Cover for No Agenda Show 1304: Ten Days of Darkness
December 17th, 2020 • 3h 9m

1304: Ten Days of Darkness


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

Leaked files expose mass infiltration of UK firms by Chinese Communist Party | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 13 Dec 2020 21:42
Loyal members of the Chinese Communist Party are working in British consulates, universities and for some of the UK's leading companies, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
An extraordinary leaked database of 1.95 million registered party members reveals how Beijing's malign influence now stretches into almost every corner of British life, including defence firms, banks and pharmaceutical giants.
Most alarmingly, some of its members '' who swear a solemn oath to 'guard Party secrets, be loyal to the Party, work hard, fight for communism throughout my life...and never betray the Party' '' are understood to have secured jobs in British consulates.
Among them is a senior official at the British Consulate in Shanghai. Its headquarters is also home to intelligence officers from the UK security services.
The official describes their role as supporting ministers and officials on visits to East China.
Loyal members of the Chinese Communist Party are working in British consulates, universities and for some of the UK's leading companies, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. An extraordinary leaked database of 1.95 million registered party members reveals how Beijing's malign influence now stretches into almost every corner of British life, including defence firms, banks and pharmaceutical giants. (Pictured above, front, President Xi Jinping at a CCP session)
The database was originally leaked on Telegram, the encrypted instant messaging app, and passed in September by a Chinese dissident to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which comprises more than 150 legislators around the world who are concerned by the influence and activities of the Chinese government. Detailed analysis by MoS of the material reveals that pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca '' both involved in the development of coronavirus vaccines '' employed a total 123 party loyalists
The analysis also revealed that there were more than 600 party members across 19 branches working at the British banks HSBC and Standard Chartered in 2016. Both have drawn criticism for their response to Beijing's crackdown in Hong Kong
Firms with defence industry interests including Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce employed hundreds of party members, the analysis showed
While there is no evidence that anyone on the party membership list has spied for China '' and many sign up simply to boost their career prospects '' experts say it defies credulity that some are not involved in espionage. Responding to the findings, an alliance of 30 MPs last night said they would be tabling an urgent question about the issue in the Commons.
Writing in The Mail on Sunday today, former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith says: 'This investigation proves that members of the Chinese Communist Party are now spread around the globe, with members working for some of the world's most important multinational corporations, academic institutions and our own diplomatic services.
'The Government must now move to expel and remove any members of the Communist Party from our Consuls throughout China. They can either serve the UK or the Chinese Communist Party. They cannot do both.'
Writing in The Mail on Sunday today, former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith (above) says: 'This investigation proves that members of the Chinese Communist Party are now spread around the globe, with members working for some of the world's most important multinational corporations, academic institutions and our own diplomatic services'
The Foreign Office last night insisted that it has 'robust procedures in place to keep information secure and to vet staff at our overseas posts'. It is understood they are aware that they employ party members.
However, a senior Whitehall intelligence source said the revelations did raise security questions. 'In that station [the official] will be sat one floor away from the MI6 team and could have identified intelligence officers.'
The database was originally leaked on Telegram, the encrypted instant messaging app, and passed in September by a Chinese dissident to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), which comprises more than 150 legislators around the world who are concerned by the influence and activities of the Chinese government.
Dating from 2016, it includes the names of party members in Shanghai, the largest city in China and its financial hub.
The list is divided into more than 79,000 branches, many of them affiliated to individual companies or organisations.
In total, the Chinese Communist Party has more than 92 million members, but competition to join is fierce with fewer than one in ten applicants successful.
After authenticating the material, with the help of data security analysts Internet 2.0, IPAC passed the database to four media organisations around the world, including The Mail on Sunday. Detailed analysis of it by this newspaper reveals that:
A party member who studied at St Andrews University worked at various consulates in Shanghai including that of the UK; Chinese academics who swore the oath to assist the party attended British universities where they were involved in potentially sensitive areas of research including aerospace engineering and chemistry; There were more than 600 party members across 19 branches working at the British banks HSBC and Standard Chartered in 2016. Both have drawn criticism for their response to Beijing's crackdown in Hong Kong; The pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca '' both involved in the development of coronavirus vaccines '' employed a total 123 party loyalists; Firms with defence industry interests including Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce employed hundreds of party members. Security sources believe the initial data leak came from a dissident who targeted an outwardly unremarkable office block in Shanghai which housed the records.
Despite the near certainty of being executed for treason if caught, he or she probably accessed it via a server before downloading it on to a laptop and releasing it on Telegram where it was found by IPAC.
In total, the Chinese Communist Party has more than 92 million members, but competition to join is fierce with fewer than one in ten applicants successful. (Above, President Xi Jinping of China)
As well as the names of members, the database has places, dates of birth, Chinese ethnicity and in some cases addresses and telephone numbers.
The consular official is registered in a communist party branch within a company called the The Shanghai Foreign Agency Service Corporation, a state-owned employment agency.
Oath of loyalty which party members swearNew members of the Chinese Communist Party swear an oath of loyalty in front of a traditional flag bearing a hammer and sickle to signify proletarian solidarity.
With fist raised, they say: 'It is my will to join the Communist Party of China, uphold the Party's program, observe the provisions of the Party Constitution, fulfil a Party member's duties, carry out the Party's decisions, strictly observe Party discipline, guard Party secrets, be loyal to the Party, work hard, fight for communism throughout my life, be ready at all times to sacrifice my all for the Party and the people, and never betray the Party.'
While there are 92 million members across China, this equates to just six per cent of the population. Indeed, competition is fierce with less than one in ten applicants accepted.
The rewards are not purely ideological. Senior positions in business, academia and government are almost exclusively occupied by party members.
Experts say that since coming to power in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping has emphasised the importance of the Party with members compelled to attend more regular meetings and undergo appraisals.
It employs almost 2,000 people and its website says it 'provides comprehensive and high-quality services to more than 100 foreign organisations in Shanghai including foreign consulates, foreign news media, and foreign schools'.
Analysis of the data shows at least 249 Communist Party members were registered with the agency in 2016.
Academics on the membership list include some living and working in the UK. They include a research fellow in aerospace engineering at a leading university who also works for a private company.
Aerospace engineering is designated by the British Government as among the seven most militarily sensitive university subjects.
Students from countries that are not in the EU or the 'Five Eyes' network of Britain, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are required to have an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.
During the application process, they are asked to declare any state-linked funding, although some security experts fear the vetting process is not stringent enough. The research fellow did not respond to a request for comment last night.
The US security services have been increasingly concerned about the threat of Chinese espionage on campuses.
In the nine months to September, 14 Chinese nationals were charged over alleged spying offences and the Trump administration last week changed its visa rules so members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families can stay or get travel documents for only a month.
Last week, John Ratcliffe, the US Director of National Security, warned that China posed the 'greatest threat to democracy and freedom' since the Second World War and was striving to dominate 'the planet economically, militarily and technologically'.
Australia revoked the visas of two professors from China in September amid suspicions they were involved in espionage. One of the men appears on the leaked membership list.
The database also reveals that party members work for many British and international companies in China, several involved in the defence or pharmaceutical industries.
Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Airbus and the French defence contractor Thales each have dozens of party members or more on their books while the British banking giants HSBC and Standard Chartered both have hundreds. Jaguar Land Rover was another company with staff who were members of the party.
Last week, John Ratcliffe (above), the US Director of National Security, warned that China posed the 'greatest threat to democracy and freedom' since the Second World War and was striving to dominate 'the planet economically, militarily and technologically'
Cosco, a major Chinese shipping firm, even has two branches in the UK for its seven members. Three are based at the port of Felixstowe, Suffolk, which receives almost half of Britain's container trade.
In total, the list for 2016 reveals 2,909 members working for Cosco across 118 branches worldwide.
None of the companies above said they banned members of the Chinese Communist Party from being employees.
There is no evidence that any of the firms named above has been targeted or fallen victim to espionage and each insists it has measures in place to protect data, staff and customers.
Reacting to the findings, former Foreign Office diplomat and China expert Matthew Henderson said: 'This is yet further proof of how China has inveigled its way into the British establishment. We are dancing with rabid wolves, intent on driving a wedge between Britain and America, overthrowing democracy and outstripping the West.'
Sam Armstrong, from the Henry Jackson Society foreign policy think-tank, said: 'This is a deeply disturbing illustration of China's spread across the globe which we can't look away from and must tackle head on.'
And a former CIA and White House intelligence analyst, who specialises in East Asia affairs, said: 'This is what the Chinese Communist Party is and you can't trust them. They're always looking for opportunities where they can take advantage of relationships, friendships, whatever, to further the interests of the Communist Party.'
However, Robbie Barnett, an affiliate of the Lau China Institute at King's College London and at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, said: 'It's not likely that many members in China actually believe in or care about Communism, so it's largely a nation-building project, not an ideological one.
'That's just one of the many reasons that a McCarthyist, catch-all approach doesn't make sense, even apart from the fact that it would be a gross abuse of people's human rights.'
Last night, a Chinese Embassy spokeswoman said: 'We urge the media to abandon ideological bias and Cold-War mentality and view China, the Communist Party of China and China's development in a rational and impartial manner.'
Chained: Media mogul who defied tyrannyHandcuffed, bound in chains and flanked by police officers, businessman Jimmy Lai is led to court to face charges of colluding with foreign powers.
The pro-democracy media mogul, one of the few business leaders in Hong Kong to speak out against the draconian new national security laws, was denied bail yesterday over allegations he had asked foreign countries to impose sanctions.
Mr Lai, 73, owner of the pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily and founder of Next Digital Media, has repeatedly called for international action over the erosion of liberties in Hong Kong.
Crackdown: Pro-democracy businessman Jimmy Lai, chained round his waist and wrists to a guard, is marched to court yesterday
The charges reportedly relate to tweets he posted, including one in May asking Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China, and his decision to launch an English-language edition of Apple Daily.
Hong Kong politician Ted Hui, who lives in Britain after being forced into exile, told Radio 4's Today programme: 'I feel extremely heavy watching my friends go to jail, perhaps for life. Freedom of speech is totally collapsed in Hong Kong and it's extremely alarming to the world.'
Mr Lai's arrest is the latest in a crackdown on Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement since the sweeping national security law passed this summer by Beijing, which allows Chinese security forces to operate there.
Last week, activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were jailed for taking part in an unauthorised protest last year. Teenage activist Tony Chung was also convicted last week of desecrating the Chinese flag, and at least 16 other activists were arrested.
The devotee who works just yards from MI6 spies
Outwardly at least, the British consulate in Shanghai '' at 17F Garden Square '' appears wholly unremarkable. There is little to distinguish it from the other high-rise buildings that crowd the city's historic riverside district. What goes on inside, however, is quite a different matter.
One consular official identified in the leaked database is said by security sources to work near to a team of MI6 officers operating under diplomatic cover. Intriguingly, and some critics of the China's regime may think worryingly too, the official is apparently on the floor below or, as one security source put it, 'down a staircase'.
There is no evidence that anything untoward has taken place, but the simple fact that a Chinese Communist Party member is working in close proximity to intelligence officers has in itself given rise to concerns that the UK is 'playing with fire'.
Long known as a city of intrigue, Shanghai was fabled in the 1930s as the Paris of the East, China's most modern metropolis, a haven for gangsters and intellectuals, colonials and radicals, the new rich and the ultra-poor.
The communist revolution changed all that and the city's famous vitality was largely stamped out. Even in the late 1980s, when other parts of China were modernising fast, Shanghai lagged behind.
Now its appearance is positively futuristic. The skyscrapers in the gleaming financial district Pudong, for instance, dwarf the old colonial waterfront across the Huangpu river.
One senior Whitehall security source claimed: 'In that station [the official] will be sat one floor away from the security services team.
'In theory, anybody walking past where the official works and up the staircase could be identified as an intelligence officer and that information passed back to the Communist Party.'
IAIN DUNCAN SMITH: With hopeless naivety, big business and universities have failed to understand that China is out to destroy our way of life
By IAIN DUNCAN SMITH for the Mail on Sunday
Joining the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is quite unlike signing up for a political party here or in any other democracy. It might seem closer to joining a crime family in the New York Mafia.
Members have to swear overriding loyalty to the one party that has ruled in China since the 1940s.
They must pledge to 'guard party secrets', to 'fight for communism throughout my life' and to be ready at all times 'to sacrifice my all for the Party'. The oath is for life and sworn in the presence of party officials. Swift, harsh punishment would result should they ever dare to break it.
Belonging to the party is no mere formality. The CCP demands secrecy, cunning and utterly ruthless discipline from its millions of members. Notoriously secretive, its authority is absolute.
Joining the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is quite unlike signing up for a political party here or in any other democracy. It might seem closer to joining a crime family in the New York Mafia. Members have to swear overriding loyalty to the one party that has ruled in China since the 1940s
Members are routinely schooled in the beliefs, tenets and principles of Chinese Communist thought.
Democracy and freedom are such existential threats, for example, that violence and oppression are necessary to quash them. Western nations such as the UK are locked in mortal conflict with China and must be defeated.
It is a party whose beliefs about religious minorities remind us of the racist policies of the worst dictators of the 20th Century.
The CCP sees nothing wrong with rounding up Uyghur Muslims, placing them on trains and carting them to 're-education camps' where women can be sterilised and the men put to forced work.
Each and every member has subscribed to all of this and more '' harvesting organs from religious minorities, locking up lawyers, crushing the spirit of its own people. There is little room for deviation in political thought in Xi Jinping's Chinese Communist Party.
It would be bad enough were these individuals confined to China, where they have a vice-like grip on political power.
However, The Mail on Sunday's investigation shows that CCP influence is spreading around the globe, with members working for some of the world's most important multinational corporations, academic institutions and even our own diplomatic services.
Much of their spread into the UK took place under the so-called Golden Era, or project Kow Tow, as I prefer to call it. The UK welcomed China, believing '' wrongly '' that China would open up its economy and that Chinese investment would bring welcome growth, investment, and prosperity to the UK.
It is hardly surprising, then, that City of London behemoths Standard Chartered, KPMG and Ernst & Young each hired several hundred CCP members across several branches in China.
And it is even less surprising that HSBC tops the shameful league table of companies willing to comply with Chinese Communist Party rules. HSBC likes to criticise Brexit for its perceived small-mindedness, with adverts telling the UK 'we are not an island'.
It is a party whose beliefs about religious minorities remind us of the racist policies of the worst dictators of the 20th Century. The CCP sees nothing wrong with rounding up Uyghur Muslims, placing them on trains and carting them to 're-education camps' where women can be sterilised and the men put to forced work. (Above, a protest in Mumbai, India)
Its own behaviour speaks volumes, however. Last week, it rushed to freeze the bank accounts of exiled Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui. Earlier in the summer, it issued statements denouncing the democracy protests.
Now we learn that it apparently once employed more than 300 members of the very party that is orchestrating the draconian crackdown in Hong Kong. Time and again, HSBC has proved itself to be Beijing's favourite bank.
None of this would be remarkable in a Chinese institution but for a British bank '' regulated and headquartered here in London '' it is inexcusable.
The conduct of HSBC and other UK financial institutions is not just wrong but immoral.
We can only hope that this leak confirms the truth that is beginning to dawn on businesses around the world. Operating in China carries an inbuilt ethical and reputational risk. We already know that household brands have been linked with slave labour from Uyghur prison camp detainees in the Xinjiang region.
Mounting evidence links the Party to state-sponsored concentration camps and genocide against Uyghur minorities.
So when will rich multinational firms decide it is no longer worth the damage to their brand?
The threat is not just to their corporate image, by the way, or to our moral standing as a nation '' it is a threat to our security. Companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Thales, and Rolls-Royce each play an essential role in manufacturing equipment used by our Armed Forces.
They make some of our most advanced weaponry and are trusted to guard top-secret designs for our most sensitive assets and facilities. Yet collectively they employ hundreds of Chinese Communists who have pledged to serve the Party above all else.
Other vital firms such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline employ hundreds of Communist Party members, giving them access to networks, designs and supply chains.
Then there is the matter of academics in the UK, some of whom are studying among the most sensitive subjects at our universities.
In recent years we've come to understand that China is systematically targeting '' and stealing '' academic technology.
In September, our Government barred Chinese military scientists from sensitive research. Now we know why.
Most troubling of all is the discovery that this scourge extends to our own Foreign Office.
Applicants to the FO are among the most closely vetted in Government, and rightly so. Staff in our consulates and embassies will see and discuss matters of state.
They are rightly considered among the most useful potential 'assets' by foreign intelligence services. Even the most anodyne pieces of information can have implications for national security.
So the Foreign Office will need to explain to the public and to Parliament how it is that we employed lifelong members of the Chinese Communist Party in one of the most sensitive facilities in the UK diplomatic network, the consulate in Shanghai.
An urgent investigation must now take place into exactly what sort of access this individual '' and other Communist Party Members '' have had.
I believe the Government must now move to expel and remove any members of the Communist Party from our consulates in China. They can serve the UK or they can serve the CCP. They cannot do both.
There is a common theme of naivety running through our companies, universities, and government officials.
We have failed to recognise that at the core of China's system is a system of ideas and values that not only runs contrary to ours but seeks to overcome it. The interests of the Communist Party come first.
It is not that China has sought to hide this reality but that we in the free world have been prepared to turn a blind eye to it for so long.
Small wonder, then, that Xi Jinping states openly that China will have the world's most powerful military forces in the world by 2049.
The question today is this: to what degree have our institutions and big business been helping him achieve his goal?
Wondering if you had yet noticed that there were dozens of members of the -- "Committee of the Joint Branch of the Shanghai Second Disney Machine of the Communist Party of China."
US companies riddled with members of Chinese Communist Party
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:47
As we try to come to terms with the extent of Chinese influence over the Biden family, a leaked database of registered members of the Chinese Communist Party has exposed a mass infiltration of American companies '-- with serious national security implications.
Boeing, Qualcomm and Pfizer are just three US companies that have employed dozens of CCP members in their Chinese facilities, the database reveals.
As well, three female employees of the US consulate in Shanghai have been identified in the list of 1.95 million party members that was leaked to an international group of legislators, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which includes Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
All CCP members swear an oath to ''fight for communism throughout my life, be ready at all times to sacrifice my all for the party and the people, and never betray the party [and] guard party secrets, be loyal to the party.''
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said yesterday: ''CCP agents have no place in US government facilities, and this report should serve as a much-needed wake-up call to Washington, DC, and corporate executives, who continue to welcome the Chinese government with open arms.
''[It] is just more evidence of the extent to which the CCP has successfully infiltrated American companies and government.''
While none of the people listed in the database have been identified as spies, mounting concerns in the State Department about the CCP have resulted in tightened visa rules for its members earlier this month. CCP members and their immediate families now are limited to one-month, single-entry US permits.
The database was verified by international cybersecurity firm Internet 2.0, which found it was originally leaked on encrypted messaging app Telegram in 2016. It was passed on to IPAC six weeks ago by a third party.
''We have high confidence this list is authentic,'' Internet 2.0 co-founder David Robinson, a former Australian army intelligence officer, told me Sunday.
''Someone '-- an insider, a dissident '-- managed to get physical access to the server [in Shanghai] from outside the building. They didn't have to hack it over the internet.''
Each data entry contains the CCP member's name, ethnicity, place of birth, education level, identification number and, in some cases, a phone number and address.
Robinson has verified the identity of three women who work at the US consulate in Shanghai.
The three, all listed as ethnic Han college graduates, are registered in a 31-strong Communist Party branch listed as Shanghai Foreign Institutional Service Co., which is a state-owned employment agency, which provides local staff for foreign consulates, schools and news media.
A department spokesperson yesterday had no comment about ''an allegedly leaked database of Communist Party members'' and said ''the department does not discuss security protocols or personnel matters.''
However, she said: ''Influence and interference operations are fundamental to how the Chinese Communist Party engages with the world.
''China's role in the world today cannot be understood without reference to the wide array of malign activities that the [CCP] undertakes to influence our societies in ways that are covert, coercive and corrupting.''
The CCP database is split into 79,000 branches.
For example, Boeing has 17 branches, totaling 252 CCP members. Sixteen members are part of Boeing's Hongqiao Maintenance Base Boeing Line Maintenance Division . . . First Workshop Party Branch; 22 are in the Second Workshop Party Branch; 13 are in the Third Workshop Party Branch, 14 in the Fourth Workshop Party Branch.
There are four subdivisions of the Pudong Maintenance Base Boeing Line Maintenance Branch, totaling 49 members.
Two branches of the Pudong Maintenance Base Boeing Line Maintenance Branch Cargo Aircraft Line Maintenance total 33 members.
Also listed are 27 members of the Party Branch of Boeing Fourth Branch of the Flight Department of Eastern Airlines Yunnan Co. and 23 members of the China Eastern Airlines Beijing Maintenance Department Party Committee Boeing Maintenance Workshop Party Branch.
Boeing spokesman Bradley Akubuiro said last night the company was satisfied with its security.
''As a global company, we enforce strict security protocols and maintain secure firewalls to protect both our customer and company proprietary data in all countries we operate in.''
According to the database, 96 members in the Qualcomm Wireless Communication Technology (China) Co. Ltd. Party Branch, and 133 additional members spread over six party branches of Qualcomm Enterprise Management (Shanghai) work for semiconductor manufacturer and 5G wireless technology company Qualcomm, a US-based multinational.
Qualcomm was awarded a contract by the Defense Department in 2018 to develop multifactor authentication security systems for US military computers.
Another US company crucial to national security is pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which began rolling out COVID-19 vaccines Sunday.
The database lists 69 CCP members in four Pfizer branches in Shanghai.
Neither Qualcomm nor Pfizer responded to inquiries yesterday.
New York University also appears with 71 members attached to a branch named East China Normal University Shanghai New York University Faculty and Labor Party Branch.
The database leak comes just days after a number of disturbing revelations involving CCP infiltration of American institutions:
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe warned that China has targeted members of Congress and poses ''the greatest threat to democracy and freedom'' since World War II. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of China's infiltration of US universities, which are ''hooked on Communist cash'' and stifle criticism of Beijing. 'ŠMedia reports identified Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of House Intelligence Committee, as one of several San Francisco politicians courted by Chinese spy Christine Fang. 'ŠIt was confirmed last week that Joe Biden's son Hunter is under federal investigation over tax fraud and potential money-laundering over his foreign business dealings, including in China. ''Communist China has been allowed to infiltrate our universities and corporations with people loyal to only the Communist Party,'' former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell said Sunday.
''Our beloved Chinese American community has been warning us about these tactics for many years, and the political class has ignored those warnings.''
For the Chao Family, Deep Ties to the World's 2 Largest Economies - The New York Times
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 15:33
As transportation secretary, Elaine Chao is the top Trump official overseeing the maritime industry. Her family owns Foremost Group, a shipping company. Credit... Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times The family of Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary and wife of Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has high-level political connections not only in the United States but also in China. That gives the family unusual status in the world's two largest economies.
Through interviews, industry filings and government documents from both countries, The New York Times found that the Chaos, and by extension Mr. McConnell, prospered as the family's shipping company developed deeper business ties in China. Along the way, one of the company's boosters was Ms. Chao, who now oversees efforts to promote America's own maritime industry, which is in steep decline as China's shipping sector rises in global dominance. Here are five takeaways.
The Chao family's connections to the Chinese state go back decadesJames S.C. Chao, 91, Ms. Chao's father, studied navigation at a university in Shanghai before fleeing the mainland ahead of the Communist takeover in 1949. His schoolmate for a time was Jiang Zemin, who would become China's president.
As China was emerging from decades of turmoil in 1984, the Chao family took a stake in a state-owned Chinese manufacturer of marine electronic equipment, documents show. The company targeted sales to China's military, among other sectors, and was closely affiliated with a ministry run by Mr. Jiang. After Mr. Jiang came to lead the Communist Party a few years later, Mr. Chao met with him at least six times, including in August 1989 in Beijing '-- inside the party's secretive leadership compound. Chao family members said they could not recall this investment.
The family shipping company is centered on China
Image The main gate of the Shanghai Waigaoqiao shipyard, a building site for Foremost ships. Credit... Giulia Marchi for The New York Times Foremost Group, the New York-based shipping company founded by Mr. Chao in 1964, landed its first big contract with the United States government, shipping rice to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
Now, it builds most of its ships in state-owned shipyards in China, with some financed by Chinese government loans. In at least two instances, those Chinese-backed, Chinese-built ships entered long-term contracts to deliver iron ore for a state-owned steel maker.
More than 70 percent of Foremost's freight goes to China, and most of that is iron ore, according to recent shipping data. The cargo helps feed China's industrial machine, which manufactures steel products that are a point of dispute in the deepening trade war between China and the United States. The company describes itself as a small international business and says it does not have a particular focus on China, beyond what most dry bulk carriers have in a world dominated by Chinese manufacturing.
As budget cuts have targeted America's shipping sector, the Trump administration's commitment under Ms. Chao has been questionedThe Trump administration has left little doubt that the federal government is willing to use its clout to boost certain American industrial sectors, including coal and steel. Those efforts have not extended to the maritime industry under Ms. Chao's leadership.
The Transportation Department budget during her tenure has repeatedly called for cuts for programs intended to support the depressed system of American-flagged ships. The agency budget has also called for scaling back plans to replace up to five academy ships to train a new generation of American mariners.
Agency officials noted that many of the cuts were forced on the department by the White House, and that some of the same programs had been previously targeted, only to see the money restored by Congress, as happened again with the Trump cuts.
With the action by Congress, the plans to build the new training ships are now back on track, and overall maritime spending is up. But the proposed cuts have led to bipartisan questions about the Trump administration's commitment to shipping.
Transportation Department officials say that Ms. Chao has been a champion for the United States maritime system, and that her actions as the head of the agency have nothing to do with her family's business in China. In China, the Chao family has for decades offered scholarships to students training to join the fast-growing shipping industry there.
''My family are patriotic Americans who have led purpose-driven lives and contributed much to this country,'' Ms. Chao said in a statement.
Ms. Chao's family ties to the shipping company and her dealings in China raise ethical issues Image A certificate being presented to Ms. Chao in her role as an international adviser to the city of Wuhan. Credit... Imaginechina, via Associated Press Images Ms. Chao hasn't held a formal position at Foremost since the late 1970s, but she has repeatedly used her connections and status to boost the company's reputation and visibility.
As transportation secretary, she attended a Foremost contract-signing ceremony in New York in 2017. The other party to the contract, the Sumitomo Group of Japan, was subject to Transportation Department oversight for transit projects. Two months later, she canceled a China trip after officials at the American embassy in Beijing raised ethical concerns when her office asked to have family members from the shipping company participate in events.
The Transportation Department provided no reason for the trip's cancellation, though a spokesman later cited a cabinet meeting President Trump had called at the time.
At her confirmation hearing, Ms. Chao did not mention her family's extensive ties to the Chinese maritime industry. She also did not disclose several accolades she had received in China '-- including a role as an international adviser to the city of Wuhan '-- though the Senate questionnaire requires nominees to list all honorary positions. An agency official described that as an oversight.
Marilyn L. Glynn, a former general counsel at the Office of Government Ethics, said Ms. Chao should recuse herself from decisions that broadly impacted the shipping industry. ''She might be tempted to make sure her family company is not adversely affected in any policy choices, or it might even just appear that way,'' Ms. Glynn said.
The department spokesman denied the existence of any conflict, saying that ''the family business is not in U.S.-flag shipping.'' Angela Chao, Foremost's chief executive, said her sister Elaine attended Foremost events ''as a family member.''
Mr. McConnell benefited from his marriage into the Chao family Image Ms. Chao is married to Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader. Credit... Stephen Crowley/The New York Times Ms. Chao and Mr. McConnell married in 1993, but her campaign donations, along with those of her parents, sisters and brothers-in-law, began flowing years before the wedding. The first $10,000 came in June 1989. In the 30 years since, 13 members of the extended Chao family have given a total of more than $1 million to Mr. McConnell's campaigns and to political action committees tied to him. In 2008, James Chao gave the couple a gift of as much as $25 million, vaulting Mr. McConnell into the ranks of the richest senators.
In a statement, Mr. McConnell said he was proud to have his family's support.
REPORT: Hunter Biden Sent 'Best Wishes' from Entire Biden Family to China Firm, Requested $10M Wire | Sean Hannity
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 21:34
From Fox News:
Correspondence between Hunter Biden and CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming from 2017 shows President-elect Joe Biden's son extending ''best wishes from the entire Biden family,'' and urging the chairman to ''quickly'' send a $10 million wire to ''properly fund and operate'' the Biden joint venture with the now-bankrupt Chinese energy company.
The $10 million transfer to the joint venture was never completed.
Fox News obtained an email Hunter Biden sent on June 18, 2017, to Zhao Runlong at CEFC, asking that they please ''translate my letter to Chairman Ye, please extend my warmest best wishes and that I hope to see the Chairman soon.''
''I hope my letter finds you well. I regret missing you on your last visit to the United States,'' Hunter Biden wrote in the attached letter, dated June 17, 2017. ''Please accept the best wishes from the entire Biden family as well as my partners.''
He added: ''We are all hoping to see you here again soon, or in Shanghai.''
Biden went on to update Ye, saying that they have ''concluded the establishment of SinoHawk Holdings,'' the Biden joint venture with CEFC, and said he looked ''forward'' to introducing him to his business associate Tony Bobulinski, who he wrote would ''act as the CEO.''
''He is a very close friend of James Gilliar and the Biden family and joined our team to focus on the execution of things as a partner,'' Biden wrote. ''He has invested capital all over the world for some of the world's wealthiest families.''
Read the full report here.
BIDEN IN IOWA: I've Spent a Lot of Time with South Korea's Kim Jong Unposted by Hannity Staff - 12.02.19
Former Vice President Joe Biden continued his gaffe-laden campaign tour in Iowa over the weekend; bizarrely stating he's ''spent a lot of time'' with ''Kim Jong Un in South Korea.''
''You see what's happening all around the world with his embrace of dictators. Folks like Putin, Kim Jong Un in South Korea and the way he talks about America, the way he talks about our allies,'' said Biden.
''I know them. Putin has no illusions about whether I know him or not. Kim Jong Un has no illusions about whether I know him or not'... I've spent a lot of time with these folks, they know,'' he added.
Joe Biden claims has has "spent a lot of time" with Kim Jong Un.
That is FALSE Biden and Kim Jong Un have never met.
'-- Francis Brennan (@FrancisBrennan) December 1, 2019
Watch Biden's comments above.
BIDEN IN CAROLINA: 'My Name is Joe Biden, I'm a Democratic Candidate for the United States Senate'posted by Hannity Staff - 2.25.20
Former Vice President Joe Biden continued his gaffe-ridden campaign in South Carolina this week; bizarrely telling the crowd he's running for the United States Senate.
''My name is Joe Biden. I'm a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate. Look me over, if you like what you see, help out. If not, vote for the other Biden,'' he told supporters just days before the South Carolina primary.
Biden made similar comments earlier this month, delivering a speech in Nevada where he called for innovative solutions like they've implemented ''Here in California.''
''The new technologies are capable of doing so much more. For example, there's no reason why -at our ports- we don't have solar capacity to be able to make sure we save a lot of energy, create a lot of new jobs for people out there, just like here in California'... I mean'... here in Nevada,'' said Biden.
"Here in California" '' Joe Biden, while in Nevada
'-- Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) February 16, 2020
Watch Biden's comments above.
Trump raises China concerns as reason to veto defense bill
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:10
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- President Donald Trump offered a new rationale Sunday for threatening to veto the annual defense policy bill that covers the military's budget for equipment and pay raises for service members: China. He did not outline his concerns.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers say the wide-ranging defense policy bill, which the Senate sent to the president on Friday, would be tough on China and must become law as soon as possible.
Both the House and Senate passed the measure by margins large enough to override a potential veto from the president, who has a history of failing to carry out actions he has threatened.
''The biggest winner of our new defense bill is China! I will veto!'' Trump said in a new tweet.
The White House did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Trump's specific concerns about China.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said the bill would help deter Chinese aggression. Other GOP backers of the measure, including Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Senate leader, and Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, have tweeted that the bill would counter threats from countries such as China.
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Trump's declaration that China is the biggest winner in the defense bill is false. Reed also noted the shifting explanations Trump has given for the veto threats.
''President Trump clearly hasn't read the bill, nor does he understand what's in it,'' Reed said. ''There are several bipartisan provisions in here that get tougher on China than the Trump Administration has ever been.''
A potential override of a veto would be a first for Trump and would come not long before he leaves office Jan. 20. A two-thirds vote is needed in each chamber for the bill to become law without Trump's signature.
The president has made numerous threats over Twitter to veto the bill over a requirement that military bases honoring Confederate leaders eventually be renamed. He also threatened a veto to try to force lawmakers to include provisions '-- unrelated to the military and national defense '-- to punish social media companies he claims were biased against him during the election.
Congress has approved the bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, for nearly 60 years in a row. The current version affirms 3% pay raises for U.S. troops and authorizes more than $740 billion in military programs and construction.
The measure guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, military personnel policy and other military goals. Many programs can only go into effect if the bill is approved, including military construction.
McConnell, in a rare break with Trump, had urged passage despite Trump's threat to veto it. McConnell said it was important for Congress to continue its nearly six-decade long streak of passing the defense policy bill.
In addition to the budget and pay raises it would provide, McConnell said the bill will ''keep our forces ready to deter China and stand strong in the Indo-Pacific.''
Gallagher tweeted last week that the United States was at the beginning of a ''New Cold War'' with China and that the defense bill ''takes important steps to help us meet these challenges and ultimately win this competition.'' Thune had said in a tweet that the measure would help the U.S. defend against threats from China and Russia. ''It's important for this bill to become law ASAP,'' he said.
Trump tweeted last Tuesday that he will veto ''the very weak'' defense bill unless it repeals Section 230, part of the communications code that shields Twitter, Facebook and other tech giants from content liability. The White House said in a policy statement that ''Section 230 facilitates the spread of disinformation online and is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity. It should be repealed.'"
Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.
IT'S WAR: Communist China successfully infiltrated vaccine giants Pfizer, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline as part of ''unrestricted warfare'' to defeat the US military and conquer North America ''
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 18:21
(Natural News) We now have confirmation from multiple sources that the newly-leaked database of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) loyalists includes the names and details of 123 individuals who have successfully infiltrated the vaccine industry, attaining employment at vaccine giants Pfizer, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline '-- corporations that are manufacturing coronavirus vaccines for U.S. civilian and military use.
