "evolve and reach a stage where we will... understand what space and spaceships are,"
Yediot Aharonot reported.
cnxps.cmd.push(function () { cnxps({ playerId: '36af7c51-0caf-4741-9824-2c941fc6c17b' }).render('4c4d856e0e6f4e3d808bbc1715e132f6'); });
if(window.location.pathname.indexOf("647856") != -1) {console.log("hedva connatix");document.getElementsByClassName("divConnatix")[0].style.display ="none";}As for why he's chosen to reveal this information now, Eshed explained that the timing was simply due to how much the academic landscape has changed, and how respected he is in academia.
"If I had come up with what I'm saying today five years ago, I would have been hospitalized," he explained to
Yediot.
He added that "today, they're already talking differently. I have nothing to lose. I've received my degrees and awards; I am respected in universities abroad, where the trend is also changing."
Eshed provided more information in his newest book,
The Universe Beyond the Horizon '' conversations with Professor Haim Eshed, along with other details such as how aliens have prevented nuclear apocalypses and "when we can jump in and visit the Men in Black." The book is available now for NIS 98.
While it is unclear if any evidence exists that could support Eshed's claims, they did come just ahead of a
recent announcement by SpaceIL, the group behind Israel's failed attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon in 2019.
Uploaded to social media with the text "Ready to get excited again?," the announcement contained a 15-second video of the moon with text saying "Back to the Moon," followed by the date of December 9, 2020.
It is likely that this is a follow up to the Beresheet spacecraft, which crashed after engineers lost contact with it just minutes before it was due to land. However, the follow up project, titled Beresheet 2, is expected to take three years to be ready.
But sadly, we may never know the truth.
The Jerusalem Post was unable to reach out to this supposed Galactic Federation for comment.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.var cont = ` Sign up for The Jerusalem Post Premium Plus for just $5 Upgrade your reading experience with an ad-free environment and exclusive content Join Now >
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Green New Dill
Mount Everest Grew Two Feet in Height, Say China and Nepal - The New York Times
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 16:22
In a sign of their increasingly close ties, the two countries jointly announced a new measure that makes the peak more than two feet taller.
According to Kathmandu and Beijing, these Chinese climbers would have to trek just a little bit farther to reach the top. Credit... Tashi Tsering/Xinhua, via Associated Press Dec. 8, 2020, 7:18 a.m. ET KATHMANDU, Nepal '-- On Tuesday, Mount Everest grew by more than two feet.
So agreed China and Nepal, two countries that share a treacherously mountainous border and increasingly warm relations. They announced that they had determined the exact height of the world's tallest mountain, a subject to which the Nepalese government has attached increasing symbolic importance over the years.
Officially, according to Kathmandu and Beijing, Mount Everest stands at 8,848.86 meters, or 29,031.7 feet. For 65 years, the consensus height had been 8,848 meters, or 29,028.87 feet.
As Mount Everest has grown, said Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Nepal's foreign affairs minister, in a joint virtual briefing with his Chinese counterpart, so have ties between the world's second-largest economy and its 101st.
The China-Nepal relationship ''will rise across the Himalayas, and it will reach a new height,'' Mr. Gyawali said.
Xi Jinping, China's top leader, endorsed the new measure. The announcement fulfilled a promise Mr. Xi made a year ago during a visit to the Nepali capital, where he announced with his Nepali counterpart, Bidya Devi Bhandari, that the countries would jointly measure the mountain.
China's relations with its other Himalayan neighbors have not been as warm. Tensions with India soared in June when unarmed troops from both countries brawled in perilously craggy territory that they both claim, killing 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number on the Chinese side, though the two sides have pledged to ease tensions. China also recently completed a village built in territory claimed by Bhutan, another Himalayan country.
Beijing has been more deferential to Nepal. Communist parties friendly with Beijing won elections there in 2017. China views Nepal as key to its Belt and Road Initiative, which envisions highways, railroads and other big-ticket projects built with Chinese financing across the old Silk Road routes that once connected China to the West. China has moved closer to Nepal as the Himalayan country's relations with India have worsened.
Image Xi Jinping, China's top leader, with Nepal's president, Bidya Devi Bhandari, in Kathmandu, Nepal, during his visit last year. Credit... Pool photo by Bikash Karki Against that backdrop, India's surveyor general offered in 2017 to remeasure Mount Everest. With wounded pride, Nepal said its surveyors were plenty capable of measuring the mountain on their own.
Nepal also initially declined an offer from China but eventually agreed to make it a joint project. Earlier this year, with the mountaineering season canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, China sent a survey team up to Mount Everest's summit with global satellite receivers to measure its northern side.
Nepal had measured the southern side the year before. Nepalese climbers had to work with Indian survey data when it came to precise sea level, since the country is landlocked. From there, they climbed Everest's snowy ridges in May 2019 carrying the global navigation satellite receiver and an antenna. They stood on the world's highest point for nearly two hours to capture satellite data.
According to Khim Lal Gautam, the survey officer who led Nepal's measurement expedition team, it was the first time a surveyor had captured satellite data at that point. Previously, he said, Sherpas, or mountain guides, had done it.
''We made it possible,'' Mr. Gautam said.
Though it looks immutable, even Mount Everest shifts with time and tectonics. In the aftermath of a devastating 2015 earthquake, it was widely speculated that several Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest, had shrunk. The new dual measurements suggest the opposite.
Scientists say Everest is getting taller. As the Indian plate slips under the Eurasian plate, it lifts up the Himalayas. But earthquakes can reduce peaks' heights.
Even without those variables, people have pegged Mount Everest at different heights. In the 19th century, when Nepal was under British rule, Sir George Everest, the former surveyor general of the British-India Survey Office, and his team measured the peak at 8,840.07 meters, or 29,002.85 feet. Since then India, China, the United States, Italy and Denmark have put forth their own measurements.
Nepal has rejected them all '-- and it has long eschewed the mountain's colonial-era name, too. During the joint briefing on Tuesday, China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, referred to the mountain as ''Qomolangma,'' its Tibetan name. Nepal's foreign minister, Mr. Gyawali, called it ''Sagarmatha,'' its Nepali name.
Bhadra Sharma reported from Kathmandu, and Emily Schmall from New Delhi.
DEW
New report says 'Havana Syndrome' was caused by directed microwave radiation | intelNews.org
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:18
December 7, 2020 by Joseph Fitsanakis
A NEW REPORT BY the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, has found that the so-called 'Havana Syndrome', which afflicted American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba and China in 2016 and 2017, was likely caused by directed microwave radiation. The study, which was commissioned by the US Department of State, is the latest in a long list of scientific assessments of the mysterious syndrome. The case remains a source of debate in the scientific, diplomatic and intelligence communities.
In 2017 Washington recalled the majority of its personnel from the US embassy in Havana, and at least two more diplomats from the US consulate in the Chinese city of Guangzhou. The evacuees reported experiencing ''unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena'' and hearing ''unusual sounds or piercing noises''. Subsequent tests showed that they suffered from sudden and unexplained loss of hearing, and possibly from various forms of brain injuries. In April of 2019 the Canadian embassy evacuated all family members of its personnel stationed in the Cuban capital over similar health concerns.
The latest study by the National Academies of Sciences resulted from the coordination of leading toxicologists, epidemiologists, electrical engineers and neurologists. The resulting 66-page report describes in detail the symptoms experienced by nearly 40 US government employees, who were examined for the purposes of the study. Its authors said they examined numerous potential causes, including psychological factors, infectious diseases, directed radio frequency energy, and even exposure to insecticides. Ultimately, the authors concluded that ''many of the distinctive and acute signs, symptoms and observations reported by [US government] employees are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy'', according to their report.
However, the study does not attempt to answer the burning question of whether the symptoms experienced by the sufferers resulted from deliberate attacks, and if so, who may have been behind them. Some have accused the governments of Cuba and/or Russia of being responsible for the syndrome. However, the Cuban and Russian governments have strongly denied the accusations. The National Academies of Sciences report does state that the systematic study of pulsed radio frequency energy has a history of over half a century in Russia and the Soviet Union.
'–º Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 07 December 2020 | Permalink
Dogs are People too
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Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:23
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STORIES
Bob Dylan Sells Entire Songwriting Catalog - WSJ
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 15:41
Bob Dylan is tangled up in green.
The 79-year-old legendary pioneer of modern rock music, and the only songwriter to win a Nobel Prize for Literature, has sold his entire publishing catalog'--more than 600 copyrights spanning 60 years'--to Universal Music Publishing Group, according to the company.
While terms of the deal weren't disclosed, the catalog is likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars'--rivaled in value and influence only by the Beatles.
The move helps Mr. Dylan, who has long controlled most of his songwriting copyrights, to cement his musical legacy and set up his estate by cashing in on his life's work.
His decision to cede control follows a lifetime spent shaping his image by touring and by offering fans access to archives of unreleased music and details about his life in numerous documentary films. Yet, his choice also hews closely to his more liberal approach to the use of his songs and lyrics by other artists and in media.
''This sale represents what is likely the largest single writer deal in the history of popular music,'' said Bill Werde, director of Syracuse University's Bandier music-industry program. ''There remains such demand to be associated with Dylan.''
His timing is fortunate. Over the past five years, owning and selling the rights to music has become more valuable as revenue from music streaming on services such as Spotify Technology SA and Apple Inc.'s Apple Music has grown. Songwriter catalogs have been commanding sale prices that amount to 10 to 20 times their annual royalties, compared with eight to 13 times in earlier years, according to people involved in the deals. Publishers and other catalog investors see the value of music continuing to increase over time.
''By bringing to UMG the vast and brilliant Dylan songwriting catalog, in an instant, we have forever transformed the legacy of this company,'' said Lucian Grainge, chief executive of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, parent of the publisher, in an email to employees Monday.
A representative for Mr. Dylan declined to comment.
Tapping into artist catalogs has also become a bigger focus during the Covid-19 pandemic, as Mr. Dylan and other musicians have been unable to go on tour, cutting off their most lucrative source of cash during normal times. The rights sales can also mean older artists don't burden heirs with onerous tax payments.
In one recent deal, Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks sold a majority stake in her publishing catalog, which valued it at $100 million, according to people familiar with the transaction.
For Mr. Dylan, the deal means he will no longer benefit financially from the use of the songs in his catalog going forward. Music publishers deal with compositions'--lyrics and melody'--that underlie the sound recordings controlled by record labels. Universal Music Publishing Group will act as a steward of Mr. Dylan's music and collect when ''Blowin in the Wind'' or ''Tangled Up in Blue'' is streamed, played on the radio, used in an advertisement or featured in a film or TV show. Publishers often consult artists on how to exploit their music. Mr. Dylan's deal doesn't include any future songs he may write.
Representing Mr. Dylan's work ''is both a privilege and a responsibility,'' said Universal Music Publishing Group chief Jody Gerson.
Mr. Dylan's music has already been used hundreds of times in various ways, setting him apart from other artists who are more protective of their copyrights. Dozens of other musicians have covered his songs, including Jimi Hendrix, Guns N' Roses and Adele. Martin Scorsese directed a 3 ½-hour film, released in 2005, about Mr. Dylan's early years titled ''No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.'' His music has been featured in Super Bowl advertisements, including last year's Budweiser spot, and a Victoria's Secret TV ad in 2004, to the song ''Love Sick.''
Mr. Dylan has also simplified his financial and creative legacy. In the case of Prince, who died without a plan for his music catalog, a regional bank ended up in charge of making the call on how his work was used.
Michael Jackson at one point refused to sell a stake in his music publishing catalog even when confronted with financial disaster.
In selling his copyrights, Mr. Dylan creates more tax certainty and potential benefits for himself and his heirs. He likely will pay a one-time capital-gains tax of 23.8% in addition to state taxes, as opposed to paying 37% plus state tax on the annual income his catalog generates. Doing the sale now means he pays the capital-gains tax in accordance with today's rates and rules rather than facing the potential higher rates and tighter restrictions that Democrats have proposed on both capital gains and ordinary income. For his estate, he can plan tax strategies on his remaining assets without his heirs and the government engaging in a lengthy fight over the value of the copyrighted assets after his death
Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minn., in 1941, Mr. Dylan broke into New York's Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s. He later transformed the genre by introducing electric guitar. Mr. Dylan has sold more than 125 million records globally.
'--Richard Rubin contributed to this article.
Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com
Corrections & Amplifications Bob Dylan's song ''Love Sick'' was featured in a Victoria's Secret ad. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the song was ''Angels in Venice.'' (Corrected on Dec. 8)
Man busted in NYC sex trafficking probe was known pedophile: neighbors
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 13:56
December 5, 2020 | 8:44pm | Updated December 5, 2020 | 11:05pm
Neighbors of the convicted sex offender who was arrested in the Bronx Thursday say he was a known pedophile and alleged they regularly saw him bringing young girls back to his apartment.
Paul Alexander, 57, the CEO of a small, Bronx-based charter jet company, was arrested this week on charges he trafficked girls as young as 12 years old.
The arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the state prosecutor's office called ''Operation Mile High'' '-- a nod to his job as CEO of Central Jet Charter, New York Attorney General Letitia James said Saturday.
Alexander had no remorse for his young victims, and would charge older men to have sex with them, the AG's office said.
He allegedly charged an undercover agent $300 for sex with two young victims, ages 14 and 12, with each girl earning a third of the take, according to a criminal complaint.
The undercover investigator was told to give the kids alcohol before doing the deed, according to the complaint.
Paul Alexander FacebookNeighbor Dan Santiago, 26, told The Post he would see groups of young girls and men coming in and out of Alexander's apartment in their building in Fordham Heights.
''I would always see him with little girls up there,'' he alleged. ''It was never one person coming out of the apartment, it was always like a group. I found that suspicious. He was doing something up there for sure.''
Alexander was arraigned Saturday in Bronx County Criminal Court on multiple counts of child sex trafficking charges.
Another neighbor, who lives below Alexander, said the apartment was always noisy and that she even warned him to stay away from her daughters.
''He has never messed with me or with my daughters. He would make so much noise. I took a bat and went upstairs and told him, 'Come here, if you ever touch one of my daughters '... I will kill you right here in this building,''' the woman said in Spanish.
''No, no. It wasn't like that,'' she said Alexander told her.
The woman, who didn't want to be named, was relieved Alexander was behind bars and hoped he wouldn't harm any more young girls.
''They need to take him away from here. We don't people like that here'' the woman said. ''Children live here, and I have to take care of my daughters.''
A woman who opened the door of Alexander's apartment claiming to be his roommate said she didn't see anything suspicious because she was never home.
Other neighbors recalled seeing Alexander wandering around a school in Fordham Heights.
''He stays by the McDonald's, [on Fordham Road] that's where he finds them. That's where he would pick up those kids,'' said a neighbor who lives on the first floor. ''There is a high school around there, he would go there and be waiting on them.''
Neighbors recalled seeing the girls wearing skimpy clothing and claimed they looked younger than 18.
''They had on little sports bras, little shorts,'' recalled another female neighbor. ''I'm so glad he's gone. He has like a creepy vibe, like he's a villain.''
Additional reporting by Georgett Roberts
Facebook will remove misinformation about covid-19 vaccines | MIT Technology Review
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 13:42
The news: Facebook will remove false claims that have been ''debunked by public health experts'' about covid-19 vaccines, it has announced. In a post, the company outlined how Facebook plans to apply its existing ban on covid misinformation'--which is intended to screen out posts that could lead to ''imminent physical harm'''--as countries around the world move closer to acquiring and rolling out vaccines. The removals will apply to both Facebook and Instagram.
Effective vaccines are coming: The success of covid-19 vaccines is seen as critical to overcoming the pandemic, with a number of candidates in late-stage testing. Earlier this week the UK became the first country to approve a vaccine, granting authorization to use the treatment developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and saying that the first doses could be given to patients within days.
What is Facebook removing? The policy announcement isn't comprehensive, but it gives a few examples of what would be removed from the site:
''This could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines. For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn't on the official vaccine ingredient list. We will also remove conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines that we know today are false: like specific populations are being used without their consent to test the vaccine's safety.''
So is this a big deal? Yes and no. It's important that Facebook is addressing how it will handle misinformation about vaccinations with more specifics, particularly as we enter what could be the most important public health moment in modern history. Misinformation about vaccines has long thrived on Facebook, and so anything it announces in terms of a ban or major crackdown has the potential to be very consequential.
The ''but'' here is also important and multifaceted. Facebook's policies are only as effective as their enforcement. With health misinformation in particular, these bans will succeed in their aims only if they are effectively carried out within the many private groups on Facebook where false health claims are promoted and amplified. This has been an issue with the platform's previous attempts to crack down on damaging falsehoods.
Uneven enforcement: Even after Facebook began rolling out policies to limit the spread of vaccine misinformation in 2019'--by restricting recommendations of groups and hashtags promoting such messages, for example'-- the anti-vaccine ecosystem continued to thrive in private spaces on the site. Since the pandemic, however, Facebook has been more aggressive about removing some health misinformation, citing its policy against content that could lead to imminent physical harm. A few weeks ago, Facebook banned prominent anti-vaccine personality Larry Cook, and an enormous Facebook group he ran, for violating its policies about the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Trump Lays Groundwork for Nuclear Power Advance | LaRouchePAC
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 13:37
by Brian Lantz
As a result of the groundwork laid by the first Trump Administration, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) will soon be the site of the first American small modular nuclear reactor module, developed by NuScale Power, as the Joint Use Modular Plant (JUMP). This first module will be dedicated to nuclear research. In October, after NuScale's small modular reactor (SMR) was the first to receive design approval from the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this year, the Trump Administration's Department of Energy authorized a $1.4 billion grant to help defray costs for a group of small utilities that will be first in line to buy power from a scaled up, commercial NuScale power plant.
Waynesboro, Georgia. Construction site of Vogtle Units 3 and 4, currently our nation's only active advanced nuclear energy construction project, also backed by President Trump's Department of Energy. Photo: Georgia Power Company.To break the ''green'' City of London/Wall Street stranglehold on nuclear science and power, the Trump Administration has reversed the Obama-era export ban and instituted a new pro-nuclear energy export policy, thereby allowing the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to fund civil nuclear projects overseas. The DFC now provides U.S. companies operating in developing countries with direct equity financing, loans, and political risk insurance, to create U.S. high-tech manufacturing and high-wage jobs at home.
Powering Ourselves on Earth'-- And Soon on the Moon and MarsThe potentials of this shift in policy are enormous, which will impact many areas:
* For the United States. In Idaho, USA, the NuScale reactor modules will first scale up to a full commercial nuclear power plant that Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) plans to complete by no later than 2030. UAMPS has nearly four dozen members in Utah, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The plant will consist of 12 independent NuScale SMRs in a shared pool. These NuScale SMRs, of 60-70 megawatts electric (MWe) each, will be constructed offsite and shipped to the plant located in the desert west of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
* For the World. NuScale now has a number of foreign memorandums of understanding and potential U.S. financing for its projects abroad. On October 17, as a result of President Trump's policy change, the DFC signed a letter of intent to support NuScale Power LLC, a U.S. nuclear energy technology firm, to develop 2,500 MW of power in South Africa based on NuScale's 60 MW SMR.
* In Space. Small modular nuclear reactors will soon begin to realize an entire vista of potentials'--for earth-orbiting manufacturing factories, Cislunar space transport, and settlement and mining on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The challenges in space are significant, and solar energy has severe limitations'--for example, one night of the Moon is the equivalent of more than fourteen 24-hour earth days, with temperatures dropping to -208 degrees. To meet such challenges, the Trump Administration and NASA have accelerated the building of nuclear power plants for space. The Department of Energy, NASA, and Battelle Energy Alliance are now coordinating a government-industry project that will develop a reactor for use on the Moon, and also develop a flight system and lander that can transport it. The goal is to have a reactor, flight system, and lander ready to go by the end of 2026, timed with the NASA Artemis timeline for the beginning of Moon settlement. Nu-Gen is one of the companies involved in this project. Westinghouse is also currently developing , with 1-5 MWe (1000-5000 KW) capability.
There are other developments, including advances in NASA's remarkable ''Kilo Power'' program to develop fission nuclear reactors to enable long-duration stays on planetary surfaces. All of these projects must meet the constraint that for purposes of space deployment, reactors can weigh no more than 3 tons, maximum.
A Peak Under the SMR HoodSMR reactors can be used not just for electricity, the main use of nuclear power today, but also in manufacturing and for process heating, so they can also serve an economic development function for poor countries looking to do more than just keep the lights on. For example, a single NuScale SMR coupled to a desalination plant can produce 77 million gallons per day of clean water. A four-module SMR plant could provide all of the water necessary for a city the size of Cape Town, South Africa, a major metropolitan area prone to shortages of fresh water. One NuScale SMR can produce 250 MWt of steam for industrial applications, such as chemical processing or enhanced oil recovery, or for use in producing synthetic fuels. The NuScale plant design is especially well suited for the cogeneration of electricity and potable water, because modules can be designated to different functions.
Diagram of a NuScale Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMR).Where water is scarce, NuScale can support multiple options for an air-cooled design, which can reduce NuScale plant water consumption to as little as 1.1 gal/MWh, significantly less than the most efficient water-cooled combined cycle plants. The NuScale plant design is based on recycling water and operating in a zero-liquid-discharge mode so that total overall water usage is reduced.
NuScale modules operate independently and only one module is refueled at a time. In a 12-module NuScale plant, while a single module is refueled, the other 11 continue to provide 92% of the facility's electrical output. NuScale estimates that the plant's capacity factor will exceed 95%, making it one of the most reliable electric generation systems available. A NuScale SMR plant can therefore provide this sustained, dependable power to critical infrastructure, such as medical and defense facilities, digital data storage centers, and other industrial processes and mission-critical installations.
A NuScale plant can provide highly reliable power, anywhere and everywhere, to mission-critical micro-grids (120 MWe at 99.95% reliability or 77 MWe at 99.98% reliability over the 60-year lifetime of the plant).
Rising Energy Flux Density per CapitaSMRs will play an important role in transitioning today's economy to a new platform of higher productivity that is visible on today's horizon with the promise of fusion and plasma-based processes. The principle involved in such advances was discussed by economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche on the science of physical economy:
The first constraint affecting the technology function is energy-density per capita unit of population-density. To achieve the general realization of a certain level of productive technology, a correlated minimal level of energy-density per capita unit of population-density must be realized. In second approximation, we must consider the temperature-equivalent of the energy-density supplied'....
'-- Lyndon LaRouche, A New Anthropology Based Upon the Science of Physical Economy, May 10, 1988
In short, for a nation, indeed mankind, to advance, the ''technology function,'' that is, the productive utilization of energy-density per capita, must advance. As well, the temperature-equivalent of the energy-density supplied must also increase. This concept was recently revisited and further developed in a five part series by Ben Deniston. In part 1, he provides an outline:
Applying this approach to each individual country of the world, in part three we assess the devastating consequences of the failed globalization and radical environmental policies over the past two generations (unnecessarily taking the lives of tens of millions, by extremely conservative estimates), and, in part five, define what is required to ensure adequate levels of development over the next generation (taking the world in 2050 as the reference point). Based on this assessment, an immediate mobilization for mass production and implementation of nuclear fission power is critical, together with a crash program to demonstrate sustained fusion power generation and to develop commercialized designs for mass use. Further, all silly attempts at large-scale utilization of wind and solar must be abandoned, and a short-term (five-to ten-year) rapid expansion of coal and natural gas usage undertaken to support the economic gear-up needed to support the successful transition to the fission and fusion program.
Based on this, an estimate of the required number of nuclear fission power plants is developed. To put us on track to meet the needs of the planet by the year 2050, an initial production of 2,000 small modular nuclear reactors and 400 large nuclear reactors is needed by 2030, and a total of 30,000 small modular reactors and 7,000 larger reactors by 2050.'-- Ben Deniston, Part 1: What Is Energy-Flux Density?
This is the way forward. Thanks to President Trump, the Department of Energy, NASA, and the private sector, the United States can now join Russia in promoting the new small modular nuclear reactor technologies, with all their benefits at home and abroad. We will also take SMRs into space. Developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America with currently less sophisticated power grids that are largely unable to accommodate very large power plants, can immediately use SMRs that are easier and cheaper to build, safer to run, and more flexible. Modular power plants are also ''scalable,'' meaning additional units can be added, as utilization and power grids grow. Here at home, we can use these technologies and their associated skilled workforce to grow our nation, as President Trump has envisioned, into ''the manufacturing superpower of the world.''
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How Changing the Definition of Pandemic Altered Our World
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 12:37
Mid-March 2020 predictions said COVID-19 would kill 2.2 million Americans if allowed to run its course.1 By the end of March, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, downgraded the projected death toll, saying we were probably looking at 100,000 to 240,000 Americans dying.2
April 8, 2020, a new model referred to as the Murray Model3 downgraded the threat further, predicting COVID-19 will kill 60,000 in the U.S. by August 20204 '-- a number that is still 20,000 lower than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's death toll numbers attributed to the seasonal flu the winter of 2017/2018.5
Now, nine months into the pandemic, mortality statistics clearly show the truth: The COVID-19 pandemic is a pandemic in name only. In reality, there's no excess mortality,6 ,7 ,8 and had it not been for the World Health Organization changing the definition of "pandemic," COVID-19 would no longer be an issue.
I know some will balk at the concept of no excess mortality but the truth is the truth, and when you examine the existing numbers, that is what you find. If you integrate the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention's comments that 94% of those who died had comorbidities, which could easily be the real cause of the reported "COVID-19 deaths," it then becomes obvious that the numbers were highly inflated.
Definition of Pandemic Substantially AlteredThe WHO's original definition of a pandemic was:9 ,10
"'... when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in several, simultaneous epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness."
The key portion of that definition is "enormous numbers of deaths and illness." This definition was changed in the month leading up to the 2009 swine flu pandemic. The change was a simple but substantial one: They merely removed the severity and high mortality criteria, leaving the definition of a pandemic as "a worldwide epidemic of a disease."11
This switch in definition allowed the WHO to declare swine flu a pandemic after a mere 144 people had died from the infection, worldwide, and it's why COVID-19 is still promoted as a pandemic even though it has caused no excess mortality in nine months.12 ,13 ,14
We now have plenty of data showing the lethality of COVID-19 is on par with the seasonal flu.15 ,16 ,17 ,18 ,19 It may be different in terms of symptoms and complications, but the actual lethality is about the same. The absolute risk of death is equivalent to the risk of dying in a car accident.20 ,21
By removing the criteria of severe illness causing high morbidity, leaving geographically widespread infection as the only criteria for a pandemic, the WHO and technocratic leaders of the world were able to bamboozle the global population into giving up our lives and livelihoods.
As noted by Reiner Fuellmich, an attorney and founding member of the German Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, the COVID-19 pandemic is "probably the greatest crime against humanity ever committed."22 ,23 ,24 ,25
This certainly isn't the first time doom and gloom predictions of mass casualties have completely collapsed. It's also not the first time that fast-tracked pandemic vaccines have been issued, with devastating effect.
In that regard, we can learn a lot from the 1976 swine flu pandemic, detailed in the 1979 "60 Minutes" episode featured above. This was also the first time drug companies were indemnified against liability for any harm that might result from a fast-tracked vaccine.
The Swine Flu Fraud of 1976In February 1976, secretary of health F. David Matthews warned the American people there were indications that the virus responsible for the deadly 1918 flu pandemic had returned. In January that year, a 19-year-old Army private had died from flu-related pneumonia, despite being in good health, and by the end of the month, 155 soldiers at Fort Dix tested positive for swine flu antibodies.
Projections suggested the dreaded virus would kill 1 million Americans before the end of 1976.26 "The government propaganda machine cranked into action," "60 Minutes" says, urging all Americans to get vaccinated against the swine flu.
Americans who got the swine flu vaccine were told it had been properly field tested. What they were not told was that the vaccine they received was not the actual vaccine that had undergone testing.
According to "60 Minutes," 46 million Americans got the vaccine, and over the next few years, thousands of Americans filed vaccine damage claims with the federal government.27
This was well before the 1986 Vaccine Compensation Act, so vaccines were still liable for damages at that time. Congress did grant the swine flu vaccine special immunity, though, and wound up paying (actually U.S. taxpayers did) for the $3.5 billion in damages the vaccine caused. A 1981 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office to Sen. John Durkin reads, in part:28
"Before the swine flu program there were comparatively few vaccine-related claims made against the Government. Since 1963, Public Health Service records showed that only 27 non-swine flu claims were filed.
However, as of December 31, 1979, we found that 3,839 claims and 988 lawsuits had been filed against the Government alleging injury, death, or other damage resulting from the 45 million swine flu immunizations given under the program.
A Justice official told us that as of October 2, 1980, 3,965 claims and 1,384 lawsuits had been filed. Of the 3,965 claims filed, the Justice official said 316 claims had been settled for about $12.3 million '..."
$3.5 Billion Dollars in Damages Paid for Vaccine InjuriesAccording to "60 Minutes," the final claims amount for the nearly 4,000 claimants ended up totaling $3.5 billion. Two-thirds of the claimants suffered neurological damage and at least 300 of them died from vaccine side effects. In the end, the pandemic itself never materialized.29 An article by Real Clear Politics described the timeline of the pandemic that wasn't, and the circumstances that led to the indemnification of vaccine makers:30
"All of the reported swine flu cases had been limited to the soldiers in Private Lewis' camp. The virus wasn't spreading. For some reason this information did not mollify the doctors, and on Feb. 14, 1976, the CDC issued a notice to all U.S. hospitals to be on the lookout for any cases of swine flu.
By March '... not one case of swine flu had been reported outside of Fort Dix. For some reason this news did not placate the doctors either, and on March 13, 1976, the director of the CDC asked Congress for money to develop and test enough swine flu vaccine to immunize at least 80% of the population of the United States '...
By July, [scientists] were pretty much agreed that a flu pandemic in 1976 would not lead to 1 million U.S. dead. The flu strain extracted from Private Lewis, they learned, was much less virulent that the 1918 strain '...
The World Health Organization ordered hospitals to keep a global lookout for swine flu, but it did not request mass immunization ... But the U.S. government was unstoppable. Congress began to pressure the drug companies to work faster toward development of a swine flu vaccine '...
The drug companies suggested that they could work faster if they were given immunity from lawsuits in the event something went wrong with the vaccine. Congress refused. The issue of legal liability remained at an impasse until Aug. 2, 1976.
On that day, two members of the American Legion died of a strange respiratory disease they acquired at the Legion's convention in Philadelphia. Congress collectively freaked.
Panicky news reports out of Philadelphia hinted that the deaths were the beginning of the Great Swine Flu Epidemic of 1976. On Aug. 3, Congress agreed to completely indemnify the drug companies against any and all lawsuits they might incur as a result of the distribution of swine flu vaccine."
CDC Lied About Swine Flu Vaccine SafetyAccording to "60 Minutes," Americans who got the swine flu vaccine were told it had been properly field tested. What they were not told was that the vaccine they received was not the actual vaccine that had undergone testing.
What's more, according to Dr. Michael Hattwick, who directed the surveillance team for the 1976 swine flu vaccination program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was evidence showing influenza vaccinations could, and had, caused neurological complications in the past.
He claims he warned his superiors of this possibility, as it pertained to the swine flu campaign. Yet the CDC denied the evidence and the American public was never informed of this risk. "60 Minutes" also reveals the CDC was proven to have lied in its marketing materials for the vaccine.
Judy Roberts was one of the victims of that 1976 vaccination campaign. She was paralyzed by the vaccine, and suffered permanent damage. Her husband, who also was vaccinated and suffered no ill effects, ends the "60 Minute" segment saying:
"I told Judy to take the shot '... I'm mad with my government. They knew the facts but they didn't release those facts, because if they had released them, people wouldn't have taken it.
And they can come out tomorrow and tell me there's going to be an epidemic, and they can drop off like flies next to me, and I will not take another shot that my government tells me to take."
The Origin of the Anti-Vaccine MovementThe 1976 swine flu vaccine program has sometimes been cited as the origin of the anti-vaccine movement, and for good reason. Thousands were seriously injured and hundreds died after placing their trust in scientists and the government. Many of them, just like Roberts in the "60 Minutes" segment, vowed never to be that na¯ve again. As reported by Smithsonian Magazine in 2017:31
"In the spring of 1976, it looked like that year's flu was the real thing. Spoiler alert: it wasn't, and rushed response led to a medical debacle that hasn't gone away.
'Some of the American public's hesitance to embrace vaccines '-- the flu vaccine in particular '-- can be attributed to the long-lasting effects of a failed 1976 campaign to mass-vaccinate the public against a strain of the swine flu virus,' writes Rebecca Kreston for Discover.
'This government-led campaign was widely viewed as a debacle and put an irreparable dent in future public health initiative, as well as negatively influenced the public's perception of both the flu and the flu shot in this country.'"
Pandemic Threats Have Repeatedly Turned to Naught Sadly, the embarrassment of the 1976 swine flu debacle did not put an end to faux pandemics. In the last 15 years alone we've had to defend against wave upon wave of pandemic pandemonium, none of which turned out to be the global killer that "experts" predicted.
The 2005 bird flu outbreak, for example, was predicted to kill anywhere from 2 million to 150 million people. In reality, the death toll topped out at just 98 people, globally, in 2005; 115 in 2006; and 86 in 2007.32 No one in the U.S. died from this infection, and the sheer brazenness of this fake pandemic prompted me to write my New York Times best seller book "The Great Bird Flu Hoax."
In 2006, 2007 and again in 2008, hyped warnings over the bird flu were repeatedly exposed as little more than a cruel hoax, designed to instill fear and line the pocketbooks of industry and various vested individuals.
Then came the now infamous H1N1 swine flu of 2009.33 The CDC estimates that from April 12, 2009, to April 10, 2010, there were 60.8 million cases of H1N1 infection, 274,000 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the United States. The infection fatality rate was a mere 0.02%. Then, as now, vaccines were fast-tracked. Lo and behold, within months, cases of disability and death from the H1N1 vaccine were reported in various parts of the world.
In 2010, the ASO3-adjuvanted swine flu vaccine Pandemrix (used in Europe but not in the U.S. during 2009-2010) was causally linked34 to childhood narcolepsy, which had abruptly skyrocketed in several countries during the vaccination campaign.35 ,36
In the aftermath, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) raised serious questions about the WHO's handling of the pandemic and the role drug companies may have played in its drug and vaccine recommendations.
