1316: Mark of the Mask

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 15m
January 28th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Sir Onymous of Dogpatch and Lower Slobbovia, Sir Erik the Grease Monkey, Knight of Sunset Ridge, Tim - noagendaphone.com, Cor Verwoerd

Associate Executive Producers: Brad Fischer, Sir Crushalot, Black Knight of the Leelanau Grapefields, Lyle Pote, Manuel Obando, Sgt Postal

Cover Artist: Lottaleen

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
2:05
GameStonks
Guest producer
16:17
Possible Ludacris Thing to do: CSPAN - Democrats=Squeaky voices Republicans]Radio Voices
Guest producer
19:35
Rand Paul interviewed by George Stephanopoulos
Guest producer
30:52
Covid update
Guest producer
50:47
CNN Brianna Keiler - Injecting Disinfectant - When did he say it?
Guest producer
59:15
Double Masking Common Sense
Guest producer
1:35:05
Start of 1st Donations segment
Guest producer
2:09:37
Untitled
Guest producer
2:09:43
World Economic Forum / Davos
Ndragonawa
2:17:40
COVID-19: Fauci: Vaccine Upgrades
Ndragonawa
2:21:58
Chinese bitcoin mining operation in Tehran, Iran causing blackouts and pollution
Ndragonawa
2:42:42
Start of 2nd Donations segment
Guest producer
2:58:15
Untitled
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
Let Us Out!
Dutch police detain 240 anti-lockdown protesters
Dutch soccer supporters clubs strolling streets
China Is Using Anal Swabs to Test for COVID-19 | PEOPLE.com
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:29
The invasive testing method reportedly involves a saline-soaked cotton swab that is inserted about 3 to 5 centimeters into the anus
China has introduced a new mothod to test its citizens for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to Bloomberg and the Washington Post, who cited local outlets, China is using anal swabs as a means of COVID-19 testing for patients considered to be high-risk. The country is also continuing to use throat and nose swabs.
The anal swab method reportedly involves the insertion of a saline-soaked cotton swab about 3 to 5 centimeters (about 1 to 2 inches) into the anus, with the sample then tested for active traces of the virus.
Li Tongzeng, deputy director of the respiratory and infectious disease department of Beijing You An Hospital, said in a recent interview with state television that the testing method was introduced after research showed that traces of COVID-19 can be found longer in the anus than in the respiratory tract.
"If we add anal swab testing, it can raise our rate of identifying infected patients," Tongzeng said, per the Washington Post. "But of course considering that collecting anal swabs is not as convenient as throat swabs, at the moment only key groups such as those in quarantine receive both."
- Geovien So/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Geovien So/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty
Some Chinese citizens have already experienced the new method of detection. Last week, over 1,000 schoolchildren and teachers in Beijing were given anal, throat and nose swabs after one asymptomatic virus case was detected on campus, local officials said.
According to Bloomberg, passengers on a flight from Changchu to Beijing were tested for COVID-19 via nose and anal swabs on Monday after officials learned that someone on-board the flight was from a high-risk area.
Alex Wang, 21, told VICE World News that he underwent two anal swabs back in September at a quarantine hotel after returning from Australia to his hometown Weihai, located in the eastern province of Shandong.
"At first I was shy," Wang said of the process, which he said involved two nurses and lasted a few seconds. "But I understood the country was under pressure to prevent outbreaks."
RELATED: CDC Says Schools Safe to Open with Precautions, According to Evidence
However, many Chinese citizens are vehemently against the invasive new method.
Weibo, Chinese social media platform, recently conducted a poll about the use of anal swabs, and 80 percent of respondents said they "could not accept" the technique, the Washington Post reported.
Yang Zhanqiu, a pathology expert at Wuhan University, told China's Global Times that nose and throat swabs are more effective at detecting COVID-19 than anal swabs. "There have been cases concerning the coronavirus testing positive in a patient's excrement, but no evidence has suggested it had been transmitted through one's digestive system," Zhanqiu said.
RELATED: Total Tally of Worldwide Coronavirus Cases Surpasses 100 Million
Wuhan, the largest city in Hubei and the most populous city in Central China, is the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus and a major transportation hub that allowed for the virus to spread easily to other countries.
According to a New York Times tracker, there are more than 100,227 reported cases of COVID-19 in Mainland China, while at least 4,635 people have died from the virus.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.
The Purge
The public square has always been for hangings
NA social closing. Need more instances stat
DHS DVE Warning
MAGA Manifesto
Instead of "following the plan"
Arguing, convincing opponents and posting
Apply what you have learned
Eyes open for repeated actions
Get off Social Media
Parler take down was good protection
Organize by Mastodon server
Federate with NAS and others wanted.
Get a more secure email
Tell your favorite podcasters to go 2.0
Learn how to buy bitcoin
Masks and Muzzles
First double mask encounter sliced Turkey
Double and triple masking is plan to make us sick?
Vaccines and such
Daniel Dae Kim Update
From: mfDx (anonymous)
Hi Adam .
During your segment on hydroxychloroquine today you played a clip from actor Daniel Dae Kim and his support for the drug. You then asked "where is he now?"
I can tell you that he is on his way to Toronto to star in a retelling of the 2001 Anthrax attacks ( which you and John discussed last week.)
I will have access to mr Kim after he clears Canadian quarantine and can probably ask him questions about his recovery if you wish.
No entry to China for Moderna and Phizer vaccinated
In the morning,
My wife is a roller coaster engineer for Universal Studios Orlando. She's getting asked to go help finish their new park in Beijing, set to open this summer.
HR gave her the rundown on what it takes to get into China right now. I'll work backwards.
When you get there, you have to quarantine for 2 weeks in what is essentially a Chinese Motel 6 with hall monitors. You can't leave your room or they shout at you in Chinese. They bring you food every meal. You can't go outside, and you can barely do laundry.
What I found more interesting is what you need to do before you go. They want you to take both tests, the PCR and the antibody test. You cannot test positive on either. It seems strange that they wouldn't want people with the antibodies, but you could say they're being careful.
BUT, the strangest thing I found out is that if you've had either the Pfizer or Mederna vaccines, you are not allowed to enter the country. I can't imagine this would be a political gambit as Universal Studios is spending many Billions of dollars in China on this new park. What do they know that we do not?
BTC
China Iran Bitcoin Electricity Smog
Hi Adam,
Hans here, I finally made the switch from Gmail to Proton, hopefully a step in the right direction...
My wife Behin (whom you very briefly met in Del Ray last year) just got off the phone with her mom in Tehran and she mentioned the worsening air pollution. From her parents home in Tehran, they can normally see the downtown very clearly and now they can't.
They are blaming this on the Chinese. Specifically, they say that they are running huge Bitcoin mining operations and drawing tons of power, and many people in Iran are now experiencing power outages. Whether it's actually because the Chinese are drawing tons of power on Bitcoin mining I don't know, but we do know they have a new 25 year agreement. There is definitely an expanded influence, and blackouts are happening, and pollution is worse. My mother in law now has difficulty going to the store because the air is so bad...
Just thought this might be of interest, and I'd be curious if other producers have more information. Maybe the idea that Chinese-run Bitcoin operations using up that much electricity is ludicrous, I have no idea. I just know fairly or unfairly, many are blaming them and that there has indeed been a change for the worse. Also, many people in Iran are confused and think it's "bitqueen" rather than Bitcoin.
Exit strategy - the homeless faucet QR code sticker
OTG
Amazon on new credit card Whole Foods
Why Some Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Are on EIP Debit Cards
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:26
Trump inspects an EIP debit card. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Last Monday, after millions of Americans had received their stimulus payments by direct deposit or paper check, the Treasury Department announced plans for a new method of payment: prepaid debit cards. The Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Cards began hitting mailboxes late last week and the problems started immediately, with some people mistaking the envelopes for junk mail and throwing them away and others finding misspelled names and a buggy online portal. Here's what we know about the EIP debit cards and the many issues people are having with them.
Because it's faster than sending a check. Last week, in a press release from the Treasure Department, Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the prepaid cards allow the government to send out stimulus payments more ''quickly'' than checks. The cards are going to people whose bank-account information is not on file with the IRS, making direct deposit impossible.
''Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,'' Mnuchin said in the release. ''Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.''
The Treasury Department also touted a handful of other benefits the cards provide, including the ability to check the card's balance online and built-in protections against fraud and loss.
Roughly 4 million, according to the Treasury Department. That's far fewer than the 140 million who received payments by check, direct deposit, or Direct Express card, which is the Treasury-sponsored card for people who receive Social Security but don't have a bank account.
According to the IRS, the card will arrive in a ''plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services.'' The vague, spam-like name on the envelope, along with the government's lack of communication about the debit cards, has led some people to throw them away. One Florida woman told WINK-TV that her card ended up in tiny pieces at the bottom of the trash can. ''My husband looked at it, briefly read it and he said, 'Do you want this?' And I said, 'I don't need another fake card,' so he cut it up in little pieces,'' Bonnie Moore said.
In Texas, Vicki Wade told KCEN TV that she was suspicious of the card because she's never heard of Money Network Cardholder Services or MetaBank, which the Treasury Department calls its ''financial agent.'' She was also suspicious of the instructions to give her personal details to activate the card.
''At first glance you would throw it away. You would. Especially if Money Network is not your bank. It's not my bank and no one I do business with,'' Wade told the station.
You have to call 1-800-240-8100 and give the automated service your name, address, and '-- close your eyes, cyber-security experts '-- your Social Security number. You will then be prompted to create a four-digit PIN.
People who receive their stimulus payment on a EIP card can keep the money there and use it like a regular debit card until they've spent every penny. They can also withdraw cash at an ATM. There's no fee when using an in-network ATM. A list can be found here.
People can also transfer the money to their bank account for no fee, but that process has caused some headaches. According to the cardholder agreement on eipcard.com, transfers are limited to $1,000 per transaction, $2,500 per day, and $5,000 per month. People have complained about this on Twitter.
I received a @MyMetaBank debit card in lieu of an @IRS stimulus check. I created an account to activate card. Now, it won't let me transfer the money from there into my regular bank account. This is a BS move from the IRS. I need a check, not some scam debit card!
'-- Sam Malone (@SamRoga2016) May 27, 2020 If you got one of those stupid EIP stimulus debit cards: The bank account transfer limit is $1,000. The website doesn't tell you this when you try to transfer more, it just borks out and goes blank. You can do multiple no fee transfers concurrently at or below $1,000.
'-- Nick Nobel (@NobelNick) May 27, 2020Despite appearances to the contrary, it is. The Treasury Department linked out to the site in a press release last week with the text, ''Read more about the Economic Impact Payment Card.''
In addition to accidentally throwing the card away and getting thwarted by transfer limits, some people have reported that their name is misspelled on the card.
Others have worried that using the card will allow the government to track their purchases. It won't, epicard.com says. The site's FAQ includes the question, ''Will the Treasury Department be able to see how I spend my Economic Impact Payment?'' The answer: ''No. Under Federal law (the Right to Financial Privacy Act), the federal government is not allowed to ask the card issuer about your Card account and the card issuer is not allowed to give the government information about your Card account without your written permission, except under very limited circumstances.''
You can get a replacement, but it will cost you. The price for a replacement card is $7.50, provided you're okay waiting for it. You can pay an extra $17 for expedited shipping.
Sign Up for the Intelligencer NewsletterDaily news about the politics, business, and technology shaping our world.
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Everything We Know About Coronavirus Stimulus Debit Cards
CLIPS
VIDEO - (35) Fauci says goal of 100 million coronavirus shots by April "is a floor, not a ceiling" - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 15:55
VIDEO - (35) Civil Rights Leader Bob Woodson Sets The Record Straight On "Equity." - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 15:31
VIDEO - Bob Woodson: Kamala Harris Should Lead by Example, Dismiss Her Security Detail and Replace Them with Social Workers - AIR.TV
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 15:31
Oct 2, 2020
Bob Woodson: Kamala Harris Should Lead by Example, Dismiss Her Security Detail and Replace Them with Social Workers
VIDEO-Is a double mask really better than a single?
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:29
The News with Shepard SmithCNBC's Contessa Brewer reports on the efficacy of doubling or even tripling the masks you're wearing during the pandemic.
02:20
Mon, Jan 25 2021 8:01 PM EST
VIDEO-Lame Cherry: Why Donald Trump Got His Ass Booted Out of Office
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 05:23
 
 
 
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
 Like most of you in dealing with 5 years of Trump drama, I have had enough. I you listened to this blog, you have been behaving, paying your taxes and not making yourself an FBI target. In trying to recover from biological weapons and the fatigue of too long in producing this blog for God's Glory, I simply did not want to deal with the Great Reset as another alarm to to get worked up about.
I was on Rense's site and if I have wifi, I will see what Dick Allgire as Krypto King has to say about things, as he is a journalist, intelligent and remote views. He assesses thing correctly and he had on Davos recording of Klaus Schwab who is the brains behind George Soros and dictator Xi.
Allgire featured 3 words to listen for, and Schwab the German and Xi the Chinaman both seasoned their speeches with these terms. What they were saying was America should not lead, but that it should be a community of nations all having an equal say. China would like that, as they can Tibet all other smaller nations and Germany would adore a greater Liebenstraum to control the world.
I honestly was not paying attention to what the globalists were up to, but Allgire termed them Neo Feudalists which reflects the Feudal Few which have been featured here for years.
 
 GLOBAL, INCLUSIVE, SUSTAINABLE
 
There are a few more terms to put into this to figure out what is going on, and the Durdan Bros have a  term for Great Reset as the Great Reflation. 
You know that deflation is prices falling. You know that inflation is prices rising. So reflation is like a blow up doll, in she is flat so you reflate her. In other words, those who were behind building China's biological weapon's lab (Obama Biden) and those who made the plague (China) and those who spread it for their future hedge of forcing the world to it's new order (1%), are after killing the global economy in a term which has appeared in Coronavirus Deglobalized the World Economy, which was accomplished for what we are being reset to, based out of the cover of the United Nations.......in short they killed the economy and the ability to pay bills, so they can control the currency, the economies and therefore all the people, with some system. I will tell you what that is, after ZeroHedge.
ZeroHedgeby Tyler DurdenMonday, Jan 25, 2021 - 8:37By Michael Every of Rabobank
Today kicks off the annual World Economic Forum, which this time round is online and so can’t charge anyone $43 for a hotdog. Expect various iterations along the theme of  “Builders’ Bums Better” from the talking heads as the ‘Great Reset’ slash ‘Great Reflation’ is dangled before markets 
The guy running this is German, Klaus Schwab, who is promoting Stakeholder Capitalism. He is also with Xi pushing something called,  Reorienting Corporate Boards for the Long Term. Remember those two terms as what you are going to have inflicted upon you, as John Kerry, the Comrade Klimate, will attend Davos for Pedo Joe Biden, which means Biden shutting down US oil production and for 100 days shutting down the economy in mask mandates, is re establishing all of Barack Obama's Super Depression in the United States.
Reorienting Boards for the Long TermCompanies are being pressed to deliver financially in ways that are more socially and environmentally responsible, and focused on long-term health. This session explored steps corporate leaders can take to build a more stakeholder-focused business environment. The speakers were: Kurt Bjorklund, Co-Managing Partner, Permira Advisers LLP, Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever, Sarah Keohane Williamson, Chief Executive Officer, FCLTGlobal (Focusing Capital on the Long Term), Mark Machin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Amy Weaver, President and Chief Legal Officer, Salesforce, and Adam Robbins, Head of Future of Investing Initiatives, World Economic Forum.
 
As I was reading Schwab's manifesto, I was puzzled by it, until the Holy Ghost Inspired me to understand what Schwab was hiding as I knew these definitions under other ideology.
Schwab sums up his manifesto in an economy which works for progress, LEFTISM, first and people, "slave labor" and planet (environmentalism)
You have not linked this yet in what it is, but you will when I add the pieces.
 Klaus Schwab discusses its history and relevance in this excerpt from the book Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy that Works for Progress, People and Planet.
 
 
Schwab has 61 conglomerates, that is the world work force control and production. He has implemented via these conglomerates, NOT NATIONS, a legal enforcement for one environmental set of mandates, one mandate for social (peodphilia and homosexual) and governance or RULING everyone with these mandates, as you can not buy or sell or work if you do not submit.
I will tell you first, this is not communism. That may surprise you as Xi is a communist, Ask yourself though what system, and it is not capitalism as Schwab is clever in not alarming the markets or the populations, has corporations joined together under a governing system, which then rewards those corporations with taxpayer infused money for absolute profits, oriented in a force labor group?
If you still do not have a clue, I will give you the hint, in a certain leader seized power, and he started joining massive conglomerates like Bayer, IG Farben to his vision of a progressive and long term government, with massive spending in war build up, and he paid for this debt and economic expansion with peoples taken into custody, in the Poles, Slavs, French and Jews.
Yes what Klaus Schwab is implementing across the world is National Socialism or Nazism, which was very successful for Germany and Austria.
 
Implementing Stakeholder CapitalismThe World Economic Forum’s International Business Council has proposed a set of universal environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics to allow companies in all industries and geographies to measure and report performance. This session looked at how companies should go about measuring and disclosing this information, and how investors and governments can come together to allow stakeholder capitalism to take root.
Mutual interdependence
Klaus Schwab believes that 2021 will be a historical year in changing the philosophy of business. Accelerated by COVID-19, businesses will increasingly recognize the need for stakeholder capitalism.
Although the new metrics are just the first step, it will move stakeholder capitalism on from being just a concept - we can now "walk the talk", he said. 61 companies have already signed up.
 
 
 What Davos is promoting by Klaus Schwab, dictator Xi and John Kerry for Pedo Joe Biden is bigger than nationalism is though, as the Germans were one people in the master race. What this is, is not NAZI, but GOSS, the Global Oriented Socialist State. This is a one world regime overthrowing governments by corporate control of work and finance, money generation, and directly sucking from government treasuries the money and the military power to promote and project this ideology.
We have been experiencing this betrayal of America for years, in conglomerates have only alliance to this interconnected commerce, than Americans, and in the election overthrow, their puppet politicians have zero allegiance to the Constitution and instead vote for what promotes the GOSS.
This is what they were planning in putting Trump into the White House, to make Nationalism a crime in the staged riots, and then to promote the "individuality" (breaking nations down to isolate them and make them submit) while implementing a manifesto where people become corporate commodities, until robots replace them.......they need people for the reason of not humanitarianism, but you get your digital allowance, are forced to spend it to the corporations, and this produces a ruling management of all humans. Think of it as a global concentration camp of forced labor and mandated buying.
The projection of this is, the 1% will have to have more of this virus bullshit to keep the lid on, more of Biden's war on Americans in Domestic Terrorism.....which is a source of free slave labor, and with a collapse to impoverish the competitor slightly rich, (known here as the richtard who do not donate to save their lives.) to implement digital currency control, what will follow not alone for the reason for looting Russia, China and the Mideast to balance the debt books, but population control and the first phase to shock peoples into accepting this global nazism, to save themselves.
None of this has to do with economics. This is a global financial system which will implement production quotas, living standards and consumption to benefit the system. This really is communism in managed poverty and stagnation, but it is hybridized nazism, or the SOCIO CONGLOMERATE as this blog has posted on for the past few years, who are now censoring you and keeping you from flying and taking your credit cards as you do not spend money as the order demands.
This is a huge story, but I doubt most tards will comprehend what has been revealed here. It was though why Donald Trump got his ass booted out of office as he would not have managed this for the 1% alone.
Thee Americans are not leading at Davos. It is Germans, Chicoms, French and Europa. The Americans under Joe Biden are following and Kerry is there to announce the US economy will not profit, in favor of equality of debt in all systems to promote GOSS.
This is once again anther Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
Nuff Said
agtG
VIDEO-Press Sec Says To Not Worry About The Stock Market Because Treasury Sec Is A Woman
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 01:14
Dinesh D'Souza Published January 27, 2021 95,374 Views 1041 rumbles
Rumble '-- During a press briefing, WH Press Sec. Psaki says that the stock market shouldn't worry people because the treasury secretary is female.
... and disable advertisements! No kidding :)
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VIDEO-Get A Free Bag Of Marijuana With Your Covid-19 Vaccine
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 01:07
Cannabis activists in Washington, D.C. are planning to offer a free bag of marijuana to those receiving the vaccine for Covid-19, the group DC Marijuana Justice announced this week. The free cannabis giveaway, dubbed Joints for Jabs, is being arranged to coincide with vaccine clinics expected to open in the nation's capital soon, DCMJ wrote in a press release on Monday.
With Joints for Jabs, the DCMJ activists hope to highlight the need for further cannabis policy reform at the national and local level while bringing awareness to the importance of equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. Once local health officials begin offering vaccines to the general public, dozens of home cannabis cultivators will celebrate the occasion by handing out free bags of marijuana outside vaccination centers. Locations and times of the Joints for Jabs giveaways will be announced after DCMJ has more information about local vaccination sites.
Covid-19 (coronavirus) and vaccine vial.
getty''We are looking for ways to safely celebrate the end of the pandemic and we know nothing brings people together like cannabis,'' said Nikolas Schiller, the group's co-founder. ''DCMJ believes that cannabis should be consumed safely and responsibly, and the pandemic has made this incredibly difficult for many adults to share their homegrown cannabis. When enough adults are inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine, it will be time to celebrate '' not just the end of the pandemic, but the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition in the United States.''
A Teachable Moment For Pot PeopleAdam Eidinger, another DCMJ co-founder, said that he hopes that the marijuana giveaways increase traffic to the city's vaccination centers. He would also like to see Joints for Jabs serve as an educational opportunity for those unconvinced of the medical value of marijuana as well as members of the cannabis community, many of whom are skeptical of today's medicine.
''If you believe in the science that supports medical cannabis, you should believe the science that supports the efficacy of the vaccine,'' Eidinger told DCist.
Local cannabis growers have already pledged three pounds of marijuana for the giveaways, and organizers are hoping to have amassed five pounds of pot by the time the events begin. The group will also be offering cannabis seeds named ''Grosso's Green'' in honor of marijuana patient, activist and former D.C. Councilmember David Grosso, who left the city council last year.
''I think it's totally cool'' to have a strain of marijuana named for him, Grosso said.
Inauguration Weed Giveaway PostponedPlans for a DCMJ marijuana giveaway to be held in honor of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden have been put on hold until more people have been vaccinated and the coronavirus pandemic begins to be brought under control. In 2017, the group handed out thousands of joints during the inauguration of the now outgoing president in a gesture that Eidinger characterized as an ''olive branch to Trump supporters.''
Marijuana in plastic bags.
gettyDCMJ hopes to reschedule the event for July, when a public inaugural celebration is reportedly being planned for the National Mall in place of the traditional January festivities. This year, however, activists will be passing out bags of loose marijuana instead of joints, many of which were fired up immediately last time around, in violation of local laws. Nixing the joints is also an effort to make the giveaway more hygienic.
''Four years ago, we handed out over 10,000 joints '-- and we licked those joints,'' Eidinger said. ''Today, we think that's an issue.''
A History Of Creative And Effective ActivismDCMJ was founded in 2013, leading to the drafting of an ordinance to legalize possession and cultivation of cannabis by adults the following year. The group has continued to advocate for cannabis policy reform through a variety of creative demonstrations, including the deployment of giant inflatable faux joints more than 50 feet long at the Capitol, White House and the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Activists from DC Marijuana Justice (DCJM) hold a giant marijuana joint to demand Congress to pass ... [+] cannabis reform legislation on the East Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 8, 2019. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty ImagesThe group is now advocating for Senate passage of the MORE Act, a landmark bill that would legalize marijuana at the federal level that was approved by the House of Representatives last month.
''While no legislation is perfect, the MORE Act addresses many demands that DC Marijuana Justice has been making for years,'' Eidinger said in Monday's statement from the group. ''We asked Presidents Obama and Trump, and now we are asking President-elect Biden to take executive action on cannabis reform within the first 100 days.''
VIDEO-Dr. Fauci: 'I Took No Pleasure' in Publicly Contradicting Trump - AIR.TV
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 23:17
Jan 23, 2021
Dr. Fauci: 'I Took No Pleasure' in Publicly Contradicting Trump
VIDEO-The Recount on Twitter: "CNBC anchor @ScottWapnerCNBC and @chamath argue about what's happening with Wall Street vs. WallStreetBets: https://t.co/V78OESBEN4" / Twitter
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 21:58
The Recount : CNBC anchor @ScottWapnerCNBC and @chamath argue about what's happening with Wall Street vs. WallStreetBets: https://t.co/V78OESBEN4
Wed Jan 27 18:14:04 +0000 2021
VIDEO-ãTrapã‘Led Zeppelin - Black Dog (Jorgen Odegard Remix) - YouTube
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 20:15
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Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:58
VIDEO-Tom Elliott on Twitter: "SUPERCUT! Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) is going to ''circle back'' https://t.co/uf5yAWmcYy" / Twitter
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:58
Tom Elliott : SUPERCUT!Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) is going to ''circle back'' https://t.co/uf5yAWmcYy
Tue Jan 26 22:04:30 +0000 2021
VIDEO-President Biden Delivers Remarks on Combating the Pandemic | C-SPAN.org
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 16:19
January 26, 2021 2021-01-26T20:02:51-05:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/af8/20210126165115001_hd.jpg President Joe Biden delivered remarks on combating the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke about his administration's COVID-19 response strategy and said that the White House will resume daily briefings with scientists and experts on the pandemic. In addition, President Biden announced they have ordered an additional 200 million doses in total from both Pfizer and Moderna, which would be enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of summer.President Joe Biden delivered remarks on combating the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke about his administration's COVID-19 response strategy'... read more
President Joe Biden delivered remarks on combating the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke about his administration's COVID-19 response strategy and said that the White House will resume daily briefings with scientists and experts on the pandemic. In addition, President Biden announced they have ordered an additional 200 million doses in total from both Pfizer and Moderna, which would be enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of summer. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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People in this videoHosting OrganizationWhite HouseWhite House Featured Clips from This Video 4:52 PM Biden Administration Orders 200 Million Additional VaccinesPresident Biden announces that his administration has purchased an additional 200 million COVID-19 vaccine does as it'...
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December 31, 2020 President Trump Remarks on 2020President Trump delivered remarks on his administration's accomplishments in 2020, including the response to the'...
December 29, 2020 President-elect Biden Remarks on Coronavirus PandemicPresident-elect Biden delivered remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on the coronavirus pandemic. He discussed five key'...
December 22, 2020 Kentucky Governor Beshear Coronavirus News ConferenceKentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) provided an update on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic. During his virtual briefing,'...
User Created Clips from This Video
VIDEO-Justin Hart on Twitter: "I thought it was a parody. Nope... it's real. https://t.co/ExawCs10Q1" / Twitter
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 15:48
Justin Hart : I thought it was a parody. Nope... it's real. https://t.co/ExawCs10Q1
Wed Jan 27 00:24:40 +0000 2021
s. handle : @justin_hart Vtech just kicked in yo
Wed Jan 27 15:38:51 +0000 2021
КаÐ'н БÑанч'¸ : @justin_hart I see your three masks and wear four masks...
Wed Jan 27 15:36:27 +0000 2021
Stefano Lingeri🗣¸ðŸ—£¸ðŸ—£¸ : @justin_hart The wear 4. Maybe you can reach 98%
Wed Jan 27 15:34:23 +0000 2021
David Wilkinson : @justin_hart We will all be looking Neil Armstrong in a few weeks. Getting ridiculous
Wed Jan 27 15:14:46 +0000 2021
Brian Lahmeyer : @justin_hart Hey I got a great idea why don't we all just walk around with our scuba gear on! At least we can breat'... https://t.co/BGtwEbphAZ
Wed Jan 27 15:01:50 +0000 2021
🌺 Tigaseye 🌺 : @justin_hart If she sticks on a few more, maybe she will be able to suffocate herself.No more Covid-19 risk from her.Finally, success.
Wed Jan 27 14:57:07 +0000 2021
VIDEO-John Cardillo on Twitter: ".@EmeraldRobinson completely stumps @jrpsaki when she asks about Biden allowing China into our power grid. https://t.co/DcYfgKIZcT" / Twitter
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 17:49
John Cardillo : .@EmeraldRobinson completely stumps @jrpsaki when she asks about Biden allowing China into our power grid. https://t.co/DcYfgKIZcT
Tue Jan 26 13:03:14 +0000 2021
Michał : @johncardillo @DennisR38458475 @EmeraldRobinson @jrpsaki Bravo 🅠Don't ask questions ''—¸ Super USA 👍 https://t.co/lktkKCDUe4
Tue Jan 26 17:41:58 +0000 2021
ð'´ð'š ð'ð'šð'š›ð'šð'š' : @johncardillo @captain_krypton @EmeraldRobinson @jrpsaki Ouch. This has been in the news'--clearly the Biden administ'... https://t.co/RuzRWyaeMO
Tue Jan 26 17:37:44 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Dr. Fauci: Double mask during Covid makes common sense, more effective
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:29
Could wearing two face masks at once during the pandemic provide more protection than just wearing one? According to White House advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, "it likely does," he told NBC News' TODAY on Monday.
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As Fauci explained, masks are physical coverings that prevent respiratory droplets from spreading to other people and provide a degree of protection to the wearer.
"So if you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective," Fauci told TODAY. "That's the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95."
Although the Centers for Disease Control has not recommended double masking yet, the practice generated buzz when people were seen wearing two masks at president Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday. Viewers noted that poet Amanda Gorman and Pete Buttigieg, who is Biden's nominee to run the Transportation Department, wore surgical masks underneath cloth masks.
Researchers say that wearing a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask provides maximal protection, because the surgical mask acts as a filter and the cloth adds an additional layer and helps with fit, according to commentary on mask-wearing published on Jan. 15. In places where it's difficult to maintain social distance, such as on an airplane or at the store, two masks would provide additional protection. The next best option would be a three-layer mask that contains an inner filter.
Studies have shown that multilayer cloth masks can both block up to 50%-70% of fine droplets and particles and limit the spread of Covid. The CDC recommends that people wear masks that have at least two layers of tightly woven cotton fabric, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets.
Disposable surgical masks made from a plastic-derived material called polypropylene have been shown to be more effective at filtering particles than just a cloth mask.
N95 respirators are face masks that are designed to fit very close to the face, forming a seal that filters 95% of airborne particles. These masks are not recommended for the general public, because they should be reserved for healthcare workers and medical first responders.
President Biden signed executive orders on Thursday that mandate wearing masks on airplanes, trains, buses, airports as well as on federal property.
A December survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than 70% of Americans report wearing masks.
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VIDEO-(((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio on Twitter: "A WA teacher's union president says reopening schools is an example of "white supremacy," concern over a child's mental health or suicide risk is "white privilege," and push to reopen schools is like riot
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:25
(((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio : A WA teacher's union president says reopening schools is an example of "white supremacy," concern over a child's me'... https://t.co/cUClPf6fjm
Wed Jan 13 16:34:28 +0000 2021
sven crown : @jasonrantz Hey, Teachers' Union ... reopening schools is Student Supremacy
Tue Jan 26 16:21:05 +0000 2021
Forest Mommy 🌲''¤ðŸ—ðŸ'ªðŸ¹ðŸŒ²ðŸŒ² : @jasonrantz Keeping them closed is harming poorer minority children though.
Tue Jan 26 16:19:13 +0000 2021
Samantha : @jasonrantz Are not the lower class affected the most by having children at home? These parent(s) much of the time'... https://t.co/UCRcBQgwpU
Tue Jan 26 16:17:15 +0000 2021
Heather Everdeen : @jasonrantz https://t.co/Np2LXJaD7w
Tue Jan 26 16:16:22 +0000 2021
boiboi : @jasonrantz Ridiculous
Tue Jan 26 16:12:06 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Dr. Fauci: Double Masking Against Mutant Coronavirus 'Just Makes Common Sense' | TODAY - YouTube
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:12
VIDEO-Pfizer and AstraZeneca take heat as vaccine delays threaten Europe's recovery - CNN
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 14:07
By Julia Horowitz, CNN Business
Updated 8:50 AM EST, Tue January 26, 2021
London(CNN Business) The European Union is calling out vaccine makers AstraZeneca ( AZN ) and Pfizer ( PFE ) over delivery delays that could slow its recovery from the pandemic. Officials are even threatening to take legal action and introduce export controls on doses produced in the bloc as anger mounts.