The Epoch Times, which has strong ties to Chinese dissidents who are able to confirm such information, now reports:
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a global coalition of lawmakers, obtained the database from an unidentified Chinese dissident, then shared the material with four media organizations, according to a Dec. 12 report by British newspaper The Mail on Dec. 13, which obtained the list and reviewed it.
The Mail found that major aerospace companies Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Boeing have employed hundreds of CCP members. Additionally, Pfizer and British drugmaker AstraZeneca employed a total of 123 Party members. British automaker Jaguar Land Rover also employed CCP members.
Members of the CCP, ''swear oath to 'guard Party secrets, be loyal to the Party, work hard, fight for communism throughout my life'...and never betray the Party''' reports the UK Daily Mail.
CCP loyalists routinely steal corporate secrets and compromise the security and integrity of corporations that might compete against Chinese interests. Also according to the UK Daily Mail, ''there were more than 600 party members across 19 branches working at the British banks HSBC and Standard Chartered in 2016.''
The CCP created the coronavirus bioweapon, and we believe that the CCP used its spies to infiltrate and compromise vaccine manufacturers in order to turn coronavirus vaccines into ''second wave'' bioweapons that will injure or kill very large numbers of people who take the vaccines.
This also means that individuals who are pushing vaccine mandates are playing right into the hands of communist China '-- which has sworn to destroy the United States of America through ''unrestricted warfare'' '-- and are themselves engaged in acts of criminal treason against the United States.
How many CCP loyalists work in Big Tech?So far, only 8,192 names have been publicly released of the nearly 2 million CCP loyalists whose names are on the full list. We have not yet seen how many CCP loyalists are working with the tech giants such as Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. However, we already know that Facebook deliberately hired communist Chinese software experts to design its ''hate speech engineering'' algorithm that censors U.S. citizens who defend the Constitution or President Trump.
In other words, Big Tech deliberately recruits communist Chinese to build more advanced censorship algorithms to censor Americans, and then Big Tech deploys these algorithms to bury all evidence of election theft that was also carried out via China-owned Dominion Voting Systems. What we are describing here is a massive, international criminal conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America.
This is why all the CEOs of Big Tech must face arrest, prosecution and public executions if found guilty of treason.
From the UK Daily Mail:
Writing in The Mail on Sunday today, former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith says: 'This investigation proves that members of the Chinese Communist Party are now spread around the globe, with members working for some of the world's most important multinational corporations, academic institutions and our own diplomatic services.
Communist China, in other words, has infiltrated Western nations, corporations and governments. The hour is already late. Communist China also owns Dominion Voting Systems and used the rigged systems to recently try to steal the U.S. election and install their puppet candidate (Joe Biden) as the U.S. President.
The entire Biden crime family is deeply compromised by communist China, and CCP loyalists have also successfully infiltrated Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce.
Now the software ''glitch'' about the Boeing 737-Max makes more sense, doesn't it?
Don't forget, either, that Joe Biden held priority meetings with the very same vaccine makers who have been infiltrated by the CCP. What do you suppose they discussed?
US Army General Perna announces ''Vaccine D-Day,'' using CCP-influenced vaccines to declare, ''the beginning of the end'' for AmericaSuddenly Operation Warp Speed makes even more sense. US Army Gen. Perna and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper chose China-connected vaccine companies to supply millions of vaccine doses that would be administered to harm U.S. military personnel. As we have previously covered in daily Situation Update podcasts, one of the groups being targeted for these priority vaccines is cyber warfare soldiers.
Gen. Perna has publicly declared that vaccines will be rolled out across the military as a ''Vaccine D-Day,'' further claiming the vaccines will be ''the beginning of the end'' for America. This makes perfect sense when you consider how these black hat operators in the DoD are already aligned with China and have been exploited to distribute a dangerous, even deadly vaccines manufactured by corporations with ties to communist China. (The DoD is split. There are anti-America, pro-China ''black hat'' forces inside the DoD, but also pro-America, pro-Trump ''white hat'' forces. A civil war is under way in the Pentagon'...)
See the full announcement here:
China has long had a goal of the complete destruction of the United States of America, and the CCP can't accomplish that goal unless they can first cause widespread casualties and deaths among military personnel, after which a land invasion via Canada will be much easier to accomplish.
As bombshell documents released in the last two days have stunningly revealed, Canada's treasonous prime minister Justin Trudeau allowed Canada's military to help train communist Chinese soldiers in winter warfare tactics, all in preparation for a land invasion of the United States. This places Trudeau in the ''enemy combatant'' category, and as I will be covering in tomorrow's Situation Update, President Trump is preparing to drop huge economic and trade sanctions on Canada in response to Canada's betrayal.
See this important interview with JR Nyquist to understand China's grand plan to destroy the United States, invade North America and conquer the continent through the mass extermination of all who oppose them:
Thus, China's infiltration of the vaccine manufacturers was necessary to cause mass casualties across US troops, while Canada's prime minister would allow China to use Canada as an invasion staging area to threaten the United States from the North. With Big Tech and Big Media also completely controlled by communist China, no American would be allowed to speak about the invasion taking place, and those who posted videos or photos of the wartime invasions would, of course, be blacklisted and deplatformed.
China's ''total war'' on America is now fully revealedThe truth is now obvious: China planned a multi-faceted assault on America using rigged voting machines, toxic vaccines, land invasion plans and corporate infiltration, all while controlling tech and media in order to completely overthrow the United States of America and claim North America for the CCP.
As I have stated in today's Situation Update, we are now living in an active war zone, while China-controlled Democrat governors have taken millions of Americans prisoner, turning them into POWs in their own homes, via weaponized covid-19 lockdowns that make no scientific or medical sense whatsoever.
These are acts of war against the American people, and the Democrats are almost universally corrupted and compromised by communist China.
This is why I repeat my call to arrest, prosecute and execute all treasonous Americans who are proven to be working for communist China to undermine the United States of America.
President Trump appears to be on the verge of invoking the Insurrection Act and deploying Special Operations Forces (SOF) to carry out mass arrests of treasonous operatives across America. Military tribunals are probably not far behind, and here's what Gen. Michael Flynn said just today (via Maria Bartiromo / Fox Business):
Sidney Powell right now has four lawsuits pending at the Supreme Court'... we have conclusive evidence of foreign interference in our election'... , I think that the President of the United States has to trigger his executive order of 2018, and probably appoint a special counsel to look into all this'... because we have serious, serious foreign influence problems with this Dominion voting machine.
And Sidney Powell added to the intrigue in a recent interview with Lou Dobbs, saying:
We know that 400 million dollars of money came into Smartmatic from China only a few weeks before the election, that there are George Soros connections to the entire endeavor'... Frankly, our national security agency and defense intelligence agency need to be all over this immediately. The evidence is overwhelming and extremely troubling that this has been going on and didn't just start this year.
Listen to my Dec. 13th Situation Update for the latest bombshell news, and check the Health Ranger Report channel on mid-day each day for a new update:
China's 'tainted' cotton
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 23:24
''Completely fabricated'' Xinjiang's cotton growing industry used to rely on seasonal, migrant workers from other provinces in China.
But cotton picking is notoriously hard work and rising wages and better jobs elsewhere mean the migrants have stopped coming.
Now propaganda reports write glowingly of how the newly found supply of local labour has both solved this labour crisis and helped increase profits for the growers.
But nowhere is there any real explanation of why hundreds of thousands of people, who apparently had no previous interest in picking cotton, should suddenly rush into the fields.
Although the documents claim that pay levels can top 5000 RMB ($763, £570) a month, one report appears to suggest that for 132 pickers organised from one village, the average monthly salary was just 1,670 RMB ($255, £188)) each.
Whatever the salary level, paid labour can still be considered forced labour under the relevant international convention.
In response to questions submitted to China's foreign ministry, the BBC received a faxed statement saying: ''Workers from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang choose their jobs according to their own free will and sign voluntary employment contracts in accordance with the law.''
Xinjiang's poverty rate has fallen from almost 20% in 2014 to a little more than 1% today, it said.
And it dismissed accusations of forced labour as ''completely fabricated'', saying instead that China's critics wanted to cause ''forced unemployment and forced poverty'' in Xinjiang.
''The smiling faces of all of Xinjiang's ethnic groups are the most powerful response to America's lies and rumours,'' it added.
But the Better Cotton Initiative, an independent industry body that promotes ethical and sustainable standards, told the BBC that concerns over China's poverty alleviation scheme were one of the main reasons they've recently decided to stop auditing and certifying farms in Xinjiang.
Director of standards and assurance, Damien Sanfilippo, said: ''We've identified the risk that poor, rural communities would be coerced into employment linked to this poverty alleviation programme.
''Even if these workers get a decent wage '' which is possible '' they may not have chosen that employment freely.''
Mr Sanfilippo, who also cited the increasingly restricted access to Xinjiang for his international monitors as another factor, said the organisation's decision to walk away only further raises the risk for the global fashion industry.
''To the best of my knowledge there isn't any organisation that is active locally who can provide verification for that cotton.''
The BBC approached 30 major international brands. Three '' Marks and Spencer, Next, and Tesco '' told us they have policies in place that ensure products sourced from China do not use raw cotton from Xinjiang. Burberry said they do not use any cotton from China at all. Others, including those who don't source direct from Xinjiang, were unable to guarantee its cotton didn't enter supply chains elsewhere. Nine companies gave no response.
Children's Hospital Researcher Pleads Guilty to Selling Medical Research to China
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 13:53
A Chinese researcher that worked for Nationwide Children's Hospital Research Institute in Ohio pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court over his role in a scheme to steal American trade secrets on behalf of the Chinese government. Researcher Yu Zhou is just one of many foreign researchers that have been caught attempting to smuggle American research to foreign governments in 2020.
According to a report by the College Fix, a 50-year-old researcher who worked for the Nationwide Children's Hospital Reserach Institute in Ohio has pled guilty after conspiring to steal trade secrets and sell them to the Chinese government. Yu Zhou reportedly sold cutting-edge American medical research to the Chinese government.
Breitbart News reported in August that Zhou's wife, researcher Li Chen pled guilty to conspiring to steal trade secrets and commit wire fraud. Both Zhou and his wife worked for nearly a decade at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Chen admitted to selling research from the institute to the Chinese government for a profit.
The DOJ published a press release about Zhou's plea on Friday. John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said that the Justice Department is working to ensure that research theft by agents of the Chinese government is put to a stop.
''Today's plea underscores the Department of Justice's commitment to protecting American research and trade secrets from those incentivized to steal them by Chinese Government programs,'' Demers said. ''China's endemic efforts to rob, replicate and replace products that they do not have the ability to develop themselves will not go unchecked, and those who seek to profit from the theft of trade secrets will be held accountable.''
Breitbart News has reported extensively on research theft at American universities and colleges. In September, researcher Hu Haizhou of the University of Virginia was arrested at Chicago O'Hare's International Airport after trying to smuggle research to China.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.
EXCLUSIVE-U.S. Treasury breached by hackers backed by foreign government - sources | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:50
Sun Dec 13, 2020 / 1:41 PM EST
WASHINGTON Dec 13 (Reuters) - A sophisticated hacking groupbacked by a foreign government stole information from the U.S.Treasury Department and a U.S. agency responsible for decidingpolicy around the internet and telecommunications, according topeople familiar with the matter.(Reporting by Christopher Bing; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
CISA Issues Emergency Directive to Mitigate the Compromise of Solarwinds Orion Network Management Products | CISA
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 05:17
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) tonight issued Emergency Directive 21-01, in response to a known compromise of SolarWinds Orion products that are currently being exploited by malicious actors. This Emergency Directive calls on all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately.
''The compromise of SolarWinds' Orion Network Management Products poses unacceptable risks to the security of federal networks,'' said CISA Acting Director Brandon Wales. ''Tonight's directive is intended to mitigate potential compromises within Federal civilian networks, and we urge all our partners'--in the public and private sectors'--to assess their exposure to this compromise and to secure their networks against any exploitation.''
This is the fifth Emergency Directive issued by CISA under the authorities granted by Congress in the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. All agencies operating SolarWinds products should provide a completion report to CISA by 12pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday December 14, 2020.
Email systems breached at the US Treasury and Commerce Departments | 2020-12-14 | Security Magazine
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 16:14
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BREAKING: FBI, Texas Rangers and US Marshals Raid Solarwinds HQ in Austin -- More News Coming on CEO and Executive Vice President
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 01:39
Last night the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a rare Emergency Directive 21-01, in response to a KNOWN COMPROMISE involving SolarWinds Orion products.
This was only the fifth Emergency Directive issued by CISA under the authorities granted by Congress in the Cybersecurity Act of 2015.
CISA reported a breach of the SolarWinds Orion products.
This Emergency Directive called on all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately.
TRENDING: BREAKING BOMBSHELL: MI Judge Grants Attorney Matt DePerno Permission To RELEASE Results Of Forensic Examination On 16 Dominion Voting Machines In Antrim Co. [VIDEO]
So guess who uses SolarWinds?
Dominion Voting Systems uses SolarWinds products.It's right there on their website.
This afternoon a guest on Hannity told the popular conservative host the FBI, US Marshals and Texas Rangers were raiding SolarWinds headquarters in Austin Texas!
Hannity Guest: The agency that is supposed to oversee this type of intrusion, this type of Trojan Malware virus that affects the nation or even the world in this case and to find them. Well, his agency was asleep. They didn't find that they were out in the wilds since March. I do have a bit of a breaking news for you here, Sean. I'm here in Texas. I have a good friend who's a ranger who passed to me that the FBI, the Texas Rangers and the US Marshals are all at the SolarWinds headquarters in Austin, Texas and they are currently looking very seriously at the systems there'... There is other news that will be coming out about the CEO and Executive Vice President as well.
BREAKING per guest on @seanhannity's radio show: ''The FBI, Texas Rangers & US Marshals are all at the SolarWinds HQ in Austin, TX'' looking at their systems. Notes the Executive VP sold 57k shares [$1.2M] on 11/9. The CEO, Kevin Thompson, had sold 700k shares [$15M] 10 days later
'-- Murray 🇺🇸 (@Rothbard1776) December 14, 2020
More on the SolarWinds attack.
Humongous Cyber Attack on #SolarWinds an IT and Security Company based in Austin Texas.
SolarWinds' comprehensive products and services are used by more than 300,000 customers worldwide, including military, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and education institutions.
'-- Sandra Schulze (@sandraschulze) December 14, 2020
SolarWinds - Funding, Financials, Valuation & Investors
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 02:54
Stock ticker symbol (e.g. AAPL, FB, TWTR)
Total number of Funding Rounds
Total amount raised across all funding rounds
Total number of investment firms and individual investors
Announced Date: Date that the Funding Round was publicly announced
Transaction Name: Auto-generated name of transaction (e.g. Angel - Uber)
Number of Investors: Total number of Investors in a Funding Round
Money Raised: Amount of money raised in Funding Round
Lead Investors: Name of the investor who led the investment in the funding round
Stock ticker symbol e.g. AAPL, FB, TWTR
Valuation of the Organization at IPO
Amount the Organization raised at IPO
The Organization's share price at IPO
The date when the Organization went public
Investor Name: Name of the investor who participated in the Investment
Lead Investor: This field indicates whether an investor led/organized the investment
Funding Round: Name of the funding round where the Investment is made
Partners: Name of the individual who led a funding round for his/her firm
Total number of Acquisitions
Acquiree Name: Name of the acquired organization
Announced Date: Date the acquisition was announced
Price: Price of the acquisition
Transaction Name: Auto-generated name of transaction (e.g. WhatsApp acquired by Facebook)
SolarWinds Insiders Dumped almost 2 HUNDRED MILLION Dollars in the 4th Q Triggering #LawEnforcement & #SEC Alarm Bells as it looks VERY OBVIOUS since they are
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 13:31
Alpha OmegaEnergy "The Energy Kraken" : #Breaking #BreakingNews 🚨🚨ðŸ'¥ðŸ'¥#SolarWinds Insiders Dumped almost 2 HUNDRED MILLION Dollars in the 4th Q Triggering'...
Tue Dec 15 02:01:49 +0000 2020
Devil Storm
Winter snow storm dropped more snow in parts of the Northeast than all of last year's winter season - CNN
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 11:52
By Christina Maxouris, CNN
Updated 6:45 AM EST, Thu December 17, 2020
(CNN) The powerful winter storm system that promised heavy snow in parts of the Northeast delivered just that, and created deadly road conditions across the region.
Virginia State Police confirmed a 19-year-old involved in a collision in Pulaski died after his vehicle ran off the side of the highway, struck an embankment and overturned.
Brannagan K. Locklear was transported to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told CNN. Slick road conditions were believed to be a factor in the cause of the crash, Geller added.
In Pennsylvania, where the storm dumped heavy snow for hours, two people were killed and multiple others injured after a multi-vehicle crash involving 30 to 60 vehicles on Interstate 80 in Clinton County, authorities said.
"Keeping the victims and their families in my prayers," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf wrote on Twitter. "Please stay home if you can and stay safe."
Parts of central Pennsylvania were blanketed with well over a foot of snow, with the highest amount reported in Wellsboro -- a whopping 18.8 inches, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy. About 18.5 inches were reported in Dushore and 14 inches in Lock Haven, Vintondale and Sandy Ridge, according to the National Weather Service.
Snow blankets New York City's Times Square on Wednesday.
In New York City's Central Park, there were more than six inches of snow and sleet early Thursday morning, the service said.
Track the storm's path >>>
"This winter storm is greater than the total snow for the 2019-2020 winter season of 4.8," it wrote.
Heavy snowfall caused a 27-vehicle pileup Wednesday, what officials call a chain-reaction event, on the Henry Hudson Bridge, New York Police Department Lt. Thomas Antonetti told CNN. There were no critical injuries, Antonetti added.
Six people were transported to area hospitals for their injuries, according to CNN affiliate WABC.
"Again, avoid any unnecessary travel during this storm," the NYPD wrote on Twitter.
Transportation systems across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were all affected by the storm, officials said. NJ Transit announced some bus and rail services would remain suspended Thursday morning. The New York City Ferry also announced a delayed start Thursday, saying it would not operate during morning rush hours "while crews work to ensure rider safety on landings."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced all school buildings would be closed Thursday and in-person learning was canceled.
"I know we all grew up with the excitement of snow days, but this year is different," he wrote on Twitter Wednesday. "Tomorrow will be a FULL REMOTE learning day for our students."
People walk through a snowstorm in New York City on Wednesday.
There wasn't just snow But the storm didn't just dump snow. Powerful wind gusts -- of about 55 to 65 mph -- from Delaware to New Jersey caused minor damage, Guy said. The coastline will likely continue to feel strong winds from New Jersey up through Massachusetts all day Thursday, with a possibility of coastal flooding in Delaware through New Jersey, Guy said.
"Heavy snow will continue as the storm tracks to the northeast and the heavy snowfall will completely exit the region by late afternoon -- early evening," he added.
The southern portion of the system also pushed a cold front across central Florida Wednesday, spawning several tornadoes across Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, Guy said.
In neighboring Polk County, Sheriff Grady Judd said authorities were dispatched Wednesday evening after reports of a possible tornado, just north of the city limits of Lakeland.
Deputies arrived at the area and found "significant damage on two streets," Judd said, adding two houses appear to be "uninhabitable at this point."
"There is significant damage to trees and to other homes in the area," the sheriff said. "We started going door to door ... to check for safety security and to make sure there were no injuries."
The sheriff said they had not received any reports of injuries "even though there was significant damage."
CNN's Rebekah Riess and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.
Trump DNI Ratcliffe Stirs Dispute Over China 2020 Election Meddling Views - Bloomberg
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:55
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An executive order for state of emergency is powerful enough to get us into war. Not to be taken lightly
Executive Order on Providing an Order of Succession within the Department of Defense | The White House
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 01:33
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et seq., it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Order of Succession. (a) Subject to the provisions of section 2 of this order, the following officials of the Department of Defense, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of the Secretary of Defense (Secretary) during any period in which the Secretary has died, resigned, or otherwise become unable to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Secretary, until such time as the Secretary is able to perform the functions and duties of that office:
(i) Deputy Secretary of Defense;
(ii) Secretaries of the Military Departments;
(iii) Under Secretary of Defense for Policy;
(iv) Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security;
(v) Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense;
(vi) Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment;
(vii) Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering;
(viii) Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller);
(ix) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness;
(x) Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy;
(xi) Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security;
(xii) Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment;
(xiii) Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering;
(xiv) Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller);
(xv) Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness;
(xvi) General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Assistant Secretaries of Defense, Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, and Chief Information Officer of the Department of Defense;
(xvii) Under Secretaries of the Military Departments; and
(xviii) Assistant Secretaries of the Military Departments and General Counsels of the Military Departments.
(b) Precedence among officers designated within the same paragraph of subsection (a) of this section shall be determined by the order in which they have been appointed to such office. Where officers designated within the same paragraph of subsection (a) of this section have the same appointment date, precedence shall be determined by the order in which they have taken the oath to serve in that office.
Sec. 2. Exceptions. (a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1(a) of this order in an acting capacity, by virtue of so serving, shall act as Secretary pursuant to this order.
(b) No individual listed in section l(a) of this order shall act as Secretary unless that individual was appointed to an office for which appointment is required to be made by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and that individual is otherwise eligible to so serve under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, as amended.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this order, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this order in designating an Acting Secretary.
Sec. 3. Revocation. Executive Order 13533 of March 1, 2010 (Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Defense), is hereby revoked.
Sec. 4. General Provision. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
THE WHITE HOUSE,December 10, 2020.
Sidney Powell: Trump Could Trigger 2018 Executive Order on Foreign Election Interference
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:52
Lawyer Sidney Powell asserted that due to alleged foreign interference in the Nov. 3 election, ''it's more than sufficient to trigger'' President Donald Trump's executive order on foreign interference issued in 2018.
In September 2018, Trump signed an executive order that says ''not later than 45 days after the conclusion of a United States election, the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate executive departments and agencies (agencies), shall conduct an assessment of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election.''
Powell told The Epoch Times she believes that due to that executive order, it can give Trump ''all kinds of power '... to do everything from seize assets to freeze things, demand the impoundment of the machines,'' referring to voting machines.
''Under the emergency powers, he could even appoint a special prosecutor to look into this, which is exactly what needs to happen,'' Powell said. ''Every machine, every voting machine in the country should be impounded right now. There's frankly more than enough criminal probable cause to justify that, for anybody who's willing to address the law and the facts purely on the basis of truth and not politics, or corporate greed, or global wealth.''
For the past month, some, including Arizona's Maricopa County GOP Chairwoman Linda Brickman, as well as Powell, have alleged that Dominion Voting Systems' machines allowed for votes to be switched from Trump to Democrat candidate Joe Biden. Dominion has pushed back, saying that it's not possible to change votes, while asserting it has no ties to foreign governments and doesn't allow its employees to engage in vote-tabulation efforts.
Powell noted that Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has only a few days left until he is to prepare his report to the president, according to the September 2018 executive order. It's not clear when'--or if'--Ratcliffe will issue the report, as no public confirmation has been given so far. Little mention has been made of the executive order since it was issued more than two years ago.
Should Ratcliffe issue his report, ''it's going to blow the mind of every citizen in the country who's willing to look at the truth and the facts,'' Powell said. ''Because there's never'--we've never witnessed anything like this in the history of this country. And it's got to be stopped right now or there will never be a free and fair election.''
The order also stipulates that ''within 45 days of receiving the assessment and information,'' the heads of the Department of Justice and Homeland Security and ''any other appropriate agencies'' shall deliver a report evaluating the U.S. general election.
That includes ''the extent to which any foreign interference that targeted election infrastructure materially affected the security or integrity of that infrastructure, the tabulation of votes, or the timely transmission of election results; and if any foreign interference involved activities targeting the infrastructure of, or pertaining to, a political organization, campaign, or candidate, the extent to which such activities materially affected the security or integrity of that infrastructure, including by unauthorized access to, disclosure or threatened disclosure of, or alteration or falsification of, information or data,'' it says.
Situation Update, Dec. 14th - Calls grow for Insurrection Act, window of opportunity Dec. 18th - 24th
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 15:51
Situation Update, Dec. 14th - Calls grow for Insurrection Act, window of opportunity Dec. 18th - 24th
Overview of the Dec. 14th Situation Update:
Increasing calls for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, coming from attorney Lin Wood, The Epoch Times, Gen. McInerney and many others. Sidney Powell says clear evidence of foreign interference allows Trump to invoke his 2018 EO and seize all the assets of corporations and individuals who were complicit in the election rigging. Gen. Flynn calls for Trump to invoke the 2018 Executive Order on foreign interference. President Trump declares any swing state electoral votes cast today are cast under conditions of vote fraud. Pennsylvania chooses alternate electors, putting election into contention until at least Jan. 6th. Sources warn of coming "10-day lockdown" with window of likely action appearing to be Dec. 18th - 24th. The next window is right after Jan. 6th, if all other efforts fail. CCP infiltration of Big Pharma, Big Tech, the legacy media, election voting machines, lawmakers, regulators, universities and more. We are living under enemy occupation. Patriots growing restless, about to initiate their own action to defend the republic. Trump must invoke the Insurrection Act, deploy the troops, and arrest the traitors.Listen to the full podcast here, and read all the additional quotes and notes that follow: all Situation Update podcasts (there's one each day) at the Health Ranger Report channel on, which has recently been under daily attack, most likely from the CCP: on all these breaking storiesCalls for Trump to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act and deploy the U.S. military to stop the election fraud continue to accelerate, with
The Epoch Times now joining the effort, saying, "Trump should use those powers as President to safeguard the future of our Republic and arrest those who have conspired to deprive people of their rights through election fraud. The Insurrection Act enables Trump to use the military to seize the key electoral evidence in contested states and deliver a transparent, accurate accounting of the vote."Attorney Lin Wood also recently tweeted:
Our country is headed to civil war. A war created by 3rd party bad actors for their benefit - not for We The People.Communist China is leading the nefarious efforts to take away our freedom.@realDonaldTrump should declare martial law.And Sidney Powell is now
openly calling for President Trump to invoke his 2018 Executive Order on foreign interference in the U.S. election, explaining:
Every machine, every voting machine in the country should be impounded right now. There's frankly more than enough criminal probable cause to justify that, for anybody who's willing to address the law and the facts purely on the basis of truth and not politics, or corporate greed, or global wealth.It's going to blow the mind of every citizen in the country who's willing to look at the truth and the facts... Because there's never'--we've never witnessed anything like this in the history of this country. And it's got to be stopped right now or there will never be a free and fair election.General Michael Flynn has also called for invocation of the 2018 executive order to seize all assets of those who are complicit in foreign interference with US elections. In a recent interview with Maria Bartiromo, Flynn said:
First of all, there's a whole number of paths that the President has... Sidney Powell right now has four lawsuits pending at the Supreme Court... we have conclusive evidence of foreign interference in our election... You have the DNI (Ratcliffe) coming up on this Friday with a report on the whole range of issues, if he does the duty that I think he is very capable of doing, and the intelligence community provides the clear, unfiltered assessment, then they are going to discover that, and one of the things that I would recommend if I were the DNI or certainly if I were the National Security Advisor, I think that the President of the United States has to trigger his executive order of 2018, and probably appoint a special counsel to look into all this... because we have serious, serious foreign influence problems with this Dominion voting machine.President Trump himself has now tweeted that any swing states that certify electoral votes based on fraud are themselves committing prosecutable crimes:
Swing States that have found massive VOTER FRAUD, which is all of them, CANNOT LEGALLY CERTIFY these votes as complete & correct without committing a severely punishable crime. Everybody knows that dead people, below age people, illegal immigrants, fake signatures, prisoners, and many others voted illegally. Also, machine ''glitches'' (another word for FRAUD), ballot harvesting, non-resident voters, fake ballots, ''stuffing the ballot box'', votes for pay, roughed up Republican Poll Watchers, and sometimes even more votes than people voting, took place in Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere. In all Swing State cases, there are far more votes than are necessary to win the State, and the Election itself. Therefore, VOTES CANNOT BE CERTIFIED. THIS ELECTION IS UNDER PROTEST!This is all happening at the same time that a forensic audit of the Dominion vote tabulation systems reveals that, "that they were designed to create fraud and influence election results, a data firm said Monday,"
reports The Epoch Times.
''We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results,'' Russell Ramsland Jr., co-founder of Allied Security Operations Group, said in a preliminary report.''The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors. The electronic ballots are then transferred for adjudication. The intentional errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail. This leads to voter or election fraud. Based on our study, we conclude that The Dominion Voting System should not be used in Michigan. We further conclude that the results of Antrim County should not have been certified,'' he added.The only way for Trump to correct the widespread ballot counting fraud (and foreign interference) is to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act, deploy the US military to seize ballots and voting machines, and re-run all the physical ballots (which must be stored for 22 months under federal law) using accurate signature matching, the discarding of faked ballots and using scanning machines that are aren't rigged in favor of Biden.The result will be a clear Trump victory in the swing states, and in the national election.
Rumored "10-day lockdown" for Special Forces operations may be imminent, warn sourcesAs all this is happening, Monkey Werx, a well-known analyst of military flight activities and someone with an extensive list of contacts inside the US military, warns that a 10-day lockdown may be imminent. Here's a rough transcription of what he relayed to the public in a recent "Overwatch" video from the Monkey Werx video channel:
Word from the active SF guys in the field is that we need to all prepare for a 10 day lockdown soon. I am told it could be shorter, could be longer - just depends on how bad the opposition is. I have been told this will be global. I don't have dates; but is was said with a sense of urgency. As a Christian, I pay attention when I start to get things independently from multiple sources. That same messaging came through three different people that I personally know and trust.The Insurrection Act of 1807 is constitutional and has been invoked over 20 times by previous presidents. It reads, in part:
''Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion.''Notice that the Insurrection Act
allows the President to invoke the militia as well as armed forces, meaning Trump could call up the militia to arrest all the traitors who tried to rig this election.At the same time, the patience of patriots is growing short, with many new calls for citizens' arrests of traitors (in Big Tech, the fake news media, elections officials, etc.) now being aired across the 'net.One such article is found on the website, which states:
The American people will now arrest all the traitors who are complicit in stealing the election.We have the numbers, we have the power, we have the weapons. It is an easy task for us to arrest all the traitors, dead or alive and seize all the corporations who are complicit in this coup against the American Republic, against us, the American people.We are declaring all these traitors, who own and run Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Fox, Apple, Microsoft, New York Times, Washington Post as well as Democrat and Republican politicians, governors, mayors, congressmen etc who are complicit in this treason against our Republic under citizen's arrest and order them to give themselves in to nearest police station within 24 hours. If not, they will be hunted down and captured, dead or alive.It should be VERY CLEAR TO THE ELECTORS THAT IF THEY ELECT THE CRIMINAL JOE BIDEN ON MONDAY DEC 14 AGAINST THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THEY ARE BASICALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS COUP.The American people will arrest them as traitors and save our republic.This acceleration of rhetoric among patriots would seemingly provide additional pressure for President Trump to act quickly, knowing that
if he fails to invoke the Insurrection Act and deploy the military, America will soon collapse into widespread civil war. The only way for Trump to control the situation us to deploy the military, which will likely put patriots back into a standby mode to see how things unfold.In possible support for the expected domestic wars that seem likely to take place in 2021, a company known as "Global Ordnance" has been awarded a contract to provide the US military with
one million pounds of high explosive TNT.
Via PR Newswire:Global Ordnance LLC, (GO) has been awarded an Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract number W52P1J-21-D-0001, on the U.S. Army's Bulk Explosives Program for the supply of new production Type 1 Trinitrotoluene (TNT) to the U.S. Army. The Bulk Explosives Program IDIQ contract is for five years and has a ceiling value of $188,170,265.00, considering all IDIQ awards. As part of the initial award, Global Ordnance will deliver 1,000,000 pounds of TNT in 2021 to the U.S Army.Interestingly, once Trump orders ballots and voting machines seized under military authority, he can use the science of "kinematics" to investigate the ballots and easily filter out fraudulent ones.From
Under law the physical ballot papers used in the 2020 general election must be retained for 22 months. The significance of this preservation of physical evidence becomes crucial when considering how kinematic identification can be used forensically to expose ballot fraud, not just in this election but all future elections worldwide.Watch my important interview with the founder of the We the People Convention below, where he calls for Trump to declare "limited martial law" and hold a new election under military authority:
CCP infiltration of corporations, governments, Big Tech and vaccine giantsAlso happening now is the global bombshell of the CCP membership document leak, which has already exposed 8,192 CCP members who have infiltrated the vaccine giants Pfizer, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline.
As I reported last night in a Natural News article, this is confirmation that
communist China now controls the vaccine industry, which we believe is being used to build a deliver
bioweapons disguised as vaccines for the purpose of injuring or killing US military personnel and civilians.Operation Warp Speed is being exploited by black hat actors inside the DoD (US Army) to distribute "communist vaccines" to cause mass harm and death of US soldiers, we believe. At the same time, CCP influence of Big Tech has achieved full censorship of all vaccine skeptics, and CCP influence of the left-wing media is pushing for mandatory vaccine compliance so that these dangerous, deadly vaccines can achieve maximum casualties in America.Once the US military and civilian populations are injured or killed with bioweapons disguised as vaccines,
China can unleash its land invasion of the USA, using troops trained by Trudeau's Canadian government, which has
now been exposed as betraying the United States by working with China to destroy America.
China's multi-layered attack on America now consists of:
CCP infiltration of Big Tech to achieve total censorship of pro-America, pro-Trump voices. CCP infiltration of the legacy media to control all narratives and push vaccines. CCP infiltration of the vaccine industry to make sure vaccines are harmful to America's civilians and military personnel. CCP infiltration of universities to indoctrinate America's youth into a pro-communism mindset. CCP infiltration of corporations to push corporate policies such as support for Black Lives Matter, as well as carry out corporate espionage to steal intellectual property and replicate it in China. CCP infiltration of lawmakers through "honey pot" female operatives such as "Fang Fang" who compromised Rep. Swalwell (just the beginning, hundreds more have been compromised). CCP takeover of Dominion Voting Systems, allowing the CCP to overtly rig U.S. elections in order to install their puppet (Joe Biden) into the White House. CCP infiltration of the entire deep state, which we now know includes DOJ AG Bill Barr, who has been caught and exposed for delaying all information about Hunter Biden's hard drives, in order to protect the Bidens before the election.This is all covered in more detail in the Situation Update podcast, above.What's now clear is that
the Democrat party in America is merely a subsidiary of the CCP.Similarly, Big Pharma is merely the malicious "fake medicine" drug branch of the CCP that's being deployed to harm Americans with deadly vaccines and toxic drugs.The left-wing media is the propaganda branch of the CCP, and Big Tech is the censorship branch of the CCP.