In June 2010, PACE concluded "the handling of the pandemic by the WHO, EU health agencies and national governments led to a 'waste of large sums of public money, and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public.'"37
Specifically, PACE concluded there was "overwhelming evidence that the seriousness of the pandemic was vastly overrated by WHO," and that the drug industry had influenced the organization's decision-making.38
The sad reality is that the WHO is little more than a front group for Big Pharma and the technocratic elite that seek to "reset" the global economic and social structure. It would indeed be na¯ve to expect this private organization to do what's right for public health while simultaneously taking direction from Bill Gates (its primary funder) and the drug industry.
While the 2009 swine flu pandemic was the most significant in terms of the fearmongering brought to bear, in the summer of 2012, dire predictions of mutating bird flu again filled the media, followed by urgent calls for yet another fast-tracked vaccine.
Two years later, in 2014, the Ebola virus turned into a global health emergency after epidemics in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone had been largely ignored. Interestingly enough, a UN resolution called for no restrictions on international travel to Ebola-stricken countries '-- a decision that led to an infected passenger bringing the infection to the U.S.
Another two years after that, in 2016, Zika virus hit pandemic status,39 triggering travel alerts and restrictions in and out of affected regions. All of these pandemics defied experts' predictions of mass casualties. None turned into a global killer, and COVID-19 is no different.40 ,41 ,42
Why We Must End Gain-of-Function ResearchTime and again, serious safety breaches have been identified at laboratories working with the most lethal and dangerous pathogens in the world,43 ,44 ,45 ,46 ,47 ,48 ,49 and mounting evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 may be a lab creation as well.
Scientists defend and promote gain-of-function research by insisting it allows us to prepare for pandemics.50 In reality, this kind of research does not appear to have improved governments' pandemic responses in the least. If anything, it's a curious coincidence that the very viruses undergoing gain-of-function research are the ones causing pandemics.
As just one example, an article51 by Mark Denison, editor of mBio, presents a hypothesis for the 1977-1978 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, often referred to as the Russian flu, as the first cases were reported in the USSR. According to Denison, the pandemic "was probably not a natural event, as the genetic sequence of the virus was nearly identical to the sequences of decades-old strains."
The lab hypothesis has "gained popularity in discussions about the biosafety risks of gain-of-function influenza virus research, as an argument for why this research should not be performed," he writes. Another possibility being kicked around is that the infection spread through a live-vaccine trial. A third option: a deliberate release as a bioweapon.
As noted in a 2009 New England Journal of Medicine review article, which provided a historical perspective on the emergence of H1N1 viruses:52
"Even though human influenza A (H1N1) virus had not circulated since 1957 and the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus that had been identified at Fort Dix did not extend outside the base, in November 1977, the H1N1 strain reemerged in the former Soviet Union, Hong Kong, and northeastern China.
This strain affected primarily young people in a relatively mild presentation. Careful study of the genetic origin of the virus showed that it was closely related to a 1950 strain but dissimilar to influenza A (H1N1) strains from both 1947 and 1957.
This finding suggested that the 1977 outbreak strain had been preserved since 1950. The reemergence was probably an accidental release from a laboratory source in the setting of waning population immunity to H1 and N1 antigens."
Can history repeat itself? There are no guarantees that it can't or won't, which is why it's so important we find out where SARS-CoV-2 really came from. As noted by the National Review,53 getting to the bottom of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is crucial if we want to prevent a similar pandemic in the future:
"If it originated from a person eating bat or pangolin at a wet market, then we need to take steps to ensure that bat and pangolin consumption and trade stops '...
Bat guano is used as fertilizer in many countries, and that guano can be full of viruses '... If this is the source of the virus, we need to get people to stop going into caves and using the guano as fertilizer '...
In a strange way, the 'lab accident' scenario is one of the most reassuring explanations. It means that if we want to ensure we never experience this again, we simply need to get every lab in the world working on contagious viruses to ensure 100% compliance with safety protocols, all the time."
Lame Cherry: Original Jurisdiction
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 12:35
 Let us all clap for the traitors in black robes....er ah....that's us.
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter
 For most of us, we have become educated that there is not any such things as rule of law in the United States, but instead legalities are twisted to keep an American  from being heard, criminalize them or protect the traitors.
The Lame Cherry is engaging in attempting to educate you on the current lengthy list of Americans States led by Texas against criminal vote fraud states in a filing at the Supreme Court.
When John Jay, the best and greatest Chief Justice the United States ever produced first was appointed by President George Washington to the Supreme Court, no one knew what the Court was really supposed to do, as it had never existed before. By Jay, a framework of the Court appeared, and in this Original Jurisdiction manifested by the Constitution. You will hear that wording in the Texas case, as it means the States can appeal directly to the Supreme Court and not have to file in lower courts and work their way to the Supreme Court.
 
 
 
Supreme Court Original JurisdictionThe original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court is the court’s authority to hear and decide certain types of cases before they have been heard by any lower court.The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is established in Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution and further defined by federal law.The Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction applies to cases involving: disputes between states, actions involving various public officials, disputes between the United States and a state, and proceedings by a state against the citizens or aliens of another state.Under the Supreme Court’s 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision, the U.S. Congress may not alter the scope of the court’s original jurisdiction.Controversies between two or more states;All actions or proceedings to which ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, or vice consuls of foreign states are parties;All controversies between the United States and a state; andAll actions or proceedings by a state against the citizens of another state or against aliens. 
You will also hear a term that Presidential attorney, Jay Sekulo touched on in an Administrative Order.
 
Chief Justice of the United States - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Chief_Justice_of_the_United_States The chief justice serves as a spokesperson for the federal government's judicial branch and acts as a chief administrative officer for the federal courts. The chief justice presides over the Judicial Conference and, in that capacity, appoints the director and deputy director of the Administrative Office.
The Supreme Court has a Chief Justice who is administrator to the Court and lower Courts. That means he sets operational rules within the authority the People have granted him. In lower courts like Florida, you can read the numerous orders appearing from committees being created to wearing of masks in court.
Administrative Order - akin to a Presidential Executive Order, is how the Supreme Court operates, assigns cases, and assigns who writes majority opinions.
You will hear also the following terms in the orders which are Latin and it means a great deal to black robes, but normal people would just say it in English and get to the point.
forma pauperis - as a pauperamicus curiae - friend of the courtwrit of certiorari - to hear a lower court ruling In two of the Court orders from the Supreme Court, there are hints of what Jay Sekulo was warning of in John Roberts once again more concerned about seizing some place in history or being an ass to President Donald Trump.The Lame Cherry reminds you, that all of this started when President Trump attempted to make these swing states follow the Constitution, which mandates that all elections end on election day and all counting ends on election day. All votes after are void. It was John Roberts who violated the law and said votes could be counted after 3 days if they were postmarked, which was an open door to criminal fraud as we have witnessed hundreds of thousands of bogus ballots appearing and were back dated by more criminal collusion.55% of what happened in criminal fraud would not have happened if John Roberts had not broken the law.You can see in these orders which follow that John Roberts could literally extend the deadlines which would certify crooked Joe Biden as president elect. After Roberts rewrote Obamacare illegally, there is nothing which would be put past this treacherous black robe.In other cases, Roberts could deny the application as he is clever about subverting the law.Lastly if you read through the administrative orders, that product of popery, in Amy Barrett is never involved in any of these cases. She apparently thinks that her appointment to the court is a vacation, and if rearrange a sentence like "DO NOt baLD men TRUthfully Make Perfect friends", Amy Barrett will see Donald Trump in that sentence and flee from the case.This woman is a self righteous egotistical product of Rome. Being a Catholic she can not jump into Catholic cases fast enough, where she should recuse, but when it comes to the President, she is off counting rosary beads as America is in jeopardy. ORIG. MISSISSIPPI V. TENNESSEE, ET AL. The Report of the Special Master is received and ordered filed. Exceptions to the Report, with supporting briefs, may be filed within 45 days. Replies, if any, with supporting briefs, may be filed within 30 days. Sur-replies, if any, with supporting briefs, may be filed within 30 days.   (ORDER LIST: 5 92 U.S.) THURSDAY , OCTOBER 2 9, 20 20 ORDER IN PENDING CASE 20 A74 BERGER, PHILIP E ., ET AL. V. NC BOARD OF ELECTION S, ET AL. The application for stay presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied. Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Justice Gorsuch would grant the application on the issue of the ballot -receipt deadline . Justice Barrett took no part in the consideration or decision of this application.   So we honestly do not know what this absent Amy Barrett is going to do in the Texas case, as she finds ways to keep Pedo Biden safe in his crimes, but then the Pater Pope is all for child rape, so it must be her Catholic doctrine.After Sam Alito betrayed the trust of Americans, what can be counted on in him?Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said nothing, nor did Clarence Thomas in the dismissal of the case concerning the obliteration of honest States voting to Pennsylvania's. This Lame Cherry does note that the first plea this blog made, about the disenfranchisement of honest states by these crooked Biden states is exactly the standing which Texas and the other states are making their filing on, and the President has joined them. That is the legalities of this and what this blog stated by God's Inspiration from the beginning.For this poor orphan girl's preparations, I have no faith in this dishonest Supreme Court and my focus is on Military Tribunals as General Michael Flynn advocated. By the results, 97% of the judiciary in the United States is corrupt. The politicians are 97% feckless in the GOP and 3% cowards.This exposure to reality only cements the need for the last judicial group in the military to arrest the criminals and allow for America to rebuild as it accomplished under the military in Abraham Lincoln. The criminal subversion which Abraham Lincoln overcame, was absolutely nothing compared to what Donald Trump has encountered in this 2020 election. Democrat George McClellan was a Patriot and a Saint, and Republicans and Democrats who voted for the Trump Union Party, were honest. Joe Biden is a criminal pedophile and he is joined to foreigners waging war on the United States to seat him, along with these traitors who worked in regimes around America and in the clerk's offices counting fraud ballots.As stated, after Sam Alito I have zero trust in this Supreme Court. This is not the fine William Rehnquist Court who was the second greatest Chief Justice in the United States who formed a consensus with Sandra O'Connor, Clarence Thomas, Anton Scalia and Anthony Kennedy.The bullshit which has taken place under Bunghole John Roberts never would have taken place with William Rehnquist.The Lame Cherry is not pinning it's hopes on this sodomite court of baby butchers. I choose to prepare for the next step in military tribunals governed by General Michael Flynn. Justice will be accomplished for thee American voter in a Flynn High Court.Nuff Said   agtG     
Johns Hopkins, long believed by university to be abolitionist, owned slaves, records show
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 12:17
NBCBLK Census records about the 19th-century philanthropist contrasts with university's long-held beliefs about its founder.
The Johns Hopkins University with MSE Library and Homewood House museum in the background on the Homewood Campus at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland on July 16, 2004. JHU Sheridan Libraries / Gado/Getty Images fileDec. 10, 2020, 1:49 AM EST
By Phil Helsel
Johns Hopkins, the founder of the Baltimore research university and hospital who was was long believed to be a staunch and early abolitionist, owned slaves, the institution announced Wednesday.
Census records recently uncovered during research list Hopkins as owning several slaves in the mid-1800s.
"We now have government census records that state Mr. Hopkins was the owner of one enslaved person listed in his household in 1840 and four enslaved people listed in 1850," university President Ronald J. Daniels; Paul B. Rothman, dean of medical faculty; and Kevin W. Sowers, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System, wrote in a letter to the Johns Hopkins community. "By the 1860 census, there are no enslaved persons listed in the household."
It had been long thought that Hopkins' father freed the family's slaves in 1807, they wrote. It is now less clear if that was the case and whether Johns Hopkins was an abolitionist.
Johns Hopkins, painted portrait at 40 years of age, 1835. JHU Sheridan Libraries / Gado/Getty Images fileJohns Hopkins University was America's first research university, and it has been recognized and relied upon for a project to track and provide information surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hopkins founded the university through a multi-million dollar bequest after his death.
The philanthropist left $7 million in his will to open a hospital, orphanage and university; at the time it was the largest philanthropic bequest in the nation's history.
The records were uncovered as part of a research project, and the project's team learned in late spring about the possible existence of the 1850 census document showing Hopkins as a slaveholder, the school officials said.
The administrators called for more research to establish a clearer picture of Hopkins' life. There is no comprehensive biography, and his personal papers are thought to have been destroyed before his death or lost suddenly.
The previous narrative of Hopkins as an early abolitionist is mostly from a book that also said his father freed their slaves and was written by Hopkins' grandniece Helen Thom and published in 1929, the school officials said '-- and they admitted the university believed that without fully investigating the claims. Hopkins died in 1873.
But the research by Martha S. Jones and Allison Seyler "finds no evidence to substantiate Thom's description of Johns Hopkins as an abolitionist," the university's message to the community says.
"They have been unable to document the story of Johns Hopkins' parents freeing enslaved people in 1807, but they have found a partial freeing of enslaved people in 1778 by Johns Hopkins' grandfather, and also continued slaveholding and transactions involving enslaved persons for decades thereafter," Wednesday's message says.
Jones, a history professor at the university, wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Wednesday that Thom's account of Hopkins was "a set of reminiscences that erased her uncle's role in slaveholding."
"This year, so many of us at Johns Hopkins have taken pride in being affiliated with our colleagues in medicine and public health who have brilliantly confronted the coronavirus pandemic," Jones wrote. "That pride, for me, now mixes with bitterness. Our university was the gift of a man who traded in the liberty and dignity of other men and women."
But, she wrote, "displacing myth with historical fact is difficult but necessary."
The university officials said that they don't know the names, circumstances or relationships of the enslaved people in the uncovered census records. They said it also not clear why in 1860 his household was listed as no longer having any slaves.
Details about the lives of those enslaved are among several questions raised by the research, they wrote.
Phil Helsel Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.
Tim Cook differentiates Apple from Big Tech rivals
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 12:13
Published Wed, Dec 9 2020 12:05 PM EST
Updated Wed, Dec 9 2020 2:57 PM EST
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Tim Cook said in a podcast released Wednesday that Apple is different from other Silicon Valley giants shirking their responsibility on issues like misinformation."Some of the big issues that are surrounding tech today are the lack of responsibility taken on a platform about what happens," said Cook. "We clearly take responsibility."Facebook, likely a veiled target of the comments, has increased its criticism of Apple's policies recently. Tim Cook at Apple Event
Source: Apple
Apple CEO Tim Cook took shots at other Big Tech companies for not taking as much responsibility as Apple on issues such as misinformation and data privacy in an interview on "The Outside Podcast" released Wednesday morning. Cook's comments, which did not mention rivals by name, came as Facebook ramps up its criticism of Apple's policies.
"Some people see Silicon Valley as monolithic. And so in particular, the larger companies they sort of put in one bucket, if you will," said Cook on the podcast. "Some of the big issues that are surrounding tech today are the lack of responsibility taken on a platform about what happens. We clearly take responsibility. We make tough decisions."
Facebook, Google's YouTube and Twitter have faced consistent criticism for their misinformation policies, especially this year relating to the presidential election and Covid-19. While Facebook and Twitter have monitored posts about the election results since Nov. 3, YouTube only just announced Wednesday it would start taking down misinformation on that topic.
Apple has avoided these problems directly since it doesn't have a social media platform, but Cook said the company has tried to play its part through curation in Apple News and the App Store.
"You can be a great amplifier of misinformation, of violence, of a lot of different things out there," said Cook. "We don't want to be a part of any of this. We don't want to be a part of the hate at all. And I feel, by and large, that we've avoided that."
Cook also differentiated Apple from other Big Tech companies on privacy, which he said could be "the most important topic of the 21st century" aside from climate change.
Starting in 2021, Apple will remove apps from the App Store that track users without first receiving their permission. This latest step to add privacy features is putting Apple increasingly at odds with advertisers like Facebook, who say the changes hurt their ability to target ads and measure their effectiveness. Facebook said Apple's change could reduce revenue for one of its advertising businesses by 50%. Facebook-owned WhatsApp also recently protested Apple's new privacy label requirements, claiming it would be anti-competitive because Apple's own iMessage would be exempt.
But Apple told CNBC on Wednesday that its own apps will also have the "nutrition labels" required of third-party developers.
Facebook is a frequent target of scrutiny over its own privacy practices. Most notably, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook a record $5 billion in 2019 after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the firm reportedly accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users without authorization.
"We go through extreme engineering in order not to collect a bunch of data, not to give the excuse of 'I've got to have all of this to do my job,'" said Cook. "So we just have to tell that story. And it is a challenge because the simplistic thinking just sort of categorizes everybody together. But fortunately, it's not what we're doing or how we're doing it or why we're doing it."
Cook also claimed that Apple does not design its products to "grab your attention," although some activists like Tristan Harris have argued that the iPhone is filled with design choices that increase engagement and foster tech addiction. But Cook noted that Apple has built features like Screen Time that can help with time management.
This year Apple has only grown bigger through the pandemic. Its stock is up 70% year-to-date as it has released a slew of new products this fall, from new iPhones and MacBooks to its new Fitness+ subscription service, which launches Dec. 14.
"The way that we've always viewed our responsibility is that, as a platform owner, that we have the responsibility of how the product is used and not just to throw something out there and see how it's used and see what the implications of it are," Cook said. "But everybody doesn't have that frame of mind, unfortunately."
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Fauci wants people to know that one of lead scientists who developed the Covid-19 vaccine is a Black woman - CNN
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 12:13
(CNN) Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging Black Americans hesitant to take the Covid-19 vaccine to trust the process -- in part because one of the scientists at the forefront of the vaccine's development is a Black woman.
The nation's top infectious disease expert, speaking at an event hosted by the National Urban League on Tuesday, said it was important to acknowledge the US history of racism in medical research and understand how that has fostered mistrust among some Black people.
But Fauci stressed that the upcoming Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective, adding that African American scientists have been involved in their development.
"The very vaccine that's one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels -- 94 to 95% efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100% efficacy against serious disease that are shown to be clearly safe -- that vaccine was actually developed in my institute's vaccine research center by a team of scientists led by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, or Kizzy Corbett," Fauci said.
Corbett is the National Institute of Health's lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research. She is part of a team that worked with the biotechnology company Moderna on one of the two mRNA vaccines expected to receive emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration this month. Pfizer's vaccine candidate is the other one.
"So, the first thing you might want to say to my African American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that you're going to be taking was developed by an African American woman," Fauci added. "And that is just a fact."
Experts are trying to build confidenceBlack Americans and other people of color have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, increasing the urgency among health experts and community leaders to build confidence and trust in the vaccine.
But skepticism among some people of color, especially Black Americans, remains high.
A study released by the COVID Collaborative, the NAACP and UnidosUS found that only 14% of Black Americans trust that a vaccine will be safe and 18% trust it will be effective. Their concerns stem largely from a history of racism in medical research and healthcare that includes incidents like the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, the study found.
Corbett told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta that she sees vaccine hesitancy in Black communities firsthand. Rebuilding trust in medical institutions will take time, she said, and that's something that health experts have to accept.
"I would say to people who are vaccine-hesitant that you've earned the right to ask the questions that you have around these vaccines and this vaccine development process," she says in an upcoming episode of the CNN podcast "Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction."
For her part, Corbett said she is trying to help earn back that trust.
She has been outspoken on the role systemic racism has played in the pandemic, and has criticized the Trump administration for a lack of diversity on its coronavirus task force.
"Trust, especially when it has been stripped from people, has to be rebuilt in a brick-by-brick fashion," she said. "And so, what I say to people firstly is that I empathize, and then secondly is that I'm going to do my part in laying those bricks. And I think that if everyone on our side, as physicians and scientists, went about it that way, then the trust would start to be rebuilt."
Fauci addresses specific concernsFauci is taking a similar approach.
He said he generally hears two major concerns about the vaccines: the speed at which they were developed, and their safety and efficacy.
Though vaccines have traditionally taken years or even decades to develop, advancements in vaccine platform technology have significantly shortened that process without compromising safety or scientific integrity, Fauci said.
He also addressed concerns that pharmaceutical companies or the federal government couldn't be trusted to assess the safety of the vaccine, saying that both are advised by independent committees made up of experienced clinicians, scientists and ethicists.
Those independent experts, not politicians, determine whether the vaccine is safe for the public, he added.
"When they then say that the vaccine is safe and effective, I will tell you all that I, myself, will be perfectly comfortable in taking the vaccine and I will recommend it to my family," Fauci said.
CNN's Nicquel Terry Ellis, Sanjay Gupta and Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.
Minneapolis City Council votes to cut millions from police budget amid record crime rates - The Washington Post
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 12:12
Minneapolis City Council member Alondra Cano speaks at an event at Powderhorn Park on June 7. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune/AP)
MINNEAPOLIS '-- The Minneapolis City Council, which tried and failed to dismantle the police department in the wake of George Floyd's death, voted early Thursday to shift nearly $8 million from next year's police budget to other city services as part of an effort to "transform" public safety in the city.
The controversial plan was approved unanimously as part of the city's 2021 budget.
Mayor Jacob Frey had earlier threatened a veto to the budget, calling the police cuts "irresponsible" as the city confronts an unprecedented wave of violence and scores of police officer departures since Floyd's death that have left the department struggling to respond to emergencies.
But in a statement early Thursday, Frey praised the council for removing language that would have permanently shrunk the size of the force by about 130 officers in what he described as a "defining moment for our city."
Council members who supported the "Safety for All" plan argued the city could no longer tolerate what they described as a broken system of policing and a department that has been resistant to reform.
''Believe me, this is not an easy vote to take, but I believe it is right,'' said Andrea Jenkins, a council member who represents an area of South Minneapolis adjacent to the street corner where Floyd was killed.
The vote came after days of contentious public hearings and deeply emotional debate among council members, who have openly struggled to balance concern about historically high crime across Minneapolis against public calls to reform a police department that has long been accused of racism and excessive force, especially against residents of color.
The budget fight unfolded six months after Floyd's death, which sparked worldwide protests and a national reckoning on issues of race, social justice and policing.
George Floyd's America: Examining systemic racism and racial injustice in the post-civil rights era
The 46-year-old Black man died after being handcuffed and restrained face down on a South Minneapolis street by police responding to a 911 call about a counterfeit $20 bill that had been passed at a local convenience store. Following a struggle, then-Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes as the man repeatedly complained of struggling to breathe.
Chauvin, who was with the department for 19 years, has been charged with murder, and three other officers at the scene '-- J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao '-- have been charged with aiding and abetting. All four were fired from the police department and are scheduled to go on trial in March.
In June, days after Floyd's killing, a majority of the city council promised to defund and dismantle the department and replace it with a new agency focused on a mix of public safety and violence prevention. But some elected leaders have backed off those promises in recent months.
''If we're considering taking everything out of MPD that's not an officer with a gun, I don't believe in that,'' Alondra Cano, a council member whose district includes the South Minneapolis intersection where Floyd was killed, said during a hearing Monday.
Frey had proposed a $179 million police budget for 2021, a cut of approximately $14 million from the approved 2020 budget because of declining city revenue related to the coronavirus pandemic. But under the budget approved Thursday, the council would divert $7.7 million from law enforcement to fund alternatives to policing, including mental health crisis teams and additional staffers in the city's office of violence prevention.
About $5 million of that money came from cuts to a budget for police overtime '-- a move that Police Chief Medaria Arradondo had strongly discouraged, calling overtime a ''necessity'' for the department as it copes with staffing shortages and prepares for the trial of the four former police officers charged in Floyd's death.
Minneapolis violence surges as police officers leave department in droves
The department had been funded for about 880 officers in 2020. But Arradondo told council members Monday that, as of Dec. 1, the agency was down 166 officers '-- some of whom have permanently left the force and others who have been out on long-term medical leave, many citing post-traumatic stress disorder from the civil unrest that erupted after Floyd's death.
In a last-minute debate, council members rejected a motion that would have reduced the number of full-time officers to 750 '-- essentially not replacing the officers who have left. Supporters argued that the amendment would simply take the open positions off the books, as the staffing shortage is unlikely to be solved in the coming year.
''It's not possible to magically recruit more officers,'' said Steve Fletcher, a council member who represents part of downtown Minneapolis. ''Open positions do not solve crimes. Open positions do not write tickets. Open positions do not prevent anything. They do not deter anything. They do not create a sense of safety.''
Under the budget plan approved early Thursday, the council set up an $11.4 million reserve fund that would include about $6 million Frey had budgeted for two future recruiting classes, as well as an additional $5 million for police overtime. The police department would have to get city council approval to access the funds '-- an effort to increase accountability for the department, council members said.
Ahead of Thursday's vote, council members, meeting in a virtual hearing because of the pandemic, heard hours of testimony from hundreds of Minneapolis residents who phoned in their comments about the proposed cuts.
Many invoked Floyd's police custody death to argue for reduced funding for an agency they said cannot be reformed. Many callers who identified themselves as residents of the South Minneapolis neighborhoods that were burned and destroyed during the civil unrest that erupted after Floyd's killing blamed police for inflaming the protests and doing little to stop the looting and burning of businesses.
''The actions of the MPD after George Floyd just showed to me how the MPD is irredeemable,'' a South Minneapolis resident named Paul, who gave no last name, told the council. ''They don't care about us. They all live in the suburbs, and they don't prevent any crime. All they do is escalate the situation.''
Others accused the council of acting rashly by reducing funding for the department at a crucial moment in the city and without proof that the alternative policing methods it is embracing will work quickly enough to contain the surging crime and violence.
Doug Tanner, a resident of South Minneapolis, told council members his wife had been carjacked, robbed and assaulted.
''The fact that this council does not even acknowledge there is a problem is irresponsible,'' he said. ''The crime rate is at an all-time high, and you want less cops on the street. Where does common sense come into the equation?''
Homicides in Minneapolis are up more than 50 percent, with nearly 80 people killed across the city so far this year. Nearly 530 people have been shot, the highest number in more than a decade and twice as many as in 2019. And there have been more than 4,600 violent crimes '-- including hundreds of carjackings and robberies '-- a five-year high.
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How and When the SCOTUS Will Overturn the Election | Zero Hedge | Zero Hedge
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 04:28
Get ready for some fireworks.
The state of Texas (along with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and South Dakota) is suing the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the Supreme Court.
Texas is arguing that those four states violated the constitution when they passed new election laws to allow mail-in voting and other changes to their election process.
The Constitution of the United States is explicit that only state legislators NOT state governors, attorney generals, or secretary of states can change how elections are processed.
The media is keeping pretty quiet about this, or attempting to frame it as nothing, but it is a HUGE deal. The Supreme Court has already docketed the case meaning that the SCOTUS will hear it.
If the SCOTUS rules that of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin did in fact violate the constitution (they did), then either:
1) Those votes that were allowed under the new laws are thrown out.
Or'...
2) The elections in those states become null and void.
If the outcome is #1, then President Trump wins all four states in a landslide.
Remember, the mail-in ballots were pro-Biden by a massive margin (90%+). If those votes no longer count, Biden loses tens of thousands of votes in all four key states (his margin of victory is only 1% or lower in all four of them).
If the outcome is #2, then 62 electoral college votes vanish from the vote count.
This means NO ONE hits the required 270 electoral college votes to win the election outright and the election moves into Congress as per the 12th Amendment.
There, the House of Representatives votes for the President on a one vote per state basis. The GOP has 26 states, the Democrats have 24 states.
This again, means Trump wins the election.
You can be furious at this all you want, but it's the law. The fact the media doesn't bother explaining this only reveals that they're ignorant of how elections work in the U.S. or are so biased they can't be bothered to consider an outcome in which Biden doesn't win.
So, like I said'... get ready for some fireworks. The odds of President Trump actually winning the election are the highest they've been since the election itself.
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JayeMarie on Twitter: "Ric Grenell just said on Hannity there are many mayors, Governors and senior officials caught up in the Chinese spy ring. Said we'll know more in a couple of days." / Twitter
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 03:49
JayeMarie : Ric Grenell just said on Hannity there are many mayors, Governors and senior officials caught up in the Chinese spy'... https://t.co/ogDXNaXkBe
Thu Dec 10 02:48:49 +0000 2020
Duke 🇺🇸 : @ZupancicJareen @CJDanielsFarms Utah's Herbert https://t.co/u83YkqWwQi
Thu Dec 10 03:48:03 +0000 2020
Chris : @ZupancicJareen @Vegan_Mary Haha @MassGovernor going down. Finally. Beijing Baker.
Thu Dec 10 03:44:42 +0000 2020
Great Patriot 🇺🇸🇺🇲 : @ZupancicJareen @stacnra He did not go on there by accident.
Thu Dec 10 03:42:49 +0000 2020
wyatt law : @ZupancicJareen @RLSoonerinTX Well, I suppose it was cool to hold this back until after the election. Wouldn't wann'... https://t.co/a3pp9rrbEi
Thu Dec 10 03:36:35 +0000 2020
DDBJ9033newlife2017 : @ZupancicJareen ðŸ¤--ðŸ"wow. We'll see. Ric Grenell is good people.
Thu Dec 10 03:28:54 +0000 2020
Newlyawakened : @ZupancicJareen @JaniceBuckler Mayor and governor here in illinois i hope ...they have been putting it to us and crushing small businesses
Thu Dec 10 03:26:36 +0000 2020
libertatis : @ZupancicJareen Hello, @GovInslee #ArrestTheGovernors
Thu Dec 10 03:22:55 +0000 2020
LTJR : @ZupancicJareen @NanalovesAub I am guessing all Governor and Mayors that are pushing lockdowns and mask are compromised @SecPompeo
Thu Dec 10 03:20:17 +0000 2020
@rrTeri : @ZupancicJareen @westseattleelms "A couple of days" never ever comes.
Thu Dec 10 03:10:45 +0000 2020
ShelsHeadSpace : @ZupancicJareen @roman_jazzy Jay inslee is one of them, I just know it. Hes as greasy as they come
Thu Dec 10 03:07:07 +0000 2020
maggiesmom : @ZupancicJareen @grizzleerose ðŸµðŸ‘ðŸ‘👂
Thu Dec 10 03:06:38 +0000 2020
🌵🇺🇸ESexton🇺🇸🌵 : @ZupancicJareen @TimboBlue41 Please bring down Ducey and Kemp
Thu Dec 10 03:05:43 +0000 2020
Black doctors endorse taking 'safe and effective' Covid-19 vaccine
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 03:23
Eight prominent Black doctors wrote a "love letter to Black America" to encourage people to get the Covid-19 vaccine once it becomes available.
A significant proportion of Black Americans said in an Axios/Ipsos poll in August that they were unlikely to get the first-generation coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available. Compared to slightly more than half of white and Latino respondents who said they'd get the vaccine, 72 percent of Black respondents said they wouldn't immediately get a vaccination for Covid-19.
In addition to some general skepticism about the vaccine, there is historical skepticism among the Black community about medical experimentation and vaccines. Many point to the experiences of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were taken by doctors at Johns Hopkins University without her knowledge for experimentation as she died of cancer, and of the men subjected to the torturous Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
The doctors said their health care colleagues are aware of the collective distrust. To get the Black community to take the vaccine, "they must do more to earn your trust '-- now and in the future," they said.
"We ask you to join us in participating in clinical trials and taking a vaccine once it's proven safe and effective," they said. "We know that our collective role in helping to create a vaccine that works for Black people '-- and that we trust '-- has an impact on our very survival."
They added, "Respect for our Black bodies and our Black lives must be a core value for those who are working to find the vaccine for this virus that has already taken so many of our loved ones."
The doctors, who are in "key decision-making roles from the lab to the clinic to the virtual boardroom" are: Leon McDougle, president of the National Medical Association; David Carlisle, president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Martha A. Dawson, a doctor of nursing practice who is president of the National Black Nurses Association; Wayne A.I. Frederick, president of Howard University; James Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College; Valerie Montgomery Rice, president of Morehouse School of Medicine; Randall Morgan, president of The Cobb Institute; and Reed Tuckson, a founding member of the Black Coalition Against Covid.
The group asked the Black community to keep them accountable for protecting their health. They also shared their role within a medical and racial justice framework and encouraged people to continue practicing safety precautions, even though weathering several months of the pandemic is burdensome.
"We affirm that Black Lives Matter. We love you. And as Black health professionals, we have a higher calling to stand for racial justice and to fight for health equity," the group said. "We plead with you to wear your masks, continue social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding indoor events until vaccines are widely available."
Follow NBCBLK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Randi Richardson Randi Richardson is a news associate at NBC News.
Amid pandemic restrictions, half of Naperville restaurants fear closure in 5 months, survey says '' Central Times
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 03:10
After COVID-19 positivity rates remained higher than the eight percent threshold set by the state despite Tier 2 mitigation efforts, Gov. J. B. Pritzker ordered Tier 3 restrictions for all of Illinois that took effect on Nov. 20.
For businesses, these restrictions include a ban on indoor dining, a cap of 25 people for any gatherings, and the closing of theaters, museums and casinos. Retailers and personal care services can continue to operate at 25% capacity while grocery stores and pharmacies will be capped at 50% of their maximum capacity.
The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC) conducted a survey in late October to investigate the impact of the previous indoor dining ban announced by Gov. Pritzker on Oct. 28.
Twenty percent of restaurants reported they have only enough money to stay open for the next month if restrictions continue. Another 30 percent of respondents reported they could stay open for one to five more months.
''This survey underscores that [Naperville] restaurants & bars are near their breaking point,'' NACC Director of Government Affairs Reba Osborne wrote in a press release . ''Most of them are small business owners who do not have large amounts of capital to keep them floating through rough times.''
Naperville has set aside $100,000 to offer grants of up to $5,000 for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Grant recipients will be determined through a lottery system.
''This new grant funding provides another form of support to our small businesses as they do their very best during these challenging times to stay afloat,'' Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said in a news release.
Restaurants have also been offered support from the Naperville Public Works Department.
''We've been working with our restaurants'...to provide them with a path to continue to stay open by using public spaces, by waiving permit fees [and] permit inspections, putting up tents or tables, by allowing outdoor dining,'' Chirico said.
In response to the indoor dining ban that went into effect on Nov. 4, Mayor Chirico wrote to Pritzker two weeks ago.
''Restaurant owners know how to safely operate,'' Chirico wrote. ''The sad truth is, however, that many of these small businesses did not survive the first ban on indoor dining and many more will not survive this one.''
In an interview with Central Times, Chirico voiced concerns over whether the governor's orders were focused in the right place, citing the DuPage County Health Department.
''Almost 80% of deaths in Naperville are from long term care facilities,'' Chirico said. ''Instead of focusing on [restaurants and bars] where less than one percent of the outbreaks have been found, [Pritzker is] focusing on that and not on long term care facilities where 80% of the deaths and most of the outbreaks have occurred.''