AstraZeneca will not be able to deliver as many doses of its vaccine as promised, according to EU officials, putting government rollout plans at risk. The news comes after Pfizer said it had delivered fewer doses of its vaccine than expected last week.
EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on Monday expressed dissatisfaction on talks with AstraZeneca and said conversations would continue. She said the drugmaker "intends to supply considerably fewer doses in the coming weeks than agreed and announced."
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen turned up the heat on the pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday, saying the bloc "means business."
"Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first Covid-19 vaccines, to create a truly global common good. And now the companies must deliver. They must honor their obligations," she said during a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
EU countries counting on the vaccines to rein in the health crisis and jumpstart their economies are now being forced to modify their plans. Italian Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri told TV channel Rai 1 on Sunday that people over 80 years old would be vaccinated four weeks later than planned as a result of the delays. The country is threatening legal action against the drugmakers.
"By the [fall] we could vaccinate up to 45 million Italians, but I don't believe in these companies," Sileri said. "I want to see the vaccines."
Unexpected delaysThe European Union has ordered 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which could be approved for use as soon as this week, with an option to purchase an additional 100 million.
The company said that production has been hampered by a manufacturing issue.
"While there is no scheduled delay to the start of shipments of our vaccine should we receive approval in Europe, initial volumes will be lower than originally anticipated due to reduced yields at a manufacturing site within our European supply chain," AstraZeneca said in a statement. "We will be supplying tens of millions of doses in February and March to the European Union, as we continue to ramp up production volumes."
The news has sent the bloc reeling, just as it was racing to assess the impact of delays announced by Pfizer. The US company said on Jan. 15 that it would deliver fewer doses than planned last week while it upgraded its manufacturing facility in Puurs, Belgium.
The drugmaker said it would still be able to meet first quarter targets, and as a result of the changes to its Belgium plant would be able to churn out 2 billion doses by the end of 2021. That's up from the 1.3 billion it had originally estimated.
Pfizer said Monday it would return to its original schedule of deliveries for the European Union this week.
European governments are demanding answers, pointing out that the success of their vaccination efforts is dependent on the private sector.
"On the one hand we can only welcome the result of science, and on the other hand they have a monopoly and we are totally dependent," Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said on Saturday. "There may be production issues, but these uncertainties and announcements make it very difficult to organize the campaign."
Kyriakides said on Monday that the bloc would now demand "full transparency concerning the export of vaccines" from the European Union.
"In the future, all companies producing vaccines against Covid-19 in the EU will have to provide early notification whenever they want to export vaccines to third countries. Humanitarian deliveries are of course not affected by this," she said on Twitter.
How bad is it?Supply chain experts are much more concerned by the news from AstraZeneca than Pfizer, given the latter company's commitment to increase output soon. AstraZeneca's vaccine, developed with Oxford University, is also much easier to distribute because it can be stored at higher temperatures than the Pfizer alternative.
A delay for a week or two "is not a big problem," said Burak Kazaz, a professor of supply chain management at Syracuse University. "[Though] I certainly understand that a delay means lives."
The scope of the problems facing AstraZeneca, which appear more serious, would become clear in the coming weeks, he said.
Delays from both firms are a sign that there are still kinks in the supply chain that need to be ironed out as distribution ramps up, according to Prashant Yadav, a medical supply chain expert and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.
"We will have more of these ups and downs until we get to a stable process," Yadav said.
Given the rocky attempts to get up to speed '-- and concentration of production at just a few manufacturing sites '-- the public should expect monthly manufacturing capacity to fluctuate for the time being, he added.
Richard Wilding, a professor of supply chain strategy at Cranfield University in England, noted that there are at least 50 items necessary to run vaccination sites, from alcohol wipes and syringes to personal protective equipment. Supply chains for those items need to run smoothly, too.
Crucially, the delays aren't just a problem for Europe.
"The price will be paid by developing countries who don't have access yet, because their deliveries may be delayed further down the line," Yadav said.
'-- James Frater, Chris Liakos, Amanda Sealy and Stephanie Halasz contributed reporting.
VIDEO-ABC Edits Out Chuck Schumer's Embarrassing 'Insurrection' Blunder | Newsbusters
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 18:58
January 25th, 2021 10:13 AM
We're used to the networks editing out and refusing to own up to their own fake news, but you'll never guess the lengths the media goes to protect Democrats as well from their own embarrassment.
ABC was caught again spreading fake news, by editing out a funny but humiliating gaffe by Democrat Senate leader, Chuck Schumer from the Senate floor, Friday, for their opening on Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Here's the short opening that ABC manipulated, noticed by radio host and Daily Caller editor Vince Coglianese:
But instead of ''insurrection,'' this is what Schumer really said (also caught by Daily Caller, last Friday):
SCHUMER: "Senators will have to decide if Donald John Trump incited the erection." pic.twitter.com/zL4UDs9UbK
'-- Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 22, 2021Media columnist for The Hill, Joe Concha, noted ABC could've used any quote for that intro, but deliberately manipulated Schumer's so they could use it:
Could have chosen 100 different quotes for that open. ABC goes with an infamous one they end altering instead... https://t.co/2gClXLCWxV
'-- Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) January 24, 2021ABC has been caught manipulating quotes and editing video many times before, most recently in October of 2019. They admitted off-air, but refused to offer an on-air correction for multiple news segments using a video supposedly showing Turkey's military bombing Kurdish civilians in a Syrian border town. Thanks to some eagle-eyed viewers, ABC admitted on Twitter it was actually from a Kentucky gun range.
NewsBusters Reader,
The media has abandoned all pretense of objectivity to become a pro bono ad agency for the progressive movement, infusing left-wing talking points into every issue, from the pandemic to the ''cultural revolution.''
''Truth in journalism,'' once a reporter's credo, is now a relic of a bygone era.
At MRC's NewsBusters, we analyze the threat to democracy the media has become and expose the tools of their trade: deceit, bias, omission and manipulation.
NewsBusters combats the liberal media with truth and facts, both kryptonite to the Left. Our successes are many but our challenge is great. It's NewsBusters vs. the mainstream media Goliath. The great equalizer? You.
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VIDEO-Dav1212 on Twitter: "Our media is broken,they should be all over this https://t.co/HyjJTW333H" / Twitter
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 15:28
Dav1212 : Our media is broken,they should be all over this https://t.co/HyjJTW333H
Sun Jan 24 11:02:26 +0000 2021
John Mcleish : @Vad002 Get stuck into them, well said 👍
Mon Jan 25 15:22:15 +0000 2021
Matt Day : @Vad002 Well said
Mon Jan 25 15:14:24 +0000 2021
Grumpy : @Vad002 @eckto71 Sadly nobody will be taken to task on thus & the British public will vote these parasites back to'... https://t.co/NGfIzGiink
Mon Jan 25 15:08:21 +0000 2021
🕷Real : @Vad002 our media are hiding the tuth from the British Public. #murdochracy#bbcbias
Mon Jan 25 14:25:21 +0000 2021
VIDEO-The Davos Agenda | World Economic Forum
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 14:05
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VIDEO-EXCLUSIVE! Lin Wood: "I believe the military is in control", "Joe Biden is a fake president"
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 13:02
Patriotically Correct Radio Show Published January 24, 2021 184,673 Views 3059 rumbles
Rumble '-- Lin Wood answers YOUR questions on #PCRadioVisit: www.redvoicemedia.com
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18m47sMonica Matthews Plea to Americans - "I Really Need Your Listeners to Hear This" | PCRadio EXCLUSIVEPatriotically Correct Radio Show
53sJoe Biden Does NOT Believe in Law and Order or Our Military!The Conservative Business Journal Podcast
30sJoe Biden disrespects our military!Up2L8
21sMilitary Turning their back on BidenThe 45 Party
6m55sLIN WOOD "IT WAS A MILITARY OP" !!! STAY TUNEDICONS2020
14sBiden - "I don't Know What I'm Signing"CSEvaluation
45m26s"I Support Guns" & Other Joe Biden Lies!American Handgunner Magazine: Guns, Gear and Shooting
1m30sExclusive Sneak Peek of Biden Inaugural Theme!Infowars
36m19sMilitary Op, Dirty Bomb threat, Military v Biden Running USAWe The People NEWS
VIDEO-The Biden administration has now done something 'you may have missed': Markson - YouTube
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:43
VIDEO-Rania Khalek on Twitter: "On Left Bitches w/ @ggreenwald, Glenn explains why Trump scared ruling elites and why we should oppose the new dangerous domestic ''war on terror'' Apple: https://t.co/iLa5Oo4g6r Spotify: https://t.co/DfTG8uaOkv
Sun, 24 Jan 2021 21:22
Rania Khalek : On Left Bitches w/ @ggreenwald, Glenn explains why Trump scared ruling elites and why we should oppose the new dang'... https://t.co/kILP5YICox
Sun Jan 24 19:11:01 +0000 2021
Rooshooter : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Spot On!
Sun Jan 24 21:19:45 +0000 2021
Jen 🗽🇺🇲 : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald The illusion of choice is broken
Sun Jan 24 21:01:42 +0000 2021
Keith M. Judge : @RaniaKhalek @billy20151 @ggreenwald @ggreenwald is an opportunist.
Sun Jan 24 20:41:39 +0000 2021
JEFERSONFREPRES : @RaniaKhalek @ActionAssange @ggreenwald Spot on, BULLSEYE 🎯
Sun Jan 24 20:36:28 +0000 2021
Shep : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Why didn't @RoArquette retweet ðŸ¤-- She's a elite that tried to divide ''Œ¸'¥¸ðŸðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸''Œ¸'¥¸ðŸðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸''Œ¸ðŸ'¥¸'... https://t.co/eyZmkvLAQJ
Sun Jan 24 20:34:02 +0000 2021
Hanief Haider : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Glenn is spot-on.Just after Trump victory in 2016 we saw the term fake news bandied about'... https://t.co/ttHNhwasXH
Sun Jan 24 20:25:09 +0000 2021
Dutronc on a roof : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald GG is on the far right.
Sun Jan 24 20:13:32 +0000 2021
Richard M. Warnick : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Ruling elites being scared might be a good thing.
Sun Jan 24 20:06:36 +0000 2021
Adam Gamma : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald What a steaming pile of shite. Kus ikhtkum for wasting my time with this rubbish. One thin'... https://t.co/9vEhAexCAI
Sun Jan 24 20:00:06 +0000 2021
ð'•ð'•–ð'••ð'•š 'ð'•...ð'•Ÿð'•¥ð'•–ð'•£ : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Brilliant answers like always.
Sun Jan 24 19:59:24 +0000 2021
Marcie G : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Exactly!!!
Sun Jan 24 19:58:05 +0000 2021
Ramzi Abdulrahman : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald 1984...
Sun Jan 24 19:58:05 +0000 2021
Patrick Crooks : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Stop giving this hack a platform. He is not a leftist. Just an egomaniac.
Sun Jan 24 19:57:44 +0000 2021
Mark Frangos : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Are we already rewriting history on Trump? He didn't scare "ruling elites." He scared 81 m'... https://t.co/tMo0pgkZHR
Sun Jan 24 19:56:35 +0000 2021
tommyloc : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald They didnt jus hate trump, they hated YOU. He was the personification of you to them.
Sun Jan 24 19:53:06 +0000 2021
spongy : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald The reasons we should oppose a larger surveillance and police state stand on their own mer'... https://t.co/qpqPLgedIE
Sun Jan 24 19:53:05 +0000 2021
tommyloc : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald They didnt jus hate trump, they hated YOU. He was the personification of you to them.
Sun Jan 24 19:49:59 +0000 2021
tommyloc : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald ðŸ'¯ðŸ'¯ðŸ'¯ðŸ'¯
Sun Jan 24 19:48:49 +0000 2021
Tlands : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald That was a whole lot of nothing. Wordsworthing Trumps bad behavior as some sort of break t'... https://t.co/DnvrsAPXhi
Sun Jan 24 19:48:19 +0000 2021
Mike Daily : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Trump is a very real threat to the norms and security/stability of the country. And yes,'... https://t.co/lnya3DZif6
Sun Jan 24 19:46:35 +0000 2021
Corporate Socialist Raking It In : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald we didn't have machines for much of that time.
Sun Jan 24 19:39:37 +0000 2021
Silky Wilky : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald 👏ðŸ>>
Sun Jan 24 19:30:32 +0000 2021
wejitu 'Œ›¸ : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald True that.
Sun Jan 24 19:22:32 +0000 2021
Blue Apple : @RaniaKhalek @ggreenwald Greenwald's a moron on this right populism bullshit. Every one of them supports Right to W'... https://t.co/7WLrITn0F6
Sun Jan 24 19:16:47 +0000 2021
STORIES
23andMe DNA Tool Assesses Risk of Covid-19 Becoming Severe - Bloomberg
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 15:05
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My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell permanently banned from Twitter - Chicago Tribune
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 14:46
Twitter has permanently banned My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell's account after he continued to perpetuate the baseless claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Twitter decided to ban Lindell, who founded bedding company My Pillow, due to ''repeated violations'' of its civic integrity policy, a spokesperson said in a statement. The policy was implemented last September and is targeted at fighting disinformation.
It was not immediately clear which posts by Lindell on Twitter triggered the suspension of his account.
Lindell, a Trump supporter, has continued to insist that the presidential election was rigged even after U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has begun.
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, has been permanently banned from Twitter after he continually perpetuated the baseless claim that Trump won the 2020 U.S. presidential election. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Lindell is also facing potential litigation from Dominion Voting Systems for claiming that their voting machines played a role in alleged election fraud. He had also urged Trump to declare martial law in Minnesota to obtain its ballots and overturn the election.
Following the storming of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, Twitter has banned over 70,000 accounts for sharing misinformation. Trump, who had urged on the mob, has also had his account permanently suspended.
Biden order: Workers can refuse unsafe work, still get unemployment
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 14:30
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday ordering the Department of Labor to issue guidance that clarifies "workers have a federally guaranteed right to refuse employment that will jeopardize their health and if they do so, they will still qualify for unemployment insurance."
Generally, you can't refuse what's considered "suitable work," whether it's a new job offer or a call to return to a reopened workplace, and still receive unemployment insurance. In more traditional times, suitable work is thought of as a job that matches your skill set and pays a similar rate as your old one.
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But during the pandemic, the health and safety risks imposed by the coronavirus have blurred what "suitable work" looks like, especially for those who have underlying health conditions or are at higher risk of severe illness from the virus.
Under the Trump administration, states, local governments and employers were often left to determine what constituted as a safe work environment free of risks to workers' health and safety during the Covid pandemic. Recent moves from the Biden White House aim to formalize a national standard.
As with existing protocol, new federal guidance will still require workers to demonstrate how their work environment places their health in jeopardy, that they've done something to raise the issue with their employer to enforce an improved standard, and that their employer has chosen to not act on recommended health and safety guidance, such as that from the CDC, local or state regulations '-- and soon, federal guidance on workplace health and safety.
For example, you can't just walk into your work facility, see that no one's wearing a mask, walk off the job and later file for unemployment. However, if you approach your boss about enforcing universal mask-wearing to minimize the spread of the virus, and they decline to do so, you may have just cause for refusing unsafe work that places your health in jeopardy and qualifying for unemployment benefits while you look for a new job.
Worker advocates anticipate that firming up state-by-state rules into a federal standard will make it easier for people to realize their right to refuse work if it jeopardizes their health, and know they can still receive jobless aid while they find new work.
The CARES Act also clarified additional reasons someone may need to refuse work and remain eligible for unemployment insurance, such as if they must stay home to provide child care during school and care facility closures, or if they're advised by a health professional to self-isolate due to an underlying medical condition. These individuals may qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance federal program, which currently phases out by mid-April.
It's worth remembering that a general fear of contracting the virus isn't enough of a cause to refuse suitable work.
Stronger health and safety guidelinesWorkers also have a right to quit for good cause if their employer doesn't follow safety guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, rules that predate the pandemic and outline a worker's right to refuse dangerous work.
If companies fail to follow those guidelines, and this creates a hazardous working condition, workers may be able to quit with good cause. If it's found that a worker has left an employer due to unsafe working conditions under OSHA guidelines, they may be able to claim unemployment benefits, though eligibility is determined by the state.
With that said, the Trump administration was criticized for what some say was lax enforcement of workplace safety guidance by OSHA during the pandemic, and being slow to issue penalties for violations.
A separate Biden order signed last week calls for OSHA to issue stronger safety guidance for workplaces within the next two weeks. Additionally, the agency will review its enforcement efforts and could create an emergency temporary standard that would mandate requirements such as mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing breaks and communication with workers during outbreaks.
Changes expected within weeksThe Department of Labor is expected to issue guidance about a worker's right to refuse unsafe work and remain eligible for unemployment benefits within the next week or two.
Roughly 900,000 Americans filed new jobless claims last week, and just under 16 million workers are receiving some kind of unemployment assistance. Worker advocates say the latest pushes for stronger income, health and safety protections will support Black, Latino and Native American workers, who are disproportionately more likely to hold jobs that must be done in-person, and are also more likely to experience joblessness with the security of in-person jobs in flux during the pandemic.
"This is a commonsense step to make sure that workers have a right to safe work environments, and that we don't put workers, in the middle of a pandemic, in a position where they have to choose between their own livelihoods and the health of they and their families," said National Economic Council director Brian Deese at the White House Friday.
Biden says his recent actions via executive order are in addition to the $1.9 trillion relief plan proposed earlier in January that would boost federal unemployment pay to $400 per week and extend federal programs through September. Currently, under the legislation passed in December 2020, federal jobless aid is enhanced by $300 per week through mid-March.
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Biden stimulus plan proposes $400 weekly unemployment boost through September
Latest unemployment boost is 'too little, too late,' workers say: 'They forgot about us a long time ago'
The share of long-term unemployment is rising: 'There's $0.68 in my bank account'
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Bill Gates: Strategies that will help with the next pandemic
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 14:21
"[P]andemic preparedness must be taken as seriously as we take the threat of war."
That's according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's annual letter published Wednesday.
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Although the Covid pandemic is still raging, the billionaire philanthropist has ideas about how the world can better address the next pandemic.
Gates, whose foundation has committed $1.75 billion in the fight against Covid to date, wrote that the world needs to be spending tens of billions of dollars each year on pandemic preparedness.
"I think of this as the best and most cost-efficient insurance policy the world could buy," he said.
Here are strategies that Gates believes will help future outbreaks:
'Mega-testing' and faster treatments At the start of the pandemic, the United States lagged behind many countries in terms of diagnostic testing capacity.
"By the next pandemic, I'm hopeful we'll have what I call mega-diagnostic platforms, which could test as much as 20% of the global population every week," Gates wrote. (In the past, Gates has discussed the need for more efficient tests, like at-home rapid tests.)
In addition to testing, Gates pointed to promising therapeutic treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies, which have been shown to be effective at reducing the risk of death and hospitalization from Covid. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced molecules that mimic the immune system's ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The success of messenger RNA vaccines (both the Pfizer and Morderna Covid vaccines are RNA) is another reason to be hopeful. They "essentially turn your body into its own vaccine manufacturing unit," Gates wrote in an April 2020 blog post. And RNA vaccines are more versatile and can be manufactured more easily and faster than conventional vaccines.
The efficiency of RNA vaccines will only increase: "I predict that mRNA vaccines will become faster to develop, easier to scale, and more stable to store over the next five to ten years," Gates said in the foundation's annual letter. "That would be a huge breakthrough, both for future pandemics and for other global health challenges."
'Pandemic firefighters' who spot outbreaksIn early December, Gates said that there needs to be a team of 3,000 infectious disease experts whose job it is to spot and quickly address a pandemic when it arises.
"Think of this corps as a pandemic fire squad," Gates wrote in the letter. "Just like firefighters, they're fully trained professionals who are ready to respond to potential crises at a moment's notice."
"When they aren't actively responding to an outbreak, they keep their skills sharp by working on diseases like malaria and polio," Gates said.
There should also be a large scale "global alert system" that healthcare workers can use to log patient data, identify trends and ultimately pick up on a pandemic sooner, he added. (Smaller decentralized systems for spotting infectious disease outbreaks exist. For example, last year, the Canadian startup BlueDot used its artificial intelligence platform to pick up on a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China before the pandemic was declared.)
'Germ games' and simulationsIn order to stay prepared, Gates suggested worldwide "germ games," which are organized and sophisticated "simulations that let [experts] practice, analyze, and improve how we respond to disease outbreaks, just as war games let the military prepare for real-life warfare," Gates said.
Before the pandemic, the United States did not have ample experience handling respiratory outbreaks, which is one of the reasons the country's response was delayed and fragmented. Simulations could help train and prepare the groups of infectious disease experts.
"Speed matters in a pandemic," Gates said. "The faster you act, the faster you cut off exponential growth of the virus."
Check out: Bill Gates: Climate change could be more devastating than Covid-19 pandemic'--this is what the US must do to prepare
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Universities Threaten To Cut Off Students' Internet Access If They Fail To Comply With COVID Restrictions '' Summit News
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:42
Coronavirus Says socials need to crack down harder.
JEFF PACHOUD via Getty ImagesMicrosoft founder Bill Gates says he is shocked by the ''crazy conspiracy theories'' surrounding COVID-19 and that social media networks should take more steps to minimize them.
Noting that the combination of social media and a pandemic is something that's never existed before, Gates said ''nobody would have predicted'' the attention he and Dr. Fauci have received.
The billionaire said ''really evil theories'' about whether he had created the pandemic or tried to profit from it had been allowed to circulate.
''Do people really believe that stuff?'' asked Gates, asserting, ''We're going to have to get educated about this over the next year and understand how does it change people's behavior.''
Gates said that more work needed to be done with social media companies to ''minimize'' such discussion and that the Gates Foundation could also take steps to make sure it was ''explaining what we were up to in a better way.''
This is not the first time that Gates has addressed conspiracy theories about COVID. He previously labeled them ''crazy'' in a September 2020 interview.
The philanthropist has asserted that the world won't return to normal until there is widespread adoption of the vaccine and that lockdowns, masks and social distancing will continue throughout all of this year and into 2022.
Although many of Gates' wealthy friends at the World Economic Forum are insisting that people in the future will have to forego property ownership, Gates himself has recently been buying up farmland in vast quantities.
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Coronavirus Why not just a full Hazmat suit?
Video ScreenshotCiting researchers at Virginia Tech, CNBC says that Americans should consider wearing THREE face masks in order to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
After Dr. Fauci asserted that wearing two face coverings instead of one would be ''more effective'' in stopping the virus, CNBC's Contessa Brewer went even further.
''The experts keep telling us that wearing masks is really about protecting others from ourselves in the event that we are contagious, but you know if other people aren't wearing their masks or they're wearing them improperly, we need to protect ourselves,'' she said as she began to put a mask on.
''So experts say you can double up with a tight weave fabric mask for added protection,'' said Brewer while placing a second mask over her face.
She then cited Virginia Tech researchers who found that doubling up on masks can increase efficacy by 50-75% before announcing, ''A three layer mask could block up to 90% of the particles.''
Brewer then pulled out a Chinese KN95 mask, which apparently has five layers and is so tight it leaves a mark on the face after wearing it.
Host Shep Smith then told viewers that they should chop off their facial hair too because that made masks ineffective.
Presumably, if ''experts said'' Americans could only venture outside while trapped in a giant bubble, people would comply without question.
The question also arises once again; If even wearing three masks doesn't provide 100% protection against COVID, what's the point in wearing one?
The notion of wearing three masks might not just be absurd, it could actually be dangerous.
During a discussion about whether people should wear two masks, CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida said, ''three masks may be going too far, since that could interfere with the ability to breathe.''
As we previously highlighted, it went from wearing a mask to now wearing two masks being the best way to get virtue signaling social media clout.
Apparently, now even those people are irresponsible, potentially ''killing granny,'' and should be triple masking if they really want to prove they're good people.
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You may need to vaccinate your pets against Covid-19 | The Bolton News
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:18
Scientists have warned vaccinating domestic animals, including pet dogs and cats, against Covid-19 may be necessary in the future.
Coronavirus is capable of infecting a wide range of species, meaning there is a significant risk of transmission to humans through their household pets without vaccination.
'We need to be prepared' Experts from the University of East Anglia (UEA), the Earlham Institute in Norwich and the University of Minnesota, have said that vaccination of domesticated animals might be necessary to curb the spread of coronavirus.
In an editorial for the journal Virulence, they wrote that the continued evolution of the virus in animals, followed by transmission to humans, ''poses a significant long-term risk to public health''.
Last year, Denmark's government was forced to cull millions of mink after it emerged that hundreds of Covid-19 cases in the country were linked with coronavirus variants associated with farmed mink.
Cock van Oosterhout, professor of evolutionary genetics at UEA and one of the editorial's authors, said that dogs and cats are capable of contracting Covid-19, but as yet there are no known cases in which there has been transmission back to humans.
However, he added that it would be beneficial to develop a vaccine for pets as a precautionary measure.
He said: ''It makes sense to develop vaccines for pets, for domestic animals, just as a precaution to reduce this risk.
''What we need to be as a human society, we really need to be prepared for any eventuality when it comes to Covid.
''I think the best way to do this is indeed to consider development of vaccines for animals as well.
''Interestingly the Russians have already started to develop a vaccine for pets, which there's very little information about.''
Preventing animal-specific strains Kevin Tyler, editor-in-chief of Virulence, said that while cats are asymptomatic, they can be infected by Covid-19 and pass this on to humans.
He explained: ''The risk is that, as long as there are these reservoirs, that it starts to pass, as it did in the mink, from animal to animal, and then starts to evolve animal-specific strains, but then they spill back into the human population and you end up essentially with a new virus which is related, which causes the whole thing all over again.''
Prof van Oosterhout and Prof Tyler wrote the editorial along with director of the Earlham Institute Neil Hall and Hinh Ly of the University of Minnesota.
In their editorial, the scientists wrote: ''Continued virus evolution in reservoir animal hosts, followed by spillback events into susceptible human hosts, poses a significant long-term risk to public health.
''SARS-CoV-2 can infect a wide range of host species, including cats, dogs, mink and other wild and domesticated species and, hence, the vaccination of domesticated animals might be required to halt further virus evolution and spillback events.
''Whilst the vaccination campaigns against Sars-CoV-2/Covid-19 are being rolled out worldwide, new virus variants are likely to continue to evolve that have the potential to sweep through the human population.''
They warned that more transmissible virus strains, such as the UK variant, require more people to be vaccinated to keep coronavirus under control.
The scientists have called on governments to consider the continued use of strict control measures, such as masks and social distancing, as the only way to reduce the evolution and spread of new Covid-19 variants.
Dropping WhatsApp? Nostalgia Drives Users to ICQ - WSJ
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:15
In Hong Kong, some are choosing an alternative that reminds them of their childhood'--before algorithms, Big Tech and viral misinformation.
ICQ was a pioneering, mid-1990s internet messaging service then used on bulky PCs on dial-up. It was a precursor to AOL Instant Messenger, and was last in vogue when the TV show ''Friends'' was in its prime and PalmPilots were cutting edge.
It's been modernized over the years, and now is an app for smartphones. Lately it has skyrocketed up Hong Kong's app charts, with downloads jumping 35-fold in the week ending Jan. 12.
''It recalls my childhood memories,'' said 30-year-old risk consultant Anthony Wong, who used ICQ when he was in grade school. He has since connected with more than two dozen friends on the platform after some bristled this month at a privacy policy update by WhatsApp that would allow some data to be stored on parent Facebook Inc.'s servers.
Some users were also exasperated by what they saw as Facebook's efforts to curry favor with China. WhatsApp, which has about two billion users, says it doesn't have access to the contents of personal messages and that its planned privacy-policy changes are related to business users.
The ICQ app doesn't necessarily address users' privacy concerns. Its messages are encrypted, but it is owned by a company in Russia'--where the government holds technology firms by a tight leash.
An ICQ spokeswoman said user messages are ''never shared with anyone,'' except by court order.
For the revived Hong Kong users, a change driven by concerns about privacy was mostly overtaken by nostalgia for the days when technology was a fun pastime for kids in the know.
Long before texting, ICQ'--a homonym of ''I seek you'''--permitted users on PCs to communicate with friends across the street or around the world.
With its green flower logo, goofy message alert sounds and numerical user IDs, it provided a way for instantaneous communication before smartphones and social-media apps were developed.
Although ''instantaneous'' in those days was relative: Mr. Wong remembers how slow it was to share music files with friends. ''It took forever to download a song,'' he said.
Earlier this month, Alvis Sio and her friends were brainstorming a replacement for WhatsApp. ''Why don't we go back to ICQ?,'' one said. Ms. Sio found the idea of returning to an IT relic reminiscent of a less complicated era.
''Back in the days with ICQ, you needed both people to be ready at their computers in order to send messages,'' said the 30-year-old postgraduate student, who used the service in her early teens. She said the elaborate sequence of logging on, connecting to the internet, finding friends and starting a chat was like a ritual.
Tel Aviv-based Mirabilis Ltd. launched ICQ in 1996, and it was one of the first instant-messaging programs to gain global popularity. America Online Inc. two years later acquired it for $287 million, and near the turn of the millennium it had about 100 million users.
The Russian internet firm now called Mail.Ru Group Ltd. bought ICQ from AOL in 2010, and has since expanded its offerings beyond its original desktop service to include a smartphone app with group video calling, audio messages and more. The ICQ spokeswoman declined to say how many total users the service has but said it was most popular in countries such as Russia, Nigeria and Germany. Mail.Ru Group runs VK, also known as VKontakte, Russia's most popular social network.
The spokeswoman said downloads in Hong Kong during one week earlier in January surpassed those during last year's entire fourth quarter. In the week ending Jan. 12, downloads soared to 7,000, compared with 200 the previous week, according to San Francisco, Calif.-based app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Google searches for ''ICQ'' are at a level not seen in a decade, Google Trends data shows.
Vicky Choi and her husband, Jay Pang, both 38 years old, used ICQ as teens'--although they were each dating other people at the time. ''Hello,'' Ms. Choi wrote to her husband in recent days on the platform, her first message in more than two decades. ''Hi,'' Mr. Pang immediately responded, ''after so many years.''
Mr. Pang, an airline ground crew worker, said his contact list of friends had been ''frozen in time,'' with status updates from 20 years ago. One read: ''I'll find my way,'' a cryptic phrase invoking the aesthetic of angst-ridden ''emo'' rock music popular at the time.
He said he has helped four or five friends to look up their ICQ numbers'--he still has them on his old friend list'--and get online.
Some of ICQ's original elements remain, such as its classic ''uh-oh'' notification sound. One feature now dropped: ''random chats,'' in which a user would be randomly assigned a chat partner from somewhere in the world.
''There would always be someone to chat with,'' said Mr. Pang, who said he was occasionally connected with strangers in locations such as Taiwan, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East.
Ms. Choi said she misses another eliminated feature, so-called invisible mode, which allowed users to ''lurk'' without anyone knowing they were online. ''When my boss texts me and I don't feel like getting back to him right away, I wish I could go on invisible,'' she said.
A hitch for users trying to restart their old accounts'--it is hard to remember decades-old passwords.
Joyce Lai, a 30-year-old aerial exercise instructor, tried to take to ICQ again in recent days. She had committed her ICQ user number to memory in fourth grade, but she can't log in because she forgot her password.
''I've tried so many combinations of my ex-boyfriends' birthdays and phone numbers, but none of them worked,'' Ms. Lai said.