We are all now living under enemy occupation, with the CCP running everything in America, including our elections and corporations and media.This is why
we are calling for the arrest, prosecution and execution of all Americans found guilty of collusion with the CCP.This brings us to the Director of National Intelligence
John Ratcliffe op-ed that recently ran in the Wall Street Journal. He stated:
The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically. Many of China's major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.U.S. intelligence shows that China has even conducted human testing on members of the People's Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities.This year China engaged in a massive influence campaign that included targeting several dozen members of Congress and congressional aides.I briefed the House and Senate Intelligence committees that China is targeting members of Congress with six times the frequency of Russia and 12 times the frequency of Iran.We believe Trump is preparing economic sanctions against CanadaBecause Canada is home to Dominion Voting Systems and also trained CCP troops to invade the United States, we believe that Trump is preparing economic sanctions against Canada under Trump's 2018 executive order. It allows for punitive actions to be taken against the largest corporations located in nations that supported foreign interference in US elections.From
the 2018 EO:
"...proposed sanctions with respect to the largest business entities licensed or domiciled in a country whose government authorized, directed, sponsored, or supported election interference, including at least one entity from each of the following sectors: financial services, defense, energy, technology, and transportation..."This means Canada's largest banks (which are all corrupt), defense companies, energy companies, etc., could all be sanctioned by the United States under Trump.Justin Trudeau is also a war criminal and a treasonous globalist who needs to be arrested and prosecuted by his own people, but Canadians appear to be too passive and they gave up their guns (an unwise move in a time of government tyranny). Soon all "progressive" Canadians will discover what it means to live under communist tyranny.We leave you with more words from Gen. Michael Flynn:
We do not want a world governed by tyrants whom no one has elected and who want to have power in order to destroy us. We understand what their plan is: to eliminate dissent, subdue any criticism and outlaw those who do not submit unconditionally to the dictatorship of the 'new world order.'Let's not forget that by the crimes they have committed, they have violated our laws; they have betrayed our nation and their oath to serve our country, their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.Now it's time for Trump to order the patriots, the militia and the US armed forces to
arrest, prosecute and execute all domestic enemies found guilty of treason in a court of law or military tribunal.It's a good thing Trump just made sure the DOJ has restored hangings and firing squads as acceptable forms of executions in America. Many different methods are going to be needed for the huge numbers of traitors who are about to be rounded up and prosecuted. Every last one of them have forfeit their right to continue living as Americans. May justice be far reaching and swift. Leave no swamp creature untouched.
Homeland Security Digital Library
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 04:01
Executive Order 13818: Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption [open pdf - 234 KB] "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 'et seq'.) (NEA), the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Public Law 114-328) (the ''Act''), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)) (INA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, such as those committed or directed by persons listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons. I therefore determine that serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat."
Help with citations
Message to the Congress on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Serious Human Rights Abuse and Corruption | The White House
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 04:01
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days before the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to theFederal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13818 of December 20, 2017, is to continue in effect beyond December 20, 2020.
The prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, continue to threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; undermine economic markets; and continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13818 with respect to serious human rights abuse and corruption.
THE WHITE HOUSE,December 16, 2020.
According to a source close to the White House Admin @realDonaldTrump @POTUS has ordered most of his WH staff to leave DC area and clear out. Something big is about to
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 05:23
SteelKRAKEN! Ann Vandersteel : 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨According to a source close to the White House Admin @realDonaldTrump @POTUS has ordered most of his W'...
Thu Dec 17 04:22:34 +0000 2020
Lori Salomon : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS What about the civilians...the residents that live in the D C area...?
Thu Dec 17 05:23:13 +0000 2020
jcase : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS
Thu Dec 17 05:23:08 +0000 2020
Julie Hennis : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Steelkrakenannvanersteel just posted wh again
Thu Dec 17 05:23:06 +0000 2020
Dr. President Elect Christy 🇺🇸 : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Like go how far from DC?
Thu Dec 17 05:22:55 +0000 2020
Berg510 : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Doubt it. Nothing is happening in DC per usual.
Thu Dec 17 05:22:53 +0000 2020
Live free or die : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS This means nothing. Please don't post crap like this.
Thu Dec 17 05:22:41 +0000 2020
steve kramer : @annvandersteel @pocono_mtn @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Pls send to senators who have hopes of ever running for POTUS:'...
Thu Dec 17 05:22:31 +0000 2020
DP : @annvandersteel #Trump going to nuke #WashingtonDC to stay in office?
Thu Dec 17 05:22:17 +0000 2020
baseballfanbloodyMaryWillow : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS The weather ?
Thu Dec 17 05:22:12 +0000 2020
annie : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS ðŸ"ðŸ‘ðŸ‘
Thu Dec 17 05:22:11 +0000 2020
President J of Honk Nation : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Big if big
Thu Dec 17 05:22:06 +0000 2020
President-Elect Jackfufu🇺🇸 : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS ðŸ"
Thu Dec 17 05:22:06 +0000 2020
SilentForce1 : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS One if by land two if by sea
Thu Dec 17 05:22:06 +0000 2020
JennyJenJen : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Maybe the east coast storm?
Thu Dec 17 05:22:04 +0000 2020
guns & moses,USA/IL : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Yeay the Kraken is showing it's head
Thu Dec 17 05:21:59 +0000 2020
DontTrollMeBro : @annvandersteel @realDonaldTrump @POTUS Kurt Kobain style
Thu Dec 17 05:21:57 +0000 2020
Joint Statement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 03:15
ODNI News Release No. 44-20
Dec. 16, 2020
Over the course of the past several days, the FBI, CISA, and ODNI have become aware of a significant and ongoing cybersecurity campaign. Pursuant to Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 41, the FBI, CISA, and ODNI have formed a Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) to coordinate a whole-of-government response to this significant cyber incident. The UCG is intended to unify the individual efforts of these agencies as they focus on their separate responsibilities. This is a developing situation, and while we continue to work to understand the full extent of this campaign, we know this compromise has affected networks within the federal government.
As the lead for threat response, the FBI is investigating and gathering intelligence in order to attribute, pursue, and disrupt the responsible threat actors. The FBI is engaging with known and suspected victims and information gained through FBI's efforts will provide indicators to network defenders and intelligence to our government partners to enable further action.
As the lead for asset response activities, CISA took immediate action and issued an Emergency Directive instructing federal civilian agencies to immediately disconnect or power down affected SolarWinds Orion products from their network. CISA remains in regular contact with our government, private sector and international partners, providing technical assistance upon request, and making needed information and resources available to help those affected quickly recover from this incident. CISA is engaging with our public and private stakeholders across the critical infrastructure community to ensure they understand their exposure and are taking steps to identify and mitigate any compromises.
As the lead for intelligence support and related activities, ODNI is helping to marshal all of the Intelligence Community's relevant resources to support this effort and share information across the United States Government.
To report suspicious or criminal activity related to information found in this statement, contact your local FBI field office at To request incident response resources or technical assistance related to this statement, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Office of the DNI on Twitter: "Amanda Schoch, ODNI Director of Strategic Communications: "This afternoon the DNI was notified by career intelligence officials that the Intelligence Community will not meet the December 18 deadline, set by Executive Order a
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 03:15
Office of the DNI : Amanda Schoch, ODNI Director of Strategic Communications: "This afternoon the DNI was notified by career intelligen'...
Wed Dec 16 23:46:25 +0000 2020
Natalie Nichols : @ODNIgov This is COMPLETELY unacceptable. The deadline is the deadline. Submit to @POTUS what you have. WE THE'...
Thu Dec 17 03:15:29 +0000 2020
Pace Patriot : @ODNIgov You all better get your shit together!!! The people are tired of this nonsense!!! We demand answers!
Thu Dec 17 03:15:24 +0000 2020
John Sears : @ODNIgov "Customers"? What is this, taco bell? DO-YOUR-FUCKING-JOBS'¼¸
Thu Dec 17 03:14:44 +0000 2020
Google down: Gmail, Docs, YouTube users hit by outage | ZDNet
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 21:53
Multiple Google services including Gmail, Docs, YouTube and Nest have gone down.
By Owen Hughes | December 14, 2020 -- 12:42 GMT (04:42 PST) | Topic: Enterprise Software
Users around the world have been unable to access Google services
Multiple Google services including Gmail have gone down across a number of countries today, Monday, December 14.
Just before 7:00am ET, users began reporting that they were unable to access Google search, YouTube, Docs or Gmail, among other services, with Europe and North America reported to be widely impacted.
Users trying to access Gmail were greeted with this message.
Image: ZDNet Google's service dashboard displayed a message for each of the services affected by the outage, which in the case of Gmail read: "We're aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Gmail."
All services have since been restored. Google later revealed that the issues were caused by an outage to its authentication platform.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson said: "Today, at 3.47AM PT Google experienced an authentication system outage for approximately 45 minutes due to an internal storage quota issue. Services requiring users to log in experienced high error rates during this period. The authentication system issue was resolved at 4:32AM PT.
"All services are now restored. We apologize to everyone affected, and we will conduct a thorough follow up review to ensure this problem cannot recur in the future."
Owners of Nest thermostats and Google Home smart speakers also reported problems during the outage, meanwhile the Google Cloud Status Dashboard highlighted issues affecting several of Google's cloud components.
The Downdetector site shows reports of the outage from Gmail customers arriving from across the world, but particularly from Europe and the US East Coast with their high concentrations of computer users.
This story is developing and will be updated as more details become available.
From just before 7:00 ET, users began reporting that they were unable to access a number of Google services, including Gmail as seen here.
Image: DownDetector
HUNTER BIDEN DELETIONS? - Pornhub Just Purged All Unverified Content From the Platform
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 02:28
Pornhub is removing all videos on its site that weren't uploaded by official content partners or members of its model program, a fundamental shift in the way one of the largest porn sites in the world operates. This means a significant portion of its videos will disappear.
"As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program," according to Pornhub's announcement. "This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have yet to institute."Pornhub said the videos will be removed pending verification and review, and the verification process will begin in the new year. Prior to this change, anyone could create an account on Pornhub and upload any video they wanted to, since the platform's launch in 2007.
This announcement comes after a series of events last week that left the porn industry shaken: On Monday, following a piece in the New York Times Opinion section that followed the lives of child sexual abuse victims whose videos were uploaded to the platform, Mastercard and Visa began an investigation into unlawful material on Pornhub.Pornhub made the policy change on Tuesday to ban all unverified users from uploading or downloading content to the site, and said it would expand its moderation efforts. But by Thursday, Mastercard and Visa announced that they'd both stop processing payments with the site altogether. Visa's announcement specifically stated it would drop all of the Mindgeek network, which includes a number of adult sites, including Redtube, Youporn, XTube, and Brazzers.
Videos that are suspended are displaying a notice that says it has been flagged for verification ''in accordance with our trust and safety policy.''
Before the content purge on Sunday evening, Pornhub hosted around 13.5 million videos according to the number displayed on the site's search bar, a large number of them from unverified accounts. On Monday morning as of 9 a.m., that search bar is showing only 4.7 million videos, meaning Pornhub removed most of the videos on its site, including the most-viewed non-verified amateur video, which had more than 29 million views. That number briefly went back up to 7.2 million, so at the moment it's unclear how many videos will be removed.Verified users, according to the site, are those who have submitted a selfie of themselves holding a piece of paper with their username and (or the Mindgeek site they're signing up for) handwritten on it. Pornhub told Motherboard that this process will be more thorough in the new year, but didn't provide specifics about what that will involve. Verification makes users eligible to join the ModelHub program which allows them to monetize their videos.
A lot of unverified videos on Pornhub aren't even porn. People uploaded pirated full-length movies to Pornhub, as well as memes and jokes. Last year, users uploaded more than 6.83 million new videos to Pornhub, according to the platform's 2019 year in review. After the Mastercard and Visa announcements, porn performers who use the platform as a source of income told Motherboard that the change would seriously damage their livelihoods. The change to banning unverified users from uploading or downloading, however, was a shift that models on the site have been asking the company to act on for years, both to prevent abuse and stop content piracy. Following the credit card companies' decision to dump Pornhub, some sex workers fear not just a blow to their income, but to the adult industry as a whole if payment processors target smaller platforms next.
Pornhub's announcement also cites a report by third-party Internet Watch Foundation, which found 118 instances of child sexual abuse material on Pornhub in the last three years, and notes that in the same period, Facebook's own transparency report found 84 million instances of child sexual abuse material on the social media platform.
"It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform," the announcement stated. "The two groups that have spearheaded the campaign against our company are the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly known as Morality in Media) and Exodus Cry/TraffickingHub. These are organizations dedicated to abolishing pornography, banning material they claim is obscene, and shutting down commercial sex work. These are the same forces that have spent 50 years demonizing Playboy, the National Endowment for the Arts, sex education, LGBTQ rights, women's rights, and even the American Library Association. Today, it happens to be Pornhub."
Motherboard investigated Traffickinghub in September, and its parent organization, the conservative anti-trafficking group Exodus Cry. Sex workers say that Exodus Cry's roots in anti-pornography and anti-sex work causes, as well as its current lobbying for Pornhub to be shut down completely, only work to put them more at risk.
While Pornhub's decision to stop unverified users from sharing videos on its site could greatly reduce abuse on its platform, it's not a guaranteed method to stop all abuse. Pornhub continued to host Girls Do Porn and even promoted it as a "Pornhub Content Partner" while it was being sued by 22 of the women for fraud, emotional distress damages, and misappropriation of their likeness, and after a Motherboard investigation showed Pornhub was being used to dox and harass the women in the videos. Pornhub only removed Girls Do Porn's official channel after Girls Do Porn's owners were charged with federal sex trafficking counts. Other Girls Do Porn videos remained on the site via unverified uploaders who slipped by Pornhub's faulty moderation.
"In today's world, all social media platforms share the responsibility to combat illegal material. Solutions must be driven by real facts and real experts," Pornhub's announcement says. "We hope we have demonstrated our dedication to leading by example."
Update: this story was updated with the number of videos Pornhub removed.
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Deputy AG to be Richard Donoghue, who served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division - the same military unit General Michael Flynn was part of." / Twitter
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 00:43 🚨 : MORE - Deputy AG to be Richard Donoghue, who served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division - the same milit'...
Mon Dec 14 23:19:20 +0000 2020
Ghislaine Maxwell and her husband offer $28.5M bail package
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 04:59
December 14, 2020 | 9:41pm | Updated December 14, 2020 | 10:46pm
Jeffrey Epstein's accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell has proposed a $28.5 million bail package '-- that represents all of her and her husband's assets '-- in a desperate bid to spring her from federal lockup, according to a new motion unsealed Monday.
The suggested package is ''exceptional in its scope and puts at risk everything that Ms. Maxwell has '-- all of her and her spouse's assets, her family's livelihood, and the financial security of her closest friends and family '-- if she were to flee, which she has no intention of doing,'' wrote her lawyer Mark Cohen.
Although her spouse's name is redacted from the documents, his identity has been widely reported as tech CEO Scott Borgerson.
The package is composed of a $22.5 million bond co-signed by her and her husband, according to the motion that was filed under seal on Dec. 4.
Five additional bonds totaling $5 million will be co-signed by seven of Maxwell's closest friends and family members whose names were redacted.
She would be released to home confinement with a GPS ankle monitor '-- although the name of the person with whom she'd reside was withheld.
The British socialite would also sign waivers of her right to contest extradition from two countries where she holds passports: France and the United Kingdom.
A team of private security guards would tail her 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure her safety after she received threats against her and her family, the filing says.
At a bail hearing shortly after her arrest in July, US District Judge Alison Nathan refused to release her to home confinement on a $5 million bond over concerns she had been evasive about her finances and was a serious flight risk.
The British heiress wouldn't disclose her husband's name to pretrial services, prosecutors had said.
In the motion, Maxwell describes living a ''quiet family life'' in an oceanfront mansion in Manchester-by-the-sea, Mass. with her spouse for four years prior to her indictment in Manhattan federal court.
She fled to a New Hampshire compound, not to evade authorities as prosecutors contended at her first bail hearing, but due to an ''intense media frenzy and threats'' that endangered the ''safety and wellbeing of herself and her family,'' wrote Cohen.
Her husband did not initially come forward to co-sign her bail package for these reasons, the filing says.
But the restrictive jail conditions, which have amounted to solitary confinement, have been unbearable, and the 58-year-old daughter of disgraced media titan Robert Maxwell has been relentlessly skewered in the press, according to her lawyers.
In the first three months she was locked up, she was pilloried in more than 6,500 national media articles.
''That exceeds the number of articles that mentioned such high-profile defendants as Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Joaquin ''El Chapo'' Guzman Loera, and Keith Raniere in the 90-day period following their arrests, combined,'' her attorney wrote.
She has denied the allegations and is eager to defend herself against a case that lacks corroboration and ''boils down to witness testimony about events that took place over 25 years ago,'' the papers say.
She's charged with recruiting and grooming girls and young women to be sexually abused by her and Epstein and lying about it.
Gmail down again? Users are reporting a variety of problems | ZDNet
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 04:14
Well, that didn't take long. Google fixed multiple problems with its services this week but less than a day later network administrators and users started seeing another rash of Gmail problems.
Google confessed, "We're aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are able to access Gmail but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behavior. We will provide an update by 12/15/20, 5:30 PM [Eastern US]detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change."
Also: Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace (formerly G Suite): Which productivity suite is best for your business?
Downdtector reported a major spike at about 3 PM Eastern. 73% of the reported problems were with receiving messages. 23% of users reported having trouble logging into Gmail.
On the internet network administrator outages list, admins reported they were seeing random bounceback issues with an average of 10% bouncebacks on their test emails. Still, other administrators reported seeing bounces when sending from GSuite to consumer Gmail.
Typical bounceback error messages say "The email account that you tried to reach does not exist."
This problem is showing up mostly in the US, but it's also causing failures in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
There have also been scattered reports of trouble with YouTube and YouTube TV, but these have not been confirmed.
Related Stories:
Google: Here's what caused our big global outageGoogle down: Gmail, Docs, YouTube users hit by outageGoogle slams on the brakes for office return, mulls 'flexible work week
Trump Voters Angry That Bookmakers Are Paying Out on Biden's Election Win
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 19:50
Some 42 days after Election Day, a major bookmaker has finally begun paying out on Joe Biden winning the 2020 presidential election'--leaving Donald Trump supporters disappointed.
The decision follows, the Electoral College members officially casting their ballots, faithfully, on Monday, giving Biden 306 votes to Trump's 232. Candidates needed 270 to win.
As a result, Betfair, which has one of the world's largest online betting exchanges, announced it would start paying out the following day.
"The Next President market rules stipulated that we would settle the market on the candidate that had the most projected Electoral College votes," the company said in a statement released on its website.
"Following the Electoral College votes being cast, that candidate is clearly Joe Biden." It added: "Thanks for your patience."
More than $300 million has been tied-up in 2020 presidential election bets, according to industry estimates.
Less than 24 hours before Election Day, Betfair said stakes worth a combined $337 million have been placed on the result. Of these, $170 million has been placed on Biden and $156 million on Trump, the firm said.
One man in the U.K. had a single bet on Biden to win that was worth about $1.29 million'--the largest of its kind'--according to the company.
Previously, the bookmaker had said it would not pay out on the election "until there is clarity around any ongoing recounts and any potential legal challenges." On November 26, Betfair was still offering odds of 11-1 on a Trump victory, with a Biden win at 1-18.
Betfair said its pay out decision "will not be resettled based on any subsequent events."
In 2016, Irish betting site PaddyPower paid out more than $1 million before Election Day to those who backed Hillary Clinton to defeat Trump
Trump backers reactThose who backed Trump to win the race have criticized the bookmaker's decision and called for it to reconsider, with one even suggesting legal action.
"My life savings has been placed on Trump to win and the votes have not all been counted, so why are you saying I've lost," one bettor asked the firm on Twitter.
Another Trump backer, wrote of Betfair: "I placed 100K'‚¬ and THEY GOT TO PAY ME IF TRUMP WINS!!!"
Suggesting a "class action law suit" against Betfair's decision, another posted: "They promised not to settle until all legal actions where settled. There is currently several legal lawsuits pending."
Last week, President Trump called out gambling oddsmakers that had believed, ahead of Election Day, that he was most likely to obtain a second term
"At 10:00 P.M. on Election Evening, we were at 97% win with the so-called 'bookies'," Trump tweeted last Wednesday.
Trump did not specify which bookmakers he was referencing. Some betting sites did note a shift in odds away from Trump towards Biden as ballot counting continued.
Is the Election Over?Major media networks called the presidential race for Biden on November 7.
However since then, Trump has refused to concede and continues to baselessly allege widespread voter fraud. Attorneys acting for Trump have also filed multiple lawsuits attempting to overturn state election results, many of which have failed.
On Monday, the country's 538 electors cast 306 votes for Biden and 232 for Trump, paving the way for Congress to certify the votes in early January.
Congress' certification of the Electoral College votes will provide the official conclusion to the 2020 presidential election.
Congressional legislators could object to states' Electoral College votes on January 6, but it is unlikely that any such attempts would succeed.
Trump allies, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have recognized Biden as the next president.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden gestures to the crowd as he delivers remarks during a drive-in rally for U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock at Pullman Yard in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 15, 2020. Bookmakers have begun to pay out on Biden winning the 2020 presidential election. Drew Angerer/Getty
Hal Turner Radio Show - Loud Arguments in US Supreme Court Chambers over Texas Lawsuit - COURT INTIMIDATED
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:01
Loud Arguments in US Supreme Court Chambers over Texas Lawsuit - COURT INTIMIDATED
THIS ARTICLE WAS PREVIOUSLY LOCKED AND FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY. IT HAS BEEN UNLOCKED AT THE PERSONAL REQUEST OF STEVE QUAYLE -- From a source deep inside the US Supreme Court as they discussed the pending Texas lawsuit against Pennsylvania et. al. . . .
"Hal, as you know I am a clerk for one of the Justices on SCOTUS. Today was like nothing we have ever seen. The justices are arguing loudly behind closed doors.The Justices met in a closed and sealed room, as is standard.
Usually it is very calm, however today we could hear screaming all the way down the hall.
They met in person, because they didn't trust telephonic meeting as secure.
Chief Justice Roberts was screaming
"Are you going to be responsible for the rioting if we hear this case?"
"Don't tell me about Bush v. Gore, we weren't dealing with riots then"
"You are forgetting what your role here is Neil, and I don't want to hear from the two junior justices anymore. I will tell you how you will vote."
Justice Clarence Thomas says "This is the end of Democracy, John."
When they left the room, Roberts, the Libs and Kavanugh had big smiles. Alito and Thomas were visibly upset. ACB and Gorsuch didn't seem fazed at all."
Clearly Chief Justice Roberts is intimidated by the ANTIFA/Left-wing rioting. Well, one has to wonder if maybe he can be intimidated more by some actions of the right wing? (Corrections thanks to Becky @
I'm not going to bother doing that or anything else, and neither should any of you, but I'm just wondering, is all.
NOTE: Two weeks ago, the ad company named TABOOLA severed its 6 year relationship with me because they didn't like the content of this site. Those ads were the revenue I used to feed my family. I am in serious need of public support. If you can, please make a donation using the yellow DONATE button above, and click an ad below which will generate two or three cents ad revenue to help defer data transfer costs to bring this story to you.
Dude named Ben analyzes
Let's start with what is public.
Dominion voting systems used Orion.
During the window of compromise it appears 29 out of the 30 some odd States that used Dominion we're running this version. The government comes out with details of the compromise and detailed iocs.
Every company in America scrambles looking for iocs.
Not so public.
No one finds any. When I say no one finds any everyone in the industry I've talked to and I'm sure this will change since it's so public but day one no one had an exploited server... We find lots of servers with the sabotaged version. But no indications that it was used against us.
Michigan Republicans ask Supreme Court to view findings from Dominion voting machines forensic audit
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:42
A group of Republicans want the Supreme Court to view findings from a forensic audit of Dominion Voting Systems equipment in Antrim County, Michigan, that has been touted by President Trump's legal team.
After an unfavorable ruling from a district court judge, the attorneys representing the group, including Sidney Powell, asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to review their case and signaled on Friday that they would seek an emergency appeal to the high court in their bid to overturn the Michigan election results. They followed up with a letter on Sunday asking to file new evidence under seal, including the audit findings from a separate lawsuit in Antrim County, according to Detroit News.
"This evidence is crucial to a just resolution of the cases pending before this court," the attorneys wrote to the Supreme Court. "The petitioners stand ready to provide the evidence to the court under the procedures it deems appropriate."
The attorneys, who represent three local GOP officials and three people who would have been Trump electors, said the submission must remain out of the public view "primarily because of the protective order under which it was obtained." A petition obtained by Detroit News that had not appeared on the Supreme Court docket as of Saturday evening said the Republicans want to decertify the results of the election or "certify the results of the general election for office of the president in favor of President Donald Trump" due to claims about voter fraud.
Lawyers for the City of Detroit arguing against their case have called the lawsuit "little more than fevered rantings of conspiracy theorists built on the work of other conspiracy theorists." The district judge who ruled against the Republicans last week, said the lawsuit aimed to "ignore the will of millions of voters."
Powell, a former federal prosecutor involved in the Michael Flynn case who has had little success in her election lawsuits, and other Trump allies claim Dominion machines allowed for votes to be switched to President-elect Joe Biden. Dominion Voting Systems, whose machines were used in Antrim and in other places across the country, has vociferously denied the allegations about the company being involved in a massive voter fraud scheme, billing them as being part of a "disinformation" effort.
The Antrim lawsuit is a challenge against a local marijuana retailer proposal that passed by a slim margin following a retabulation not factoring in three damaged ballots. But Trump's legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, drew attention to it because of the Dominion hardware forensic audit allowed by a judge and a snafu weeks earlier when votes were found to be counted incorrectly in unofficial results in the Republican-leaning county. Officials determined that human error Antrim County clerk was to blame, in particular a failure to update software, that resulted in 6,000 votes erroneously being tabulated for Biden rather than Trump.
Since the forensic audit, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson warned of an effort to spread "false information designed to erode the public's confidence in the election" and Michigan Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer ruled in favor of the state's motion to allow Benson to intervene in the case. A hearing about whether to lift the protective order on the forensic audit's findings is expected on Monday, the same day Michigan's presidential electors are set to convene in Lansing.
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a Texas challenge to Biden's wins in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Jill Biden supporters bash 'misogynistic' Wall Street Journal op-ed about her doctorate - The Washington Post
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 13:58
Jill Biden gestures as she speaks to reporters while campaigning for her husband, Joe Biden, during a voting poll meet and greet on Nov. 3 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Chris O'Meara/AP)
The Wall Street Journal this weekend published an op-ed that opened by addressing incoming first lady Jill Biden as ''kiddo,'' and argued she should drop the honorific ''Dr.'' from her name because she's not a medical doctor.
The piece swiftly went viral, with critics bashing it as sexist and Northwestern University distancing the school from the professor emeritus who penned it. Dozens of Biden supporters, academics and activists hurled barbs at the newspaper's opinion section on Saturday and Sunday with one Journal news reporter calling the piece ''disgusting.''
The Wall Street Journal column about Jill Biden is worse than you thought
''The @WSJ should be embarrassed to print the disgusting and sexist attack on @DrBiden running on the @WSJopinion page,'' Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for Biden, said Saturday on Twitter. ''If you had any respect for women at all you would remove this repugnant display of chauvinism from your paper and apologize to her.''
On Sunday, though, Paul A. Gigot, the editorial page editor and vice president of the Wall Street Journal, doubled down on the piece, calling the attacks a bad faith example of ''cancel culture.''
''Why go to such lengths to highlight a single op-ed on a relatively minor issue?'' he wrote in a letter to readers. ''My guess is that the Biden team concluded it was a chance to use the big gun of identity politics to send a message to critics as it prepares to take power. There's nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism.''
The rancorous debate this weekend echoed a much longer-running conversation about Biden's use of an honorific, a discussion ongoing since she became second lady in 2009, two years after the community college professor earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware.
Joseph Epstein, who wrote the op-ed, taught English at Northwestern as an adjunct lecturer for three decades, but stopped teaching in 2003. He earned a bachelor of arts in absentia from the University of Chicago, and once received an honorary doctorate, but has no higher academic credentials.
He argued that it is misleading for Biden to use the doctor title, at least while her husband is in the White House, because it is considered ''bush league'' in academic circles for nonmedical doctors to claim the honorific. Epstein also argued that an attachment to the title is silly because once-prestigious doctoral degrees have lost their value because of ''the erosion of seriousness and the relaxation of standards'' at universities, in part because of an abundance of honorary doctorates like the one Epstein received.
Biden responded to the op-ed without addressing it directly on Sunday.
''Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished,'' she said in a tweet.
Many people blasting the piece argued that the same standard would never be applied to a man in Biden's position, and even listed men who have claimed it without medical credentials in the past.
Doug Emhoff, who will become the nation's first man married to a vice president when Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) takes office next month, made that case.
''This story would never have been written about a man,'' he said on Twitter.
Some other critics of the piece said the real problem wasn't the content of the argument but the tone. Epstein compared Biden's doctoral credentials to an honorary degree that requires no academic work and said her doctorate thesis had an ''unpromising'' title. He also suggested that his choice to eschew the title, even though he taught English courses at Northwestern for three decades with no more than a bachelor's degree, should set an example for Biden.
On Saturday, Northwestern distanced itself from Epstein's commentary, which it called ''misogynistic'' in a statement. The college's English department also denounced his op-ed.
''The Department is aware that a former adjunct lecturer who has not taught here in nearly 20 years has published an opinion piece that casts unmerited aspersion on Dr. Jill Biden's rightful public claiming of her doctoral credentials and expertise,'' the department said in a statement. ''The Department rejects this opinion as well as the diminishment of anyone's duly-earned degrees in any field, from any university.''
Following the outcry, as the Wall Street Journal's opinion section has done many times this year, the editorial page editor staunchly defended the op-ed on Sunday.
''If you disagree with Mr. Epstein, fair enough,'' Gigot wrote. ''Write a letter or shout your objections on Twitter. But these pages aren't going to stop publishing provocative essays merely because they offend the new administration or the political censors in the media and academe.''
Although debate over the op-ed reached a fever pitch this weekend, discussions about whether Biden should claim a ''Dr.'' before her name are far from new.
In 2009, as Biden became the second lady, the Los Angeles Times noted that White House announcements referred to her as ''Dr. Jill Biden,'' and spoke with journalism experts about whether news publications should use the title. (The Washington Post does not use the honorific for anyone, including those with a doctor of medicine.)
Some critics have long argued that it is ''pompous'' for academics to insist on the title after earning PhDs or other doctorate-level degrees. Others have suggested ''Dr.'' has become too liberally applied to people with honorary doctorates.
But even some people who scoff at nonmedical doctors who don the honorific have noted that a different standard seems to apply to men who claim it largely without fuss and women, like Biden, who are mocked for the same choice.
''Society seems to have allowed for these designations for men, without debate or complaint,'' Gina Barreca, a feminist scholar who holds a PhD in English literature but does not go by ''Dr.,'' told The Post in April, when Biden's title was being debated again as Joe Biden campaigned for president. She then listed several men who used ''Dr.'' despite lacking a medical degree, including Henry Kissinger and Martin Luther King Jr.
That is not to say no man has ever been criticized for deploying the title without a medical degree. Celebrity psychologist Phil McGraw, more commonly known as Dr. Phil, has been scrutinized for deploying the title to sell his daytime TV show and lend legitimacy to his nonmedical opinions on health. Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to President Trump, has also attempted to adopt the title, citing his PhD in political science from Corvinus University of Budapest, but few media outlets have complied with his requests.
Throughout the weekend, many women with their own doctoral degrees took to social media to praise Biden, with many adding ''Dr.'' to their Twitter handles.
''I'm disappointed by the unvarnished sexism of the @WSJ op-ed that minimizes @DrBiden's academic accomplishments,'' Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) said on Twitter. Adams has her own PhD in art education/multicultural education from Ohio State University.
''I doubt a successful man with a doctorate and two masters degrees would be treated with the same level of condescension,'' she said. She signed her message: ''Yours truly, Dr. Alma S. Adams.''
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Accused of Sexual Harassment by Ex-Aide - WSJ
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:16
Spokeswoman for governor denies allegations: 'There is simply no truth to these claims.'
Updated Dec. 13, 2020 9:27 pm ETA former economic-development aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and current candidate for Manhattan borough president accused the Democratic governor Sunday of sexually harassing her while she worked for the state.
Lindsey Boylan, 36 years old, said in posts on Twitter that Mr. Cuomo ''harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched. I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation?''
A former economic-development aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and current candidate for Manhattan borough president accused the Democratic governor Sunday of sexually harassing her while she worked for the state.
Lindsey Boylan, 36 years old, said in posts on Twitter that Mr. Cuomo ''harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched. I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation?''
Ms. Boylan didn't return messages asking her to elaborate on her Twitter posts. She later tweeted that she wouldn't be talking to reporters about the matter.
Caitlin Girouard, a spokeswoman for the governor, denied the allegations.
''There is simply no truth to these claims,'' she said.
A state official said Ms. Boylan didn't file any formal complaints against the governor while she was a state employee.
Ms. Boylan worked at the state's economic-development authority, Empire State Development, from 2015 to 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile. She then moved into the Executive Chamber'--Mr. Cuomo's dedicated staff'--and served from March 2018 to October 2018.
Mr. Cuomo's national profile has increased based on his management of the coronavirus pandemic in New York. He is being considered for appointment as U.S. attorney general by President-elect Joe Biden, people familiar with the matter have said.
In the midst of the #MeToo movement, Mr. Cuomo signed legislation in 2018 that, among other things, extended state workplace harassment protections to contractors, banned mandatory arbitration for harassment victims and required private employers to develop anti-harassment policies and conduct annual training.
In a Democratic primary challenge, the actress Cynthia Nixon accused Mr. Cuomo that year of being slow to act on complaints of sexual harassment against allies. Ms. Nixon pointed to Sam Hoyt, a former state Assembly member whom Mr. Cuomo hired as an economic-development adviser.
A former state employee, Lisa Marie Cater, said in a 2017 lawsuit that she was forcefully kissed and groped by Mr. Hoyt, who helped her get a job at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Ms. Cater said in the lawsuit that Mr. Cuomo and his advisers had ignored her complaints.