In addition to accounting for 77% of deaths in Naperville, long term care facilities also account for roughly 19% of Naperville area COVID-19 cases.
Restaurants are also causes of ''superspreader'' events, a study by a group of Stanford scientists suggests.
Despite the indoor ban effective since Nov. 4, Illinois' daily infections continued to grow until Nov. 13.
''Have we seen cases go down? We have not'...I knew it wouldn't work,'' Chirico said. ''Because [Pritzker] is focusing on an area that represents such a tiny fraction of what our data, our science in DuPage [and] Will County show as outbreak sources.''
Nevertheless, the governor announced on Nov. 17 in a press conference that all of Illinois would be in Tier 3 mitigations effective Nov. 20.
''Tier 3 boils down to this, if you don't need to do it, don't,'' Pritzker said.
The newest restrictions include the closing of recreational facilities such as museums, casinos and theaters. Indoor dining remains banned while outdoor seating must remain six feet apart. Gyms and hotels are restricted to 25 percent capacity.
''Right now, this virus has backed us into a corner, and we are left making insanely difficult and weighty decisions,'' said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The statewide positivity rate from Nov. 10-16 was 14.5%.
Despite the current situation, Chirico remains optimistic for the future of Naperville.
''Very quickly'... within months, we should be getting back to a'...more normal environment,'' Chirico said. ''Hang in there.''
Corrections: The version of this story we originally published stated in the opening paragraph that restrictions on businesses '' include the suspension of all salon activities, a ban on indoor dining, and a restricted restaurant party size of six people.'' In fact, the operations of salons were not suspended. Rather, they are listed as ''personal care services'' under the governor's mitigations and can therefore continue to operate at up to a 25% capacity.
In addition, the story's original headline read: ''After Gov. Pritzker announces Tier 3 restrictions for all of Illinois, half of Naperville restaurants fear closure in 5 months, study says.'' This would mislead a reader to think that the study cited in the article was conducted in response to Pritzker's announcement, when, in fact, the study was conducted prior to it.
The story has been updated to correct the error, and a new headline more accurately conveys the facts of the story. We apologize for these mistakes and any confusion they caused.
Covid-19: Four Pfizer vaccine trial volunteers develop Bell's palsy | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:43
Four people who got Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine in the firm's trial developed Bell's palsy, a form of temporary facial paralysis, according to U.S. regulators' report on the shot.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators said there wasn't any clear way that the vaccine caused Bell's palsy, but warned that doctors should watch for the alarming side effect and Pfizer should continue to keep tab on how many people it strikes.
No one knows what exactly causes Bell's palsy, which resolves on its own most of the time.
This isn't the first time it's been linked to vaccines, but scientists have ultimately ruled that shots did not trigger Bell's in all but one case - a Swiss flu vaccine that was sold during the 2001-2002 flu season there, then promptly taken off the market.
So far, the FDA said that the number of Bell's palsy cases seen in the Pfizer vaccine trial was 'consistent with the background frequency of reported Bell's palsy in the vaccine group that is consistent with the expected background rate in the general population, and there is no clear basis upon which to conclude a causal relationship at this time,' but will keep a close watch on future cases.
Four people who received the real shot in Pfizer's trial of its coronavirus vaccine developed a form of temporary facial paralysis known as Bell's policy, new data from the firm and the FDA published ahead of regulators' Thursday approval meeting revealed. Pictured: a UK trial participant gets Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine
Bell's palsy typically resolves on its own but can cause one side of the face to droop rather alarmingly for weeks. It's exact cause is unknown but it's more common among pregnant women, people with diabetes and those with upper respiratory infections
The four cases of Bell's palsy were the only side effect that the FDA saw as 'imbalanced' with more occurring in the vaccine group than the placebo group, and fewer than 0.5 percent of the trial participants had serious side effects.
Among the four people who developed Bell's palsy, one saw facial paralysis or weakness within three days after they received the shot.
WHAT IS BELL'S PALSY?Bell's palsy is a condition that causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in one side of the face.
It is a rare condition which is believed to affect around one in 5,000 people each year.
It is is believed to occur when the nerve that controls the muscles in your face becomes compressed.
The exact cause is unknown, although it's thought to be because the facial nerve becomes inflamed, possibly due to a viral infection. Variants of the herpes virus may be responsible.
Around seven out of 10 people with Bell's palsy make a complete recovery, with or without treatment.
Most people notice an improvement in their symptoms after about two to three weeks. However, a complete recovery can take between three and six months.
But the participant's face returned to normal about three days after that.
A second person developed Bell's palsy nine days after receiving the shot, and the others' faces grew weak 37 and 48 days after vaccination, respectively.
Each of those three recovered from the facial paralysis in 10 to 21 days.
Bell's palsy comes on suddenly, and looks alarmingly like a stroke.
Most sufferers notice that one side of their face starts to droop, and the muscles grow weak. In rare cases, both side of the face may become temporarily paralyzed.
Some people also become more sensitive to sound, usually in the ear corresponding with the side of the face that's drooping.
Others lose their sense of taste, get headaches or develop pain around the jaw or ear of the affected side of their heads.
Bell's palsy is also known as cute peripheral facial palsy of unknown cause.
As made plain by its name, doctors don't know exactly what causes it.
It can strike at any age, and drag on for weeks, but almost always resolves on its own over weeks or months, so there aren't any particular treatments.
Each year, about 40,000 people in the US develop Bell's palsy.
Put another way, about one in every 60 to 70 people will suddenly find their face paralyzed at least once over the course of their lifetimes.
There are some patterns to who tends to get Bell's palsy. It's more common in pregnant women, especially during their third trimester, or shortly after birth. People with diabetes are also more prone to Bell's.
Having an upper respiratory infection, like the cold or the flu is also a risk factor.
As a respiratory infection, it's possible that COVID-19 itself could be a risk factor for Bell's palsy. Facial palsy was reported in three Brazilian COVID-19 patients, at least one person in China, a pregnant woman in Portugal, and in a number of Indian patients.
Bell's palsy is thought to happen when swelling and inflammation compress one or more facial nerves, causing patients to lose control of those muscles.
Infections, including flu, adenoviruses (a common cause of the common cold), mono, chickenpox or shingles, herpes viruses, rubella, and hand-foot-and-mouth disease, have all been linked to Bell's. Scientists think the inflammation these trigger can in turn cause the temporary paralysis.
There have also been sporadic reports of people suspecting that inactivated versions of some of these viruses used in vaccines to prevent them caused Bell's palsy.
Enough concern has been expressed that scientists have conducted a number of studies to try to work out if these shots really could cause temporary palsy.
Investigations of Bell's linked to vaccines for hepatitis B, DTAP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), herpes and several flu shots have all ultimately concluded the jabs weren't the root cause of Bell's palsy.
The one exception was Berna Biotech's Nasalflu, an inhaled flu vaccine made and sold in Switzerland. It was made with inactivated flu virus and a form of E. coli (a bacterium commonly used to develop vaccines and pharmaceuticals).
But the vaccine used a particular E. coli toxin that scientists think triggered inflammation and caused Bell's palsy in some recipients.
Overall Bell's is unpredictable and common enough that it's thus far doubtful that Pfizer's COVID-19 causes it, but the FDA's scientists hinted that, if the panel set to meet on Thursday green-light it - Pfizer may be required to closely track data on whether more vaccine recipients develop the temporary facial paralysis.
Nine Newspapers drops China Daily 'propaganda' insert
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:35
Nine Newspapers has quietly stopped running a monthly paid insert that had been criticised as Chinese Communist Party ''propaganda''.
The eight-page ''China Watch'' liftout, produced by the CCP's official English-language mouthpiece China Daily, had been published each month in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review, as part of a deal struck under previous owners Fairfax Media in 2016.
The Guardian first reported on Wednesday that Nine Newspapers had decided not to renew the lucrative contract six months ago, following similar decisions by media organisations around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, including the UK's Daily Telegraph in April.
A Nine spokesman declined to comment when contacted by news.com.au.
Nine's political editor Chris Uhlmann had publicly criticised his own employer for running the insert, tweeting a picture in February with the caption, ''Always exciting when the monthly China Daily insert appears in The Sydney Morning Herald. As it so rightly says, 'All You Need to Know'.''
Uhlmann told The Australian newspaper at the time that the insert was ''extremely disturbing''.
''Since the moment the decision was made (in 2016) to have the China Daily insert in The Sydney Morning Herald, I've made it clear that I've found it an extremely disturbing development that Communist Party propaganda has the apparent endorsement of an Australian media organisation,'' he said.
''I said that before I joined Nine and I haven't changed my opinion.''
The China Watch liftout heavily promoted the Chinese government.
In February, one story headlined ''China's fight to contain virus wins wide acclaim'' praised the Chinese government's COVID-19 ­responses. ''China has taken the most comprehensive and rigorous containment and mitigation measures, and many go well beyond the requirements of the International Health Regulations,'' it said.
According to The Guardian, when Fairfax Media began carrying the liftout in 2016, the company justified the move by saying it was commercial printing arrangement for revenue and noted other newspapers around the world also carried it, including The Washington Post and Le Figaro.
The liftout included the disclaimer that ''this supplement, prepared by China Daily, People's Republic of China, did not involve the news or editorial departments of The Sydney Morning Herald''.
It comes as relations between Canberra and Beijing plunge to new lows, with the federal government ''increasingly concerned'' over a flurry of trade attacks after lamb became the latest product sanctioned by China.
Last month, a senior CCP official sparked a diplomatic stoush by tweeting a doctored image of an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to the throat of an Afghan child. Prime Minister Scott Morrison slammed the image as ''offensive'' and ''outrageous'', and demanded an official apology.
frank.chung@news.com.au
Texit? State representative will file bill to allow Texas to secede from the United States
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:19
Sign up for our NewslettersLatest NewsRep. Kyle Biedermann floats a referendum on Texas secessionTexas state flag. (Pixabay)Claiming that the federal government is ''out of control and does not represent the values of Texans,'' a state representative from the Hill Country wants to give Texans the option to opt out of the union.
State Rep. Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredericksburg, told his supporters on Facebook that he plans to file a bill allowing for a referendum on secession.
The Republican said the proposal aligns with the Texas Constitution, which states that Texans have the right to reform or abolish their government.
Biedermann did not offer more specifics on the bill, which has yet to be filed, online records show.
Texans have wondered about secession before, but in reality, it's very unlikely to occur. It would not only be controversial, but potentially illegal.
In 1868, the Supreme Court maintained that Texas is in an ''indissoluble relation'' when it became part of the United States.
Biedermann is no stranger to controversy.
The representative was once photographed at a Halloween party in a ''gay Hitler'' costume based on a Saturday Night Live character. After he was elected, he asked Islamic leaders to fill out a survey on their beliefs, asking if they supported terrorist organizations. Muslim and interfaith groups called the stunt ''misleading and intimidating.''
The legislative session will convene in January.
Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.
About the Author:Fares Sabawi Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for three years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts and data visualization.
Homeowner's Christmas Light Display Shamed For 'Harmful Impact' To Community - LaCorte News
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:15
A St. Anthony, Minnesota resident says he was sent a letter condemning the Christmas decorations on his house as ''divisive'' and ''harmful'' to people with different beliefs.
''The idea of twinkling, colorful lights are a reminder of divisions that continue to run through our society, a reminder of systemic biases against our neighbors who don't celebrate Christmas or who can't afford to put up lights of their own,'' reads the letter, shared by Crime Watch Minneapolis.
''We must do work of educating ourselves about the harmful impact an outward facing display like yours can have. I challenge you to respect the dignity of all people, while striving to learn from differences, ideas, and opinions of our neighbors.''
''We must come together collectively and challenge these institutional inequities. St. Anthony is a community welcoming of all people and we must demand better for ourselves,'' the letter concludes.
It only took a few years for mainstream reporters to go from being biased tooutright activists. Hang around LaCorte News to get some news without the spin.
The letter drew some criticism on Twitter.
''Saw this coming a long time ago. ''If I can't have it nobody can'' or '' if they have it we all deserve it'' that's not life,'' wrote former Baltimore Ravens quarterback Derek Anderson.
Another user pointed out that the person who wrote the letter ironically is ''doing exactly what they accuse the homeowner of doing- not being accepting of others. I would redouble my lights,'' the user wrote.
''Add more lights please and make a sign that you're doing this for the people who can't afford the lights and those who do celebrate Christmas,'' yet another user wrote.
NEWS UNSPUN: If you've stopped trusting the mainstream media '... welcome to LaCorte News. Join us to fight back against dishonest news coverage and social media censorship!
Hackers steal Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine data in Europe, companies say | Reuters
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:14
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said on Wednesday that documents related to development of their COVID-19 vaccine had been ''unlawfully accessed'' in a cyberattack on Europe's medicines regulator.
The headquarters of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is seen in London, Britain, April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which assesses medicines and vaccines for the European Union, said hours earlier it had been targeted in a cyberattack. It gave no further details.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they did not believe any personal data of trial participants had been compromised and EMA ''has assured us that the cyber attack will have no impact on the timeline for its review.''
It was not immediately clear when or how the attack took place, who was responsible or what other information may have been compromised.
The two companies said they had been informed by the EMA ''that the agency has been subject to a cyber attack and that some documents relating to the regulatory submission for Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine candidate'' had been viewed.
Such documents could be extremely valuable to other countries and companies rushing to develop vaccines, experts said.
''When it comes to the data submitted to these kinds of regulatory bodies, we are talking confidential information about the vaccine and its mechanism of action, its efficiency, its risks & known possible side effects and any unique aspects such as handling guidelines,'' said Marc Rogers, founder of a volunteer group fighting Covid-related breaches, CTI-League.
''It also provides detailed information on other parties involved in the supply and distribution of the vaccine and potentially significantly increases the attack surface for the vaccine,'' adding more ways the formulas or production could be hacked or stolen.
The companies said ''no BioNTech or Pfizer systems have been breached in connection with this incident and we are unaware that any study participants have been identified through the data being accessed.''
A spokeswoman for BioNTech declined further comment. Pfizer did not respond to a request for further comment.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is a top contender in the global race to beat back COVID-19. It is already being administered in Britain.
The EMA has said it would complete its review by Dec. 29, although its schedule may change.
The EMA statement gave few details about the attack, saying only it was investigating with help from law enforcement.
''EMA cannot provide additional details whilst the investigation is ongoing,'' it said in a statement.
U.S. law enforcement and cybersecurity officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Hacking attempts against healthcare and medical organisations have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic as attackers ranging from state-backed spies to cyber criminals hunt for information.
Reuters has previously reported on allegations that hackers linked to North Korea, South Korea, Iran, Vietnam, China and Russia have on separate occasions tried to steal information about the virus and potential treatments.
Reuters has documented that espionage campaigns targeted a slew of pharmaceutical and vaccine development companies including Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, and Moderna. Regulators and international organizations such as the World Health Organization have also come under repeated attack.
''Vaccine candidates represent liquid gold to many parties, both in terms of the opportunity and the pure market value,'' said Rogers, who is also vice president at security company Okta Inc. ''Information on the vaccine and access to any link in the distribution chain has significantly increased value.''
The respiratory virus, which emerged in China in late 2019, has infected more than 68 million people worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. More than 1.5 million people have died.
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House GOP: Detroit Rep. Cynthia Johnson made threats in Facebook video
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:11
Republican leaders of the Michigan House of Representatives have removed Rep. Cynthia Johnson, D-Detroit, from her committee assignments in response to comments she made in a video she posted Tuesday on Facebook.
House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, issued a joint news release Wednesday stating Johnson made threats in the video.
At the end of a roughly three-minute video posted Tuesday evening to Facebook, Johnson referenced law enforcement tracking down someone who made a threat against her before issuing what she called a warning.
"So, this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful. Walk lightly. We ain't playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough," Johnson states in the video.
"And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right. Be in order. Make them pay. I love y'all."
The last few seconds of the video have received considerable attention on social media, and were specifically cited in a news release Wednesday from the Michigan Republican Party. But in the same video, Johnson also calls on supporters to "hit 'em in their pocketbooks" and thanks people for "doing things right and in order."
Johnson, who is Black, received a litany of death threats and racist messages after she tried to question Rudy Giuliani during a recent legislative committee hearing. She has posted several voicemails to her Facebook page, including some calling for her to be lynched.
Johnson did not immediately return a voicemail or email seeking comment. In addition to her position as minority vice chair on the House Oversight Committee, Johnson served on the Agriculture and Families, Children and Seniors committees.
Chatfield and Wentworth did not reference any specific comments in the video or identify what they deemed threatening from the video, and a spokesman did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification.
''Threats to either Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American. They're even more unbecoming of an elected official. Rep. Johnson has been removed from her committee assignments, and we are looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their own investigations," Chatfield and Wentworth said in the joint statement.
''We have been consistent in our position on this '-- violence and intimidation is never appropriate in politics. We have said that about threats against Gov. Whitmer, Secretary (of State Jocelyn) Benson, Rep. Johnson herself, and others. That applies to threats made toward public officials, and it must also apply when the threats come from public officials. Behavior like this will not be tolerated this term or next.''
Gideon D'Assandro, a spokesman for Chatfield and Wentworth, said the video was referred to law enforcement. He did not specify which agency.
In a statement, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel condemned both the threats made against Johnson and the comments she made in the video.
''My office has received a number of calls and emails from residents about these incidents. I must remind people that if they have been threatened or if they fear for their safety, the appropriate thing to do is to call your local police department or 911, if it's an emergency, so that law enforcement officers can respond," Nessel said.
"As Michiganders, and as Americans, we cannot allow hateful rhetoric from a few individuals to drag the masses down into a spiral of unjust actions. It is never acceptable for anyone '-- especially a public servant '-- to incite violence or to threaten others with harm. When vigilantes assume justice is theirs to serve, our democracy suffers. It's time for us to move forward together as a state instead of engaging in '-- or celebrating '-- actions of hate and divisiveness.''
House Minority Leader Christine Greig, D-Farmington, and Leader-elect Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon where they labeled Johnson's comments "regrettable" while calling for an end to divisive political rhetoric.
"It is regrettable that her comments have led to the unintended consequence of adding further tension. It's incumbent upon every elected official to be mindful of the impact of our words, especially in a moment of national tension and crisis," Greig and Lasinski said.
The Democratic leaders also blasted the move to remove Johnson from her committees, saying it "illustrates that the Republicans prioritize partisan politics and political theater over healing the wounds of division, preserving the well-being of the Legislature as an institution, protecting the safety of members, and acting on the needs of the people of Michigan."
At the start of the Tuesday Facebook video, Johnson thanks "everybody who is supporting our efforts, and when I say our efforts, I'm talking about doing things right and in order."
"Don't get upset with folks, and start cussing them out and all that. Don't. It never works," she states.
"Be smart. You don't have to yell. You don't have to curse anybody out. You don't have to call people names. Hit their asses in the pocketbook. Hit 'em in the pocketbook."
In a second video posted Wednesday morning, Johnson elaborated on her message to "soldiers."
"All you soldiers, soldiers of Christ. Soldiers against racism. Soldiers against misogyny. Soldiers against domestic violence and domestic terrorism. Soldiers: Rise, it's time for you to rise," Johnson said in a portion of the video.
In a news released Wednesday, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox said Johnson was inciting violence with her "deranged Facebook rant" posted Tuesday.
"It was distressing to know that Representative Johnson received threats after last week's hearing. However by issuing threats of violence of her own against the supporters of President Trump, she has sunk to the same level as the unhinged individuals who threatened her," Cox said, calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Democrats to denounce Johnson's comments.
Representatives for Whitmer and Nessel did not immediately provide comments in response to requests.
Contact Dave Boucher at dboucher@freepress.com or 313-938-4591. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Boucher1.
UPDATE: Dem Who Called on 'Soldiers' to Make Republicans 'Pay' Stripped of Committee Positions | Sean Hannity
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:09
***UPDATE***
A Michigan State Representative who urged ''soldiers'' to ''make Trumpers pay'' has reportedly been stripped of her committee assignments by the Michigan House of Representatives due to her incendiary remarks.
''House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, issued a joint news release Wednesday stating Johnson made threats in the video,'' reports the Detroit Free Press.
New: House GOP removes Detroit Democrat from committees, citing 'threats' in her Facebook video.
Rep. Cynthia Johnson, who posted video Tuesday, had received death threats after she attempted to question Rudy Giuliani during a recent legislative hearing. https://t.co/fuLhlBK0jC
'-- Dave Boucher (@Dave_Boucher1) December 9, 2020
''Threats to either Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American. They're even more unbecoming of an elected official. Rep. Johnson has been removed from her committee assignments, and we are looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their own investigations,'' Chatfield and Wentworth said in the joint statement.
Original Story:
An unhinged Michigan State Representative posted a vicious anti-Republican rant on social media this week; telling ''soldiers'' to make ''Trumpers pay'' in a thinly-veiled threat against supporters of the President.
''So this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful, walk lightly, we ain't playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough. And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right, be in order, make them pay,'' said State Rep. Cynthia Johnson.
Michigan Democratic State Rep. Cynthia Johnson threatened @realDonaldTrump supporters in a Facebook live video Tuesday, saying it is a warning message to those who support the president.
Read more here: https://t.co/QnUstXelby pic.twitter.com/cWIxH1hXL1
'-- Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) December 9, 2020
Watch the stunning comments above.
BIDEN in NEW HAMPSHIRE: 'What You Do Here in Iowa is Going to Set the Tone'posted by Hannity Staff - 12.09.19
Former Vice President Joe Biden left audience members scratching their heads in New Hampshire over the weekend; confusing the northeast state for Iowa -approximately 1,000 miles away.
''The primary race for the United States presidency'... You have an incredible obligation, not to me at all, but to yourselves. What you do here in Iowa ['...] is going to set the tone,'' said Biden before correcting himself.
''New Hampshire, the primary in New Hampshire,'' he added.
Joe Biden says he is in Iowa when he is actually in New Hampshire.
Iowa and New Hampshire are 1,000+ miles away from each other.pic.twitter.com/Fh3Nl02fde
'-- Tommy Pigott (@TCPigott) December 8, 2019
Biden made a similar mistake earlier this year; confusing New Hampshire for the neighboring state of Vermont.
''I've been here a number of times'...I love this place. Look, what's not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it?'' Biden told reporters.
Biden, who is in New Hampshire, thinks he is in Vermont
At some point, the media is going to have to stop calling this "gaffes" https://t.co/Dhno1WN2rU
'-- Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 24, 2019
BIDEN in PENN: 'Rapid Results Testing Contract, Contract Contact Tracing, Widely Available Personnel!'posted by Hannity Staff - 6.17.20
Former Vice President Joe Biden continued his gaffe-filled campaign at a speaking event in Pennsylvania Wednesday; bizarrely stating the country needs ''contract tracing capacity widely available personnel.''
''Here comes the rapid results testing Contract Contract Contact Tracing Capacity, widely available personnel protective equipment,'' said Biden.
Must have been a typo on the teleprompter. pic.twitter.com/45snKpw8RM
'-- Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 17, 2020
Watch Biden's comments above.
HUGE: After 4 Years of Stonewalling Corrupt FBI Finally Admits They're Holding Seth Rich's Laptop
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:50
A stunning development on the legal front that directly impacts the so-called conspiracy theory that the death of Seth Rich was something more than routine street crime. The FBI now admits it has Seth Rich's laptop. This information has just been posted on Lawflog.com courtesy of Ty Clevenger.
TRENDING: "Make Them Pay!" - Michigan Democrat Cynthia Johnson Issues Threat - Calls Out 'Soldiers' to Take Care of Trumpers (VIDEO)
According to an email posted at Lawflog.com and sent to attorney Ty Clevenger, the attorney for the FBI now admits that the:
FBI has completed the initial search identifying approximately 50 cross-reference serials, with attachments totaling over 20,000 pages, in which Seth Rich is mentioned. FBI has also located leads that indicate additional potential records that require further searching. . . . FBI is also currently working on getting the files from Seth Rich's personal laptop into a format to be reviewed. As you can imagine, there are thousands of files of many types. The goal right now is to describe, generally, the types of files/personal information contained in this computer.
After more than four years of repeated denials from the FBI that they had searched their files and had no information on Seth Rich, we now know that was a blatant lie. It was David Hardy, a FBI Senior official, who put that denial in writing in September 2017. Hardy was the Section Chief of the Record/Information Dissemination Section (''RIDS''), Information Management Division (''IMD''),1 Federal Bureau of Investigation (''FBI''), in Winchester, Virginia. He stated under oath that the FBI had no records on Seth Rich:
(19) CRS Search and Results. In response to Plaintiff's request dated September 1, 2017, RIDS conducted an index search of the CRS for responsive main and reference file records employing the UNI application of ACS. The FBI searched the subject's name, ''Seth Conrad Rich,'' in order to identify files responsive to Plaintiff's request and subject to the FOIA. The FBI's searches included a three-way phonetic breakdown5 of the subject's name. These searches located no main or reference records responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request.(9) By letter executed on November 9, 2017, OIP advised Plaintiff it affirmed the FBI's determination. OIP further advised Plaintiff that to the extent his request sought access to records that would either confirm or deny an individual's placement on any government watch list, the FBI properly refused to confirm or deny the existence of any such records because their existence is protected from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(E). . .
In his 2018 declaration, Mr. Hardy also testified under oath that the Metropolitan Police Department in D.C. was solely responsible for investigating Mr. Rich's murder.
Now we learn that not only does the FBI have more than 20,000 pages relevant to the search term, ''Seth Rich,'' the FBI still has Seth Rich's laptop computer.
This does not compute. If Seth Rich truly was a victim of a senseless street crime in the middle of the night in Northeast DC, why would the FBI have his laptop. The FBI is not a computer repair shop. The FBI is not a computer storage facility.
The FBI collects and retains evidence of federal crimes. It also has responsibility for counterintelligence matters. I can understand the FBI collecting Seth Rich's computer as possible evidence after he was murdered. It would have been entirely appropriate to investigate whether or not Rich was in contact with Wikileaks. The FBI only retains evidence on an active, open case.
But the FBI has insisted for more than four years that it was never involved actively in the investigation of Seth Rich's murder and that it never opened a case. That lie is now exposed.
What is even more troubling is the fact that the FBI still holds Seth Rich's computer. If their investigation turned up nothing then the the computer would have been returned to the Rich family. The laptop is still with the FBI. It is now clear that the FBI did open a case regarding the murder of Seth Rich and whether he was a source for the DNC dump to Wikileaks. And that case remains open.
Today's disclosure from the FBI supports the claim of renowned investigative journalist, who testified in a recent deposition:
that one of his sources had received information from an FBI report stating that Seth Rich had leaked emails to Wikileaks, requested payment and made copies of the emails as a precautionary measure.
After four years of stonewalling, the FBI is now starting to come clean and admit to its previous lies. Why now? If the FBI was confident that Joe Biden and friends would take over in January, they could have continued to lie. Today's revelation means the FBI is now trying to get ahead of revelations to come. The importance of this development extends beyond the case of Seth Rich and his alleged role in the leaking of DNC emails.
JUST IN: Georgia County Says 'NO' to Certification of 2020 Election Results | Sean Hannity
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:49
Officials with the Coffee County Board of Elections and Registration refused to certify the electronic results of the 2020 General Election this week; saying the machines cannot be tested to ''duplicate'' a credible recount.
''The Coffee County Board of Elections cannot certify the electronic recount numbers given its inability to repeatedly duplicate credible election results,'' writes a letter from the county.
''Any system, financial, voting, or otherwise, that is not repeatable nor dependable should not be used. To demand certification of patently inaccurate results neither serves the objective of the electoral system nor satisfies the legal obligation to certify the electronic recount,'' adds the document.
Read the full letter above.
BIDEN in PENN: 'Rapid Results Testing Contract, Contract Contact Tracing, Widely Available Personnel!'posted by Hannity Staff - 6.17.20
Former Vice President Joe Biden continued his gaffe-filled campaign at a speaking event in Pennsylvania Wednesday; bizarrely stating the country needs ''contract tracing capacity widely available personnel.''
''Here comes the rapid results testing Contract Contract Contact Tracing Capacity, widely available personnel protective equipment,'' said Biden.
Must have been a typo on the teleprompter. pic.twitter.com/45snKpw8RM
'-- Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 17, 2020
Watch Biden's comments above.
BIDEN in NEW HAMPSHIRE: 'What You Do Here in Iowa is Going to Set the Tone'posted by Hannity Staff - 12.09.19
Former Vice President Joe Biden left audience members scratching their heads in New Hampshire over the weekend; confusing the northeast state for Iowa -approximately 1,000 miles away.
''The primary race for the United States presidency'... You have an incredible obligation, not to me at all, but to yourselves. What you do here in Iowa ['...] is going to set the tone,'' said Biden before correcting himself.
''New Hampshire, the primary in New Hampshire,'' he added.
Joe Biden says he is in Iowa when he is actually in New Hampshire.
Iowa and New Hampshire are 1,000+ miles away from each other.pic.twitter.com/Fh3Nl02fde
'-- Tommy Pigott (@TCPigott) December 8, 2019
Biden made a similar mistake earlier this year; confusing New Hampshire for the neighboring state of Vermont.
''I've been here a number of times'...I love this place. Look, what's not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it?'' Biden told reporters.
Biden, who is in New Hampshire, thinks he is in Vermont
At some point, the media is going to have to stop calling this "gaffes" https://t.co/Dhno1WN2rU
'-- Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 24, 2019
France using microchips to develop bionic soldiers resistant to pain | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:39
France is developing bionic soldiers resistant to pain with microchip-enhanced brain power and superior hearingScientists also researching pills to keep soldiers awake for long periods of timeMicrochips will be designed to release calming substances and improve brains Scientists also trying to make implants for headquarters to track soldier location By Isabella Nikolic For Mailonline
Published: 05:33 EST, 9 December 2020 | Updated: 09:31 EST, 9 December 2020
France is developing bionic soldiers resistant to pain and stress with microchip-enhanced brain power.
The country's ethical committee of the armed forces ministry gave approval in order for France to keep up with countries which are already working on similar projects.
Research is also being done to create pills which will keep soldiers awake for long periods and surgery to improve their hearing.
France is developing bionic soldiers resistant to pain and stress with microchip-enhanced brain power
The microchip implants will be designed to release calming substances and 'improve cerebral capacity', according to a report seen by The Times.
Scientists are also looking to create implants which enable army headquarters to remotely track the location of soldiers.
And they are also trying to devise drugs which will make soldiers resistant to pain or be able to tolerate being held in isolation.
The report warned that the French army could fall behind other countries which have already begun research into similar fields.
Research is also being done to create pills which will keep soldiers awake for long periods and surgery to improve their hearing
Minister of the armed forces, Florence Parly (pictured), said France isn't preparing to implant microchips into its soldiers immediately
Although the authors agreed that any enhancements which take away soldiers' 'humanity' should be stopped.
Minister of the armed forces, Florence Parly, said France isn't preparing to implant microchips into its soldiers immediately.
However, Ms Parly told The Times: 'But we have to be clear. Not everyone has our scruples and it is a future for which we have to be prepared.'
US director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, said that China is already trying to find ways to make artificially enhanced soldiers and has already started testing.
He told the publication: 'There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing's pursuit of power.'
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How many COVID-19 cases in N.C. were actually even cases? - Carolina Journal - Carolina Journal
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:31
Imagine being quarantined and your family, friends, and coworkers needlessly alerted and scared because you tested positive for a scrap of unviable genetic material. You thought you had a dangerous virus, but you didn't.
Without a doubt, it's happened all across North Carolina, except that the victims never find out about that last bit. These are the COVID-19 cases that aren't cases.
False positives '-- up to 90%? The problem surrounds the molecular tests predominantly used to produce a ''laboratory-confirmed case'' of COVID-19. The tests, known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, detect the presence of viral material in a person. The tests essentially give a yes/no answer to the question of whether viral material can be found in a sample.
The tests themselves aren't the problem. The problem is that most testing services and most states, including North Carolina, made the tests extremely too sensitive. We're going well beyond scientific consensus, what virologists advise, and what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend.
As a result, a ''positive'' PCR test result in North Carolina gives no indication of how much viral material is present '-- or whether that material is even viable . It answers yes/no for the question of is viral material present, but gives no practical answer for whether enough living viral material is present to constitute an infection and require you take appropriate actions to care for yourself and protect others.
The New York Times sounded the alarm on this problem in an Aug. 29 article titled '' Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn't Be . '' Here is how PCR tests work, as the Times reported:
''The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious.
''This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are.''
Basically, in each cycle, any RNA of the virus in the sample is replicated. The next cycle replicates all of the RNA present after the first cycle, and on and on for each successive cycle. It works like doubling your money, and by the time you have doubled it 16 times, you have a lot of money.
If you start the test with a lot of viral material '-- if you suffer from a real infection '-- it doesn't take many cycles to detect it. Your doctor isn't told how many cycles it took for your test to be positive. But there is a point at which doubling and doubling viral RNA no longer provides much information beyond being able to detect a little viral RNA if we keep cycling long enough.
For that reason, the scientific consensus of more than 100 studies of PCR tests recommend no more than 30 cycles (a ''cycle threshold'' of 30). Experts contacted by the NYT recommended no more than 30''35. The CDC found a very low probability of finding live virus beyond 33 cycles .
The threshold used by most states and most tests, however, is 37 to 40. That requires doubling virus samples another seven to 10 times beyond the point experts consider the limit for finding living viral material. The NYT's expos(C) even specifically mentioned North Carolina:
''North Carolina's state lab uses the Thermo Fisher coronavirus test, which automatically classifies results based on a cutoff of 37 cycles . A spokeswoman for the lab said testers did not have access to the precise numbers.''
Test results in three states were re-evaluated against the 30-cycle limit. Their findings were jarring:
''In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90% of people testing positive carried barely any virus , a review by the Times found.''
Irrelevant positives False positives are not the only problem with overly sensitive PCR tests, however. Belgium health professionals wrote an open letter to media and authorities on Sept. 5 warning not only that ''Any contamination (e.g. other viruses, debris from old virus genomes) can possibly result in false positives,'' but also:
The test does not measure how many viruses are present in the sample. A real viral infection means a massive presence of viruses , the so-called virus load. If someone tests positive, this does not mean that that person is actually clinically infected, is ill or is going to become ill.
In a paper published on Sept. 28 by the Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, researchers found they could culture (i.e., they found viable virus in) only 3% of nearly 4,000 positive samples.
Either way, a false positive for old viral debris or an irrelevant positive for such a tiny amount of viral RNA that it couldn't constitute an infection, provides needless fear and disruption for people.