Write to Newley Purnell at newley.purnell@wsj.com and Joyu Wang at joyu.wang@wsj.com
The podcast business is booming, but few are making money - Axios
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:12
Nearly every major media and entertainment company is pouring lots of cash into launching new podcasts. But many of them aren't making big money '-- at least not yet.
Why it matters: As is the case with most new technologies, when it comes to podcasts, consumer adoption has outpaced monetization.
Only a few big players make meaningful revenue from podcasts today, but that's expected to change as the industry matures. Details: While many big companies and independent creators are trying to get in on the podcast action, most aren't seeing much traction. The top 1% of podcasts receive 99% of downloads.
Reproduced from Libsyn; Chart: Axios Visuals
"By default, it is more difficult for podcasters to break out and go viral because the podcast ecosystem doesn't have a platform with characteristics of a community like YouTube, Instagram or TikTok," says Agnes Kozera, co-founder of Podcorn, a podcast sponsorships marketplace. "It's very rare that someone hits the lottery and hits top 1% status," says Marshall Brown, co-founder of Buzzsprout, one of the largest podcast hosting companies for amateur podcasters. "For most podcasters, it's a lot more about slow gradual growth."How it works: The podcast ecosystem was built in a decentralized manner via RSS feeds. As more big companies invest in building their own podcast empires, the question of how to build an advertising market that works ubiquitously across lots of different platforms has yet to be answered.
Spotify, for example, uses "streaming ad insertion," to place host and voice talent-read ads within different podcasts. Other companies take a more traditional approach by trying to insert radio-like audio ads within podcasts in an automated fashion. "I think the space is starting to bifurcate between our approach with streaming ad insertion versus what I see in rest of industry doing, which is flooding podcasts with radio style and programmatic style ads," Spotify's Jay Richman told Axios last month.The big picture: While podcasting is the fastest-growing advertising medium, it's still tiny. The industry as a whole still only brings in less than $1 billion in ad revenue, even though more than 90 million people listen to podcasts monthly, per Edison Research.
For most podcasters, including big media and entertainment giants, podcasts offer an incredible opportunity to expand their audiences or find new, niche ones. The financial return on investment in podcasts remains to be fully realized for most. Yes, but: For the small number of people ad companies that are successful, podcasts can be lucrative.
The New York Times podcast division reportedly brought in nearly $30 million in revenue in 2019. Vox Media's podcasting business is in the eight figures. Spotify reportedly paid Joe Rogan more than $100 million to sign an exclusive deal."We're seeing big podcasts make money because podcast advertising has taken a more traditional ad impression-based approach to advertising," says Kozera.That approach "tends to reward podcasters that get the most impressions but not always the ones who are the right fit for the brand and have the potential to drive conversions through great content."As for what makes a podcast "big," the quality of content and ability to spend big on marketing has a lot to do with it, says Kevin Finn, another co-founder of Buzzsprout.What's next: Just as Google and Facebook bolstered the digital ad market by aggregating lots of digital tech companies together and creating an end-to-end supply chain, the same thing is beginning to happen in audio.
Companies like Spotify, SiriusXM, iHeartMedia, Amazon, and others aim to grow the podcast advertising market by aggregating podcast services together, like advertising, distribution and hosting. Spotify has most notably invested hundreds of millions in buying up lots of smaller podcast companies to help create an end-to-end podcast ecosystem.Go deeper: Podcast wars heat up
Apple launches limited-edition 'Black Unity Collection' Apple Watch - The Verge
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:49
Apple is launching a limited-edition Apple Watch for Black History Month, with a unique watch band, new watchface, and some of the proceeds going toward civil rights organizations.
The watch, part of a new Black Unity Collection of products, comes with a black, green, and red striped band and face, meant to reflect the Pan-African flag. It otherwise appears to be the standard aluminum version of the Apple Watch Series 6, with pricing starting at $399. The band will also be available separately for $49.
Apple also plans to highlight Black artists, authors, and developers throughout its apps
The products will go on sale starting February 1st at Apple and Target. The band will remain on sale all year, but the watch as a whole will only be sold in February. It sounds as though the watchface will be available to anyone with an Apple Watch starting later today.
Apple says it'll be ''supporting six global organizations'' as part of this product launch, including the Black Lives Matter Support Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and European Network Against Racism.
In addition to the new watch edition, Apple announced a number of other initiatives for Black History Month this year. There'll be a hub in the App Store highlighting Black-owned businesses and developers; Apple Music will get ''curated playlists, essays, original videos'' and other content highlighting Black artists; and Apple Maps is getting curated recommendations from EatOkra, which highlights Black-owned restaurants. Apple plans to curate stories focused on Black families and experiences in the Apple TV and Apple News apps and highlight Black authors in Apple Books and Apple Podcasts.
Apple is among a number of tech giants that collectively pledged hundreds of millions of dollars toward racial equity initiatives. Apple announced a $100 million fund in June 2020; earlier this month, Apple said it would create a developer education center in Detroit and support a tech hub for historically Black colleges and universities in Atlanta.
San Francisco OKs Plan to Strip Lincoln and Washington From School Names '' Courthouse News Service
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:45
Forty-four public schools will no longer bear the names of historical figures once deemed worthy of commemoration.
The San Francisco Board of Education voted to rename 44 public schools during a virtual meeting on Jan. 26. (Screenshot image via Courthouse News))SAN FRANCISCO (CN) '-- They were honored with grand memorials in the nation's capital and hailed as two of the greatest American presidents but George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are no longer welcome as names of San Francisco public schools.
The city's board of education on Tuesday approved renaming 44 public schools, including those named after Thomas Jefferson and ''Star Spangled Banner'' writer Francis Scott Key, both slave owners, and Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, who critics say supported the conquest of indigenous people.
The decision comes more than two years after the board formed a panel in May 2018 to review the appropriateness of school names.
The committee drafted guidelines on who should be considered for removal. They included anyone involved in the colonization of people, slave owners, perpetuators of slavery or genocide, those who exploited workers, those who oppressed or abused women, children, queer or transgender people, those connected with human rights or environmental abuses, and those who are ''known racists and/or white supremacists'' or who espoused such beliefs.
Late last year, the School Names Advisory committee delivered a list of 44 school names recommended for redubbing. Among the 44 names was U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has been accused of replacing a vandalized confederate flag outside City Hall when she was the mayor of San Francisco in 1986.
Some critics, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed, rebuked the school district for focusing on renaming schools instead of reopening them. Schools have been closed since last March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Objectors also argued on Tuesday that the school should use its limited resources for more pressing priorities during a recession. Replacing signage for schools will cost approximately $440,000, Deputy Superintendent Myong Leigh said Tuesday.
Earlier this month, a group called Families for San Francisco released a report blasting the process used to determine which schools should be renamed. The report argued the panel did not include the larger community in its discussions or consult with historians.
The committee was also criticized for focusing on ''just one thing'' that made individuals unworthy of having a school named after them, instead of measuring their flaws or disgraceful acts against their positive contributions.
One of the most controversial proposals is the renaming of Abraham Lincoln High School in the city's Sunset District. Regarded by many as one of the greatest U.S. presidents, Lincoln steered the nation through a turbulent civil war and ended slavery, but critics say he also contributed to the genocide of indigenous people.
The U.S. military engaged in violent battles with Native Americans during the Lincoln administration. Lincoln also supported the expansion of railroads and the Homestead Act of 1862, both of which contributed to the loss of indigenous land.
But it was Lincoln's decision to execute 38 Native Americans involved in the 1862 Sioux Uprising in Minnesota that some view as one of his most egregious acts. A military commission had sentenced 303 Sioux men to death for a spate of violence that killed 350 white settlers. The bloodshed came after the U.S. violated treaties that promised the Sioux large portions of Minnesota Territory land and regular cash payments in exchange for territory previously taken. The U.S. repossessed half their land and reduced the cash payments, leaving many Sioux people unable to acquire basic necessities, fueling fights over limited resources. Lincoln commuted the sentences of 264 Sioux men he found were convicted without adequate evidence. Another person sentenced to death was granted reprieve, but the hanging of 38 Sioux men remains the largest public execution in U.S. history.
Johann Neem, a history professor at Western Washington University, believes it's important to recognize that no person, president or otherwise, is infallible.
''When we commemorate figures from our past, we do so for many reasons. Usually, it's not because they were perfect in their time or ours, since none of us are,'' Neem said. ''It's because they have made a significant contribution to our collective public good, something that earns people like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln a place in our pantheon.''
Aaron Sheehan-Dean, history professor at Louisiana State University, emphasized the importance of understanding the motives behind the commemoration of a historical figure. In the South, some schools were named after Confederate generals in the 1960s during the civil rights movement in what many perceive as a political statement against racial equality and desegregation.
Understanding why a building was named after someone can help people in the present decide if those reasons and underlying values are the same values we want to embrace today, he said.
''I would prefer to see a debate that's more weighted around context as opposed to this individual,'' Sheehan-Dean said.
University of Virginia history professor Caroline Janney gives Lincoln credit for preserving the Union and ending slavery, but she does not believe historians should decide what names are appropriate for schools or buildings. That decision should be left to the community, she said.
''The people that matter are the people that attend that school or send their children to that school, whether teachers or cafeteria workers,'' Janney said. ''That's the name that they identify and have to reckon with.''
Suggestions for new school names are due on April 19.
This is not the first time San Francisco has removed names or symbols of historical figures. In 2019, school officials voted to cover a 1936 George Washington mural that some complained portrayed Black and indigenous people in a dehumanizing manner. The city also removed an anti-Chinese congressman's name from a popular playground, rebranded Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day, and took down a statue that critics denounced as glorifying the conquest of Native Americans.
Explainer-Why regulators may scrutinize GameStop's Reddit-driven retail stock surge | Reuters
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:31
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Shares of video game retailer GameStop Corp surged nearly 700% over the past week as retail investors piled in to the stock, appearing to be urged on by bullish posts in popular online forum Reddit as opposed to any fundamental changes in the company's finances or prospects. GameStop's interstellar surge has sparked calls for regulatory scrutiny. Why?
A GameStop is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
MARKET MANIPULATIONU.S. law bars the dissemination of false or misleading information with the aim of manipulating investors into buying or selling securities, as seen during a rash of ''pump and dump'' schemes during the early 2000s dot.com boom.
Regulators are likely to explore whether Reddit was used in a similar way, after thousands of messages hyped up the stock and urged other investors to hold on to their shares or buy more.
''GME IS THE HOLY GRAIL,'' wrote one user on Wednesday, urging others to keep pushing the stock higher. ''WE ARE STILL GOING TO THE MOON...ITS NOT TOO LATE TO BUY.''
Jacob Frenkel, Securities Enforcement Practice chair for law firm Dickinson Wright, said the SEC would likely look at whether the messaging by investors holding the stock long-term and activists betting against it was manipulative.
''With federal prosecutors having become much more sophisticated in their cases over the years on securities trading ... it is reasonable to believe that any SEC investigation could well have a parallel criminal investigation,'' he added.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement on Wednesday the agency was ''actively monitoring'' market volatility without offering specifics. The Southern District of New York, which could have jurisdiction over a criminal case, declined to comment.
STOCK EXCHANGE HALTSWild swings in GameStop's shares led the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to halt trading in the company several times this week. But lawyers said there was sufficient marketplace confusion to warrant a longer suspension.
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts state regulator, William Galvin, called on NYSE to suspend GameStop for 30 days to allow a cooling-off period. ''This isn't investing, this is gambling,'' he told Reuters in an interview. ''This is obviously contrived.''
Lawyers said the incident could prompt a broader review of share suspension rules.
''I could see the SEC encouraging the NYSE to put in place rules that might smooth such swings as a result of retail investment activity,'' said Marc Adesso, partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. NYSE declined to comment.
NYSE said it employed advanced technology to investigate suspicious trading activity, according to a representative.
RISE OF LOW-COST RETAIL BROKERSThe GameStop saga has again shone a spotlight on low-cost retail trading platforms which have allowed millions of ordinary Americans to trade stocks. Consumer advocates say retail investors are taking risks they may not understand and incurring hidden costs that are rarely fully disclosed.
''So much of this trading has been fueled by broker de facto claims of 'free trading'... but that is false and misleading and the SEC should say that and stop it,'' said Dennis Kelleher, CEO of progressive think tank Better Markets.
The combination of accessible retail trading and social media could upend the market if not adequately policed, Galvin warned.
''It's diminishing the integrity of the marketplace and it's putting individual investors at risk.'' he said.
Reporting by Chris Prentice and Pete Schroeder in Washington; Writing and additional reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Matthew Lewis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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NPR Changed 'Inflammatory' Picture Of Migrant Caravan After Complaint From Immigration Activist - LaCorte News
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:28
The National Public Radio has changed a picture on one of its articles after a liberal immigration activist complained that it was ''inflammatory.''
The article in question focused on Joe Biden's decision to scrap the ''Remain in Mexico'' policy introduced by his predecessor that forced amnesty applicants to wait in Mexico while their applications are being processed in the U.S. Separately, the Department of Homeland Security said it will stop deporting certain immigrants.
The featured image on NPR's piece was a picture of the migrant caravan that made news last week for asking Biden to keep his promise that his administration will be more welcoming of migrants. When they reached Guatemala, the government took action to prevent the caravan from moving forward. Security forces clashed with the migrants after some of them tried to break past the police blockade. The police used tear gas and physical force.
Guatemala's pushback prompted many of the migrants to return to their home countries. Immigration authorities in Guatemala said that more than 2,300 migrants went back to Honduras, where the caravan was formed. Meanwhile, the Biden administration told the migrants that ''they're not going to be able to come into the United States immediately.''
The complaint: Attorney Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council responded to NPR's story on Twitter, arguing that the picture they used for the article is leaving a wrong impression and might mislead users. He called the picture ''inflammatory'' and said the policy the piece covers has nothing to do with most migrant caravans.
''NPR uses an inflammatory picture of a caravan that was broken up days ago for a story about a deportation moratorium that only applies to those here months ago and a policy reversal that wouldn't have affected almost all of the caravan even if they had made it here,'' he wrote.
''I guarantee you that 99% of the people who saw this tweet did not click the story, and as a result will leave with a completely false opinion about what happened,'' he added.
Shortly after, NPR replacedthe image with another one of migrants being greeted by a Mexico immigration attorney at the Paso del Norte International Bridge. Reichlin-Melnick shared a screenshot of the change and tweeted he was ''extremely pleased'' that the publication listened to critics.
You're not crazy and we're not insane. Come back to LaCorte News to get the news unspun.
EU suggests AstraZeneca diverts Covid-19 vaccines from UK
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 11:59
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The EU has told drugmaker AstraZeneca divert supplies of its coronavirus vaccine from the U.K. to mainland Europe, as a battle rages over supplies to the bloc.Talks to try to resolve the confrontation over supplies continued on Wednesday.An AstraZeneca vaccine production line.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The European Union has suggested that drugmaker AstraZeneca divert supplies of its coronavirus vaccine from the U.K. to mainland Europe, as a battle over production delays and supply continues.
It comes after AstraZeneca told the EU last week that it would initially deliver far fewer doses of its Covid vaccine to the 27-member bloc than originally thought.
The EU demanded on Wednesday that the pharmaceutical giant fulfil its agreement to supply it with coronavirus vaccines, by whatever means necessary.
Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said talks with the company, which continued Wednesday, had been "constructive." But she also tweeted that "contractual obligations must be met, vaccines must be delivered to EU citizens."
She said in a statement that the EU had rejected the "logic of first come first served," after AstraZeneca's CEO blamed supply delays on teething issues at its European manufacturing sites, and said similar issues in the U.K. had been ironed out because it had ordered its vaccine dose three months earlier than the EU.
In a press briefing, Kyriakides said there was "no hierarchy" in the production plants named in its advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca, and no stipulation on which ones would or wouldn't supply the EU.
"In the contract there are four factories listed but it does not differentiate between the U.K. and Europe. The U.K. factories are part of our advance purchase agreement and this is why they have to deliver," she said. There was no clause in the contract stating that the drugmaker would prioritize the U.K., she added.
Battle brewingIt marks the latest development in the very public argument between the EU and AstraZeneca, as the latter confronts problems at two of its European plants.
The British-Swedish company's CEO Pascal Soriot stoked tensions further on Tuesday when he said in an interview with Italy's La Repubblica newspaper that its agreement with the EU was a "best effort" one and not a "contractual commitment."
The EU hit back, demanding that the drugmaker present detailed plans over its delivery schedule. One official explicitly asked AstraZeneca to divert doses made in the U.K. to the EU, although the company did not respond to this issue, according to a Reuters report.
In the Tuesday interview Soriot said: "The U.K. government said the supply coming out of the U.K. supply chain would go to the U.K. first. Basically, that's how it is. In the EU agreement it is mentioned that the manufacturing sites in the U.K. were an option for Europe, but only later."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not comment directly on the matter Wednesday, but said: "We're very confident in our supplies, we're very confident in our contracts, and we're going ahead on that basis."
Vaccination drivesThe EU is struggling to get its vaccination drive into gear as it lacks supplies. It was first dealt a blow by vaccine maker Pfizer-BioNTech, which announced that it had to temporarily lower production in order to upgrade its manufacturing capacity in Belgium. This was then followed by AstraZeneca last Friday reducing its delivery estimates for the region.
One unnamed senior EU official told Reuters that the bloc expected about 80 million doses by March, but had been told it would receive only 31 million doses instead. The company has not confirmed the quantities involved.
The European Medicines Agency is expected to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine for use on Friday.
The U.K. ordered 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last May, making it the first country to do so. It is heavily reliant on the vaccine for its immunization drive, which has sprinted ahead of those in continental Europe, having begun in early December. The EU began its rollout on Dec. 27; it originally ordered 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in August.
So far, the U.K. has vaccinated over 7.1 million people with a first vaccine dose, and almost half a million have received their second dose, meaning it has carried out more immunizations than German, France, Italy and Spain combined, according to Our World In Data figures.
Progressives push Biden for recurring stimulus checks
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 11:57
Progressives say President Joe Biden must go further on stimulus checks, which remain overwhelmingly popular with the public. | Matt Rourke, File/AP Photo
More than 50 House progressives are pushing President Joe Biden to prioritize recurring direct checks instead of one-time payments in the next rescue package, upping the demands on Democratic leaders in their race to draft a bill.
The group of House Democrats, led by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), sent a letter to the Biden administration on Thursday calling for regularly delivered checks through the end of the pandemic, rather than a single $1,400 payment that is likely to fall short of expenses like rent or mortgage payments.
Advertisement The letter obtained by POLITICO '-- which was also signed by Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) '-- does not call for a specific dollar amount. But Omar and other progressives have been vocal in their support for monthly $2,000 checks.
''One more check is not enough,'' progressives wrote in their letter to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
White House and congressional officials are moving quickly to draft the next stimulus package, with Democrats working on legislation that would meet the broad outlines of Biden's $1.9 trillion proposal and could pass by mid-March.
Biden's proposal includes long-time priorities of the left, like a $15 minimum wage and a paid leave program '-- though it remains unclear if either can make it into the package given initial GOP resistance and certain procedural constraints if Democrats deploy budget reconciliation to evade a Senate filibuster.
Advertisement Now progressives say Biden must also go further on stimulus checks, which remain overwhelmingly popular with the public despite resistance from the GOP's deficit hawks as well as some Democrats.
While the lawmakers do not threaten to withhold their votes, the progressives' push to prioritize recurring payments could drum up pressure on top Democrats in a narrowly divided House and Senate.
''Recurring direct payments until the economy recovers will help ensure that people can meet their basic needs, provide racially equitable solutions, and shorten the length of the recession,'' the letter reads.
The group also told Biden and Harris that the checks should go to ''all immigrant workers, refugees, and their families,'' which would include people who file federal taxes but are not legally authorized to work in the U.S.'-- a group that is not currently eligible for payments.
Advertisement The letter also calls for more outreach by state and local officials ''to ensure families are aware of payments'' and to offer more help to people who may not have access to bank accounts.
The letter is endorsed by more than two dozen progressive groups, including Demand Progress, Indivisible and the Universal Income Project.
Austin Will Use Money Cut From Police Budget To Buy Supportive Housing - The Appeal
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 05:39
The City Council voted to buy one hotel and use funds diverted from its police budget to set up wraparound services for the homeless people who will live there. (Paul Bradbury/Getty Images)
Meg O'Connor Jan 27, 2021
The City Council voted to buy one hotel and use funds diverted from its police budget to set up wraparound services for the homeless people who will live there. The Austin City Council voted today to purchase one hotel and turn it into 60 units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness. The vote to purchase a second hotel has been postponed to next week after a city council member asked for more time to gather feedback from her constituents.
Under the measure, the city will spend approximately $6.7 million from its Housing and Planning Department's general obligation bonds to acquire one hotel and use some money from a recurring $6.5 million fund taken from the police department's budget to provide services to the residents of the hotel. At full occupancy (which wouldn't happen this year), services and operating costs for the hotel are expected to be about $1.6 million annually.
''In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests this summer, we made a significant cut to policing dollars and reinvested that in things like this,'' said Council Member Gregorio Casar, who led the effort to cut police funding and sponsored an amendment last August that set aside $6.5 million in recurring funding to be used for permanent supportive housing and services. ''That's how we're paying for this. That's the only reason we're able to do this.''
In August, the City Council voted to immediately cut over $20 million from the police department's budget, with most of that money coming from cancelling cadet classes, reducing overtime spending, and eliminating contracts for things like license plate readers. Another almost $80 million will be taken from the police department's budget by moving certain civilian functions out, like dispatch and the forensics lab'--though that money will still be spent on those functions, just not within the department.
Austin will now move ahead with negotiations to buy the Texas Bungalows Hotel & Suites in District 7. The property was built in 2018 and has 65 rooms (41 with kitchenettes), onsite laundry, and a front desk with controlled entry. Some of the rooms will be converted to add more office and common space, like a community kitchen, leaving the building with about 60 permanent supportive housing units.
The city's Homeless Services Division will contract with nonprofit service providers to cover operating costs and set up wraparound services for residents, like case management, support for mental health or substance use issues, workforce development programs, and job placement services.
The purchase will create about 60 units of low barrier permanent supportive housing with these kinds of wraparound services.
The council was supposed to vote on proposals to purchase two hotels today, but ultimately only voted on one after some council members agreed to postpone the vote to allow the council's newest member, Mackenzie Kelly, to spend more time hearing from community members and businesses near the hotel, which is in her district.
''We have a homelessness crisis, but treating every proposal as an out-of-context emergency is not great policy and silences stakeholders,'' Kelly said at the council meeting. ''We need to provide housing to the unhoused, but we can do so in a way that creates good feelings throughout the community. '... We want to educate the community on this important project and continue to get feedback.''
Kelly replaced former city council member and public safety chair Jimmy Flannigan after winning a runoff election in December. Kelly is the president of Take Back Austin, a pro-law enforcement group and has denounced the council's move to decriminalize homelessness and pledged to bring back a ban on public camping .
Ninety-five people signed up to give public comment on the proposals. The vast majority of community members spoke in favor and urged the council to provide housing for people experiencing homelessness as soon as possible. Only five people signed up to speak in opposition of the proposals, citing concerns about crime and safety.
''Voting in favor of both of these items today confirms your commitment to humanely and sustainably ending the homelessness crisis we face, not just hiding it away,'' said Chris Harris, director of the criminal justice project at Texas Appleseed, during the council meeting. ''Voting in favor of this housing today is one less week that upwards of 150 folks will have to live unsheltered. It's one less week of trying to survive the elements and the constant peril associated with living outdoors.''
The vote on the proposal to purchase a hotel from Candlewood Suites in District 6 for $9.5 million will be postponed until next week. The hotel was built in 2018 and has 83 rooms, all with full kitchenettes and air conditioners. The property also includes amenities like a computer room, onsite laundry, a fitness room, and outdoor patio space. If the city goes ahead with the purchase, some of the current guest rooms may be converted into additional common areas or office space, though the property will still provide roughly 80 units of permanent supportive housing once it's complete.
About 2,500 people were experiencing homelessness in Austin at the start of last year, according to the 2020 Point-in-Time Count . Nearly 1,600 of those people were unsheltered.
''Cities that have stepped up and tried to reallocate police budgets have faced backlash usually driven by misinformation for the past few months, but I believe in the next few months cities that reallocated police funds can start showing results, can start showing what cities can do when we reduce police overspending,'' Casar previously told The Appeal. ''It's only possible if we keep rethinking our priorities instead of continuing to over-invest in policing.''
Could wearing a mask for long periods be detrimental to health? - The Jerusalem Post
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 05:37
Could the requirement to wear masks in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus be doing more harm than good to people's health?
A retired neurosurgeon believes so, pointing toward studies which found that wearing masks for prolonged periods can cause serious side effects.
In an article
published by
Technocracy News, Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote that the side effects from prolonged wearing of a face mask "can vary from headaches to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications."
The side effects vary depending on whether they are cloth or paper surgical masks or
N95 respirator masks because the N95, being a more effective filter, also limits breathing to a greater degree, and is therefore more commonly associated with headaches, Blaylock reported.
He highlighted one study of 212 healthcare workers who were asked to report on the presence of headaches while using the N95 mask, including the duration of the headache, the type of headache, and whether they had pre-existing headaches. The study found that around a third of workers developed headaches when using the N95 mask, the majority had pre-existing headaches that were made worse by the use of the mask, and around three in five required pain medication to relieve the headache.
And although tight straps or pressure from the mask were considered as potential causes, the evidence pointed to the headaches being caused by reduced blood oxygenation, or an increase in carbon dioxide in the blood.
"It is known that the N95 mask, if worn for hours, can reduce blood oxygenation as much as 20%," Blaylock wrote. This, he said, "can lead to a loss of consciousness, as happened to the hapless fellow driving around alone in his car wearing an N95 mask, causing him to pass out, and to crash his car and sustain injuries. I am sure that we have several cases of elderly individuals or any person with poor lung function passing out, hitting their head. This, of course, can lead to death."
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if(window.location.pathname.indexOf("656089") != -1){console.log("hedva connatix");document.getElementsByClassName("divConnatix")[0].style.display ="none";}A more recent study of 159 healthcare workers between the ages of 21 and 35 found that 81% developed headaches through the use of face masks, to the level at which their work performance was affected.
A third study measured the blood oxygen of 53 surgeons using an oximeter before and after surgery.
"The researchers found that the mask reduced the blood oxygen levels (pa02) significantly. The longer the duration of wearing the mask, the greater the fall in blood oxygen levels," Blaylock wrote.
The potential for masks to reduce oxygen levels in the wearer are important not only because this can lead to passing out, but also because they have been linked to reduced natural immunity.
"In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections, and if so, having a much worse outcome," he wrote.
Little is definitively known about how effective the use of masks is in
controlling the spread of COVID-19 because no studies have yet been carried out specifically connecting the coronavirus to mask use.
From the outset of the pandemic, it has been assumed that the coronavirus behaves like other respiratory viruses in terms of spread as well as symptoms. However, Blaylock points to a 2012 study titled, "The use of masks and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: A systematic review of the scientific evidence," which looked at 17 of the best studies in the field and concluded: "None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza infection.''
He also highlights that both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization initially recommended that only those already known to be infected with the coronavirus need wear a mask, to minimize spreading it to others, a policy which is also considered good practice regarding other diseases.
"When a person has TB we have them wear a mask, not the entire community of non-infected," Blaylock wrote. "The recommendations by the CDC and the WHO [for everyone to wear a mask] are not based on any studies of this virus and have never been used to contain any other virus pandemic or epidemic in history."
The
current advice given on the WHO's website is still not to use masks unless you have the virus and are at risk of infecting others, or looking after those who may be infected with coronavirus.
An information video by the organization titled, "Can wearing a mask protect you against coronavirus?" advises: "Medical masks cannot protect against the new coronavirus when used alone. When you use them, you must combine with hand hygiene and other preventative measures.
"WHO only recommends the use of masks in specific cases," the video continues. "If you have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing, you should wear a mask and seek medical care. If you do not have these symptoms, you do not have to wear masks because there is no evidence that they protect people who are not sick."
It is currently a requirement to wear a mask while in public spaces in Israel.
They Found a Way to Limit Big Tech's Power: Using the Design of Bitcoin - The New York Times
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 05:15
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SAN FRANCISCO '-- Jack Dorsey, Twitter's chief executive, publicly wrestled this month with the question of whether his social media service had exercised too much power by cutting off Donald J. Trump's account. Mr. Dorsey wondered aloud if the solution to that power imbalance was new technology inspired by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
When YouTube and Facebook barred tens of thousands of Mr. Trump's supporters and white supremacists this month, many flocked to alternative apps such as LBRY, Minds and Sessions. What those sites had in common was that they were also inspired by the design of Bitcoin.
The twin developments were part of a growing movement by technologists, investors and everyday users to replace some of the internet's fundamental building blocks in ways that would be harder for tech giants like Facebook and Google to control.
To do so, they are increasingly focused on new technological ideas introduced by Bitcoin, which was built atop an online network designed, at the most basic level, to decentralize power.
Unlike other types of digital money, Bitcoin are created and moved around not by a central bank or financial institution but by a broad and disparate network of computers. It's similar to the way Wikipedia is edited by anyone who wants to help, rather than a single publishing house. That underlying technology is called the blockchain, a reference to the shared ledger on which all of Bitcoin's records are kept.
Companies are now finding ways to use blockchains, and similar technology inspired by it, to create social media networks, store online content and host websites without any central authority in charge. Doing so makes it much harder for any government or company to ban accounts or delete content.
These experiments are newly relevant after the biggest tech companies recently exercised their clout in ways that have raised questions about their power.
Facebook and Twitter prevented Mr. Trump from posting online after the Capitol rampage on Jan. 6, saying he had broken their rules against inciting violence. Amazon, Apple and Google stopped working with Parler, a social networking site that had become popular with the far right, saying the app had not done enough to limit violent content.
While liberals and opponents of toxic content praised the companies' actions, they were criticized by conservatives, First Amendment scholars and the American Civil Liberties Union for showing that private entities could decide who gets to stay online and who doesn't.
''Even if you agree with the specific decisions, I do not for a second trust the people who are making the decisions to make universally good decisions,'' said Jeremy Kauffman, the founder of LBRY, which provides a decentralized service for streaming videos.
That has prompted a scramble for other options. Dozens of start-ups now offer alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Amazon's web hosting services, all on top of decentralized networks and shared ledgers. Many have gained millions of new users over the past few weeks, according to the data company SimilarWeb.
''This is the biggest wave I've ever seen,'' said Emmi Bevensee, a data scientist and the author of ''The Decentralized Web of Hate,'' a publication about the move of right-wing groups to decentralized technology. ''This has been discussed in niche communities, but now we are having a conversation with the broader world about how these emerging technologies may impact the world at quite large scales.''
Bitcoin first emerged in 2009. Its creator, a shadowy figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto, has said its central idea was to allow anyone to open a digital bank account and hold the money in a way that no government could prevent or regulate.
For several years, Bitcoin gained little traction beyond a small coterie of online admirers and people who wanted to pay for illegal drugs online. But as its price rose over time, more people in Silicon Valley took notice of the unusual technical qualities underlying the cryptocurrency. Some promised that the technology could be used to redesign everything from produce tracking to online games.
The hype fell flat over the years as the underlying technology proved to be slow, prone to error and not easily accessible. But more investments and time have begun to result in software that people can actually use.
Last year, Arweave, a blockchain-based project for permanently storing and displaying websites, created an archive of sites and documents from the protests in Hong Kong that angered the Chinese government.
Minds, a blockchain-based replacement for Facebook founded in 2015, also became an online home to some of the right-wing personalities and neo-Nazis who were booted from mainstream social networks, along with fringe groups, in other countries, that have been targeted by their governments. Minds and other similar start-ups are funded by prominent venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.
One of the biggest proponents of the trend has been Mr. Dorsey, 44, who has talked about the promise of decentralized social networks through Twitter and has promoted Bitcoin through the other company he runs, Square, a financial technology provider.