A lawyer for the governor said that Ms. Cater's complaints about Mr. Hoyt were investigated thoroughly. Her legal claims against both Messrs. Cuomo and Hoyt were dismissed in 2019. It wasn't clear whether Mr. Hoyt left state government as a result of the investigation. Mr. Hoyt and his lawyer previously said Mr. Hoyt and Ms. Cater had a consensual romantic relationship.
Mr. Cuomo's campaign responded to Ms. Nixon at the time by pointing to his legislative record.
After leaving state employment, Ms. Boylan mounted an unsuccessful Democratic primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler over his initial reluctance to impeach President Trump. She declared her candidacy for borough president in November.
Write to Jimmy Vielkind at
So Jeffrey Toobin Had a Zoom Incident. What Now? - The New York Times
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 13:03
Until Jeffrey Toobin's fateful appointment with Zoom on Oct. 15, his quarantine was going better than most people's.
In August, his eighth book, ''True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump,'' about Robert Mueller's inquiry into election meddling, was published '-- getting positive reviews and a brief berth on the New York Times best-seller list. His third, about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, is being filmed by Ryan Murphy for a limited series on FX.
And over on HBO, he was about to appear as himself on the whodunit ''The Undoing,'' delivering commentary on the murder trial that shapes the story's arc.
Then in a matter of minutes, Mr. Toobin, 60, committed the act that would make him subject, not observer, of scandal, investigation and commentary. While working on a podcast about the presidential election for WNYC and The New Yorker with some of the magazine's other well-known journalists, including Jane Mayer and Masha Gessen, he was seen lowering and raising his computer camera, exposing and touching his penis, and motioning an air kiss to someone other than his colleagues, Mx. Gessen said. The magazine suspended Mr. Toobin that day and executives began an investigation.
''It wasn't a full-out sexual act, but it was much more than a second,'' Mx. Gessen said. ''I was really, truly shocked.''
Four days later, Vice broke the news about the incident. New York Public Radio, the parent organization of WNYC, which in 2017 fired the broadcasters Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz after accusations of inappropriate behavior, informed employees and board members in an email that Mr. Toobin, a frequent contributor, was banned ''indefinitely'' from its airwaves and podcasts.
And the gavel of public opinion came banging down. Jimmy Fallon made fun of Mr. Toobin on ''The Tonight Show.'' Donald J. Trump Jr., whom the journalist had criticized, was among those gleefully heckling him on Twitter. So was O.J. Simpson, whose murder trial Mr. Toobin made his name covering. (''At least Pee Wee Herman was in a X-rated movie theater,'' Mr. Simpson said in a video.)
Now that name was a punchline, a headline, a hashtag (#MeToobin) '-- and a point of debate. For as many people were excoriating Mr. Toobin for lewd and inappropriate behavior in a virtual workplace, others were thinking, or even saying, ''there but for the grace of God go I,'' acutely conscious of all the private or potentially embarrassing moments they'd stolen in this odd new zone where we now meet our colleagues.
The fragile boundary between screen and reality was showcased on, of all places, the cover of the Dec. 7 New Yorker, which features a woman at her computer, crisply attired above the waist; in casual disarray below.
By the time this issue was published, Mr. Toobin's contract with the magazine had been canceled, and he had requested a leave of absence from CNN, where he is chief legal analyst, and had sometimes appeared multiple times a day. When the episode of ''The Undoing'' that featured him aired in late November, his image had been edited out, leaving just the audio of his fictional commentary.
His once widely heard public voice was silent throughout the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and during the election. He also declined to comment for this article.
Image Mr. Toobin and his wife, Amy McIntosh, at a Netflix premiere in 2017. Credit... Mike Coppola/Getty Images 'He's Complicated'One of Mr. Toobin's favorite books is ''The Great Gatsby.'' He has referred to its narrator, Nick Carraway, in The New Yorker, in articles written for other publications and on CNN. For a time, he attached the name to a personal Gmail account. Carraway is someone ''neither all good nor all bad, not all right or all wrong, part of the story but also outside of it,'' Mr. Toobin said in ''By the Book'' column in The New York Times in 2016. ''He's complicated.''
Mr. Toobin's path to journalism at least, was simpler than Carraway's to bond trading. He grew up on the Upper West Side and attended the private school Columbia Grammar & Preparatory. His father, Jerome Toobin, was the news director at Channel 13, but the family star was Jeffrey's mother, Marlene Sanders, a correspondent for ABC and CBS News who was among the first female journalists on the ground in Vietnam.
In a 2015 interview with The Times after her death, Mr. Toobin said he was raised knowing women could be both mothers and professionals: ''This was her life. She had a job and she traveled and she had a son she loved.''
She actually had two sons. Mr. Toobin's younger brother, Mark, was born in 1967 with Down syndrome and lived away from the family, most recently in a group home in Connecticut. Mark was not mentioned in Ms. Sanders's Times obituary.
At Harvard, Jeffrey Toobin majored in history and literature, graduating in 1982; he served as editorial chairman for The Crimson newspaper and met his future wife, Amy McIntosh.
Image David Remnick and Mr. Toobin, longtime colleagues and friends, at an Author's Guild event in 2010. Credit... Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan, via Getty Images He went on to Harvard Law School, Ms. McIntosh to Harvard Business School. They married in 1986. An assistant secretary of education in the Obama administration, she now consults. They have two adult children, Ellen, and Adam. Mr. Toobin also has a younger son, Rory, with Casey Greenfield, a lawyer.
In Mr. Toobin's early career he clerked for a federal judge, served as an associate counsel during the Iran Contra proceedings and worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. In 1991, he published his first book, ''Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer's First Case, the United States v. Oliver North,'' a Carraway-like personal account of his background role in someone else's story.
In Washington, he'd befriended a young reporter named David Remnick, who facilitated his introduction to Tina Brown, the editor of a splashy new iteration of The New Yorker. ''I really hired him on impulse, thinking I would take a risk on him,'' she said. Mr. Toobin started at Talk of the Town, then became a star while covering the Simpson murder trial (resulting in the best-selling book ''The Run of His Life,'' also an FX series). ''He could combine news sense with gravitas and he broke news again and again,'' Ms. Brown said.
In the office, Mr. Toobin sat down the hall from Mr. Remnick, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book ''Lenin's Tomb,'' in 1994, and the two men became closer. Named Ms. Brown's successor four years later, Mr. Remnick led the magazine out of a period of red ink and retained its prestige even as sister titles have receded, floundered or folded. The New Yorker has overseen coverage central to the national discourse around sexual misconduct.
Still, as Cond(C) Nast, the publisher of The New Yorker, has, along with other media organizations, faced criticism of elitism and tardiness around diversity, there is little room for error from even its veteran VIPs.
In June, the editor of Bon App(C)tit, Adam Rapoport, stepped down after a picture of him in brownface surfaced on Instagram, amid complaints from staff members that people of color were not compensated or treated fairly. Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue (and artistic director of Cond(C) Nast), has apologized for long marginalizing people of color in its pages. In the last few years, writers started receiving contracts that contained morality clauses that allowed termination for ''public disrepute, contempt, complaints or scandal.''
And the Zoom meeting was not the first time Mr. Toobin has surprised someone in the business with his sexual forwardness. The magazine journalist Lisa DePaulo said that in 2003 Mr. Toobin asked her out for New Year's Eve, telling her he'd separated from Ms. McIntosh. A few days after accepting, she returned home to a phone message from Mr. Toobin in which, she said, he described in vulgar terms a sex act he planned on enacting with her.
''I kept the message and played it for all my friends,'' she said. (One of whom corroborated her story in an interview.) Mr. Toobin later called to confirm she'd gotten his message '-- ''usually someone takes me to dinner first,'' she told him '-- and told her he was back together with his wife.
''I didn't think he was a sexual predator,'' Ms. DePaulo said. ''I just thought he was a nice guy who was pervy. It was just like, 'Jeffrey? Ick!'
Mr. Toobin had followed his mother to ABC News, where he served as a legal analyst before moving to CNN in 2002. As his public profile grew, his private life attracted media attention. In 2009 and 2010, Rush & Molloy, a gossip column in The New York Daily News, reported on an extramarital affair he'd started with Ms. Greenfield, then a fact checker at Glamour, another Cond(C) Nast publication. She became pregnant in 2008.
After her son, Rory, was born in 2009, Ms. Greenfield, who went on to work in family law, sued Mr. Toobin, 13 years her senior, over child support. She declined to comment for this article.
Mr. Toobin had no contact with the new baby ''by his choice,'' according to a court document, until he was nine months old. Mr. Toobin now sees Rory, who was an usher at Ellen's wedding in 2018, a few times a month.
The affair and its resolution did not diminish Mr. Toobin's professional standing, colleagues say, nor the range of his reporting. He visited sex clubs with the political consultant Roger Stone for a 2008 profile, explored the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and reported on Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media (which had written, with snark and glee, about Mr. Toobin's entanglement with Ms. Greenfield).
But masturbation at a remotely conducted work meeting was a new order of business.
Besides inviting mockery of a magazine whose dignity and restraint has been part of its brand since the William Shawn years, it presented an urgent, if very 2020 human resources issue. ''I want to assure everyone that we take workplace matters seriously,'' Stan Duncan, the chief people officer of Cond(C) Nast, wrote in a Nov. 11 email sent to the staff of the magazine, announcing that Mr. Toobin would no longer be associated with it. ''We are committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels respected and upholds our standards of conduct.''
A spokesman for Cond(C) Nast declined to comment, as did Mr. Remnick. He and Mr. Toobin have not spoken since the day of the Zoom transgression.
Image Casey Greenfield in 2012. Credit... Todd Heisler/The New York Times 'An Inappropriately Long Lunch Break'It's unclear if, when or how Mr. Toobin will return to public life. He is on leave from CNN, whose executives are unwilling to discuss his future. (A spokeswoman confirmed that he remains the network's chief legal analyst but would not comment further.) Three CNN employees say that network president, Jeff Zucker, is a big fan of Mr. Toobin's and a believer in second chances. But Mr. Zucker may be leaving CNN in 2021, making his opinion perhaps irrelevant.
Besides the FX series, Mr. Toobin has several Hollywood projects in development; it is unclear how, if at all, his fall from grace might affect these. (A film version of ''American Heiress,'' Mr. Toobin's book about Patty Hearst, was to star Elle Fanning but was canceled by 20th Century Fox Film in 2018.) The Gawker article has been optioned by Anonymous Content, the production and management company. ''The Nine,'' his best-selling 2007 book about the Supreme Court, is being developed for Warner Bros. by a group led by Rob Reiner. An adaptation of ''True Crimes and Misdemeanors'' is also in the works.
A representative for Doubleday, Mr. Toobin's current publisher, said that his contract had been fulfilled with that most recent title, leaving him in limbo there too. But judging from the reaction to and discussion of the now-infamous Zoom call, there would likely be a market for his own writing about it.
Several of Mr. Toobin's longtime associates feel he was unfairly punished. ''You are a fine person and a terrific journalist and did nothing here to hurt anyone outside of yourself and your family,'' Jonathan Alter, a friend of Mr. Toobin's for 40 years, tweeted after Mr. Toobin announced his exit from The New Yorker.
''I don't like Twitter mobs, and I don't like bullies from the left or the right taking part in cancel culture,'' Mr. Alter said later by phone. ''I have trouble with the conflation of offenses. I don't put Al Franken in the same category as Harvey Weinstein.''
Ms. Brown, who worked with Mr. Weinstein for years after she left The New Yorker, agreed. ''I think 27 years of superb reporting and commitment to The New Yorker should have been weighed against an incident that horribly embarrassed the magazine but mostly embarrassed himself,'' she said.
Malcolm Gladwell, one of the magazine's best known contributors, said in an interview: ''I read the Cond(C) Nast news release, and I was puzzled because I couldn't find any intellectual justification for what they were doing. They just assumed he had done something terrible, but never told us what the terrible thing was. And my only feeling '-- the only way I could explain it '-- was that Cond(C) Nast had taken an unexpected turn toward traditional Catholic teaching.'' (Mr. Gladwell then took out his Bible and read to a reporter an allegory from Genesis 38 in which God strikes down a man for succumbing to the sin of self-gratification.)
Even Mx. Gessen, who initially found the incident ''traumatic,'' said they now feel sympathy for Mr. Toobin. ''I think it's tragic that a guy would get fired for really just doing something really stupid,'' they said. ''It is the Zoom equivalent of taking an inappropriately long lunch break, having sex during it and getting stumbled upon.''
But Mr. Toobin may not want anyone's pity. Amid the 2018 Supreme Court confirmation process for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the journalist scoffed on CNN at Republicans who said white men, as a demographic, were being mistreated. ''Garbage,'' Mr. Toobin said. ''All this whining about the poor plight of white men is ridiculous.''
Alain Delaqu(C)ri¨re contributed research.
Vaccines and such
AmericanMedicalAssociation QUIETLY REVERSED Position On #Hydroxychloroquine In LATE Oct. They RESCINDED THEIR REQUEST THAT DOCTORS STOP PRESCRIBING #HCQ! Now Admit Benefits F
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 03:55
John Basham 🇺🇲 : REPORT: @realDonaldTrump WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG!#AmericanMedicalAssociation QUIETLY REVERSED Position On'...
Wed Dec 16 02:25:24 +0000 2020
thisisthebreath: "@adam @Johncdvorak AMA quietly reverses stance '..." - No Agenda Social
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 13:08
@ adam @ Johncdvorak
AMA quietly reverses stance on HCQ now that election is over. (pg 18). blood all over their hands
https://www. -10/nov20-handbook-addendum.pdf
Vice President Mike Pence to Publicly Receive COVID-19 Vaccine to Build Confidence Among Americans | The White House
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 03:59
All NewsOn Friday, December 18th, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will publicly receive a COVID-19 vaccine to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people. Vice President Pence and Second Lady Pence will be joined by Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who will also receive the vaccine. This event will take place at the White House. Additional details about the Vice President's event are forthcoming.
U.S. healthcare workers suffer allergic reactions to Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 shot - NYT (NYSE:PFE) | Seeking Alpha
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 11:55
Two healthcare workers in Alaska has had a severe allergic reaction to Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech's (NASDAQ:BNTX) COVID-19 vaccine, the New York Times reported, but experts say that the vaccine is still safe for the general public.
The first worker, a middle-aged woman, with no history of allergies experienced anaphylactic reaction just 10 minutes after receiving a shot at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.
She experienced a rash over her face and torso, shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate. The symptoms resolved after being administered with allergy treatment epinephrine and steroids. The patient was still in hospital being monitored on Wednesday.
The second worker received his shot on Wednesday and developed eye puffiness, lightheadedness and a scratchy throat 10 minutes after the injection, the hospital said in a statement.
He was treated with epinephrine, Pepcid and Benadryl and the worker was back to normal within an hour and released.
The episode follows reports of a handful of similar reactions in the U.K., where health officials advised that anyone with a history of severe allergies shouldn't take the Pfizer vaccine.
Pfizer is coordinating with local officials, will closely monitor all reports suggesting serious allergic reactions and will update labeling language if needed, spokeswoman Jerica Pitts said in a statement.
Storage of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is also challenging as it must be kept at ultracold temperatures in specialized freezers and containers.
Four delivery trays of the shot were pulled back from delivery to California and Alabama this week and sent back to the company because they were colder than anticipated, according to Gustave Perna, chief operations officer of Operation Warp Speed.
Each of the trays can likely be used to vaccinate 975 people. Pfizer's formula needs to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, equivalent to -94 degrees Fahrenheit.
U.S. officials also said that Pfizer would deliver about 900,000 fewer doses next week than the 2.9M available this week when the first shots shipped.
Administration of the vaccine began Monday in the U.S., following emergency-use authorization last week.
First Glitches Emerge In COVID-Vax Rollout; Alaska Health Worker Suffers 'Serious Allergic Reaction' | ZeroHedge
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:19
A healthcare worker in Alaska was hospitalized on Tuesday with a 'serious allergic reaction' after receiving Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, according to the New York Times.
The person, who had no known drug allergies, was still in the hospital on Wednesday morning under observation, according to the report. It is unknown whether they suffer from any other types of allergies. The Alaska resident's reaction was reportedly similar to anaphylactic reactions two heal workers in Britain experience after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last week - both of whom have recovered. Of note, they both had a history of severe allergies. One, a 49-year-old woman, is allergic to eggs (which Pfizer says are not in their vaccine). The other, a 40-year-old woman is allergic to several different medications. Both routinely carry EpiPenn-like devices in case of reactions.
After the workers in Britain fell ill, authorities there initially warned against giving the vaccines to anyone with a history of severe allergic reactions. They later clarified their concerns, changing the wording from ''severe allergic reactions'' to specify that the vaccine should not be given to anyone who has ever had an anaphylactic reaction to a food, medicine or vaccine. That type of reaction to a vaccine is ''very rare,'' they said. -NYT
No serious adverse effects were reported during Pfizer's US trial involving over 40,000 participants, aside from aches, fevers and other 'minor' side effects.
Headaches all around
As Bloomberg notes, the first hiccups in the distribution of Pfizer's vaccine are just beginning - including a holdup on the delivery of 3,900 shots to two states, and the announcement that roughly 900,000 fewer doses would be delivered next week than were shipped this week.
Four delivery trays of the Pfizer-BioNTech SE vaccine were pulled back from delivery to California and Alabama this week and sent back to the company because they were colder than anticipated, according to Gustave Perna, the army general who serves as Operation Warp Speed's chief operations officer.
Each of the trays can likely be used to vaccinate 975 people. Pfizer has said its formula needs to be stored at 70 degrees below zero Celsius, the equivalent of negative 94 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. These trays were found to be much colder, according to Perna. -Bloomberg
"We were taking no chances," said Perna during a Wednesday news briefing.
The Pfizer doses are shipped in temperature-controlled containers developed by company engineers, each of which are equipped with GPS tracking "for continuous, real-time location and temperature monitoring," per the company.
Meanwhile, roughly 2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will ship next week in the US, which is 900K less than the 2.9 million doses available this week. Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar acknowledge the production hiccups, saying "As you know, they ended up coming short by half of what they thought they'd be able to produce and what they'd announced they'd be able to produce" in 2020.
"They're right now producing at their maximum capacity to deliver on the 100 million that is in the first tranche of the contract with us, and we're providing manufacturing support," Azar added.
And on Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that shipments of hundreds of thousands of doses were held up due to "a production issue with Pfizer."
The company pushed back, with spokeswoman Amy Rose saying that the company "has not had any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed," adding "We are continuing to dispatch our orders to the locations specified by the U.S. government."
Founder of vaccine safety website, ex-pharma insider found dead | News | LifeSite
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:21
December 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) '-- Brandy Vaughan, a former sales executive for the pharmaceutical company Merck and the founder of, a website dedicated to educating people on the risks associated with vaccines, was apparently found dead by her nine-year-old son on December 8.
According to Children's Health Defense, Vaughan is reported to have died of ''gallbladder complications,'' although the source of the report has not been cited, nor has it shared the specific cause of the complications (such as a gallbladder rupture).
Soon after learning of her death, a friend of Vaughn's, Erin Elizabeth, shared screenshots of a Facebook post Vaughan had written in December of 2019, in which she assured readers that she was not suicidal and did not take any drugs that would cause her to die suddenly.
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''The post I wish I didn't have to write.... But given certain tragedies over the last couple of years, I feel it's absolutely necessary to post these ten facts'... please screenshot this for the record,'' wrote Vaughan.
''I have a huge mission in this life. Even when they make it very difficult and scary, I would NEVER take my own life. Period,'' she continued.
Referring to her son, Vaughan wrote, ''Bastien means everything to me and I would NEVER leave him. Period. She added that she hadn't taken pharmaceuticals for ten years. ''In other words, I'm not on anything that could kill me unexpectedly or suddenly,'' she wrote.
''If something were to happen to me, it's foul play and you know exactly who and why '-- given my work and mission in this life,'' she continued.
Vaccine safety has come under scrutiny during the coronavirus outbreak, with pro-lifers expressing concern about the connection of vaccines to abortion, among other concerns.
Elizabeth also shared a screenshot of a text she received from Vaughan in which she expressed worry about being poisoned and apparently referenced the death of Dr. Ben Johnson, M.D., D.O., NMD in January of 2019.
''So odd! I worry sometimes about poisoning. Was Dr. Ben ever married? Lived alone? Sorry for all the questions. I'm just so upset about this, especially since he wasn't even taking on the vaccine issue but mammograms, which one would think was a 'safer' issue.''
Vaughan, who used to work as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Merck, explained how she got started as an activist exposing the dangers of vaccines and pharmaceutical industry in a video shared in 2015. She begins by revealing that she used to represent Merck's drug Vioxx.
''When it came out that Merck had falsified safety data and Vioxx actually had twice the increase in heart attacks and strokes [for] people taking it, it really made me realize that there was a lot of corruption behind the scenes and that just because a drug is on the market doesn't mean it's safe,'' Vaughan said in the video.
She explained how later, during a wellness visit for her son, a doctor ''stormed out of the room'' when she asked to see a vaccine insert.
''That was a huge red flag for me, knowing what I knew from being a pharmaceutical sales rep before. And I started to do my research into vaccines and the ingredients and the flawed safety data.''
Part of what she discovered is that aluminum is a major adjuvant in vaccines, which was another big ''red flag'' for her. When her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, the doctor found high levels of aluminum in her tissues. He told her that the aluminum found in traditional deodorant was linked to breast cancer.
''The more I dug into this, what I realized was vaccines are not for public health. It's really about pharmaceutical company profit. It's basically playing Russian Roulette with our children,'' continued Vaughan.
''I really got motivated to get more into this fight when I realized the mandatory vaccination bills that were sweeping the country[.]''
Vaughan went on to found Learn The Risk, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, ''in response to one of the nation's first mandatory vaccination for education laws '-- SB277 in California,'' according to her website. SB277, which was signed into law in 2015, ''barred parents from citing their personal beliefs as a reason for not vaccinating their children'' for school.
It was when Vaughan returned from a rally protesting SB277 in Sacramento that she first began to experience acts of intimidation, she explained in a video shared in 2015.
She described how she came home from Sacramento to find a key to her house, which she had previously hidden in her bushes, out on her doorstep. ''That day I had my locks changed and I installed a $3,000 alarm system two days later,'' said Vaughan.
She was later informed by her alarm company that someone had set off her alarm at 3:45 in the morning and immediately disarmed it with the master code, which Vaughan said no one had but her. Whoever entered proceeded to walk down her hallway, setting off the monitor sensor, and opened and shut her dining room window before leaving the house at 3:49 a.m.
''After the incident I talked to some security experts who have actually done intimidation for corporations, and they said, they were probably tapping your place.''
Vaughan described how only days later, she found her computer moved from its hiding place above her microwave to the middle of her kitchen floor. After leaving town for a couple of weeks, she returned with a friend to find her ladder, which she had kept in her garage, just outside a bedroom window of her house '-- the only window with the blinds kept open. A neighbor informed her that she hadn't seen the ladder there the day before.
Only days after that, she found a duck figurine on one of her outdoor tables. ''When I talked to the security experts, I said, I don't understand the duck. And then it came to me that I had been on my phone having a lot of conversations [with] people asking me, are you staying at your house? What are you going to do? And I use the term repeatedly: I'm not staying at my house. I feel like a sitting duck, because they can get in at any time.''
''So that was actually quite disturbing to come home to. It's just a clear message that, again, they are watching me.''
''It's quite scary. After all these intimidation tactics it's very hard to feel safe and secure, but I am not gonna go away '-- I mean I'm not gonna be silenced, because these are important issues, and we need to expose what's really going on behind the mandatory vaccination bills.''
''I hope that we can continue this fight. We may have lost the battle but we still have a war to win,'' Vaughan concluded.
In her 2019 Facebook post, Vaughan wrote, ''If something were to happen to me, I have arranged for a close group of my friends to start a GoFundMe to hire a team of private investigators to figure out all the details.''
''There have been many on this mission or a similar one that have been killed and it's time this b------- stopped. The darkness cannot win.''
LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page.'¯ View it here.
Freedom Pass
Vaccinated? Show Us Your App - The New York Times
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:37
Covid-19 health pass apps could help reopen businesses and restore the economy. They could also unfairly exclude people from travel and workplaces.
Peter Vlitas, a travel industry executive, holding up the health passport app CommonPass. United and other airlines are preparing to use the app to confirm that passengers have negative coronavirus results. Credit... The Commons Project Foundation Dec. 13, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET Among all the tools that health agencies have developed over the years to fight epidemics, at least one has remained a constant for more than a century: paper vaccination certificates.
In the 1880s, in response to smallpox outbreaks, some public schools began requiring students and teachers to show vaccination cards. In the 1960s, amid yellow fever epidemics, the World Health Organization introduced an international travel document, known informally as the yellow card. Even now, travelers from certain regions are required to show a version of the card at airports.
But now, just as the United States is preparing to distribute the first vaccines for the virus, the entry ticket to the nation's reopening is set to come largely in the form of a digital health credential.
In the coming weeks, major airlines including United, JetBlue and Lufthansa plan to introduce a health passport app, called CommonPass, that aims to verify passengers' virus test results '-- and soon, vaccinations. The app will then issue confirmation codes enabling passengers to board certain international flights. It is just the start of a push for digital Covid-19 credentials that could soon be embraced by employers, schools, summer camps and entertainment venues.
''This is likely to be a new normal need that we're going to have to deal with to control and contain this pandemic,'' said Dr. Brad Perkins, the chief medical officer at the Commons Project Foundation, a nonprofit in Geneva that developed the CommonPass app.
The advent of electronic vaccination credentials could have a profound effect on efforts to control the coronavirus and restore the economy. They could prompt more employers and college campuses to reopen. They may also give some consumers peace of mind, developers say, by creating an easy way for movie theaters, cruise ships and sports arenas to admit only those with documented coronavirus vaccinations.
But the digital passes also raise the specter of a society split into health pass haves and have-nots, particularly if venues begin requiring the apps as entry tickets. The apps could make it difficult for people with limited access to vaccines or online verification tools to work or visit popular destinations. Civil liberties experts also warn that the technology could create an invasive system of social control, akin to the heightened surveillance that China adopted during the pandemic '-- only instead of federal or state governments, private actors like employers and restaurants would determine who can and cannot access services.
''Protecting public health has historically been used as a proxy for discrimination,'' said Professor Michele Goodwin, a law professor who directs the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at the University of California, Irvine. ''That is the real concern '-- the potential to use these apps as proxies for keeping certain people away and out.''
She added that tech developers often rush to deploy and scale innovations before governments have the chance to test and regulate them.
Image People in the United States who are vaccinated against the coronavirus will receive personal record cards noting the medical provider, vaccine maker, batch number and date of their inoculations. Credit... EJ Hersom/DOD In the U.S., for instance, the federal government plans to give out personal record cards to people receiving coronavirus vaccinations to remind them of their medical provider, vaccine manufacturer, batch number and date of inoculation. But federal health agencies have not yet issued guidance on third-party digital vaccination credentials, leaving it open for companies and nonprofits to introduce Covid-19 health pass apps. Neither the Department of Health and Human Services nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responded to requests for comment.
Nonprofits and tech companies developing Covid-19 health pass apps say their aim is to create credentials as trustworthy as the W.H.O.'s paper yellow card. And they argue that the smartphone apps '-- which people may use to retrieve their virus test results and immunizations directly from their heath providers '-- are more reliable than paper health documents, which may be forged.
''To restart the economy, to save certain industries, I think you need a solution like this,'' said Eric Piscini, a vice president at IBM who oversaw the development of the company's new health passport app. IBM recently completed a pilot test of the app, called Digital Health Pass, with an employer, he said, and is in discussions with a major sports stadium. Without such apps, Mr. Piscini said, ''people will limit their engagement in travel and entertainment because of lack of confidence.''
Clear, a security company that uses biometric technology to confirm people's identities at airports and elsewhere, is already operating a Covid app. Called Health Pass, the app has been adopted by some professional sports teams and insurers, where employees may use it to confirm their coronavirus test results. Once vaccines become available, the company said, the app will be able to check users' immunizations as well.
But no Covid-19 health pass has received as much fanfare as the CommonPass app, developed by the Commons Project, a nonprofit focused on building technology for public use. The group began developing software to help people retrieve and use their medical data well before the start of the pandemic. But spikes in virus cases around the world this spring accelerated its work.
First, the group helped build a health pass app for some East African nations that aims to verify truck drivers with negative coronavirus test results, enabling them to pick up food shipments at ports and deliver them across borders to landlocked countries. A few months later, the group partnered with the World Economic Forum to build a more global digital health pass system for Covid-19. Their first target: international air travel.
The resulting app, CommonPass, notifies users of local travel rules '-- like having to provide proof of a negative virus test '-- and then aims to verify that they have met those rules, enabling them to board international flights. In October, United Airlines tested the app on a flight from Heathrow Airport in London to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
Peter Vlitas, an executive at Internova Travel Group, a travel services company based in Manhattan, signed up for the United flight. He said he first downloaded the app, which informed him that he needed to test negative for the coronavirus before traveling. Next, he said, the app directed him to a rapid-testing center at the airport. Soon after he took the test, the app displayed his negative test results and generated a confirmation code.
United and four other airlines plan to start using the CommonPass app in the coming weeks on some international flights. Passengers may be asked to show their confirmation codes at airline check-in counters or departure gates.
Dr. Perkins said the Commons Project designed the app's credentialing system to work for a broad audience. If international air travelers who lack smartphones need to confirm their health status, he said, they could print their confirmation codes and show them at an airport much as they would a paper boarding pass.
Image During smallpox outbreaks more than a century ago, some schools began requiring students to show vaccination certificates, as this article in the The New York Times reported on Nov. 26, 1887. Credit... The New York Times '‹
But the great leap forward to 21st-century digital health credentials from 19th-century paper vaccination certificates represents much more than a technological shift. Some civil liberties experts say the vaccine passport apps signal a troubling privatization of public health practices and caution that the technology comes with privacy risks.
''The corporate part of it, the '‹extent to which this is going to be privatized is'‹ '‹quite new'‹,'' said Michael Willrich, a history professor at Brandeis University and the author of ''Pox: An American History,'' a book '‹on health control during 20th-century smallpox epidemics. ''It raises concerns about privacy, about the right to be free from everyday surveillance.''
App developers said they had seriously considered the privacy risks and designed their systems to help mitigate them.
The CommonPass, IBM and Clear apps, for instance, allow users to download their virus test results '-- and soon their vaccinations '-- to their smartphones. The apps can then check the medical data and generate unique confirmation codes that users can show at airports or other locations to confirm their health status.
But the health passes do not share specific details '-- like where and when a user was tested '-- with airlines or employers, developers said. The QR codes, they said, act merely as a kind of green light, clearing users for entry.
Even so, some tech executives are wary. Zac Cohen, the chief operating officer of Trulioo, an identity verification company, said society would be better off if app developers invested their considerable energy in pushing for the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines before pushing for apps to confirm that some people have been vaccinated.
''What we're seeing today is a jump forward to try to create pockets of safe environments while ignoring the broader ethical concerns that that creates,'' Mr. Cohen said.
He recently wrote an op-ed for an industry site warning that health passport apps could easily prevent people who cannot prove their identities or health status from accessing essential services.
''Until we figure out how to do that in a fair way,'' Mr. Cohen said, ''we really need to be cautious about deploying that technology.''
There may be restrictions on unvaccinated people in the future, but is that ethical? | The Star
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:23
By Melissa Couto Zuber The Canadian Press Tue., Dec. 15, 2020 timer 3 min. read
The COVID-19 vaccine may not be mandatory for Canadians, but those who choose to opt out of getting the shot could face restrictions down the road.
Some experts expect airlines to require proof of vaccination from their customers in the near future, with Australia's Qantas already suggesting that's in their plans, and things like concerts and sporting events could follow suit.
While some individuals may take that as an invasion of privacy or erosion of civil liberties, Juliet Guichon, an associate professor of law and ethics at the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine, says preventing another global pandemic would outweigh those concerns.
''I don't think a pandemic is about fairness,'' Guichon said. ''So for people to say that, it's a bit irrelevant.''
Ontario's health minister Christine Elliott said last week that certain restrictions on travel or access to communal spaces like movie theatres could come into effect for unvaccinated individuals in the future, but when those potential limitations would happen wasn't clear.
The vaccine rollout began Monday in Ontario and Quebec with the initial doses going to health care workers and nursing home residents. Distribution is expected to take months to reach the majority of Canadians, but the federal government has suggested it hopes to inoculate most people by fall 2021.
Andrew Sneddon, a philosophy professor and ethics expert with the University of Ottawa, says any restrictions would need to be thought out based on feasibility.
If an airline says you can't fly without proof of inoculation, the vaccine should be readily available to the public before those restrictions take effect, he said.
''There's a saying in ethics that ought implies can '-- if something ought to be the case, it has to be possible,'' Sneddon said. ''So if we're going to be told: 'you should have a vaccine and you should have documentation,' this only makes sense if we can do that.''
Sneddon says he expects potential restrictions to be met with some resentment from individuals worried about privacy implications.
While most medical information is supposed to be kept private, Sneddon added that the contagious nature of COVID-19 means the same rules don't necessarily apply.
''I'm not sure (privacy) is a very persuasive concern,'' he said. ''For one thing, we can distinguish between widespread violations of privacy, like if all of our health information was being revealed, and very specific disclosures, and that's what this would be.''
Dr. Anita Ho, a bioethicist and health services researcher at UBC, says not every corner of the world will approach COVID vaccination the same way.
In places like New Zealand, which did well in fending off the virus, getting a vaccine may not be high on peoples' list of priorities, she said. Other nations may have limited supply of vaccine or require people pay for the shot themselves, putting a financial barrier on immunization.
All of that impacts the ethics of potential mobility restrictions, she said. And logistics of how we will prove our immunization status will need to be worked out.
''Are we going to require people provide paper verification or electronic verification? That's another important question,'' she said. ''We need to ensure there are applications that are privacy compliant ... and that also do not reveal more than what they need to know.''
Guichon says it makes sense for airlines to impose travel restrictions on unvaccinated passengers, because it could put potential customers at ease.
But is it legal to implement such restrictions?
Since Canadians are granted mobility rights in the country's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Guichon says that could be seen as an infringement. Someone with a disability that prevented them from getting the COVID vaccine could make that case, she added, but the rest of us couldn't.
Travel could be further impacted if entire countries decide to ban those who haven't been inoculated from crossing into their borders.
Dr. Ross Upshur, an infectious disease expert at the University of Toronto, says that's not a new concept, and certain countries still request a yellow fever certificate before entering. He expects a number of nations to apply similar rules to COVID-19.