Basis for lockdowns and severe restrictions But the problem doesn't even stop there. Gov. Roy Cooper uses positive test results (''cases'') to dictate widespread restrictions against people and businesses and even threatens to tighten them at any time . The full scope of the economic, financial, personal, and mental health damages from these unprecedented restrictions is yet to be fully realized.
Top scientists around the world have recently spoken out against lockdowns for those reasons '-- see the Great Barrington Declaration and the World Health Organization , among others.
Here is what we know:
The PCR test cycle threshold in North Carolina is far too high Doctors aren't told how many cycles were used to arrive at a positive test result A positive test result can't tell how much or even how viable the viral material it detected is Using the cycle threshold limit supported by research consensus (30 cycles) would have prevented up to 90% of ''positive'' test results in several other states from being considered positive Severe economic and personal restrictions are being leveled in North Carolina on the basis of positive test results as well as the percentage of test returning positive The question in North Carolina Given all that, this question is inescapable:
How many of North Carolina's ''positive'' cases would have been negative if the state's cycle threshold was more in line with what experts recommend?
The answer would have to be a fraction of what we've been told.
Jon Sanders ( @jonpsanders ) is research editor and director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation.
John Ivison: Trudeau's half-brother is an anti-vaxxer, bitcoin entrepreneur and (affectionate) critic of the PM | National Post
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:12
'I'm seeing sensible, intelligent people '' ... my family, our elected representatives '' willing to sacrifice their basic human rights in response to this COVID crisis,' Kyle Kemper says
Author of the article:
John Ivison
Publishing date:
Dec 09, 2020
'
'
5 minute read
Kyle Kemper acknowledged his views are at odds with those of his half-brother, Justin Trudeau. ''Do I talk to him about these things? No. I would love to speak to him and his people but it's very clear there's a firewall,'' Kemper says. Photo by Laura Pedersen/National Post/File Article contentKyle Kemper believes a ''global corporatocracy'' has taken advantage of the COVID crisis to diminish democracy and tighten control over people's lives.
He is not alone in holding such views. But he is alone in wanting to overturn a power structure in which his brother sits at the apex. Kemper is Justin Trudeau's half-brother, born to Margaret Trudeau and her second husband, Fried Kemper, in 1984, when the future prime minister was 12.
Kemper agrees with Carolina Panthers offensive tackle and fellow Bitcoin believer, Russell Okung: ''The real battle is not simply left or right. It is authoritarianism versus libertarianism.''
The author of the book The Unified Wallet and founder of Swiss Key, a company that aims to make cryptocurrency accessible, makes no secret of his belief that there is a totalitarian push by corporations to undermine nation states.
In a long online video summary of his world view '' Kemper sees humanity at a tipping point where people will take control of their physical and digital lives or succumb to a ''top down dystopic system of total control, in a society where our every move is tracked; where our ability to travel is a privilege not a right; and, where our data is used and sold without our knowledge and then weaponized against us to influence our behaviour, our beliefs and our purchasing decisions.''
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Article content continuedKemper has been a devotee of cryptocurrency since 2013. Digital money's time may soon arrive '' the Chinese are running a pilot project on a digital version of the yuan and even the staid Bank of Canada is considering its options.
More On This TopicBut the people who were initially attracted to Bitcoin were typically hostile to central banks and political systems. In the online Declaration of Bitcoin's Independence, tech entrepreneur Andreas Antonopoulos said Bitcoin is ''inherently anti-establishment, anti-system, anti-state. Bitcoin undermines governments and disrupts institutions because Bitcoin is fundamentally humanitarian.''
In an online lecture, Antonopoulos said the Nixon-era Bank Secrecy Act turned money into a system of control, a political tool that allowed the state ''complete surveillance of all financial transactions.''
Bitcoin was seen as a solution to this state control. As Kemper explained it, ''it's about self-sovereign control of your money, ID and digital assets. It means you are in control and no state, bad actor or centralized authority can confiscate, censor or imitate you.''
Cryptocurrency has its believers and its skeptics. Donald Trump's former political strategist Steve Bannon said it was ''disruptive populism'' in action, taking control back from central authorities. Economist Paul Krugman deems it a ''cult'' based on ''paranoid fantasies about government power.''
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Article content continuedWhat is clear is that to its adherents like Kemper, it is less a payments system than a philosophy.
While not overtly partisan, Kemper has not shied away from views that Trudeau would disown.
He has re-tweeted conspiracy theories about election fraud in the U.S. and promoted ideas that Trudeau's Liberals found so reprehensible they called for a Conservative MP holding them to be kicked out of the Opposition caucus.
Kyle Kemper: ''Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines as our way of life gets steamrolled.'' Photo by Kyle Kemper/YoutubeOn social media, Kemper urged people to sign petition e2961, which was sponsored in the House of Commons by Conservative Derek Sloan. It calls COVID vaccination ''human experimentation'' and suggests there could be serious adverse effects to taking it. On his Facebook page, Kemper blasted ''the great reset'' and people ''who think 100 per cent of the planet needs to be vaccinated with an experimental concoction to prevent a disease with a 99 per cent recovery rate. This is sheer madness. I dissent.''
In his online platform, Kemper said he is opposed to human rights being stripped in the name of protection. ''I'm seeing sensible, intelligent people '' my friends, my family, our elected representatives '' willing to sacrifice their basic human rights in response to this COVID crisis. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines as our way of life gets steamrolled,'' he said.
In an interview, he said that after 9/11, people said they were sacrificing their rights for freedom. ''But that's pure Orwellian doublethink. It doesn't make any sense that in order to be free we need to sacrifice our rights,'' he said.
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Article content continuedKemper said there remains a ''gigantic divide'' in the scientific community over the COVID response. ''Vaccine manufacturers are exempt from liability. That scares me. There are so many ways we can improve our immune systems to counter coronavirus. The sun gives us vitamin D and it's great for the immune system. But Justin and the public health officials don't tell people to get outside and get vitamin D,'' he said.
Kemper said ''the global health dictatorship'' has imposed a response that has ultimately made people less healthy, with rising levels of suicide and depression, as well as ''obliterating'' small businesses such as the seven restaurants his family runs in Ottawa.
''It does not warrant all this hype and mania and doesn't necessitate an experimental vaccine being rushed to market,'' he said.
This is sheer madness. I dissent
Some of Kemper's views hove close to QAnon, the discredited conspiracy theory that alleges Satan-worshipping pedophiles are running a child-trafficking ring and plotted against Donald Trump.
He denies he is involved with the organization. ''QAnon is a banner under which people believe there is a conspiracy of corruption and multiple people working together to commit criminal activity. Am I active in the QAnon community? Absolutely not. Am I against sex-trafficking and pedophilia? Of course. Who isn't?''
Kemper acknowledged his views are at odds with those held by his brother. ''Do I talk to him about these things? No. I would love to speak to him and his people but it's very clear there's a firewall,'' he said.
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Article content continuedHe said he sees party politics as a ''glory path, a power path, an ego path.''
''I love my brother '' he has taught me so much. He taught me a lot about human connection and I have adopted some of his very skilled methods of communicating in a gentle manner. I think he thinks he's doing the best he can. He is the leader and chief spokesman of his party and doing a great job about it. But at the end of the day, Theresa Tam, for example, is on the World Health Organization's payroll, so who's really calling the shots on health policy?''
For all their differences, the brothers may have more in common than either would care to admit. As someone who knows Trudeau and Kemper put it: ''They both like attention.''
' Email: jivison@postmedia.com | Twitter: IvisonJ
Covid Makes Austin a Magnet for New Jobs
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 22:31
Mish
Texas' capital is attracting corporate jobs and remote workers, lured by lower costs and lower taxesAustin a Magnet for Jobs
In the winners and losers category, Austin, Texas is Among the Covid Winners for job creation.
Texas' capital is attracting more corporate jobs and remote workers than ever before, lured by lower costs and lower taxes. Business relocations to Austin announced this year are expected to create nearly 10,000 jobs. That is the city's highest figure on record for a single year, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and is helping offset the hit from Covid-19 to the city's tourist-dependent restaurants, bars and music venues.
It helps that Texas has no state income tax, that Austin winters are relatively short and mild, and that social distancing is easier in a city where homes tend to be roomy and many have backyards. Austin has also managed to remain cheaper than San Francisco, Brooklyn and Manhattan by building tens of thousands of apartments over the past decade.
''It's just a whole lot easier to hire. It's a lot easier to get housing. It's a lot easier to get business licenses than it is in other places,'' said Greg Schwartz, chief executive of real-estate startup Tomo Networks. His company, based in Stamford, Conn., is preparing to open a co-headquarters in Austin.
Low Taxes Attract Companies and People
Contrast Texas with Illinois. The Illinois solution is five fold.
Higher personal taxesHigher corporate taxesHigher property taxesHigher sales taxes Higher taxes disguised as feesIllinois Exodus
The Illinois Policy Institute says BLAME ILLINOIS EXODUS ON JOBS, HOUSING, TAX POLICY
Illinois lost more than 850,000 residents to other states during the past decade, causing the state's population to shrink for six consecutive years and suffer the largest raw decline of any state in the 2010s.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data released June 25, the white population shrank by 5.3%, or 438,986 people, and the Black population declined by 1.7%, or 32,143, since 2010.
Feed the Public Pensions
Illinois needs higher taxes to feed its broken pension system.
Illinois is the ''least friendly'' total state and local tax burden for the middle class, according to personal finance site Kiplinger.
It has the largest raw population decline over the past decade, with the high state and local tax burden the most common reason residents say they want to leave.
Illinois is Pension Crisis Ground Zero
For discussion of the plight of Illinois and all such states beholden to public unions, please see Illinois Is Ground Zero for the Pension Crisis
Symptom vs the Problem
The pension crisis is not the problem, it is a symptom of the problem.
The true problem is decades of corrupt politicians getting in bed with corrupt public unions.
Dead on Arrival
Given that Republicans held the US Senate, a state bailout and Biden's Progressive Agenda is Dead on Arrival in January.
Time is running out for Illinois.
Mish
CHD Lawyers File Motion Against Daily Kos in RFK Jr. Defamation Case ' Children's Health Defense
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 22:25
Daily Kos ran an article entitled ''Anti-Vaxxer RFK, Jr. joins neo-Nazis in massive Berlin 'Anti-Corona' Protest.'' The headline and those statements are utterly untrue, damaging and therefore defamatory.
On Dec. 1, Children's Health Defense's lawyers filed an order to show cause in the Supreme Court of Westchester County, NY, against the online publication Daily Kos and its author who uses the pseudonym ''Downeast Dem'' for publishing defamatory statements.
On Aug. 29, Daily Kos ran an article by Downeast Dem entitled ''Anti-Vaxxer RFK, Jr. joins neo-Nazis in massive Berlin 'Anti-Corona' Protest.'' The headline and those statements are utterly untrue, obviously damaging and therefore defamatory.
The article purports to describe an Aug. 22 speech Kennedy delivered to more than 1 million people at the Rally for Peace and Freedom in Berlin organized by the German group Querdenken 711, or ''Critical Thinking 711.'' In particular, Daily Kos reported that ''[t]he protest was organized by right-wing extremist organizations, including the AFD party and various anti-Semitic conspiracy groups as well as the neo-Nazi NPD party.''
The Querdenken movement is a broad-based, peaceful citizens' movement for freedom, peace and human rights. It strongly opposes Nazism, anti-semitism and all forces of extremism. Among the speakers were doctors, lawyers, clergy of every persuasion, soldiers, police officers, parents, children, world-famous athletes, politicians from Germany's Green Party, human rights activists and leaders of nonprofit organizations.
As usual, Querdenken took great pains to exclude extremists from the Berlin event. Those efforts were spectacularly successful. This complete absence of extremist influence is evident from the program, from all the footage publicly available on the Children's Health Defense website, on Kennedy's social media, and in the thousands of photos and videos of the event easily viewed on various platforms of the internet. Any respectable reporter who was interested in accuracy could easily check these sources.
Subscribe to The Defender - It's Free!Kennedy's speech was a screed against Nazism. There was no evidence of Nazi iconography anywhere near the protest. The principal stage ornament was a giant mural of Mahatma Ghandi, who is hardly known as a Nazi hero.
The event's Master of Ceremonies was a Black African born in Ghana. The musical performance included an Indian Hare Krishna monk. The banners were rainbows, peace signs, BLM insignias and the flags of every nation in Europe. The speakers and audience were racially and religiously diverse. The fact that the erroneous nature of Daily Kos's inflammatory ''fake news'' was so easily discernible attests to the journal's malicious intent. By tarring Kennedy with Nazism and anti-Semitism, Daily Kos was employing two of the three most damaging accusations that anyone can levy at a public figure.
The article's claims were utterly false. Kennedy's lawyer fired off a letter requesting retraction the day after publication.
Daily Kos has refused to retract the article. Daily Kos claims that it is immune against defamation suits under section 230 of the Communication Act which provides a legal shield. Children's Health Defense has therefore filed court papers ordering Daily Kos to show cause why ''Downeast Dem's'' identity and contact information should not be disclosed. Downeast Dem has no immunity.
The Westchester County judge will rule on the order to show cause in early January, 2021. Stay tuned.
Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children's Health Defense. CHD is implementing many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD's successful mission.
Stockholm, Sweden's Largest City, Has Only Seven ICU Beds Free Amid COVID Surge
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 22:18
Intensive care unit beds in Stockholm hospitals have hit 99% capacity for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, there were only five to seven, out of a total of 160, intensive care places open in the Stockholm Region, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported.
Bjorn Eriksson, Stockholm's health director, reportedly told a news conference on Wednesday that the situation is "very serious" and that the city has been hit "considerably harder" than other metropolitan regions.
He said: "We have mobilized everything we could and taken to everything we had to offer so that everyone will get the care they need. We now need to continue to do our utmost, all actors in society as a whole, to offer resistance to the virus and the pandemic."
Healthcare workers put on protective gear as they prepare to receive a patient at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Danderyd Hospital near Stockholm on May 13, 2020 Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty ImagesThroughout the pandemic, Sweden had mainly taken a controversial anti-lockdown and herd immunity approach.
But cases began to surge in September, and the country has begun to bring in stricter guidelines over the last few weeks.
However, Eriksson told the press conference that the recent surge shows there has been too much contact between the city's residents.
He said: "It was exactly this development that we did not want to see.
"It shows that we Stockholmers have been crowded too much and had too many contacts outside the household where we left.
"Healthcare is now under so much pressure that there are no major margins in the healthcare system."
Overwhelmed hospitalsBj¶rn Persson, operations manager for intensive care at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter that if more patients arrive than the ICUs can cater for, staff will have to find a place for them elsewhere.
Persson also said that such a high occupancy risk raises the threshold for intensive care so that people who would normally be given a place will not get one.
He described the situation as very strained, with 89 COVID patients alone in intensive care places and a total of 825 COVID patients in emergency care.
Persson also said that staffing is also overstrained at the hospital and they have had to have reinforcements of ICU staff from Blekinge'--a county in the south of the country.
He said: "But we have already done that as much as possible. Then we have to call in staff to work overtime, or keep staff who are just leaving their shifts."
The Stockholm Region authorities told Aftonbladet in an email: "Karolinska and S¶dersjukhuset, respectively, are opening up intermediate care places.
"It is very strenuous but there is capacity and expansion is underway."
Sweden's approach to lockdown Early on in the pandemic, Sweden emerged as an outlier to other countries trying to stem the COVID spread by issuing "stay-at-home" orders and closing schools, workplaces and international borders.
The country instead chose to follow the argument for herd immunity and relied on citizens to voluntarily follow precautions like social distancing.
But by late June, its coronavirus death toll had far exceeded that of neighboring countries.
Sweden had been more than 5,300 fatalities compared to around 250 in Norway, 600 in Denmark and 325 in Finland'--albeit with populations of around half the size.
In October, the country began to impose much stricter measures as cases continued to soar.
By November, Sweden was continually setting daily records for new cases.
People stand in line without social distancing outside a restaurant on July 17, 2020 in Gotland, Sweden. Martin von Krogh/Getty ImagesThe country introduced a partial lockdown on bars and restaurants by banning the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m from November 20.
Sweden also put five of its 21 regions under stricter guidelines that urge the public to social distance, not to attend or throw parties, avoid indoor locations and avoid unnecessary trips on public transport.
Last week, Prime minister Stefan Lofven also announced that high schools would switch to distance learning for the rest of the year.
However, the Swedish Health Agency'--largely behind Sweden's no-lockdown strategy'-- said last week that it would continue to refrain from recommending masks.
It came after the World Health Organisation said that, where the epidemic was spreading, people should always wear masks in indoor spaces that lack adequate ventilation.
U.S. Navy on Twitter: "Time to execute. @USMC Marines prepare for an air assault as part of exercise Steel Knight/Dawn Blitz 21, off the coast of California. SK/DB 21 affords 1st Marine Division & Expeditionary Strike Group 3 the opportunity to showca
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 22:09
U.S. Navy : Time to execute. @USMC Marines prepare for an air assault as part of exercise Steel Knight/Dawn Blitz 21, off the'... https://t.co/6mrAwasFBt
Wed Dec 09 19:00:15 +0000 2020
Jacqueline Wisman on Twitter:TheStormIsComing #82ndAirborneDivision #DevilStorm #strikehold #AATW #DIBP https://t.co/JiZ21kikRB https://t.co/SQgSXi4zKd" / Twitter
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 22:06
Jacqueline Wisman : 🧐ðŸ'•ðŸ•ŠðŸ #TheStormIsComing #82ndAirborneDivision#DevilStorm #strikehold #AATW #DIBP https://t.co/JiZ21kikRB https://t.co/SQgSXi4zKd
Wed Dec 09 21:56:20 +0000 2020
Joe Biden's Son Hunter Biden Under Federal Investigation for Tax Case '' NBC Los Angeles
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 21:23
President-elect Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden revealed Wednesday that he is under investigation by the top federal prosecutor in Delaware for his taxes. The probe was disclosed five days before Joe Biden is expected to be formally selected as the next president by the Electoral College. Hunter Biden said in a statement, "I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs."President-elect Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden revealed Wednesday that he is under investigation by the top federal prosecutor in Delaware in connection with his taxes.
The probe was disclosed five days before Joe Biden, a former senator from Delaware, is expected to be formally selected as the next president by the Electoral College.
Hunter Biden said in a statement, "I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs."
"I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors," Hunter Biden said.
Hunter Biden has long struggled with drug addiction.
During the presidential election, President Donald Trump and his allies made Hunter Biden a focal point of political attacks, particularly in connection with his business dealings in Ukraine and China.
In a statement Wednesday, the transition team of Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said, "President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger."
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.
New York AG leads 48-state antitrust lawsuit against Facebook
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 21:19
December 9, 2020 | 2:53pm | Updated December 9, 2020 | 4:17pm
Facebook got slapped with a pair of blockbuster antitrust lawsuits on Wednesday, as government officials accused the Silicon Valley giant of systematically acquiring smaller rivals in order to prevent them from becoming competitive threats.
Both the Federal Trade Commission and a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 46 US states as well as the District of Columbia and Guam are looking to force Facebook to unwind its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.
The states' lawsuit led by New York AG Letitia James alleges Facebook pursued two of its biggest acquisitions '-- a $1 billion purchase of Instagram in 2012 and a $19 billion tie-up with WhatsApp in 2014 '-- in order to cement its position as the world's biggest social media platform.
The lawsuit cites a 2008 email from Mark Zuckerberg where the then-24-year-old CEO said ''it is better to buy than compete,'' and notes that the company also looked into acquiring rivals Twitter and Snapchat.
''By using its vast troves of data or money, Facebook has squashed or hindered what the company perceived as potential threats,'' James said in a Wednesday statement that made the allegations public.
Facebook currently has 2.7 billion monthly active users across all of its platforms.
The states are seeking to force Facebook to sell some of its acquisitions, James told reporters.
''It's critically important that we block this predatory acquisition of companies and that we restore competition to the market,'' she said.
The FTC, meanwhile, accused Facebook of ''illegal monopolization'' resulting from ''a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct.'' The regulator's lawsuit said that Facebook used its control of Instagram to stop the platform from ''cannibalizing'' its flagship Facebook product.
That behavior, the FTC argues, confirms ''that an independent Instagram would constitute a significant threat to Facebook's personal social networking monopoly.'' Facebook, it noted, has lost users and engagement to Instagram ''despite Facebook's efforts.''
Facebook shares were down 2.2 percent Wednesday, trading at $277.15.
In a statement, Facebook general counsel Jennifer Newstead called the FTC's lawsuit ''revisionist history,'' saying that ''Instagram and WhatsApp became the incredible products they are today because Facebook invested billions of dollars, and years of innovation and expertise'' to improve them.
''The most important fact in this case, which the Commission does not mention in its 53-page complaint, is that it cleared these acquisitions years ago,'' Newstead said. ''The government now wants a do-over, sending a chilling warning to American business that no sale is ever final.''
It is the second blockbuster case against a Big Tech company this year. In October, the Department of Justice sued Google, accusing the search giant of maintaining ''unlawful monopolites'' in its search and advertising businesses as it angled to remain ''the gateway to the internet.''
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Getty ImagesFacebook over the summer began rolling out a controversial plan to merge the messaging platforms of Messenger and Instagram, a move critics said is part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's plan to make the company harder for regulators to break up.
The Instagram app was rebranded earlier this year to ''Instagram from Facebook.''
States tell Supreme Court they support Texas bid to reverse Biden win
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 21:00
President Donald Trump announces opioid response grants to state governments in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, September 4, 2019.
Erin Scott | Reuters
Seventeen states whose elections were won by President Donald Trump told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that they support Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's effort to file a lawsuit that could effectively reverse President-elect Joe Biden's projected Electoral College victory.
The filing backing Paxton by those the states came a day after he asked the Supreme Court for permission to sue Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all of which Biden won, over their voting processes.
The states supporting Paxton Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
While Trump defeated Biden in the popular vote in those states, one of Nebraska's electoral votes was awarded to Biden.
Representatives for the four battleground states being targeted in the lawsuit did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, whose state overwhelmingly voted for Biden over Trump, said in a scornful tweet that Maryland would not join Paxton's case after someone on Twitter suggested he do so.
"The suit is a cesspool of disproved charges, wild speculation, insupportable arguments and silly gibberish," Frosh tweeted.
"Joe Biden is the President-Elect."
Trump on Wednesday said he wanted to join Paxton's legal effort at the Supreme Court, which the defendants have dismissed as a political stunt by the Republican attorney general. The Supreme Court has yet to rule on Paxton's request.
Paxton, a Republican who remains under indictment for state felony securities fraud charges, is asking the hight court for permission to sue the four states to block their certification of Biden's wins in them.
Paxton argues that a block is warranted because of supposedly improper changes to voting procedures there in the past year, purportedly different treatment of voters in Democratic-heavy areas, and voting "irregularities."
The effort comes as all states have certified their individual presidential election results, which show that Biden easily won the national popular vote.
Biden is projected to win the Electoral College when it meets Monday with 36 more votes than the 270-vote minimum needed to clinch the White House.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Tuesday said Paxton's filing "is a publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading."
"The erosion of confidence in our democratic system isn't attributable to the good people of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia or Pennsylvania but rather to partisan officials, like Mr. Paxton, who place loyalty to a person over loyalty to their country," Nessel said in a statement.
"The Michigan issues raised in this complaint have already been thoroughly litigated and roundly rejected in both state and federal courts '' by judges appointed from both political parties. Mr. Paxton's actions are beneath the dignity of the office of Attorney General and the people of the great state of Texas."
Trump has refused to concede the election to Biden, claiming without evidence that he was the victim of widespread ballot fraud.
Trump and his campaign, as well as their political allies, have repeatedly failed in legal efforts to invalidate votes for Biden.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a separate bid from Trump-allied Republicans challenging Biden's win in Pennsylvania.
Election law experts saw that apparently unanimous rejection as a signal that the remaining efforts to overturn Biden's win were all but doomed at the Supreme Court.
But the GOP plaintiffs in that case plan to petition the high court for a formal appeal, The Hill reported Wednesday.
The president and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, recently have pushed for legislatures in battleground states whose popular elections were won by Biden to overrule their citizens, and to appoint a slate of electors for Trump to the Electoral Colleges.
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.
Council Commitments - Council for Inclusive Capitalism
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 19:17
State Street CorporationFile an annual TCFD report that discloses against TCFD recommendations, including progress toward showing the impact of our investments on climate change and the impact of climate change on our investmentsState Street CorporationReport to Board of Directors at least annually on material ESG issues; material issues are reviewed and updated every two years to reflect changes in emphases. Annual ESG goals are reviewed and discussed.State Street CorporationEnsure annual ESG Report (formerly referred to as Corporate Responsibility Report) is in accordance with GRI Standards, satisfies EU Directive on Non-financial Reporting and includes full SASB and TCFD reports in Appendix.State Street CorporationSignatory to Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, 27.5% reduction of carbon use by 2030 against 2019 baselineState Street Corporation10% reduction of water use (on a per-person basis) by 2025 against 2015 baseline; 80% recycling rate of waste by 2025; carbon neutral for Scope 1 and Scope 2 beginning in 2020.State Street CorporationState Street will increase female representation among SVP's and above to 33% over 3 years and 36% over 5 yearsState Street CorporationState Street will increase employees of color among SVP's and above to 19% over 3 years and 22% over 5 years; increase diversity of Board by 2021.State Street CorporationMeasure senior executives' progress toward business unit diversity goals as a component of their overall performance evaluationsState Street CorporationState Street is committed to creating an environment where all employees want to work '' and in order to do so, works to offer employee wellness benefits that our employees value.State Street CorporationIn 2020, distribute $25M to non-profit organizations around the world, primarily in support of funding priorities of education and workforce developmentState Street CorporationFor every 16 hours volunteered for a single organization by an employee, State Street Foundation will donate US$500 to that organization.MastercardMastercard is committed to clean energy by purchasing 100% renewable electricity for all our global operations.MastercardFor the second year, we increased and met our goal for waste diversion, achieving 80% for 2019 in three U.S. offices. We've increased that goal to 85% waste diversion in 2020, with an eventual end goal of zero-waste in our owned facilities in the U.SMastercardFive years ago, we made a commitment to bring 500 million financially excluded individuals into the digital economy. Having achieved that goal, we're focused on extending our commitment, with plans to bring in a total of a billion individuals by 2025MastercardIn 2018, Mastercard committed $500 million to inclusive growth from the 2017 tax relief act benefit. This commitment led to the creation of the Mastercard Impact Fund. As of June 2020, the Fund has committed over $155 million in grants.MastercardMastercard is committed to supporting the search for a COVID-19 cure and aiding small businesses and financially vulnerable communities worldwide by committing up to $300 million in the fight against COVID.MerckExpand access to our products through dedicated, market-based affordability solutions that allow flexibility to reach at-need populations and patientsMerckWhen market-based solutions are inadequate or unavailable, pursue programs to provide direct access to our medicines and vaccinesMastercardWe are expanding our annual spending with Black suppliers by more than 70% to $100 million annually by 2025.MastercardMastercard is promoting gender equality by building STEM knowledge and develop critical skills that girls need, and spark their curiosity in STEM by continuing our signature STEM program, Girls4Tech', to reach five million by 2025.MastercardWe are enhancing our end-to-end talent program to ensure we're recruiting, developing and retaining black employees at ever level. We have committed to growing our Black leadership at the VP-level and above by 50% by 2025.MastercardWe have pledged to invest $500 million in Black communities over the next five years.State Street CorporationIncrease engagement globally with publicly-traded companies on ESG issues, including gender diversity and racial equity; publish our engagement history and proxy voting in our annual stewardship report.State Street CorporationHelp launch initiative to provide financing and advice to small minority-owned businesses; increase our procurement spend with diverse vendors by 2022.BPWe aim to get to net zero on an absolute basis across the carbon in our oil and gas production by 2050 or sooner, with a target of 20% reduction by 2025 and aim for a 35 - 40% reduction by 2030.Brunello Cucinelli S.p.A.Brunello Cucinelli commits to identify and implement measures to improve its employees' work environment and health by introducing preventive measures to meet specific corporate departments and individual workers' needs.Brunello Cucinelli S.p.A.Brunello Cucinelli commits to reducing its environmental footprint by requiring supplier compliance with national and international environmental regulations.AllianzEnhance digital access to products, Status: 100% of all products launched are digital, Metric: % digital products of all products launchedGuardian LifeGuardian Life commits to creating a customer-centric organization responding to the changing economic environment by measuring customer satisfaction, grow direct to consumer business, and regularly review performance against organizational strategy.Guardian LifeGuardian Life commits to promoting innovation and risk management processes to anticipate people's needs and assure delivery on long-term financial promises by regularly reviewing risk commitments at the business and corporate levels.Guardian LifeGuardian Life commits to proactively reskiling employees for the changing work environment by providing paths for all colleagues to earn a degree with no debt and provide reskilling opportunities for those displaced by automation.Guardian LifeGuardian Life commits to advancing a strategy where worksites are sustainable, and workers are empowered to do their best work by encouraging 50% of colleagues to work from home by 2020 and have 83% of main offices LEED-certified by the end of 2019.Guardian LifeGuardian Life commits to developing job training and financial empowerment programs in underserved communities by replicating and scaling job training programs and economic empowerment CSR programs to reach 10,000 individuals by 2022.AllianzAchieve 25% women in Boards of Management globally by the end of 2021, goal reached, 2019: 31%.AmundiAmundi commits to investing in specific environmental and social initiatives by doubling targeted assets from '‚¬10bn to '‚¬20bn by the end of 2020.AmundiAmundi commits to enhancing engagement with companies on key ESG issues across portfolios by becoming 100% ESG in its ratings, management, and voting by the end of 2021.AmundiAmundi commits to disclosing the risks and opportunities presented by climate change by working with systemically important emitters to reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030 compared with 2010 levels to meet net-zero targets.AmundiAmundi commits to increasing social cohesion and solidarity by increasing the Finance&Solidarit(C) fund from AuM '‚¬200m to '‚¬500m by 2021.DuPontDuPont will respond to the urgent need for climate action by reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 30% and sourcing 60% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and achieving carbon neutral operations by 2050.Guardian LifeGuardian Life will maintain a commitment to key values as a guide for all decisions by maintaining 90+% of colleagues who believe Guardian makes decisions by our values.BPbp will more actively advocate for policies that support net zero, including carbon pricing.BPbp commits to no oil and gas exploration and production in the most sensitive protected areas, and aims to achieve net positive impact on biodiversity in our new projects and to enhance biodiversity around our existing major operating sites.BPWe will support the market for Natural Climate Solutions to grow, aiming to have access to carbon credits from around 100 NCS projects in our portfolio.MerckIdentify and meet the healthcare needs of patients through continuous innovation and scientific excellenceMerckStrive to ensure all suppliers operate in a matter consistent with the Business Partner Code of Conduct as well as the PSCI Pharmaceutical Industry Principles and the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global CompactMerckConduct clinical trials, including trials in Low-Income and Middle-Income countries, in accordance with the global standards of Good Clinical Practices and applicable local regulatory requirementsMerckEnsure product quality and safetyMerckUse environmental design criteria in the development of our manufacturing processes and packaging. By 2020, at least 90% of new human health active pharmaceutical ingredient processes will meet internal sustainability targets at launch.MerckReduce GHG emissions and other associated air pollutants. By 2025, reduce global Scope 1 and market-based Scope 2 GHG emissions by at least 40% from 2015 levels.MerckEngage with suppliers to drive positive sustainable change. By 2025, at least 90% of strategic suppliers with the highest environmental impact to set their own GHG emission and water use reduction targets.
Our Guardians | Council for Inclusive Capitalism
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 19:14
Using their combined imagination, influence, and resources to change capitalism for good
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Big companies join Vatican-affiliated council pledging inclusive capitalism | Fortune
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 19:12
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Biden Cabinet Pick Vouched For Judge Who Beat His Wife. He Murdered Her Three Years Later | The Daily Caller
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 17:11
President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development wrote a letter to local prosecutors in 2015 supporting a judge who had been charged with brutally beating his wife, a sixth-grade teacher. Rep. Marcia Fudge wrote in the letter that former Judge Lance Mason was 'a good man,' and that 'something like this will never happen again.' After a nine-month prison stint, Mason murdered his wife in cold blood outside their home in Cleveland. Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge vouched for an Ohio judge in 2015 who faced felony charges for brutally beating his wife, causing her to require reconstructive surgery.
Three years later, the judge, Lance T. Mason, fatally stabbed his wife, Aisha Fraser, at their home outside Cleveland.
President-elect Joe Biden announced Tuesday he will nominate Fudge, to serve as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Fudge will replace Ben Carson as HUD chief if she is confirmed by the U.S. senate.
Fudge, the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was one of several Cleveland-area politicians who vouched for Mason, a former Ohio state legislator and judge on the Cuyahoga County common pleas court, after he admitted to beating his wife in 2014.
Mason, 53, was arrested in August 2014 on charges that he assaulted Fraser in front of their two daughters, who were 4 and 6 years old at the time. According to local news reports, court documents showed that Mason attacked Fraser in their SUV, punching her 20 times, slamming her head against the dashboard, and choking her. (RELATED: Biden's Pentagon Pick Was Accused Of Downplaying ISIS Threat)
Mason pushed Fraser, who was a sixth-grade teacher, out of the vehicle and drove off with their children, according to the court documents.
Fudge wrote in a letter to Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty on Aug. 9, 2015 asserting that Mason was ''a good man who made a very bad mistake.''
Fudge offered additional praise for Mason, whom she said she had known for 20 years.
''I commend Lance for immediately recognizing that he needed help and entering counseling,'' she wrote in the letter, which a reporter for Cleveland 19 News discovered in November 2018.
The lawmaker said that Mason accepted full responsibility for his actions and had assured her ''that something like this will never happen again.''
Mason pleaded guilty in his case days later, and was sentenced to 24 months in prison. He ended up serving just nine months of the sentence, and landed a job in Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's administration after his release from jail, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported at the time.
Contrary to Fudge's assurances that Mason was a changed man, something more did happen between the judge and his wife.
Mason murdered Fraser on Nov. 17, 2018 outside of his sister's home in Shaker Heights. He pleaded guilty to the charge on Aug. 20, 2019 and was later sentenced to life in prison.
Fudge's support for Mason made headlines in the wake of Fraser's death. At the time, Fudge was weighing a bid to serve as Speaker of the House.
Fudge has also faced blowback in her community.