His public support for Bitcoin and Bitcoin-related designs dates to around 2017. In late 2019, Mr. Dorsey announced Blue Sky, a project to develop technology aimed at giving Twitter less influence over who could and could not use the service.
After shutting down Mr. Trump's account this month, Mr. Dorsey said he would hire a team for Blue Sky to address his discomfort with Twitter's power by pursuing the vision set out by Bitcoin. On Thursday, Blue Sky published the findings of a task force that has been considering potential designs.
Twitter declined to make Mr. Dorsey available for an interview but said it intended to ''share more soon.''
Blockchains are not the only solution for those in search of alternatives to Big Tech's power. Many people have recently migrated to the encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram, which have no need for a blockchain. Moxie Marlinspike, the creator of Signal, has said decentralization made it hard to build good software.
The experimentation with decentralized systems has nonetheless ramped up over the last month. Brave, a new browser, announced last week that it would begin integrating a blockchain-based system, known as IPFS, into its software to make web content more reliable in case big service providers went down or tried to ban sites.
''The IPFS network gives access to content even if it has been censored by corporations and nation-states,'' Brian Bondy, a co-founder of Brave, said.
At LBRY, the blockchain-based alternative to YouTube, the number of people signing up daily has surged 250 percent from December, the company said. The newcomers appear to have largely been a motley crew of Trump fans, white supremacists and gun rights advocates who violated YouTube's rules.
When YouTube removed the latest videos from the white supremacist video blogger Way of the World last week, he tweeted: ''Why do we waste our time on this globalist scum? Come to LBRY for all my videos in HD quality, censorship free!''
Megan Squires, a professor at Elon University who studies new computer networks, said blockchain-based networks faced hurdles because the underlying technology made it hard to exercise any control over content.
''As a technology it is very cool, but you can't just sit there and be a Pollyanna and think that all information will be free,'' she said. ''There will be racists, and people will shoot each other. It's going to be the total package.''
Mr. Kauffman said LBRY had prepared for these situations. While anyone will be able to create an account and register content on the LBRY blockchain that the company cannot delete '-- similar to the way anyone can create an email address and send emails '-- most people will get access to videos through a site on top of it. That allows LBRY to enforce moderation policies, much as Google can filter out spam and illegal content in email, he said.
Even so, Mr. Kauffman said, no one would lose basic access to online conversation.
''I'd be proud of almost any kind of marginalized voice using it, no matter how much I disagreed with it,'' he said.
Melvin Capital, hedge fund targeted by Reddit board, closes out of GameStop short position
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 05:00
Melvin Capital closed out its short position in GameStop on Tuesday afternoon after taking a huge loss, the hedge fund's manager told CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin.
GameStop, hedge funds' most-hated stock, was targeted by an army of retail investors who marshaled forces against short sellers in online chat rooms. In the Reddit forum "wallstreetbets" with more than 2 million subscribers, rookie investors encouraged each other to pile into GameStop's shares and call options, creating massive short squeezes in the stock.
CNBC could not confirm the amount of losses Melvin Capital took on the short position. Citadel and Point72 have infused close to $3 billion into Gabe Plotkin's hedge fund to shore up its finances. On Wednesday's "Squawk Box," Sorkin said Plotkin told him that speculation about a bankruptcy filing is false.
GameStop shares have soared more than 400% this week alone to $347.51 apiece, driving its January gains to 685%. The stock was worth just $6 four months ago.
Shares of the brick-and-mortar video game retailer popped another 134% on Wednesday, pushing the company's market cap to $24 billion.
GameStop was the single most traded name in the U.S. stock market on Tuesday, topping Tesla and Apple, even though they are 81 and 233 times larger in market cap terms, according to Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid.
Amid GameStop's explosive rally, short sellers have accumulated losses of more than $5 billion year to date in the stock, including a loss of $917 million on Monday and $1.6 billion on Friday, according to data from S3 Partners.
Short seller Andrew Left of Citron Research said Wednesday he has covered the majority of his short position in GameStop at a loss. He previously said GameStop will fall back to $20 a share "fast" and called out attacks from the "angry mob" that owns the stock.
Investor Michael Burry said in a now-deleted tweet Tuesday that trading in GameStop is "unnatural, insane, and dangerous" and there should be "legal and regulatory repercussions." Burry shot to fame by betting against the housing bubble and was featured in Michael Lewis' book "The Big Short."
The Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment.
Social Capital's Chamath Palihapitiya is among those who jumped into the stock, saying in a Tuesday tweet that he bought GameStop call options betting the stock will go higher. His tweet seemed to intensify the rally in the previous session. The stock ended the day 92% higher at $147.98.
After Tuesday's closing bell, Elon Musk commented on the mania, linking it to the "wallstreetbets" Reddit chat room. The Tesla CEO tweeted to his 42 million followers "Gamestonk!!" The comment appeared to help send GameStop shares soaring in extended trading Tuesday.
Discord bans the r/WallStreetBets server - The Verge
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 01:06
Discord has banned the r/WallStreetBets server, the company confirmed to The Verge. Reddit's WallStreetBets subreddit is the driver of an unprecedented rally of GameStop stock, and has received a great deal of attention in the press as the stock continues to soar.
Discord says it did not ban the server for financial fraud '-- rather, it was banned because it continued to allow ''hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings.'' The Verge gained access to the server and can confirm the claim that users of the channel were spamming hateful language, including racial slurs.
Here is Discord's full statement:
The server has been on our Trust & Safety team's radar for some time due to occasional content that violates our Community Guidelines, including hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation. Over the past few months, we have issued multiple warnings to the server admin.
Today, we decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings.
To be clear, we did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks. Discord welcomes a broad variety of personal finance discussions, from investment clubs and day traders to college students and professional financial advisors. We are monitoring this situation and in the event there are allegations of illegal activities, we will cooperate with authorities as appropriate.
r/WallStreetBets describes itself as ''like 4chan found a Bloomberg Terminal,'' and many comments on the subreddit contain offensive language.
If you were able to get into the Discord, it was chaotic, with messages coming in at a rapid rate and many voices talking over each other simultaneously. Check out this video from my colleague Tom Warren to get an idea of what was like (note: you may want to turn down your volume before clicking play, as the voices are quite loud):
Reddit group WallStreetBets behind massive GameStop, AMC run-ups goes private, invitation required
Thu, 28 Jan 2021 00:40
Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images
"Wallstreetbets" Reddit chat room, where retail investors marshal against short sellers, went private on Wednesday evening, limiting access to outsiders.
The community gathered an army of rookie day traders who go after heavily shorted stocks, pushing share prices higher and squeezing out short-selling hedge funds. The forum's members topped three million as of Wednesday.
"You must be invited to visit this community," the page now states. "We are experiencing technical difficulties based on unprecedented scale as a result of the newfound interest in WSB. We are unable to ensure Reddit's content policy and the WSB rules are enforceable without a technology platform that can support automation of this enforcement. WSB will be back."
GameStop, a popular target in "wallstreetbets," saw its shares soaring more than 400% this week alone. The brick-and-mortar video game retailer has skyrocketed a whopping 1,700% as retail traders continued to encourage each other to pile on.
AMC Entertainment, another hot topic in the chat room, surged more than 300% Wednesday alone, experiencing its highest volume ever.
GameStop dropped more than 20% in extended trading Wednesday, while AMC fell more than 38%.
A Reddit spokesperson said "wallstreetbets" moderators set the community to private.
"Reddit's site-wide policies prohibit posting illegal content or soliciting or facilitating illegal transaction," the spokesperson said. "We will review and cooperate with valid law enforcement investigations or actions as needed."
Many top posts in the chat room feature screenshots of investors' brokerage accounts, showing massive returns from trading in GameStop and other names. Some of these enthusiastic investors call out short sellers in sometimes profane language and distasteful internet memes.
Some on Wall Street grew concerned that the buying frenzy from the Reddit crowd could potentially destabilize the market and hurt overall confidence. Meanwhile, mounting losses from hedge funds could spill over to other areas of the market.
Social platform Discord banned the "wallstreetbets" chat room on Wednesday.
"The WallStreetBets server has been on our Trust & Safety team's radar for some time due to occasional content that violates our Community Guidelines, including hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation," a Discord spokesperson said in a statement.
"Over the past few months, we have issued multiple warnings to the server admin. Today, we decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings," the spokesperson added.
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DHS uses federal alert system for 1st time in a year to warn of domestic terrorist threat - ABC News
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 23:12
The warning comes in the days after Biden's inauguration.
January 27, 2021, 1:28 PM ET
' 4 min read
Using a federal system designed to warn all Americans about terrorist threats to the U.S. homeland, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning that anger "fueled by false narratives," especially unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election, could lead some inside the country to launch attacks in the coming weeks.
"Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence," according to a bulletin issued Wednesday through the DHS National Terrorist Advisory System -- or NTAS.
The system was last used to issue a public warning a year ago, when DHS issued a bulletin over potential retaliation by Iran for the U.S. assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq days earlier. A year before that, DHS issued a bulletin through the same system to highlight the threat from foreign terrorist groups like ISIS or al-Qaida.
But over the past year, domestic terrorists "motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities," and "long-standing racial and ethnic tension -- including opposition to immigration -- has driven [domestic terrorist] attacks," the bulletin issued Wednesday said.
Heightened security is seen in front of the United States Capitol on the morning of Joe Biden's Inauguration as the 46th President of the United States, Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The mall was closed to the general public due to safety concerns. The Washington Post via Getty Images"DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some [domestic terrorists] may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities," the bulletin added.
Violent supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol three weeks ago, many of them believing -- based on unfounded claims from Trump himself -- that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from Trump through fraud.
Wednesday's public warning echoes what intelligence bulletins sent privately to law enforcement officials in recent weeks have said, underscoring a continued threat from violence-prone individuals who still believe President Joe Biden's election was illegitimate.
The NTAS system "recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the nation's security, and should always be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the United States and what they should do," DHS says on its website.
The system was created in 2011, replacing the color-coded alerts that were implemented in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Second Police Officer Dies From Suicide After January 6 Capitol Riot
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 23:03
A second police officer has died by suicide following the Capitol protest on January 6.
According to testimony obtained by Politico, Jeffrey Smith, a DC police officer who responded to the Capitol attack took his own life.
A second police officer who responded to the violent insurrection that rocked the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 has died by suicide, according to testimony obtained by POLITICO.
Acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee told House appropriators during a closed-door session on Tuesday that Jeffrey Smith, a D.C. Police officer, and Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood both ''took their own lives in the aftermath of that battle.''
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Smith's death had not been disclosed prior to Contee's testimony.
A third member of law enforcement, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, died from injuries he sustained during the Capitol attack.
''We honor the service and sacrifices of Officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffery Smith, and offer condolences to all the grieving families,'' Contee said in his testimony.
A couple weeks ago it was reported that Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide after responding to the Capitol riot.
Equity | Definition of Equity by Merriam-Webster
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 22:09
eq·'‹ui·'‹ty | \ Ëe-kwÉ-tÄ' \ 1 a : justice according to natural law or right specifically : freedom from bias or favoritism
2 a : the money value of a property or of an interest in a property in excess of claims or liens against it
b : the common stock of a corporation
c : a risk interest or ownership right in property
d : a right, claim, or interest existing or valid in equity
3 a : a system of law originating in the English chancery and comprising a settled and formal body of legal and procedural rules and doctrines that supplement, aid, or override common and statute law and are designed to protect rights and enforce duties fixed by substantive law
b : trial or remedial justice under or by the rules and doctrines of equity
c : a body of legal doctrines and rules developed to enlarge, supplement, or override a narrow rigid system of law
Kraft Launches Pink Mac and Cheese for Valentine's Day That Tastes Like '... Candy? '' NBC10 Philadelphia
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 22:01
There are a lot of foods that pair together perfectly to spark a little romance. Spaghetti and meatballs, for instance. Chocolate and strawberries, too. Kraft's Valentine's Day concoction, on the other hand, sparks confusion.
While macaroni merges with cheese most harmoniously, Kraft decided to add on a third wheel for Feb. 14: candy '... pink candy. And no, the candy is not for dessert.
On Wednesday, Kraft-Heinz announced a contest to give out free "kits" of its latest, limited-time mac and cheese. The box of Original Mac & Cheese will be joined by a packet of pink, candy-flavored powder to mix into one's cheesy dinner. According to the brand, the mix will turn the noodles a bright magenta color, rather than that familiar orange.
So, what makes the powder pink? Is it crushed-up conversation hearts? Is it a special dust from Cupid's arrow? Actually, according to a Kraft-Heinz spokesperson, the vibrant pink hue comes from beetroot and carrot concentrates. As for what makes it tastes like candy, the extra packet of powder contains fructose, natural flavors and vanilla extract, they said.
Kraft HeinzKraft Heinz is running a contest to win kits of pink mac and cheese in honor of Valentine's Day for a limited-time.
To win a free box of the neon noodles, head to CandyKraftMacandCheese.com beginning at 8 a.m. CST through Feb. 8 at 12 p.m. CST and enter the contest. A thousand winners will be selected to receive the magenta mac in time for Feb. 14.
So, for anyone who felt compelled by Mountain Dew's similarly pink watermelon soda or pleasantly surprised by Kraft's pumpkin spice mac and cheese, you might want to be the winner of this dinner.
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:
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Secret meetings with the CIA, interview with MI6 boss, the 'evidence' that convinced expert Angelina Jolie is a SPY
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 22:00
IT reads like the most outlandish of Hollywood spy scripts: Angelina Jolie '' one of Tinseltown's biggest stars '' working undercover with the CIA.
Yet there is a growing dossier of evidence which suggests that such a wild claim about the 45-year-old actress and humanitarian may not be quite as crazy as it sounds.
Angelina played a CIA operative in the movie Salt Credit: (C)Sony PicturesAnd if a leading expert on the relationship between Hollywood and the US government is to be believed, Angelina may have been recruited as an asset by the spy agency at some point in the 2000s.
Since then, the Oscar-winner has twice been accused by angry foreign officials of being a CIA ''agent'', held meetings with and played a role in the downfall of a CIA director and starred in two movies supported by the CIA.
She also joined one of Washington D.C.'s most influential foreign policy think tanks and interviewed the outgoing boss of the UK's MI6 secret service '' one of the CIA's strongest allies.
Expert Tom Secker has spent years using the Freedom of Information Act to investigate the connection between the movie industry and the intelligence community, and says that the evidence hints that ''something is going on'' between Angelina and the CIA.
Now an expert on Hollywood-government relations believes she could be a spy in real life Credit: Alamy Author Tom Secker believes the actress may have been recruited as a PR asset by the agency Credit: AFPThe author, who wrote a book called National Security Cinema, says he believes that Jolie is an ideal ''front person'' for the intelligence community.
''Under the first Obama administration there was an attempt to redraw US foreign policy," he told The Sun.
''It continued to look like US foreign policy has for decades but they very much promoted the notion of humanitarian intervention and the doctrine of the responsibility to protect, known as R2P.
''That's how they branded the Libyan war and the Syria intervention and the general expansion of the War on Terror with the drone program.
''The notion of getting a theoretically liberal Hollywood star as a front person fits in entirely with how foreign policy was being rebranded in that period.
Angelina has starred in two CIA-backed movies Credit: Handout Tom Secker has been investigating the links between the entertainment industry and the intelligence community Credit: Coleman-Rayner He has obtained documents such as this, which shows the CIA's support for two of Angie's movies Credit: Coleman-Rayner''I wouldn't have thought Angelina is a salaried CIA officer - she could be although I don't think so.
''I think somewhere along the line in the 2000s she was in effect recruited as some kind of PR asset.
''Throughout the Cold War both the CIA and the FBI were recruiting people in Hollywood for various purposes, not least hyping up the Red Scare and informing on people within the film industry."
I think somewhere along the line in the 2000s she was in effect recruited as some kind of PR asset.
Tom Secker Over the past decade foreign officials have gone much further than Secker and suggested Angelina is a full-blown CIA ''agent'' who uses her humanitarian work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to promote US foreign policy.
Most recently, Angelina was blasted by then president of Venezuela's National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, following a visit she made to Venezuelan refugees in Peru in October 2018.
'Evidence' that may suggest Angelina is a spy
Held meetings with and played a role in the downfall of a CIA DirectorSpoke to CIA agents when she starred in two movies which were supported by the CIAJoined one of Washington D.C.'s most influential foreign policy think tanksAccused by two foreign politicians of being a CIA operativeInterviewed the outgoing boss of the UK's MI6 secret service '' one of the CIA's strongest alliesSimilar claims had already been put forward six years earlier when Angelina praised the Turkish government following her visit to camps for Syrian refugees in September 2012.
A deputy with Turkey's main opposition party Mehmet Kesimoğlu asked: ''Is Angelina Jolie an agent of the CIA, and is there any intelligence report about Angelina Jolie that indicates she is used as the face of CIA's war politics?''
Angelina's name has also been linked to disgraced former CIA Director David Petraeus.
The pair held talks and posed for a picture in Baghdad in February 2008 while Petraeus was serving as the top commander in Iraq.
Angelina has been pictured with former CIA boss David Patraeus Credit: Getty Images - Getty The CIA has supported several films, documentaries and books, according to this document Credit: Coleman-Rayner Angelina has even visited the agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia Credit: Getty - ContributorAfter he took the top CIA job, the pair met again at the service's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on January 11, 2012, the same day Angelina and her then partner Brad Pitt visited President Barack Obama in the White House.
The meeting would later come to play a minor role in the sex scandal that ended Petraeus' CIA career.
Early concerns about the director's relationship with his biographer Paula Broadwell were reportedly raised amongst CIA staff after the writer posted an unofficial photo of the Angelina meeting on Facebook, in breach of security protocols.
In October this year, Angelina conducted an extraordinary interview with the outgoing head of Britain's foreign intelligence service, MI6.
During her conversation with Sir Alex Younger, published in Time magazine, Angelina admiringly quizzed the British spymaster about his secret life.
Secker believes that the actress's link to the British intelligence service may have been made through the UK's Foreign Office, which she began working with on a campaign against wartime sexual violence in May 2012.
Angelina played CIA officer Evelyn Salt in the 2010 movie Salt Credit: AFP She spoke to real CIA agents to prepare for the role Credit: HandoutAngelina's movie collaborations with the CIA are also well-documented.
To date she has starred in at least two spy films which were directly supported by the CIA '' The Good Shepherd in 2006 and Salt in 2010.
The CIA's first ever entertainment liaison Chase Brandon, who served from 1996 to 2007, listed The Good Shepherd as one of the movies he had worked on.
Just months after The Good Shepherd was released in December 2006 Angelina became a member of the influential Council on Foreign Relations think tank.
The Council's links to the CIA date back to the early days of the intelligence service and continue to this day.
Angelina is amongst just a handful of Hollywood stars to have been made a member of the exclusive organization, along with George Clooney and Warren Beatty.
Angelina has previously claimed she couldn't be a spy because she 'couldn't live a secret life' Credit: HandoutThen in 2010 Angelina starred in Salt, a story about a Russian sleeper spy who has infiltrated the CIA.
CIA documents obtained by Secker list Salt as an example of one of the movies that it provided ''entertainment industry outreach'' for ''in an effort to ensure an accurate portrayal of the men and women of the CIA''.
Secker says that to prepare for Salt, director Phillip Noyce went on a tour of CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, with Angelina and they had a video conference with CIA operatives who were active at the time.
In production notes for the movie distributed by Sony Pictures, Angelina stated: ''We talked to a lot of the women in the CIA.
''One after the other, they are just these lovely, sweet women that you can't imagine being put in a dangerous situation, but they really are.''
Tom Sicker authored this book about the ties between Hollywood and government Credit: Coleman-Rayner''The interesting thing is that they were talking to CIA operations officers,'' Secker said.
''Normally if you want to have a look around Langley to do research and talk to a couple of people, that is organized through the CIA's Office of Public Affairs.
''The fact they were sitting down and having a conference with currently serving operations officers, people who work undercover '' that's unusual.
''On Salt it is evident that the relationship went deeper.''
In the past the actress has claimed she couldn't ever be a spy, telling AFP in 2010, "I couldn't keep a secret life because it is just not natural to me and my family, but I think it is a great sacrifice people make."
The Sun reached out to a representative for Angelina on Secker's claims.
Study Finds 33% Likelihood of COVID Survivors Developing Mental Illness - The National Pulse
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 20:21
January 27, 2021 Natalie Winters A new study out of Oxford University found that ''the likelihood of a COVID-19 survivor developing a psychiatric or neurological illness within six months was 33.6 percent.''What's more, the study '' ''Six-month Neurological and Psychiatric Outcomes in 236,379 Survivors of COVID-19'' '' found that one in eight people who have recovered from the virus are diagnosed with their first psychiatric or neurological illness within six months of testing positive.
''The numbers rose to one in three when people with a previous history of psychiatric or neurological illnesses were included,'' the New York Post added.
The study also found that one in nine patients were diagnosed with conditions including depression or stroke despite not having gone to a hospital while infected.
The study, which is awaiting peer review, used ''electronic health records to evaluate hospitalized and non-hospitalized US patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis who recovered.''
Natalie Winters Natalie Winters is a Senior Reporter at the National Pulse and producer of The National Pulse TV show.
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Men who are anxious about their masculinity are more likely to support aggressive politics and to have voted for Trump
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 20:20
Masculine insecurity predicts endorsement of aggressive politics and support for Donald Trump, according to research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The researchers propose that masculine insecurity can lead men to adopt aggressive politics '-- like those of Donald Trump '-- in attempt to reaffirm one's masculinity.
As the study's authors Sarah H. DiMuccio and Eric D. Knowles say, scholars have observed overt displays of masculinity among men in politics for some time. It has been suggested that male political candidates often strive to appear masculine in order to attract voters, for example, by advocating for tough policies like harsh punishment for crime. Expressions of masculinity appear to be particularly prevalent among right-wing politicians and may be especially apparent when it comes to Donald Trump.
''Perhaps more than any politician in recent history, Donald Trump has rooted his political persona in traditional notions of masculinity,'' DiMuccio and Knowles say, noting that Trump has presented himself as ''dominant, unyielding, and virile.''
The researchers suggest that the attraction to this type of uncompromising politics might be partly explained by a psychological concept called precarious manhood (PM). This concept posits that men are motivated to preserve their masculinity. When masculinity is threatened, men will engage in certain behaviors to reaffirm that they are ''real men.'' One way they might do this is by increasing their support for aggressive political policies. In three separate studies, the researchers tested this idea.
A first study surveyed over 500 American men and found that a measure of precarious manhood predicted support for policies considered politically aggressive, such as increased military spending and enhanced interrogation techniques. Precarious manhood was measured using the GRDS, a subscale of the Masculine Gender Role Discrepancy Stress (MGRDS) scale that evaluates men's concern over not meeting masculine norms. Importantly, scores on the GRDS were related to increased support for aggressive policies, even after accounting for conservatism, Social Dominance Orientation, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism.
In a second study, DiMuccio and Knowles developed a list of search terms likely to be popular among precarious men (e.g., how to get girls). They then obtained Google Trends data pertaining to searches for these terms in the year before the 2016 presidential election. The researchers found that Trump earned a higher share of the votes in markets with more PM-related Google searches. Interestingly, this same relationship was not found when researchers conducted a similar analysis using the vote percentages of 2008 and 2012 Republican candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney.
Finally, a third study compared the popularity of PM-related search terms to the success of Republic U.S. House of Representatives candidates in the 2018 mid-term elections. The researchers found that Republican candidates had higher vote share percentages in districts where PM-related terms were heavily searched. DiMuccio and Knowles point out that this link between precarious manhood and support for Republican candidates seems to be a new phenomenon, given that no such links were found when looking at 2008 and 2012 Republican votes. The researchers say this may be down to Donald Trump's heightened power as standard-bearer of the Republican Party.
The authors express that all three studies found evidence that precarious manhood is linked to support for political aggressiveness '-- as measured by support for aggressive policies, Donald Trump, and Republican U.S. House of Representatives. ''Taken together, our findings support the notion that men who are likely to doubt their masculinity may support aggressive policies, politicians, and parties, possibly as a means of affirming their manhood,'' they say.
DiMuccio and Knowles emphasize that their results do not suggest that precarious manhood is only relevant when it comes to aggressive policies or support for the GOP. They propose that future research should consider whether PM shows itself among the political left, perhaps through support for ''hardball'' policies.
The study, ''Precarious Manhood Predicts Support for Aggressive Policies and Politicians'', was authored by Sarah H. DiMuccio and Eric D. Knowles.
Cerno on Twitter: "Wall Street strikes back. This seems illegal to me. I hope there are class actions!" / Twitter
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:57
Cerno : Wall Street strikes back. This seems illegal to me. I hope there are class actions! https://t.co/yMpcYvcUav
Wed Jan 27 16:34:52 +0000 2021
BDub : @Cernovich @YossiGestetner Blue collar vs white collar.... guess who always wins ðŸ¤...''¸ðŸ¤...''¸ðŸ¤...''¸ðŸ¤...''¸
Wed Jan 27 19:51:49 +0000 2021
Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign | OPA | Department of Justice
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:52
A Florida man was arrested this morning on charges of conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.
Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, 31, of West Palm Beach, was charged by criminal complaint in the Eastern District of New York. He was taken into custody this morning in West Palm Beach and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart of the Southern District of Florida.
''According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendant exploited a social media platform to infringe one the of most basic and sacred rights guaranteed by the Constitution: the right to vote,'' said Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. ''This indictment underscores the department's commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who would undermine citizens' voting rights.''
''There is no place in public discourse for lies and misinformation to defraud citizens of their right to vote,'' said Seth D. DuCharme, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. ''With Mackey's arrest, we serve notice that those who would subvert the democratic process in this manner cannot rely on the cloak of Internet anonymity to evade responsibility for their crimes. They will be investigated, caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.''
''Protecting every American citizen's right to cast a legitimate vote is a key to the success of our republic,'' said William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's New York Field Office. ''What Mackey allegedly did to interfere with this process '' by soliciting voters to cast their ballots via text '' amounted to nothing short of vote theft. It is illegal behavior and contributes to the erosion of the public's trust in our electoral processes. He may have been a powerful social media influencer at the time, but a quick Internet search of his name today will reveal an entirely different story.''
The complaint alleges that in 2016, Mackey established an audience on Twitter with approximately 58,000 followers. A February 2016 analysis by the MIT Media Lab ranked Mackey as the 107th most important influencer of the then-upcoming Election, ranking his account above outlets and individuals such as NBC News (#114), Stephen Colbert (#119) and Newt Gingrich (#141).
As alleged in the complaint, between September 2016 and November 2016, in the lead up to the Nov. 8, 2016, U.S. Presidential Election, Mackey conspired with others to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages designed to encourage supporters of one of the presidential candidates (the ''Candidate'') to ''vote'' via text message or social media, a legally invalid method of voting.
For example, on Nov. 1, 2016, Mackey allegedly tweeted an image that featured an African American woman standing in front of an ''African Americans for [the Candidate]'' sign. The image included the following text: ''Avoid the Line. Vote from Home. Text '[Candidate's first name]' to 59925[.] Vote for [the Candidate] and be a part of history.'' The fine print at the bottom of the image stated: ''Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by [Candidate] for President 2016.''
The tweet included the typed hashtags ''#Go [Candidate]'' and another slogan frequently used by the Candidate. On or about and before Election Day 2016, at least 4,900 unique telephone numbers texted ''[Candidate's first name]'' or some derivative to the 59925 text number, which was used in multiple deceptive campaign images tweeted by the defendant and his co-conspirators.
The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik Paulsen and Nathan Reilly of the Eastern District of New York, and Trial Attorney James Mann of the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.
Healthier Choices Management News: HCMC Stock Skyrockets Amid Lawsuit Speculation | InvestorPlace
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:12
Copyright (C) 2021 InvestorPlace Media, LLC. All rights reserved. 1125 N. Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201.
Home / Today's Market / Healthier Choices Management News: HCMC Stock Skyrockets Amid Lawsuit Speculation Here's 12 things for investors to know about the fast-moving company today By William White, InvestorPlace Writer Jan 27, 2021, 2:09 pm EST January 27, 2021 Healthier Choices Management (OTCMKTS: HCMC ) news for Wednesday includes shares of the stock skyrocketing on lawsuit speculation.
Source: Shutterstock
To go with this is an increase in trading for HCMC stock. As of this writing, the company has seen more than 3 billion shares change hands. That's a massive increase next to its daily average trading volume of about 356 million shares.
Here's everything that investors need to know as shares of HCMC stock head higher.
Healthier Choices Management is suing Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM ) over patent infringement.The lawsuit was originally filed back in November 2020, but is picking up steam again thanks to a post on Reddit Pennystocks.This has investors taking interest in the company as they speculate it could win the lawsuit against PM.If so, the company is seeking damages from Philip Morris International.The lawsuit alleges that PM infringed on its patent 170 with its IQOS tobacco vapor product.Healthier Choices Management is a company that focuses on providing customers with healthier lifestyle options.It operates an 18,000 sq. ft. grocery store in Fort Myers, Fla., as well as three Paradise Health & Nutrition locations in the greater Melbourne, Fla., area.However, it's likely its other business that has it battling Philip Morris International.The company operates nine vape shops throughout the shoueast U.S.It does so through various names, such as The Vape Store, Vapor Max, Vulcan Vape, and The Grab Bag.It also owns several patents in connection to electronic cigarettes.HCMC is lead by chairman and CEO Jeffrey Holman, who previously served on the Board of Directors for its Smoke Anywhere USA subsidiary.HCMC stock was up 66.7% as of Wednesday afternoon.
On the date of publication, William White did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2021/01/healthier-choices-management-news-hcmc-stock-skyrockets-amid-lawsuit-speculation/.
(C)2021 InvestorPlace Media, LLC
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Side Effects and Data Gaps Raise Questions on COVID Vaccine
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:04
While many have hitched their hope for a return to normalcy and a sense of safety to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, early reports are cause for concern. It didn't take long before reports of serious side effects started emerging in popular media and on social media networks. Examples include:
Persistent malaise1 ,2 and extreme exhaustion3
Anaphylactic reactions4 ,5 ,6
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome7
Chronic seizures and convulsions8 ,9 ,10
Paralysis,11 including cases of Bell's Palsy12
Sudden death within hours or days13 ,14 ,15
High Rate of Side EffectsAccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,16 by December 18, 2020, 112,807 Americans had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, 3,150 suffered one or more "health impact events," defined as being "unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional."
That gives us a side effect rate of 2.79%. Extrapolated to the total U.S. population of 328.2 million, we may then expect 9,156,780 Americans to be injured by the vaccine if every single man, woman and child is vaccinated.
When I checked the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) January 13, 2021, the total number of reported adverse events for the COVID-19 vaccine (any manufacturer) stood at 3,920.
Effectiveness QuestionedIn a January 4, 2021, article17 in The BMJ Opinion, Peter Doshi, associate editor of The BMJ, again raised questions about the stated efficacy rate of Pfizer's and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines, saying "we need more details and the raw data."
Previously, in a November 26, 2020, BMJ article,18 Doshi had pointed out that while Pfizer claims its vaccine is 95% effective, this is the relative risk reduction. The absolute risk reduction is actually less than 1%. This is the typical Big Pharma trick: confusing absolute and relative risks. They played this card in spades with the statin drugs and made tens if not hundreds of billions in profits. He also stressed that severe side effects appear commonplace:
"Moderna's press release states that 9% experienced grade 3 myalgia and 10% grade 3 fatigue; Pfizer's statement reported 3.8% experienced grade 3 fatigue and 2% grade 3 headache. Grade 3 adverse events are considered severe, defined as preventing daily activity. Mild and moderate severity reactions are bound to be far more common."
In his January 4 article,19 Doshi delves into recently released summary data20 given to the Food and Drug Administration. "While some of the additional details are reassuring, some are not," he says. In fact, his article outlines yet additional concerns "about the trustworthiness and meaningfulness of the reported efficacy results" of these two vaccines based on that data.