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''Countries have that right to restrict whoever comes in. I think what we're going to see, at least in the short term, is that if you want to travel outside of the country, you're going to have to demonstrate some sort of proof immunization,'' he said.
''As long as there are active cases ... and movement between countries, there's always the possibility of re-introduction of the pandemic.''
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.
WHO Information Notice for IVD Users
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:52
Product type: Nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies that use real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2
Date: 7 December 2020
WHO-identifier: 2020/5, version 1
Purpose of this notice: To ensure users of certain nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies are aware of certain aspects of the instructions for use (IFU) for all products.
Description of the problem: WHO has received user feedback on an elevated risk for false SARS-CoV-2 results when testing specimens using RT-PCR reagents on open systems.
As with any diagnostic procedure, the positive and negative predictive values for the product in a given testing population are important to note. As the positivity rate for SARS-CoV-2 decreases, the positive predictive value also decreases. This means that the probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as positivity rate decreases, irrespective of the assay specificity. Therefore, healthcare providers are encouraged to take into consideration testing results along with clinical signs and symptoms, confirmed status of any contacts, etc.
Users of RT-PCR reagents should read the IFU carefully to determine if manual adjustment of the PCR positivity threshold is necessary to account for any background noise which may lead to a specimen with a high cycle threshold (Ct) value result being interpreted as a positive result. The design principle of RT-PCR means that for patients with high levels of circulating virus (viral load), relatively few cycles will be needed to detect virus and so the Ct value will be low. Conversely, when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus. In some circumstances, the distinction between background noise and actual presence of the target virus is difficult to ascertain. Thus, the IFU will state how to interpret specimens at or near the limit for PCR positivity. In some cases, the IFU will state that the cut-off should be manually adjusted to ensure that specimens with high Ct values are not incorrectly assigned SARS-CoV-2 detected due to background noise.
Manufacturers regularly review the design of their product, including labelling and IFU based on customer feedback. In the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) were rapidly developed, validated and verified, and then rolled out. Therefore, it is not unexpected that IVDs may require refinement based on user feedback after their introduction at scale. Users should verify the version of the IFU with each consignment they receive to see if any changes have been made to the IFU.
Advice on action to be taken by users:
Please read carefully the IFU in its entirety. Contact your local representative if there is any aspect of the IFU that is unclear to you. Check the IFU for each incoming consignment to detect any changes to the IFU.Consider any positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) or negative results (SARS-CoV-2 not detected) in combination with specimen type, clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.Provide the Ct value in the report to the requesting healthcare provider.Transmission of this WHO Information Notice for Users:
Please disseminate this notice to all those who need to be aware within your organization or to any organization where the potentially affected product has been deployed and used.
Contact person for further information:
Anita SANDS, Regulation and Prequalification, World Health Organization, e-mail: [email protected]
Let us Out!
With his star dimmed, California's Newsom could face recall
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 21:57
LOS ANGELES (AP) '-- California Gov. Gavin Newsom has had a rough year. The next one might be even tougher as a recall effort appears to be gaining momentum, fueled partly by outrage over the first-term Democrat dining with friends at an opulent restaurant while telling state residents to spurn social gatherings and stay home.
It's not uncommon in California for residents to seek recalls but they rarely get on the ballot '-- and even fewer succeed. Several launched against Newsom faded but another attempt is drawing greater attention as his fortunes change while he enters a critical stretch in his governorship.
Newsom received high praise for his aggressive approach to the coronavirus last spring, when he issued the nation's first statewide stay-at-home order. Now there is growing public angst over subsequent health orders that have shuttered schools and businesses and a massive unemployment benefits fraud scandal, while a public shaming continues for his ill-advised dinner at the French Laundry in Napa Valley, an establishment that features a white truffle and caviar dinner for $1,200 per person.
Photos of the dinner '-- a birthday party for a Newsom confidante who also is a lobbyist '-- emerged showing the governor without a mask at a time when he was imploring people not to socialize with friends and wear a face covering when going out and around others.
Recall organizers say they have collected more than half the nearly 1.5 million petition signatures needed to place the recall on the ballot, and they have until mid-March to hit the required threshold.
Randy Economy, a senior adviser to the recall effort, said there was a surge of several hundred thousand petition signatures after Newsom's restaurant debacle last month. ''It has resonated. It's about the arrogance of power,'' he said.
Newsom appears to be getting on campaign footing. He has hired veteran Capitol insider Jim DeBoo as a senior adviser, which could help him repair frayed relationships with legislators and bring sharper political instincts to his office. Newsom also just named Dee Dee Myers, a former Warner Bros. executive and White House press secretary for President Bill Clinton, as director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.
The prospect of a recall election is reviving memories of California's circus-like 2003 recall, in which voters installed Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor after deposing the unpopular Democrat Gray Davis. There were 135 candidates on the ballot, including Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and former child actor Gary Coleman.
If the recall qualifies, Newsom would be forced to fend off rivals in the midst of a pandemic that has cost the state millions of jobs, cored government budgets and upended life for nearly 40 million residents.
The campaign could sap his focus just as the state manages the complex project of vaccinating millions of residents while rebuilding its virus-wounded economy. California continues to deal with other risks, from deadly wildfires to a homelessness crisis in big cities.
''He's got a plate of Biblical plagues staring him in the face,'' said Garry South, who was Davis' chief political adviser.
Still, South sees Newsom in a far stronger position to survive a challenge compared to the political climate 17 years ago when Davis was pushed out. A Republican hasn't won a statewide race in California in 14 years, and there is no Hollywood superstar emerging as a potential candidate.
''A recall (election) is never good, obviously,'' South said. But ''the Republicans are in a far weaker position'' than in 2003.
For the telegenic, 53-year-old Newsom, a recall election could unsettle a political ascendancy that many see aimed for the White House. If it qualifies, a closer-than-expected race could hurt the former San Francisco mayor's national profile as well as make him look vulnerable for 2022, when he is expected to seek a second term.
Newsom's challenging year already has encouraged Republicans who have signaled they are likely candidates, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Newsom's 2018 rival, businessman John Cox.
Recall organizer Orrin Heatlie, a retired county sheriff's sergeant, predicted they would gather the needed signatures, though added an infusion of cash would help. Meanwhile, the effort has picked up endorsements from two prominent Republicans, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
State records show just under 300,000 signatures have been filed, though Economy said another 500,000 are in the pipeline with county election officials.
The group began gathering signatures in June and have about three months to hit the required 1,495,709 signatures. They will need a surplus since some signatures are sure to be disqualified.
The 2003 recall took off after Republican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, a car-alarm magnate, poured $1.7 million of his fortune into the campaign to get the proposal on the ballot.
Organizers this year estimate they would need $2.8 million to hire professionals to gather another 800,000 signatures, at a price of $3.50 each.
State records show Cox donated $50,000 to the recall campaign in October, but at this point he has no plans to invest more.
''I'm not going to be Darrell Issa,'' he said. ''If there were a whole bunch of other people that stepped up and helped, I'd probably help some more.''
If he faces a recall, Newsom would have advantages. He would have no donation limits on his fundraising, opening the way for a record flood of cash to defend his seat. Democrats have a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in registered voters.
The potential election could also increase the chances he picks longtime friend and Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Facing uncertainty, Newsom needs a loyalist in Washington who will embrace his priorities, including securing federal funds for the virus and wildfires.
Newsom's advisers are carefully watching the signature count and depict the effort as a President Donald Trump-inspired tactic to alter the election calendar in hopes of gaining political advantage.
Voters, they say, want the governor to remain focused on the pandemic.
''There are a lot of ambitious Republicans who want to be governor but would rather not play by the rules,'' Newsom political strategist Dan Newman said.
State Democratic Party Chairman Rusty Hicks said in a statement that ''the California Republican Party continues to demonstrate how disconnected they are from the plight and pain of working families.''
If it qualifies, state rules are not specific on when the election would occur. Recall organizers hope the date would be scheduled in July or August.
Former top Davis aide Susan Kennedy warned that ''you just can't underestimate the depth of people's anger'' but added that Newsom has time to recast his legacy.
''He will be defined not by the shutdowns and not by the crisis, he will be defined by the vaccine distribution and the recovery,'' she said.
Associated Press Writer Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento contributed.
France: Accomplished Professor Thrown in Psych Hospital After Questioning Official COVID Narrative
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:41
Professor Jean-Bernard Fourtillan, YoutubeFrance: Last Thursday, Jean-Bernard Fourtillan, a retired university professor known for his strong opposition to COVID-19 vaccines, was taken from his rented cottage in the south of France by a team of gendarmes [police under military command] and forcibly placed in solitary confinement at the psychiatric hospital of Uz¨s. The systematic use of psychiatric hospitals in order to silence or punish political opponents became widespread under communism. Fourtillan's forced imprisonment comes weeks after he voluntarily surrendered his computers to gendarmes. Days later, Fourtillan's bank accounts and credit cards were suddenly blocked by an authority whose identity was not revealed to him. His pensions were also blocked. One of his lawyers, Marc Fribourg, has since gone on record saying that Fourtillan is a ''conspiracy theorist.''
Fourtillan accused the French Pasteur Institute, a private non-profit foundation, of having ''fabricated'' the SARS-COV-2 virus over several decades and been a party to its ''escape'' from the Wuhan P4 lab. Fourtillan exposed to the public that a patent for SARS-COV-2 that was filed by the Pasteur Institute in 2011 was identical to a 2003 patent for SARS-COV-1. The purpose was to extend the patent for commercial exploitation as the 2003 patent was set to expire.
Early on December 10, Jean-Bernard Fourtillan, a French retired university professor known for his strong opposition to COVID-19 vaccines such as those presently being distributed in the U.K., was taken from his temporary home in the south of France by a team of ''gendarmes'' '-- French law enforcement officers under military command '-- and forcibly placed in solitary confinement at the psychiatric hospital of Uz¨s. His mobile phones were taken from him, and at the time of writing, he had not been allowed to communicate with the outside world. The order for his internment appears to have been issued by the local ''pr(C)fet,'' the official representative of the French executive.
The systematic use of psychiatric hospitals in order to silence or punish political opponents became widespread under communism, having started shortly after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917. The method developed under Stalin and then expanded as opposition to the ''socialist paradise'' came to be considered a sign of mental illness. Under the 1966 penal code of the USSR, repression of dissidents openly targeted those who ''spread false propaganda defaming the Soviet State and its social system.''
Fourtillan, a longtime critic of vaccines that use dangerous adjuvants such as aluminum (the 11 compulsory vaccines for newborns in France contain 17 times the maximum dose of aluminum defined as toxic by the World Health Organization), has been vocal during the COVID-19 crisis. He offers ''alternative'' explanations and warnings regarding the apparition of the SARS-COV-2 virus and the ARN vaccines that work by injecting pieces of virus message ARN with nanolipids with the aim of causing human cells to start fabricating viral particles and to thus trigger an immunological reaction.
In particular, Fourtillan has accused the French Institut Pasteur, a private non-profit foundation that specializes in biology, micro-organisms, contagious diseases, and vaccination, of having ''fabricated'' the SARS-COV-2 virus over several decades and been a party to its ''escape'' from the Wuhan P4 lab '-- unbeknownst to the lab's Chinese authorities '-- which was built following an agreement between France and China signed in 2004.
Relations between France and China regarding the project cooled over the years as China put its own interests first, but in 2017, France's then''Interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, joined the official opening ceremony of the Wuhan Institute of Virology's P4 lab, together with Yves L(C)vy, co-president of the steering committee. L(C)vy is the husband of Agn¨s Buzyn, who was France's health minister when the COVID-19 crisis erupted. She was also responsible for signing the decree that banned over-the-counter sales of hydroxychloroquine in France in January 2020.
Is Jean-Bernard Fourtillan's accusation true? While the Institut Pasteur has verbally announced that it would sue Fourtillan over the accusation, no judiciary action has been forthcoming on that front, and indeed, Fourtillan himself has since lodged a complaint against a spokesman of the Institute for ''libel and lies that are prejudicial to the peoples of the world.''
Read full article here'...
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'Unacceptable crowds': Alarm as Christmas shoppers pack Italian cities - The Local
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:36
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NYC outdoor dining suspended ahead of nor'easter after 'snow alert' issued | Fox News
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:54
Published December 15, 2020
The winter storm may dump nearly a foot of snow.Outdoor dining will be suspended in the Big Apple beginning 2 p.m. Wednesday, as the Department of Sanitation issued a ''snow alert'' ahead of an impending winter storm that may dump more than 8 inches of the white stuff.
The Sanitation Department projected the outdoor dining closure would last until Thursday night '-- but warned it could be pushed back to Friday, depending on total snowfall and road conditions.
Restaurants will not be forced to dismantle their outdoor dining setups for this storm, the agency said.
In this Sept. 29, 2020, file photo, restaurant owner Samantha DiStefano, left, of Mama Fox, prepares to hand menus to patrons dining outside at her Brooklyn establishment in New York. A ban on indoor dining at New York City restaurants went into effect Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, as officials try to slow the resurgence of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
But, eateries are required to put away all electrical heaters, urged to secure roadway tables and chairs, and encouraged to remove overhead coverings.
In addition to suspending outdoor dining to help with their snow clearing efforts, the Sanitation Department canceled alternate side parking for Wednesday and Thursday.
The temporary outdoor dining suspension comes two days after indoor dining was banned in the city.
This article first appeared in the New York Post.
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U.K. Should Ban Christmas Household Mixing, Medical Journals Say - Bloomberg
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 20:45
By and December 15, 2020, 5:33 AM EST Updated on December 15, 2020, 6:33 AM EST
Government plans 5-day relaxation of social distancing rules
Scientific advisers have warned holidays could spread virus
Two leading U.K. medical journals joined forces to demand Boris Johnson scrap his plan to let households mix over Christmas, in a plea to protect the National Health Service from being overwhelmed.
In a rare joint editorial Tuesday, the British Medical Journal and the Health Service Journal said the government's relaxation of social distancing rules for five days over the holiday period will increase coronavirus infections and risk putting further strain on hospitals.
The issue is a fast becoming a major political headache for Johnson, who has said repeatedly he wants to give families some normality over Christmas. But his own scientific advisers warn that allowing up to three households to mix indoors will make the holiday a ''spreading'' event, and ministers have come under pressure in recent days to rethink the strategy, especially with London facing a surge in infections and the discovery of a new virus strain.
London Hit by Toughest Covid Restrictions After Cases Surge
''The government is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives,'' the journals said in only their second joint editorial in more than 100 years. ''If our political leaders fail to take swift and decisive action, they can no longer claim to be 'protecting the NHS.'''
So far, Johnson's ministers have stood firm on the Christmas plan, though they have expressed more caution in recent days. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Monday people should be ''careful'' and consider reducing social contacts if they plan to meet older relatives over Christmas.
Risks''The encouragement is for families to do the minimum, not the maximum of what the rules allow,'' Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay told BBC radio on Tuesday. ''There is a risk when households come together, as there is with any social contact.''
The British government said Nov. 24 that families in England, Wales and Scotland would be able to meet in a ''Christmas bubble'' of three households between Dec. 23-27, with those in Northern Ireland allowed a day on either side to accommodate longer traveling time.
Papers released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies just days after the announcement showed the government's scientific advisers are wary of the impact of relaxing the rules on transmission rates.
One document suggested that five days of stringent measures would be needed to cancel out the effect of each day of more relaxed rules. Another warned the holiday period could become a ''superspreader'' event.
England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said Monday the plan to relax rules over Christmas will put ''upward pressure'' on coronavirus cases. ''The key thing is that people have just got to be sensible,'' he said.
'-- With assistance by Joe Mayes
(Updates with context, rules, starting in fourth paragraph )
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
California activates mass fatality program over rising Covid-19 infections, buys 5k more body bags - CNN
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 05:55
(CNN) The day after California began its Covid-19 vaccination rollout, the state activated its "mass fatality" program, including the purchase of 5,000 body bags.
In a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the activation of the program, which coordinates mutual aid activity between state and local agencies in a crisis, is in direct response to the surge of Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Sixty refrigerated storage units, each more than 50 feet long, will be used throughout the state for emergency overflow for coroners and morgues.
Newsom said the program addresses what he called "sobering realities" in the state's battle against the pandemic.
"I don't want people to scare folks, but this is a deadly disease. And we need to be mindful of where we are in this current journey together, to the vaccine. We are not at the finish line," the governor said.
California health officials on Tuesday announced the state's fifth consecutive day of more than 30,000 new Covid-19 infections. The daily average of new Covid-19 deaths in California was 163 on December 14, nearly four times the death rate one month prior.
The total number of fatalities in the state is 21,188 as of Tuesday. Nationally, the death toll for the pandemic surpassed 300,000 on Monday as health officials warn of no immediate sign of abating.
Hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions in California are at all-time highs, as stay-at-home orders were enacted for large portions of the state last week.
The restrictions are triggered by whether a particular part of the state has less than 15% ICU availability; the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions are at less than 2% ICU availability as of Tuesday, and San Joaquin Valley briefly dipped to zero over the weekend before rebounding, according to Newsom.
About 3,000 patients are currently being treated in ICUs statewide, intensifying the strain on California's health care system.
Newsom stressed this did not mean local hospitals were completely out of space, but instead that staffing remains the most immediate challenge.
He signed an executive order temporarily waiving some nurse-to-patient ratios and the state is adding nursing staff through contract agencies, the California National Guard, and California Health Corps.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing 80 paramedics and emergency medical technicians, and the state has requested 200 more health care workers from the Defense Department of Defense.
The state is stretching resources to help "these frontline health care workers, these nurses, in particular, that are just doing heroic work every single day and asking yet again for a little bit more during these very challenging next few weeks," he said.
CNN's Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.
Did COVID Murder The Flu? | ZeroHedge
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 13:27
Despite Dr. Fauci's cries about how all vulnerable Americans should make sure to get their flu shots to protect against a deadly vortex of a COVID-19-supercharged flu season "twindemic", it appears influenza-related infections, hospitalizations and confirmed cases over the past couple of months have been much, much lower than the 'experts' had anticipated.
And on Tuesday, one day after publishing an editorial written by bossman Michael Bloomberg where the billionaire urged Joe Biden to "lead" on the fight against climate change (he even suggested Biden mandate sleepy ESG-focused financial disclosures), the financial news behemoth has decided to boldly question the accepted "science" (accepted by Bloomberg and many of its competitors, at least) about the brutality of the 2020-2021 flu season.
Scientists initially feared the most vulnerable people might be infected with both viruses simultaneously, prompting deaths to explode. Instead, rates of confirmed flu cases have plummeted - not just this winter, but earlier in the spring as well (though some have posited that the overwhelming impact of COVID may have had an impact) as COVID hammered the US, and particularly cities like NYC.
In an "Opinion" piece (though, we must confess, these sound more like facts to us), Bloomberg writer Justin Fox declares that the "Twindemic" can be relegated to the scrap heap of inaccurate projections related to COVID-19.
He starts by pointing out that by virtually every measure, flu cases in the US (and also in Europe, Australia and elsewhere) have fallen substantially since the beginning of the pandemic.
NYC, which keeps some of the best records on ER-related flu visits, has seen a startling drop.
Other hospitals appear to have seen something similar.
The slump in the number of positive tests would seem to confirm that cases are down across the country.
At one point in the article, Fox lists the fact that people may be afraid to seek treatment, or get tested, if they have the flu, and that this could be one reason for the drop. But given the similarity in symptoms, we imagine most people who get the flu will probably panic and get tested, and that - doctors being doctors - they will get tested for COVID, and, failing that, the flu (and given what we know about the massive false positive farce in PCR testing), the "lack" of flu 'cases' seems quite oddly coincident with the "surging wave" of COVID 'cases'. Some among the more vulnerable might panic and seek emergency care, only to learn that what they're suffering from is a mild case of the flu, not the onset of a potentially lethal bout with COVID.
Comparing this flu season to the last few years, it's worth noting that, for whatever reason, overall deaths were higher during the winter of 2017-2018 than they have been so far this winter. While it's important to remember that correlation is not causation and there are probably multiple factors at play here, if nothing else, it's a reminder that COVID-19 deaths must also be looked at in the context.
Offering up a revised forecast in its own piece pointing out the obvious reality that the spike in flu cases hasn't been nearly as bad as feared, the NYT quoted a source saying "it looks like the Twindemic isn't going to happen."
Here's what readers can expect according to a forecast based on the numbers through the first week of December.
One wonders just how much of that vast gap between a 'normal' flu season and 2020 is filled by false-positive-PCR-Test-based COVID cases?
Circling back to the Bloomberg piece, Fox offers up what he says is probably the most convincing explanation for the drop in flu cases: recommendations like social distancing and mask-wearing (however effective, marginally effective, or ineffective it actually may be) have been even more effective at preventing influenza than Covid because influenza is so much less contagious than Covid.
Well, folks. There you have it.
Now, are we supposed to believe Dr. Fauci & Co. weren't able to anticipate this back in the summer?
Or were the warnings about the "twindemic" instead pushed subtly by big pharma to keep sales growing and, perhaps, provide more "buffer" to pour into development of the new COVID-19 vaccine...or at least maybe that's what they would like you to believe.
Paul Craig Roberts from the IPE expanded on all of this in a recent piece:
Is there no flu this year or is flu ''the second wave of Covid?'' Don't expect any honest answer from health authorities. They have the fear running strong, so strong that people are submitting to needless lockdowns that are causing economic havoc to their lives and to mask mandates that do more harm than good.
What is it all about?
Is it simply about vaccine profits for Big Pharma?
Or is it about getting people accustomed to arbitrary orders unsupported by legislation? Isn't what we are experiencing a takeover of our lives by the executive part of government?
Or is it about reducing human fertility? Experts report that the American vaccine contains anti-fertility elements that will make a percentage of the female population infertile. Why is there no public discussion of this? There are also expert concerns about the novelty of the way the vaccine is supposed to work. It is an approach never before used and has not had sufficient trials to know the consequences.
Just some food for thought.
Empty Hotels Find New Life in Covid as Governments Seek to House Homeless - Bloomberg
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 15:52
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Great Reset
New kinds of loans and bonds could fill $28 billion COVID funding gap: WHO | Reuters
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 13:48
FILE PHOTO: Bruce Aylward, International team lead for the WHO-China joint mission on COVID-19 coronavirus attends a news conference after his trip to China at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, 25 February, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
GENEVA (Reuters) -The World Health Organization is looking at new financial instruments to help to fill a $28 billion funding shortfall for tools to fight COVID-19, a senior official said on Tuesday.
The WHO and GAVI vaccine alliance aim to provide poor and middle-income countries with diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines through a fund known as the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was set up last April.
Bruce Aylward, a senior WHO adviser and its ACT coordinator, said that new financing mechanisms - including concessional loans and catastrophe bonds - were discussed at a meeting of the ACT facilitation council on Monday, co-chaired by Norway and South Africa.
''Right now financing is what stands between us and getting out of this pandemic as rapidly as possible,'' he told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.
''It's a real challenge in today's fiscal environment despite the fact that this is the best deal in town,'' Aylward said, referring to the ACT Accelerator facility. ''This will pay itself off in 36 hours once we get trade and travel moving again.''
Aylward said that the WHO and partners were in talks with Pfizer to include its COVID-19 vaccine as part of an early global roll out.
He said that he saw a ''strong commitment'' on the part of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla to set prices at levels appropriate to poorer populations. Aylward expected some news on more manufacturers joining the list of providers to the COVAX vaccine facility in coming weeks, he said.
Canada has pledged to spend C$485 million ($380 million) to support COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, including antibody treatments, International Aid Minister Karina Gould said on Monday.
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Dogs are People too
If You Have Pets | COVID-19 | CDC
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 16:45
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause cold-like illnesses in people, while others cause illness in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels, and bats. Some coronaviruses, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, infect only animals and do not infect humans.
Risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to petsWe are still learning about the virus that causes COVID-19, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations. A small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been reported external icon to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
Infected pets might get sick or they might not have any symptoms. Of the pets that have gotten sick, most only had mild illness and fully recovered.
What to do if you own petsUntil we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a possible infection.
Because there is a risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals, CDC recommends that pet owners limit their pet's interaction with people outside their household.
Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets. Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products, such as hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners. Talk to your veterinarian'‹ if you have questions about appropriate products for bathing or cleaning your pet'‹'‹.
Talk to your veterinarian if your pet gets sick or if you have any concerns about your pet's health. external icon external icon external icon
question icon
Questions about keeping your pet safe?
Protect pets if you are sickIf you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with people. Until we know more about this virus, people sick with COVID-19 should avoid contact with pets and other animals.
When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.If you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet's treatment and care.
For more information visit: What to Do if You are Sick.
Stay healthy around animalsIn the United States, there is no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. However, because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it's always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.
Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet's health.Be aware that children 5 years of age and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults are more likely to get sick from germs some animals can carry.For more information, visit CDC's COVID-19 and Animals webpage and Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
Guidance and recommendationsWhat to Do if Your Pet Tests Positive for the Virus that Causes COVID-19'‹'‹Interim Guidance for Public Health Professionals Managing People with COVID-19 in Home Care and Isolation Who Have Pets or Other AnimalsInterim recommendations for intake of companion animals from households where humans with COVID-19 are present external icon Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Veterinary ClinicsEvaluation for SARS-CoV-2 Testing in Animals'‹Guidance for Handlers of Service and Therapy Animals'‹'‹
Mink in Utah tests positive for COVID-19 | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 02:02
Mink in Utah tests positive for COVID-19 becoming the first known case of the virus in a wild animalThe USDA confirmed the first known case of virus in a wild animal, a mink Said the case was discovered in a 'free-ranging, wild mink' in UtahGlobal health officials are investigating potential risk mink may pose to people Comes after Denmark embarked on a plan to eliminate farmed mink population of 17 million, warning that a mutated coronavirus strain could move to humans By Reuters
Published: 15:38 EST, 14 December 2020 | Updated: 18:53 EST, 14 December 2020
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday that it confirmed the first known case of the coronavirus in a wild animal, a mink.
The discovery increases concerns about outbreaks in mink as the virus has killed more than 15,000 farmed mink in the United States since August.
Global health officials are investigating the potential risk the animals may pose to people after Denmark last month embarked on a plan to eliminate its farmed mink population of 17 million, warning that a mutated coronavirus strain could move to humans.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday that it confirmed the first known case of the coronavirus in a wild animal, a mink (stock image)
The USDA said in a notice that it confirmed the case in a 'free-ranging, wild mink' in Utah as part of wildlife surveillance around infected farms.
Several animals from different wildlife species were sampled and all tested negative, the USDA added.
The agency said it notified the World Organisation for Animal Health of the recent case but said there is no evidence the virus has been widespread in wild populations around infected mink farms.
'To our knowledge, this is the 1st free-ranging, native wild animal confirmed with SARS-CoV-2,' the USDA said in the notice.
The virus has also been found in zoo tigers and household cats and dogs.
EU and UK extend Brexit talks '-- again - Vox
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 21:50
Well, would you look at that: Brexit talks are still on.
Last week, the United Kingdom and the European Union set a Sunday deadline to negotiate the terms of their future relationship. Sunday didn't bring a deal. But it offered '-- maybe '-- some small glimmers that the UK and the EU might just be able to reach a pact by the true deadline of December 31.
So the two sides are going to keep working at it. ''Despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over, we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile,'' British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint statement, released Sunday.
What this ''extra mile'' entails is only for the negotiators to know, and whether it will actually lead to some sort of breakthrough is frustratingly unclear. But Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, said Monday that a ''good, balanced agreement'' is still possible.
''It is our responsibility to give the talks every chance of success,'' Barnier tweeted on Monday.
Johnson, on Sunday, said that the UK and the EU were still very far apart on big issues, but ''but where there is life, there's hope, we're going to keep talking to see what we can do. The UK certainly won't be walking away from the talks.''
The United Kingdom and the European Union have been trying for months to negotiate an agreement that will define their future partnership after the UK formally left the bloc in January. If they can't reach a deal by December 31, then the UK and EU will begin trading under World Trade Organization terms, which would mean new tariffs on goods traded across the continent and could mean other disruptions in things like air travel and transport.
Both sides want to avoid this outcome. And maybe, just maybe, the decision to keep talking is a sign that they have something worth talking about.
Did a major sticking point get a little less stickier?Three big sticking points have held up the Brexit negotiations: fisheries, governance, and state aid and regulations, or the so-called level playing field.
The level playing field is a crucial issue for the European Union, which wants to protect the integrity of its single market. The EU has insisted that if they're going to grant the UK a very favorable trade deal '-- zero tariffs, zero quotas '-- that the UK shouldn't be able to turn around and undercut the EU by subsidizing industries or businesses, or by lowering environmental or labor standards.
But the UK sees this as the EU trying to get it to follow the rules of the club it just left. Brexit was supposed to give the UK the power to reclaim its sovereignty and reestablish its own trading regime, and so the UK has rejected the notion that it should continue to abide by EU regulations and standards.
The symbolism of the issue has overshadowed some of the practical realities of the debate. The UK has itself admitted it's unlikely to diverge wildly from EU regulations, but the EU doesn't fully trust the UK to keep its word. That distrust has held up any sort of compromise.
But that might be changing. According to some reports, both sides have softened their demands slightly and are trying to find a solution that will give the UK the ability to do its own thing, but also give the EU recourse if the UK takes it too far.
They're trying to do this by establishing a mechanism that would allow either the EU or UK to raise concerns about any divergence in labor, environmental, or other regulations, according to the Financial Times. This would focus less on the actual rules, but on the outcome '-- basically, if a regulation change actually disadvantaged one side when it came to trade or investment.
The UK now seems to be willing to accept the need for some sort of mechanism to kick in if there are ''systemic divergences which distort trade and investment,'' Barnier said Monday. And from the UK perspective, it wouldn't be bound by EU rules automatically, though it knows any dramatic changes aren't risk-free.
Marlene Wind, director of the Centre for European Politics at the University of Copenhagen, cautioned that we don't know for sure whether the UK and EU have actually moved closer to an agreement. But she noted that this solution might give Johnson a little more flexibility to sell a Brexit deal at home, by saying it's up to the UK to decide whether to diverge, even if there are consequences for it.
''If that is something that can be sold easier to the public, maybe that's where they can meet,'' Wind said. ''But of course, it will not be frictionless trade in the same sense.''
The little give here might end up going a long way '-- although now the EU and the UK will need to agree on what constitutes a level playing field violation, and what penalties or solutions exist to remedy the imbalance.
And the EU and the UK are apparently still at an impasse on other issues, most notably fishing rights. The fisheries issue is a relatively minor economic question for both the UK and the EU, but it's taken on an outsize role in the debate.
Fishing accounts for a very small percentage of the UK economy '-- as the New York Times reported, Harrods department store contributes more annually to the UK economy '-- but it's a politically important industry, and it's symbolically tied to the Brexit ideal of reclaiming sovereignty, including over UK waters.
But fishing is also a politically important and symbolic industry in some EU member states that want to retain access to UK waters. French President Emmanuel Macron has insisted that he will not sacrifice France's fishing industry in any deal.
All of which is to say, this is one heck of an extra mile to go for an agreement. As experts told me last week, either the EU or the UK needed to climb down a bit, which would give the other permission to compromise. That might be what's happening now. But it might not be enough to get a deal by the December 31 deadline.
And the longer the EU and the UK keep talking, the less time they will have to implement any sort of a deal. Wind told me there will likely be disruptions in trade, as businesses have to adjust quickly to new rules and trade barriers. But the disruptions from a no-deal Brexit would be even more painful. That's why neither side is willing to walk away just yet.
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European stock markets today: Brexit trade deal talks continue
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 14:02
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Britain and the EU agreed on Sunday to keep negotiating over a Brexit trade deal, taking talks to the wire as key differences remain. Sterling bounced on the news, but U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson still warned businesses to be ready for a "no-deal" exit on Dec. 31 when the transition period ends.Germany will go into a full lockdown over the Christmas period amid a rise in coronavirus deaths and infections. Nonessential shops and schools will close across the country starting Wednesday.LONDON '-- European stocks traded higher Monday as market focus remains on negotiations between the U.K. and EU on a post-Brexit trade deal.
TICKERCOMPANYNAMEPRICECHANGE%CHANGEVOLUME.FTSEFTSE 100FTSE6,552.31+5.56+0.08%349,586,553.GDAXIDAXDAX13,266.37+152.07+1.16%26,196,155.FCHICAC 40 IndexCAC5,562.49+54.94+1.00%30,349,517The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.8% in early trade, with banks climbing 2.6% to lead gains as almost all sectors and major bourses entered positive territory.
Britain and the EU agreed on Sunday to keep negotiating over a Brexit trade deal, taking talks to the wire as key differences remain. Sterling bounced on the news, but U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson still warned businesses to be ready for a "no-deal" exit on Dec. 31 when the transition period ends.
Johnson and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had said they would decide on Sunday whether there had been enough progress to merit talks continuing.
In other news, Germany will go into a full lockdown over the Christmas period amid a rise in coronavirus deaths and infections. Nonessential shops and schools will close across the country starting Wednesday.
"We maintain that friends, relatives and acquaintances can meet with a maximum of five people and two households and there is an exception only over the Christmas holidays from 24 to 26 December, but not on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this weekend.
In U.S. coronavirus developments, CDC Director Robert Redfield signed off on Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine, allowing inoculations to officially move forward on Monday for people ages 16 or older. That came following the FDA emergency authorization of Pfizer's vaccine last week. The U.S. has begun to ship the doses to hundreds of distribution centers across the country.
U.S. stock futures moved higher in early morning trade as markets indicated a rebound from a losing week. Investors have been weighing updates on the Covid-19 vaccine rollout as well as the coronavirus stimulus stalemate in Washington.
Meanwhile, stocks in Asia-Pacific mostly rose in Monday trade, as investors in the region reacted to the approval of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S.
Euro zone industrial production data for October is due Monday; there are no earnings expected.
British banks and homebuilders were the biggest winners on the Stoxx 600 in early deals, with Lloyds, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Bellway and NatWest all climbing more than 4.5% along with retailer Marks & Spencer, which led gains.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, AstraZeneca shares dropped 6% after the announcement that the pharmaceutical giant had bought out Alexion Pharmaceuticals for $39 billion.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said investors were seemingly nervous about the price of the acquisition, the largest in AstraZeneca's history.
"Adding this new range of drugs to its portfolio has potential to significantly increase revenues, but it is still an expensive gamble," Streeter said in an email Monday.