A friend of Fraser's confronted Fudge in 2019, telling the lawmaker that the victim's ''blood is on your hands.''
''We're going to unseat you. You're evil,'' the woman, Mary Ann Lorient, said to Fudge at an event on Jan. 12, 2019, according to video published by The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
''As a black woman, to write that letter? At what point did you have empathy for her? At what point did you think about her? At what point?''
The Biden transition team did not respond to requests for comment about Fudge's past support for Mason, or whether choosing Fudge conflicts with Biden's longtime support for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Biden co-sponsored the 1994 bill, which provided federal protections to victims of domestic abuse, when he served in the U.S. Senate.
WATCH:
Fudge issued a statement after Fraser was murdered disavowing her support for Mason.
''My support of Lance in 2015 was based on the person I knew for almost 30 years '-- an accomplished lawyer, prosecutor, state legislator and a judge,'' she told Cleveland 19 News.
''The person who committed these crimes is not the Lance Mason familiar to me. It was a horrific crime.''
The Biden transition team and Fudge's office did not respond to a request for comment.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.
Supporting the 2020 U.S. election
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 16:02
News & Events
By The YouTube Team Dec.09.2020 Updates to our work supporting the integrity of the 2020 U.S. election.
Over the past weeks and months, we've seen people coming to YouTube to learn more about where and how to vote or learning more about a candidate or an issue. We've seen news organizations grow their audience. And we've seen people turn to YouTube for the latest election results or simply to follow an historic event with the highest voting turnout in over a century in the U.S.
Our main goal going into the election season was to make sure we're connecting people with authoritative information, while also limiting the reach of misinformation and removing harmful content. The work here is ongoing and we wanted to provide an update.
Removing content that violates our policiesOur Community Guidelines prohibit spam, scams, or other manipulated media, coordinated influence operations, and any content that seeks to incite violence. Since September, we've terminated over 8000 channels and thousands of harmful and misleading elections-related videos for violating our existing policies. Over 77% of those removed videos were taken down before they had 100 views.
We also work to make sure that the line between what is removed and what is allowed is drawn in the right place. Our policies prohibit misleading viewers about where and how to vote. We also disallow content alleging widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of a historical U.S. Presidential election. However in some cases, that has meant allowing controversial views on the outcome or process of counting votes of a current election as election officials have worked to finalize counts.
Yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections. For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors. We will begin enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come. As always, news coverage and commentary on these issues can remain on our site if there's sufficient education, documentary, scientific or artistic context.
Connecting people to authoritative informationWhile only a small portion of watch time is election-related content, YouTube continues to be an important source of election news. On average 88% of the videos in top 10 search results related to elections came from authoritative news sources (amongst the rest are things like newsy late-night shows, creator videos and commentary). And the most viewed channels and videos are from news channels like NBC and CBS.
We also showed information panels linking both to Google's election results feature, which sources election results from The Associated Press, and to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) ''Rumor Control'' page for debunking election integrity misinformation, alongside these and over 200,000 other election-related videos. Collectively, these information panels have been shown over 4.5 billion times. Starting today, we will update this information panel, linking to the ''2020 Electoral College Results'' page from the Office of the Federal Register, noting that as of December 8, states have certified Presidential election results, with Joe Biden as the President-elect. It will also continue to include a link to CISA, explaining that states certify results after ensuring ballots are properly counted and correcting irregularities and errors.
Additionally, since Election Day, relevant fact check information panels, from third party fact checkers, were triggered over 200,000 times above relevant election-related search results, including for voter fraud narratives such as ''Dominion voting machines'' and ''Michigan recount.''
Now let's look at recommendations, one of the main ways our viewers find content. Limiting the reach of borderline content and prominently surfacing authoritative information are important ways we protect people from problematic content that doesn't violate our Community Guidelines. Over 70% of recommendations on election-related topics came from authoritative news sources and the top recommended videos and channels for election-related content were primarily authoritative news. In fact, the top 10 authoritative news channels were recommended over 14X more than the top 10 non-authoritative channels on election-related content.
Despite these encouraging results, we recognize there's always more to do. For example, while problematic misinformation represents a fraction of 1% of what's watched on YouTube in the U.S., we know we can bring that number down even more. And some videos, while not recommended prominently on YouTube, continue to get high views, sometimes coming from other sites. We're continuing to consider this and other new challenges as we make ongoing improvements.
We understand the need for intense scrutiny on our elections-related work. Our teams work hard to ensure we are striking a balance between allowing for a broad range of political speech and making sure our platform isn't abused to incite real-world harm or broadly spread harmful misinformation. We welcome ongoing debate and discussion and will keep engaging with experts, researchers and organizations to ensure that our policies and products are meeting that goal. And as always, we'll apply learnings from this election to our ongoing efforts to protect the integrity of elections around the world.
House passes defense legislation with veto-proof margin as Trump threatens veto - CBS News
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 15:47
The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act with a veto-proof margin on Tuesday, dealing a blow to President Trump's threat to veto the legislation. The House passed the annual defense package, which lays out the annual budget and expenditures for the Pentagon, with a 335-78 vote, with one member abstaining '-- easily over the two-thirds majority that would be necessary to override a presidential veto. The bill now heads to the Senate.
A veto-proof majority in the House means a piece of legislation received at least two-thirds of the vote, signifying that the chamber would have the support to override a veto if Mr. Trump decided to issue one. If the president strikes down legislation that reaches his desk, it heads back to the House and Senate and must receive two-thirds support in each chamber to become law. Given that high bar, vetoes are not often overridden.
The Office of Management and Budget formally recommended the president veto the legislation if it reaches his desk, and President Trump has already vowed to veto the legislation if does not include a provision scrapping a law that protects social media companies from liability, known as Section 230. The defense legislation does not currently have such a provision.
Click here to view related media. click to expand
"I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO. Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!" Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter earlier Tuesday.
Even some Republicans have said that they would return to Congress later in December if Mr. Trump vetoes the bill in order to override the veto.
"We ought to pass the NDAA and the president should not veto it. And we should override it," Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney told reporters on Monday. Congressman Mac Thornberry, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters Monday that Congress should return to override any veto.
"We would be rightly and fairly criticized when we can't come back to deal with military pay," Thornberry said.
Pelosi, Schumer blast $916B White House coronavirus relief proposal
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 15:43
Congress The Trump-backed plan is said to include pared-down stimulus checks for Americans.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., meet with reporters on Capitol Hill. J. Scott Applewhite / AP fileDec. 9, 2020, 7:51 AM EST / Updated Dec. 9, 2020, 8:10 AM EST
By Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON '-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer late Tuesday rejected a Trump-backed $916 billion coronavirus relief proposal that was offered by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said the plan proposes a $600 direct payment for individuals and $1,200 for couples, which is half the payment delivered by the March pandemic relief bill, The Associated Press reported.
In a joint statement, Schumer and Pelosi described it as progress that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., endorsed the cost of the package, but they signaled that the proposal was obstructing bipartisan negotiations underway among lawmakers. The Democratic leaders also made clear that the reduction in unemployment benefits from what's on the table is something they could never support.
"The President's proposal starts by cutting the unemployment insurance proposal being discussed by bipartisan Members of the House and Senate from $180 billion to $40 billion. That is unacceptable," they said.
Mnuchin said he had spoken to Pelosi on behalf of President Donald Trump and presented the plan, which he said is larger than the $908 bipartisan proposal.
"This proposal includes money for state and local governments and robust liability protections for businesses, schools and universities," Mnuchin said. "As part of this proposal, we will fund it using $140 Billion in unused funds from the Paycheck Protection program and $429 Billion in Treasury funds."
The White House proposal came as McConnell suggested to lawmakers negotiating the bipartisan plan that they set aside the two most contentious parts of their talks '-- aid to state and local governments and a liability shield for employers. Schumer and Pelosi, however, rejected that approach.
Meanwhile, a group of progressive Democratic senators led by Bernie Sanders demanded that another round of $1,200 checks be added to the plan, with the overall price tag being $300 billion. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said Tuesday that he spoke to Trump over the weekend about adding stimulus checks to the package.
The bipartisan framework does not include direct stimulus payments.
The latest developments come as Congress is expected to take up a government spending measure that will extend the funding deadline by one week, to Dec. 18, to buy more time for these bipartisan negotiations.
Rebecca Shabad Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.
Garrett Haake contributed.
EXCLUSIVE: White House 'Imminently' Sending Official Defense Authorization Veto Threat To Capitol Hill | The Daily Caller
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 22:44
The White House's Office of Management and Budget will ''imminently'' send Congress a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) containing a veto threat of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021.
Three senior Trump administration officials, all briefed on the SAP but speaking anonymously as they had not been cleared to discuss the subject publicly, confirmed the timing Tuesday afternoon to the Daily Caller as the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the military budget before the end of the day. (RELATED: Trump Threatens To Veto Defense Authorization Act Unless It Fully Terminates Section 230)
WASHINGTON, DC '' DECEMBER 08: US President Donald Trump walks out after speaking at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit on December 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. The president signed an executive order stating the US would provide vaccines to Americans before aiding other nations. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump has previously threatened to veto the bill if it does not completely terminate Section 230 or if it contains language that would rename military bases named after Confederate figures.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told the Caller at a recent press briefing that Trump's second threat pertaining to Section 230 could signal his willingness to end his opposition to renaming bases.
Despite Trump's threats, Congress is expected to pass the NDAA without caving on either of Trump's provisions. Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, explicitly rejected the president's Section 230 threat on the grounds that it has nothing to do with the military.
WATCH:
Similarly, Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney called on her colleagues to override the president's veto, should he indeed carry out his threats.
Henry Rodgers contributed to this report.
This is a developing story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
CNN - Breaking News, Latest News and Videos
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 19:17
(CNN) - Program notes: Watch CNN's "Coronavirus Town Hall: The Vaccines," hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT Friday.
The vote to recommend long-term care residents be among the first to receive Covid-19 vaccinations was not unanimous.
Out of a panel of 14 CDC vaccine advisers, a lone doctor said no.
"Odd woman out, I guess," Dr. Helen "Keipp" Talbot, of Vanderbilt University, told her colleagues. "I still struggle with this. This was not an easy vote."
Talbot was worried about whether the vaccine would even work in such frail, vulnerable patients. Even more, she worried about how it might look if the vaccine failed in that group, or how it would affect public perception if residents died soon after getting the vaccine.
On the other hand, these are the people worst hit by the pandemic. They make up 40% of all deaths so far.
Nursing homes in the Midwest have been particularly hard hit, with a more than 400% increase in weekly cases since mid-September, according to a report published Tuesday by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. During the week of November 15, 49% of new nursing home cases were in the Midwest.
Between mid-September and the week of November 15, there was a 177% rise in new weekly nursing home cases nationwide. The rise in cases has been accompanied by a rise in coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.
"Our worst fears have come true as Covid runs rampant among the general population, and long term care facilities are powerless to fully prevent it from entering due to its asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread," said Mark Parkinson, the organization's president and CEO.
Simpler logistics
From a practical standpoint the reason to vaccinate is simple.
It is much easier to send a team to a facility and vaccinate everyone who works and lives there at the same time than it is to vaccinate the two groups at different times. Since the vaccine requires two doses, the vaccinators already have to return about 21 days later as it is.
"That's two trips versus four trips, at a minimum," said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition, which is supporting frontline workers who will administer Covid-19 vaccinations.
"From a practical standpoint of how quickly can we get people vaccinated who need it, it simply simplifies the logistics drastically because people in long-term care can't actually go to a vaccination place. You have to bring the vaccine to them. And so it's much easier if we can vaccinate everyone who needs it on one trip, instead of having to make multiple trips at different times to the same facility over and over."
From a medical standpoint the reason to vaccinate long-term care residents is more complex.
They are the group of Covid-19 patients with the highest mortality rate, and many of the hospitalizations are people who are from long-term care facilities who contract Covid-19 and are hospitalized. When they get sick, it generates a lot of burden on hospitals.
"Those are all very good reasons to vaccinate the residents," Moore said.
But there is also reason for concern. The Covid-19 vaccines have not been tested in the frail elderly, many of whom are residents of long-term care facilities.
"Since they haven't been studied in people in those populations, we don't know how well the vaccine will work for them. We know that most vaccines don't work nearly as well in a frail elderly person as they would in someone who is fit and vigorous, even if they happen to be the same age," Moore said.
"There's a question about the direct benefit of the vaccine, if given to people who live in those facilities, because we haven't studied how well it works in that group yet."
It's this uncertainty that led Talbot to vote no.
"I have spent my career studying vaccines in older adults. And we have traditionally tried a vaccine in a young healthy population and then hoped it works in our frail older adults," she told the committee ahead of her vote. "And so we enter this realm of 'we hope it works, and we hope it's safe,' and that concerns me on many levels."
When shots begin to go into arms of residents, Moore said Americans need to understand that deaths may occur that won't necessarily have anything to do with the vaccine.
"We would not at all be surprised to see, coincidentally, vaccination happening and then having someone pass away a short time after they receive a vaccine, not because it has anything to do with the vaccination but just because that's the place where people at the end of their lives reside," Moore said.
"One of the things we want to make sure people understand is that they should not be unnecessarily alarmed if there are reports, once we start vaccinating, of someone or multiple people dying within a day or two of their vaccination who are residents of a long-term care facility. That would be something we would expect, as a normal occurrence, because people die frequently in nursing homes."
On Tuesday, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living applauded the CDC advisory committee's 13-1 vote to recommend prioritizing their residents.
"More than 100,000 long term care residents have died from this virus in the U.S. and our nursing homes are now experiencing the worst outbreak of new cases since last spring with more than 2,000 residents succumbing to this virus each week," said Parkinson. "We are extremely hopeful this vaccine will literally be a lifesaver for thousands of residents."
Some state governors have begun to indicate that they will follow the CDC's priorities for distributing the vaccine to both healthcare workers and long-term residents.
In Georgia, more than 95% of nursing homes in the state have enrolled with the CDC through partnerships with CVS and Walgreens for vaccine rollout and distribution.
Nationwide, CVS is preparing to administer Covid-19 vaccinations to approximately 2 million long-term care facility residents, according to Chris Cox, senior vice president of CVS Health. Walgreens is preparing to administer the vaccine to approximately 1 million long-term care facility residents, according to Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare at Walgreens.
The pharmacy chains plan to store the vaccine at approximately 1,900 "hubs" across the country and then distribute it to more than 48,000 long-term care facilities nationwide.
CVS chief medical officer Dr. Troy Brennan, told CNN's Kate Bolduan on Thursday their plan is to be ready to go as early as December 15.
"We're working with each of the states now, and it will be challenging because each state will be different," Brennan said. "Some states will say just vaccinate the people in the skilled nursing facility. Some states will want us to vaccinate not only the people in the skilled nursing facility but the healthcare workers in those facilities, so those kinds of details are going to vary from state to state."
Ending the isolation
The debate on whether to vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities, and the planning to get the vaccinations done, has occurred as the residents themselves have been largely isolated from family and friends in facilities that have been closed to visitors.
In addition to saving lives, Parkinson said he hopes the vaccine will "expedite the reopening of our facilities to family members and loved ones."
But when that will happen remains unknown.
"The most pressing issue at the moment is ensuring that all long term care staff and residents are the first priority for a vaccine. Long term care facilities will not be able to have any sense of normalcy until a vaccine is administered, and we know that everyone is eager for that to happen," said Cristina Crawford, a spokesperson for the American Health Care Association, in an email to CNN. "We hope to be able to discuss what next steps look like once a vaccine is being delivered and administered to staff and residents across the country."
Moore said not to expect a change in policy out of the gate.
"Right now, we just don't have the data to know how well the vaccines will work in these folks, and so we're going to need to be cautious at first because we know they are by far the most vulnerable to severe illness and death from Covid. We're going to play it really carefully until we know for sure that these vaccines will really be effective at protecting them," Moore said.
"As we learn more and we see if the vaccine works really well in these groups, then certainly my hope is that we can help these folks reconnect with their families because they need each other."
COVID-19 strikes mink farm in British Columbia '' RCI | English
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:50
Workers at a mink farm in the Fraser Valley region of B,C, have tested positive for COVID-19. Mink are known to be susceptible and that they can retransmit the virus or a mutated version, back to humans. Animals at the farm are being tested. There are 14 mink farms in the Fraser Valley..(Sergei Grits/The Associated Press)
By Marc Montgomery | english@rcinet.caPosted: Monday, December 7, 2020 10:12 Last Updated: Monday, December 7, 2020 10:20
Eight workers at a mink farm in west coast British Columbia have tested positive for the virus with the operators and staff now in isolation along with their contacts.
Health officials in the Fraser Valley are testing all farm employees and carrying out further contact tracing.
Mink were discovered to be susceptible to the virus transmitted from humans and can act as a source to infect other mink and re-transmit to humans. The provincial Ministry of Agriculture is currently testing animals at the farm for the virus. The farm is under orders not to ship any animals or products from the farm.
Other mink farms are now being contacted by authorities with regard to increase sanitation and 'biosecurity' measures.
The concern comes after Denmark culled some 17 million mink after some mink were found to have contracted the virus from humans and a mutated version was then re-transmitted to humans. Denmark is the world's largest producer of mink pelts.
Men in hazmat suits disinfect truck containers as Danish health authorities, assisted by members of the Danish Armed Forces, dispose of dead minks at a military area near Holstebro, Denmark on Nov. 9. (Morten Stricker/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images)
Some cases have been identified on mink farms in at least four U.S states resulting in culls there, while bot Spain, the Netherlands, have culled mink due to viral infection.
Additional information-sources
Vancouver Sun: S Brown: Dec 7/20: COVID-19 outbreak declared a Fraser Valley mink farmGlobal News: S Little: Dec 6/20: COVID-19 outbreak declared at mink farm in B.C,'s Fraser ValleyCBC: E Uguen-Csenga: Dec 6/20: COVID-19 outbreak declared at mink farm in B.C.'s Fraser Valley
Palantir Wins FDA Contract to Power Drug Review, Inspections - Bloomberg
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:41
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Adultism '' Freechild Institute
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:37
AdultismAt the heart of most interactions between children, youth and adults is adultism, which is the bias towards adults that causes discrimination against young people.
Whether we're talking about education, youth work, business, schools, government organizations, or elsewhere, adultism is behind behavior, attitudes, cultures, systems, physical places and much more. When they become aware of it, youth and adultism clash mightily with young people frequently losing. Curfews, taxation without representation, compulsory education, being tried as adults and other effects are obvious throughout society.
Ways Youth can Challenge AdultismYouth-Led Organizing'-- When children and youth can't find support from adults, or when they want to do it on their own, facing adultism and taking action can be essential. Youth-led organizing means standing in front of families, schools, organizations, communities and the world to call out bias towards adults and defeat the deafening ignorance of constant adultism everywhere, all the time.
Youth/Adult Partnerships'-- Forming intentional relationships with adults can defeat adultism on many levels. Adults can discover new ways of being and interacting with children and youth, and young people can find new hope for adults and society. Youth/adult partnerships can happen throughout society, too!
Youth-Led Programming'-- Through deliberate education and meaningful action, young people can learn to design, implement, facilitate, evaluate and and advocate programs that matter to young people from the perspectives of young people. That means taking deliberate steps to challenge both internalized adultism and other forms, too.
Things Youth Need to Challenge AdultismEducation'-- Starting with practical reflection focused on their life experiences, every young person and adults of all ages can learn more about adultism. Education can focus on the pillars of adultism (culture, attitudes and systems) or taking action to challenge adultism through advocacy, organizing and social change.
Opportunities'-- Challenging adultism can happen in many ways, including structured programs in nonprofits, schools and other community settings. Through anti-adultism programs, young people and adults can work together, become educated and take action to make a difference.
Inspiration'-- Living in cultures and experiencing structures of adultism every single day can exhaust any young person, tax their motivation and depress their inherent hopefulness for the world. Inspiration to challenge motivation can mean sharing stories, personal examples, and learning about opportunities for meaningful action throughout their lives.
Learn About AdultismIntroduction to AdultismInternalized AdultismCultural AdultismInstitutional AdultismDefeating AdultismFacing AdultismYou Might Like'...Youth/Adult PartnershipsYouth and AdultsYouth, Parents, Parenting and FamiliesEphebiphobia''Adult Perspectives of Youth''''10 Signs You're Experiencing Adultism'' by Adam Fletcher for The Freechild Project''Adultism in Democratic Education'' by Adam Fletcher for The Freechild ProjectAdultism in the LawElsewhere OnlineFacing Adultism Discussion Group on Facebook''Adultism in Schools'' by Adam Fletcher for SoundOutSHARE!Other tools are out there, too '' share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can help face adultism in your community or organization, contact us.
Order FACING ADULTISM by Freechild founder Adam Fletcher!
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VIDEO-Dr. Vernon Coleman - Vital Information about the Covid-19 Vaccine!
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 13:22
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VIDEO-Hannity breaks down federal investigation into Hunter Biden - YouTube
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 13:05
VIDEO-Trump threatens executive power over COVID-19 vaccines, Inslee 'flabbergasted'
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 12:16
Trump threatens executive power over COVID-19 vaccines, Inslee 'flabbergasted'On Tuesday President Trump threatened to invoke that exact executive authority to ensure Americans received COVID-19 vaccines before other countries.
SEATTLE - In the early months of the pandemic that has now infected millions of Americans, Washington's governor repeatedly asked the president to invoke the Defense Production Act for personal protective equipment and testing supplies, with little success.
But on Tuesday President Donald Trump threatened to invoke that exact executive authority to ensure Americans received COVID-19 vaccines before other countries after the White House pushed back on reports the administration had the opportunity to lock in more life-saving doses '-- and passed.
The White House initially purchased 100 million doses of Pfizer's unproven vaccine over the summer, in addition to contracting with other companies racing to create a vaccine. But reports have come out this week that the Trump administration passed after Pfizer offered the U.S. hundreds of millions of more doses. Pfizer has now said those additional doses have been promised to other nations.
Pfizer is first in line for emergency approval by the Food and Drug Administration. An advisory committee meets Thursday to review the vaccine. If approved, Washington state stands to receive 62,000 doses next week and 222,000 doses total before the end of the year.
The White House denies reports it turned down Pfizer's offer for more and the president said Tuesday that Americans will be prioritized over other countries to receive U.S.-made vaccines, even if he has to use his executive authority to do it.
''We have worked very well with the companies, but if for any reason we have any problems, we will be instituting the Defense Production Act, and we will make sure that we don't have any problems for very long,'' Trump said.
State could receive 400,000 COVID-19 vaccines in DecemberWashington state could receive more than 400,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines before the New Year, according to the Department of Health.
The Defense Production Act is a presidential authority that can force private companies to prioritize federal orders. When Washington was first dealing with the deadly virus, Gov. Jay Inslee on multiple occasions brought up the executive power and asked the president to wield it to address PPE and testing shortages.
Trump sparingly did for PPE but is threatening the full effect for vaccines, which Inslee said left him feeling ''flabbergasted'' and astounded when asked by Q13 News.
''We begged him to use this for months to get PPE for our nurses, to get swabs to increase testing, and he told us to go fish,'' Inslee said. ''And now he says he's going to come to the party and act? I just have to express, more than amazement, but enormous disappointment in his total lack of responsibility.''
As the White House continues to answer questions over purchasing, local hospitals are preparing to get that first shipment in the next week. The first doses will go to frontline health care workers.
A week from Thursday, the FDA is set to review Moderna's application. If approved, Washington state is set to receive 400,000 total doses between the Moderna and Pfizer by the end of 2020.
Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday the administration expects to have enough doses nationwide to vaccinate 20 million Americans in 2020, reaching 50 million total by the end of January.
''We remain confident that across our portfolio of multiple vaccines, we will have enough doses for any American who wants a vaccine by the end of the second quarter of 2021,'' Azar said.
A poll released Wednesday from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that only about half of Americans are sure they will get a COVID-19 vaccine when it's their turn. A quarter of respondents were unsure and another quarter said they won't. Health experts estimate at least 70 percent of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
The coronavirus has killed nearly 290,000 Americans so far. More than 15 million Americans have had confirmed cases.
VIDEO-Northern Lights possibly visible this week in Michigan - YouTube
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 11:59
VIDEO-How Private Money From Facebook's CEO Saved The 2020 Election | Georgia Public Broadcasting
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 04:54
After Congress failed to aid local election offices, a nonprofit backed by Mark Zuckerberg gave $350 million in crucial funds that helped the presidential election run surprisingly smoothly.
Transcript
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Election officials say things could have been a lot worse last month. Lines at the polls would have been longer, and the ballots would have taken more time to count if they hadn't gotten a big infusion of cash. It came from a nonprofit funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. We should mention Facebook is among NPR's financial supporters. Local officials say they are grateful for the help, but some observers say this is no way to fund an election. Here's Tom Scheck of the investigative group APM Reports.
TOM SCHECK, BYLINE: Election officials in Chester County, Pa., did something different this year. Some residents were worried about whether election drop boxes were secure, so the workers who collected the ballots wore body cameras.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
PAT CONLIN: This is Ranger Pat Conlin. I have arrived at my first destination for the Voter Services ballot collection.
SCHECK: Each day, county workers recorded video as they opened drop boxes and collected the ballots before delivering them to the election office. Chester County Voting Services Director Bill Turner says the body cameras and some drop boxes would never have happened without a grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life.
BILL TURNER: Honestly, I don't know what we would have done without it.
SCHECK: Chester County got $2.5 million from the nonprofit - more than the county's entire 2020 election budget. The county used the money to hire more staff and to buy equipment. Turner says that helped them process mountains of mail-in ballots as the nation waited for Pennsylvania's results.
TURNER: This grant really was a lifesaver in allowing us to do so more efficiently. And it probably would have taken a very long time if we didn't have the resources to do this.
SCHECK: Turner says they applied for the grant because the money they got from the federal government this year wasn't enough. The CARES Act included $400 million for elections, but running this election was extra-expensive given the pandemic, the huge turnout and all the mail-in ballots. And the federal government didn't send a second payment.
LIZ HOWARD: Despite election officials basically begging our federal government for assistance, that money never came through.
SCHECK: Liz Howard is an election security expert with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
HOWARD: Congress really failed our election officials.
SCHECK: With Congress failing to deliver, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated $350 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonprofit that works to make elections more inclusive and secure. Officials with the nonprofit declined interview requests, so it's difficult to determine how the money was spent. But a review of more than 30 grant agreements and interviews with more than 20 election directors show it was used on everything from voter outreach to food. Bulloch County, Ga., budget officer Peyton Fuller says they used the money to buy extension cords to space out voting machines.
PEYTON FULLER: We were thinking, you know, we were going to get, like, five or $6,000. And then they came back and sent $60,000, and I was like, yeah, this is amazing.
SCHECK: And in Coconino County, Ariz., grant money helped establish early voting on the Navajo Indian Reservation for the first time. Conservative groups claimed the grants helped sway the election in favor of Joe Biden. But an APM Reports analysis of voter registration and turnout in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona shows no difference between counties that received grant money and those that didn't. The money didn't change the outcome but did make things run more smoothly. Still, Suffolk University political science professor Rachael Cobb says private money can be viewed as coming with strings attached. For example, Zuckerberg may be trying to improve his image after being criticized over how Facebook handles misinformation.
RACHAEL COBB: I don't think elections should be public-private partnerships. They are public enterprises run by public institutions and ideally fully funded by public institutions.
SCHECK: Back in Chester County, Bill Turner says he's not worried about using the private money for elections. He says if the nonprofit makes those funds available again, he'll apply for a grant. For NPR News, I'm Tom Scheck.
(SOUNDBITE OF FKJ'S "BETTER GIVE U UP") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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VIDEO-The Great Kary Mullis, inventor of the abused PCR test talks about Antony Fauci - YouTube
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 04:17
VIDEO-Vincent Kennedy on Twitter: ""Tip of the Iceberg" .@RichardGrenell "Pelosi" .@RepMattGaetz https://t.co/nJQGK7xeyb" / Twitter
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 04:10
Vincent Kennedy : "Tip of the Iceberg".@RichardGrenell "Pelosi".@RepMattGaetz https://t.co/nJQGK7xeyb
Thu Dec 10 03:03:25 +0000 2020
Zorach Spira : @VincentCrypt46 @RichardGrenell @RepMattGaetz And as usual nothing will happen because we have a two-tiered injusti'... https://t.co/VJswSxtN1q
Thu Dec 10 04:09:34 +0000 2020
The Kracken JD : @VincentCrypt46 @RichardGrenell @RepMattGaetz https://t.co/ANeugXviBz
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VIDEO-SHOCKING: ALL Michigan Kanye Votes STOLEN by Joe Biden - YouTube
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 04:02
VIDEO-EXCLUSIVE: FBI Criminal Probe Tracks 500,000 Counterfeit Biden Ballots in Four Key Battleground States '' True Pundit
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 03:39
The FBI has widened a criminal probe into 2020 presidential election fraud and are on the trail of 500,000 manufactured/phony ballots for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, according to high-ranking federal sources on the Thomas Paine Podcast. The states in play? Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michicgan. The fraud is massive and complex. Listen above or below for details.
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VIDEO-Together We Thrive | Kaiser Permanente (:30) - YouTube
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 03:17
VIDEO-The toys turning coronavirus into child's play | Reuters Video
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 02:48
BusinessPosted
Toy makers have been preparing for a different kind of Christmas this year with COVID-19 tests for dolls and virus lab kits on the shopping list. Rosanna Philpott reports.
BusinessThe toys turning coronavirus into child's playFacebook accused of abusing market dominanceVideo: SpaceX unmanned 'Starship' rocket prototype explodes on landingTech valuations are in 'crazy town' -investorStocks hurt by stimulus worries, Facebook lawsuitNY AG announces lawsuit to end Facebook 'monopoly'DoorDash blows past IPO price in stellar debutHonda halts UK production due to parts shortageSafaricom expects M-Pesa price curbs to be liftedBanned by U.S., but Top Glove sales hit recordCan India resolve its massive farmer protests?Toyota doubles down on fuel cell carsTesco sells Asia business for $10.6 blnDoorDash doubles valuation to raise $3.4 blnElon Musk relocates to Texas from CaliforniaBreakingviews TV: Changin' timesPfizer vaccine data wins backing of U.S. FDAApple launches new $549 AirPods MaxTesla launches another $5 bln share saleWall Street closes higher on vaccine liftClean energy on 'cusp of a 30-year trend': CIOfor-phone-only for-tablet-portrait-up for-tablet-landscape-up for-desktop-up for-wide-desktop-up
VIDEO-Indian Farmers Lead Historic Strike & Protests Against Narendra Modi, Neoliberalism & Inequality | Democracy Now!
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:38
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN : This is Democracy Now! I'm Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh, as we turn to India, where tens of thousands of farmers are converging on the capital city of New Delhi by tractor and on foot to demand the repeal of new laws that deregulate agricultural markets. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the measures give farmers more freedom to set their own prices and sell directly to corporate buyers. But opponents say the neoliberal policies are a boon to corporations and roll back key labor and crop price protections that could have a devastating impact on the livelihood of farmers. Agriculture is the leading source of income for more than half of India's 1.3 billion population.
The ongoing protests come after a nationwide demonstration Thursday, when an estimated 250 million workers, farmers and their allies joined in what's believed to be the largest organized strike in history anywhere in the world. Organizers say tens of thousands of demonstrators have now gathered at each of New Delhi's three borders, in cold winter conditions, and more farmers are on their way. Police have put up barriers to block them from coming into the center of the city. This is one of the farmers protesting.
FARMER PROTESTER : [translated] India is my country, and Delhi is the capital of my country. I am not even allowed to enter my capital city. This is in spite of farmers never doing any hooliganism. Our whole movement has been peaceful. They also showered us with water cannons. We were also beaten. But no farmers retaliated violently.
AMY GOODMAN : Today Indian government officials are meeting with farmer representatives for a fourth time, and farmer union leaders have invited Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to their protest site.
This comes as COVID rages through India, which has reported more cases than any country in the world outside the United States.
For more, we go to Mumbai to speak with P. Sainath, longtime Indian journalist, founder of People's Archive of Rural India, or PARI .
It's great to have you back again. You used to write for The Hindu and used to write for The Times of India. You're an award-winning journalist, but felt that the majority of people were not being heard, and you wanted to give voice to the voiceless. Talk about this most significant protest, the largest, it's believed, the largest organized protest in world history, P. Sainath.
P. SAINATH : On the 26th of October, Amy, all the workers in the country, in many, many gigantic public sector units, in power, in transport, in a number of public sector organizations, and across the banks, the insurance companies, and workers from other set of departments ceased work and went out. And it's interesting. They were protesting against a new set of labor codes, absolutely vicious codes, that have been rammed through Parliament. But the working class out on the streets endorsed the demands of the farmers at Delhi. So it was a tremendous show of unity and solidarity, when millions of workers were saying, ''We are with the farmers.'' So, that was one extraordinary thing. That was on the 26th of October.
The farmers now, I think that maybe there's 200,000 to a quarter of million of them on five points on the Delhi border. The government approach to them is actually extremely callous and very, very aggressive. On the one hand, they're putting out some stuff for the media saying, you know, they're talking to them, they want to solve this problem. On the other, the prime minister is making speeches in his own constituency that this entire thing is a conspiracy by the opposition.
Now, if you need to know how deep this problem is biting in the farmers, as of yesterday, Punjab, which is a famous state for athletics in India, the Olympians, those athletes of Punjab who have won multiple medals at the Commonwealth, National Games and have participated in the Olympics, are planning to throw their medals back at the government on the 5th of December. Many artists and poets and others are returning their civilian awards. So, this is slated for the 5th.
And the government has no sign of shame about it at all. It is trying to look like the reasonable host. At the same time, it has put up barricades, barbed wire. It has dug 10-feet-by-10-feet trenches in the national highways to prevent these farmers from reaching Delhi, and have used water cannon and tear gas '-- water cannon in the coldest winter that Delhi has had. It had its coldest day in 70 years two days ago, and you're using water cannons on people, several of whom, those farmers, are in their late sixties and early seventies. On that kind of person, you are using water cannons and telling the '-- and you have a captive media, of course, that makes it look like the government is just getting it wrong in the way they are talking to the farmers: ''These are all hicks and brutal yokels. They just need to be spoken to sweetly,'' whereas the laws that they are protesting, Amy, are devastating.