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Relative Risk Reduction May Be Far Below Required ThresholdFor starters, Doshi points out that Pfizer did not consistently confirm whether test subjects who showed symptoms of COVID-19 were actually PCR positive. Instead, a large portion of them were simply marked as "suspected COVID-19."
A rough estimate of vaccine efficacy against developing COVID-19 symptoms, with or without a positive PCR test result, would be a relative risk reduction of 19% '-- far below the 50% effectiveness threshold for authorization set by regulators. ~ Peter Doshi
In all, there were 3,410 cases of "suspected but not confirmed" COVID-19 in the total study population (vaccine group and controls), 1,594 of which occurred in the vaccine group. Only eight cases in the vaccine group were actually confirmed with PCR testing. The problem with this is that the 95% effectiveness rating is based on PCR confirmed cases only. Doshi writes:21
"With 20 times more suspected than confirmed cases, this category of disease cannot be ignored simply because there was no positive PCR test result. Indeed, this makes it all the more urgent to understand.
A rough estimate of vaccine efficacy against developing COVID-19 symptoms, with or without a positive PCR test result, would be a relative risk reduction of 19% '-- far below the 50% effectiveness threshold for authorization set by regulators.
Even after removing cases occurring within 7 days of vaccination (409 on Pfizer's vaccine vs. 287 on placebo), which should include the majority of symptoms due to short-term vaccine reactogenicity, vaccine efficacy remains low: 29%."
It's worth noting that, for some reason, far more people in the vaccine group ended up with COVID-19 symptoms within that first week than did those in the placebo group.
Doshi goes on to state that if suspected cases occurred in people who had false negative PCR test results, then the vaccine's efficacy would be lowered even further. He also stresses that "average clinical severity" is not really all that important. What really matters is the "incidence of severe disease that affects hospital admissions."
Unfortunately, and this is really shocking, the trials were not designed to assess whether the vaccines prevent transmission of the infection. Since they don't, "an analysis of severe disease irrespective of etiologic agent '-- namely, rates of hospitalizations, ICU cases, and deaths amongst trial participants '-- seems warranted, and is the only way to assess the vaccines' real ability to take the edge off the pandemic," Doshi writes.
Why Were so Many in Vaccine Group Excluded?Another concern brought forth in Doshi's article is the exclusion of 371 participants from Pfizer's efficacy analysis due to "important protocol deviations on or prior to seven days after Dose 2." Of those, 311 were from the vaccine group while only 60 were in the placebo group.
This marked imbalance is cause for concern. Why were five times as many in the vaccine group excluded from the efficacy analysis than in the placebo group? And what exactly were these "protocol deviations" that caused them to be excluded? This is called stacking the deck so the results can be manipulated in the desired direction to "prove" effectiveness, when it is merely a statistical manipulation.
Confounding FactorsDoshi is also concerned about the confounding role of pain and fever medications. These kinds of medications can mask symptoms, resulting in mild cases of COVID-19 going undetected, especially since all participants were not tested. They can also mask side effects of the vaccine.
The data suggest that in the Pfizer trial, pain and fever medication was taken three to four times more often by vaccine recipients than among those in the placebo group though, and according to Doshi:
"Their use was presumably concentrated in the first week after vaccine use, taken to relieve post-injection local and systemic adverse events. But the cumulative incidence curves suggest a fairly constant rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases over time, with symptom onset dates extending well beyond a week after dosing.
That said, the higher rate of medication use in the vaccine arm provides further reason to worry about unofficial unblinding. Given the vaccines' reactogenicity, it's hard to imagine participants and investigators could not make educated guesses about which group they were in. The primary endpoint in the trials is relatively subjective making unblinding an important concern."
He also questions Pfizer's use of an "adjudication committee" to count COVID-19 cases. "Were they blinded to antibody data and information on patients' symptoms in the first week after vaccination?" he asks.
"What criteria did they employ, and why, with a primary event consisting of a patient-reported outcome (COVID-19 symptoms) and PCR test result, was such a committee even necessary?" Furthermore, the committee consisted not of licensed doctors but of Pfizer staff members, which makes one wonder whether they had the appropriate qualifications to determine whether someone might have COVID-19 or not.
Does Vaccine Work in Those Who Already Had COVID-19?Lastly, it's important to ascertain how the vaccine works for those who have already had COVID-19, seeing how the vaccine is recommended for everyone, regardless of whether or not you've already recovered from the infection. Here, the data reveal something rather odd. Doshi writes:22
"Individuals with a known history of SARS-CoV-2 infection '... were excluded from Moderna's and Pfizer's trials. But still 1,125 (3.0%) and 675 (2.2%) of participants in Pfizer's and Moderna's trials, respectively, were deemed to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 at baseline '...
By my count, Pfizer apparently reported 8 cases of confirmed, symptomatic COVID-19 in people positive for SARS-CoV-2 at baseline (1 in the vaccine group, 7 in the placebo group '...) and Moderna, 1 case (placebo group '...)
But with only around four to 31 reinfections documented globally, how, in trials of tens of thousands, with median follow-up of two months, could there be nine confirmed covid-19 cases among those with SARS-CoV-2 infection at baseline?
Is this representative of meaningful vaccine efficacy, as CDC seems to have endorsed? Or could it be something else, like prevention of COVID-19 symptoms, possibly by the vaccine or by the use of medicines which suppress symptoms, and nothing to do with reinfection?"
Vaccine Rollout Coincides With OutbreakWhether or not the vaccine is helpful or harmful in people who either had COVID-19 before, or are currently positive for SARS-CoV-2 or ill with COVID-19 symptoms, is an important question now that these vaccines are being rolled out.
Case in point: In Auburn, New York, a COVID-19 outbreak began December 21, 2020, in a Cayuga County nursing home.23 ,24 Before this outbreak, no one in the nursing home had died from COVID-19.
The next day, December 22, they started vaccinating residents and staff. The first death was reported December 29, 2020. Between December 22, 2020, and January 9, 2021, 193 residents (80%) received the vaccine, as did 113 staff members.
As of January 9, 2021, 137 residents had been infected and 24 had died. Forty-seven staff members had also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and one was on life-support. Considering we're seeing cases in which healthy young and middle-aged individuals die within days of receiving the vaccine, it's not inconceivable that the vaccine might have something to do with this dramatic rise in deaths among the elderly. In fact, I'd expect it.
You can rest assured that the public health authorities and media will never report on these observations. Anything that conflicts with vaccine safety and effectiveness will be intentionally and universally buried. This is precisely their modus operandi of the past three decades. If anything, the suppression of the facts will only be amplified.
Vaccine May Trigger More Serious Illness One of the original concerns with COVID-19 vaccines was the possibility of paradoxical immune enhancement or antibody-dependent enhancement. As discussed in my May 2020 interview with Robert Kennedy Jr., embedded above for your convenience, this is why previous coronavirus vaccines have failed.
As noted in the study,25 "Informed Consent Disclosure to Vaccine Trial Subjects of Risk of COVID-19 Vaccine Worsening Clinical Disease," published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice October 28, 2020, "COVID'19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies may sensitize vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated."
"Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern:
Vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralizing antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID'19 disease via antibody'dependent enhancement (ADE)," the paper states.26
"The specific and significant COVID'19 risk of ADE should have been and should be prominently and independently disclosed to research subjects currently in vaccine trials, as well as those being recruited for the trials and future patients after vaccine approval, in order to meet the medical ethics standard of patient comprehension for informed consent."
The 2003 review paper, "Antibody-Dependent Enhancement of Virus Infection and Disease," explains it this way:27
"In general, virus-specific antibodies are considered antiviral and play an important role in the control of virus infections in a number of ways. However, in some instances, the presence of specific antibodies can be beneficial to the virus. This activity is known as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of virus infection.
The ADE of virus infection is a phenomenon in which virus-specific antibodies enhance the entry of virus, and in some cases the replication of virus, into monocytes/macrophages and granulocytic cells through interaction with Fc and/or complement receptors.
This phenomenon has been reported in vitro and in vivo for viruses representing numerous families and genera of public health and veterinary importance. These viruses share some common features such as preferential replication in macrophages, ability to establish persistence, and antigenic diversity. For some viruses, ADE of infection has become a great concern to disease control by vaccination."
Pathogenic Priming '-- Another Significant RiskBut that's not all. SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may also trigger autoimmune reactions through a process called "pathogenic priming." According to a 2020 paper28 in the Journal of Translational Autoimmunity, "Pathogenic priming likely contributes to serious and critical illness and mortality in COVID-19 via autoimmunity," noting that the same may apply post-vaccination.
As explained in this paper, all but one of SARS-CoV-2 immunogenic epitopes are similar to human proteins. Epitopes29 are sites on the virus that allow antibodies or cell receptors in your immune system to recognize it.
This is why epitopes are also referred to as "antigenic determinants," as they are the part that is recognized by an antibody, B-cell receptor or T-cell receptor. Most antigens '-- substances that bind specifically to an antibody or a T-cell receptor '-- have several different epitopes, which allow it to be recognized by several different antibodies.
According to the author, some epitopes can cause "autoimmunological pathogenic priming due to prior infection or following exposure to SARS-CoV-2 '... following vaccination."
In other words, if you've had the infection once, and get reinfected (either by SARS-CoV-2 or a sufficiently similar coronavirus), the second bout has a great potential to be more severe than the first. Similarly, if you get vaccinated and are then infected with SARS-CoV-2, your infection may be more severe than had you not been vaccinated.
For this reason, "these epitopes should be excluded from vaccines under development to minimize autoimmunity due to risk of pathogenic priming," the paper warns. The abstract lays out the basics of the pathogenic priming process.30
Autoimmune Reactions Involved in Many Lethal COVID-19 Cases According to the author, autopsies suggest many lethal COVID-19 cases were likely due to autoimmune reactions. A combination of genetic and environmental factors will influence a person's individual risk for this, just as genetic and environmental factors influence your risk of getting sick from the virus in the first place.
"Among coronaviruses, the spike surface glycoprotein is known to play a role in neuroimmunopathology. However, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has numerous other proteins and polyproteins, each which may serve as an antigen source during infection leading to autoimmunity," the author notes.
"Remarkably, over 1/3 (11/27) of the immunogenic proteins in SARS-CoV-2 have potentially problematic homology to proteins that are key to the human adaptive immune system '... Mapping of the overall gene list '... revealed that many functions of the human adaptive immune system might be impacted via autoimmunity against these proteins and their interactors '...
These results could explain in part the high rates of serious illness associated with SARS-CoV-2. They could also explain the lengthy asymptomatic period prior to presentation of symptoms characteristic of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 could impair the immune response, at first, and then, over time, the immune system could begin to mount an attack on the myriad of proteins '...
Unintended consequences of pathogenesis from vaccines are not new, nor are they unexpected. They are unanticipated only if those who develop them do not include available knowledge in their formulation plan.
For example, the H1N1 influenza vaccine used in Europe led to narcolepsy in some patients, resulting from homology between the human hypocretin (aka, orexin) receptor 2 molecule and proteins present in the vaccine. This was established via the detection of cross-reactive antibodies in the serum of patients who develop narcolepsy following H1N1 vaccination in Europe.
The fact that pathogenic priming may be occurring involving autoimmunity against multiple proteins following CoV vaccination is consistent with other observations observed during autoimmunity, including the release of proinflammatory cytokines and cytokine storm."
Do a Risk-Benefit Analysis Before Making Up Your MindAdditional studies explaining how coronavirus vaccines can cause problems can be found in "How COVID-19 Vaccine Can Destroy Your Immune System." In closing, I would urge you to review the science before making up your mind about the vaccine. That includes mortality data for COVID-19, which is actually surprisingly low.
The lethality of COVID-19 is actually lower than the flu for those under the age of 60.31 If you're under the age of 40, your risk of dying from COVID-19 is just 0.01%, meaning you have a 99.99% chance of surviving the infection. And you could improve that to 99.999% if you're metabolically flexible, insulin sensitive, and vitamin D replete.
So, really, what are we protecting against with a COVID-19 vaccine? As mentioned, the vaccines aren't even designed to prevent infection, only reduce the severity of symptoms. Meanwhile, they could potentially make you sicker once you're exposed to the virus, and/or cause persistent serious side effects such as those listed at the beginning of this article.
While I won't tell anyone what to do, I would urge you to take the time to CAREFULLY review the science and weigh the potential risks and benefits based on your individual situation before you make a decision that you may regret for the rest of your life, which can actually be shortened with this vaccine.
National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin - January 27, 2021 | Homeland Security
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 17:40
SummaryThe Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration. Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.
Duration Issued: January 27, 2021 11:00 am
Expires: April 30, 2021 01:00 pm
Details Throughout 2020, Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views engaged in First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity. DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities. Long-standing racial and ethnic tension'--including opposition to immigration'--has driven DVE attacks, including a 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 23 people.DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities.DHS remains concerned that Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) inspired by foreign terrorist groups, who committed three attacks targeting government officials in 2020, remain a threat.Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions. DHS, as well as other Federal agencies and law enforcement partners will continue to take precautions to protect people and infrastructure across the United States.DHS remains committed to preventing violence and threats meant to intimidate or coerce specific populations on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, identity or political views.DHS encourages state, local, tribal, and territorial homeland security partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure. How You Can Help We ask the public to report suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity, to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or their local Fusion Center.Your choice can make a difference. Choose non-violent ways to make your voice heard and support friends and family in doing the same.Communities are strongest when they are not divided: Strengthen your community by standing together against violence. Be Prepared Avoiding large crowds, including protests, is safest due to ongoing pandemic conditions. However, if taking part in protests do so peacefully, safely, and wear masks.Be responsible for your personal safety. Make note of your surroundings and security personnel. Carry emergency contact as well as medical and other needs information with you.Connect, Plan, Train, and Report to prepare businesses & employees. Stay Informed Local, state and federal agencies will provide specific information about emerging threats as additional information is identified. The public is encouraged to listen to local law enforcement and public safety officials.Last year, DHS released a Homeland Threat Assessment to the public examining the threat environment through 2021.The DHS Lexicon on terrorism includes terminology for DVEs and HVEs. Types of Advisories BulletinDescribes current developments or general trends regarding threats of terrorism.
Elevated AlertWarns of a credible terrorism threat against the United States.
Imminent AlertWarns of a credible, specific and impending terrorism threat against the United States.
If You See Something, Say Something'. Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or call 911.
Fact check: Fauci study did not attribute 1918 Spanish flu deaths to bacterial pneumonia caused by masks | Reuters
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 16:34
Correction October 28, 2020: This article previously linked to a similar 2008 study (here) that was not co-authored by Fauci. Correcting link in paragraph three to study co-authored by Fauci (here).
Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS
Social media users have been publishing a screenshot of a tweet, which erroneously claims that during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, people died of bacterial pneumonia from masks and that Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, knew this and wrote about it in 2008. In fact, the study that Fauci co-authored in 2008 does not mention masks and found that bacterial pneumonia led to most deaths in the Spanish flu pandemic when it had been preceded by ''viral damage,'' or influenza infection.
The original tweets (one has been deleted, the other is visible here ), shared in posts ( here , here , here , here ) say, ''The unmasked buried the masked in the ''Spanish Flu''. What did people in #masks die from? Bacterial Pneumonia. Who knew this and wrote about it in 2008? Dr Anthony Fauci,'' and ''Dr Fauci neglected to let the public know that he was co-author on a paper that found this: 1918-1919 pandemic deaths were mostly from bacterial pneumonia ['...] Why did that happen? #Masks''. One caption reads, ''Here is the Dr Fauci article from 2008 saying that most deaths from the 1918 Spanish Flu were caused by Bacterial pneumonia! '-- not the supposed ''pandemic''!!''
2008 STUDYThe 2008 study (here), which Fauci did co-author, explains that the influenza virus destroyed cells that line the bronchial tubes and lungs which created a pathway for bacteria that normally inhabit the nose and throat to invade the lungs and cause bacterial pneumonia.
Fauci makes it very clear in his description of the study that bacterial pneumonia was preceded by the influenza virus: ''The weight of evidence we examined from both historical and modern analyses of the 1918 influenza pandemic favors a scenario in which viral damage followed by bacterial pneumonia led to the vast majority of deaths. In essence, the virus landed the first blow while bacteria delivered the knockout punch." (here).
To claim the 1918-1919 flu pandemic deaths were caused by bacterial pneumonia alone is inaccurate as it was viral damage from the flu that made people susceptible to bacterial pneumonia in the first place.
COVID-19 has also been found to cause pneumonia ( here , here , here , here ).
MASKSThere is no mention of masks in the study. The author of the original tweet later explained on Twitter in a comment that it was her own paper that made the connection between bacterial pneumonia and masks (here), that this paper has not been peer reviewed (here), and ResearchGate took it down from its website (here).
COVID-19 spreads in near contact with others and masks are a barrier that prevent respiratory droplets from traveling further, as explained in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance here .
As explained by Dr Fauci in a video from July 17 (youtu.be/GfbH3oko9SA), while at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks had not been recommended for the general public due to a shortage of masks for health workers, as more information became available, health authorities and organizations changed their stance and advised that masks should be worn by the general public (here).
At the time of publishing, Fauci was still advising that masks should be worn as a pandemic containment measure alongside social distancing (here).
Reuters recently debunked posts undermining mask usage ( here , here ), some of which showed outdated advice from Fauci (here).
VERDICTFalse. The study Fauci co-authored in 2008 does not mention masks and makes it clear that those who died of bacterial pneumonia during the flu pandemic of 1918 contracted it as a result of suffering from the influenza virus.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
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Predominant Role of Bacterial Pneumonia as a Cause of Death in Pandemic Influenza: Implications for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness | The Journal of Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 16:33
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David M.. Morens , National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
,
Bethesda, Maryland
Reprints or correspondence: David M. Morens, MD, Bldg. 31, Room 7A-10, 31Center Dr., MSC 2520, National Institute of Allergy and Inectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-2520 (
dmorens@niaid.nih.gov).
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Jeffery K. Taubenberger , National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
,
Bethesda, Maryland
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Anthony S. Fauci National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
,
Bethesda, Maryland
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Published:
01 October 2008
AbstractBackground. Despite the availability of published data on 4 pandemics that have occurred over the past 120 years, there is little modern information on the causes of death associated with influenza pandemics.
Methods. We examined relevant information from the most recent influenza pandemic that occurred during the era prior to the use of antibiotics, the 1918''1919 ''Spanish flu''; pandemic. We examined lung tissue sections obtained during 58 autopsies and reviewed pathologic and bacteriologic data from 109 published autopsy series that described 8398 individual autopsy investigations.
Results. The postmortem samples we examined from people who died of influenza during 1918''1919 uniformly exhibited severe changes indicative of bacterial pneumonia. Bacteriologic and histopathologic results from published autopsy series clearly and consistently implicated secondary bacterial pneumonia caused by common upper respiratory-tract bacteria in most influenza fatalities.
Conclusions. The majority of deaths in the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic likely resulted directly from secondary bacterial pneumonia caused by common upper respiratory-tract bacteria. Less substantial data from the subsequent 1957 and 1968 pandemics are consistent with these findings. If severe pandemic influenza is largely a problem of viral-bacterial copathogenesis, pandemic planning needs to go beyond addressing the viral cause alone (e.g., influenza vaccines and antiviral drugs). Prevention, diagnosis, prophylaxis, and treatment of secondary bacterial pneumonia, as well as stockpiling of antibiotics and bacterial vaccines, should also be high priorities for pandemic planning.
''If grippe condemns, the secondary infections execute''; [ 1, p. 448].
'--Louis Cruveilhier, 1919
Influenza pandemic preparedness strategies in the United States [ 2] assume 3 levels of potential severity corresponding to the 20th century pandemics of H1N1 ''Spanish flu''; (1918''1919), H2N2 ''Asian flu''; (1957''1958), and H3N2 ''Hong Kong flu''; (1968''1969), which were responsible for an estimated 675,000 [ 3], 86,000 [ 4], and 56,300 [ 5] excess deaths in the United States, respectively. Extrapolation from 1918''1919 pandemic data to the current population and age profile has led United States government officials to plan for more than 1.9 million excess deaths during a severe pandemic [ 2].
An important question related to pandemic preparedness remains unanswered: what killed people during the 1918''1919 pandemic and subsequent influenza pandemics? In the present study, we have examined recut tissue specimens obtained during autopsy from 58 influenza victims in 1918''1919, and have reviewed epidemiologic, pathologic, and microbiologic data from published reports for 8398 postmortem examinations bearing on this question. Wehave also reviewed relevant information, accumulated over 9 decades, related to the circulation of descendants of the 1918 virus. With the recent reconstruction of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus, investigators have begun to examine why it was so highly fatal [ 6, 7]. Based on contemporary and modern evidence, we conclude here that influenza A virus infection in conjunction with bacterial infection led to most of the deaths during the 1918''1919 pandemic.
MethodsExamination of tissue specimens from 1918''1919 influenza fatalities. We reviewed hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides recut from blocks of lung tissue obtained during autopsy from 58 influenza fatalities in 1918''1919. These materials, sent during the pandemic from various United States military bases to the National Tissue Repository of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology [ 8''10], represent all known influenza cases from this collection for which lung tissue is available.
Pathology and bacteriology research records from the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic. We reviewed the late 19th- and early 20th-century literature on gross and microscopic influenza pathology and bacteriology, including evidence from 1918''1919 autopsy series with postmortem cultures of lung tissue, blood samples (usually heart blood), pleural fluid, and samples from other compartments. In an effort to obtain all publications possibly reporting influenza pathology and/or bacteriology in 1918''1919, we searched major bibliographic sources [e.g., 11''17] for papers in all languages and tables of contents of major journals in English, German, and French; in addition, we searched all of the papers we identified for additional citations. From more than 2000 such publications, we carefully examined the 1539 reports that contained human pathologic and/or bacteriologic findings (the full bibliographic list available at http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/Flu/1918/bibliography.htm), 109 of which provided useful bacteriologic information derived from 173 autopsy series. These series reported 8398 individual autopsy investigations undertaken in 15 countries, which can be characterized as follows: 96 postmortem lung tissue culture series, 42 blood culture series, and 35 pleural fluid culture series. When they were published as parts of an autopsy series, we included in our analyses antemortem cultures of blood and pleural fluid samples, which were mostly obtained during the terminal stages of illness. A priori, we stratified data by military and civilian populations (see Discussion), and by the quality of lung tissue culture results, considering to be of ''higher quality''; the 68 autopsy series with lung tissue culture results that reported, for all autopsies, both the presence and absence of negative culture results and the bacterial components of mixed culture results.
ResultsBackground epidemiologic data on influenza mortality rates in 1918''1919. Although death certificates listing cardiac and other chronic causes of death increased in number during the time frame of the 1918''1919 pandemic [ 18], for all age groups death was predominantly associated with pneumonia and related pulmonary complications [ 13, 14, 18''20]. The pandemic caused a ''W-shaped''; age-specific mortality curve, which exhibited peaks in infancy, between about 20''40 years of age, and in elderly individuals [ 3, 21]. In all age groups younger than ~65 years, the influenza mortality rate was elevated beyond what would have been expected on the basis of data from the previous pandemic of ''Russian influenza''; (1889''1893) [ 3, 22, 23]. The increased fatality rate in the 3 high-risk age groups was predominantly due to the increased frequency of bronchopneumonia, not to increased incidence of influenza or an increased bronchopneumonia case-fatality rate [ 19]. Because few autopsy reports and, to our knowledge, no autopsy series addressed conditions other than predominantly pulmonary complications, nonpulmonary causes of death are not considered here.
Histologic examination of lung tissue from 1918 victims. The examination of recut lung tissue sections from 1918''1919 influenza case material revealed, in virtually all cases, compelling histologic evidence of severe acute bacterial pneumonia, either as the predominant pathology or in conjunction with underlying pathologic features now believed to be associated with influenza virus infection [ 10, 24] ( figure 1). The latter include necrosis and desquamation of the respiratory epithelium of the tracheobronchial and bronchiolar tree, dilation of alveolar ducts, hyaline membranes, and evidence of bronchial and/or bronchiolar epithelial repair [ 25, 26]. The majority of the cases examined demonstrated asynchronous histopathological changes, in which the various stages of development of the infectious process, from early bronchiolar changes to severe bacterial parenchymal destruction, were noted in focal areas. The histologic spectrum observed in the cases corresponded to the characteristic pathology of bacterial pneumonia, including bronchopneumonia [ 10, 24''33]: lobar consolidation with pulmonary infiltration by neutrophils in pneumococcal pneumonia; a bronchopneumonic pattern, edema, and pleural effusions in streptococcal and sometimes in pneumococcal pneumonia; and in staphylococcal pneumonia, multiple small abscesses with a marked neutrophilic infiltration in airways and alveoli [ 27]. Bacteria were commonly observed in the sections, often in massive numbers.
Figure 1
Examples of hematoxylin and eosin-stained postmortem lung sections from 4 victims of the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic (see text). A, Typical picture of severe, widespread bacterial bronchopneumonia with transmural infiltration of neutrophils in a bronchiole and with neutrophils filling the airspaces of surrounding alveoli (original magnification, 40—). B, Massive infiltration of neutrophils in the airspaces of alveoli associated with bacterial bronchopneumonia as in A (original magnification, 200—). C, Bronchopneumonia with intra-alveolar edema and hemorrhage. Numerous bacteria are visible both in the edema fluid and in the cytoplasm of macrophages (original magnification, 400—). D, Bronchopneumonia with evidence of pulmonary repair. The alveolar epithelium is hyperplastic; interstitial fibrosis is seen between alveoli (original magnification, 200—).
Figure 1
Examples of hematoxylin and eosin-stained postmortem lung sections from 4 victims of the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic (see text). A, Typical picture of severe, widespread bacterial bronchopneumonia with transmural infiltration of neutrophils in a bronchiole and with neutrophils filling the airspaces of surrounding alveoli (original magnification, 40—). B, Massive infiltration of neutrophils in the airspaces of alveoli associated with bacterial bronchopneumonia as in A (original magnification, 200—). C, Bronchopneumonia with intra-alveolar edema and hemorrhage. Numerous bacteria are visible both in the edema fluid and in the cytoplasm of macrophages (original magnification, 400—). D, Bronchopneumonia with evidence of pulmonary repair. The alveolar epithelium is hyperplastic; interstitial fibrosis is seen between alveoli (original magnification, 200—).
Published pathologic and/or bacteriologic findings from the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic. Although the cause of influenza was disputed in 1918, there was almost universal agreement among experts [e.g., 20, 27''33] that deaths were virtually never caused by the unidentified etiologic agent itself, but resulted directly from severe secondary pneumonia caused by well-known bacterial ''pneumopathogens''; that colonized the upper respiratory tract (predominantly pneumococci, streptococci, and staphylococci). Without this secondary bacterial pneumonia, experts generally believed that most patients would have recovered [ 20]. In type, pattern, and case-fatality rate, influenza-associated bacterial pneumonia was typical of pneumonia that was endemic during periods when influenza was not prevalent [ 25, 28, 33, 34]. As described above, in cases for which a single lung pathogen was recovered from culture, the anatomical-pathological type of the pneumonia usually corresponded to what was expected. Bacteria were commonly observed in cases of pneumonia caused by each of these pathogens. Such findings reflect the characteristic pathology of bacterial pneumonia [ 10, 25, 27].
Surprising aspects of 1918''1919 influenza-associated pneumonia fatalities included the following: (1) the high incidence of secondary pneumonia associated with standard bacterial pneumopathogens; (2) the frequency of pneumonia caused by both mixed pneumopathogens (particularly pneumococci and streptococci) and by other mixed upper respiratory-tract bacteria; (3) the aggressiveness of bacterial invasion of the lung, often resulting in ''phenomenal''; [ 30] numbers of bacteria and poly-morphonuclear neutrophils, as well as extensive necrosis, vasculitis, and hemorrhage [ 20, 32, 33]; and (4) the predominance of bronchopneumonia and lobular pneumonia, as opposed to lobar pneumonia, consistent with diffuse predisposing bronchiolar damage [ 27''33].
Contemporary views of the natural history of severe influenza during the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic. By examining influenza autopsy materials from a range of patients in different stages of disease, pathologists in 1918''1919 identified the primary lesion in early severe influenza-associated pneumonia as desquamative tracheobronchitis and bronchiolitis extending diffusely over all or much of the pulmonary tree to the alveolar ducts and alveoli, associated with sloughing of bronchiolar epithelial cells to the basal layer, hyaline membrane formation in alveolar ducts and alveoli, and ductal dilation [ 20, 24, 27, 29''33].
Primary ''panbronchitis''; [ 35] was thought to reflect rapidly spreading epithelial cytolytic infection of the entire bronchial tree [ 32, 35, 36]; this was thought to have led to the secondary spread of enormous numbers of bacteria along the denuded bronchial epithelium to every part of the bronchial tree, following which focal bronchiolar infections broke through into the lung parenchyma. Secondary bacterial invasion and zones of vasculitis, capillary thrombosis, and necrosis surrounding areas of bronchiolar damage were seen in severe cases. As was true for the 58 autopsy cases we reviewed (see above), published autopsies for victims of the 1918''1919 pandemic generally showed histopathological asynchrony [ 20]. Repair, represented by early epithelial regeneration, capillary repair, and occasionally by fibrosis, was commonly seen in tissues sections from even the most fulminant fatal cases [ 20, 27, 32]. Among the '(C)¾60% of individuals who survived such severe pneumonia, severe chronic pulmonary damage was apparently uncommon [ 37, 38].
Bacteriologic studies in autopsy series during the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic. Negative lung culture results were uncommon in the 96 identified military and civilian autopsy series, which examined 5266 subjects (4.2% of results overall) ( table 1; full bibliographic list available at http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/Flu/1918/bibliography.htm). In the 68 higher-quality autopsy series, in which the possibility of unreported negative cultures could be excluded, 92.7% of autopsy lung cultures were positive for '(C)¾1 bacterium ( table 1). Of these 96 series, 82 reported pneumopathogens in '(C)¾50% of lungs examined, either alone or in mixed culture results that included other bacteria ( table 1). Outbreaks of meningococcal pneumonia complicating influenza also were documented [ 39]. Despite higher military case-fatality rates, the differences in the frequency with which specific bacteria were isolated from lung tissue cultures ( table 1) and from culture of blood and pleural or empyema fluids (data not shown) were minimal. Many of the series were methodologically rigorous: in one study of approximately 9000 subjects who were followed from clinical presentation with influenza to resolution or autopsy [ 40], researchers obtained, with sterile technique, cultures of either pneumococci or streptococci from 164 of 167 lung tissue samples. There were 89 pure cultures of pneumococci; 19 cultures from which only streptococci were recovered; 34 that yielded mixtures of pneumococci and/or streptococci; 22 that yielded a mixture of pneumococci, streptococci, and other organisms (prominently pneumococci and nonhemolytic streptococci); and 3 that yielded nonhemolytic streptococci alone. There were no negative lung culture results.
Table 1
Examples of hematoxylin and eosin-stained postmortem lung sections from 4 victims of the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic (see text). A, Typical picture of severe, widespread bacterial bronchopneumonia with transmural infiltration of neutrophils in a bronchiole and with neutrophils filling the airspaces of surrounding alveoli (original magnification, 40—). B, Massive infiltration of neutrophils in the airspaces of alveoli associated with bacterial bronchopneumonia as in A (original magnification, 200—). C, Bronchopneumonia with intra-alveolar edema and hemorrhage. Numerous bacteria are visible both in the edema fluid and in the cytoplasm of macrophages (original magnification, 400—). D, Bronchopneumonia with evidence of pulmonary repair. The alveolar epithelium is hyperplastic; interstitial fibrosis is seen between alveoli (original magnification, 200—).