"It may also come with reputational risk, given the super-high price tag medicines for rare diseases command."
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Ministry of Truthiness
British military out to attack anti-vaccine talk, reports The Times
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 16:07
According to The Times, the British signals-intelligence service (Government Communications Headquarters, aka GCHQ [photo]), has been tasked with countering anti-vaccine arguments on the internet.
The British government is quite convinced that such arguments could only have been planted by its hereditary enemy, Moscow. It therefore authorized its intelligence services to adapt the tools used against the propaganda of the Islamic Emirate (Daesh) to tackle this new enemy.
The GCHQ has the ability to disrupt social media accounts and respond anonymously on forums. It does not, however, have the possibility of intruding directly in accounts hosted by its "Five Eyes" allies (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA). It acts in concert with the 77th Army Brigade created to counter "Russian propaganda" [1]. The 430-man unit works in conjunction with a rapid response team out of the Prime Minister's Office.
It should be recalled that Russia has announced a campaign to test a vaccine against Covid-19 on 40,000 volunteers, but there is no question that this drug will be used in the West.
Source : ''GCHQ in cyberwar on anti-vaccine propaganda. Spies tackle disinformation linked to Russia'', Lucy Fisher, Chris Smyth, The Times, November 09, 2020.
[1] ''British army to create a unit against Russian propaganda'', Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 6 February 2018.
Consensus: London allies with Facebook, Twitter, Google/YouTube, Reuters
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 16:07
A British association called Full Fact, has created a coalition between, on the one hand, all the relevant ministries of the United Kingdom and Canada and, on the other, information giants Facebook, Twitter, Google/YouTube and Reuters, in order to fight against disinformation on the internet in English.
Today, most of the major power governments have set up a specialized service to disseminate their own propaganda. The most effective in this pursuit since WW1 being precisely the British [1].
Some British journalists perceive information as binary, either true or false. Their objective, therefore, is to track down factual errors, which they pretend to do in hours when, in libel cases, it takes the UK courts months before establishing the truth.
While, in practice, it is both possible and necessary to uncover false allegations, it is not quite so easy to determine the accuracy of the facts. The only antidote to disinformation is critical thinking, which requires time and a good general knowledge. The only thing that can be done quickly is to verify the logic behind the reported facts [2]. Otherwise, we will not be countering disinformation, but feeding off a consensus instead.
Cheeky Brits flag BBC & politicians after Metropolitan Police asks public to report 'extremist views' '-- RT UK News
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 13:46
An appeal from the Metropolitan Police urging Londoners to turn in people suspected of having potentially dangerous opinions has backfired, after the message was flooded with George Orwell references and satirical 'reports'.
In a tweet, the police force encouraged Britons to tell them their concerns ''in confidence'' if they become worried about someone they know ''developing extremist views.''
The message included a link to an counter-terrorism initiative called Act Early, which urges individuals to contact authorities if ''someone close is expressing extreme views or hatred, which could lead to them harming themselves or others.''
According to the site, signs of ''radicalisation'' include ''An obsessive or angry desire for change or 'something to be done''' and ''spending an increasing amount of time online and sharing extreme views on social media.''
People are encouraged to call a hotline to share their concerns with specially trained officers. ''You won't be wasting our time and you won't ruin lives, but you might save them,'' the website states.
The Met's Twitter PSA was met with considerable suspicion. Several replies made reference to George Orwell's '1984' and compared London's cops to a modern-day thought police.
''Anyone reading a book you don't like, don't stand for it, report them to the authorities for wrong think,'' reads one of many disapproving comments.
Gerard Batten, a former UKIP MEP, accused the police force of becoming increasingly authoritarian.
Yes, I am deeply concerned that your officer are being indoctrinated with hate against ordinary decent people who demonstrate & defend their freedoms& liberties. Your reputation is going the same way as the Gestapo, KGB & Stasi.
'-- Gerard Batten (@GerardBattenUK) December 14, 2020''Your reputation is going the same way as the Gestapo, KGB & Stasi,'' the ex-parliamentarian said.
But others were more playful with their criticism. Numerous Twitter users alerted the Met to ''extremist views'' being propagated by media outlets and UK politicians, including the BBC and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
The BBC, Sky News and Channel 4 have extreme propaganda. Can you go and arrest them all please
'-- James ðŸ--° (@Snow_Mufc) December 14, 2020I am really getting worried about @SadiqKhan his views are becoming more extreme by the day
'-- Frawden Osharr (@FrawdenO) December 15, 2020One particularly inventive ''report'' expressed concern about a 'friend', whose description bore a striking resemblance to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, being radicalised.
Read more
''I am worried [about] my mate Matt. He has recently developed some extreme views about people getting ill. He seems obsessed with cleanliness and stopping human interaction. I think he is planning a very harmful attack. DM for further details,'' the tweet read.
The UK has seen a dramatic spike in the number of young people referred to the government's counter-terrorism program. Sky News reported in November that a total of 682 children were referred to the program for potential far-right extremism in 2017-18 '' a five-fold increase compared to data from 2014-15.
In recent months, UK authorities have stepped up efforts to monitor and even police online content, leading to criticism that such policies criminalise unpopular or offensive viewpoints or beliefs.
However, the push to crack down on online ''extremism'' coincides with growing concerns about terrorist threats in the UK and across Europe. A former al-Qaeda bombmaker turned MI6 agent warned early this month that extremists from northern Syria and Libya will try to attack the UK, France, and Germany around the Christmas holidays. In many cases, terrorists who have targeted Europe in the past were already on the radar of intelligence services before they carried out their attacks.
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COVID-19: Our approach to misleading vaccine information
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 04:12
As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the global distribution of vaccines, people continue to turn to Twitter to discuss what's happening and find the latest authoritative public health information.
Earlier this year, we shared our approach around the conversation surrounding COVID-19 on Twitter and today we're providing additional guidance on how we plan to address misleading information around COVID-19 vaccinations. Starting next week, we will prioritize the removal of the most harmful misleading information, and during the coming weeks, begin to label Tweets that contain potentially misleading information about the vaccines.
This Tweet is unavailable
Our expanded approach
In the context of a global pandemic, vaccine misinformation presents a significant and growing public health challenge '-- and we all have a role to play. We are focused on mitigating misleading information that presents the biggest potential harm to people's health and wellbeing. Twitter has an important role to play as a place for good faith public debate and discussion around these critical public health matters.
Under our current policy, we already require the removal of Tweets that include false or misleading information about:
The nature of the virus, such as how it spreads within communities; The efficacy and/or safety of preventative measures, treatments, or other precautions to mitigate or treat the disease; Official regulations, restrictions, or exemptions pertaining to health advisories; and The prevalence or risk of infection or death. This Tweet is unavailable
Moving forward and beginning next week, we are expanding the policy and may require people to remove Tweets which advance harmful false or misleading narratives about COVID-19 vaccinations, including:
False claims that suggest immunizations and vaccines are used to intentionally cause harm to or control populations, including statements about vaccines that invoke a deliberate conspiracy; False claims which have been widely debunked about the adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations; or False claims that COVID-19 is not real or not serious, and therefore that vaccinations are unnecessary. Starting in early 2021, we may label or place a warning on Tweets that advance unsubstantiated rumors, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines. Tweets that are labeled under this expanded guidance may link to authoritative public health information or the Twitter Rules to provide people with additional context and authoritative information about COVID-19.
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What's next
Using a combination of technology and human review, we will begin enforcing this updated policy on December 21, and expanding our actions during the following weeks. We will enforce this policy in close consultation with local, national and global public health authorities around the world, and will strive to be iterative and transparent in our approach. We remained focused on helping people find credible health information, verifying public health experts, and updating our policies in an iterative and transparent approach.
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Never-Trump movement splinters as its villain heads for the exit
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 11:53
The White House stands behind security fencing partially covered by protest signs, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington, D.C. | AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
The defeat of Donald Trump might have been the easy part for never-Trump Republicans. Next up: taking on the more elusive target of Trumpism with their boogeyman gone from office.
More than a dozen leaders of the never-Trump movement said in interviews that they see their work as far from over once Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20. They want to keep the heat on Republicans who serve as Trump foot soldiers and to provide cover for those who reject far-out conspiracy theories and attacks on democracy.
AdvertisementBut how to do it is another story. After beating Trump and creating a permission structure for some GOP voters to back Biden, the task now, they said, is to turn back Republicans' embrace of authoritarianism and transform their party in the process. But ask each of the never-Trump leaders what that means, and you get a different answer from each of them.
They admit the task ahead is daunting '-- they're vastly outnumbered in a party dominated by Trump even after his defeat.
''The reality is, is there a market for an anti-Trump Republican Party now?'' said Stuart Stevens, a longtime Republican operative and member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project. ''I would say no.''
Just keeping the never-Trump coalition together ''will be a challenge in and of itself,'' said Evan McMullin, who mounted a conservative third-party presidential bid in 2016. Moving forward, the movement has to ''bring more Republicans on to our side of this fight.''
AdvertisementSome said they intend to shield Republican lawmakers who stand up to Trump. Others floated forming a third party. And still others want to direct their energies toward rebuilding trust in government and using Trump's ouster as momentum for reforms on government ethics, taking a page from the post-Watergate playbook.
''Can we recruit never-Trumpers to run? Can we find moderate candidates to run, is that the best thing to do? Is the best thing to do to be more helpful to Biden? I don't think there's any clear answers right now,'' said Tim Miller, a former spokesperson for Jeb Bush and a leading never-Trumper who left the Republican Party in November.
In this Oct. 21, 2016 file photo, Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin speaks during a rally in Draper, Utah. | AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Trumpism isn't going anywhere. The repudiation of GOP candidates up and down the ballot that never-Trumpers longed for never materialized, and Trump is already teasing a 2024 comeback bid. If he runs again, that would keep the activists united, but many are skeptical he'll follow through. Polls show that two-thirds of Republican voters think Trump didn't legitimately lose. And more than 120 Republican House lawmakers signed their names to a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas that attempted to subvert the will of the electorate.
Nudging Biden toward the centerSome never-Trump leaders said their biggest point of leverage is within the Biden administration and the Democratic Party, not the GOP. They're looking to leverage friendships they've forged within Biden's circle to pull the new president toward the center '-- all but ensuring he will be squeezed by the left and right. Biden's coalition included a record number of crossover endorsements from past Republican officials at all levels of government.
Advertisement''We can be a reminder that it's a dangerous path to start moving too far left,'' said Mickey Edwards, a former Republican congressman and co-founder of the conservative Heritage Foundation. ''I have friends already who are going to be in good positions in the administration, and that's just a phone call [away]. We'll have a pipeline into the administration.''
Bill Kristol, a leading figure in the anti-Trump movement, said that ''never-Trump Republicans are a small but potentially important part of the overall Biden governing coalition.'' If Biden tries to pass an immigration bill, for instance, they could help by touting provisions popular with Republicans and moderates.
''It could be ads. It could be private meetings. It could be talking to business leaders or to ... members of Congress,'' he said. ''Never-Trumpers can help the Biden administration govern successfully.''
Though several of the never-Trumpers don't consider themselves Democrats, they aren't too concerned about the success of the current GOP, either. Edwards said all of the anti-Trump Republicans he knows want the Republican candidates in the Georgia Senate runoffs to lose because a GOP-controlled Senate will stymie a Biden agenda. And a do-nothing Biden presidency would optimize conditions for ''another Trump'' in four years, he said.
Lincoln Party teams with Dems in GeorgiaThe Lincoln Project, which drew buzz throughout the year with its viral anti-Trump ads, plans to do what it did throughout 2020: Troll Trump evangelists.
Though the group failed to defeat most of the Republican Senate candidates it campaigned against, Lincoln Project leaders still said they see themselves playing an ''accountability'' role in the Georgia runoffs and beyond.
''At this point, we're as much never-Republican as we are anything else,'' said Reed Galen, co-founder of the group.
The Lincoln Project is ''coordinating'' with a larger coalition of Democratic and civil rights groups '-- including Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight, Senate Majority PAC, the NAACP and BlackPAC '-- on how ''we can be helpful to them either with [polling], staff support or financial support,'' Galen said.
In a new TV and digital ad launching soon, the Lincoln Project hits Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) for stock trading after attending a private Senate briefing about the spreading coronavirus. The ad, first shared with POLITICO, strikes a populist tone that contrasts Loeffler's wealth '-- her mansion in Georgia and villa in Sea Island '-- with Americans struggling during the pandemic.
AdvertisementIn the longer term, the 18 Republican attorneys general and majority of House Republicans who backed the failed Texas lawsuit are ''not going to get a free pass,'' Galen said. ''They don't get to run themselves through the car wash on Jan. 21 and say, 'Just kidding, we didn't mean it.'''
Raising money without Trump in the White House to motivate donors is bound to be another challenge for the movement. Lincoln Project leaders said they expect fundraising to dip after the Georgia runoffs, but they're confident their creativity in ads and messaging will draw attention that helps bring in money. Kristol said ''our donors think we made a difference in 2020'' and want the group to keep it up.
A secretive anti-Trump group plots what's nextBut the path forward for the never-Trump movement writ large is far from clear. A recent email to attendees of the secretive anti-Trump gathering known as the Meeting of the Concerned, which was obtained by POLITICO, illustrates the crossroads that some never-Trumpers face.
With Trump soon leaving office, ''it's worth thinking through what new functions the meetings can or should serve,'' Geoff Kabaservice, an organizer of the meeting, wrote to his allies.
He then requested that they fill out a questionnaire, which asked everything from, ''Do you believe that, after Trump leaves office, the Republican Party can become a positive force in American political life?'' to ''Would you prefer to direct your political efforts over the next two years to reforming the GOP, or to supporting the Democrats or a third party?''
Kabaservice said because the meetings are confidential, he could not discuss the specific findings of the poll. But he said those in the movement ''worry a little about what's going to keep us together'' after Trump leaves office.
Some believe in ''renovating and restoring the Republican Party.'' Others say, ''Good riddance, and it all needs to be burned down.'' As for forming a third party, Kaberservice said, there's a ''huge difference of opinion.''
Sarah Longwell, co-founder of the anti-Trump Republicans for the Rule of Law, said her mission is twofold: Keep fighting attacks by Trump on the election system and protect Republicans who break with Trump or who work with Democrats.
AdvertisementHer group dropped nearly $1 million in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan defending GOP officials who certified election results in recent weeks. Longwell's group also launched its first-ever ad buy on Newsmax '-- a far-right outlet that's become a favorite of Trump's '-- to challenge the misinformation served up to Trump voters at the source. And if Trump runs again, she'll keep her other organization, Republican Voters Against Trump, going.
Longwell also said, ''We want to be there to help provide air support for Republicans who are trying to find a way to work together on sensible things'' with Biden, such as infrastructure legislation or reforms that rein in executive power.
A new party?The Republican Party's attempts to overturn the election results, including a coming last-ditch effort on the House floor and threats of violence by GOP officials, stunned never-Trumpers. It spurred McMullin to ask in a New York Times op-ed this week whether it was time to form a new conservative party.
That may ''include running our own candidates in Republican primaries,'' he said in an interview with POLITICO.
''I wouldn't advocate for starting a new party without the support of some sitting officials in Congress or elsewhere,'' McMullin said. ''We're inching closer to a point in which that might be possible.''
Some leading never-Trump groups have started discussing which Trump loyalists to target in primaries. Among the possibilities: Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Chris Stewart of Utah, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Paul Gosar of Arizona. They may also challenge Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) by lending support to a Democrat. Conversations are in early stages, however, and targets could change depending on which party wins the Senate.
The amorphous nature of the never-Trump movement is plain in the individuals who compose it. Some have done what they once considered unthinkable and become Democrats. Others said they're not Democrats, but they aren't Republicans either, making it harder to plot their next moves.
''I don't see a place for me to get elected to anything in the next four years because Trump and Trumpism is going to dominate,'' said former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.). ''I'm going to probably be in the political wilderness for the rest of my life.''
AdvertisementStevens, of the Lincoln Project, is willing to work for Republicans but is more focused on helping Democrats be a ''governing'' party.
''Basically, the choice now dividing the parties is not so much ideological as pro-democracy or pro-authoritarian,'' Stevens said. ''It's unlike anything we've ever seen. We've had authoritarian movements in America before, but we've never had one so embraced by a majority of a party to throw out election results.''
Joe Biden may be the new president-elect '-- but with President Donald Trump continuing to challenge the results and Senate control up still up for grabs, the story of the election is far from over.
Space Force!
Memorandum on the National Strategy for Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion (Space Policy Directive-6) | The White House
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 04:04
Space Policy Directive-6
SUBJECT: National Strategy for Space Nuclear Powerand Propulsion
Section 1. Policy. The ability to use space nuclear power and propulsion (SNPP) systems safely, securely, and sustainably is vital to maintaining and advancing United States dominance and strategic leadership in space. SNPP systems include radioisotope power systems (RPSs) and fission reactors used for power or propulsion in spacecraft, rovers, and other surface elements. SNPP systems can allow operation of such elements in environments in which solar and chemical power are inadequate. They can produce more power at lower mass and volume compared to other energy sources, thereby enabling persistent presence and operations. SNPP systems also can shorten transit times for crewed and robotic spacecraft, thereby reducing radiation exposure in harsh space environments.
National Security Presidential Memorandum-20 (NSPM-20) of August 20, 2019 (Launch of Spacecraft Containing Space Nuclear Systems), updated the process for launches of spacecraft containing space nuclear systems. It established it as the policy of the United States to ''develop and use space nuclear systems when such systems safely enable or enhance space exploration or operational capabilities.''
Cooperation with commercial and international partners is critical to achieving America's objectives for space exploration. Presidential Policy Directive 4 of June 28, 2010 (National Space Policy), as amended by the Presidential Memorandum of December 11, 2017 (Reinvigorating America's Human Space Exploration Program), established it as the policy of the United States to ''[l]ead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.''
This memorandum establishes a national strategy to ensure the development and use of SNPP systems when appropriate to enable and achieve the scientific, exploration, national security, and commercial objectives of the United States. In the context of this strategy only, the term ''development'' includes the full development process from design through testing and production, and the term ''use'' includes launch, operation, and disposition. This memorandum outlines high-level policy goals and a supporting roadmap that will advance the ability of the United States to use SNPP systems safely, securely, and sustainably. The execution of this strategy will be subject to relevant budgetary and regulatory processes and to the availability of appropriations.
Sec. 2. Goals. The United States will pursue goals for SNPP development and use that are both mission-enabling and ambitious in their substance and their timeline. These goals will enable a range of existing and future space missions, with the aim of accelerating achievement of key milestones, including in-space demonstration and use of new SNPP capabilities. This memorandum establishes the following such goals for the Nation:
(a) Develop uranium fuel processing capabilities that enable production of fuel that is suitable to lunar and planetary surface and in-space power, nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) applications, as needed. These capabilities should support the ability to produce different uranium fuel forms to meet the nearest-term mission needs and, to the extent feasible, should maximize commonality '-- meaning use of the same or similar materials, processes, designs, or infrastructure '-- across these fuel forms. To maximize private-sector engagement and cost savings, these capabilities should be developed to enable a range of terrestrial as well as space applications, including future commercial applications;
(b) Demonstrate a fission power system on the surface of the Moon that is scalable to a power range of 40 kilowatt-electric (kWe) and higher to support a sustained lunar presence and exploration of Mars. To the extent feasible, this power system should align with mission needs for, and potential future government and commercial applications of, in-space power, NEP, and terrestrial nuclear power;
(c) Establish the technical foundations and capabilities '-- including through identification and resolution of the key technical challenges '-- that will enable options for NTP to meet future Department of Defense (DoD) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission requirements; and
(d) Develop advanced RPS capabilities that provide higher fuel efficiency, higher specific energy, and longer operational lifetime than existing RPS capabilities, thus enabling survivable surface elements to support robotic and human exploration of the Moon and Mars and extending robotic exploration of the solar system.
Sec. 3. Principles. The United States will adhere to principles of safety, security, and sustainability in its development and use of SNPP systems, in accordance with all applicable Federal laws and consistent with international obligations and commitments.
(a) Safety. All executive departments and agencies (agencies) involved in the development and use of SNPP systems shall take appropriate measures to ensure, within their respective roles and responsibilities, the safe development, testing, launch, operation, and disposition of SNPP systems. For United States Government SNPP programs, the sponsoring agency holds primary responsibility for safety. For programs involving multiple agencies, the terms of cooperation shall designate a lead agency with primary responsibility for safety in each stage of development and use.
(i) Ground development. Activities associated with ground development, including ground testing, of SNPP systems shall be conducted in accordance with applicable Federal, State, and local laws and existing authorities of regulatory agencies.
(ii) Launch. NSPM-20 established safety guidelines and safety analysis and review processes for Federal Government launches of spacecraft containing space nuclear systems, including SNPP systems, and for launches for which the Department of Transportation has statutory authority to license as commercial space launch activities (commercial launches). These guidelines and processes address launch and any subsequent stages during which accidents may result in radiological effects on the public or the environment '-- for instance, in an unplanned reentry from Earth orbit or during an Earth flyby. Launch activities shall be conducted in accordance with these guidelines and processes.
(iii) Operation and disposition. The operation and disposition of SNPP systems shall be planned and conducted in a manner that protect human and environmental safety and national security assets. Fission reactor SNPP systems may be operated on interplanetary missions, in sufficiently high orbits, and in low-Earth orbits if they are stored in sufficiently high orbits after the operational part of their mission. In this context, a sufficiently high orbit is one in which the orbital lifetime of the spacecraft is long enough for the fission products to decay to a level of radioactivity comparable to that of uranium-235 by the time it reenters the Earth's atmosphere, and the risks to existing and future space missions and of collision with objects in space are minimized. Spacecraft operating fission reactors in low-Earth orbits shall incorporate a highly reliable operational system to ensure effective and controlled disposition of the reactor.
(b) Security. All agencies involved in the development and use of SNPP systems shall take appropriate measures to protect nuclear and radiological materials and sensitive information, consistent with sound nuclear nonproliferation principles. For United States Government SNPP programs, the sponsoring agency holds primary responsibility for security. For programs involving multiple agencies, the terms of cooperation shall designate a lead agency with primary responsibility for security in each stage of development and use. The use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in SNPP systems should be limited to applications for which the mission would not be viable with other nuclear fuels or non'‘nuclear power sources. Before selecting HEU or, for fission reactor systems, any nuclear fuel other than low'‘enriched uranium (LEU), for any given SNPP design or mission, the sponsoring agency shall conduct a thorough technical review to assess the viability of alternative nuclear fuels. The sponsoring agency shall provide to the respective staffs of the National Security Council, the National Space Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget a briefing that provides justification for why the use of HEU or other non-LEU fuel is required, and any steps the agency has taken to address nuclear safety, security, and proliferation-related risks. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall ensure, through the National Science and Technology Council, that other relevant agencies are invited to participate in these briefings.
(c) Sustainability. All agencies involved in the development and use of SNPP systems shall take appropriate measures to conduct these activities in a manner that is suitable for the long-term sustainment of United States space capabilities and leadership in SNPP.
(i) Coordination and Collaboration. To maximize efficiency and return on taxpayer investment, the heads of relevant agencies shall seek and pursue opportunities to coordinate among existing and future SNPP development and use programs.Connecting current efforts with likely future applications will help ensure that such programs can contribute to long-term United States SNPP capabilities and leadership.Agencies also shall seek opportunities to partner with the private sector, including academic institutions, in order to facilitate contributions to United States SNPP capabilities and leadership.To help identify opportunities for collaboration, the heads of relevant agencies should conduct regular technical exchanges among SNPP programs, to the extent that such exchanges are consistent with the principle of security and comply with applicable Federal, State, and local laws.Agencies shall coordinate with the Department of State when seeking opportunities for international partnerships.
(ii) Commonality. The heads of relevant agencies shall seek to identify and use opportunities for commonality among SNPP systems, and between SNPP and terrestrial nuclear systems, whenever doing so could advance program and policy objectives without unduly inhibiting innovation or market development, or hampering system suitability to specific mission applications. For example, opportunities for commonality may exist in goals (e.g., demonstration timeline), reactor design, nuclear fuels (e.g., fuel type and form, and enrichment level), supplementary systems (e.g., power conversion, moderator, reflector, shielding, and system vessel), methods (e.g., additive manufacturing of fuel or reactor elements), and infrastructure (e.g., fuel supply, testing facilities, launch facilities, and workforce).
(iii) Cost-effectiveness. The heads of relevant agencies should pursue SNPP development and use solutions that are cost-effective while also consistent with the principles of safety and security. For any program or system, the heads of such agencies should seek to identify the combination of in-space and ground-based testing and certification that will best qualify the system for a given mission while ensuring public safety.
Sec. 4. Roles and Responsibilities. (a) The Vice President, on behalf of the President and acting through the National Space Council, shall coordinate United States policy related to use of SNPP systems.
(b) The Secretary of State shall, under the direction of the President, coordinate United States activities related to international obligations and commitments and international cooperation involving SNPP.
(c) The Secretary of Defense shall conduct and support activities associated with development and use of SNPP systems to enable and achieve United States national security objectives. When appropriate, the Secretary of Defense shall facilitate private-sector engagement in DoD SNPP activities.
(d) The Secretary of Commerce shall promote responsible United States commercial SNPP investment, innovation, and use, and shall, when consistent with the authorities of the Secretary, ensure the publication of clear, flexible, performance-based rules that are applicable to use of SNPP and are easily navigated. Under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, the Department of Commerce (DOC) shall ascertain and communicate the views of private-sector partners and potential private-sector partners to relevant agency partners in order to facilitate public-private collaboration in SNPP development and use.
(e) The Secretary of Transportation's statutory authority includes licensing commercial launches and reentries, including vehicles containing SNPP systems. Within this capacity, the Secretary of Transportation shall, when appropriate, facilitate private-sector engagement in the launch or reentry aspect of SNPP development and use activities, in support of United States science, exploration, national security, and commercial objectives. To help ensure the launch safety of an SNPP payload, and consistent with 51 U.S.C. 50904, a payload review may be conducted as part of a license application review or may be requested by a payload owner or operator in advance of or apart from a license application.
(f) The Secretary of Energy shall, in coordination with sponsoring agencies and other agencies, as appropriate, support development and use of SNPP systems to enable and achieve United States scientific, exploration, and national security objectives. When appropriate, the Secretary of Energy shall work with sponsoring agencies and DOC to facilitate United States private-sector engagement in Department of Energy (DOE) SNPP activities. Under the direction of the Secretary of Energy and consistent with the authorities granted to DOE, including authorities under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2011, et seq., DOE may authorize ground-based SNPP development activities, including DOE activities conducted in coordination with sponsoring agencies and private-sector entities. As directed in NSPM-20, the Secretary of Energy shall maintain, on a full-cost recovery basis, the capability and infrastructure to develop, furnish, and conduct safety analyses for space nuclear systems for use in United States Government space systems.
(g) The Administrator of NASA shall conduct and support activities associated with development and use of SNPP systems to enable and achieve United States space science and exploration objectives. The Administrator of NASA shall establish the performance requirements for SNPP capabilities necessary to achieve those objectives. When appropriate, the Administrator of NASA shall facilitate private-sector engagement in NASA SNPP activities, and shall coordinate with the Secretary of Commerce and, as appropriate, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Energy, to help facilitate private-sector SNPP activities.
(h) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has statutory authority under the AEA for licensing and regulatory safety and security oversight of commercial nuclear activities taking place within the United States. The NRC should, as appropriate and particularly in circumstances within NRC authority where DOE regulatory authorities cannot be applied, enable private-sector engagement in SNPP development and use activities in support of United States science, exploration, national security, and commercial objectives.
(i) The Director of the Office and Science and Technology Policy shall coordinate United States policy related to research and development of SNPP systems.
Sec. 5. Roadmap. The United States will pursue a coordinated roadmap for federally-supported SNPP activities to achieve the goals and uphold the principles established in this memorandum. This roadmap comprises the following elements, which the relevant agencies should pursue consistent with the following objective timeline, subject to relevant budgetary and regulatory processes and to the availability of appropriations:
(a) By the mid-2020s, develop uranium fuel processing capabilities that enable production of fuel that is suitable for lunar and planetary surface and in-space power, NEP, and NTP applications, as needed.
(i) Identify relevant mission needs. DoD and NASA should provide to DOE any mission needs (e.g., power density, environment, and timelines) relevant to the identification of fuels suitable for planetary surface and in-space power, NEP, and NTP applications.
(ii) Identify candidate fuel or fuels. DoD and NASA, in cooperation with DOE and private-sector partners, as appropriate, should identify candidate fuel or fuels to meet the identified mission requirements. This review and assessment should account for current and expected United States capabilities to produce and qualify for use candidate fuels, and for potential commonality of fuels or fuel variants across multiple planetary surface and in-space power, in-space propulsion, and terrestrial applications.
(iii) Qualify at least one candidate fuel. DoD and NASA, in cooperation with DOE and private-sector partners, as appropriate, should qualify a fuel or fuels for demonstrations of a planetary surface power reactor and an in-space propulsion system. While seeking opportunities to use private-sector-partner capabilities, agencies should ensure that the Federal Government retains an ability for screening and qualification of candidate fuels.
(iv) Supply fuel for demonstrations. DOE, in cooperation with NASA and DoD, and with private-sector partners, as appropriate, should identify feedstock and uranium that can be made available for planetary surface power and in-space propulsion demonstrations. DOE shall ensure that any provision of nuclear material for SNPP will not disrupt enriched uranium supplies for the United States nuclear weapons program and the naval propulsion program, and that SNPP needs are included among broader considerations of nuclear fuel supply provisioning and management.
(b) By the mid- to late-2020s, demonstrate a fission power system on the surface of the Moon that is scalable to a power range of 40 kWe and higher to support sustained lunar presence and exploration of Mars.
(i) Initiate a surface power project. NASA should initiate a fission surface power project for lunar surface demonstration by 2027, with scalability to Mars exploration. NASA should consult with DoD and other agencies, and with the private sector, as appropriate, when developing project requirements.
(ii) Conduct technology and requirements assessment. NASA, in coordination with DoD and other agencies, and with private-sector partners, as appropriate, should evaluate technology options for a surface power system including reactor designs, power conversion, shielding, and thermal management. NASA should work with other agencies, and private-sector partners, as appropriate, to evaluate opportunities for commonality among other SNPP needs, including in-space power and terrestrial power needs, possible NEP technology needs, and reactor demonstrations planned by NASA, other agencies, or the private sector.
(iii) Engage the private sector. DOE and NASA should determine a mechanism or mechanisms for engaging with the private sector to meet NASA's SNPP surface power needs in an effective manner consistent with the guiding principles set forth in this memorandum. In evaluating mechanisms, DOE and NASA should consider the possibility of NASA issuing a request for proposal for the development and construction of the surface power reactor system or demonstration.
(iv) System development. NASA should work with DOE, and with other agencies and private-sector partners, as appropriate, to develop the lunar surface power demonstration project.
(v) Conduct demonstration mission. NASA, in coordination with other agencies and with private-sector partners, as appropriate, should launch and conduct the lunar surface power demonstration project.
(c) By the late-2020s, establish the technical foundations and capabilities '-- including through identification and resolution of the key technical challenges '-- that will enable NTP options to meet future DoD and NASA mission needs.
(i) Conduct requirements assessment. DoD and NASA, in cooperation with DOE, and with other agencies and private-sector partners, as appropriate, should assess the ability of NTP capabilities to enable and advance existing and potential future DoD and NASA mission requirements.
(ii) Conduct technology assessment. DoD and NASA, in cooperation with DOE, and with other agencies and private-sector partners, as appropriate, should evaluate technology options and associated key technical challenges for an NTP system, including reactor designs, power conversion, and thermal management. DoD and NASA should work with their partners to evaluate and use opportunities for commonality with other SNPP needs, terrestrial power needs, and reactor demonstration projects planned by agencies and the private sector.
(iii) Technology development. DoD, in coordination with DOE and other agencies, and with private-sector partners, as appropriate, should develop reactor and propulsion system technologies that will resolve the key technical challenges in areas such as reactor design and production, propulsion system and spacecraft design, and SNPP system integration.
(d) By 2030, develop advanced RPS capabilities that provide higher fuel efficiency, higher specific energy, and longer operational lifetime than existing RPS capabilities, thus enabling survivable surface elements to support robotic and human exploration of the Moon and Mars and extending robotic exploration of the solar system.
(i) Maintain RPS capability. Mission sponsoring agencies should assess their needs for radioisotope heat source material to meet emerging mission requirements, and should work with DOE to jointly identify the means to produce or acquire the necessary material on a timeline that meets mission requirements.
(ii) Engage the private sector. NASA, in coordination with DOE and DOC, should conduct an assessment of opportunities for engaging the private sector to meet RPS needs in an effective manner consistent with the guiding principles established in this memorandum.
(iii) Conduct technology and requirements assessment. NASA, in coordination with DOE and DoD, and with other agencies and private-sector partners, as appropriate, should assess requirements for next-generation RPS systems and evaluate technology options for meeting those requirements.
(iv) System development. DOE, in coordination with NASA and DoD, and with other agencies and private-sector partners, as appropriate, should develop one or more next-generation RPS system or systems to meet the goals of higher fuel efficiency, higher specific energy, and longer operational lifetime for the required range of power.
Sec. 6. Implementation. The Vice President, through the National Space Council, shall coordinate implementation of this memorandum.
Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(d) The Secretary of Energy is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
Ratcliffe: Space Force to become 18th member of the U.S. intelligence community - SpaceNews
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 05:31
by Sandra Erwin '-- December 9, 2020 Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe speaks Dec. 9, 2020, at the eighth meeting of the National Space Council. Credit: Jeff Foust via Twitter''We see this as a critical next step in establishing the nation's newest service,'' said Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, Space Force director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
WASHINGTON '-- The U.S. Space Force soon will become the 18th member of the U.S. intelligence community, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Dec. 9.
Intelligence elements of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force are part of the U.S. intelligence community. The Space Force will be added next, Ratcliffe said during the eighth meeting of the National Space Council at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
A spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told SpaceNews that Ratcliffe is ''working with Space Force leadership to evaluate the potential for the Space Force to become the 18th member of the U.S. intelligence community. We anticipate a decision on this history-making opportunity in the next few months, which would profoundly strengthen the partnership between the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.''
The intelligence community has two independent agencies'--the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency. There are eight Department of Defense elements '-- the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and intelligence elements of the four armed services.
The other seven are elements of the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury.
Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, Space Force director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, said in a statement to SpaceNews that the service welcomes the opportunity to be part of the U.S. intelligence community. ''We see this as a critical next step in establishing the nation's newest service,'' she said.