NERMEEN SHAIKH : Well, P. Sainath, could you talk about this protest, these protests, in the wider economic context in India? Unemployment is now at 27%, which is unprecedented in the country. As we mentioned earlier, almost 60% of India's 1.3 billion people rely on agriculture as their main source of livelihood. In just two years, from 2018 to 2019, over 20,000 farmers died by suicide. Meanwhile, a billionaire, the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, has made $12 million an hour since the lockdown began as a result of the pandemic in March. Could you talk about the broader context of these protests?
P. SAINATH : Well, the entire protests, driven by a deepening agrarian crisis, are very fundamentally tied to the larger structural inequalities that you are pointing to. In just four months of the pandemic, just up to July, not only Mr. Ambani, but the entire bunch of Indian billionaires, dollar billionaires '-- there's about 120 of them '-- added 35% to their wealth, one-third to their already considerable wealth, and it's now around $485 billion cumulatively. Mr. Ambani went from being the richest Indian and the 19th richest person in the world; in the last year, year and a half, he has made it up to rank number four.
At the same time, Amy, there are new papers, studies showing us 76% of the rural population '-- that is, three-fourths of the rural population '-- cannot afford a nutritious meal. They cannot afford a basic nutritious diet, even if they spend '-- even if they spent two-thirds of their income on food. Now, apart from that, even if, say, all rural Indians spent 100% of their income on food and nothing else '-- no transport, health, education, rent; they didn't spend anything of that '-- it would still mean 63.3% cannot afford a nutritious diet, if they spent every last paisa they earned, I mean, they got as income. So you're seeing these unbelievable gaps, phenomenal gaps. India ranks fourth or fifth in the list of dollar billionaires in the world, and 129th on the U.N. Human Development Index.
And the pandemic has provided '-- you need to understand one very important thing about the protests. And for that, you need to understand what kind of mischief was played in the laws. Three major laws have been passed in Parliament which devastate the farmers, and you mentioned them as you introduced the subject. Two days later, when the opposition walked out in protest, they rammed through four labor laws codifying 29 existing complex legislations, and made them into four and rammed it through.
Now, the question is: Why did they feel the need to pass these laws at the height of the pandemic? Mr. Modi had a majority before the pandemic. He has a big majority. He will have it for two, three years after the pandemic. The reasoning was, these blokes are on their knees now. They can't organize. They can't hit back. And in fact, many leading neoliberal intellectuals, economists and journalists, editors, incited the government, saying, ''Never waste a good crisis,'' paraphrasing Winston Churchill, by the way, badly. ''Never waste a good crisis. This is India's second 1991 moment'' '-- when we embraced the world of neoliberalism. ''This is the time to ram through aggressive, next-generation reforms.'' And the government, believing that, went for this action, not understanding the resolve of these farmers, who have come back massively at the government.
Just one clause I want to read you from the laws. You will not believe '-- I don't know. You can tell me if you've ever read laws in a democratic nation which have a clause like this. Not only have they rammed through these laws, you know, on prices, on contract farming, on essential commodities, they have included this clause in one of the most important of these laws. It says, ''No suit, no prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the central government or the state government or any officer of the central government or any officer of the state government or any other person in respect of anything'' '-- [read corporations] '-- I mean, ''read corporations'' in brackets '-- ''or any other person in respect of anything which is done in good faith or intended to be done in good faith under this act. And no civil court shall have jurisdictions to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of any matter connected to the actions under this law.'' Have you read many laws like that in a democratic country?
So, they have taken with the legal recourse of the citizen. And I've been yelling of this that it's not just the farmers who are affected. Nobody else can sue, either. They are dismantling the right to legal recourse. The Bar Council of Delhi, you know, the capital city '-- the Bar Council of Delhi yesterday wrote to the president of India, saying, ''This is an extremely dangerous thing that's happening. You're taking away the fundamental rights of the citizen to move the courts when in distress.'' So, this is the kind of stuff.
And at the same time, the inequalities are deepening. The unemployment figures, that, Amy, I mean, they have come down as some amount of opening up happens, but people are returning to much worse conditions as workers. We have tampered with the gold standard of labor law, which used to be eight hours a day. Now you can have 12 hours a day without overtime for the last four hours. It'll be at a pro-rate, I think. You are having a massive, massive class divide in what's happening, with the top 0.01% adding phenomenally to its wealth and a huge amount of distress at the bottom end.
AMY GOODMAN : I want to go to a clip of Birendra Singh, as we talk about COVID and the effect of the pandemic on India. He used to run a food stall in Andhra Pradesh. He explained to your news organization, to PARI , the People's Archive of Rural India, how his family has been affected by the lockdown.
BIRENDRA SINGH : [translated] Before the lockdown, our days would go like this: We would wake up at 4:00 in the morning and start to make puris. Four hours would go in just making these puris. From 3:00 in the afternoon to 10:00 at night, we used to do business. By 11:00 in the night, I would reach home. Then, from the next day, this same work, Sirji. Before, work was going well. We were eating properly. I could take care of my parents, too. Since the lockdown began, I have been in deep trouble.
NERMEEN SHAIKH : So, P. Sainath, could you talk about what the situation with lockdown in India is, and the fact that the mortality rate there from the coronavirus is apparently reportedly much lower than the mortality rate certainly than here in the U.S., but also Europe?
P. SAINATH : It may be. It may be lower than that of the U.S., but the numbers we have on COVID -19, on infections, on the fatality rates, are extremely suspect, barring one or two states which are very good at following up, tracking, tracing, like a state like Kerala, which has done much better. And a hell of a lot of the testing '-- I mean, we are doing very low levels of testing. And you will get lower numbers. Second, much of the testing, the bulk of the testing in many states, is done on rapid antigen basis, not on the RT- PCR . And the rapid antigen has '-- as you know, the RAT tests have a very high proportion of false negatives. So we don't really know. And I don't buy this idea of being one of the lowest fatality rates in the world. It's true of one or two states which have a much better health infrastructure and a much better system of public health than a country, as a whole, which spends 1.28% of its gross domestic product on health and, two, most of the expenditure on health is out of pocket by poor, ordinary Indians. In fact, the last three surveys on health in the National Sample Survey have shown the number of Indians not seeking medical attention purely for financial reasons has doubled in 20 years. So, I'm not going to buy into this.
The second part of your question '-- I mean, the second aspect of your question, Nermeen, is that there are an incredible number of non- COVID deaths which have happened because of the complete collapse of the health infrastructure and the total focus of what little there is on COVID , so people dying of cardiac arrest, people dying of diabetic and stroke, and people dying of a number of other diseases, curable, treatable diseases. That number is surging massively. I, myself, since April 5, have lost 14 friends and acquaintances whom I knew very well. Just one of them '-- just one of them died of COVID . OK? Many of the others, their families took them from hospital to hospital to hospital to try and get admission, and couldn't. And also '--
AMY GOODMAN : P. Sainath, we're going to have to leave it there, but I want to thank you so much for being with us. And, of course, we'll be visiting with you again in Mumbai, India. P. Sainath is the award-winning Indian journalist, founder of People's Archive of Rural India, or PARI .
Very happy birthday to Emily Gosselin! Tomorrow, Paul Farmer. I'm Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.
VIDEO-Former Israeli space security chief says extraterrestrials exist, and Trump knows about it
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:33
A former Israeli space security chief has sent eyebrows shooting heavenward by saying that earthlings have been in contact with extraterrestrials from a "galactic federation."
"The Unidentified Flying Objects have asked not to publish that they are here, humanity is not ready yet," Haim Eshed, former head of Israel's Defense Ministry's space directorate, told Israel's Yediot Aharonot newspaper. The interview in Hebrew ran on Friday, and gained traction after parts were published in English by the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
A respected professor and retired general, Eshed said the aliens were equally curious about humanity and were seeking to understand "the fabric of the universe."
Eshed said cooperation agreements had been signed between species, including an "underground base in the depths of Mars" where there are American astronauts and alien representatives.
"There is an agreement between the U.S. government and the aliens. They signed a contract with us to do experiments here," he said.
Eshed added that President Donald Trump was aware of the extraterrestrials' existence and had been "on the verge of revealing" information but was asked not to in order to prevent "mass hysteria."
"They have been waiting until today for humanity to develop and reach a stage where we will understand, in general, what space and spaceships are," Eshed said, referring to the galactic federation.
The White House and Israeli officials did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment. Sue Gough, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, declined to comment.
A spokesperson for NASA said one of the agency's key goals was the search for life in the universe but that it had yet to find signs of extraterrestrial life.
"Although we have yet to find signs of extraterrestrial life, NASA is exploring the solar system and beyond to help us answer fundamental questions, including whether we are alone in the universe," the spokesperson said in a statement.
Eshed's ideas are spelled out in more detail in "The Universe Beyond the Horizon '-- conversations with Professor Haim Eshed" by Hagar Yanai published in November.
Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics
Eshed, who oversaw the launch of numerous Israeli satellites into space, said he was only speaking out now because attitudes were changing and people seemed more receptive.
"If I had come up with what I'm saying today five years ago, I would have been hospitalized," he told Yediot. "Today, they're already talking differently. I have nothing to lose. I've received my degrees and awards, I am respected in universities abroad."
In May, Trump said, "Space is going to be the future, both in terms of defense and offense ... we're now the leader on space," as he was presented with the official flag of a newly created military branch, Space Force.
Its focus, along with a Space Command, is on space as a military domain for the U.S., preserving satellites and communications and a focus on geo-politics in new terrain.
Eshed's comments immediately spawned jokes and theories online. At least half-a-dozen accounts have been created on Twitter claiming to be representatives to earth from the "Galactic Federation." Other users have asked for preferential treatment and meetings with the other-worldly group.
Nick Pope, who used to investigate UFOs for the British Ministry of Defense, described Eshed's remarks as ''extraordinary.''
''Either this is some sort of practical joke or publicity stunt to help sell his book, perhaps with something having been lost in translation, or someone in the know is breaking ranks,'' he said.
Pope said the UFO and conspiracy theory community was excited but that questions remained including whether or not Eshed was speaking from direct personal knowledge and experience or whether he is repeating something he has been told.
''There are still some missing pieces of the puzzle here,'' he said.
Adela Suliman Adela Suliman is a London-based reporter for NBC News Digital.
Paul Goldman is a Tel Aviv-based producer and video editor for NBC News.
VIDEO-@TommyRobinson - TommyRobinson - Just leaving this here.... It's a way to use...
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:30
Jandra711 · @Jandra711 10 hours ago [HOLISTIC PRIMARY CARE;''Oil of Oregano Proves Effective Against Coronavirus''By Erik Goldman 2009 ðŸ‘OREGANO OIL and wild cumin oil (BLACK SEED OIL), wild sage, cinnamon oils proven effective for Corona Virus. Study done in 2003 look 👠by Dr. M. Khalid Ijaz. [''The oregano oil alone reduced viral titers from over 5 million particles per ml at baseline, to 167 particles per ml within 15 minutes. At 20 minutes, the titers were down to 150 particles per ml.''] HOLISTIC PRIMARY CARE;
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VIDEO-Kirstie Alley on Twitter: "Does anyone know where this was first posted? Was this posted on her own twitter? FB ? I would like to know where she posted it initially." / Twitter
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:13
Kirstie Alley : Does anyone know where this was first posted? Was this posted on her own twitter? FB ? I would like to know where s'... https://t.co/wvLncRi7wu
Wed Dec 09 13:28:51 +0000 2020
Chris Michael : @kirstiealley Her fb live on Tuesday
Thu Dec 10 00:09:44 +0000 2020
Cynthia J Clarke : @kirstiealley Why isn't the FBI all over this?
Thu Dec 10 00:05:23 +0000 2020
Aimee Davis : @kirstiealley Wtf?? ðŸ" I'd say that was a direct threat to humans...
Thu Dec 10 00:04:46 +0000 2020
Eloisa : @kirstiealley If this was a trump supporter it'd be everywhere all over @SkyNews @BBCNews everywhere ! #scummedia
Thu Dec 10 00:04:45 +0000 2020
MurrayJoe : @kirstiealley Just type in Democrat represenative C A Johnson to see just how bad she really is.
Thu Dec 10 00:02:42 +0000 2020
Blazen : @kirstiealley Sick Bi tchðŸ‘
Thu Dec 10 00:01:59 +0000 2020
zamonzie : @kirstiealley Just remember they asked for it... #DemocratsAreCorrupt #trump2020 or #christ21
Thu Dec 10 00:01:38 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Nearly $3M meant for small businesses amid pandemic went to companies Gov. Gavin Newsom founded, data shows - ABC7 San Francisco
Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:09
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- At least eight companies partially owned by Gov. Gavin Newsom collectively received millions of dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to an ABC7 analysis.
While data released by the Small Business Administration earlier this year showed the PlumpJack Group received up to $350,000 worth of PPP loans, newly-released data by the SBA indicated PlumpJack businesses - including wineries, bars, and restaurants - received more than eight times that amount at nearly $3 million altogether.
RELATED: Officials question if South Bay man deserved millions in PPP loansIn 2018, Gov. Newsom placed his ownership interests in the PlumpJack Group into a blind trust. This means he would have no knowledge or role in the company's business decisions made during his time in office.
Digging into the dataThe ABC7 I-Team discovered discrepancies between that company's SBA data and publicly available records that appear to raise questions about how much money some companies received under the program.
ABC7's analysis found at least nine companies affiliated with the PlumpJack Group received PPP loans.
App users: For a better experience, click here to view the list in a new windowOne of the companies on the list is Villa Encinal Partners Limited Partnership. State records indicate the name is traced back to the PlumpJack winery in Napa. San Francisco billionaire Gordon Getty is an investor.
According to SBA data, the company received a loan for $918,720 on April 14, 2020.
In order for the loan to be forgiven, the SBA requires at least 60 percent be used to cover their wages. Based on SBA's data, Villa Encinal Partners LP retained 14 employees. Hypothetically, if divided equally, each of them would've received around $40,000 to cover their payroll over a period of three months - that would amount to an annual salary of around $160,000 per employee.
RELATED: Bay Area company criticized for lacking qualifications to source PPE receives nearly $50M in FEMA funding"It's unexpected for a 14 employee organization to get nearly $1 million," said Sean Moulton, a senior policy analyst with Project on Government Oversight (POGO). He specializes in tracking PPP funds. "The purpose behind this program was to save entry-level jobs, people going in and working on that paycheck. That was what we put this out there for, to stop unemployment."
The average small business loan for California companies retaining 14 employees was roughly $128,000. Yet, the PlumpJack entity Villa Encinal Partners LP - that according to SBA data also retained 14 employees - received more than seven times that amount at $918,720.
ABC7's analysis found the only other California winery that received close to the same loan amount as Villa Encinal Partners LP is Oak Knoll Farming Corp, which retained 79 employees - more than five times as many as Villa.
The average number of employees retained for every California winery that received more than $900,000 worth of PPP funding is 148.
RELATED: 22 Bay Area companies keep $52 million in federal funding intended for small businesses amid pandemicThe Millbrae Pancake House received a $431,400 loan and retained 53 employees. As a comparison, that's less than half of what Villa received and Burke retained nearly four times as many employees.
"That seems unfair because there are small family businesses like ours that need that money," owner of the restaurant Erin Burke said.
After 60 years of operating, Burke was forced to shut down her family-owned business on Nov. 29.
"We're just trying to do the best that we can and survive," she said. "That money wasn't enough."
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce reports a majority of small businesses that struggled to get PPP loans say the loan size wasn't enough or the owner misunderstood the application.
"I think it's heartbreaking," said Jay Cheng, the organization's public policy director. "We see huge discrepancies between small business and the kind of loans they got and their ability to get loans and larger companies that are well-resourced and well-staffed and had strong relationships with their banks."
Another company affiliated with the PlumpJack Group is Balboa Cafe Partners LP that received a $506,799 loan on April 29, 2020. A commercial data firm estimated in June 2020 that Balboa Caf(C) Partners employed seven individuals, but SBA data associated with their loan application states they retained 55 employees.
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The PlumpJack Group respondsABC7 reached out to PlumpJack Management Group for clarification on how the nearly $3 million of PPP funding was spent.
We received the following statement:
"Like many other companies facing extreme financial duress during the pandemic, we used loan monies to protect our workers and keep them employed. Our staff members and their loved ones have depended on these programs for their livelihoods. Gavin Newsom is not affiliated with the operation of the companies in any way. Any suggestion otherwise is unequivocally false," said Jeff Nead, spokesperson for the PlumpJack Management Group.
Gov. Newsom is not affiliated with the operations of the companies as his interests are in a blind trust. However, he is listed as the founder on the website and his sister Hilary Newsom is listed as the company's President and Partner.
RELATED: Gov. Newsom says he shouldn't have attended birthday party at French Laundry amid COVID-19 surgeAccording to the governor's 2019 Statement of Economic Interest, Newsom does have an ownership interest in eight companies affiliated with PlumpJack that received PPP funding.
CalMatters revealed the governor's 2018 tax returns show he and his wife made $1.2 million from wages and investments - a majority of which stems from his ventures in wine and hospitality.
ABC7 reached out to PlumpJack a second time requesting payroll records to see how each of the 14 employees of Villa Encinal Partners was paid.
We received the following statement:
"Plumpjack Management Group is operating within the federal guidelines created for COVID-19 SBA loan recipients. These funds have been critical in keeping our staff employed and continuing our operations. Any implication that we have done anything outside of the guidelines (or that we have filed for forgiveness on the loan) is irresponsible," said Jeff Nead, spokesperson for the PlumpJack Management Group.
The PlumpJack Group will have two to five years to apply for loan forgiveness if they choose to do so. This means the company may not have to pay back these loans.
RELATED: Lakers return $4.6 million it received from federal loan program designed to help small businesses, ESPN reportsBut for any company that does ask for forgiveness, "they have to certify when they apply that they retained their employees," said Miryam Barajas, SBA Region 9 Communications Director. "That's going to include payroll records, documentation filings, there's a lot of proof that these businesses have to show proving they paid their employees."
If companies don't seek forgiveness of the loan, they have to pay it back - but these companies still benefit.
"They were able to benefit from this extremely low interest rate the government was providing," said Danielle Brian, the Executive Director of Project on Government Oversight. "These are one percent loans...it's essentially free money for them."
ABC7 reached out to Gov. Newsom for further comment on this story and have yet to hear back.
In total, nearly $16.8 billion in PPP funding went to more than 130,000 companies across the Bay Area. The average number of employees companies retained is 10.
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VIDEO-Rand Paul SHREDS the ''Scientific Consensus'' on COVID-19 As Democrats Squirm - YouTube
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 22:27
VIDEO-Ontario to issue proof-of-vaccination cards - YouTube
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 22:19
VIDEO-SECRET MILITARY DOCUMENTS: Trudeau invited Chinese troops to train at Canadian military bases - Rebel News
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 22:18
Justin Trudeau invited China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to send its troops for cold weather training at CFB Petawawa in Ontario '-- and Trudeau raged at the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for cancelling the training after China kidnapped Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.
This is only one of many bombshell revelations in The China Files, a 34-page access to information document released by the Trudeau government to Rebel News , seen below.
Documents that normally would have been completely blacked out by government censors were instead greyed out '-- the documents remain completely readable. Rebel News has chosen to black out a very small portion that would otherwise compromise the safety of an individual.
How we got these secret documents: In April of 2019, Rebel News first wrote to the government asking for any records corroborating a Russian report that Canada had sent a delegation to China for the 70th anniversary celebrations for the PLA Navy '-- a propaganda exercise held just months after the kidnapping of the two Michaels. The Trudeau government delayed replying to Rebel News for 19 months, but when they finally did, they not only confirmed their attendance at that macabre event, but listed other exchanges between the PLA and the CAF. Those include training Chinese commanders at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, as well as other military facilities in Kingston. Chinese military participants included 1- and 2-star generals and an entire contingent who would learn Canadian cold weather military tactics.
The CAF's decision to cancel the cold weather training panicked Trudeau, who demanded that Canada's military not cancel any more engagements with the PLA without explicit permission first, and that the news of the cancellation had to be told to the PLA gently, to let them save face.
HELP FUND OUR INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCHOther revelations include:* Disgraced cabinet minister Catherine McKenna jetted to China for a three-day conference just months after the two Michaels were taken hostage
* Trudeau sent nearly 200 CAF personnel to Wuhan in October of 2019 to participate in the Military World Games, a propaganda bonanza for China diplomatic reports that China is using its ''belt and road'' negotiations to demand that countries drop human rights complaints if they want trade deals
* Chinese censorship of Twitter use
s. 15 (1) - International
3. The Great Firewall grows taller? Bureaucrat disciplined for accessing foreign news on Twitter
A disciplinary notice circulated this week on social media, which criticised a deputy programming director of the Suzhou city TV broadcasting organization for having accessed "harmful information on illegal websites" via Twitter, which had "seriously violated political discipline and political rules." The notice indicates that the individual will be removed from his post at the broadcaster and have their pay docked. It is unclear whether this signals a new trend in monitoring Party cadres online behaviour, or is a one-off event, but fits into the broader trend of increased monitoring of Twitter by authorities inside the Great Firewall, BEJING GR will continue to monitor.
* Chinese use of a smartphone app to track Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang
* Bureaucrats bizarre protocol of referring to accused fraudster and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou as ''Ms. Meng'', but refusing to even mention the two Michaels by name
From: Payne, Nichola - OPBSent: January-28-19 6:48 PMTo: Nouvet, Antoine - IGRCC: Hanley, Meghan - IGR; Bergeron, Jean-Francois - OPBSubject: RE: the draft action memo and letter for USS
Classification: SECRET // CANADIAN EYES ONLY Classification: SECRET // RESERVE AUX CANADIENS
Hi Antonie,
We are in the process of reviewing the draft, and had a couple questions/comments:
1) Does DND/CAF have any upcoming bilateral events/initiatives in the near future that have been planned and may be cancelled? 2) Our impression is that DND/CAF reluctance to engage with the PLA is not solely related to Ms. Meng's arrest and the consular cases - that there are other reasons behind their interest in dis-engaging. From our perspective it also perhaps to be related to a desire to be fully aligned with FEYs, particularly in the U.S., whose approach has shifted under the Trump Administration. We recall, for example, that back in December DND/CAF were keen to cancel the PLA's participation in the winter survival training following the request from DOD to do so. We also recall CDS's position on the SCS group sail back in September. From what I can tell, DND/CAF is also luke warm about engaging on peacekeeping and the potential security implications, despite it being a leaders...
* Bureaucrats deriding concerns about military knowledge transfer to China as figments of the ''Trump Administration''
HELP FUND OUR INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCHTrudeau's approach to ChinaThe China Files show that Trudeau's submissive approach to China isn't just his personal obsession'-- it's the official policy of his entire government and it has deeply infected Canada's civil service, too. Trudeau's right-hand man, Ian Shugart, was tasked with silencing the CAF's legitimate concerns about China, and forcing our military to continue acting as if China, not the U.S., was our most important ally.
As a public service, Rebel News is publishing the documents in full in the hopes that other reporters will continue to unlock the truth about how Trudeau is turning Canada away from our democratic allies, and towards the world's greatest dictatorship.
View the full documents:
VIDEO-Facebook antitrust lawsuit: Dozens of states and the FTC sue company for alleged anticompetitive behavior - CNN
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 20:49
(CNN Business)Dozens of states and the federal government sued Facebook ( FB ) on Wednesday in twin antitrust lawsuits, alleging that the social media giant has abused its dominance in the digital marketplace and engaged in anticompetitive behavior.
The Federal Trade Commission, in particular, is seeking a permanent injunction in federal court that could, among other things, require the company to divest assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp, effectively breaking up Facebook as we know it. The agency also wants to require Facebook to seek prior notice and approval for future mergers and acquisitions.
"Personal social networking is central to the lives of millions of Americans," said Ian Conner, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, in a statement. "Facebook's actions to entrench and maintain its monopoly deny consumers the benefits of competition. Our aim is to roll back Facebook's anticompetitive conduct and restore competition so that innovation and free competition can thrive."
The parallel lawsuits, months in the making, represent an unprecedented challenge to one of Silicon Valley's most powerful corporations. The complaints zero in on Facebook's acquisition and control over Instagram and WhatsApp, two key services in its social media empire.
The suits come roughly 14 months after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office was leading a group of attorneys general in investigating Facebook for potential anticompetitive practices. More than 40 attorneys general ultimately signed onto Wednesday's complaint. The FTC, meanwhile, has been conducting its own antitrust investigation of Facebook since June 2019.
"For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition," James said at a press conference Wednesday. "By using its vast troves of data and money, Facebook has squashed or hindered what the company perceived to be potential threats."
The state suit calls for a court order requiring Facebook to notify state officials of any future acquisitions valued at $10 million or more.
Much of the scrutiny of Facebook concerns the companies it has purchased to build up a massive audience that now totals more than 3 billion users across its portfolio of apps, according to its financial statements. That dominance has raised questions by some legal experts, including US lawmakers, about whether Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg set out to neutralize competitive threats by gobbling them up.
As the drumbeat in Washington against Facebook has grown louder, the company has had years to prepare for a showdown. It's moved to tightly integrate its apps on a technical level, a decision some critics have suggested is a strategy to frustrate any potential breakup. It's stepped up its hiring of lawyers with antitrust and litigation experience. And the company has fine-tuned its talking points, settling on a narrative that Facebook welcomes regulation but that cracking down too hard could risk giving other countries like China a competitive edge in the fast-moving technology sector.
The company has also argued that regulators reviewed the WhatsApp and Instagram deals at the time and did not see a reason to block them then. Instagram was acquired particularly early on in its lifecycle, before many came to view it as the successful giant it is today.
Wednesday's legal action makes Facebook the second global tech company to be taken to court by US and state government officials this year over antitrust concerns. In October, the Justice Department and 11 states filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging that it had stifled competition to maintain its powerful place in online search and search advertising. (Google has called the suit "deeply flawed" and that consumers use Google's platform because they choose to, not because they are forced to.) The last major tech antitrust suit before that, experts say, dates back to the US government's landmark case against Microsoft in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Facebook and Google aren't the only tech companies of concern among policymakers. US officials have increasingly probed the entire tech sector for potential anticompetitive behavior, giving particular focus to the big four firms that now touch every corner of our lives. The scrutiny has ranged from Apple's control over the iOS app ecosystem to Amazon's treatment of independent sellers on its e-commerce platform.
In Facebook's case, government officials will need to prove in court that the company's alleged misconduct led to real-world, measurable harms to consumers or competition, said Hal Singer, an economist and antitrust expert at George Washington University's Institute of Public Policy.
"It doesn't have to be a price effect; it could be some privacy thing," Singer said. "But you have to show it causally."
According to the state suit, Facebook's alleged misconduct has resulted in consumers being harmed. Internet users have fewer choices among social media platforms and poorer experiences, the complaint said, while the tech industry has suffered from "reduced investment in potentially competing services."
In another critical allegation, state officials said Facebook opened its platform to third-party app developers to draw them into the company's orbit, then cut off their access to Facebook's services once Facebook perceived them to be a competitive threat.
Singer said that if Facebook is ultimately deemed to have violated the law, the company could try to forestall a breakup by arguing that its services are too tightly integrated to be unwound. But, he said, it would be up to the courts to determine whether that is a persuasive argument.
As the Microsoft case showed, antitrust lawsuits can take years to play out. But they can ultimately have an enormous impact. Experts credit the Microsoft suit, which was eventually settled, with paving the way for Google's rise.
Similarly, a court ruling that breaks up Facebook or imposes certain behavioral limitations could have wide-ranging effects on what new startups may emerge '-- and what products consumers see in the marketplace.
VIDEO-Report: Prominent Chinese Prof Says a Biden Presidency Will Reconnect China to 'Core Circle Inside America's Real Power'
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 19:18
If this is true, this professor might be teaching a lesson America needs to learn.
A Chinese academic told his audience at a late November speaking event in Shanghai that China had relied for decades on a network of ''old friends'' to influence U.S. policies but that the Trump administration had disrupted that cozy relationship, The Washington Times reported Sunday.
And that China is welcoming the prospect of a White House headed by former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to The Washington Times, the professor was Di Dongsheng, an associate dean at the School of International Studies at Beijing's Renmin University. He was speaking on a Chinese television program called ''The Answers,'' on the topic ''Will China's Opening Up in the Financial Sector Attract Wall Street Wolves?''
A video of Di's speech that was posted with The Times report is below.
TRENDING: Cal Thomas: Under Trump We Got Used to Winning, Under Biden We'll Get Used to Losing
There's one important caveat about the video. Di includes a lengthy and, if it's true, somewhat troubling anecdote about what amounts to a propaganda event at the noted Washington bookstore Politics and Prose in 2015.
In an email to The Western Journal on Monday, Politics and Prose co-owner Bradley Graham acknowledged the event itself, but disputed virtually every detail about it Di discussed, including the participation of the ''friend,'' whom Di described as ''obviously a Jew simply by that look.''
''I'm still puzzled why, five years later, Di chose to portray this event at P&P the way he did,'' Graham wrote.
Watch the video and make your own decision.
''In plain and simple language, during the last three to four decades, we used the core circle inside America's real power,'' Di said, according to a Washington Times excerpts of the speech.
The arrival of President Donald Trump changed that, he said.
''As I said the Wall Street had a very profound influence over America's domestic and foreign affairs since the 1970s. We used to heavily rely on them. Problem is the role of Wall Street has been declining since 2008. But most importantly, after 2016 the Wall Street couldn't control Trump, because, awkwardly, there was a soft breach of contract between them, which made them hostile to each other.''
The idea that the communist Chinese government had wielded influence in American policy for decades isn't particularly a shock. Governments the world over try to influence each other in every conceivable way; diplomacy isn't all U.N. conference tables and embassy dinner parties.
But hearing the matter put so plainly is unusual. And the fact that Di was so frank about how the Trump administration has upset an apple cart that China was clearly pretty satisfied with should be gratifying to any Trump supporter '' just on principle.
RELATED: Expert Reveals Why China Is 'Licking Their Chops' at the Thought of a President Biden
It basically confirms what Trump has been saying about his administration since the beginning: That he's taken on the establishment and the system it has created for itself, and for its own benefit.
However, what should be troubling to any American '' regardless of political party '' is how cynically Di described his country's position in the aftermath of the Nov. 3 election, which Trump is still disputing.
And Di seems to have some knowledge of what he's talking about.
According to The Washington Times:
''Mr. Di states on his biography page at Renmin University that he is a frequent consultant to Chinese Communist Party and government organs, including the Foreign Ministry and the International Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the Central Organization Department and other ministries and commissions.''
Di couldn't be reached for comment for Sunday's article, according to The Washington Times. His university had no comment, the newspaper reported.
Still, his view of the American political situation could well hold some clues to how his country's totalitarian government sees the U.S.
Do you think China wants Trump out of the White House as much as Democrats do?
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The fact that he considers the 2020 election over, despite the fact that Trump and his allies are still disputing it, is telling.
And it's not encouraging, particularly when he brings the infamous Hunter Biden into it. (There's already too much smoke around Hunter Biden and China for any sane American to be comfortable, and Hunter's father's inability to explain things should make even Democrats queasy.)
''Now with Biden winning the election, the traditional elites, political elites, the establishment, they have a very close relationship with the Wall Street,'' Di said, according to The Washington Times excerpt.
''You all heard that Trump said Biden's son has securities companies all over the world.
''But who helped Biden's son build his global companies? You understand? '-- There are indeed buy-and-sell transactions involved in here [audience applause].
''So I think at this particular time, it is of strategic and tactical value for us to show goodwill [to Biden] '-- of course, this is just from my limited perspective as a political economist.''
Now, why does a Chinese professor, one who brags to a televised audience about his ability to get things accomplished in the United States, think now is the time to show ''goodwill'' for a potential Biden administration?
''If we understand this matter from the perspective of the international political economy,'' Di said, according to an English subtitle on the video, ''I think there is a tactical and political value in it.''
No doubt there's ''tactical'' value for the United States' most serious rival in geopolitical affairs for restoring its influence over policymakers in Washington. No doubt there are numerous members of the Washington establishment '' Di called them ''the traditional elites, political elites'' '' who would be happy to get back to the swampy status quo that existed before the Trump draining operation came to town.
But the real lesson is just how clearly a Chinese academic with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party evidently welcomes the idea that the old system can get back into business with a Biden White House.
''Who helped Biden's son build his global companies?'' Di asked, according to the Washington Times excerpt.
That's a good question. Don't expect the American establishment media to be asking it anytime soon.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
VIDEO-Introducing the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican - YouTube
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 19:14
VIDEO-Tucker: This is the greatest threat to democracy, freedom worldwide - YouTube
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 19:08
VIDEO-CompoundBoss on Twitter: "This is State Rep. Cynthia Johnson, a Detroit Democrat. Maybe it's just me but this sounds like a warning and then a call to arms threat. These idiots have become emboldened by our unbelievable patience. WE control whethe
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 16:14
CompoundBoss : This is State Rep. Cynthia Johnson, a Detroit Democrat.Maybe it's just me but this sounds like a warning and then'... https://t.co/eyDMmCP7nb
Wed Dec 09 08:53:15 +0000 2020
la chupi : @CompoundBoss My God protect us ðŸðŸ¥ºðŸ"
Wed Dec 09 15:08:15 +0000 2020
njpb_88 : @CompoundBoss @LandauDave fucking Detroit
Wed Dec 09 14:47:09 +0000 2020
Niko Karadimas : @CompoundBoss Bring it bitch we're ready!!! Trump 2020
Wed Dec 09 14:43:23 +0000 2020
Presidente : @CompoundBoss It's fun to incite violence when you're not going to be part of it. She couldn't handle Popeyes runn'... https://t.co/d6ZHHGu7eW
Wed Dec 09 14:36:34 +0000 2020
njpb_88 : @CompoundBoss Low IQ
Wed Dec 09 14:35:02 +0000 2020
Rick Young : @CompoundBoss The left has a weird way if wnating to unite the country . Blatant threats yea that should work
Wed Dec 09 14:04:14 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Boris Johnson heads to Brussels in attempt to avoid a no-deal Brexit
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 15:47
Published Wed, Dec 9 2020 8:15 AM EST
Updated Wed, Dec 9 2020 8:21 AM EST
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The U.K. left the EU in January but it agreed to keep the same standards and regulations until the end of the year, so both would have time to develop new trading arrangements. However, this transition period ends in three weeks and there are serious concerns they will not have a new agreement ready by then.BRUSSELS '-- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is heading to Brussels on Wednesday as an impasse over trade talks with the European Union threatens a no-deal Brexit.
The U.K. left the EU in January but it agreed to keep the same standards and regulations until the end of the year, so both would have time to develop new trading arrangements. However, this transition period ends in three weeks and there are serious concerns they will not have a new agreement ready by then.