Table 1
Examples of hematoxylin and eosin-stained postmortem lung sections from 4 victims of the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic (see text). A, Typical picture of severe, widespread bacterial bronchopneumonia with transmural infiltration of neutrophils in a bronchiole and with neutrophils filling the airspaces of surrounding alveoli (original magnification, 40—). B, Massive infiltration of neutrophils in the airspaces of alveoli associated with bacterial bronchopneumonia as in A (original magnification, 200—). C, Bronchopneumonia with intra-alveolar edema and hemorrhage. Numerous bacteria are visible both in the edema fluid and in the cytoplasm of macrophages (original magnification, 400—). D, Bronchopneumonia with evidence of pulmonary repair. The alveolar epithelium is hyperplastic; interstitial fibrosis is seen between alveoli (original magnification, 200—).
In the 14 of 96 autopsy series that did not report the predominance of lung pneumopathogens [ 29, 36, 41''53], pneumopathogens accounted collectively for 37.4% of pneumonia deaths. The rest of the deaths were associated collectively with either culture of nonpneumopathogenic ''other bacteria,''; such as nonhemolytic and viridans streptococci, ''green-producing streptococci''; [ 54], probably largely corresponding to α-hemolytic streptococci, uncharacterized diplostreptococci, Micrococcus (Moraxella) catarrhalis, Bacillus (Escherichia) coli, Klebsiella species, and complex mixed bacteria (36.1% of cultures). Cultures also yielded Bacillus influenzae (18.8%) and no bacterial growth (7.7%). These findings reflect rates of bacterial isolation similar to those of the series that reported the predominance of pneumopathogens (above and table 1), but with higher isolation rates for ''other bacteria''; offsetting the lower isolation rates for pneumococci, streptococci and staphylococci. It is noteworthy that pneumococcal typing antisera were unavailable in 11 of these 14 studies, and that many of the cultured ''other''; bacteria were reported as ''gram-positive diplococci,''; ''streptococci,''; or ''diplostreptococci''; (data not shown), consistent with the possibility that in this early era of bacterial typing, some of the unidentified organisms in the culture may have been pneumopathogens.
The predominant coinfecting microorganism in lung tissue cultures containing '(C)¾1 pneumopathogen was Bacillus influenzae (largely corresponding to the modern Hemophilus influenzae), an upper respiratory-tract organism not commonly found in pure culture of samples from any anatomical compartment [ 20, 36, 55]. Bacillus influenzae tended to appear early in symptomatic influenza in association with diffuse bronchitis and/or bronchiolitis, sometimes infiltrating the bronchiolar submucosa [ 35]; it caused seroconversion [ 56] and was then typically replaced by other secondary organisms.
Cultures of blood samples in 30 military and 12 civilian series, which examined a total of 1887 subjects ( table 2), had positive results in 70.3% of cases and typically contained either pneumococci or streptococci in pure culture. Cultures of pleural or empyema fluid, reported in 23 military and 12 civilian series examining a total of 1245 subjects ( table 2), revealed either streptococci or pneumococci as the most commonly recovered organism in all but 7 series: in 4 series mixed pneumopathogens predominated, and in 3 series Staphylococcus aureus predominated. Most subjects with positive culture results in the blood and pleural or empyema fluid series also had '(C)¾1 pneumopathogen cultured in samples from the lungs (data not shown).
Table 2
Bacterial culture results in autopsy series involving 96 postmortem cultures of lung tissue from victims of the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic.
Table 2
Bacterial culture results in autopsy series involving 96 postmortem cultures of lung tissue from victims of the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic.
Of 2007 pneumococcal isolates, 874 (43.5%) were serotyped by agglutination. Type I was isolated from 124 (14.2%) of 874 subjects; type II from 163 (18.6%); type IIa from 26 (3.0%); type III from 184 (21.1%); and type IV, a category containing diverse and, at the time, untypeable organisms, from 377 (43.1%).
Pathologic and bacteriologic information obtained from later pandemic and seasonal influenza cases. The viruses that caused the 1957 and 1968 pandemics were descendants of the 1918 virus in which 3 (the 1957 virus) or 2 (the 1968 virus) new avian gene segments had been acquired by reassortment [ 21]. Although lower pathogenicity resulted in far fewer deaths, hence fewer autopsies, most 1957''1958 deaths were attributable to secondary bacterial pneumonia, as had been the case in 1918. Staphylococcus aureus, a relatively minor cause of the 1918 fatalities, was predominant in the culture results from 1957''1958 [ 21, 57''61], and negative lung tissue cultures were more common, possibly as a result of the widespread administration of antibiotics [ 57, 58, 61]. The few relevant data from the 1968''1969 pandemic (see below) are consistent with information from the earlier 20th-century pandemics. Human tracheobronchial biopsy studies performed since the 1957''1958 epidemic characterized the natural history of influenza virus infection as featuring rapid (within 24 h) development of bronchial epithelial necrosis, preservation of the basal layer, limited inflammatory response, and evidence of prompt repair [ 62], consistent with the observations of pathologists in 1918''1919.
DiscussionIn the most recent influenza pandemic that did not involve the use of antibiotics to suppress bacteria (the 1918''1919 pandemic), histological and bacteriologic evidence suggests that the vast majority of influenza deaths resulted from secondary bacterial pneumonia. Compelling evidence for this conclusion includes the examination of 58 recut and restained autopsy specimens that showed changes fully consistent with classical descriptions of extensive bacterial pneumonia [ 25], culture results from numerous international autopsy series, and consistent epidemiologic and clinical findings ( table 3).
Table 3
Summary of evidence from the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic consistent with the conclusion that bacterial pneumonia, rather than primary viral pneumonia, was the cause of most deaths.
Table 3
Summary of evidence from the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic consistent with the conclusion that bacterial pneumonia, rather than primary viral pneumonia, was the cause of most deaths.
Between 1890 and 1950, most observers believed fatal influenza to be a polymicrobial infection in which an inciting agent of low pathogenicity (either a bacterium such as Bacillus influenzae or a ''filter passing agent'';''most of which have now been identified as viruses) acted synergistically with known pneumopathogenic bacteria [ 13, 14, 20, 33, 64''66]. This view was dramatically supported in 1917''1918 by the measles epidemics in US Army training camps, in which most deaths resulted from streptococcal pneumonia or, less commonly, pneumococcal pneumonia [ 20, 30, 32]. The pneumonia deaths during the influenza pandemic in 1918 proved so highly similar, pathologically, to the then-recent pneumonia deaths from the measles epidemics that noted experts considered them to be the result of one newly emerging disease: epidemic bacterial pneumonia precipitated by prevalent respiratory tract agents [ 20, 33, 63].
The question of whether the pathogenesis of severe influenza-associated pneumonia was primarily viral (i.e., assumed to be an unknown etiologic agent in 1918) or a combination of viral and bacterial agents was carefully considered by pathologists in 1918''1919, without definitive resolution [ 26, 33]. The issue was addressed anew in the early 1930s when Shope published a series of experimental studies that involved the just-discovered swine influenza A virus: severe disease in an animal model resulted only when the virus and Hemophilus influenzae suis were administered together [ 67]. In 1935, Brightman studied combined human influenza and streptococcal infection in a ferret intranasal inoculation model. Even though neither agent was pathogenic when administered alone, they were highly fatal in combination [ 68]. In rhesus monkeys, human influenza viruses given intranasally were not pathogenic, but could be made so by nasopharyngeal instillation of otherwise nonpathogenic bacteria [ 69]. During the 1940s, additional studies in ferrets, mice, and rats established that the influenza virus in combination with any of several pneumopathic bacteria acted synergistically to produce either a higher incidence of disease, a higher death rate, or a shortened time to death [ 70''73]; these effects could be mitigated or eliminated if antibiotics were given shortly after establishment of combined infection [ 73]. More recent data suggest that influenza vaccination may prevent bacterial disease [ 74].
As reviewed recently by McCullers [ 75], a body of experimental research during the last 3 decades has identified possible mechanisms by which coinfection with the influenza virus and bacteria might affect pathogenicity. These include viral neuraminidase (NA)-induced exposure of bacterial adherence receptors; bacterial NA-induced upregulation of influenza infection; interleukin 10-induced susceptibility to pneumococci and possibly staphylococci [ 76]; interferon type 1 effects [ 77]; viral PB1-F2 effects, the proaptotic and mitochondriopathic effects of which are correlated with enhanced bacterial infection [ 78]; and virus-induced desensitization to bacterial Toll-like receptor ligands [ 79].
We believe that the weight of 90 years of evidence ( table 3), including the exceptional but largely forgotten work of an earlier generation of pathologists, indicates that the vast majority of pulmonary deaths from pandemic influenza viruses have resulted from poorly understood interactions between the infecting virus and secondary infections due to bacteria that colonize the upper respiratory tract. The data are consistent with a natural history in which the virus, highly cytopathic to bronchial and bronchiolar epithelial cells, extends rapidly and diffusely down the respiratory tree, damages the epithelium sufficiently to break down the mucociliary barrier to bacterial spread, and if able to gain access to the distal respiratory tree''perhaps on the basis of receptor affinity [ 80]''creates both a direct pathway for secondary bacterial spread and an environment (cell necrosis and proteinaceous edema fluid) favorable to bacterial growth. It remains unresolved whether cocolonizing, nonpneumopathic upper respiratory-tract organisms such as Bacillus (Hemophilus) influenzae play an ancillary role, or are merely innocent bystanders. It is uncertain why Hemophilus influenzae was much less prominent in 1957''1958 and thereafter, but this phenomenon may relate to antibiotic use and conceivably, in recent years, to Hemophilus influenzae b vaccination of children.
The extraordinary severity of the 1918 pandemic remains unexplained. That the causes of death included so many different bacteria, alone or in complex combinations, argues against specific virulent bacterial clones. The pathologic and bacteriologic data appear consistent with copathogenic properties of the virus itself, perhaps related to viral growth, facility of cell-to-cell spread, cell tropism, or interference with or induction of immune responses. Certain observers believed that cotransmission of the influenza agent and of pneumopathogenic bacteria was responsible for many severe and fatal cases, especially during the October-November 1918 peak of mortality and case-fatality rates [ 81]. We speculate that any influenza virus with an enhanced capacity to spread to and damage bronchial and/or bronchiolar epithelial cells, even in the presence of an intact rapid reparative response, could precipitate the appearance of severe and potentially fatal bacterial pneumonia due to prevalent upper respiratory-tract bacteria.
In the modern era, the widespread use of antibiotics and the establishment of life-prolonging intensive care unit treatment make it more difficult than it was in 1918 to document the importance of bacterial lung infection for influenza-related mortality. Influenza-associated pneumonia patterns may now be influenced by the administration of pneumococcus, Hemophilus influenzae b, and meningococcus vaccine, and cases have tended to occur in elderly individuals, who rarely undergo autopsy. The 1968 influenza pandemic was mild, and autopsy studies were uncommon [ 21]. Fatal cases of influenza-associated viral pneumonia that are considered to be ''primary''; (i.e., with little or no bacterial growth) continue to be identified [ 82, 83]; however, their incidence appears to be low, even in pandemic peaks. The issue of the pathogenesis of fatal influenza-associated pneumonia remains important; the fact that even severe, virus-induced tissue damage is normally followed by rapid and extensive repair [ 20, 26] suggests that early and aggressive treatment, including antibiotics and intensive care, could save most patients [ 84, 85] and also underscores the importance of prevention and prophylaxis.
The 1918 pandemic and subsequent pandemics differed with respect to the spectrum and extent of secondary bacterial pneumonia (e.g., the switch in prevalence during the antibiotic era to predominantly staphylococcal secondary pneumonia, as opposed to streptococcal, pneumococcal, and mixed secondary pneumonia; and the greatly decreased involvement of Bacillus [Hemophilus] influenzae), suggesting that additional factors affect the level of influenza morbidity and mortality. These might include the use of antibiotics and antiviral agents, the rate of influenza vaccination and bacterial vaccination, and demographic and social factors. The aging population in the United States, the increasing number of persons living in nursing home facilities, and the number of persons who are immunosuppressed or affected by cardiac disease, renal disease, and/or diabetes mellitus all represent potential factors that might change the profile of morbidity and mortality during a future pandemic. for example, elderly persons in nursing homes are at risk for pneumonia caused by enteric organisms and sometimes by drug-resistant nosocomial organisms. The spread of bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and highly pathogenic clones of Streptococcus pyogenes pose more general risks [ 86].
The viral etiology of and timing of the next influenza pandemic cannot be predicted [ 87]. If, as some fear, a future pandemic is caused by a derivative of the current highly pathogenic avian H5N1 virus, lessons from previous pandemics may not be strictly applicable. Although histopathologic information concerning current human H5N1 infections is sparse [ 10], its pathogenic mechanisms may be atypical because the virus is poorly adapted to humans [ 88] and because, in certain experimental animal models [e.g., 89], some strains have induced severe pathology that differs from the findings associated with circulating human influenza viruses (which, in these models, cause disease resembling self-limited seasonal influenza in humans [ 90]). However, if an H5N1 virus were to fully adapt to humans, the clinicopathologic spectrum of associated disease could become more like that of previous pandemics.
If the next pandemic is caused by a human-adapted virus similar to those recognized since 1918, we believe the infection is likely to behave as it has in past pandemics, precipitating severe disease associated with prevalent colonizing bacteria. Recent reviews have discussed the importance of new and improved influenza antiviral drugs and influenza vaccines in controlling a pandemic [ 84, 91, 92]. The present work leads us to conclude that in addition to these critical efforts, prevention, diagnosis, prophylaxis, and treatment of bacterial pneumonia, as well as the stockpiling of antibiotics and bacterial vaccines [ 84, 85, 93], should be among the highest priorities in pandemic planning. We are encouraged that such considerations are already being discussed and implemented by the agencies and individuals responsible for such plans [ 94, 95].
AcknowledgmentsWe thank Betty Murgolo and the staff of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library, for extensive research efforts in locating publications, and the staff of the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, NIH, for additional library research support. Wealso thank Cristina Cassetti, PhD, and Andrea Scollard, DDS, PhD for translation of Italian language and Portuguese language papers, respectively; Hillery A. Harvey, PhD, for scientific assistance; and Gregory K. Folkers, MS, MPH, for helpful discussion and editorial assistance. John J. McGowan, PhD, and the staff of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Pandemic Influenza Digital Archives project provided substantial assistance in organizing and indexing historical manuscripts.
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Potential conflicts of interest: none reported.
Financial support: Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Presented in part: 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Epidemiological Society, Berkeley, California, 30 March, 2006; and 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Epidemiological Society, Boston, Massachusetts, 26 March 2007.
(C) 2008 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Related articles in PubMed
Netherlands police and mayors are based as fuck at the moment. (Very weird) - The Donald - America First!
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 16:23
I will explain. I am from the netherlands.We have 2 days of lootings because of antifa hijacking a protest against lockdowns. Police cant control antifa. So mayors and police have asked soccer hooligans (they normally fight with the police and they are very right wing) to protect the cities against antifa. They said and i quote "the only thing we ask that you dont beat the looters into the hospital." They gave them yellow jackets and a free pass to attack looters.
I will explain. I am from the netherlands.We have 2 days of lootings because of antifa hijacking a protest against lockdowns. Police cant control antifa. So mayors and police have asked soccer hooligans (they normally fight with the police and they are very right wing) to protect the cities against antifa. They said and i quote "the only thing we ask that you dont beat the looters into the hospital." They gave them yellow jackets and a free pass to attack looters.
Those Bombers China Sent Toward Taiwan? They Were A Dress Rehearsal For War
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 15:46
Three days after President Joe Biden took office, the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force sortied a powerful formation of new H-6K bombers toward Taiwan.
The same day, the U.S. Navy sailed the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and her escorts into the South China Sea.
The timing wasn't a coincidence. The bombers'--which are compatible with YJ-12 anti-ship missiles'--were training for strikes on carriers such as Roosevelt, Chinese state media explained.
But in probing Taiwan's air-defense identification zone, the twin-engine bombers also were preparing for an equally important role'--lobbing missiles at Taiwanese forces in preparation for an amphibious assault on the island.
''Reunifiying'' Taiwan with the Chinese mainland is the central goal of China's foreign policy. As Taiwan is a fully independent democracy, there's no realistic prospect of the two countries peacefully merging. When officials in Beijing use the term ''reunification,'' they're really talking about war.
And that war, if and when it comes, could begin with Chinese bombers barreling toward Taiwan like they did Saturday.
In that sense, the weekend's sortie was a dress rehearsal. ''It does demonstrate the PLAAF's ability to put together a multi-plane strike, which we would likely see in the event of a hot war against Taiwan,'' said Bernard Cole, a professor at the National War College in Washington, D.C.
A Chinese air force H-6 flying near Taiwan.
Republic of China Ministry of DefenseThe scale of Saturday's bomber sortie is noteworthy. Eight of the 108-foot-wingspan bombers flew toward Taiwan's southwest air-defense zone. Four J-16 fighters protected the bombers. A Y-8 patrol plane was nearby, perhaps acting as an airborne command post, Cole theorized.
It's not unprecedented for the Chinese air force to sortie eight bombers at once, but it is unusual. That's a lot of hardware requiring extensive planning and maximum effort from aircrew and ground staff. The U.S. Air Force's own sorties'--such as those high-profile B-52 missions near Russia last year'--rarely involve more than four bombers plus support planes.
But if Chinese president Xi Jinping pulled the trigger and ordered the PLA to attack Taiwan, the air force certainly would launch more than eight bombers. There are more than 200 H-6s in PLAAF and People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force service. It's safe to assume many of them would take part in any air war over Taiwan, which probably also would involve strikes on U.S. bases in the region.
''PLA war-planners seem to view their bomber fleets as primarily useful for attacks on Taiwan, Okinawa and Guam,'' said Ian Easton, a military expert with the Project 2049 Institute in Virginia. ''That's what they are preparing for.''
''Unlike other types of military aircraft, bombers are fundamentally geared toward offensive operations,'' Easton said. ''That's all they do. And because China's H-6 bombers lack stealth and speed, they can only be used effectively in a first-strike capacity to catch targets by surprise.''
The bombers probably wouldn't go it alone. ''Any manned aircraft strike against the island would be preceded by an extensive SEAD campaign by missiles and SOF,'' Cole said.
Republic of China Ministry of Defense
SEAD stands for ''suppression of enemy air-defenses.'' It's the practice of jamming or destroying an opponent's radars and surface-to-air missiles. SOF are Special Operations Forces'--commandos.
After the dust settled from the initial barrage of Chinese rockets'--and after Beijing's commandos completed their raids or died trying'--the bombers would fly through the resulting gaps in Taiwan's defenses and fire their own CJ-10 cruise missiles at Taiwanese bases and troop formations.
The Chinese crews might only get one chance. ''H-6 bombers are big, slow targets,'' Easton said. ''Taiwan has a range of air-defense systems for defending against them, to include land-attack cruise missiles that could crater PLAAF and PLANAF runways and devastated parked aircraft on their parking ramps.''
''The problem is that Taiwan will be on the receiving end of China's surprise attacks,'' Easton added. ''No one can say with any certainty how things will look for Taiwan's defense after that first wave of steel comes screaming down. But if sufficient defensive preparations are made, as they likely are, then Taiwan should be able to recover and knock a considerable portion of China's air force out of the sky.''
''That would pave the way for the U.S. and its allies like Japan and Australia to come into the fight,'' Easton said. ''In any event, any Chinese invasion of Taiwan would almost certainly involve a long and extremely bloody air war.''
The stakes couldn't be higher. If China attacks Taiwan and fails to conquer the island'--fast'--the resulting counterattack and global political backlash surely would be catastrophic for Beijing.
Hence the practice runs such as Saturday's. ''Bombers are an important part of that broader effort by Beijing to improve war-readiness,'' Easton said. ''We should expect to see even larger demonstrations like this in the future.''
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COVID Anal Swabs for Beijing Residents More Accurate, Says Chinese Expert
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 05:55
More than a million Beijing residents undergoing coronavirus testing amid a fresh outbreak have been administered anal swabs, which are considered more accurate and raise the chances of detecting COVID-19, said a Chinese disease specialist.
The key districts of Daxing and Dongcheng began a mass testing drive on Friday after a nine-year-old boy tested positive for the more virulent strain of the virus, first discovered in London and the southeast of England last month.
Health authorities in the Chinese capital said they were aiming to screen more than two million people in 48 hours. Among them, around 1.6 million inhabitants in Daxing were to be given antibody tests, as well as throat, nasal and rectal nucleic acid swabs.
Anal swabs have been in use since last year, including in the major port city of Shanghai, but the method is so far reserved for individuals in potential COVID-19 hotspots, according to an infectious disease expert quoted by China's state broadcaster CCTV on Saturday.
"Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, we've tested for the virus using mainly throat swabs. Its characteristics are convenience and speed, so it's suitable for large-scale testing," said Beijing You'an Hospital's Li Tongzeng. "Nasal swabs are more accurate than throat swabs, but nasal swabs can be uncomfortable."
He added: "In some asymptomatic cases or in individuals with mild symptoms, they tend to recover from the illness very quickly. It's possible that there will be no trace of the virus in their throat after three to five days.
"What we've found is that in some infected patients, the coronavirus survives for a longer period of time in their digestive tract or excrement than in their respiratory tract."
Li said rectal swabs increase the rate of detectability and lower the chances of a missed diagnosis.
"Of course, anal swabs aren't as convenient as throat swabs, so they're only being used on individuals in key quarantine areas. This will reduce the return of false positives," he added.
According to guidelines published by China's National Health Commission, anal swabs are to be administered 3 to 5 centimeters (1.2 to 2 inches) inside the rectum. The swab is to be rotated and removed before being securely placed inside a sample container.
On Friday, a resident of Tangshan in Hebei province, about 120 miles east of Beijing, told CCTV that she was given double rectal swabs as part of citywide testing in her area. She said each swab took just under 10 seconds.
A few medical papers release since the start of the outbreak last year have suggested anal swabs as a more accurate way of testing for COVID-19, but its merits have yet to be widely accepted by the Chinese medical community.
Wuhan University pathologist Yang Zhanqiu told Communist Party newspaper Global Times on Saturday that throat and nasal swabs remained the "most efficient" method of testing, given that the coronavirus is contracted via the upper respiratory tract.
People line up to be tested for COVID-19 in Beijing, China, on January 23, 2021, as part of a drive to test two million people in 48 hours as the city rushes to snuff out a new local cluster of cases believed to be linked to a more contagious virus variant. NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty ImagesBeijing's efforts to eventually test all 21.5 million of its residents are expected to continue as it battles its second wave, which began with a cluster of locally transmitted cases in mid-December.
Municipal spokesperson Tian Tao said 17.46 million people in Beijing'--roughly 80 percent of its population'--have already been tested since the start of the new outbreak.
Residents have gathered in schools, stadiums, shopping malls and public squares for the mass testing drive, which comes at a crucial moment'--just two weeks before the country celebrates Lunar New Year, a festive period ordinarily marked by hundreds of millions of commutes home.
China recorded 82 new cases of community infection on January 26, the national health authority said Tuesday. Among them were two locally transmitted cases in Beijing. There were also 56 asymptomatic cases, which China considers separately.
Most of the positive cases were concentrated in the northeast of the country, where tens of millions of residents remain in some form of lockdown in the provinces of Hebei, Jilin and Heilongjiang.
China's total confirmed cases now stand at 89,197. Its death toll rose by one to 4,636 following an additional fatality on Monday.
Gururaj Deshpande - Wikipedia
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 03:25
Gururaj Deshpande ("Desh" Deshpande) is an Indian American venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who is best known for co-founding the Chelmsford, MA-based internet equipment manufacturer Sycamore Networks,[1] the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT and the Deshpande Foundation.[2]
Presently,[when? ] Deshpande is the Chairman of A123Systems, Sycamore Networks, Tejas Networks, HiveFire, Sandstone Capital, Sparta Group,[3] and sits on the Board of Airvana.[1][4]
Deshpande is a Life Member of the MIT Corporation, the Board of Trustees of MIT,[5] and sits on the board of the MIT School of Engineering Dean's Advisory Council (DAC).[6]
In July 2010, Deshpande was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Co-Chairmanship of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a group established to support the US President's innovation strategy.[3][7]
Early life and education Edit Gururaj Deshpande was born in Hubli, Karnataka in India. His father was a labor commissioner with the Indian government.[8]
He graduated with a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He completed his PhD in Data Communications from Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada and a Master of Electrical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Career Edit Deshpande started his career at Codex Corporation, a Motorola subsidiary located in Ontario, Canada which manufactured modems, before moving to the U.S. in 1984. Later, he co-founded Coral Networks, a router developer. He left the company prior to its sale in 1993 to SynOptics he sold the company for $15 million.[9]
Deshpande knew Peter Brackett PhD, a professor of electrical engineering at Queen's university in Ontario for a few years in between industry positions. Brackett offered Deshpande a job at Codex, he also sponsored him for Canadian residency.[10]
In 1990, Deshpande co-founded Cascade Communications, whose products were important in routing the early internet, initially serving as its President and later Executive Vice President; he hired Dan Smith as CEO. He sold Cascade to Ascend Communications for $3.7 billion in 1997.[4]
Subsequently, with the help of MIT researchers, he launched Sycamore Networks in 1998. Sycamore Networks went public in October 1999, and raised a market cap of $18 billion. With his 21% shareholding in hand, this IPO made Deshpande one of the wealthiest self-made businessmen in the world. In 2000, he was featured on the Forbes 400 listing of Richest Americans.[11]
He is also Chairman of A123Systems,[12] which manufactures high-power lithium-ion batteries, which went on NASDAQ in October 2009, and raised $438 million and trading at a 50% premium on the day of listing.[4]
Philanthropy Edit Desh, along with his wife Jaishree, donated $20 million to launch the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation (DCTI) at MIT.[13]
In December 2010, the Deshpandes gave a $5 million pilot grant to start the Merrimack Valley Sandbox (later renamed to Entrepreneurship for All) in Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Since its inception, Entrepreneurship for All has helped thousands of entrepreneurs launch ventures which, in turn, improves the social and economic well-being of gateway cities in Massachusetts and beyond.
In September 2011, the Deshpande Foundation gave $2.5 million to the University of New Brunswick to launch the Pond-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PDC). Along with a $2.5 million gift from serial tech entrepreneur Gerry Pond, the PDC was tasked with the mandate of catalyzing more entrepreneurial activity in the province of New Brunswick both traditional market driven entrepreneurship and social mission driven entrepreneurship. Since its inception, the Pond-Deshpande Centre has worked with hundreds of emerging entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada through early stage innovation grants, mentorship, new venture acceleration and the hosting of multiple conferences bringing thought leaders together from across North America.
Deshpande is also the Chairman of Akshaya Patra USA.[14]
Awards and honors Edit In 2013 he received the IEEE Ernst Weber Managerial Leadership Award.
Personal life Edit He is married to Jaishree Deshpande n(C)e Kulkarni, who is the sister of Sudha Murthy (wife of Infosys founder Narayan Murthy) and Caltech astrophysicist Shrinivas Kulkarni. She is the co-founder of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT. The couple have two children and live in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. They also maintain a residence in their native Hubli, India.[4][11]
References Edit External links Edit Board members at Sycamore Networks
Deshpande Foundation - Wikipedia
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 03:19
Deshpande Foundation is a non-governmental organization founded in 1996 in the US by Dr. Gururaj (Desh) and Jaishree Deshpande to accelerate the creation of sustainable and scalable enterprises that have significant social and economic impact. Foundation has embarked on large-scale projects in the United States and India such as :
Entrepreneurship for All.The Hubli Sandbox in Hubli, Karnataka, India.The Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in Hubli, Karnataka.[1]The MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation in Boston, Massachusetts.[2]The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), in both the US and across India.[3]The Indo US Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE).Deshpande FoundationFormation1996TypeNon-governmental organizationPurposePromoting entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for change.Headquarters92 Montvale Ave, Suite 2500 Stoneham, MA 02180Region served
United States, India.President of Foundation
Gururaj (Desh) and Jaishree Deshpande.WebsiteDeshpande FoundationThe foundation runs numerous programs in its Indian wing. Few of them are listed below.
LEAD - LEADer's Accelerating Development Program. - Offers students an opportunity to make a change in their world. Program works with students who have big ideas for a better India, and wants them to see that vision transform into reality.Deshpande Fellowship Program.[5]Deshpande Education trust - nurtures innovative ideas and inspires entrepreneurial acumen in youth.[6]Master of Social Entrepreneurship - a two-year residential program affiliated with Karnatak University Dharwad.[7]References Edit External links Edit Official site: deshpandefoundationindia.org .
53 Dead in Gibraltar in 10 Days After Experimental Pfizer mRNA COVID Injections Started
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 17:47
by Brian ShilhavyEditor, Health Impact News
Gibraltar is a British Colony at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula attached to the country of Spain. It's population is just over 30,000 people, and it is best known for its huge ''rock,'' the ''Rock of Gibraltar.''
I have been contacted by residents in Gibraltar stating that 53 people have died in 10 days immediately following the roll out of injections of the Pfizer mRNA COVID injections, and calling it a ''massacre.''
Local media reports confirm the deaths, but blame them on COVID, and not the COVID injections.
However, prior to the roll out of the injections, it is reported that only 16 people in total died ''from COVID'' since the beginning of the ''pandemic'' about a year ago.
A Kevin Rushworth reported:
Tiny Gibraltar Shines Huge Light on Vaccine Deaths
Ever since the epidemic began, sorting genuine Covid deaths from others has been a major issue. Now we have the added problem of vaccines in the mix. The UK now allegedly has the highest daily ''Covid death'' rate ever. Even higher than the ''First Wave,'' in spite of the substantial degree of herd immunity that has inevitably accrued since the beginning. This atypical ''Second Wave'' coincides with the vaccine roll-out. Are the two connected?
Gibraltar, normally called simply ''Gib,'' provides a very clear picture. This tiny British Colony, barely three miles long, appended to the South coast of Spain, has only 32,000 residents. It had suffered relatively little from the epidemic before the 9th January this year, with only seventeen deaths for the whole period. The death rate was well down the Deaths per Million League Table. This was not due to isolation, since Spanish workers have continued to pour into Gib every morning, and back out every evening.
Since the 9th January ''Covid deaths'' per million have rocketed to Third Place on the Worldometer site. Thirty-six more deaths in little over a week. What changed on the Ninth? The RAF flew in nearly 6,000 Pfizer vaccines, cooled to -70C by dry ice. They were put to use quickly to avoid the risk of degradation. Tiny Gibraltar is like a petri dish; in no other place has there been such a brutally clear relationship between vaccine roll-out and increased ''Covid deaths.'' Local media and Government have not even referred to the obvious connection. And media elsewhere has conveniently not noticed. Yet failing to recognise that these deaths demand, at the very least, immediate investigation, requires a criminal failure of judgement.
I cannot find the original source of this quote, but local media reports seem to confirm that the deaths occurred after the experimental Pfizer mRNA injection program started.
13 people died the first weekend, most of them elderly, and 27 the first week, as per local media sources.
From The Gibraltar Chronicle on January 17, 2021:
Gibraltar recorded another 13 Covid-related deaths over a ''devastating'' weekend that drove the death toll to 43 since the start of the pandemic.
During the past week alone, 27 people have passed away either as a direct result of the virus or while infected with it.
Nine Covid-related deaths were recorded on Sunday, the worst in a single day since the public health crisis almost a year ago.
The stark data was confirmed by the Gibraltar Government in its latest Covid update on Sunday, as Chief Minister Fabian Picardo confirmed he would address the community in a live press conference from No.6 Convent Place at 4pm on Monday.
Mr Picardo described the latest developments as ''harrowing'', adding he himself lost a relative and friends in recent days.
All but three of those who died this weekend were in the care of the Elderly Residential Services, where there were still 130 active cases of Covid-19 on Sunday.
Those who died included six women and four men, the youngest in their early 70s, the eldest in their late 90s. All were recorded as being deaths from Covid-19.
Two men and woman who were not in the care of ERS also died this weekend from complications arising from Covid-19, including a man in his late 60s.