''As members of the intelligence community we will be able to better advocate for intelligence funding to support space as a growing mission area,'' Lauderback said. ''We look forward to further integrating into the intelligence community and partnering with existing members to strengthen the community.''
Ratcliffe said his office also is working with the Space Force on plans to create a new national space intelligence center that will focus on technical intelligence needed to defend space systems from anti-satellite weapons being developed by China and Russia.
Separately, lawmakers have proposed legislation to bring an element of the intelligence community into the Space Force. Language adopted by the Senate in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 requires the direction of national intelligence, DoD, Air Force and Space Force leaders to ''submit a plan for establishing an element of the intelligence community within the United States Space Force.'' The final bill has not yet been passed by Congress.
France to start research into 'enhanced soldiers' - BBC News
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:29
Published duration 9 December
image copyright Getty Images
image caption France has the largest defence budget in the EU and troops deployed around the worldThe French armed forces have been given the go-ahead to start research on developing "enhanced soldiers".
A report laid out conditions under which work on implants and other technologies designed to improve battlefield performance should be carried out in the future.
The report stresses that other nations are exploring such possibilities, and that France must keep up.
Defence Minister Florence Parly has emphasised the need to look ahead.
In a speech last week she said France had no immediate plans to develop "invasive" technology for soldiers. "But we must face the facts," she added. "Not everyone shares our scruples and we must be prepared for whatever the future holds."
She said "ways to maintain our operational superiority without turning our backs on our values" must be explored.
Details of the report by the military ethics committee were released on Tuesday.
"Human beings have long sought ways to increase their physical or cognitive abilities in order to fight wars," it warned. "Possible advances could ultimately lead to capacity enhancements being introduced into soldiers' bodies."
The report mentioned research on implants that could "improve cerebral capacity" or help soldiers tell enemy from ally. These could also allow commanders to locate them or read their vital signs from a distance.
Drawing clear ethical lines, the document noted, was "therefore essential". It said eugenic or genetic practices should be banned, as well as anything "that could jeopardise the soldier's integration into society or return to civilian life".
In her speech, Ms Parly noted that in civilian fields, work on neural implants for humans was proceeding apace.
This year Elon Musk unveiled a pig called Gertrude with a coin-sized computer chip in her brain, to demonstrate his ambitious plans to create a working brain-to-machine interface.
media caption Gertrude the pig had the chip implanted two months ago
GrapheneOS not Bad!
FTC orders Amazon, Facebook and others to explain how they use personal data
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 21:52
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joe Simon speaks during a press conference on September 4, 2019, at the FTC headquarters in Washington, DC. - Simons announced Google agreed to pay a $170 million fine to settle charges that it illegally collected and shared data from children on its YouTube video service without consent of parents. (Photo by Mandel Ngan / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN | AFP | Getty Images
The Federal Trade Commission is requiring nine tech companies to share information about how they collect and use data from their users, the agency announced Monday.
Amazon, TikTok owner ByteDance, Discord, Facebook and its subsidiary WhatsApp, Reddit, Snap, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube were each sent orders to hand over information about their data practices. The companies have 45 days to respond from the date they received the orders.
Along with details about how the services collect and use data, the agency is seeking information about how how they determine which ads to show their users, whether algorithms or data analytics are used on personal information, how they "measure promote, and research" engagement from users and how their data practices impact children and teens.
The FTC is using its authority under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which allows it to pursue broad studies separate from law enforcement. The agency launched a separate 6(b) study earlier this year to examine past acquisitions by Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft that would not have been subject to pre-reporting rules for mergers. Chairman Joe Simons said at the time that while a 6(b) study is not connected to an enforcement action, the merger review could "definitely could inform enforcement."
The FTC filed charges last week against Facebook alleging the company has unlawfully maintained a monopoly in personal social networking services. The lawsuit, filed alongside a separate complaint from a group of 48 states and territories, claims Facebook bought up nascent rivals like Instagram and WhatsApp that it feared would enter its core business area. The enforcers claim Facebook's actions have harmed consumers in part by diluting the quality of services available, including based on features like privacy. Facebook called the lawsuit "revisionist history" of its two major acquisitions which the FTC itself allowed to go through.
The commissioners voted to issue Monday's orders in a 4-1 vote with Republican Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips dissenting. In a statement, Phillips wrote that while he appreciates the stated aim of the orders, he believes they are "instead an undisciplined foray into a wide variety of topics, some only tangentially related to the stated focus of this investigation."
Phillips added, "The breadth of the inquiry, the tangential relationship of its parts, and the dissimilarity of the recipients combine to render these orders unlikely to produce the kind of information the public needs, and certain to divert scarce Commission resources better directed elsewhere."
Three of the commissioners who voted in favor of the action said in a statement, "The FTC wants to understand how business models influence what Americans hear and see, with whom they talk, and what information they share... And the FTC wants to better understand the financial incentives of social media and video streaming services."
"We're working, as we always do, to ensure the FTC has the information it needs to understand how Twitter operates its services," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.
"Discord takes user privacy very seriously and we look forward to working with the FTC to answer their questions about our privacy practices," a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. "Importantly, there are no ads on Discord. We make no money from advertising, selling user data to advertisers, or sharing users' personal information with others. Instead, the company generates its revenue directly from users through a paid subscription service called Nitro."
The other companies named in the orders did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.
Facebook criticizes Apple privacy change in second day of ad blitz
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 11:56
Published Thu, Dec 17 2020 4:00 AM EST
A Facebook iconShare by facebookA Twitter iconShare by twitterA LinkedIn iconShare by linkedinAn email iconShare by email
The day after launching an attack on Apple's upcoming privacy change, Facebook is running another ad focused on the availability of content in a world less reliant on personalized advertising. Facebook has been outspoken about the change since it was announced in June, accusing Apple of moving the free, ad-supported internet into paid apps and services, where Apple can take a cut.Apple's change will take a privacy option that was previously more difficult to access and put it front and center when consumers open an app. It's expected to dramatically impact the ability of advertisers to target ads the way they have been since people likely won't opt in.Facebook's logo displayed on a phone screen.
Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto via Getty Images
The day after launching an attack on Apple's upcoming privacy change, Facebook is running another ad prompting consumers to consider whether they'd pay for apps they that are currently free.
Facebook on Wednesday ran newspaper ads, published a new website and ran blog posts outlining its arguments opposing Apple's privacy change, which it claims "threatens the personalized ads that millions of small businesses rely on to find and reach customers."
Apple will soon be making a change to settings on users' iPhones in the name of privacy, and it will fundamentally change the way mobile advertising works on those devices. It will take a privacy option that was previously buried deep in users' phones and put it front and center when they open an app. It's expected to dramatically impact the ability of advertisers to target ads the way they have been since people likely won't opt in.
Facebook has been outspoken about the change since it was announced in June, accusing Apple of moving the free, ad-supported internet into paid apps and services, where Apple can take its 30% cut.
A new ad, slated to run in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post on Thursday, took a different tack: Suggesting content makers will have to turn to subscriptions to replace lost ad revenue, and leaving consumers to have to pay for what once was free.
"Take your favorite cooking sites or sports blogs," the ad copy read. "Most are free because they show advertisements. Apple's change will limit their ability to run personalized ads. To make ends meet, many will have to start charging you subscription fees or adding more in-app purchases, making the internet much more expensive and reducing high-quality free content."
Wednesday's ads introduced a new page on Facebook for Business, which includes videos of interviews from business owners speaking out against the ad change. It also includes explanations of what will happen, and a "toolkit" to make posts with the hashtag "#SpeakUpForSmall" to talk about the change.
"We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users. Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites '-- and they should have the choice to allow that or not," Apple said in an emailed statement Wednesday. "App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising, it simply requires they give users a choice."
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A New Satellite Can Peer Inside Buildings, Day or Night
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:06
A few months ago, a company called Capella Space launched a satellite capable of taking clear radar images of anywhere in the world, with incredible resolution '-- even through the walls of some buildings.
And unlike most of the huge array of surveillance and observational satellites orbiting the Earth, its satellite Capella 2 can snap a clear picture during night or day, rain or shine.
''It turns out that half of the world is in nighttime, and half of the world, on average, is cloudy,'' CEO Payam Banazadeh, a former system engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory, told Futurism. ''When you combine those two together, about 75 percent of Earth, at any given time, is going to be cloudy, nighttime, or it's going to be both. It's invisible to you, and that portion is moving around.''
On Wednesday, Capella launched a platform allowing governmental or private customers to request images of anything in the world '-- a capability that will only get more powerful with the deployment of six additional satellites next year. Is that creepy from a privacy point of view? Sure. But Banazadeh says that it also plugs numerous holes in the ways scientists and government agencies are currently able to monitor the planet.
''There's a bunch of gaps in how we're currently observing Earth from space '-- the majority of the sensors we use to observe earth are optical imaging sensors,'' he said. ''If it's cloudy, you're going to see the clouds, not what's happening under the clouds. And if there's not much light, you're going to have a really hard time getting an image that is useful.''
By contrast, Capella can peer right through cloud cover, and see just as well in the daylight as in total darkness. That's because instead of optical imaging, it uses synthetic aperture radar, or SAR.
Roswell International Air Center, New Mexico. SAR imagery provided by Capella Space.SAR works similarly to how dolphins and bats navigate using echolocation. The satellite beams down a powerful 9.65 GHz radio signal toward its target, and then collects and interprets the signal as it bounces back up into orbit. And because the satellite is sending down its own signal rather than passively capturing light, sometimes those signals can even penetrate right through a building's wall, peering at the interior like Superman's X-ray vision.
''At that frequency, the clouds are pretty much transparent,'' Banazadeh told Futurism. ''You can penetrate clouds, fog, moisture, smoke, haze. Those things don't matter anymore. And because you're generating your own signal, it's as if you're carrying a flashlight. You don't care if it's day or night.''
Capella didn't invent SAR. But Banazadeh says it's the first U.S. company to offer the technology, and the first worldwide to offer a more accessible platform for potential customers to use.
''Part of the challenge in this industry is that working with satellite imagery providers has been difficult,'' he explained. ''You might have to send a bunch of emails to find out how they could collect images for you. In some instances, you might have to send a fax.''
Another innovation, he says, is the resolution at which Capella's satellites can collect imagery. Each pixel in one of the satellite's images represents a 50-centimeter-by-50-centimeter square, while other SAR satellites on the market can only get down to around five meters. When it comes to actually discerning what you're looking at from space, that makes a huge difference.
Cityscapes are particularly intriguing. Skyscrapers poke out of the Earth like ghostly, angular mushrooms '-- and, if you look carefully, you notice that you can see straight through some of them. You won't be able to on the below image because it's too compressed, but Banazadeh said that the original image was so detailed you could check out individual rooms.
Tokyo. SAR imagery provided by Capella Space.Right now, that's as good a resolution as is possible with SAR. Not because of technological limitations '-- Capella hopes to improve with subsequent satellite launches down the road '-- but because of U.S. law.
And interestingly, that resolution cap is the only limit that the law places on services like Capella's. As long as the company don't improve the resolution a hair beyond what it's at now, Banazadeh said its satellites can image any part of the world that a paying customer asks for '-- even technically the inside of a home.
Those customers, he explained, could be government agencies monitoring a hostile military for movement or tracking an airport for activity. That's where that wall-penetrating vision comes into play. Banazadeh gave the example of an airport where planes hidden under a canopy became clear as day thanks to SAR satellites. The customers may also be scientists peering through the thick clouds of the Amazon rainforest to track deforestation, or even investors checking up on global supply chains.
Possibilities abound. Train two SAR satellites on the same target and they can actually image targets in three dimensions down to minute differences in height. Banazadeh said one group is already using that trick to measure how much oil is being stored in open-top oil tanks or how much is being extracted from an open-pit mine on a given day '-- and using that information as a proxy for the value of various commodities. That can also help authorities monitor infrastructure for possible safety issues: SAR can track how much the ground above a tunnel sinks over time, for example.
''We're making it very easy for people with all sorts of backgrounds to interact with a company like us, and that inevitably is going to bring a more users that previously couldn't access this market,'' Banazadeh said. ''That's our hope.''
Do you support our journalism? Times are tough in the industry, but if you want to help us produce more great stories like this one, you can subscribe to Futurism for just $5.99 per month.
More on satellites: SpaceX Is Launching a Fleet of Pirate-Hunting Satellites
Bitcoin Faces A $600 Billion Catalyst, JPMorgan Strategists Say
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 05:07
The Bitcoin price has seen a stunning rally throughout 2020, rising from $3,600 in March to over $19,000 in December. In the longer term, JPMorgan JPM strategists say a $600 billion catalyst potentially awaits the dominant cryptocurrency.
According to a note from JPMorgan strategists including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, a 1% allocation from pension funds and insurance firms in the U.S., eurozone, U.K., and Japan would amount to $600 billion.
Currently, the market capitalization of Bitcoin stands at around $356 billion. If BTC sees an influx of buyer demand that is larger than its current valuation in the next several years, the probability of exponential growth increases.
The optimistic stance towards the Bitcoin price from JPMorgan comes after MassMutual purchased $100 million worth of BTC.
The weekly Bitcoin price chart.
TradingView.comAs contributor Billy Bambrough previously reported, MassMutual, one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S., invested in Bitcoin. The conglomerate has over $675 billion in assets under management, based on data from 2016.
MassMutual's accumulation of Bitcoin is much more significant than a $100 million institutional buy order. It sets a precedent across the insurance and the pension fund sector that BTC is a legitimate store of value.
It also sets a positive image around Bitcoin and showcases unique characters as a store of value.
Bitcoin is special because it can act as both a store of value and an inflation hedge while exposing investors to exponential growth.
Typically, hedges against inflation are like insurance for a portfolio against potential downside risks. They are not there to drive gains but rather protect gains from losses when the market turns.
Although the Bitcoin price can undergo massive swings in the short-term, its long-term outlook remains bright due to its valuation gap with gold.
Bitcoin is still in a nascent phase of growth because there is a massive valuation gap between BTC and gold. The gold market is valued at around $9 trillion, and BTC accounts for less than 4% of that.
''MassMutual's Bitcoin purchases represent another milestone in the Bitcoin adoption by institutional investors. One can see the potential demand that could arise over the coming years as other insurance companies and pension funds follow MassMutual's example,'' the note from JPMorgan strategists read.
The outlook of the Bitcoin price brightens as the institutional demand for BTC continues to ... [+] strengthen.
NurPhoto via Getty ImagesAnother compelling characteristic of Bitcoin is that it could rally in tandem with risk-on assets when the market sentiment brightens.
Hence, albeit investors consider Bitcoin as a safe-haven and an inflation hedge, it could increase with stocks.
For instance, stocks have started to see a small recovery in after-hours trading as vaccines and fiscal stimulus drive risk-on appetite.
''Global stocks start busy week w/small gains as investors look for vaccine-led recovery&US fiscal+mon stimulus. Bipartisan $908bn US relief bill to be unveiled. Pound jump as last-gasp extension to Brexit talks dodged hard divorce. Bonds down w/US 10y 0.91. Gold 1834, Bitcoin >19k,'' Welt's market analyst Holger Zschaepitz said.
How Much Is Bitcoin Really Worth? A New Pricing Model Is Bad News. | Barron's
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 19:09
Text size
The predictions of the social-network framework are impressively correlated with the trajectory of Bitcoin's price history. Dreamstime Bitcoin's price is more than 50% higher than its fair value of about $12,000.
That's one of the implications I draw from a new analysis of the various valuation frameworks for determining the cryptocurrency's fair price. Entitled ''Bitcoin Is Exactly Like Gold Except When It Isn't,'' the analysis was conducted by Claude Erb, a former commodities portfolio manager at TCW Group.
I first wrote about Erb's analysis of precious metals in a February 2013 column for Barron's. His conclusion at the time, reached jointly with Campbell Harvey, a finance professor at Duke University, was that gold's fair value was less than half its then-current price.
Gold fell by $600 an ounce over the subsequent 2½ years. That alone inclines me to pay close attention to what he is now saying about Bitcoin.
This cryptocurrency has been on a tear of late, with a year-to-date gain of 170%. In recent days, in fact, Bitcoin has risen to new all-time highs, eclipsing its prior high set in late 2017.
The valuation framework that concludes Bitcoin's fair price is about $12,000 is based on the thesis that its value derives from what's known as a ''network effect.'' That is, a network's value grows faster than the number of connected users. (This framework is related to what's known as Metcalfe's Law, which holds that a network's value grows according to the square of the number of users.)
To test the explanatory power of this network-effect framework, Erb made the simplifying assumption that each Bitcoin that has been mined represents one user in a Bitcoin network. He then calculated the way that the price of Bitcoin has traded relative to the number of Bitcoins that have been mined up to that point. As you can see from the accompanying chart, his model does a good job of capturing Bitcoin's price rise over the past decade.
According to this model, Erb said in an interview, Bitcoin's fair price as of Dec. 14 is $12,315. Bitcoin's actual Dec. 14 price of $19,201 is 56% higher.
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Of course, a social-network framework is not the only way in which analysts have proposed calculating Bitcoin's fair price. Erb nevertheless suggests we give it serious consideration because no other relative valuation approach is empirically more plausible'--and the predictions of the social-network framework are impressively correlated with the trajectory of Bitcoin's price history.
Using the social-network framework to value Bitcoin also allows us to forecast how much it will rise in the future. That's because its underlying code stipulates both the maximum number of Bitcoins that will ever exist (21 million) as well as how quickly they can be mined (this limit isn't likely to be reached until 2140). According to Erb's econometric model, a 21-million-user network translates to a Bitcoin price of $74,000. Relative to its current price, that represents a 1.2% annualized return over the next 120 years.
Hedging InflationSome other approaches for valuing Bitcoin contend that it's a good inflation hedge. But Erb says those approaches are less empirically plausible than the network effect framework.
He points out that a key precondition for something being a good inflation hedge is that its real, or inflation-adjusted, price is relatively stable. But Bitcoin doesn't satisfy this precondition, at least if we use the consumer-price index as a proxy for inflation. Over the past decade, the ratio of Bitcoin to the CPI has ranged from a low of near zero to a high of over 73.
Bitcoin is even less of a good inflation hedge than gold. That's relevant because many of Bitcoin's supporters argue that it is ''Gold 2.0.'' The gold/CPI ratio over the past decade has ranged between a low of around 3 to a high of around 8, and while that's wider than what it should be if gold were a good inflation hedge, it's far narrower than the comparable ratio for Bitcoin.
The bottom line? Erb's analysis offers something useful for Bitcoin's devotees: a valuation model that can be used to estimate the cryptocurrency's fair value. It's entirely possible that there is another model that does an even better job than his of explaining Bitcoin's price history. Meanwhile, Erb's social-network framework introduces a quantitative discipline into an arena that heretofore has been characterized largely by marketing slogans.
Mark Hulbert is a regular contributor to Barron's. His Hulbert Ratings tracks investment newsletters that pay a flat fee to be audited. He can be reached at
Comments? E-mail us at
Green New Dill
Federal Reserve joins multinational climate group - Axios
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 03:27
The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it has joined a three-year-old network of central banks working to manage climate-related risks to the financial system and help mobilize low-carbon investments.
Why it matters: The Fed board's unanimous vote to join the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System shows how the Fed has increasingly been devoting attention to the topic.
The big picture: "As we develop our understanding of how best to assess the impact of climate change on the financial system, we look forward to continuing and deepening our discussions with our NGFS colleagues from around the world," Fed chairman Jerome Powell said in a statement.
Catch up fast: Reuters points out that the Fed had been the "only major global central bank" other than India's not to join.
But the Fed had already been working with the coalition on an informal basis, and it's the latest step in a growing push by the Fed and its branches to become more active in the topic.Those efforts included a climate conference hosted last year by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.Powell, in a letter to lawmakers last year, noted severe weather can not only "devastate" local economies, including banks, but also "temporarily affect national economic output and employment."Last month, for the first time, the Fed included climate among the risks described in its formal Financial Stability Report.What we're watching: How much the Fed may deepen its involvement on climate in other ways, especially as incoming President Joe Biden makes nominations to the board.
There's already pressure from Democrats and environmentalists for a more aggressive posture.Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii said in a statement that the Fed should follow up its decision to join with "concrete steps" on managing climate risks."That includes setting clear supervisory expectations for how banks should manage their climate risk exposure, and using tools like stress testing to hold them accountable," said Schatz, a member of the Senate Banking Committee.
Mac & Cheese
Ikea Is Now Selling Tiny Homes '-- and They're As Stylish As You'd Expect | Travel + Leisure
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:55
The price on the tiny home starts at $47,550.
Jessica Poitevien December 15, 2020
For decades, Ikea has decorated and organized homes across the world, thanks to its ready-to-assemble furniture. Now, the beloved Swedish company is taking its dedication to home goods a step further with the creation of its very first tiny home.
With a focus on sustainability, Ikea's latest product doesn't sacrifice any luxuries or comforts, despite its compact size. According to Lonely Planet, Ikea partnered with Vox Creative and RV and tiny home builder Escape to design the tiny home with eco-friendly features.
Built as part of the Ikea Tiny Home Project, the trailer is a customized version of Escape's Vista Boho XL model. The added features include solar panels, composting toilets, and an on-demand heated water supply, powered by the trailer, Lonely Planet reports. Potential buyers can get a better idea of what their new abode might look like through an online shopping experience created by Vox. The Ikea-specific website allows audiences to explore the home and buy furniture or other knickknacks to personalize their tiny home.
"It was a natural pairing," Escape founder Dan Dobrowolski told Lonely Planet. "We feature many Ikea products in our various tiny home designs around the country, as they mirror the renewable, reusable, and recycled materials we incorporate into the actual structures."
The custom build took 60 days to complete, with Ikea senior interior design leader Abbey Stark telling Lonely Planet that she ''wanted to source renewable, reusable, and recycled materials when possible to make the space functional as well as beautiful.''
And she succeeded in that mission. The whitewashed panels of the tiny home are made from sustainably grown pine, while the kitchen cupboards are fashioned with recycled bottle tops. The entire home is also decorated with neutral tones and includes practical features such as built-in storage and a collapsible desk.
The Ikea BOHO XL model from Escape starts at $47,550, and you can take a virtual tour of the home here.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
Transgender activist says all children should be put on puberty blockers until they can decide their gender - TheBlaze
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 16:10
A popular transgender activist recently called for all children to be put on puberty blockers until they are able to decide which gender they want to be.
What are the details?Lauren McNamara, known by followers as "Zinnia Jones," argued earlier this month that children should be legally able to consent to the administration of puberty blockers since they already de facto consent to the "permanent and irreversible changes" that come naturally through puberty.
"If children can't consent to puberty blockers which pause any permanent changes even with the relevant professional evaluation, how can they consent to the permanent and irreversible changes that come with their own puberty with no professional evaluation whatsoever?" she wrote on Twitter.
If children can't consent to puberty blockers which pause any permanent changes even with the relevant professional'...
'-- Zinnia, adult demon female (@Zinnia, adult demon female)1606923325.0The YouTuber went on to argue that "an inability to offer informed consent or understand the long-term consequences is actually an argument for putting every single cis and trans person on puberty blockers until they acquire that ability."
An inability to offer informed consent or understand the long-term consequences is actually an argument for putting'...
'-- Zinnia, adult demon female (@Zinnia, adult demon female)1606923421.0Her comments followed a court case in the U.K. involving Keira Bell, a 23-year-old biological female who sued the British National Health Service's gender-identity youth clinic for prescribing her puberty blockers when she was 16 years old. Bell, who since regrets becoming a male, argued that the clinic did not do enough to "challenge" her decision to transition.
Judges ruled in the lawsuit that "it is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers" and "it is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers."
But, "in respect of young persons aged 16 and over, the legal position is that there is a presumption that they have the ability to consent to medical treatment," read the ruling.
McNamara argued in her tweet thread that puberty became "optional" when technology was developed to "enable deliberate choice between natal puberty and puberty induced by cross-sex hormones.
What else?According to her YouTube fan page, McNamara is an atheist American commentator who has "posted numerous videos critical of religion, especially in regards to its attitudes towards LGBT people. Zinnia is openly transgender and has been on hormone replacement therapy since September 2012."
"Zinnia was assigned male at birth and given name Zachary Antolak in 1989 in Chicago," but she "became aware of her sexuality as a gay male at an early age," her profile states.
"After years identifying as a gay male, Zinnia finally came to the conclusion that she was actually a trans woman in 2011 and started a romantic relationship with her close friend and lesbian Heather McNamara, becoming an adoptive mother towards Heather's two children. Zinnia is currently in a polyamorous relationship with Heather and another trans woman named Penny," it continues.
(H/T: The Post Millennial)
Debra Messing Issues Homophobic Insult To Trump: 'I Hope' You Become 'Most Popular Boyfriend' In Prison | The Daily Wire
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 18:24
Despite being a proud and open LGBT activist, actress Debra Messing issued a homophobic insult at President Trump, suggesting he would become a ''popular boyfriend'' among prison inmates.
In a tweet last week, Messing responded to a note from World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praising German Chancellor Angela Merkel for urging Germans to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
''AMERICA. THIS is a LEADER,'' she exclaimed.
''[Donald Trump], you are weak, scared, stupid, inept, negligent, vindictive, narcissistic, criminal,'' she added. ''I hope you live a long life in prison where you become the most popular boyfriend to the all inmates.''
AMERICA. THIS is a LEADER.@realDonaldTrump you are a weak, scared, stupid, inept, negligent, vindictive, narcissistic, criminal.
I hope you live a long life in prison where you become the most popular boyfriend to the all inmates.
'-- Debra Messing''ðŸ>> (@DebraMessing) December 10, 2020
Some of Messing's followers criticized her for the homophobic insult.
''Maybe rethink this homophobic undertoned tweet?'' said one Twitter user.
''Love you Deb but please don't bring gay sex into the equation as something derogatory,'' said another user.
''I happen to be gay' suck in a bad way,'' said another.
''Nice 'tolerance' display, especially towards the gay community,'' said another.
''Wow, you're quite the #homophobe. You just put a lot of gay youth at risk. Thanks for that,'' said another.
In September of last year, Messing supported her ''Will & Grace'' co-star Eric McCormack when he ignited a firestorm on Twitter by publicly stating that he would no longer work with Trump supporters, and asking to be told who would be in attendance at a fundraiser for the president in Beverly Hills.
''Hey, [THR], kindly report on everyone attending this event, so the rest of us can be clear about who we don't wanna work with. Thx,'' tweeted McCormack.
Shortly thereafter, Messing joined in on the Trump supporter hate-fest when she also demanded to know the names of those in attendance at the fundraiser, effectively supporting a blacklist against people who think differently from her. ''Please print a list of all attendees please. The public has a right to know,'' she tweeted.
After considerable pushback from both the Left and the Right, both McCormack and Messing semi-retracted their statements, accusing their critics of misinterpreting them.
''I want to be clear about my social media post from last week, which has been misinterpreted in a very upsetting way. I absolutely do not support blacklists or discrimination of any kid, as anyone who knows me would attest. I'd simply like to understand where Trump's major donations are coming from, which is a matter of public record. I am holding myself responsible for making educated and informed decisions that I can morally and ethically stand by and to do that, transparency is essential,'' wrote McCormack on Instagram.
Messing later tweeted her co-star's message alongside the caption, ''I couldn't have said it better.''
In July of this year, Messing once again found herself at the center of controversy when she suggested that rapper Kanye West was ''disgusting'' for allegedly trying to take black votes away from Joe Biden in his presidential run.
The comment sparked the ire of Nina Turner, national co-chair of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential campaign.
'' You just can't stop dipping can you [Debra Messing] ? Your connotation is racist,'' said Turner. ''1. Black voters are not owned by anyone. Our vote should be earned every election cycle. 2. We can think for ourselves & don't need your help. 3. Sometimes it's best to stay out of family business.''
Related: 'RACIST': Debra Messing Dragged For Saying Kanye West Is Acting 'Disgusting' For 'Trying To Take' 'Black Voters From Biden'
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member .
Go Podcasting!
Gimlet Union on Twitter: "In solidarity with our Spotify colleagues, @gimletunion is participating in a two-hour work stoppage. We're joining @ringerunion and @parcastunion in a Twitch stream at 1:00PM EST at To ask questions or
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:18
Gimlet Union : In solidarity with our Spotify colleagues, @gimletunion is participating in a two-hour work stoppage. We're joining'...
Fri Dec 11 17:02:05 +0000 2020
Benjamin Brown : @GimletUnion @RingerUnion @ParcastUnion 2 hours, lolz
Tue Dec 15 13:00:34 +0000 2020
Art VanDelay : @GimletUnion @RingerUnion @ParcastUnion Do you guys really think you're gonna get anywhere with a long lunch protes'...
Sat Dec 12 00:28:58 +0000 2020
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to produce podcasts through exclusive deal with Spotify
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:21
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have entered the world of the podcasting.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have teamed up with streaming giant Spotify to produce and host podcasts through their newly formed audio production company Archewell Audio. The multi-year partnership, announced in a statement Tuesday, will allow the couple to establish themselves in the growing market of podcasting.
''What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction,'' The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a joint statement. ''With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other's stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.''
The couple's first offering will be a holiday special hosted by themselves ''that will feature stories of hope and compassion from inspirational guests in celebration of the new year,'' according to a Spotify press release. Throughout 2021, the couple will continue producing content through the partnership that will ''build community through shared experiences and values.''
''The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live in California, but the power of their voices rests in their status as citizens of the world,'' Spotify Chief Content and Advertising Business Officer Dawn Ostroff said in a press release. ''That they are embracing the extraordinary capacity of podcasts on Spotify while also seeking to elevate underrepresented voices is a testament to their appreciation for the potential of audio storytelling. We are proud to partner with The Duke and Duchess and look forward to listeners hearing directly from them and the other creators that they will be elevating via our global platform.''
The first complete series from Archewell Audio and Spotify is expected sometime next year and will be free to stream on the platform.
The deal is the couple's latest foray into media production, after they signed a multi-year contract with Netflix to produce documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children's programming.
As for Spotify, the company is no stranger to big names. This past summer, former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama entered into a multiyear partnership with Spotify to produce and host content through their Higher Ground Audio company, and Kim Kardashian West signed an exclusive podcasting deal with the company to produce a podcast on criminal justice reform.
Spotify has a global reach of 144 million premium subscribers and 320 million monthly active users.
Stefan Sykes is a news associate for NBC News.
Santa Secret Shopper
#3 - Anonymous donor pays off all layaway items at Walmart in Canton
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:45
CANTON, Miss. (WLBT) - One of Santa's elves has been very busy in Madison County this week spreading Christmas cheer.
It seems they're making the layaway department at the Canton Walmart an extension of their toy shop. Walmart tells us an anonymous donor came into the store and offered to pay off all the items on layaway.
Walmart won't say how much the donation was, but they tell us they had about 330 layaway tickets in that department. The good Samaritan wants to remain anonymous.
Those picking up items say they're so thankful someone was willing to do this for them.
Belinda Brooks, who had several items in layaway, said, ''It means that I can hold off working on some days. I will get everything he asked for, so I'm good on that as long as he's happy. I'm fine with that.''
The giving didn't stop there.
Walmart representative Brittany Hadley said after the items were paid off there was money left over with price adjustments so they paid it forward! They made donations to two local toy drives and made an offering to feed America.
Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.
VIDEO+2020 Election Investigative Documentary: Who's Stealing America?
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:43
The year 2020 has been most unusual.
It started with an unprecedented global pandemic caused by the CCP virus, and it's concluding with the U.S. presidential election, which has captivated the world.
On election night, on Nov. 3, an assortment of anomalies were observed, followed by a large number of specific allegations of election fraud. As the integrity of the election continued to be questioned and evidence continued to emerge, most mainstream media stuck to a one-sided narrative by calling the 2020 election the most secure in American history, and sought to silence opposing voices.
The results of the 2020 election will not only decide the future of the United States, but also determine the future of the world.
Following election night, The Epoch Times' investigative team quickly went to work. In an attempt to uncover the issues behind the election, investigative reporter Joshua Phillip traveled across the country to swing states to interview whistleblowers, big data experts, and election experts.
This is the first investigative documentary published on election integrity in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Why was the vote count halted in key swing states on election night? What are the problems and potential fraud associated with mail-in ballots? Is Dominion Voting Systems secure or not? What lies behind the $400 million received by the parent company of Dominion Voting Systems less than a month before the election? Who is trying to manipulate the U.S. election behind the scenes? Who is the benefactor of an increasingly divided American society? What will become of America at this historical juncture?
What choice should you, I, and every American patriot make? The Epoch Times' investigative team presents to you a detailed investigative report.
Watch the documentary on the Epoch Times and NTD websites:
The Epoch Times website:
NTD website:
VIDEO-Obama Wouldn't Mind Feeding Lines to a 'Stand-in' President Through an Earpiece | CNSNews
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:42
CNSNews Reader,
The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
CNSNews covers the stories that the liberal media are afraid to touch. It drives the national debate through real, honest journalism'--not by misrepresenting or ignoring the facts.
CNSNews has emerged as the conservative media's lynchpin for original reporting, investigative reporting, and breaking news. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical mission and we need your help to fuel this fight.
Donate today to help CNSNews continue to report on topics that the liberal media refuse to touch. $25 a month goes a long way in the fight for a free and fair media.
And now, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you can make up to a $300 gift to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of your choice and use it as a tax deduction on your 2020 taxes, even if you take the standard deduction on your returns.
'-- The CNSNews Team
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VIDEO-Millions more enter Tier 3 in England as mutant Covid strain emerges - BBC News - YouTube
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 13:35
VIDEO-'We Want Them Infected': Chris Hayes On Emails Revealing Truth Of Trump Covid Plan | All In | MSNBC - YouTube
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:56
VIDEO-Judge ruling allows San Diego strip clubs and restaurant businesses to remain open -
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:42
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) '' A judge's ruling in the lawsuit filed by San Diego strip clubs may affect every restaurant business in San Diego County.
Judge Joel Wohlfeil ruled that Pacers and Cheetah's can remain open despite Governor Newsom's regional stay-at-home order. But, his ruling goes much farther than that.
In his ruling, the judge says the court, ''questions whether there is a rational nexus between the percentage of ICU bed capacity throughout Southern California'... and plaintiff's establishments in San Diego County.''
The ruling continued reading, ''Defendants on the other hand, have provided the court with no evidence that plaintiffs providing live adult entertainment, and San Diego businesses with restaurant service'... who've implemented protocols as directed by the county, have impacted the Southern California region.''