Johnson is having a working dinner with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at 8 p.m. local time in an attempt to find political solutions to three outstanding issues in the trade talks: fisheries, competition rules and arbitration over their potential new deal. Negotiators have been stuck on these three areas since early in the summer.
A spokesperson for the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said Tuesday that the meeting "will be to try and lift substantial impasses so then the negotiators can continue their work." This suggests that there could be further negotiations after Wednesday's dinner rather than this meeting becoming a make-it-or-break-it moment.
The talks are particularly difficult because it's the first time in the EU's history that both parties are looking to diverge from a current set of rules. Traditionally, new trade deals result in an harmonization of food, labor and other standards.
The EU's aim is to ensure its market is not undermined by the U.K.'s departure from the political bloc. At the same time, the U.K. wants to regain full power over the sort of policies and regulations it decides to follow. Finding common ground between these two positions involves compromise.
Speaking Tuesday, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said: "We will never sacrifice our future for the present. Access to our market comes with conditions."
Michael Gove, a U.K. government minister, told the BBC on Wednesday that "there needed to be movement from both sides" and that the U.K. wants control of its own rules.
Failure to get an agreement in the coming weeks would push up taxes and costs for exporters on both sides. However, irrespective of whether a deal is achieved, citizens and businesses on both sides will face different rules from Jan. 1. The idea of the trade deal is to make this change much smoother.
Speaking in the German Parliament on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "there is still the chance of an agreement" being reached. However, she added that "the integrity of the internal market must be preserved."
The European single market allows countries to trade with no duties. Businesses also benefit from the freedom of movement within the area, which means they can easily sell their goods elsewhere.
View the full site
VIDEO-In newly surfaced July interview, Fauci warns that widely used COVID tests may pick up 'dead' virus | Just The News
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 23:05
Over-sensitive tests can just pick up "dead nucleotides" rather than live virus, he said.
In newly resurfaced video from July, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared to acknowledge that large numbers of positive COVID-19 cases may arise from oversensitive tests that pick up mere fragments of the virus rather than active, viable infections.
If true, many patients may have been receiving false-positive test results '-- causing much needless anxiety and disruption to everyday life '-- while the numbers of COVID-19 cases reported by public health authorities and major COVID tracking websites could be vastly overstated.
The admission came on a July 16 episode of This Week in Virology, a longtime science podcast hosted by Columbia University virologist Vincent Racaniello. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had joined the program to discuss various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including testing.
Concerns have been raised over the last several months that laboratory tests widely deployed to detect SARS-Cov-2 '-- what are known as polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests '-- may in fact be picking up remnants of the virus instead of meaningful levels of infection. Some critics have argued that significant numbers of purportedly positive COVID-19 tests are actually not infectious at all.
At the center of the debate is the "cycle threshold" at which a PCR test operates. PCR tests work by multiplying a virus fragment over a series of cycles until it can reliably detect and confirm the virus within a sample. The more cycles a test must go through before it detects the virus, the smaller and weaker the original sample was.
High cycles, in other words, are expected to correlate to weaker viral samples, indicating that a patient's "positive" case in that context may be more or less meaningless from an epidemiological or virological perspective.
At high levels, 'the chances of it being [accurate] are minuscule,' Fauci says.
Joining the hosts of This Week in Virology in July, Fauci directly responded to a question about COVID-19 testing, specifically how patients with positive tests might determine whether or not they are actually infectious and need to quarantine.
"What is now sort of evolving into a bit of a standard," Fauci said, is that "if you get a cycle threshold of 35 or more ... the chances of it being replication-confident are minuscule."
"It's very frustrating for the patients as well as for the physicians," he continued, when "somebody comes in, and they repeat their PCR, and it's like [a] 37 cycle threshold, but you almost never can culture virus from a 37 threshold cycle."
"So, I think if somebody does come in with 37, 38, even 36, you got to say, you know, it's just dead nucleotides, period."
Fauci noted that patients who receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis are not immediately given the cycle threshold of their test. "When someone comes in and it's positive, they don't give them the threshold until you go back and ask for it," he said.
Fauci's office did not respond to requests for comment on Friday on his remarks in the July video. But his concession in that video stands as one of the most prominent admissions from a high-ranking federal official that widely used PCR tests may be giving a significantly skewed picture of the virus's current activity throughout the country.
Vincent Racaniello, the Higgins Professor at Columbia University's Department of Microbiology & Immunology and the host of This Week in Virology, echoed Fauci's remarks when reached for comment on Sunday.
"I agree that in general, Ct values over 36 do not represent infectious virus, only pieces of viral RNA," he told Just the News. "Of course the Ct can also depend on the machine used and the primers so the number might vary depending on the lab."
"I recently had a PCR of Ct 34.7 which I considered negative," he said. "On retest in 3 days it was negative."
High-threshold tests appear to be widely in use in the United States. A review by the New York Times in August found that, of just one batch of positive tests from New York, Massachusetts and Nevada, "up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus."
Individual test manufacturers and labs, rather than infectious disease authorities, are generally in charge of setting the cycle threshold of a COVID-19 test. "Most PCR assays for infectious diseases have Ct cutoffs in the range of 35-40," the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services states in a COVID-19 PCR informational document.
The state in that document noted that most of its PCR tests utilize cycle thresholds of 37, while its backup tests put the number as high as 40.
Positive COVID-19 tests have been greatly increasing since the beginning of October. On Thursday of this week the U.S posted a new one-day record of nearly 120,000 new cases, though '-- as has been the case for the course of the pandemic '-- it is unclear how many of those test results are indicative of actual infection and how many are the product of the high cycle thresholds of the kind Fauci warned about.
VIDEO-Daniel on Twitter: "War Room: Pandemic Ep 569 https://t.co/t3YqiWmM7m via @YouTube Timestamped at @JasonJonesShow segment beginning. Jason dropping truth bombs." / Twitter
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 23:04
Daniel : War Room: Pandemic Ep 569 https://t.co/t3YqiWmM7m via @YouTube Timestamped at @JasonJonesShow segment beginning.'... https://t.co/KYmlfqS2xp
Tue Dec 08 21:05:00 +0000 2020
VIDEO-SCOTUS Ruling on New Lawsuit Could CRITICALLY Impact Election
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 22:51
American Center for Law and Justice Published December 8, 2020 469 Views 47 rumbles
Rumble '-- The Supreme Court has many options in handling litigation from Texas regarding the integrity of the election. While the date of December 14 is a critical date set for the Electoral College to meet, the Constitution ultimately dictates the course that the Supreme Court will take.
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3m24s"Georgia Leaders Need to Wake Up Now" - Jordan SekulowAmerican Center for Law and Justice
11sDog clears box from his bed with a kickViralHog$5.35 earned
2m12sMan has incredible close connection with wild owl in the forestWildCreatures$9.90 earned
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12m44sHow to make a hyper-realistic English Bulldog CAKESideserf Cake Studio$1.57 earned
29sFamily displays epic 'Christmas Vacation' themed toy driveAllThatsGood$1.77 earned
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VIDEO-Rep. Jim Jordan on Newsmax 12.8.2020 - YouTube
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 21:53
VIDEO-"Woke" Anti-Gun Mall Santa Gets Canceled, So REAL Santa Shows Up at the Boy's House...
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 21:29
BonginoReport Published December 8, 2020 1,318 Views 454 rumbles
Rumble '-- This is what Rep. Chip Roy, of Texas, calls "Jolly Justice."
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2m12sMan has incredible close connection with wild owl in the forestWildCreatures$9.69 earned
22sGuilty dog caught red-pawed stealing owner's lunchtiktokscooby$41.67 earned
1m10sSleeping pet raccoon wakes up the instant he smells peanutsBuri0416_raccoon$119.24 earned
42sSmart parrot loves to play peek-a-boo with his ownerMilo the Indian Ringneck Parrot$101.27 earned
12m44sHow to make a hyper-realistic English Bulldog CAKESideserf Cake Studio$1.54 earned
29sFamily displays epic 'Christmas Vacation' themed toy driveAllThatsGood$1.76 earned
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3m01sHome light show syncs to 'That's Christmas To Me' by PentatonixZingsC7$4.06 earned
VIDEO-One of the forgotten ones on Twitter: "Guys...Who is this ðŸ¤-- Any guesses? This account just popped up on TT. https://t.co/qWPB2C1u0D" / Twitter
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 21:13
One of the forgotten ones : Guys...Who is this ðŸ¤-- Any guesses? This account just popped up on TT. https://t.co/qWPB2C1u0D
Sun Dec 06 18:10:05 +0000 2020
lori H : @babybooj78 I'm mind blown!!https://t.co/7oG4I25LOF
Tue Dec 08 20:51:55 +0000 2020
Dee : @babybooj78 Scarring on neck!
Tue Dec 08 20:43:51 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Steven Universe's Latest Anti-Racism PSA Is for All the History Buffs Out There
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 18:34
Pearl drawing attention to Lewis Latimer, the patent draftsman responsible for developing a filament production process necessary for modern light bulbs. (Image: Cartoon Network/HBO Max)Keeping in-theme with the first PSA's self-awareness, the newest Steven Universe short features Pearl of the Crystal Gems as she breaks character while recording an educational video about the inventive minds behind the lightbulb. While most everyone knows Thomas Edison to be the inventor of the light bulb, the reality is that the innovation wouldn't have been possible were it not for the work of an oft-ignored Black draftsman.
Lewis Latimer, a Black, Massachusetts-born draftsman and one-time colleague to both Alexander Graham Bell and Edison, is the man who actually developed the filament that allowed the idea of accessible, energy-efficient lightbulbs to be created in the first place. As Pearl explains in the short below, it's shameful that he and other Black figure's places in our history are often sidelined or erased entirely to create comfortable, white narratives.
It's rare that the significance of Latimer's idea for more efficient light bulb filaments is taught about in schools, and it's seldom that his contributions are ever presented with the important context necessary to understand why his work was important. But, being the righteous know-it-all that Pearl is, she can't stop herself from seizing upon the in-universe teachable moment to explain how notable Black figures are all too often erased from the historical record which has traditionally been maintained by and written from the perspective of white people.
Steven Universe is now streaming on Stan.
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VIDEO-COVID-19 outbreak declared at mink farm in B.C.'s Fraser Valley | Globalnews.ca
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 18:12
Health officials have declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a mink farm in B.C.'s Fraser Valley.
In a media release Sunday night, Fraser Health said eight people at the farm had tested positive, and that it was screening employees and contact tracing.
Read more: Culled minks with COVID-19 mutation rise from their graves in Denmark
Affected staff were self-isolating, it said.
0:53 Coronavirus: Danish PM in tears after visiting mink farmer whose animals were culled Coronavirus: Danish PM in tears after visiting mink farmer whose animals were culled '' Nov 26, 2020The health authority did not identify the community or the farm.
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A spokesperson for the health authority said ''the information bulletin is all we have to share at this time,'' when asked for more specific information.
Read more: Denmark mulls digging up, burning COVID-infected 'zombie mink'
In Denmark, government officials ordered the culling of 17 million mink after scientists discovered a strain of the novel coronavirus had passed from humans to mink, then back to humans in mutated form in October.
2:30 Mink COVID-19 outbreaks raises concerns over new strain Mink COVID-19 outbreaks raises concerns over new strain '' Nov 8, 2020Spain and the Netherlands have culled mink due to similar outbreaks, and cases have also been identified on mink farms in the United States.
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It was not immediately clear if any of the mink at the farm were infected. The Ministry of Agriculture is testing animals on site, the health authority said.
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The farm has been ordered to stop transporting animals, products and goods from the farm under the BC Animal Health Act, Fraser Health added.
WorkSafeBC is contacting other mink farms to discuss requirements under their COVID-19 safety plans, it said.
View link >>(C) 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
VIDEO-Kimchi clash: South Korea accuses China of cultural and culinary appropriation | DW News - YouTube
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 18:06
VIDEO-"I CAN'T KEEP DOING THIS": Doctor pleads for review of data during COVID-19 Senate hearing - YouTube
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Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:35
VIDEO-Atlanta Mayor Lance Bottoms: African-Americans Will Have 'More Trust' Vaccine Is Safe Under Biden
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:33
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Monday on CNN's ''The Situation Room'' that African-Americans will have more confidence in the safety of a coronavirus vaccine under the administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Anchor Wolf Blitzer said, ''We're getting closer and closer to an approved vaccine, but a new Pew Research poll shows only 42% of African-Americans say they would definitely or probably get the vaccine. How problematic could that lack of confidence be?''
Bottoms said, ''Well, Wolf, it is problematic, but you know the history. It goes back many decades, of course, to the Tuskegee experiment on African-Americans being intentionally injected with a disease. So there is a history there. This is going to take a lot of education. It is going to take creating trust with a community of people.''
She added, ''I do believe once there is a transition of power, there will be more trust in Biden-Harris administration. And I think that will go a long way giving people confidence that this vaccine will be safe.''
Blitzer said, ''I suspect you're right.''
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
VIDEO-Woke Santa makes small boy cry after refusing his Nerf gun Christmas request - YouTube
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:32
VIDEO-At least 289,866 ballots illegal? Expert breaks down alleged voter fraud | Arizona Hearing | NTD - YouTube
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VIDEO-My family's Covid diagnosis shows how our broken, confusing system exploits privilege
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 16:57
Dec. 7, 2020, 9:53 AM EST
By Stephanie Ruhle
By the time you finish reading this, at the rate we're at right now, about 10 people in the United States will have died of Covid-19. To date, over 14.7 million have tested positive for the coronavirus. You can now add me, my husband and our three children to that massive number. Despite our country's best efforts to "do the right thing," the number continues to rise. But what is doing the right thing, really?
Despite our country's best efforts to ''do the right thing,'' that number continues to rise. But what is doing the right thing, really?
That's something I've been grappling with since my husband tested positive the day before Thanksgiving. He woke up with a headache and a minor sore throat. Normally, we'd have chalked those symptoms up to a hangover or just general malaise. But given the situation, we decided to get him tested.
Masked up, I joined him for a complicated and confusing tele-doc appointment. After a long wait, we were tested at an urgent care clinic. His rapid test came back positive. We weren't naive enough to think driving home with my head out the window with two masks on would stop me from getting it, too. If he had it, I knew that meant I did or soon would. So we needed to figure out the next two weeks quickly.
Want more articles like this? Follow THINK on Instagram to get updates on the week's most important political analysisMy husband immediately went back to our New York City apartment to isolate. I stayed in our New Jersey home with our three kids, who are 14, 11 and 7, and I self-quarantined in a guest room above our garage, separate from my kids. Just having this type of housing arrangement is a privilege. I didn't see them for an entire week. They were forced to take care of themselves while I was isolated. Our generous neighbors and family dropped off meals at our doors; I am incredibly thankful '-- and lucky '-- that we have that kind of support system.
Had we not gotten my husband tested, we would have kept our kids in school, exposing our family, our kids' classmates and our colleagues. We were a day away from unknowingly becoming superspreaders. That absolutely terrifies me.
By the end of the week, I had tested positive, as well. My symptoms changed by the day, but they mostly felt just like a terrible flu. The worst symptoms were the fear and anxiety about what was to come and about whom I might have infected. Here again, I was privileged enough to be able to manage those fears, with doctors answering my frantic phone calls and messages. And I work for a company that let me put my life on hold and focus on my health.
But even with this support, parts of the process failed. The urgent care clinic never gave me my test results. My husband figured out which lab it used and created a patient profile online. My husband's first PCR test was never processed, or it got lost. We're still not sure. When he went home to New York, he paid $250 for another test from a private lab '-- again, a luxury available only to those who can afford it.
This stress isn't unusual '-- it's the norm. Across the country, Americans have raised the alarm for months about our haphazard testing and muddled guidelines. And the guidelines have shifted since the pandemic started. Is it any wonder that this spread continues? We're all confused. I still don't know where we got Covid-19.
And forget about contact tracing calls; making them was insanely difficult. So many of the people I might have exposed didn't want to hear it. The people I came in contact with and the big-box stores I spent time in seemed to have no interest in when I might have exposed them. None of the stores took my temperature, but even if they had done so, it wouldn't have made a difference '-- I had no fever.
One of the people who did take my call seriously, the woman who cuts my hair, canceled her Thanksgiving, took her kids out of school, stopped going to work and made no money for nearly two weeks. Her test, which she spent three hours waiting to get, came back eight days later. It was negative. But how many people can put their lives, livelihoods and jobs on hold just to do the right thing?
Hourly wage workers are going to work sick because they can't afford not to work. Many of their employers are ignoring the symptoms, because they are trying to keep business alive.
Testing remains a challenge '-- and there are no consequences for people who don't self-isolate while they wait several days just to get results, especially if they have no or minimal symptoms.
And then there are people who may know they are spreading the coronavirus and simply don't care. Any of these scenarios is possible, because there is no comprehensive national containment plan.
Quarantining symptom-free, rambunctious kids for 14 days can feel excessive when you are trying to manage your life, and the rules and consequences vary state to state and even sometimes city by city, as do the mechanisms for checking up on residents. But the consequences are real, and they are everywhere. We see them in our exploding rates of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
My family is extremely lucky. We didn't get super sick. We had access to testing, eventually got some results and had the space and the financial stability to isolate safely. We have supportive paying jobs and schools that can offer virtual learning. If I didn't have all of that, maybe it would have been a lot harder to follow the guidelines.
What's most concerning is that our government is doing little to nothing to make these guidelines easier to follow. In South Korea and Hong Kong, a positive test means two weeks in a government-sponsored quarantine hotel, with meals provided. Here, almost the entire system is reliant on personal responsibility.
RelatedCovid-19, of course, doesn't care whether you are rich, poor, Black, white, young or old. It doesn't care whether you're about to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas or your birthday. We're told to do the right thing but not fully how or why. And what I have learned is that the "right thing" gets easier the more privileged you are.
The only way we can get through this is if we have a system that works for everyone, and after having Covid-19, I'm convinced that we do not.
Related:
Stephanie RuhleStephanie Ruhle is an MSNBC anchor and senior business correspondent for NBC News.
VIDEO-Meryl Streep admits Obama made a mistake in his new memoir: 'He's a great writer but...' | Fox News
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 15:54
Published December 08, 2020
The actress discussed 'A Promised Land' during an appearance on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'Meryl Streep is a fan of former President Barack Obama's writing, but admits he made a bit of a mistake in his new memoir, "A Promised Land."
The award-winning actress appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Monday night, when the host asked if she had a chance to read Obama's book considering the former POTUS recalls a memory they shared together.
"I'm not in the damn book, but you're in the book," Colbert joked. "He's talking about artists and entertainers and the cultural hub they wanted the White House to be. He mentions, 'Meryl Streep so softly recited in Mandarin the song about clouds that she learned for a part years ago."
Streep, who confessed she has not yet read Obama's record-breaking memoir, admitted the former Democratic president's retelling wasn't exactly spot-on.
MERYL STREEP'S NEPHEW ACCUSED OF SPOUTING ANTI-HISPANIC SLURS DURING ROAD-RAGE ATTACK
Meryl Streep appeared Monday on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,' where she admitted she has not yet read President Barack Obama's memoir despite being mentioned in the book. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
"I do remember that moment, but he got the story a little bit wrong. He's a very good writer but his memory is...," the "Big Little Lies" star said with a laugh.
Streep explained it was not a song, but a poem she recited during a trip to Beijing with famed cellist Yo Yo Ma. And it turns out, the duo's performance -- Streep was tasked to recite the poem while Yo Yo Ma played music behind her words -- was nerve-wracking for a number of reasons.
"It was a cultural kind of exchange thing. I went with Yo Yo Ma and a bunch of performers and we were to be in the great, big nest stadium with 7,000 people. We were going to do a concert," Streep explained, adding that the poem she read aloud is "a famous fourth-century Chinese poem everyone knows."
Streep planned to recite the poem in both English and Mandarin. However, she was "terrified" upon learning the cultural prime minister at the time was coming.
STEPHEN COLBERT DIAGNOSED WITH BENIGN POSITIONAL VERTIGO: 'I JUST FALL DOWN'
"This was a very important person with her 40-person entourage. I had learned the poem in Mandarin and Yo Yo Ma would weave in his music in-between. We practiced this, but in Chinese the same word can be translated as a completely different thing," Streep continued.
Ultimately, when it came time for her to recite the poem in Mandarin, she sort of froze on stage.
"I meant to start up in Mandarin and I just looked up at [Yo Yo Ma] and smiled. And he went cross-eyed and kind of finished up and then we both bowed. Because of his artistry, it was a wonderful moment. People loved it," she said.
To appease Colbert, Streep then recited the poem in English and in Mandarin.
"Thank you. We rarely get Mandarin poetry in late-night these days," he responded.
STEPHEN COLBERT CALLS CONSTANT TRUMP COVERAGE 'ENTIRELY MY RESPONSIBILITY' IN FIRST MONOLOGUE SINCE BIDEN WIN
"Yes, but since one in five people on the face of the Earth is Chinese, they will know now that I have just said something horrible probably. It's an international incident!" Streep said.
President Barack Obama released his new memoir, 'A Promised Land' last month. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
The star is the lead of a new HBO Max show titled "Let Them All Talk," to be released Dec. 10.
Just last week, Obama appeared on Colbert's late-night show to discuss his new book. During his candid interview, the former president admitted to a mistake, one he said occurred during his presidency involving country music legend Dolly Parton.
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Colbert asked Obama why he didn't honor Parton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.
"That's a mistake. I'm shocked," the 59-year-old told the late-night host.
"Actually, that was a screwup. I'm surprised. I think I assumed that she had already gotten one, and that was incorrect."
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Obama added he'd call in a favor to President-elect Joe Biden. "She deserves one. I'll call Biden," he said.
VIDEO-NOW WITH AUDIO: Georgia Election Official Ralph Jones, Sr. Announced on Nov. 3rd Afternoon that Counting would Stop at 11 PM -- Then Led Team to Count Stashed 'Suitcase" Ballots
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 15:37
The Gateway Pundit identified Ralph Jones, Sr. as the third suspect in the Fulton County Georgia suitcase scandal.
** Ralph led a team of operatives in carrying out a massive voter fraud scandal on election night at the State Farm Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
** Ralph and his team plotted to remove ALL elections observers (Republicans) from the counting room so they could roll out their suitcases full of Joe Biden ballots and run them through the machine.
** Ralph Jones told local Atlanta news channel 11Alive that a water main broke at the State Farm Arena. Local WVLT8 reported: Nearly 40,000 absentee ballots will not be counted for the state of Georgia until at least Wednesday after a water main break, Fulton County officials said.
Apelbaum has more on the timeline.
TRENDING: BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Michigan Attorney Gives Behind the Scenes Update on the IT Inspection of the Antrim County Dominion Machines
Here is the headline from WVLT8.
They sent everyone home!
No one disputes that Fulton County elections officials falsely announced that the counting of ballots would stop at 10:30 p.m. No one disputes that Fulton County elected officials unlawfully resumed the counting of ballots after our observers left the center.
'-- David Shafer (@DavidShafer) November 10, 2020
For the record '-- Georgia anti-Trump elections official Gabe Sterling later said that the local officials called for the counting to resume at 11 PM but this is just not true. This directly contradicts the County Spokeswoman.
** The elections officials used the ''water main break'' to say there was a delay in counting and they used that to send people home '-- except for the suitcase gang.
** Then Ralph Jones, Sr., Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Ross went to work rolling out the hidden suitcases of ballots stashed under the table and hidden from view.
** It was their actions that gave Joe Biden the spike in unexplained votes in Georgia on Wednesday morning.
** It appears that this was a conspiracy to remove observers from the center and then to commit their hidden suitcase ballot fraud.
Mollie Hemingway has more on the shutdown at the State Farm Center on Election night.
The lying fake news media wants you to believe this entire incident was debunked.Nothing could be further from the truth '-- something that is lacking in the mainstream media and their ''fact-checkers'' today.
We now have actual audio of Ralph Jones '-- the elections official at the heart of the ''suitcase scandal'' telling government officials the State Farm Center will shut down at 10 or 11 PM on Election night!Georgia Secretary of State officials released an affidavit insisting there never was an intent to stop the count at 10:00 PM, but only the cutters were going to stop.
But The Gateway Pundit was sent this link to the Zoom call from the evening of November 3rd and Ralph Jones, Sr. definitely told those listening that they are going to stop work at around 10 to 11 PM.
At the 28:00-28:23 minute mark.
RALPH JONES: ''I think we'll still be scanning late today a little later on um we are scheduled to scan up to 10 and 11:00 o'clock today I should say tonight at the present time''
Here is the audio-video:
This video from the Fulton County Government YouTube page only has 368 views.
We have access to a hard copy in case the slimy officials decide to remove it.
Hat Tip: u/3-10
VIDEO-Cuomo Prime Time on Twitter: "Gov. "DeSantis needs to worry less about what I'm writing about and more about the people who are sick and dying... doing this to me will not stop me from reporting the data. Ever." - FL data scientist Rebekah Jones on
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 15:06
Cuomo Prime Time : Gov. "DeSantis needs to worry less about what I'm writing about and more about the people who are sick and dying...'... https://t.co/FoP4c3lYsq
Tue Dec 08 03:55:40 +0000 2020
VIDEO-CCP EXPERT: BIDEN IS THE CCP'S OWN - YouTube
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 06:26
VIDEO-Cuomo compares Fauci, himself to Pacino and De Niro amid COVID
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 06:08
News
By Bernadette Hogan and Kate Sheehy
December 7, 2020 | 1:03pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made Dr. Anthony Fauci an offer he couldn't refuse Monday '-- anointing them the Al Pacino and Robert De Niro of the COVID-19 era.
Cuomo compared himself and the nation's top infectious-disease doctor to the ''Godfather'' Mafia-character actors at a press conference '-- where Fauci warned that January has the potential to be ''a really dark time'' for the country amid the pandemic.
''Without substantial mitigation, the middle of January could be a really dark time for us,'' Fauci said '-- finally getting a word in edgewise after he was forced to watch silently on camera for nearly 20 minutes while Cuomo spoke first.
Fauci said even New York's limit of 10 people at gatherings ''may even be a bit too much.
''It's not only the number '... but it's the people who might be coming from out of town,'' the doctor said.
Cuomo '-- whose TV-host brother, Chris Cuomo, was once ridiculed by a hater as being hapless ''Godfather'' character Fredo '-- later joked to Fauci, a native of Bensonhurt, Brooklyn, that he and the doctor ''are like a modern-day De Niro and Pacino.
''We'll do an ad telling New Yorkers it's safe to take the vaccine, to, you know, put us together,'' the governor said.
''We're like the modern-day DeNiro and Pacino. You can be whichever one you want. You can be the De Niro or Pacino. Fauci and Cuomo. Who do you want to be: De Niro or Pacino? Which one do you want to be?''
A laughing Fauci replied, ''I love them both'' while refusing to say which one he would prefer to be.
''I don't want to hurt the feelings of one or the other,'' the doctor added jokingly.
When Cuomo asked him what food he missed most from the old neighborhood, Fauci responded, ''Whenever I need some comfort food and I dream back to the days of Bensonhurst '... a nice Nathan's hot dog and a really steaming pastrami sandwich.''
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Andrew Cuomo Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo
Anthony Fauci Getty Images
Cuomo asked, laughing, ''OK, so no cannolis, no meatballs.''
VIDEO-October 11, 1991: Clarence Thomas Full Opening Statement (C-SPAN) - YouTube
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 06:07
VIDEO-Kyle Becker on Twitter: "GEORGIA.🚨🚨🚨 "We've scanned 113,130. We've adjudicated over 106,000." *ADJUDICATION* is a Dominion override function that is meant for a marginal number of ballots, not *OVER A HUNDRED THOUSAND.* This is shocking!ðŸ--
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 00:04
Kyle Becker : GEORGIA.🚨🚨🚨"We've scanned 113,130. We've adjudicated over 106,000."*ADJUDICATION* is a Dominion override functi'... https://t.co/CNHQjMkPJM
Mon Dec 07 20:07:15 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Sunday Morning Futures | Fox News
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 21:47
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VIDEO-#CNNRAW 9-15-20 - YouTube
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 16:39
VIDEO-Mich Voter Fraud Witness Chris Schnorak Saw Fraudulent Ballots, Coordinated, Systemic Fraud - YouTube
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 16:39
VIDEO-Was Raphael Warnock Arrested in Connection With a Child Abuse Investigation at his Church Camp?
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 15:13
Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler asked her Democratic challenger Reverend Raphael Warnock about his 2002 arrest for allegedly obstructing a police child abuse investigation at a camp in Maryland during their debate on Sunday night.
"'[I was] working at trying to make sure that young people, who were being questioned by law enforcement, had the benefit of counsel, a lawyer or a parent," Warnock said. "The law enforcement officers actually later thanked me for my cooperation and for helping them."
With Senate control on the line, the two Republican Senate incumbents and their Democratic challengers have been campaigning across the state ahead of the January 5 runoff elections. Warnock accused Loeffler on Sunday of voting for defunding the police, and Loeffler asked about his 2002 arrest.
Loeffler's claim that Warnock was arrested for obstructing a probe into child abuse was rated by PolitiFact as "mostly false."
Warnock was arrested nearly two decades ago, but the charges against him were dropped three months later. The prosecutor who requested the charges be dropped said that Warnock was "very helpful" with their investigation and dismissed the arrest as a "miscommunication."
Democratic Senate Candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock photographed at a campaign rally on December 5, 2020. Jessica McGowan/GettyOn July 31, 2002, Warnock, who was 33 at the time, and Reverend Mark Wainwright of Douglas Memorial Community Church were charged with hindering a law enforcement investigation into suspected child abuse at a camp near Baltimore run by a church. Warnock was a pastor at the church. Neither were suspects in the probe, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Warnock and Wainwright were accused in court filings to have interrupted authorities interviewing a counselor at the camp as part of the probe. The documents stated that Warnock also attempted to prevent a teen witness from disclosing details of another potential witness to police.
Warnock said he wanted lawyers to be in the room during the interviews and denied that he committed any wrongdoing. "Reverend Wainwright and I acted well within the framework of the law, and I am confident that we will be exonerated. It's just unfortunate that our children had to see their pastors carried away in handcuffs," he said at the time, according to the Sun.
Three months later, on October 30, 2002, a judge dismissed all charges against Warnock and Wainwright in connection with the case following a prosecutor's request. "What we decided was there was some miscommunication that had occurred with them. They were very helpful with the continued investigation. It would not have been a prudent use of resources to have prosecuted them," the prosecutor said, according to PolitiFact.
A spokesperson for Loeffler has called the incident "disgusting," and Warnock has dismissed her attacks as "false."
"It's no surprise that as Reverend Warnock's support grows, the false attacks start," a spokesperson for Warnock told Fox News. "The truth is, he was protecting the rights of young people to make sure they had a lawyer or a parent when being questioned. Law enforcement officials later apologized and praised him for his help in this investigation."
VIDEO-China releases image of its flag on the moon as spacecraft carrying lunar rocks lifts off - CBS News
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 06:27
A Chinese spacecraft lifted off from the moon Thursday night with a load of lunar rocks, the first stage of its return to Earth, the government space agency reported. Chang'e 5, the third Chinese spacecraft to land on the moon and the first to take off from it again, is the latest in a series of increasingly ambitious missions for Beijing's space program, which also has a orbiter and rover headed to Mars.
Right before the ascent vehicle lifted off, the lander unfurled what the space administration called the first free-standing Chinese flag on the moon. The agency posted an image '-- apparently taken from the lander '-- of the ascend vehicle firing its engines as it took off.
China's national flag is seen unfurled from the Chang'e-5 spacecraft on the moon, in this handout image provided by China National Space Administration (CNSA) on December 4, 2020. CNSA The spacecraft "unfolded the five-star red national flag, a genuine one made from fabrics, marking a first in the country's aerospace history," state media said.
The Chang'e 5 touched down Tuesday on the Sea of Storms on the moon's near side. Its mission: collect about 4 pounds of lunar rocks and bring them back to Earth, the first return of samples since Soviet spacecraft did so in the 1970s. Earlier, the U.S. Apollo astronauts brought back hundreds of pounds of moon rocks.
The landing site is near a formation called the Mons Rumker and may contain rocks billions of years younger than those retrieved earlier.
This image provided by China National Space Administration shows the ascender of Chang'e-5 spacecraft blasting off from the moon surface on Thursday, December 3, 2020. AP The ascent vehicle lifted off from the moon shortly after 11 p.m. Beijing time Thursday (1500 GMT) and was due to rendezvous with a return vehicle in lunar orbit, then transfer the samples to a capsule, according to the China National Space Administration. The moon rocks and debris were sealed inside a special canister to avoid contamination.
It wasn't clear when the linkup would occur. After the transfer, the ascent module would be ejected and the capsule would remain in lunar orbit for about a week, awaiting the optimal time to make the trip back to Earth.
Chinese officials have said the capsule with the samples is due to land on Earth around the middle of the month. Touchdown is planned for the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, where China's astronauts have made their return in Shenzhou spacecraft.
Chang'e 5's lander, which remained on the moon, was capable of scooping samples from the surface and drilling 2 meters (about 6 feet).
While retrieving samples was its main task, the lander also was equipped to extensively photograph the area, map conditions below the surface with ground penetrating radar and analyze the lunar soil for minerals and water content.
Chang'e 5 has revived talk of China one day sending astronauts to the moon and possibly building a scientific base there, although no timeline has been proposed for such projects.
China launched its first temporary orbiting laboratory in 2011 and a second in 2016. Plans call for a permanent space station after 2022, possibly to be serviced by a reusable space plane.
While China is boosting cooperation with the European Space Agency and others, interactions with NASA are severely limited by U.S. concerns over the secretive nature and close military links of the Chinese program. On Tuesday, Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's science director, tweeted a congratulatory message to China after the spacecraft landed on the moon.
Congratulations to China on the successful landing of Chang'e 5. This is no easy task. When the samples collected on the Moon are returned to Earth, we hope everyone will benefit from being able to study this precious cargo that could advance the international science community. pic.twitter.com/2xoKouf3dq
'-- Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) December 1, 2020China is executing an incremental approach to its moon program, launching a series of increasingly complex robotic spacecraft to develop and test the propulsion, guidance, navigation and landing systems needed for long-term exploration.
The Chang'e 1 and 2 missions successfully reached lunar orbit in 2007 and 2010 respectively, followed by the Chang'e 3 lunar lander in 2013 and Chang'e 4, which landed on the far side of the moon in 2019. Chang'e 5 is the first of two planned sample return missions and China's most ambitious moon mission to date.