The first batch of the experimental Pfizer mRNA COVID injections were delivered by the military on January 9th, according to the UK Defense Journal:
A British A400M Atlas transport aircraft has delivered the first doses of the Pfizer COVID19 vaccine to Gibraltar.
According to a statement from the Government of Gibraltar:
''Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar is delighted to announce that the first delivery of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday 9 January 2021. Upon arrival, the vaccine will be immediately be taken directly to dedicated freezers in the basement of St Bernard's Hospital and kept at -75 degrees centigrade.
This first delivery is being provided to Gibraltar by the UK Government as part of its programme to supply the Overseas Territories, as such the methodology of delivery is the same as it is in the UK.
A 5850 doses of the vaccine will be received in this first delivery. The second delivery of the vaccine is expected by the end of January. The aim to have vaccinated all over 70s with at least one dose by mid February, assuming that the vaccines arrive as planned.''
The vaccination programme for the public in Gibraltar will commence on Monday 11th January and will be at the former Primary Care Centre at the ICC.
Expatica.com reported that the injections started on January 9th, and that by Sunday night January 10th, 5,847 doses had been administered.
Gibraltar began rolling out its vaccination programme on January 9 using the Pfizer vaccine and by Sunday night had administered 5,847 doses '-- covering around 17 percent of the population. (Full Article.)
The Government of Gibraltar reported that as of January 10th, just one day after the injections started, 4 people immediately died:
It is with deep regret that the Government confirms the deaths of four residents of Gibraltar from COVID-19. This brings the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 in Gibraltar to 16.
The first was a male resident of Elderly Residential Services, aged 90 '' 95 years old, who died last night of COVID-19 pneumonia with septicemia. This will be recorded in today's statistics as a death from COVID-19.
The second was a man, aged 70 '' 75 years old, who was also a cancer patient at the time of their death. The patient died today of COVID-19 pneumonitis. This will be recorded in today's statistics as a death from COVID-19.
The third was a female resident of Elderly Residential Services, aged 90 '' 95 years old, who died today from septicemia due to COVID-19. This will be recorded in today's statistics as a death from COVID-19.
The fourth was a woman aged 95 '' 100 years old, who died today of COVID-19 pneumonitis. This will be recorded in today's statistics as a death from COVID-19.
Instead of immediately halting the COVID ''vaccination'' program, The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, stated that the ''vaccines'' brought ''genuine relief and hope for a brighter tomorrow.''
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: 'I am extremely saddened by today's news of the loss of four members of our community to COVID-19. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of the deceased.
'The poignancy of their deaths on the same day as Gibraltar's vaccination programme has begun is particularly painful.
'We are not out of the woods yet. The rollout of the vaccine brings us genuine relief and hope for a brighter tomorrow. But until we can vaccinate everyone, the best way to protect your loved ones is to stay at home. Remember also that it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to begin to offer protection against COVID-19, so even when you are vaccinated you should still take the greatest of care.
'That means, for now, continuing to stay at home, wearing a mask if you do have to go out for essential reasons and washing your hands well and often.
'I urge everyone to register their interest to receive the vaccine using the GHA's dedicated online form, available at https://www.gha.gi/covid-19-vaccination-interest-form/. I already have done, and eagerly await my turn in line. For now, we will rightly focus on protecting our most vulnerable and our valued frontline workers, whose continued tireless efforts have brought us to this point where we can look to the future with hope.' (Source.)
Yes, ''massacre'' is the correct term here, and another government official seemingly guilty of mass murder.
Do you see the pattern developing here? Inject the elderly first, watch them die by lethal injection, and then blame it on the virus, while encouraging everyone else to get the ''vaccine'' to protect themselves.
The sad thing is that, this is actually working. People are not resisting. Crowds are not rising up to protect the helpless, and imprison the murderous tyrants.
They're obeying their government by being ''good citizens'' and wearing their masks, practicing social distancing, and staying home '' just as they're told to do.
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, ''But we knew nothing about this,'' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done? (Proverbs 24:11-12)
See Also:
Doctors Around the World Issue Dire WARNING: DO NOT GET THE COVID VACCINE!!
53 Dead in Gibraltar in 10 Days After Experimental Pfizer mRNA COVID Injections Started
181 Dead in the U.S. During 2 Week Period From Experimental COVID Injections '' How Long Will We Continue to Allow Mass Murder by Lethal Injection?
Baseball Legend Hank Aaron Dead After Receiving the Experimental Moderna mRNA COVID Injection
10 Dead with 51 Severe Side-Effects Among Germany's Elderly after Experimental Pfizer COVID Injections
55 Americans Have Died Following mRNA COVID Injections as Norway Death Toll Rises To 29
23 Seniors Have Died in Norway After Receiving the Pfizer Experimental COVID mRNA Injection
Louisiana Woman Convulses Uncontrollably after Being Injected with the Experimental Pfizer COVID Shot '' ''I can't stand to see my mom this way it makes me want to cry knowing I can't do anything to help her.''24 Dead and 137 Infected at NY Nursing Home After Experimental COVID Injections
''Very Healthy 56-Year-Old'' Miami Obstetrician Dies after Being Injected with the Experimental Pfizer COVID Vaccine
''Perfectly Healthy'' 41-year-old Pediatric Assistant Dies Suddenly After Injected with Experimental Pfizer COVID Vaccine
4 People Died and 240 Got COVID19 in Israel After Being Injected with Pfizer Experimental mRNA Vaccine
Is the Tennessee Nurse Who Passed Out on Live Camera After the COVID Vaccine Still Alive?
32-Year-Old Mexican Doctor Suffers Seizures and is Paralyzed After Receiving the Pfizer Experimental Vaccine
27-Year-Old Canadian Healthcare Worker Faints and Suffers Multiple Seizures After Pfizer Experimental COVID Vaccine
More Casualties Reported Among Healthcare Workers from Experimental Unapproved COVID Vaccines
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The Satanic Roots to Modern Medicine '' The Mark of the Beast?Published on January 24, 2021
SHOCKING: The Democrats' First Bill of 2021 Is to Lock In Fraudulent Elections Forever - The True Defender !
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:33
The fraud in this past election was massive, the worst ever in recorded history, but it is nothing when compared to what the Democrat (Communist) Party has in store for the future of the USA and the world.In their first act, this Congress led by true communists apparently, is ready to pass a bill allowing all future elections in the USA to be run exactly the same as any communist regime in history.
Join The True Defender Telegram Chanel Here: https://t.me/TheTrueDefender
The Populist Press is reporting the first bill put together by this Pelosi-led Congress will eliminate free and fair elections forever. Fraud will be the mandate and Democrats, the kings of fraud, will win every election henceforth. The bill is labeled by the Communist Democrats '' ''For the People Act of 2021''.
Below are the key aspects of the bill as noted by the Populist Press:
Democrats introduce their first bill in the House: H.R.1 '' The bill that will destroy America. Nationwide mail-in voting, banning restrictions on ballot harvesting, banning voter ID, criminal voters,DC Statehood roadwork, it's all in here.
1) Internet-only registration with electronic signature submission.
''(a) Requiring Availability Of Internet For Online Registration.'--Each State, acting through the chief State election official, shall ensure that the following services are available to the public at any time on the official public websites of the appropriate State and local election officials in the State, in the same manner and subject to the same terms and conditions as the services provided by voter registration agencies under section 7(a):
''(1) Online application for voter registration.
2) Banning the requirement to provide a full SSN for voter registration.
SEC. 1005. PROHIBITING STATE FROM REQUIRING APPLICANTS TO PROVIDE MORE THAN LAST 4 DIGITS OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. (a) Form Included With Application For Motor Vehicle Driver's License.'--Section 5(c)(2)(B)(ii) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20504(c)(2)(B)(ii)) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the following: '', and to the extent that the application requires the applicant to provide a Social Security number, may not require the applicant to provide more than the last 4 digits of such number;''.
3) Nationwide 'Motor Voter' registration.
Dutch mayor warns the country is heading for 'civil war' after riots | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:20
Europe's battle against coronavirus entered a dangerous new phase this week as politicians pushed to tighten lockdown measures across the continent even after a weekend of rioting brought scenes of chaos to the Netherlands and Denmark amid warnings of 'civil war'.
France is due to decide whether to bring in a third national lockdown this week as Prime Minister Jean Castex warned the situation there is 'worrying', with Italy's top medic also calling for a month-long national shutdown.
That is despite John Jorritsma, mayor of Eindhoven which was hit by its worst riots in almost four decades at the weekend, warning 'we're on our way to civil war' after new nationwide curfew measures sparked public outcry.
Meanwhile hopes that vaccines might provide a quick way out of the crisis all-but faded after France's Pasteur Institute was forced to scrap a jab it had been developing with US drug-maker Merck because it doesn't work.
The news came as AstraZeneca - whose jab has yet to be approved by EU regulators - announced it was cutting vaccine supplies to the continent by up to 60 per cent because of problems with supply chains, thought to be due to under-production at a factory in Belgium.
Head of the EU executive Ursula von der Leyen had a call with the firm on Monday to 'remind them of their commitments', but EU President Charles Michel admitted that vaccinating 70 per cent of Europe's population - the figure theoretically needed to ensure herd immunity - by the end of summer as planned will now be 'difficult'.
Despite the violence, EU leaders were this week pushing to tighten restrictions further - with France and Italy both facing the prospect of more national shutdowns and the bloc recommending suspending all non-essential travel to infection hotspots
Europe's vaccine roll-out was already among the slowest in the world, but has been hit by further problems as France's Pasteur Institute mothballed its jab on Monday and AstraZeneca cut supplies to the bloc by 60 per cent due to 'supply issues'
John Jorritsma, mayor of Eidhoven which saw anti-lockdown riots at the weekend, said the country is 'on the path to civil war' as unrest grows over ever-tightening Covid lockdown measures
In other developments on the continent...
Police in the Netherlands warned of 'days or weeks of unrest' as a result of new curfew measures, imposed on the country for the first since it was occupied by the Nazis Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned rioters will be treated like 'criminals' while insisting '99 per cent' of the country supports curfew The EU recommended cutting off all-but essential travel to dozens of regions deemed to be among the continent's hotbeds of infection, including locations in Italy, Germany, France and Spain Italy and the European Union have suggested they could sue AstraZeneca for breach of contract after the company announced it would not meet its vaccine quotaMadrid announced its own curfew as Spain's case numbers continued to soar, with Valencia banning groups of more than two from meeting outsideSpain's health minister, Salvador Illa, stepped down amidst the pandemic to run in local elections in his home region of CataloniaEurope, which was initially praised for its tough response to Covid after most countries went into full lockdowns in March last year, has been hammered by a second wave that a mish-mash of measures has largely failed to control.
Those efforts have been complicated by the emergence of new and potentially more-infectious variants of the virus, including in the hard-hit UK, which is now back in full lockdown.
While many countries have announced new measures to try and bring infections down, case numbers have remained stubbornly high in countries such as France, Italy and Germany, causing hospitals to run out of space.
Meanwhile Spain and Portugal have both seen infections soar to record levels after a brief dip over the festive period, putting health services under strain.
The Netherlands, which had become one of Europe's worst-affected countries with its light-touch lockdown approach, has seen cases fall dramatically in January but remain well above the lows seen during the summer.
As a result and amid fears the UK variant could cause cases to spike, new measures designed to bring the toll down were announced last week, including a 9pm to 4.30am curfew - the country's first since World War Two.
The prompted protests in 10 cities on Sunday which turned violent, as protesters fought police, looted shops, and trashed police stations.
Authorities in Eindhoven announced on Monday that 62 people had been arrested and more are being sought, while officers in Amsterdam said 192 were arrested.
'It is unacceptable,' Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. 'This has nothing to do with protesting, this is criminal violence and that's how we'll treat it.'
'My city is crying, and so am I,' Eindhoven Mayor John Jorritsma told media Sunday night. In an emotional impromptu press conference, he called the rioters 'the scum of the earth' and added 'I am afraid that if we continue down this path, we're on our way to civil war.'
Hubert Bruls, mayor of the city of Nijmegen and leader of a group of local security organizations, added: 'These demonstrations are being hijacked by people who only want one thing and that is to riot.'
In France, where fears about the UK variant are also prevalent, new border controls came into force on Sunday amid fears that a third nationwide lockdown could be on the cards later this week.
A store has been damaged near the train station in Eindhoven, after a rally by several hundreds of people against the corona policy
The EU's vaccine roll-out is also in disarray after France's Pasteur Institute was forced to admit that its vaccine doesn't work and scrap the programme, even as AstraZeneca said supplies to the EU will have to be cut by 60 per cent
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal told the France 3 broadcaster that 'all scenarios are on the table', adding that 'the next few days will be decisive'.
Some doctors meanwhile said that a lockdown was all but inevitable.
'We moving towards a lockdown,' said Denis Malvy, a member of France's Scientific Council and head of the infectious diseases department in a Bordeaux hospital.
In Italy, Professor Walter Ricciardi - adviser to the Minister of Health - used an appearance on radio to call for another four-week national shutdown, saying it is necessary to bring cases down.
Warning the Italy's current measures will be enough to flatten the number of cases but not decrease them, he added: 'We need a real lockdown of three or four weeks then resume tracing and testing, only in this way can we recover a normality that we lack.'
Meanwhile the EU recommended cutting off all-but essential travel to areas deemed to be infection hotspots with 500 or more cases per 100,000 people, and was due to publish a map later this week outlining where they are.
EU Justice commissioner Didier Reynders said that between 10 and 20 EU countries would see all or part of their territory deemed to be a high-infection zone if the map was published today.
'We also think it is necessary for essential travelers arriving from [those] areas to get tested before traveling and to undergo quarantine, unless these measures would have a disproportionate impact on the exercise of their essential function,' Reynders said.
Europe continues to be the world's worst-hit region with coronavirus, having suffered both more cases and more deaths than any other continent.
Since the start of the pandemic, some 29million cases of the virus have been logged in Europe compared to 28.6million in North America - the second-worst affected.
Meanwhile deaths in Europe are now at a combined total of 660,000 - well above second place North America with 600,000.
Europe remains the world's hardest-hit continent with the virus, having suffered some 29million cases and 660,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, worse than any other region (file image)
Sweden Passes Law Forcing Migrants To Learn Swedish Before Becoming Citizens : AWM
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:14
After years of liberal immigration policies, Sweden has a plan to make it harder for immigrants to become citizens. Now, a new proposal suggests that migrants to Sweden will need to learn Swedish if they hope to become a citizen of the country. Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson believes that the country's long-standing liberal tradition of immigration needs to find ''a better balance between rights and responsibilities'' for people who are seeking citizenship in Sweden.
Since 2015, Sweden has had an open-door policy for migrants seeking a better life. However, as migrants flooded Europe from various countries with poor conditions, Sweden experienced an uptick in gang violence, sex crimes, bombings, and deadly shootings that have been starkly absent from the country for years now.
As crime rates increased in Sweden, conservative anti-immigration parties have grown louder and demanded change from the Swedish Social Democratic Party. By including stricter policies to allow migrants to gain citizenship, Swedish politicians hope that they will be able to slow the spread of violence and unrest in the country.
Now, foreign nationals seeking citizenship in Sweden will need to prove their ability to speak, listen, read, and write in order to become a citizen of the Scandinavian country of Sweden. These tests cost migrants hard-earned money. The language tests amount to more than $200, while the civil component of the citizenship tests cost more than $50.
Applicants can also gain citizenship by passing Grade 9 in a Swedish high school. The new policy will apply to citizenship seekers who are between the ages of sixteen and sixty-six.
Minister Johansson said that ''Language is the key to work, but also the key to society.''
But what about people who cannot pass the difficult Swedish tests? According to one report, disabled, illiterate, and stateless people will not be held to the same standards as everyone else. Instead, they will need to show proof that they tried their best to pass the various tests and explain why they were unsuccessful in doing so.
Erik Nord, Gothenburg's chief of police, told MailOnline: ''These criminal clans have a completely different culture that makes them very difficult to tackle with normal police methods. We need more police, and our courts and prisons need to be reinforced to deal with this situation urgently. Otherwise, we will turn into a gangsters' paradise.''
Readers of Daily Mail applauded Sweden's decision to curb immigration by making it harder for migrants to become Swedish citizens.
''Well done, Sweden. Learn from the mistakes of the UK and liberal lefties who have made decisions which see immigrants living in the UK that have NEVER learned to speak English, and that means when they need medical treatment or anything legal, we have to pay for their translators.''
''Swedish language courses are free for newcomers in Sweden. They also get a daily allowance to attend, so there is no reason not to learn, and yet some have not learned the language after 15 years.''
''Good. It should be like this in every country!''
What do you think about this decision?
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UPDATE: Twitter permanently bans My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell | KSTP.com
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:02
Photo: Twitter.
The Associated Press Updated: January 26, 2021 05:36 AMCreated: January 25, 2021 10:41 PM
Twitter has permanently banned My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell's account after he continued to perpetuate the baseless claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Twitter decided to ban Lindell, who founded bedding company My Pillow, due to ''repeated violations'' of its civic integrity policy, a spokesperson said in a statement. The policy was implemented last September and is targeted at fighting disinformation.
Opinion | Why is it so hard to deprogram Trumpian conspiracy theorists? - The Washington Post
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 15:57
For the past four years, the United States was governed by a conspiracy theorist in chief. Whether by retweeting QAnon accounts from the Oval Office or painting himself as the victim of shadowy ''deep state'' plots at rallies, President Donald Trump injected the toxin of baseless conspiratorial thinking straight into America's political bloodstream. On Jan. 6, America saw how far that venom had spread, as a ragtag group of militias, racist extremists and flag-waving disciples of Trumpism stormed the Capitol.
The insurrectionists were unified by their support for Trump. But many of them shared another crucial trait: They were conspiracy theorists. And while hundreds of people stormed the Capitol, there are millions of Americans who share their views. There is no doubt: The United States has a serious problem with pathological political delusions.
So, do we have any hope of deprogramming the millions of Americans who are devoted to dangerous lunacy? Don't hold your breath.
Psychologists and political scientists have been interested in conspiracy theories for decades, but their research has taken on new urgency. And what is clear from their findings is this: Once people have gone far enough down the rabbit hole of conspiratorial thinking, it can be nearly impossible to get them back out.
There are a few reasons conspiracy theories are so ''sticky'' once they're in someone's head. First, conspiracy theorists are far more likely to have a Manichaean worldview, meaning they interpret everything as a battle between good and evil. That makes it harder for dispassionate evidence-based arguments to break through. (For QAnon believers, Trump is the central superhero in an epic saga to vanquish a shadowy cabal.)
Second, those who seek to debunk conspiracy theories are precisely the people that true believers distrust. If someone believes the media is controlled by sinister but unseen puppet masters, fact checks from CNN will never convince them they're wrong.
For the past four years, those who have worked hardest to dispel QAnon believers of their fantasies are the very people that ''Anons'' trust least: anti-Trump academics like me, news outlets such as The Post and politicians who they believe to be co-opted by the ''deep state.'' Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler have documented the risks of a backfire effect, in which correcting misperceptions actually ends up entrenching them. In the world of conspiratorial thinking, the harder the pushback, the greater the proof that a coverup is afoot.
Third, these organized mass delusions are designed to resist debunking. When Armageddon fails to materialize on a precise date predicted by a cult leader, believers often chalk it up to miscalculation and simply pick a new date. The same is often true for conspiracy theories. When Trump failed to fulfill the QAnon prophecy of arresting Joe Biden and staying in power, some believers began suggesting that Biden was secretly in on the plan. No matter what happens, there's always another explanation.
Chris French, a professor who heads the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, recently told me that conspiracy theorists often even believe mutually contradictory claims. For example, those who believe that Princess Diana faked her own death often simultaneously believe that she was killed by the government. ''They can't both be true,'' French said.
But while political science and psychology have effectively demonstrated the cognitive biases that cause such deranged beliefs to stick, there's a crucial dimension that isn't getting enough attention. Conspiracy theories, for too many people, are fun. That's particularly true because groups such as QAnon have developed into robust online communities in which believers forge digital friendships. Our mental image of tinfoil-hat-wearing loners isolated in dark basements is outdated. Modern conspiracy movements such as QAnon, are thriving in church groups and yoga classes. They're social. And that means that deprogramming is that much harder.
In 1995, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam wrote an essay called ''Bowling Alone,'' in which he argued that Americans were becoming atomized. Bowling leagues were disappearing even as more people were bowling. And that reflected a deeper fracturing of American society.
Today, with the rise of social media, one can be alone but feel part of a group '-- and some of those groups are glued together by unhinged beliefs. Bowling alone has been replaced by tweeting together '-- a cardboard cutout for real social interaction, but one that has a seductive allure to millions of people. Many of the fanatics who stormed the Capitol were neither poor nor social misfits, but rather had found a digital community to augment or replace their offline one.
We can no longer pretend that conspiracy theorists are beneath our attention. They've shown they have tremendous capacity to inflict damage on society. Bringing the deluded people who populate Trump's political base back to reality will be difficult. But to find the right antidote, we need to at least accurately diagnose who has taken the poison. And that means acknowledging that those who sympathize with the Capitol insurrectionists are not far-off lunatics. Some, most likely, are your neighbors.
And, given the staying power of conspiratorial thinking, they aren't likely to change their minds anytime soon.
How do conspiracy theories and racism move from the fringe to a political platform? The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has found the way. (The Washington Post)Read more:
Dana Milbank: Trump is gone, but Marjorie Taylor Greene is keeping up the cult
Paul Waldman: QAnon is mortally wounded. But the right's conspiracy theories will never die.
Max Boot: Republicans are becoming the QAnon Party
The Post's View: QAnon is a menace. Ignoring it isn't an option.
Dr. Anthony Fauci: The Highest Paid Employee In The Entire U.S. Federal Government
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 15:52
WASHINGTON, May 12, 2020 -- Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and ... [+] Infectious Diseases, speaks during a teleconference hearing hosted by a Senate panel on the White House's response to the coronavirus, in Washington D.C., the United States, May 12, 2020. Anthony Fauci, a top expert on infectious diseases in the United States, said on Tuesday that the nation has not had the ongoing coronavirus outbreak under "total control" yet.(Photo by Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Xinhua News Agency/Getty ImagesDr. Anthony Fauci made $417,608 in 2019, the latest year for which federal salaries are available. That made him not only the highest paid doctor in the federal government, but the highest paid out of all four million federal employees.
In fact, Dr. Fauci even made more than the $400,000 salary of the President of the United States. All salary data was collected by OpenTheBooks.com via Freedom of Information Act requests.
Only federal employees whose salaries were funded by taxpayers were included in the study. Therefore, Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Jeffrey Lyash'-- whose salary is paid by revenues of the corporation (owned by the federal government) '-- was not included.
$2.5 million. That's how much Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and current Chief Medical Advisor to the President, will make in salary from 2019 through 2024, if he stays in his post through the end of the current Administration, and doesn't (or didn't already) get a raise.
In a ten-year period between 2010 and 2019, Fauci made $3.6 million in salary. Since 2014, Fauci's pay increased from $335,000 to the current $417,608.
In an August 13, 2020 Instagram interview with actor Matthew McConaughey, Dr. Fauci was asked (at point 16:49) if he had millions of dollars invested in the vaccines. Dr. Fauci laughed and answered, ''Matthew, no, I got zero! I am a government worker. I have a government salary.'' He didn't mention his $417,608 salary was the largest in the entire federal government.
Dr. Fauci became the early face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, appearing daily, often in a live broadcast, to update the nation on the emerging COVID-19 disease. In March 2020, he convinced President Donald Trump on the 15-day lockdown policy to try and flatten the curve, and reportedly advocated on March 29, 2020, for extending the policy beyond its initial 15 days.
Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the Taskforce might have outranked Dr. Fauci in authority, but the VP's $235,100 salary in 2019, was less than the well-paid NIH director with whom he shared the stage.
Their Taskforce colleague Dr. Deborah Birx earned $305,972 in 2019, also less than Dr. Fauci's salary.
In comparison to Dr. Fauci: Speaker Nancy Pelosi will earn $223,500 this year. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will make $270,700, and Members in the House of Representatives and Senators will make $174,000. Four-star military generals outrank, but still fall below Dr. Fauci at $268,000 a year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist Dr. Stephen Lindstrom in charge of overseeing the CDC COVID-19 testing system, a system whose early roll-out failure set the U.S. testing system back several crucial weeks, made $108,747 in basic pay, an additional $23,533 in adjusted pay, and received an ''award'' of $750 in 2019.
The 80-year-old Dr. Fauci holds a medical degree from Cornell University and began his 53-year career at NIH in 1968. He assumed his NIAID Director position in 1984 and has advised every president since President Ronald Reagan, though he serves directly under the NIH Director Francis Collins. Known as the nation's top infectious disease expert, he qualifies for a full federal pension and social security under pre 1984 federal pension reform rules.
The Executive Branch includes 2.1 million federal agency employees, 1.4 million members of the military, and 500,000 postal employees. Federal employee salaries are generally capped at level IV of the Executive Schedule, which was $172,500 in 2019.
However, there are exceptions, as Dr. Fauci's salary demonstrates. The exception exists to make federal salaries for doctors and scientists more competitive with the private-sector.
In our data at OpenTheBooks.com, there are three doctors, all working for HHS, who out-earn the U.S. President with 2019 incomes ranging from $406,000 to $417,000.
Critics and lifetime achievements
On October 19, 2020, President Trump called Dr. Fauci ''a disaster,'' though his criticism appeared to be unrelated to the doctor's salary.
In 2008, President George W. Bush honored Dr. Anthony Fauci with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor.
Dr. Fauci is the 32nd-most highly cited living researcher according to an analysis of Google Scholar citations. Polling has shown he's the most trusted public figure in the U.S. for information on the pandemic and reliable information on Covid-19 vaccines.
Chuck Schumer warns of 'huge anger' brewing over Mitch McConnell's latest stunt - Alternet.org
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 14:59
"Linking Together: March to Save Our Care" Rally at the U.S. Capitol on June 28, 2017. Democratic Party Leaders and others spoke to defend the Affordable Care Act and to defeat Republican Party efforts to repeal so called "Obama Care" and replace it with "Trump Care" alternatives. Mobilus In Mobili / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expressing Democrats' "huge anger" at Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday night, just minutes before Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was to transmit the Article of Impeachment against former President Donald Trump.
"All I can tell you is we are not letting Mitch McConnell dictate how the Senate runs or what we do," Schumer reportedly said, in response to a question from Punchbowl News about going "nuclear" and eliminating the filibuster in the Senate. "I will tell you this. There's huge anger in my caucus about what he's done."
Grassroots Democrats, including liberals and progressives, are increasingly demanding Leader Schumer eliminate the filibuster, a Jim Crow-era holdover that was implemented to prevent civil rights legislation from passing.
McConnell has yet to agree to an organizing resolution (also known as a power-sharing agreement) and may force Schumer to "go nuclear." An organizing resolution determines how many seats on each committee each party is allowed, and who is allowed to chair them.
The Senate has a 50-50 split, and Democrats hold the majority only because Vice President Kamala Harris, who constitutionally serves as the Senate president, can break ties for Democrats.
Senate Democrats have never forgiven McConnell for what they see as the theft of the Supreme Court seat that then-President Barack Obama constitutionally had the right to fill. McConnell then rushed to fill the seat left open by the passing of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
McConnell has also killed almost every piece of legislation passed by the Democratically-controlled House, and even nicknamed himself the "Grim Reaper," while pushing through hundreds of often unqualified, far right wing judges under President Trump.
Grapperhaus: snelrecht tegen relschoppers, avondklok blijft | NOS
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 14:46
De politie en de Koninklijke Marechaussee treden keihard op tegen mensen die de afgelopen avonden hebben meegedaan aan de rellen, zegt minister Grapperhaus. Zij vallen onder het snelrecht en de inzet is dat zij een onvoorwaardelijke gevangenisstraf krijgen. Daarnaast moeten ze betalen voor de schade die ze hebben aangericht. "Dit heeft niets met corona te maken, dit is misdadig", stelt hij.
De overheid staat niet machteloos, zegt de minister van Justitie en Veiligheid. Dat blijkt volgens hem onder meer uit de hoeveelheid aanhoudingen die er zijn verricht. "We zijn paraat en we gaan er keihard tegenin."
Hij waarschuwt de relschoppers dat ze zo snel mogelijk voor de rechter komen en niet wegkomen met een boete van 95 euro, die voor het overtreden van de avondklok geldt. "Deze mensen vallen in een heel andere categorie, namelijk die van het strafrecht."
Avondklok blijftVoor het kabinet zijn de rellen, die zaterdagavond na de invoering van de avondklok begonnen, geen aanleiding om deze coronamaatregel terug te draaien. "We gaan niet capituleren voor een paar idioten", zei minister Hoekstra vanmorgen voor aanvang van een overleg in de ministerile coronacommissie met onder anderen de politie.
Grapperhaus is het daarmee eens. "Kennelijk vinden kleine groepen het nodig om te gaan rellen", zegt hij. "Maar dat komt niet door het coronabeleid, want daar hoef je geen winkel voor te plunderen. Negentig procent van de mensen werkt wel mee aan de maatregelen."
Grapperhaus: 'We hebben die avondklok nodig'
Biden Proposes $200 Gun Tax and Firearm Buyback Program Along with 13 page Form that Asks for Fingerprints and Photograph
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 22:16
During the 2020 campaign, Joe Biden announced he will force gun owners of ''assault weapons'' to either sell their weapons to the government or register them under the National Firearms Act.
According to Joe Biden's plan in order to register a firearm, you have to fill out a complicated 13-page application form and include a $200 gun tax for each firearm you own.
Your fingerprints and a photograph of yourself will be required on the form.
This will be a difficult program to enact for the Biden regime. In 2020 a record number of Americans bought guns. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation 8.4 million people bought a gun for the first time in 2020.
TRENDING: At Least One Third of the Nation Believes Joe Biden Stole the Election - Unchanged from December
Townhall reported:
Joe Biden would force semiautomatic rifle owners to either participate in a gun buyback program, or register their firearm under the National Firearms Act, which requires the payment of a $200 tax. This would extend to AR-15s and other common household rifles. Those who do not comply would face up to 10 years in federal prison, and a potential $10,000 fine.
This is yet another violation of Joe Biden's pledge against any tax increase on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. In fact, it would hit working class Americans the hardest.
As detailed on Biden's campaign website, this proposal would give semiautomatic rifle and high capacity magazine owners two choices: participating in a gun buyback program or registering said guns and magazines under the National Firearms Act. This triggers the $200 tax for each gun and magazine registered.
In order to register a firearm (or a magazine, under Joe Biden's plan), you have to send in a 13-page, complicated application form with the $200 tax included, your fingerprints, and a photograph of yourself. In this way, the hurdles to legally own your weapon or high-capacity magazine go far beyond the expensive tax.
Bitcoin Mining and Blackouts Add to Anti-Chinese Sentiments in Iran '' The Diplomat
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 21:17
China Power | Society | East Asia Amid energy shortages in Iran, Iranians are pointing the finger at Chinese-run bitcoin mining operations.
Credit: Pixabay AdvertisementSome Iranians do not seem to be very keen on China and its nationals. There are a wide range of possible reasons, from the cheap and mostly low-quality Chinese products once imported to Iran and their devastating impact on the businesses of local Iranian producers to the Chinese fishing trawlers ruining the livelihoods of local fishermen in southern Iran.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which originally broke out in China, was the last nail in the coffin, and increased unfavorable views of China to historic highs in Iran, as in almost all other parts of the world. But few people would have guessed the latest reason for Sinophobia in Iran: bitcoin.
In recent weeks, Iranian power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oil to generate power because a sharp rise in the country's domestic consumption has led to natural gas shortages. This severely increased air pollution in Tehran and other megacities, increasing public anger toward the government.
Several plants were later shut down after the government ordered a temporary ban on the use of low-grade fuel oil after pollution increased to ''dangerous'' levels. However, that resulted in blackouts in various cities, including Tehran.