And here is the important part, the judge ruled that ''pending the trial of this case, defendants and any government entity or law enforcement officer are hereby enjoined from enforcing the provisions of the cease-and-desist order.''
Judge Wohlfeil's complete ruling can be read here.
Supervisor Kristin Gaspar called into KUSI's Good Evening San Diego shortly after the ruling to discuss what it means for our local business owners. She emphasized that we are on the brink of disaster, and this ruling at least brings ''a little bit of hope'' to people as attorney go through the details.
VIDEO-Krystal Ball: In Leaked Audio Biden CAUGHT Admitting He Won't Do Anything As President - YouTube
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:34
VIDEO-Hunter Biden 'disinformation' claim causes meltdown at Senate hearing
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:15
December 16, 2020 | 12:53pm | Updated December 16, 2020 | 2:12pm
WASHINGTON '-- A Senate hearing on irregularities in the 2020 election on Wednesday got heated when GOP Sen. Ron Johnson berated a fellow member for accusing him of spreading ''disinformation.''
Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, exploded at Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-Mich.) for criticizing his probe into Hunter Biden's overseas business dealings and accusing him of ''laundering'' a foreign influence campaign designed to wound President-elect Joe Biden, Hunter's father.
''I have to talk about Russian disinformation. The people peddling it are not on my side of the aisle,'' Johnson said, accusing Peters of leaking ''a false intelligence report'' to the media that charged he and veteran Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) were ''disseminating Russian disinformation.''
''Fifty people associated with the intelligence community, after our Hunter Biden investigation and the revelations of the Hunter Biden computer, said, 'Oh, this is Russian disinformation,''' Johnson went on, referring to The Post's bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden's shadowy overseas business dealings.
''Now we find out it's a real investigation by the Justice Department,'' Johnson said, acknowledging the federal tax probe into Joe Biden's scandal-scarred son.
''I can't sit by here and listen to this and say that this is not disinformation, this hearing today. This is getting information. We have to take a look at [it] to restore confidence in our election integrity,'' he said.
Peters pushed back, telling Johnson: ''You say I'm putting out information. I had nothing to do with this report.''
''You lied repeatedly! You lied repeatedly in the press. That I was spreading Russian disinformation,'' Johnson shot back.
(From left) Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) speak to Trump campaign attorneys James Troupis and Jesse Binnall.
Attorneys James R. Troupis and Jesse Binnall talk with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) prior to testifying before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to examine claims of voter irregularities in the 2020 election.
Up NextFar-left New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says fellow Democrats need...
''I told you to stop lying and you continued to do it,'' the Republican lawmaker went on.
''Mr. Chairman, this is not about airing your grievances,'' Peters retorted.
''You talked about Russian disinformation,'' Johnson griped.
''Mr. Chairman, you can't make those allegations and drop it there,'' Peters said.
The men were arguing about a July letter from Democratic leaders to FBI Director Christopher Wray in which they claimed members of Congress were being targeted by a foreign influence campaign to change the outcome of the 2020 election.
According to a Politico report, Democrats argued that Johnson's Hunter Biden investigation had become a vehicle for ''laundering'' disinformation.
At Wednesday's hearing, lawyers for President Trump's re-election campaign said they had found hundreds of thousands of examples of dead people and non-citizens voting and people casting multiple ballots.
Chris Krebs, the fired director of the Trump administration's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, repeated his claim that the 2020 election was the most secure in history.
''We should all be taking a victory lap celebrating a job well done,'' he said.
Trump fired the top election official Nov. 17 after he openly dismissed the president's allegations of fraud in the election.
VIDEO-BOOM!!! Jesse Binnall's Devastating Evidence Of Election Fraud In Nevada Before The Senate Committee
Thu, 17 Dec 2020 05:33
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First published at 22:52 UTC on December 16th, 2020.
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VIDEO-Raging Tom Cruise warns Mission: Impossible crew they're 'f***ing gone' if they break Covid rules on set
Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:58
FURIOUS Tom Cruise tore into workers who broke Covid rules on the set of Mission: Impossible screaming: ''If I see you doing it again, you're f***ing gone.''
The Hollywood megastar has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to enforce tight social-distancing rules during the filming, taking place in Britain.
'š ¸ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
The Sun's poster for the new Mission: Impossible if it included Tom Cruise's extraordinary swearing 7
Tom Cruise warned Mission: Impossible 7 crew they'll be 'f***ing gone' if they're caught breaking coronavirus rules Credit: AFPAnd he flew into a rage after spotting two of the crew standing within two metres of each other.
An audio tape captured Cruise shouting: ''If I see you do it again, you're f***ing gone. And if anyone in this crew does it, that's it '-- and you too and you too. And you, don't you ever f***ing do it again.''
Fifty members of staff at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, Herts, were left stunned by the angry outburst.
Two of the crew stood less than a metre away from each other at a computer screen.
Cruise flew into a rage after spotting two of the crew standing within two metres of each other Credit: AlamyCruise, 58, was furious all his efforts to keep filming going during the pandemic could be at risk.
He went on: ''They're back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us. ''We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf***ers.
''That's it. No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their f***ing homes because our industry is shut down. ''
"We are not shutting this f***ing movie down. Is it understood? If I see it again, you're f***ing gone.''
Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell handcuffed on the set of Mission: Impossible in Rome last month Credit: The Mega AgencyThe latest instalment of the franchise, Mission: Impossible 7, has already been hit with a host of Covid-related delays as cast and crew travel around Europe.
In October, the Top Gun actor held crisis talks with the film's director Christopher McQuarrie, 52, days after 12 people on set in Italy were said to have tested positive.
Up to 150 extras were told not to come in to shoot scenes in Venice as health chiefs traced contacts of those who had tested positive.
After returning to the UK two weeks ago, Cruise has personally tried to ensure there are no more delays.
He has been pictured wearing a mask on set and keeps a ­constant eye out for rule-breakers.
He even personally paid £500,000 for an old cruise ship for the cast and crew to isolate on.
Tom Cruise waves to an audience as he films Mission: Impossible 7 in Norway in September Credit: Reuters 7
Mission: Impossible 7 has been hit by numerous Covid-related delays alreadyA source said: ''Tom has taken it upon himself, along with the health and safety department, to try to force the safety precautions, with a view to keeping the film running.
''He does daily rounds to make sure that everything is set up appropriately, that people are behaving and working as safely as they can. He is very proactive when it comes to safety.''
They added: ''Everyone was wearing masks. It was purely that these people were standing under a metre away from each other.
''It isn't known whether he saw those guys breaking the rules before or whether this was the straw that broke the camel's back.
During his extraordinary rant, Tom Cruise said 'we are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf***ers' Credit: Rex Features Exclusive
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''People make mistakes and they slip up, but Tom is just on it.''
Mission: Impossible 7 is now set for release in November next year.
Tom's rant
We want the gold standard. They're back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we're doing!
I'm on the phone with every f***ing studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they're looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs you motherf***ers.
I don't ever want to see it again, ever! And if you don't do it you're fired, if I see you do it again you're f***ing gone. And if anyone in this crew does it - that's it, and you too and you too. And you, don't you ever f***ing do it again.
That's it! No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their fing homes because our industry is shut down. It's not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education.
That's what I sleep with every night. The future of this f***ing industry! So I'm sorry I am beyond your apologies. I have told you and now I want it and if you don't do it you're out. We are not shutting this f***ing movie down! Is it understood?
If I see it again you're f***ing gone '-- and you are '-- so you're going to cost him his job, if I see it on the set you're gone and you're gone.
That's it. Am I clear?
Do you understand what I want? Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can't be reasonable and I can't deal with your logic, you're fired. That's it. That is it.
I trust you guys to be here. That's it. That's it guys. Have a little think about it.'‰.'‰.[inaudible].
That's what I think of Universal and Paramount. Warner Brothers. Movies are going because of us. If we shut down it's going to cost people f***ing jobs, their home, their family. That's what's happening.
All the way down the line. And I care about you guys, but if you're not going to help me you're gone. OK? Do you see that stick? How many metres is that?
When people are standing around a f***ing computer and hanging out around here, what are you doing? And if they don't comply then send their names to Matt Spooner. That's it.
Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell filming MI7 in RomaGOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL
VIDEO-2HOURS-LIVE: Dominion CEO testifies at Michigan legislature hearing (Dec. 15) | NTD - YouTube
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 20:47
VIDEO-Digital Markets Act: EU's new rules on Big Tech
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 16:55
A Facebook iconShare by facebookA Twitter iconShare by twitterA LinkedIn iconShare by linkedinAn email iconShare by email
One of the potential changes is putting an end to self-preferencing.Companies like Apple and Google will also have to allow users to uninstall apps that have originally come with their devices.Failure to comply could result in fines as high as 10% of the companies' annual turnover worldwide.The remedies could ultimately include forcing companies to disinvest if they breach the rules systematically.EU Commissioner for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age - Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager is talking to media during a virtual press briefing in the Berlaymont, the EU Commission headquarter on November 26, 2020, in Brussels, Belgium.
Thierry Monasse | Getty Images
LONDON '-- Tech giants could soon face hefty fines and stricter controls over their behavior as part of sweeping new rules in the European Union.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, on Tuesday presented two new pieces of legislation that will affect how Big Tech operates. The region has long had concerns about how powerful some companies have become, and how this is a problem for smaller firms looking to compete in the European market.
In this context, the new Digital Markets Act aims to tackle behavior that closes these markets off.
One of the potential changes is putting an end to self-preferencing '-- when, for instance, app search results in an Apple product display options developed by the tech giant. The idea is to give smaller app developers the same chance of being found and chosen by consumers.
Hefty finesOther practical changes include: companies like Apple and Google will have to allow users to uninstall apps that have originally come with their devices, and performance metrics will also have to be shared for free with advertisers and publishers.
Failure to comply could result in fines as high as 10% of the companies' worldwide annual turnover.
One senior EU official, who didn't want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, told CNBC the EU's aim is to enforce remedies that will lead to practical changes rather than fining those breaching the rules constantly.
Forcing companies to divestThe remedies could ultimately include forcing companies to divest if they breach the rules systematically. The same official said that selling parts of the business would only happen "if no other remedy is available."
Additionally, the European Commission presented a second piece of legislation: the Digital Services Act. This is designed to address illegal and harmful content by asking platforms to rapidly take it down. There will also be fines for companies that do not follow these rules.
The EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, said Tuesday that the two proposals would ultimately serve a dual purpose. "To make sure that we, as users, have access to a wide choice of safe products and services online. And that businesses operating in Europe can freely and fairly compete online just as they do offline."
The two pieces of legislation will have to be approved by European governments and lawmakers, but policy experts have suggested that the adoption could be quicker-than-usual at the EU level.
Vestager told CNBC she hopes the new rules will be adopted "as fast as possible" but that this could take two years.
The EU has been at the forefront of tech regulation, with new data privacy laws established in 2018. However, experts believe that the latest step is even more significant as it challenges the hearts of the business models of tech giants.
Big Tech had expressed concerns about the new rules in the runup to their presentation. Google, for instance, was worried about the prospect of the latest legislation preventing it from combining certain data, such as the location of a restaurant, its menu and the option to book a table.
At the same time, other parts of the world are taking similar steps toward tougher tech regulation. The U.K. announced Tuesday that tech giants could be fined up to £18 million ($24 million) or 10% of their annual global turnover, whichever is highest, if they don't take down illegal content quickly.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating how social media firms use personal data and drive user engagement. It also launched a case against Facebook over monopoly concerns.
The EU's work on tech regulation has previously raised some concerns in the U.S., but Vestager believes this time is different.
She told CNBC that the latest step is part of a "global conversation about how to balance things," adding that "there are no surprises" in the new regulations for her U.S. counterparts.
Big Tech responseCaroline Greer, director of government relations and public policy for TikTok in Brussels, said: "It's clear that platforms play an important role in society, and it is right that they are transparent and held to account."
"At TikTok, safety isn't a bolt-on or a nice-to-have, it's our starting point. We look forward to reviewing the proposals brought forward by the Commission today and discussing the opportunity this reform presents to strengthen how platforms keep their communities safe online."
Separately, Sinead McSweeney, VP of public policy at Twitter EMEA, said: "Twitter is committed to advancing the principles of the Open Internet and keeping people safe online."
"We welcome the European Commission's publication of the Digital Service's Act and Digital Markets Act today, which come at a critical political juncture '-- in Europe and around the world."
Correction: This story has been updated to correctly state how large the fines for technology firms could be.
VIDEO-'New variant' of coronavirus identified in England - BBC News
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 16:52
Published duration 23 hours ago
image copyright Getty Images
A new variant of coronavirus has been found which is growing faster in some parts of England, MPs have been told.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at least 60 different local authorities had recorded Covid infections caused by the new variant.
He said the World Health Organization had been notified and UK scientists were doing detailed studies.
He said there was "nothing to suggest" it caused worse disease or that vaccines would no longer work.
media caption A new variant of Covid could be speeding up the spread of cases in parts of south east England, says Matt Hancock.He told MPs in the House of Commons that over the last week, there had been sharp, exponential rises in coronavirus infections across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.
"We've currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant predominantly in the South of England although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas.
"We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant but no matter its cause we have to take swift and decisive action which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out."
England's Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty said current coronavirus swab tests would detect the new variant that has been found predominantly in Kent and neighbouring areas in recent weeks.
The changes or mutations involve the spike protein of the virus - the part that helps it infect cells, and the target Covid vaccines are designed around.
It is too soon to know exactly what this will do to the behaviour of the virus.
Prof Alan McNally, an expert at the University of Birmingham, told the BBC: "Let's not be hysterical. It doesn't mean it's more transmissible or more infectious or dangerous.
"It is something to keep an eye on.
"Huge efforts are ongoing at characterising the variant and understanding its emergence. It is important to keep a calm and rational perspective on the strain as this is normal virus evolution and we expect new variants to come and go and emerge over time."
Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, said it was potentially serious. "The surveillance and research must continue and we must take the necessary steps to stay ahead of the virus."
There is a simple rule for understanding all "new strain" or "new variants": Ask whether the behaviour of the virus has changed.
This is crucial as viruses mutate all the time, it's just what they do. And so far we've been given the "scare" but not the "answer".
Matt Hancock said the new variant of coronavirus "may be associated" with the faster spread in the south-east of England.
This is not the same as saying it "is causing" the rise and Mr Hancock did not say this virus has evolved to spread from person-to-person more readily.
New strains can become more common for reasons that have nothing to do with the virus.
One explanation for the emergence of the "Spanish strain" over the summer was tourism.
So at the moment there are scary headlines everywhere, but still no scientific detail to know how significant this is.
Prof Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology at Nottingham University, said: "The genetic information in many viruses can change very rapidly and sometimes these changes can benefit the virus - by allowing it to transmit more efficiently or to escape from vaccines or treatments - but many changes have no effect at all.
"Even though a new genetic variant of the virus has emerged and is spreading in many parts of the UK and across the world, this can happen purely by chance.
"Therefore, it is important that we study any genetic changes as they occur, to work out if they are affecting how the virus behaves, and until we have done that important work it is premature to make any claims about the potential impacts of virus mutation."
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Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:47
VIDEO-UNREAL! Bill Gates Has a SPECIAL Message For SUFFERING Americans He Just Told CNN On LIVE TV - YouTube
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:35
VIDEO-Amazing Polly is FREE on Twitter: "That about says it all. These people are incompetent, stupid tools. Q: Who writes it down?" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:33
Amazing Polly is FREE : That about says it all.These people are incompetent, stupid tools.Q: Who writes it down?
Tue Dec 15 13:51:15 +0000 2020
GalenLandaleðŸ´ó §ó ó "ó £ó ´ó ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ðŸ‡¨ðŸ‡... : @99freemind and for a 6 figure++++salary. Disgusting.
Tue Dec 15 14:25:52 +0000 2020
17 : @99freemind With all the sheep hanging on every word, it really is 'the blind leading the blind'
Tue Dec 15 14:20:46 +0000 2020
Debbie Cross : @99freemind Not Journalism now, just actors regurgitating drivel! 🥱
Tue Dec 15 14:20:24 +0000 2020
President-Elect se7en 🎖¸ðŸŽ–¸ðŸŽ–¸ : @99freemind Who are "they"? ðŸ¤--Aliens? ðŸ‚
Tue Dec 15 14:18:48 +0000 2020
President Elect, Julie Mac2 : @99freemind Oh my good Lord, they're very dark souls. I knew he was a snake by his lack of eye contact. He's proba'...
Tue Dec 15 14:15:27 +0000 2020
President-Elect Mark Anderson : @99freemind Unreal
Tue Dec 15 14:09:41 +0000 2020
squeaker : @99freemind ðŸ"ðŸ§ðŸ' of course! Like we didn't catch on ðŸ'
Tue Dec 15 14:08:46 +0000 2020
''¨ DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY ''¨ Descendent of 1776 Revolt : @99freemind Someone needs to start identifying ''They''I am confident when voting there is no one on the ballot known as They.
Tue Dec 15 14:01:33 +0000 2020
Barking_Digits : @99freemind Proof positive that these horrible people are government propaganda actors.If it wasn't for the mask'...
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Chris : @99freemind Who is writing your material.... why should we listen to a drone like this one....
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p(C)p(C) : @99freemind arrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!
Tue Dec 15 13:54:34 +0000 2020
Quentin 'Š ð''ð''¼ð''µð''® ð''¸ð''¯ ð''¥ð''²ð''®ð'-- : @99freemind "I take no responsibility for whatever I say." hahahaha, outburst of glee.
Tue Dec 15 13:54:13 +0000 2020
trisha tippin : @99freemind ðŸ
Tue Dec 15 13:53:19 +0000 2020
Truth Fact & Dash of Opinion : @99freemind They say that like we can't tell ðŸ
Tue Dec 15 13:53:07 +0000 2020
Christine Thibeault : @99freemind '' I just say whatever they write down for me '', just like the media!!
Tue Dec 15 13:53:03 +0000 2020
VIDEO-The Birdcage. They look like they are sharing clothes ''
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:32
DefendTruthClown universe: "They haven't yet been able to show whether the vaccine prevents infection. So '...11423 hours agoDominion Voting Systems forensic report: "We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentiona'...1242yesterdayEliz Orban - Today we got kicked off of a United flight going from Denver to Newark because our '...2298yesterdayIs this the announcement of a new virus, Covid-20? Matthew Hancock, the Conservative government's '...6362yesterdayThat's it: The world is under a state of ''climate emergency.'' And such a state of emergency allows '...2327yesterdayFlatten the curves1253yesterdayHenry Kissinger and Klaus Schwab (World Economic Forum) say things. Nice. Kissinger is the guy who '...2336yesterdayThe Great Reset4414yesterdayBill Gates on Covid: "Even through 2022'' we should be prepared for life to not return to ''normal'' '...3462Dec 13Breaking News, Latest News and Videos1350Dec 13A month ago this was all a conspiracy theory. And now the roof falls in2575Dec 13"I'm brave enough to feel ashamed if I'm not wearing a mask in public. I'm brave enough to scream '...3429Dec 13As the crowd chants, "We want God!" (Jericho March, Washington DC, December 12)563Dec 12DC Archbishop Sues Bowser For 'Arbitrary,' 'Discriminatory' Restrictions Ahead Of Christmas3489Dec 12NEW VIGANO VIDEO "We pray for the conversion of public officials who have become accomplices in '...3546Dec 12You've got to conform and really conform or else you're out. [So try the "out"]11399Dec 12St Joseph - let's call this picture "the gay" - on the altar. Why is such "art" in our churches. '...3594Dec 12Dr. Fauci back in November: America has an ''independent spirit'' but now is the time ''to do what '...2329Dec 10Damn global warming!!2278Dec 10More from Di Dongsheng: How the Deep State Treats and Fights with Trump2418Dec 10
VIDEO-Larry Johnson on Twitter: "." / Twitter
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:11
Larry Johnson : .
Tue Dec 15 14:03:44 +0000 2020
Mariana Ganim : @2LarryJohnson7 Okaaaay, so she got vaccinated, why is she still wearing a mask? She trust the science? Then sli'...
Tue Dec 15 14:11:08 +0000 2020
. : @2LarryJohnson7 Freudian sl, covid 19
Tue Dec 15 14:10:34 +0000 2020
Ali : @2LarryJohnson7 And yet she will not show her face
Tue Dec 15 14:10:00 +0000 2020
Killuminati : @2LarryJohnson7 That was definitely a Freudian Slip. Don't take this vaccine people. Rather than 'trust in science''...
Tue Dec 15 14:09:14 +0000 2020
CarolinaCally : @2LarryJohnson7 Why is she wearing a mask on camera?
Tue Dec 15 14:06:47 +0000 2020
The Goy Hotep : @2LarryJohnson7 it always our own ppl
Tue Dec 15 14:05:57 +0000 2020
Payda Sixpence : @2LarryJohnson7 "I trust the science...""It's important for me to lead by example..."They really want certain g'...
Tue Dec 15 14:05:40 +0000 2020
The Goy Hotep : @2LarryJohnson7 ðŸ¤ðŸ¤ðŸ¤ðŸ¤
Tue Dec 15 14:05:29 +0000 2020
Dr. President Elect Asymptomatic Super Spreader : @2LarryJohnson7 So brave....
Tue Dec 15 14:05:15 +0000 2020
VIDEO-2020 Election Investigative Documentary: Who's Stealing America?
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 14:08
The year 2020 has been most unusual.
It started with an unprecedented global pandemic caused by the CCP virus, and it's concluding with the U.S. presidential election, which has captivated the world.
On election night, on Nov. 3, an assortment of anomalies were observed, followed by a large number of specific allegations of election fraud. As the integrity of the election continued to be questioned and evidence continued to emerge, most mainstream media stuck to a one-sided narrative by calling the 2020 election the most secure in American history, and sought to silence opposing voices.
The results of the 2020 election will not only decide the future of the United States, but also determine the future of the world.
Following election night, The Epoch Times' investigative team quickly went to work. In an attempt to uncover the issues behind the election, investigative reporter Joshua Phillip traveled across the country to swing states to interview whistleblowers, big data experts, and election experts.
This is the first investigative documentary published on election integrity in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Why was the vote count halted in key swing states on election night? What are the problems and potential fraud associated with mail-in ballots? Is Dominion Voting Systems secure or not? What lies behind the $400 million received by the parent company of Dominion Voting Systems less than a month before the election? Who is trying to manipulate the U.S. election behind the scenes? Who is the benefactor of an increasingly divided American society? What will become of America at this historical juncture?
What choice should you, I, and every American patriot make? The Epoch Times' investigative team presents to you a detailed investigative report.
Watch the documentary on the Epoch Times and NTD websites:
The Epoch Times website:
NTD website:
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 13:58
VIDEO-Gavin Newsom's Health Secretary Admits the TRUTH About Outdoor Dining Ban
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 03:55
BonginoReport Published December 14, 2020 114,185 Views 421 rumbles
Rumble '-- This is pure evil. There is no other way to say it.
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1m06sNewsomes health secretary admits outdoor dining is not the issue. They want people to stay home.filtered
2m18sLos Angeles County Health Officials Explain Decision To Shutdown Outdoor DiningTheCaliforniaRight
43sBen Smith admits truth about coronavirus "hoax" narrativeBPR
1m55sOutdoor dining safety a concernKGTV
3m35sTruth about ObamacareDanak$50.03 earned
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11m38sThe Truth About A Gun GrabThe Contingency Plan
VIDEO-Dr. Judy Mikovits & Rob McCoy - FSC 245 on Vimeo
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 03:36
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VIDEO-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen's Remarks on Malign Foreign Influence in U.S. Elections - YouTube
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 00:43 🚨 on Twitter: "New acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen's remarks on malign foreign influence in U.S. elections (August 2020)." / Twitter
Tue, 15 Dec 2020 00:43 🚨 : New acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen's remarks on malign foreign influence in U.S. elections (August 2020).
Mon Dec 14 23:38:40 +0000 2020
VIDEO-FOX 7 Discussion: Mayor Steve Adler talks about vaccines in Austin
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 21:51
FOX 7 Discussion: Mayor Steve Adler talks about vaccines in AustinAustin Mayor Steve Adler joins Marin Austin to talk about how distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will work in the City of Austin.
AUSTIN, Texas - The first shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States headed Sunday from Michigan to distribution centers across the country, with the first shots expected to be given in the coming week to health care workers and at nursing homes.
Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine will set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history at a critical juncture of the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million and sickened 71 million worldwide.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler joins Marin Austin to talk about how distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will work in the City of Austin.
VIDEO-LIVE: Toespraak premier Rutte over nieuwe lockdown - YouTube
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 21:43
VIDEO - Tapper asks Gates when he thinks we'll be back to 'normal.' Hear his response - YouTube
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 16:24
VIDEO - Dem Rep. Tlaib Calls For Raising Corporate Taxes By 700% To Fund COVID Stimulus'... | Weasel Zippers
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 16:23
ZIP |December 14, 2020 10:00 am
VIDEO-Electoral College set to vote to make Biden's 2020 victory official
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 13:53
2020 Election The president-elect is expected to speak in prime time after he has surpassed 270 for the win.
Then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, celebrate outside the Chase Center, Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 20. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters fileDec. 14, 2020, 7:28 AM EST / Updated Dec. 14, 2020, 8:15 AM EST
By Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON '-- The Electoral College on Monday is expected to make President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election official.
All 538 electors will meet in their respective states to cast their votes for president based on the election results that were recently certified by all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Most electors, who were chosen by political parties in each state ahead of the November election, are expected to cast their ballots in state Capitol buildings.
The first states set to vote Monday are Indiana, Tennessee and Vermont, which will take place at 10 a.m. ET. Battleground states that have been hotly contested with legal challenges by President Donald Trump vote a little later '-- Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania's electors are slated to vote at noon, while Wisconsin's are scheduled to vote at 1 p.m. and Michigan's at 2 p.m.
In Michigan, the state Capitol will be closed during the vote because of threats of violence and anticipated protests.
California, which has 55 Electoral College votes, the most of any state, and could put Biden over the top is set to vote at 5 p.m. ET.
Biden is expected to deliver remarks in prime time about the Electoral College vote around 8 p.m. ET.
Trump and a number of Republican officials tried to overturn the results in battleground states, but the Supreme Court rejected that attempt Friday night. Trump has repeatedly said since the Nov. 3 election that he won by a landslide and that the election was rigged.
RecommendedBiden, however, was deemed president-elect Nov. 7, four days after the election, once he surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Ultimately, Biden received 306 electoral votes, while Trump won 232.
On Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. ET, the Electoral College votes will be counted in a joint session of Congress. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will then be sworn into office Jan. 20.
On Thanksgiving, Trump told reporters it would be a "very hard thing to concede" the election even when the Electoral College finalizes Biden's win. He said, "If they do, they've made a mistake." When asked whether he would leave the White House under that outcome, Trump said, "Certainly I will."
Rebecca Shabad Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.
Julia Jester and Vaughn Hillyard contributed.
VIDEO-Lame Cherry: December 18th - D DAY
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 13:48
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
There are rumors that behind the locked doors of the Supreme Court that a very intense shouting match occurred between the majority of traitors and the few on the court who were vehement that the Texas lawsuit should be heard, for the absolute reason to preserve the United States and the awareness that Joe Biden colluded with foreigners to steal this election.
As the Courts and DOJ have stonewalled the evidence and the FBI is running out the clock again, there is another clock which has been running for 45 days, and that is the Executive Order clock of September 2018 where President Trump ordered the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe to issue a DNI report on foreign election interference.
This report is due the 18th of December, but that does not mean it has not already been issued. What follows is 45 days after this report the DOD and Homeland must submit a report on this evidence. That would be February 1st.
The D Day in this is December 18th, and from information which has already been placed into the media, we know that the Chinese, Russians and Iranians had their fingerprints on the Dominion servers. We know that the Biden's and Kamala Harris were all involved with the PLA in monetary transactions in selling their offices.
There was foreign interference in these elections and there was Joe Biden and Kamala Harris receiving gratuities from the Chinese communists. The DNI report is the political and military weapon which Donald Trump requires to unleash his kraken.
Would it not make sense to file these worthless cases, pissing off judges and exposing them, as filler to buy time for the DNI to complete the report? Otherwise Biden's nuts would have been crowned as dynastic kings by FOX and Chris Wallace. 
This is the logical reason for what was taking place by the Trump Attorneys. The courts could have used discovery and ended  this in judicial review, but instead chose the cover up, as the Supreme Court revealed how supremely corrupt it is.
D Day can be any day the President receives this report, but it must be by December 18th.
CIA assassination squads are active in America, taking out election fraud witnesses.We are all now living on an active battlefield (CONUS).Millions of Americans being held as Prisoners of War (POWs) by Democrat governor lockdowns.Media hit pieces and smears have morphed into acts of journo-terrorism.Censorship by big tech has now reached the level of domestic terrorism.Trucker blockades coming. Siege warfare against blue cities will begin.New executive order alters chain of succession at DoD in case Secretary of Defense (Chris Miller) is killed.Biden, Harris to be named in DNI Ratcliffe’s Dec. 18th report… huge implications, Trump can leverage against Biden to try to force Biden to concede.Gen. Perna Operation Warp Speed / Vaccine D-Day briefing: Perna says “vaccine D-Day” is “the beginning of the end.”China is surrounding the United States via Canada and the Caribbean, and plans a combined land invasion and missile attack in the future.Forensic audit of Dominion voting machines confirms their algorithms alter votes. Absolute proof now exists that the election was stolen via rigged tabulation software.Sidney Powell readies criminal RICO / Racketeering case against Dominion conspirators. 
 The thought is that the President will utilize intermediaries to explain to Joe Biden, that the Insurrection Act will be unleashed, and all of his crimes, his son's crimes will be placed before a Military Tribunal. where execution for high treason is assured, as Biden's entire criminal network is rounded up.
If Biden concedes, he could save himself, with the pedo boy going to prison, and submit he knew nothing of Chinese involvement but disavows the criminals who stuffed ballot boxes for him.
I detest secret deals for the good of the country. Americans need a President who will put forth the DNI information, issue the orders and arrest all of those involved, and that appears to be his Attorney General who kept Hunter Biden's crimes undisclosed for all of last year, and caused the President to suffer impeachment.
It all becomes legal when the DNI issues his report. This is what provides the reasoning for for the Insurrection Act based upon evidence.
This once again is another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
it’s going to blow the mind of every citizen in the country who’s willing to look at the truth and the facts,” Powell said. “Because there’s never—we’ve never witnessed anything like this in the history of this country. And it’s got to be stopped right now or there will never be a free and fair election.”
#China NOTE TIMING + LAWMAKERS WARNED: In this extended clip from exclusive @CBSNews interview 12/3 @DNI_Ratcliffe said he briefed members of HOUSE + SENATE intelligence committees “earlier this summer,” about Chinese Communist Party’s blackmail strategy targeting lawmakers.
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) December 13, 2020 
Nuff Said
VIDEO-Predictive programming in 1967 show "The News Benders" ''… - YouTube
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:35
VIDEO-Russian hackers breach U.S. government, targeting agencies, private companies
Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:08
U.S. news The CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye said they appeared to be trying to steal information from government clients.
Dec. 13, 2020, 8:07 PM EST
By Ken Dilanian, Josh Lederman and Tim Stelloh
Hackers who targeted the federal government appear to be part of a Russian intelligence campaign aimed at multiple U.S. agencies and companies, including the cybersecurity company FireEye, officials said Sunday.
A Commerce Department spokesman confirmed a breach, saying it occurred at an unidentified bureau.
Department officials alerted the FBI and a cybersecurity agency within the Department of Homeland Security, the spokesman said, declining to comment further.
The White House National Security Council also confirmed that it was looking into another potential intrusion at the Treasury Department after Reuters reported that foreign government-backed hackers accessed internal government emails.
The Washington Post first reported that the hacks were carried out by Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR.
Among the SVR's targets was FireEye, a major U.S. cybersecurity company with extensive government contracts, The Post reported. The company's CEO said last week that it had been hacked "by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities."
A private cybersecurity official briefed on the matter confirmed the SVR's involvement to NBC News.
FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia said the hackers' primary goal appeared to be to steal information from the company's government clients.
RecommendedIt wasn't clear how much information the hackers accessed, although the company said they obtained tools used by FireEye's Red Team, the section tasked with defending against new cyberattacks.
The Post reported that the Commerce Department breach targeted Solar Winds, an information technology system used by tens of thousands of organizations. NBC News hasn't independently confirmed the report.
The FBI and the National Security Agency declined to comment Sunday.
In a statement, the Homeland Security Department's cybersecurity agency said it was investigating "recently discovered activity on government networks."
The agency said it was providing technical assistance to help blunt potential compromises.
Ken Dilanian Ken Dilanian is a correspondent covering intelligence and national security for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
Josh Lederman Josh Lederman is a national political reporter for NBC News.
Tim Stelloh Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News based in California.
VIDEO-How the Media Wants You To Think - YouTube
Sun, 13 Dec 2020 21:35

Clips & Documents

All Clips
Biden 2007 on voting machine fraud.mp3
Biden campaigning in Georgia for senate runoff life depends again (15sec).mp3
Biden coughing build back better.mp3
Biden froggy speech with many errors and flubs and coughing.mp3
Biden Leaked Audio -1- Sop negative talk CHARLOTTESVILLE.mp3
Biden Leaked Audio -2- Executive orders CONSTITUTION.mp3
China Update Jingle.aif
DNI with CBS Pixie girl CONFIRMS China's influence in US congress JANUARY.mp3
DNI with CBS Pixie girl on China's influence in US congress REPORT SETUP.mp3
EU Gets tough on Big Tech - CNBC.mp3
Gates and Zuckerberg on free docotral degrees.mp3
Lou Dobbs on Hunter Biden 10m CEFC China letter.mp3
Michigan Electoral College please remain standing for the national anthem and the black national anthem (11sec).mp3
Milton Friedman prediction of bitcoin in July 1999.mp3
MSNBC Joy Reid Maxine Waters republicans lead by Mo Brooks plan to force a vote on Jan 6th (1min22sec).mp3
New acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen's remarks on malign foreign influence in U.S. elections August 2020.mp3
Obama Wouldn't Mind Feeding Lines to a Stand-in President Through an Earpiece - Colbert.mp3
Prepper Youtuber Monkey Werx on 10 days of darkness.mp3
Russian hackers breach U.S. government, targeting agencies, private companies.mp3
Sen. Ron Johnson berated a fellow member for accusing him of spreading Russian disinformation.mp3
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