Bill Harwood contributed to this report.
VIDEO-'THIS IS BIGGER THAN ME': Georgia's Ruby Freeman Lawyers Up, Cancels Interview - National File
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:39
Ruby Freeman, exposed as one of the key individuals involved with the late night suitcase vote counting in Georgia, cancelled an interview she scheduled with journalist Carolyn Ryan, and told her that she needed to secure legal counsel.''I won't be able to be interviewed,'' wrote Freeman. ''This is bigger than me.''
''I need an attorney. Thanks,'' Freeman added. ''Much Luv to you and your team.''
"THIS IS BIGGER THAN ME": Woman identified in Fulton Co (alleged) election fraud video agrees to interview, then back tracks & declines; later makes private and/or deletes FB page.
WATCH the & SUBSCRIBE👇https://t.co/GuVDslg2Pb#gapol #rubyfreeman #stopthesteal #election2020 pic.twitter.com/ER8paIJGCQ
'-- Carolyn Ryan (@CarolynRyanTV) December 4, 2020
In a video released on Rumble, Ryan explained that she was in contact with Freeman following bombshell reporting from National File and The Gateway Pundit.
''I wanted to ask her: Were in fact those ballots in the suitcases? Were you guys counting those ballots after other poll workers went home? If so, why?''
''Ruby initially said she was getting a lot of negative comments and she agreed to do an interview with me to tell her side of the story,'' added Ryan. Freeman also sent Ryan a series of vulgar and threatening text messages allegedly sent from angry individuals.
''About 45 minutes or so after that she reversed her decision, unfortunately, she said that it's probably best for her not to do an interview at this time,'' said Ryan. ''She said it's probably best if she gets a lawyer.''
Freeman and her daughter rose to national prominence after National File exposed her daughter, Shaye Moss, as Freeman's supervisor.
The Georgia Secretary of State initially agreed that the video showed fraud. They then began circulating a debunked article by Lead Stories quoting anonymous officials from the Georgia Secretary of State's office. This circular logic has yet to be explained.
VIDEO-Jeanine Pirro Rips Bill Barr: 'So Deep In The Swamp You Can't See Beyond Your Fellow Reptiles' | The Daily Caller
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:35
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro accused Attorney General Bill Barr of being ''so deep in the swamp you can't see beyond your fellow reptiles'' during a lengthy opening monologue on Fox News' ''Justice with Judge Jeanine.''
Barr drew fire from President Donald Trump for saying last week that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) both ''looked into'' election fraud allegations but have yet to find any that would conceivably change the result of the November election.
''Ask me that in a number of weeks from now,'' Trump told a reporter on Thursday when asked if he has confidence in Barr. ''They should be looking at all of this fraud. This is not civil. This is criminal stuff. This is very bad criminal stuff.''
Pirro took aim at Barr on Saturday night, saying the attorney general ''has proven himself to be anything other than extraordinary.''
WATCH:
''This week, Barr commented that he has not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,'' Pirro said. ''Really? It's curious, Barr, the head of the DOJ would affirmatively make a statement regarding a pending investigation. As a former prosecutor, for over three decades, I and virtually everyone similarly situated know that DOJ guidelines do not allow comment on investigations. They neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.''
Pirro accused Barr of going ''beyond that'' and sharing ''information on the pending investigations.''
The Fox News host went on to discuss allegations of election fraud in multiple states being pursued by Trump's legal team before essentially calling Barr a swamp creature. (RELATED: Geraldo Rivera Calls For 'A Real Gut Check,' Says Trump Is 'On The Wrong Course' To Help Georgia Republicans)
''We need answers,'' she said. ''We need action. We need justice. And you, Mr. Barr, are so deep in the swamp you can't see beyond your fellow reptiles, and you are not the exceptional leader needed at this exceptional time in history.''
VIDEO-Chris Wallace Corrects Alex Azar: Joe Biden's President-Elect
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:33
Fox News' Chris Wallace very noticeably corrected Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar Sunday over his reference to President-elect Joe Biden.
Wallace raised a contrast between Biden and President Donald Trump on masks '-- the former pushing for a 100-day mask commitment and the latter undermining public health officials' push for masks early on in the pandemic.
''If President Trump had worn a mask then and urged everyone to wear a mask then back in April the way Joe Biden is right now, wouldn't we be in much better shape?'' Wallace asked.
''Well, Chris, I welcome Vice President Biden to the club. Since the middle of April'...'' Azar started to say.
Wallace interjected to say, ''He's the President-elect, sir. He's the President-elect.''
Azar continued to defend the president and brushed past the comment.
When he was done, Wallace again remarked, ''First of all, it's the President-elect, Joe Biden, Secretary Azar.''
You can watch above, via Fox News Sunday.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
VIDEO-"Big Win For Honest Elections" - Judge Allows Forensic Audit Of Dominion Voting Machines In Michigan | Zero Hedge
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:32
Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,
President Donald Trump's legal team began a forensic analysis of Dominion voting machines in Michigan after a judge on Friday permitted the examination.
''Our team is going to be able to go in this morning at about 8:30 [a.m.] and will be there for about eight hours to conduct that forensic examination and we'll have the results in about 48 hours, and that'll tell us a lot about these machines,'' attorney Jenna Ellis told Fox News on Sunday.
''A judge actually granted our team access '... to conduct a forensic audit,'' Ellis added.
Michigan judge allows forensic examination of 22 Dominion voting machines pic.twitter.com/P4uQ8KreSL
'-- Matt Margolis (@mattmargolis) December 6, 2020Ellis was referring to a ruling from a judge in Antrim County, Michigan, who authorized the audit of 22 Dominion Voting Systems machines, said Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"BIG WIN FOR HONEST ELECTIONS," Giuliani wrote in part of a tweet.
"Antrim County Judge in Michigan orders forensic examination of 22 Dominion voting machines."
It's not clear which of the several election lawsuits the order originated from.
Later, Antrim County spokesperson Jeremy Scott told the Detroit Free Press that forensic images will be taken from voting machines used during the Nov. 3 election. Judge Kevin Elsenheimer issued the order regarding a challenge from voter William Bailey, who filed a lawsuit alleging that ballots were damaged in a recounting of ballots in a marijuana proposal that narrowly passed, reported Fox News. Elsenheimer's order doesn't mention the presidential race, and it's not yet clear if the order allows Trump's team to examine the machines.
The Michigan GOP last month noted that voting machines in Antrim County incorrectly switched 6,000 votes from Trump to Joe Biden. The Secretary of State's office said it was due to a technical error and non-updated software, adding that the issue was later corrected.
Ellis, in the Fox News interview on Sunday, cast doubt on the Secretary of State's claims, saying that it was ''an unexplained and so-called 'glitch.''
(L-R) President and CEO of Election Systems & Software Tom Burt, President and CEO of Dominion Voting Systems John Poulos, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic Julie Mathis testify during a hearing before the House Administration Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Jan. 9, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Elsenheimer's order said that Antrim County needs to ''maintain, preserve and protect all records in its possession used to tabulate votes in Antrim County, to not turn on the Dominion tabulator in its possession and to not connect the Dominion tabulator in its possession to the internet,'' as reported by the Detroit News.
Jake Rollow, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, told the Detroit News that the judge's order is not clear.
''However, what we know, and has been previously explained on numerous occasions, is that a human error by the Antrim County Clerk prompted results to be reported incorrectly,'' said Rollow to the publication.
''Reporting errors are common, have no impact on tabulation, and are always caught and corrected in the county canvass if not before, as was the case in Antrim County.''
Dominion Voting Machines, in numerous statements, has vigorously denied that its machines can switch votes from one candidate to another and has also denied ties to other vote-tabulation software companies or foreign governments.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Michigan Secretary of State's office and Antrim County after Ellis's Fox News interview.
VIDEO-Georgia's GOP lieutenant governor: 'Facts' show Biden won state | TheHill
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:31
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) on Sunday said President-elect Joe Biden Joe BidenTrump floats a Doug Collins run against Kemp for Georgia governor Defiant Trump insists election was 'rigged' at rally for Georgia Senate Republicans Biden victory, vaccine and an anniversary: good karma for the Mediterranean? MORE won his state and that the facts show it despite claims from President Trump Donald John TrumpTrump floats a Doug Collins run against Kemp for Georgia governor Defiant Trump insists election was 'rigged' at rally for Georgia Senate Republicans Trump offers condolences to family, friends of Loeffler campaign staffer who died MORE and some of his supporters of the opposite.
The Georgia Republican said his message to those who doubt the election results would be "the facts and figures."
"If I had a chance to spend five minutes with every single person in Georgia that doubted the election results, I think I'd be able to win their hearts over, show them the facts and figures, separate fact from fiction," he said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union." "But certainly I don't have that opportunity."
Duncan confirmed that Biden will become the 46th president, saying, ''The Constitution is still in place. This is still America.''
''I can disagree vehemently with what I think are bad ideas raising taxes on small businesses or increased regulations on small businesses or defunding or lowering the resources for police,'' he said. ''I still have that opportunity. All Republicans still have that opportunity.''
The president-elect has repeatedly said during his campaign that he is against defunding police departments.
Duncan added, ''As the lieutenant governor and a Georgian, I'm proud that we're able to look up after three recounts and watch and be able to see that this election was fair.''
After Trump pressured Georgia's governor to help overturn Biden's win in the state, Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says the President "did not win the state of Georgia": "As the lieutenant governor and a Georgian, I'm proud that we can see that this election was fair" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/kxqFtRRGp2
'-- CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 6, 2020 The lieutenant governor's interview comes after Trump held a rally for the two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia and reiterated his claims of a win. Trump also argued the state's election was ''rigged,'' another unsubstantiated allegation that Republicans in the state such as Duncan have shot down.
VIDEO-CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 on Twitter: ".@DavidSedaris demands the right to fire others The humorist suggests the power of a "citizen's dismissal," like a citizen's arrest, could revolutionize customer service https://t.co/bIqxoYzGs0 https://t.co/fTli5
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:26
CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 : .@DavidSedaris demands the right to fire othersThe humorist suggests the power of a "citizen's dismissal," like a'... https://t.co/2Jz2QQR6AB
Sun Dec 06 15:02:04 +0000 2020
AnorexicGorilla : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris https://t.co/zpSxRwdqei
Mon Dec 07 05:23:42 +0000 2020
joe mid : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris I hope you never eat food without workers spit in it for the rest of your miserable life.
Mon Dec 07 05:23:36 +0000 2020
FilthyRich : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris $25 minimum wage just might be a game changer. #RetailSuks!
Mon Dec 07 05:17:40 +0000 2020
SDQ : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris You're fired!
Mon Dec 07 05:17:04 +0000 2020
KidsInCagesBrunch : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris @CBSSunday we are mid-pandemic, 250k dead, 12.6 million people unemployed, 100,000 SMB's h'... https://t.co/0IlPhlSvgL
Mon Dec 07 05:12:52 +0000 2020
ð'•Žð'•£ð'•–ð'•'ð'•¥ð'• ð'--½ð'• ð'•¤ð'•¥ð'•–ð'•£ð'•'ð'•šð'••ðŸŽðŸ¸ : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris Well, we can start with David Sedaris
Mon Dec 07 05:11:49 +0000 2020
icarusjapan : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris Dude sounds like an human hemroid
Mon Dec 07 05:09:15 +0000 2020
Iconoclast : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris All the complaints about you having no sympathy, I just think you are not funny.
Mon Dec 07 05:08:04 +0000 2020
Ryan : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris Dear God, he's annoying.
Mon Dec 07 05:03:28 +0000 2020
Ram"n Jos(C) ''¸ðŸŒðŸŒ : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris Is @DavidSedaris regressing into our generation's Andy Rooney? SantaLand's Crumpet would've disapproved.
Mon Dec 07 05:02:33 +0000 2020
Shower Rat : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris This is an absolutely insane take but let's go with it, I demand David Sedaris be fired
Mon Dec 07 04:57:45 +0000 2020
'–'–'–'– ᏃᎥᎶᎶᎽbᎪ '–'–'–'– : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris Nope. Terrible take, and not funny. Been a while since Santaland Diaries, huh? https://t.co/nSh93hJtUR
Mon Dec 07 04:57:06 +0000 2020
KidsInCagesBrunch : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris Please tweet and trend: #FireDavidSedaris
Mon Dec 07 04:56:25 +0000 2020
Cody wishes he was Wil : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris I suggest giving me the power to launch this bitch to the sun
Mon Dec 07 04:53:32 +0000 2020
KidsInCagesBrunch : @CBSSunday @DavidSedaris fascinating [insert over the top eye-roll here] https://t.co/nhmhpKMlHn
Mon Dec 07 04:53:10 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Shane B. Murphy on Twitter: "#Bend #Oregon (Earlier) A woman confronts and shouts at a group of anti-lockdown demonstrators from her vehicle in Bend, OR, earlier today. https://t.co/jBHJTa7EoP" / Twitter
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 05:21
Shane B. Murphy : #Bend #Oregon(Earlier)A woman confronts and shouts at a group of anti-lockdown demonstrators from her vehicle in'... https://t.co/RGAG85qLnJ
Mon Dec 07 01:22:39 +0000 2020
5iR T1G3R : @shanermurph She states that She's a teacher. ðŸ¤-- curious what indoctrination garbage she's been telling your children.
Mon Dec 07 05:21:29 +0000 2020
Judge Sempronius Densus : @shanermurph Teachers need massive layoffs.
Mon Dec 07 05:21:18 +0000 2020
president elect wannabe 11:11 : @shanermurph She's hyper ventilating poor thing watching msm ðŸ(C)ðŸ(C)ðŸ(C)
Mon Dec 07 05:21:14 +0000 2020
Prezident_Elect_Yoda : @shanermurph Is she running for congress, as a Demoncrat? ðŸ¤--🤭🤣
Mon Dec 07 05:21:13 +0000 2020
Grayson Wade : @shanermurph For someone so concerned about COVID, she's sure expelling a lot of potentially virus-infected spittle'... https://t.co/4yHuvX7aY1
Mon Dec 07 05:21:10 +0000 2020
JBS : @shanermurph ''I'm a TEACHER!'' Quickly followed up with ''KILL YOURSELF''. I've never been more thankful that my chi'... https://t.co/ORcT6eEdkv
Mon Dec 07 05:20:53 +0000 2020
Meg : @shanermurph Take off the mask, get some oxygen...
Mon Dec 07 05:20:52 +0000 2020
Stand Up For America : @shanermurph wow.. correction "she worked at a school". crazy much?
Mon Dec 07 05:20:46 +0000 2020
Felix : @shanermurph @DineshDSouza attention seeking drama queen
Mon Dec 07 05:20:34 +0000 2020
Jesusfreak : @shanermurph Only in Bend, Oregon
Mon Dec 07 05:19:39 +0000 2020
Jonathon Smith : @shanermurph The left is so tolerant ðŸ‚
Mon Dec 07 05:19:32 +0000 2020
Ronald J. Fine : @shanermurph @DineshDSouza I believe this is clear evidence what the lockdowns are doing to folks. I believe she s'... https://t.co/wqUVGbI0lQ
Mon Dec 07 05:19:30 +0000 2020
President Elect Milo and Ava : @shanermurph Why didn't she have her mask on? Does she realize how many potential viral particles she spewed at tho'... https://t.co/nXWsahDEdg
Mon Dec 07 05:19:26 +0000 2020
Dewayne : @shanermurph I wonder if she was this upset about decriminalizing the hard drugs....
Mon Dec 07 05:19:25 +0000 2020
BrianC : @shanermurph ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚
Mon Dec 07 05:19:22 +0000 2020
SAL, GOLDSTARFATHER : @shanermurph I guess God & Country goes against the teaching , I mean indoctrination of her students . " I am a teacher " 🤣🂠No your not.
Mon Dec 07 05:19:16 +0000 2020
Bill Thomas : @shanermurph When people ask, ''What the hell happened to Oregon?'', show them this triggered Karen👆....No further explanation needed...
Mon Dec 07 05:18:39 +0000 2020
R_William : @shanermurph Truly shocking to not see a ring on her finger. She seems like a real catch.
Mon Dec 07 05:18:21 +0000 2020
Father Gloom Covidian Priest : @shanermurph Caracaras Karenus is the State bird of Oregon.also called the "Karen Hawk", species of birds of prey'... https://t.co/ZqVdvHMeqM
Mon Dec 07 05:18:12 +0000 2020
Atena Rabiee Dehghan Shad : @shanermurph Well this makes me feel slightly better about my teachers, but I mean that's public funded salary atti'... https://t.co/7R01NnGwt3
Mon Dec 07 05:18:10 +0000 2020
Dan Wright : @shanermurph Barren Karen has flipped out.
Mon Dec 07 05:18:00 +0000 2020
Rick Santella : @shanermurph Why are they always so angry when you disagree with them?
Mon Dec 07 05:17:45 +0000 2020
VIDEO-DISGUSTING: Pope Francis Now Using Joe Biden's Slogan
Mon, 07 Dec 2020 00:41
Are we living in the twilight zone?
Actually, I can't say I'm surprised.
I've been leery of this Pope for a LONG time now.
Trending: Mike Lindell: ''100% Trump Will Remain As President!''
Nothing about him has ever sat right with me.
We've covered this guy a lot here at WeLoveTrump over the years and he's back in the news again today.
What's funny, and what I always point out, is that this guy is never in the news for talking about Jesus.
Nope.
In fact, he doesn't seem to do much of that.
Every time I hear from this Snake he's talking politics.
And it's always far-left politics.
Open borders.
Carbon taxes.
Migrant caravans.
And now he's taken it to a new level, using Joe Biden's slogan verbatim: ''Build Back Better.''
You can't make this stuff up.
Take a look, from his very own Twitter account:
To help our society to ''build back better'', inclusion of the vulnerable must also entail efforts to promote their active participation. #IDPD https://t.co/JIIJgNx76E
'-- Pope Francis (@Pontifex) December 3, 2020
More:
Great Reset Watch: https://t.co/Remxsr6pM7
'-- Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 6, 2020
From Breitbart:
Pope Francis has chosen Joe Biden's slogan ''build back better'' to describe his vision for the great reset after the coronavirus pandemic, saying he finds the expression ''quite striking.''
''The theme of this year's celebration is 'Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post-COVID-19 World,'' the pope wrote in his message this week for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, while adding, ''I find the expression 'building back better' quite striking.''
As Gian Guido Vecchi noted in an article Friday in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the Vatican chose to translate the Italian title ''Riconstruire Meglio'' using the exact words that Biden employs.
On his official website, Biden explains the message behind ''build back better'' by insisting that ''this is no time to just build back to the way things were before, with the old economy's structural weaknesses and inequalities still in place. This is the moment to imagine and build a new American economy for our families and the next generation.''
Biden's version of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) ''Great Reset'' looks remarkably similar to that of Pope Francis.
''We will be able to regenerate society and not return to so-called 'normality,' which is an ailing normality, indeed which was ailing before the pandemic: the pandemic highlighted it!,'' he said, adding that the old normality ''was sick with injustice, inequality and environmental degradation.''
In his recent op-ed for the New York Times, the pope wrote that this ''is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities '-- what we value, what we want, what we seek '-- and to commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of.''
''God asks us to dare to create something new,'' he declared. ''We cannot return to the false securities of the political and economic systems we had before the crisis. We need economies that give to all access to the fruits of creation, to the basic needs of life: to land, lodging and labor.''
''We need to slow down, take stock and design better ways of living together on this earth,'' he proposed.
The WEF at Davos welcomed what it sees as the pontiff's endorsement of its ''Great Reset'' program, highlighting the similarities between their visions.
In an article titled ''Here's the pope's prescription for resetting the global economy in response to COVID-19,'' the WEF declared that Francis had ''put his stamp on efforts to shape what's been termed a Great Reset of the global economy in response to the devastation of COVID-19.''
Pope Francis is the Chaplain of The new World Order. He is all in on the great reset.
'-- Anthony (@Catholicizm) December 3, 2020
And I found this very interesting.
Build Back Better.
BBB.
bbb
Looks a whole lot like: 666.
"build back better" '' Bergoglio is endorsing the Great Reset! #666 pic.twitter.com/ibvJbpnFmy
'-- gabriel m.l. torre (@angstpinoy) December 3, 2020
Nice words from @Pontifex placing a veil to cover the globalist ''Great Reset''. https://t.co/sjnBvathuz
'-- Mostly peaceful President-Elect F(C)lix David Mej­a (@FelixDavidMejia) December 3, 2020
NATIONAL POLL: Is CNN The Enemy Of The People?
Pope Francis seems to want God to work for the Great Reset. https://t.co/nvc2j8Rw2j via @church_militant
'-- Stephen: SAY NO TO mRNA AND ABORTED BABY CELLS (@stephen_stnclr) December 2, 2020
VIDEO-Brexit Talks Resume as Officials Seek to Hammer Out Solution
Sun, 06 Dec 2020 22:34
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VIDEO-Birx: Winter Covid surge the 'worst event that this country will face'
Sun, 06 Dec 2020 22:34
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Dr. Deborah Birx warned on Sunday that the escalating coronavirus surge is likely to be the most trying event in U.S. history, as hospital systems around the country strain to combat its mounting daily death toll."This is not just the worst public health event. This is the worst event that this country will face, not just from a public health side," Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said during a masked appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."President Donald Trump listens as Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on April 16, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
Dr. Deborah Birx warned on Sunday that the escalating coronavirus surge is likely to be the most trying event in U.S. history, as hospital systems around the country strain to combat its mounting daily death toll.
"This is not just the worst public health event. This is the worst event that this country will face, not just from a public health side," Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said during a masked appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Birx's comments add to a chorus of public health officials expressing concern about the growing wave of infections.
On Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said that the coming months will be "the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation."
"This fall/winter surge is combining everything that we saw in the spring with everything we saw in the summer '-- plus the fall surge going into a winter surge. I think that's why Dr. Redfield made this absolute appeal to the American people," Birx said.
The Covid-19 pandemic is killing record numbers of Americans on a daily basis, and the numbers are expected to worsen as a result of gatherings held for the Thanksgiving holiday.
More than 2,000 people in the U.S. are dying from Covid-19 on a daily basis, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. On Thursday, more than 2,800 deaths from the disease were recorded, a new high.
Much of the concern related to the new surge in cases has to do with hospitals around the country filling up with patients. More than 100,000 in the U.S. were currently hospitalized with Covid-19 as of Saturday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, at The Atlantic.
James Linder, the CEO of the Nebraska Medicine Health System, said on CBS's "Face The Nation" on Sunday that many hospitals are at the "breaking point."
"Some may have broken," he said.
Birx called on Americans to change their behavior ahead of the winter holidays. Despite her dire warning, she said that at this point "we know what behaviors spread the virus and we know how to change those behaviors."
"We cannot go into the holiday season, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, with the same kind of attitude, that those gatherings don't apply to me," Birx said. "They apply to everybody."
"If you do not want to lose your grandparents, your aunts, let's be clear: If you're over 70, 20 percent of those over 70 who contract Covid are hospitalized, and still, 10 percent of them are lost," Birx added.
"So if you have anyone in your family with comorbidities or over 70, you cannot do those things. You cannot gather with your mask off, you cannot hug and kiss people outside," she said.
Birx acknowledged the existence of a number of vaccines that have shown promising results in clinical trials. But, she said, those won't be available for the most vulnerable Americans until February.
"So we need to do this now. Yes, the nursing homes will be vaccinated, but there are 100 million Americans that have these comorbidities that put them at substantial risk," Birx said, referring to underlying medical conditions that can make people more vulnerable to the virus.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that "more general vaccination" could be available around February or March, and that there would be enough vaccines for every American seeking one by the second quarter.
The frustration and alarm from a senior member of the White House's effort to combat the virus stands in contrast to the relative silence from the president himself.
President Donald Trump, who will leave office next month, has avoided mentioning the death toll from the disease. He has instead remained focused on personal grievances since losing the November election to President-elect Joe Biden.
Biden's team began formally coordinating with the current administration's Covid-19 response officials last week, after a delay caused by the White House's efforts to delay the formal transition.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Thursday that he agreed to serve as Biden's chief medical advisor. He was scheduled to brief Biden's team the same day.
VIDEO-International Homepage - Chinese | International Homepage - Chinese
Sun, 06 Dec 2020 21:24
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Georgia is a unique state in terms of its geography, history and culture. Key industries such as Arts, Commerce, Film, Music, and Tourism shape the economy and its people. We, as a state, integrate and support them collectively to create and sustain a diversified economy. And when we bring them together we have a very powerful story to tell.
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November 17, 2020 投èµ2,700美元¼ç±æ®å--集å›å­å…¬å¸ç¾Žå›½Kysor Warren投èµä½æ²>>亚州¼Œæ‰(C)å>>ºåŒ—美æ>>部¼ è‘æ'Ÿ¼Œä½æ²>>亚州州é•Brian P. Kempå…ç--Ÿå®£å¸ƒ¼Œ 商业å¶å†·èŒä¸šçšé†å†›ä¼ä¸šç±æ®å--集囼Epta¼‰ä¸‹å±žä¼ä¸š - Kysor Warren美国公司è®å'投èµè¶…è‡2,700万美元¼Œæ‹'展其位于佐æ²>>亚州å'¥ä¼...布市çšåŒ—美æ>>部ã‚è个投èµé¹ç›®å°†ç>>佐æ²>>亚州å¸...æ'¥200个新çšé质量就业æ'ºä¼šã‚ 佐æ²>>亚州州é•Kempå…ç--Ÿè¨ç¤º¼š''佐æ²>>亚州对国é…åä½'ä¼ä¼´çšæŒç>>­æŠ•èµå¾—å°äº†å›žæŠ¥¼Œä½æ²>>亚州人民得å°äº†æ›´å¤šå·¥ä½'岗位ä>>¥åŠåç§æ'ºä¼šã‚èæ¯ä¸ªä>>¤äººæŒ¯å¥‹çšæ¶æ¯¼Œæ‘热çƒç¥'è´ºå'¥ä¼...布å'°åŒºçšå±…æ°‘¼æ‘å'šäç±æ®å--集囼Epta¼‰Kysor Warren美国公司将ç>>§ç>>­å'¨'æƒä¹‹å·ž'取得æåŠŸã‚'' ç±æ®å--集囼Epta¼‰æ¯æ¬§æ´²é†å…çšè·¨å›½é›†å›¼Œä¸>>è...å'¨é›¶å--®å'Œé¤é¥®èŒä¸šä>>Žäº‹å•†ç--¨å¶å†·è®¾å¤‡çšå¼å‘å'Œå¶é ã‚集å›ä¸'门为æ>>包é¹ç›®æä¾›å¶å†·è§£å†"方漌为å®æ·ä¸ªæ§åŒ–å'°é‡èºå®šå¶ç">>å—化æ'åŠ¼ŒåŒ…括æ'å'çšè®¾è®å°ä¾›è´§å'Œå®‰è£…¼Œéæ•çšå--®åŽæ'åŠ¼Œä>>¥åŠç>>´ä®åŠå¤‡ä>>¶ç®ç†ã‚ Kysor Warren美国公司æ¯Epta集å›å­å…¬å¸¼Œæ>>部位于佐æ²>>亚州å'¥ä¼...布市ã‚自1882å¹´æç‹å¹¶æŽ¨å‡ºWarren Refrigerationä>>¥æ'¥¼ŒKysor Warrenä¸ç›´éƒ½å¤å'¨å†·è—æŸ'å'Œå¶å†·ç">>ç>>ŸèŒä¸šçšé†å…位置ã‚Kysor Warren与其å®æ·ç´§å¯†åä½'¼Œä¸ºåŒ—美å'°åŒºçšè¶…市ãæ'‚货店ä>>¥åŠå…¶ä>>–零å--®å•†å¸...æ'¥å®Œæ•´çšå•†ä¸šå¶å†·è§£å†"方æã‚å'¨Warren Refrigeration与Sherer Brothers Companyåå¹¶åŽ¼Œä>>–ä>>¬æŽ¨å‡ºäº†ä¸–界上第ä¸æ¬¾é‡‡ç--¨çŽ>>ç'ƒé'æ'展示商å'çšä¸'å(C)冰æŸ'ã‚ä>>–ä>>¬æŒç>>­å›æ–°¼Œéšè‡åžåŠ 冰æŸ'çšå†·æ°--流¼Œä½å¾—零å--®å•†å¯å‘ç--¨æ·å±•ç¤ºç--Ÿé²'食å'ã‚ 自æä¸ºEpta集å›å­å…¬å¸ä>>¥æ'¥¼ŒKysor Warren凭åŸå…¶å…¨æ–°çšå›æ–°è§£å†"方ææ‹'展了产å'ç>>吼Œä¾‹å...‚独ç‹å¼ä¸çƒ·æ'ä>>¶è£…ç½®ä>>¥åŠFTEç">>ç>>Ÿ¼Œèé¹å›æ–°ä¸ä>>…åžå¼ºäº†äº§å'åŠŸèƒ½¼Œä½å…¶å'¨ä>>>>何æ°--åæ'ä>>¶ä¸‹å'‡å¯èŠ‚ç'10¼…çšèƒ½æºã‚与市å'ºä¸Šå…¶ä>>–提升季节æ§æ•çŽ‡çšåŒç±>>产å'ç›¸æ¯--¼ŒKysor Warrençšææ'¬è...ä½Žå¾—多ã‚ä¸ç›´ä>>¥æ'¥¼ŒKysor Warrençšå†·æŸ'ä>>¥åŠå¶å†·ç">>ç>>Ÿéƒ½ä>>¥å…¶èç--¨æ§¼Œéæ•çŽ‡ä>>¥åŠè®¾è®è´¨é‡èŒè‘—称゠现å'¨¼Œ Kysor Warren美国公司将å'¨å'¥ä¼...布市Corporate...
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  • 0:00
    Whoo. Adam Curry Jhansi devora December 10 2020 this is your
  • 0:06
    award winning nation media assassination Episode 1300. This
  • 0:11
    is no agenda
  • 0:15
    and broadcasting live from opportunity's own 33 here in the
  • 0:18
    frontier of Austin, Texas capitals, Star State in the
  • 0:22
    morning, everybody. I'm Adam Curry, and I'm from Northern
  • 0:25
    Silicon Valley where it turns out that podcasting is the
  • 0:28
    thing.
  • 0:34
    No, no, no what you're just discovering this. Who told you
  • 0:37
    Megyn Kelly, how did you find out podcasting is a thing.
  • 0:40
    Brunetti? Oh, our super producer Dana Brunetti super. What did it
  • 0:46
    What did you say? What did he say? He said that podcast and he
  • 0:49
    was casting. He's doing podcasts?
  • 0:53
    Yeah. Yeah. He's done it before. He's taking them off the market.
  • 0:57
    They were so good.
  • 0:59
    When he took them off the market, they were so good. Yes.
  • 1:03
    He says that he Yes, he had. He was doing a Hollywood podcast.
  • 1:07
    And apparently it was so good. Yeah. That it would have cost
  • 1:11
    them business. Oh, I see.
  • 1:15
    All right. So are you going to give us a report on your wine
  • 1:17
    tasting? Surely went up to wine case we went to taste it.
  • 1:22
    Let's just set up Dana Brunetti super producer from Hollywood
  • 1:25
    producer of the no agenda show. Yeah, yes. Yeah. And he's a
  • 1:30
    reluctant associate producer and still irked about what he thinks
  • 1:33
    that's a lame credit. He feels that it's just beyond beyond
  • 1:37
    like, can't be on his record to be associate executive producer.
  • 1:41
    Oh, no.
  • 1:43
    This is beyond land. All right, give us a little report.
  • 1:48
    Great place we went up to this. This is one of the cult wineries
  • 1:52
    that sells its very expensive wine one of our producers
  • 1:55
    happens to be working up there. Amy and we got a boo got to the
  • 2:00
    VIP tour of the drank like I know tasted let's say a
  • 2:06
    1-234-567-8910 nine
  • 2:10
    or I'm sorry six first flight and then another flight of now
  • 2:14
    was Dana also spitting or was he swallowing he was tried spitting
  • 2:19
    but apparently he couldn't taste properly by spitting. Okay, I'm
  • 2:23
    just spit you gotta upload. You gotta you gotta dribble it out.
  • 2:26
    into the glass. Yeah, I don't drink
  • 2:29
    like a spittoon Yeah, you'd be another Monday go tasting with
  • 2:33
    Yeah. So.
  • 2:36
    So we had these, these are these are 100 point wines, all the
  • 2:39
    wines step one over 100 points from, you know, the good old
  • 2:42
    days when Parker was actually doing the tasting No. And they
  • 2:46
    it really brought in and of course, I managed to get the
  • 2:49
    whole tasting off the rails.
  • 2:53
    Because this this guy that would the winemaker Pierre got into a
  • 2:58
    fight with Pierre did not know I didn't know. And is he has a
  • 3:05
    very photogenic pretty daughter, who is also the winemaker Elaine
  • 3:10
    with a with a great French name. No, we started talking about you
  • 3:14
    were started doing the wine BSc. Oh, yeah, well, I have to do.
  • 3:18
    Next thing you know, we're talking about arming Yak and
  • 3:20
    cognac. And everyone else is really you know, Burnett is
  • 3:24
    going for his Glock. He's just about to put in his mouth
  • 3:27
    everyone else's. with kerosene. This thing went on and on. And
  • 3:32
    so
  • 3:34
    I was having a good time with Pierre
  • 3:37
    knows how I feel about doing this show. Exactly. Where's my
  • 3:41
    Glock?
  • 3:44
    So the whole thing was sounds like a good time. It was fun. I
  • 3:47
    had a good time. Yeah. And, and I learned quite a bit what I did
  • 3:51
    learn now just say this for anyone out there likes wine. I
  • 3:54
    have to say I suspected this for a long time. What they really do
  • 3:58
    at this winery. is they do Cabernet Merlot and Cabernet
  • 4:03
    Franc wines. But then there's three different wines. But
  • 4:07
    Sonoma County really is.
  • 4:10
    Should be California's home for mirlo. They can make some to the
  • 4:14
    level of quality of the mirlo is out out of the out of this world
  • 4:19
    is on par with anything anywhere else. Hey, Okay, a couple of
  • 4:23
    questions. One, did you have to wear a mask at the winery and
  • 4:26
    like put the mask
  • 4:29
    down just say flat out all proper mask and social
  • 4:35
    distancing? And all required California. All I'm sorry, all