Diplomat BriefWeekly NewsletterNGet briefed on the story of the week, and developing stories to watch across the Asia-Pacific.
Get the Newsletter Already suffering from economic woes and price hikes caused by the U.S. sanctions and government mismanagement, the COVID-19 pandemic, the severe air pollution, and now the blackouts, many people were outraged to learn that the Chinese are supposedly ''devouring'' the country's electricity in their bitcoin mining farms, especially a big one in the city of Rafsanjan in Kerman province, southeast of Iran. Bitcoin mining is the process of verifying bitcoin transactions for the reward of the cryptocurrency '' it requires a large amount of computing power, and thus electricity.
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''Social media do their job. [Now] the majority of people are informed that the blackouts are caused by China's bitcoin mining,'' an Iranian user said on Twitter, posting her tweet with the hashtag #ChinaLiedMillionsDied.
The anti-Chinese sentiments gradually reached boiling point, and many Iranians took to social media to angrily criticize the government for its failure to meet the people's basic need for electricity while ''giving away'' the country's power to Beijing.
''When we said we are China's colony, some people felt offended. Now you can see all these bitcoin mining farms. Because of that, you neither have power nor business,'' a user tweeted, using the hashtag #Communist_China.
Advertisement''We thought Iran is no longer an 'orphanage'. Now the Chinese are using Iran's electricity to mine bitcoin, and have literally destroyed our local fishing in the Persian Gulf with their fishing trawlers. Those who once wore shrouds to protest against capitulation have now gifted the country to China,'' Iranian political commentator Ehsan Soltani said in a tweet, which he posted along with a video of the Chinese mining farms in Iran.
''China comes to Iran to mine bitcoin, each of which is worth $40,000; then we [Iranians] have to wear warm clothes in a dark house while we are breathing mazut (fuel oil). Isn't that beautiful?'' said a user on Twitter, complaining about the severe air pollution in Iranian megacities, which has been mainly caused by the use of low-quality fuel oil in power plants.
Another user sarcastically pointed to the Iranian government's call for less energy consumption in both cold and hot seasons, writing, ''Consume less electricity in winter so that our Chinese Communist brothers would be able to mine bitcoin, and consume less electricity in summer so that our Iraqi brothers would experience no power cuts. Apparently only we Iranians are redundant in Iran.''
''There's a power cut in our company now, and '... because of China's damn bitcoin mining I'll have to work extra hours today,'' said another user.
A user even went beyond that and expressed his anti-Chinese sentiments with a racist tweet: ''I don't care if I'm called a racist. But now I hate any person with monolid eyes, and I'm going to support hatemongering against them as far as I can.''
Majid-Reza Hariri, the head of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce, believes the rumors about the power shortage are being spread by those who are against the expansion of Tehran-Beijing trade relations and use any challenge and incident to blame China for Iran's problems.
''It's far from reality that certain groups try to point the fingers at China whenever something happens in Iran by launching massive campaigns. When people are experiencing blackouts, and suddenly a strange video is released of the infrastructure of a Chinese company to make a fuss about the issue, it shows that a particular group is trying to deal a blow to these bilateral collaborations,'' Hariri told the semi-official news agency ISNA.
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He said the Chinese miners have obtained all the official permissions and licenses and are indeed importing Iranian electricity. ''Giving power to bitcoin mining farms is a form of electricity export, as the government is charging [the Chinese] based on international rates, earning an acceptable profit from this cooperation.''
The photo of a power bill with an extremely huge price tag, issued for a customer named ''Iran and China Investment Company,'' has gone viral in recent days. The power bill, which apparently belongs to the Rafsanjan mining farm operated by the Chinese, indicates that the miners have used 58,615,905 kWh of electricity in one month, for which they have to pay over 270 billion rials (some $1.2 million).
The revenues seem to be life-saving for the Iranian government whose exports have been severely hit by the U.S. sanctions. However, charity begins at home, or as a similar Iranian proverb says, you should ''never kill the lights at home to light up the mosque.''
AdvertisementFaced with widespread protests, especially on social media, the government finally announced on January 14 that it has halted its supply of electricity to all cryptocurrency mining farms, including the ones operated by the Chinese, for two weeks in a bid to prevent further blackouts.
That has so far worked, and Iranians have not experienced further power cuts. But were the blackouts really caused by the Chinese bitcoin mining in the first place?
Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi says the total power consumption of legal and illegal bitcoin mining farms across the country is estimated to be around 515 MW.
In the first full week of January, Iran's electricity consumption hit the record-high level of 40,000 MW. So the electricity used by the Chinese bitcoin farmers is a tiny fraction of the country's total power consumption, and does not seem to be significant at all.
The Iranian government appears to have calmed down the public dissatisfaction for now, but it must look for the real causes and driving forces of such anti-Chinese sentiments, especially considering its plans for long-term strategic cooperation with Beijing.
If the Islamic Republic wants its Sinophilic ''Look East'' strategy to work, it first needs to convince the frustrated population it rules over that the country's national interests would be better served through strategic ties with China, not Europe and the United States.
Reza Khaasteh is a Tehran-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter @Khaaasteh
Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 20:49
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- Vice President Kamala Harris broke the barrier that has kept men at the top ranks of American power for more than two centuries when she took the oath Wednesday to hold the nation's second-highest office.
Hours after she was sworn in as the first female U.S. vice president '-- and the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent in the role '-- she cast the moment as one that embodied ''American aspiration.''
''Even in dark times we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be,'' she said in brief remarks outside the Lincoln Memorial. ''We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.''
For Harris, the day was steeped in history and significance in more ways than one. She was escorted to the podium by Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, the officer who single-handedly took on a mob of Trump supporters as they tried to breach the Senate floor during the Capitol insurrection, and she was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color on the court, on a Bible that once belonged to former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. She wore a deep purple dress and coat created by two emerging Black designers.
Her rise is historic in any context, another moment when a stubborn boundary falls away, expanding the idea of what's possible in American politics. But it's particularly meaningful because Harris takes office at a moment when Americans are grappling over institutional racism and confronting a pandemic that has disproportionately devastated Black and brown communities.
Those close to Harris say she'll bring an important '-- and often missing '-- perspective to the debates on how to overcome the many hurdles facing the new administration.
''In many folks' lifetimes, we experienced a segregated United States,'' said Lateefah Simon, a civil rights advocate and longtime Harris friend and mentee. ''You will now have a Black woman who will walk into the White House not as a guest but as a second in command of the free world.''
Harris '-- the child of immigrants, a stepmother of two and the wife of a Jewish man '-- ''carries an intersectional story of so many Americans who are never seen and heard.''
Later during the procession to the vice presidential office building, she was led by her alma mater Howard University's marching band and walked while holding the hand of her grandniece and alongside her husband, stepchildren, sister, brother-in-law and nieces.
She then quickly got to work, presiding as Senate president for the first time to swear in three new Democratic senators: Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California, Harris' replacement.
Harris, 56, moves into the vice presidency just four years after she first came to Washington as a senator from California, where she'd served as attorney general and as San Francisco's district attorney. She had expected to work with a White House run by Hillary Clinton, but President Donald Trump's victory quickly scrambled the nation's capital and set the stage for the rise of a new class of Democratic stars. Her own presidential bid fizzled, but her rise continued when President Joe Biden chose her as his running mate.
Wednesday evening, she urged Americans to join Biden's call for ''the courage to see beyond crisis, to do what is hard, to do what is good.''
With Trump absent from the inauguration, Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, took on the symbolic duty of escorting former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, out of the Capitol. It's a gesture that would normally be performed by incoming and outgoing presidents.
To celebrate the historic day, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the nation's oldest sorority for Black women, which Harris joined at Howard University, declared Wednesday as Soror Kamala D. Harris Day. Members of the sorority watching the celebrations across the country were clad in pearls, as was Harris, and the sorority's pink and green colors.
''There is a pride I can't put into words,'' said Elizabeth Shelby, a member of the sorority's Alpha Psi chapter, who watched from her home in Nashville, Tennessee. ''It is such a joy to see her rise to this place in our country. It is such a joy to know that she is one of us, that she represents us.''
Biden, in his inaugural address, reflected on the 1913 march for women's suffrage the day before President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration, during which some marchers were heckled and attacked.
''Today, we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don't tell me things can't change,'' Biden said.
As vice president, Harris will expand the definition of who gets to hold power in American politics, said Martha S. Jones, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and the author of ''Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.''
People who want to understand Harris and connect with her will have to learn what it means to graduate from a historically Black college and university rather than an Ivy League school. They will have to understand Harris' traditions, like the Hindu celebration of Diwali, Jones said.
''Folks are going to have to adapt to her rather than her adapting to them,'' Jones said.
Her election to the vice presidency should be just the beginning of putting Black women in leadership positions, Jones said, particularly after the role Black women played in organizing and turning out voters in the November election.
''We will all learn what happens to the kind of capacities and insights of Black women in politics when those capacities and insights are permitted to lead,'' Jones said.
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Ronayne reported from Sacramento, California. Associated Press journalist Christine Fernando in Chicago contributed.
Moderna Vaccine Not Effective Against "Mutant" South African COVID Strain, But Works With UK Variant
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 15:22
Moderna's latest trial data includes some good news...and some bad news.
The good news is that the biotech company's original COVID jab is effective against two mutations of SARS-CoV-2 which were first isolated in the UK and South Africa, respectively.
The bad news is that, at least when it comes to the South African variant, Moderna's jab is much less effective than scientists had expected. That's a bad sign, because it suggests the vaccines might not perform as well, particularly in elderly patients, or that the immunity they provide might not last as long, as various strains of the virus continue to mutate.
However, perhaps due to the optimistic tone of the press release, investors took the news as a positive and bid Moderna shares higher.
Here's some more details from the FT:
Laboratory tests show Moderna's Covid-19 jab still works against the variant named 501.V2, which emerged in South Africa, and B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in the UK, the company said. But it warned that the neutralising antibody response to 501.V2 was sixfold lower than to the original variant, raising concerns that immunity to it may wane significantly, particularly in older people.
Moderna has launched a series of trials intended to test its vaccine's efficacy against several different mutant strains.
But don't worry, because even though Moderna's CEO acknowledges that this is an extremely serious situation and the company is preparing for the worst-case scenario, everything is going to be okay.
St(C)phane Bancel, Moderna CEO, said the company was preparing for a "worst-case scenario," even though he had ''zero concerns'' about the vaccine's efficacy in the coming months. ''If something needs to be done in the summer, we'll do something, but we cannot be late,'' he told the Financial Times. ''We don't want the virus to win, we want the human race to win.''
That doesn't exactly sound reassuring. As it turns out, Moderna is the first vaccine maker in the West to announce a trial for a booster against a new variant, after having its initial jab authorised across the world including in the US, the EU and the UK. Its messengerRNA technology can be quickly adapted for new variants.
The company is working with the US National Institutes of Health on the trials. Mr Bancel said a few thousand trial participants would be given a booster shot, divided into two groups: one to receive the original vaccine again, and another to get a new vaccine formulated to target 501.V2. The trial will also test to see what dose is needed for a booster.
Read the full press release below:
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 25, 2021-- Moderna Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, today announced results from in vitro neutralization studies of sera from individuals vaccinated with Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine showing activity against emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2. Vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine produced neutralizing titers against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, first identified in the UK and Republic of South Africa, respectively. The study showed no significant impact on neutralizing titers against the B.1.1.7 variant relative to prior variants. A six-fold reduction in neutralizing titers was observed with the B.1.351 variant relative to prior variants. Despite this reduction, neutralizing titer levels with B.1.351 remain above levels that are expected to be protective. This study was conducted in collaboration with the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The manuscript has been submitted as a preprint to bioRxiv and will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication.
The two-dose regimen of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at the 100 µg dose is expected to be protective against emerging strains detected to date. Nonetheless, Moderna today announced its clinical strategy to proactively address the pandemic as the virus continues to evolve. First, the Company will test an additional booster dose of its COVID-19 Vaccine (mRNA-1273) to study the ability to further increase neutralizing titers against emerging strains beyond the existing primary vaccination series. Second, the Company is advancing an emerging variant booster candidate (mRNA-1273.351) against the B.1.351 variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa. The Company is advancing mRNA-1273.351 into preclinical studies and a Phase 1 study in the U.S. to evaluate the immunological benefit of boosting with strain-specific spike proteins. Moderna expects that its mRNA-based booster vaccine (whether mRNA-1273 or mRNA-1273.351) will be able to further boost neutralizing titers in combination with all of the leading vaccine candidates.
''As we seek to defeat the COVID-19 virus, which has created a worldwide pandemic, we believe it is imperative to be proactive as the virus evolves. We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants,'' said St(C)phane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. ''Out of an abundance of caution and leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform, we are advancing an emerging variant booster candidate against the variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa into the clinic to determine if it will be more effective to boost titers against this and potentially future variants."
First detected in September 2020 in the United Kingdom, the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant has seventeen mutations in the viral genome with eight mutations located in the spike (S) protein. The B.1.351 variant, first detected in South Africa, has ten mutations located in the spike (S) protein. Both variants have spread at a rapid rate and are associated with increased transmission and a higher viral burden after infection1,2.
The in vitro study assessed the ability of mRNA-1273 to elicit potently neutralizing antibodies against the new SARS-CoV-2 variants, using sera from eight Phase 1 clinical trial participants (aged 18-55 years) who received two 100 µg doses of mRNA-1273, and separately using sera from non-human primates (NHPs) immunized with two doses of 30 µg or 100 µg of mRNA-1273.
For the B.1.1.7 variant, neutralizing antibody titers remained high and were generally consistent with neutralizing titers relative to prior variants. No significant impact on neutralization was observed from either the full set of mutations found in the B.1.1.7 variant or from specific key mutations of concern. Although these mutations have been reported to lessen neutralization from convalescent sera and to increase infectivity, sera from the Phase 1 participants and NHPs immunized with mRNA-1273 were able to neutralize the B.1.1.7 variant to the same level as prior variants.
For the B.1.351 variant, vaccination with the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine produces neutralizing antibody titers that remain above the neutralizing titers that were shown to protect NHPs against wildtype viral challenge. While the Company expects these levels of neutralizing antibodies to be protective, pseudovirus neutralizing antibody titers were approximately 6-fold lower relative to prior variants. These lower titers may suggest a potential risk of earlier waning of immunity to the new B.1.351 strains.
Son Tipped Off F.B.I. About His Father, Who Is Charged in Capitol Riot - The New York Times
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 13:56
''I put my emotions behind me to do what I thought was right,'' said Jackson Reffitt, who weeks before the siege alerted the F.B.I. that his father was planning ''something big.''
Jackson Reffitt contacted the F.B.I. about his father, Guy Reffitt. Credit... FOX4News.com Two days after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, Jackson Reffitt's father, Guy W. Reffitt, returned to the family's home in Texas. He told his son that he had stormed the Capitol, according to an F.B.I. affidavit.
Then his father leveled a threat: If Jackson, 18, reported him to the police, he would have no choice but to do his ''duty'' for his country and ''do what he had to do.''
In interviews with investigators, Jackson Reffitt said his father told him: ''If you turn me in, you're a traitor. And you know what happens to traitors. Traitors get shot.''
But he had already reported his father to the F.B.I. weeks before the riot.
''He would always tell me that he's going to do something big,'' the younger Mr. Reffitt said in a phone interview on Saturday. ''I assumed he was going to do something big, and I didn't know what.''
Guy Reffitt's wife told investigators after the riot that he was a member of the Three Percenters, a far-right militia group, according to the affidavit.
F.B.I. agents found an AR-15 rifle and a pistol at his home. The elder Mr. Reffitt told investigators that he had brought the pistol with him to Washington.
Jackson Reffitt said he learned that his father was headed to Washington the day before the riot but that he did not know what he would be doing there. He discovered what was happening when he saw images of rioters storming the Capitol on the news.
It was not clear what, if anything, the Federal Bureau of Investigation did after Mr. Reffitt first contacted the F.B.I. about his father. Federal investigators contacted him during the riots to follow up on his tip from weeks earlier, at which point, he said, he helped ''prove what they were trying to investigate.''
Mr. Reffitt said he had ''just wanted someone to know'' about his father's threats of ''doing something big.''
''I didn't know what he was going to do, so I just did anything possible just to be on the safe side,'' he added.
The elder Mr. Reffitt, who was arrested on Jan. 16, faces charges of obstruction of justice and of knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. He could not be reached on Sunday, and it was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer. The F.B.I. was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.
Mr. Reffitt said he was unsure if his father knew yet that he had reported him to the federal authorities.
''I am afraid for him to know,'' he said. ''Not for my life or anything, but for what he might think.'' But he said he was hopeful that his relationship with his father could be repaired.
''We'll get better over time,'' he said. ''I know we will.''
He said his mother and two sisters ''had no idea what I had done'' until they saw a CNN interview he did with Chris Cuomo.
After the interview gained traction online, Mr. Reffitt said on Twitter, ''Yes I'm the kid on cnn.''
The tweet garnered thousands of likes and retweets, and he said he was flooded with messages asking him to set up a GoFundMe, so he did.
''Every penny is another course in college or me saving it for years to come,'' he wrote on the crowdfunding platform. ''I might be kicked out of my house due to my involvement in my dad's case, so every cent might help me survive.''
Mr. Reffitt was not staying at his family's home, and he declined to say where he was for fear of his safety. He was using his girlfriend's phone because his family had disconnected his, he said.
He said he posted the GoFundMe page shortly before going to bed on Friday, expecting a few thousand dollars would be raised. When he woke up on Saturday, the page had raised more than $20,000.
As of Sunday afternoon, more than 1,800 donations were pledged, amounting to more than $58,000.
Mr. Reffitt is in his first semester studying political science at Collin College, a community college near his family's home in Wylie, Texas, a Dallas suburb. When asked if the money would cover the rest of his undergraduate education, he said: ''Oh man, you have no idea. I'm going to go on to a university now.''
As for others grappling with whether to come forward about someone they believe could be involved in something dangerous, ''you're not just protecting yourself, but you're protecting them as well,'' he said.
''I put my emotions behind me to do what I thought was right,'' Mr. Reffitt said of reporting his father. And though he does not regret his decision, he said, ''He's still family, and it's still weird.''
UK government 'quietly' extends local authorities' lockdown powers in England until July 17 '' media '-- RT UK News
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 13:48
The British government has extended the lockdown powers of local officials in England until mid-July, the Telegraph has reported. A Tory MP told the paper the change was ''little noticed'' at the time.
The regulation that allows local authorities to close pubs, restaurants, shops, and public spaces was due to expire last week, but it was extended earlier this month until July 17, according to a report in the Telegraph.
A Department of Health source told the paper that MPs had voted for the extension. ''As we are currently in a national lockdown it was necessary to renew the regulations,'' the source said, which means that the rules have been ''automatically extended for another six months.''
The source added: "However, these measures are still subject to the statutory review point.''
Mark Harper, who leads the Coronavirus Recovery Group of Tory MPs, told the paper the extension of the lockdown until July ''will be of great concern to those worried about their jobs and businesses.''
''Given the limited time allowed for debate, this change in the law was little noticed,'' Harper said.
Tory MP Charles Walker said he hoped ''this summer date is only provisional, with a spring opening being the preferred option.''
England went into its third lockdown shortly after New Year, as authorities were struggling to contain a rise in Covid-19 infections and were alarmed by the more transmissible variant of the coronavirus.
Also on rt.com 'Some evidence' new UK Covid-19 variant kills more people '' PM Boris Johnson Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier this week it was ''too early to say when we'll be able to lift some of the restrictions.''
The PM explained the government is currently ''looking'' at February 15, the deadline set to vaccinate 15 million people from high-priority and vulnerable groups. Having this date in mind, officials including Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab expressed hope that some restrictions could be lifted by March.
Johnson, meanwhile, reiterated that the government is fully focused on protecting the NHS from getting overwhelmed due to the influx of Covid-19 patients. He said it will be crucial in the ''tough few weeks ahead.''
In a similar vein, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News on Sunday that the pressure on the NHS could be seen ''every day.''
''There is early evidence that the lockdown is starting to bring cases down, but we are a long, long, long way from [them] being low enough, because the case rate was incredibly high,'' he said.
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Could Amsterdam's New Economic Theory Replace Capitalism? | Time
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 13:45
O ne evening in December, after a long day working from home, Jennifer Drouin, 30, headed out to buy groceries in central Amsterdam. Once inside, she noticed new price tags. The label by the zucchini said they cost a little more than normal: 6 extra per kilo for their carbon footprint, 5 for the toll the farming takes on the land, and 4 to fairly pay workers. ''There are all these extra costs to our daily life that normally no one would pay for, or even be aware of,'' she says.
The so-called true-price initiative, operating in the store since late 2020, is one of dozens of schemes that Amsterdammers have introduced in recent months as they reassess the impact of the existing economic system. By some accounts, that system, capitalism, has its origins just a mile from the grocery store. In 1602, in a house on a narrow alley, a merchant began selling shares in the nascent Dutch East India Company. In doing so, he paved the way for the creation of the first stock exchange'--and the capitalist global economy that has transformed life on earth. ''Now I think we're one of the first cities in a while to start questioning this system,'' Drouin says. ''Is it actually making us healthy and happy? What do we want? Is it really just economic growth?''
In April 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19, Amsterdam's city government announced it would recover from the crisis, and avoid future ones, by embracing the theory of ''doughnut economics.'' Laid out by British economist Kate Raworth in a 2017 book, the theory argues that 20th century economic thinking is not equipped to deal with the 21st century reality of a planet teetering on the edge of climate breakdown. Instead of equating a growing GDP with a successful society, our goal should be to fit all of human life into what Raworth calls the ''sweet spot'' between the ''social foundation,'' where everyone has what they need to live a good life, and the ''environmental ceiling.'' By and large, people in rich countries are living above the environmental ceiling. Those in poorer countries often fall below the social foundation. The space in between: that's the doughnut.
Marieke van'¯Doorninck, deputy mayor for sustainability, is trying to make Amsterdam a ''doughnut city''
Judith Jockel'--Guardian/eyevine/Redux
Amsterdam's ambition is to bring all 872,000 residents inside the doughnut, ensuring everyone has access to a good quality of life, but without putting more pressure on the planet than is sustainable. Guided by Raworth's organization, the Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL), the city is introducing massive infrastructure projects, employment schemes and new policies for government contracts to that end. Meanwhile, some 400 local people and organizations have set up a network called the Amsterdam Doughnut Coalition'--managed by Drouin'-- to run their own programs at a grassroots level.
It's the first time a major city has attempted to put doughnut theory into action on a local level, but Amsterdam is not alone. Raworth says DEAL has received an avalanche of requests from municipal leaders and others seeking to build more resilient societies in the aftermath of COVID-19. Copenhagen's city council majority decided to follow Amsterdam's example in June, as did the Brussels region and the small city of Dunedin, New Zealand, in September, and Nanaimo, British Columbia, in December. In the U.S., Portland, Ore., is preparing to roll out its own version of the doughnut, and Austin may be close behind. The theory has won Raworth some high-profile fans; in November, Pope Francis endorsed her ''fresh thinking,'' while celebrated British naturalist Sir David Attenborough dedicated a chapter to the doughnut in his latest book, A Life on Our Planet, calling it ''our species' compass for the journey'' to a sustainable future.
Now, Amsterdam is grappling with what the doughnut would look like on the ground. Marieke van Doorninck, the deputy mayor for sustainability and urban planning, says the pandemic added urgency that helped the city get behind a bold new strategy. ''Kate had already told us what to do. COVID showed us the way to do it,'' she says. ''I think in the darkest times, it's easiest to imagine another world.''
In 1990, Raworth, now 50, arrived at Oxford University to study economics. She quickly became frustrated by the content of the lectures, she recalls over Zoom from her home office in Oxford, where she now teaches. She was learning about ideas from decades and sometimes centuries ago: supply and demand, efficiency, rationality and economic growth as the ultimate goal. ''The concepts of the 20th century emerged from an era in which humanity saw itself as separated from the web of life,'' Raworth says. In this worldview, she adds, environmental issues are relegated to what economists call ''externalities.'' ''It's just an ultimate absurdity that in the 21st century, when we know we are witnessing the death of the living world unless we utterly transform the way we live, that death of the living world is called 'an environmental externality.'''
Almost two decades after she left university, as the world was reeling from the 2008 financial crash, Raworth struck upon an alternative to the economics she had been taught. She had gone to work in the charity sector and in 2010, sitting in the open-plan office of the antipoverty nonprofit Oxfam in Oxford, she came across a diagram. A group of scientists studying the conditions that make life on earth possible had identified nine ''planetary boundaries'' that would threaten humans' ability to survive if crossed, like the acidification of the oceans. Inside these boundaries, a circle colored in green showed the safe place for humans.
But if there's an ecological overshoot for the planet, she thought, there's also the opposite: shortfalls creating deprivation for humanity. ''Kids not in school, not getting decent health care, people facing famine in the Sahel,'' she says. ''And so I drew a circle within their circle, and it looked like a doughnut.''
Inner Ring: Twelve essentials of life that no one in society should be deprived of; Outer Ring: Nine ecological limits of earth's life-­supporting systems that humanity must not collectively overshoot; Sweet Spot: The space both environmentally safe and socially just where humanity can thrive
Lon Tweeten for TIME
Raworth published her theory of the doughnut as a paper in 2012 and later as a 2017 book, which has since been translated into 20 languages. The theory doesn't lay out specific policies or goals for countries. It requires stakeholders to decide what benchmarks would bring them inside the doughnut'--emission limits, for example, or an end to homelessness. The process of setting those benchmarks is the first step to becoming a doughnut economy, she says.
Raworth argues that the goal of getting ''into the doughnut'' should replace governments' and economists' pursuit of never-ending GDP growth. Not only is the primacy of GDP overinflated when we now have many other data sets to measure economic and social well-being, she says, but also, endless growth powered by natural resources and fossil fuels will inevitably push the earth beyond its limits. ''When we think in terms of health, and we think of something that tries to grow endlessly within our bodies, we recognize that immediately: that would be a cancer.''
The doughnut can seem abstract, and it has attracted criticism. Some conservatives say the doughnut model can't compete with capitalism's proven ability to lift millions out of poverty. Some critics on the left say the doughnut's apolitical nature means it will fail to tackle ideology and political structures that prevent climate action.
Cities offer a good opportunity to prove that the doughnut can actually work in practice. In 2019, C40, a network of 97 cities focused on climate action, asked Raworth to create reports on three of its members'--Amsterdam, Philadelphia and Portland'--showing how far they were from living inside the doughnut. Inspired by the process, Amsterdam decided to run with it. The city drew up a ''circular strategy'' combining the doughnut's goals with the principles of a ''circular economy,'' which reduces, reuses and recycles materials across consumer goods, building materials and food. Policies aim to protect the environment and natural resources, reduce social exclusion and guarantee good living standards for all. Van Doorninck, the deputy mayor, says the doughnut was a revelation. ''I was brought up in Thatcher times, in Reagan times, with the idea that there's no alternative to our economic model,'' she says. ''Reading the doughnut was like, Eureka! There is an alternative! Economics is a social science, not a natural one. It's invented by people, and it can be changed by people.''
The new, doughnut-shaped world Amsterdam wants to build is coming into view on the southeastern side of the city. Rising almost 15 ft. out of placid waters of Lake IJssel lies the city's latest flagship construction project, Strandeiland (Beach Island). Part of IJburg, an archipelago of six new islands built by city contractors, Beach Island was reclaimed from the waters with sand carried by boats run on low-emission fuel. The foundations were laid using processes that don't hurt local wildlife or expose future residents to sea-level rise. Its future neighborhood is designed to produce zero emissions and to prioritize social housing and access to nature. Beach Island embodies Amsterdam's new priority: balance, says project manager Alfons Oude Ophuis. ''Twenty years ago, everything in the city was focused on production of houses as quickly as possible. It's still important, but now we take more time to do the right thing.''
Lianne Hulsebosch, IJburg's sustainability adviser, says the doughnut has shaped the mindset of the team, meaning Beach Island and its future neighbor Buiteneiland are more focused on sustainability than the first stage of IJburg, completed around 2012. ''It's not that every day-to-day city project has to start with the doughnut, but the model is really part of our DNA now,'' she says. ''You notice in the conversations that we have with colleagues. We're doing things that 10 years ago we wouldn't have done because we are valuing things differently.''
The city has introduced standards for sustainability and circular use of materials for contractors in all city-owned buildings. Anyone wanting to build on Beach Island, for example, will need to provide a ''materials passport'' for their buildings, so whenever they are taken down, the city can reuse the parts.
On the mainland, the pandemic has inspired projects guided by the doughnut's ethos. When the Netherlands went into lockdown in March, the city realized that thousands of residents didn't have access to computers that would become increasingly necessary to socialize and take part in society. Rather than buy new devices'--which would have been expensive and eventually contribute to the rising problem of e-waste'--the city arranged collections of old and broken laptops from residents who could spare them, hired a firm to refurbish them and distributed 3,500 of them to those in need. ''It's a small thing, but to me it's pure doughnut,'' says van Doorninck.
The city says the Beach Island development will prioritize balancing the needs of humans and nature
Gemeente Amsterdam
The local government is also pushing the private sector to do its part, starting with the thriving but ecologically harmful fashion industry. Amsterdam claims to have the highest concentration of denim brands in the world, and that the average resident owns five pairs of jeans. But denim is one of the most resource-intensive fabrics in the world, with each pair of jeans requiring thousands of gallons of water and the use of polluting chemicals.
In October, textile suppliers, jeans brands and other links in the denim supply chain signed the ''Denim Deal,'' agreeing to work together to produce 3 billion garments that include 20% recycled materials by 2023'--no small feat given the treatments the fabric undergoes and the mix of materials incorporated into a pair of jeans. The city will organize collections of old denim from Amsterdam residents and eventually create a shared repair shop for the brands, where people can get their jeans fixed rather than throwing them away. ''Without that government support and the pressure on the industry, it will not change. Most companies need a push,'' says Hans Bon of denim supplier Wieland Textiles.
Of course, many in the city were working on sustainability, social issues or ways to make life better in developing countries before the city embraced the doughnut. But Drouin, manager of Amsterdam's volunteer coalition, says the concept has forced a more fundamental reckoning with the city's way of life. ''It has really changed people's mindset, because you can see all the problems in one picture. It's like a harsh mirror on the world that you face.''
Doughnut economIcs may be on the rise in Amsterdam, a relatively wealthy city with a famously liberal outlook, in a democratic country with a robust state. But advocates of the theory face a tough road to effectively replace capitalism. In Nanaimo, Canada, a city councillor who opposed the adoption of the model in December called it ''a very left-wing philosophy which basically says that business is bad, growth is bad, development's bad.''
In fact, the doughnut model doesn't proscribe all economic growth or development. In her book, Raworth acknowledges that for low- and middle-income countries to climb above the doughnut's social foundation, ''significant GDP growth is very much needed.'' But that economic growth needs to be viewed as a means to reach social goals within ecological limits, she says, and not as an indicator of success in itself, or a goal for rich countries. In a doughnut world, the economy would sometimes be growing and sometimes shrinking.
Still, some economists are skeptical of the idealism. In his 2018 review of Raworth's book, Branko Milanovic, a scholar at CUNY's Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality, says for the doughnut to take off, humans would need to ''magically'' become ''indifferent to how well we do compared to others, and not really care about wealth and income.''
In cities that are grappling with the immediate social and economic effects of COVID-19, though, the doughnut framework is proving appealing, says Joshua Alpert, the Portland-based director of special projects at C40. ''All of our mayors are working on this question: How do we rebuild our cities post-COVID? Well, the first place to start is with the doughnut.'' Alpert says they have had ''a lot of buy-in'' from city leaders. ''Because it's framed as a first step, I think it's been easier for mayors to say this is a natural progression that is going to help us actually move out of COVID in a much better way.''
Drouin says communities in Amsterdam also have helped drive the change. ''If you start something and you can make it visible, and prove that you or your neighborhood is benefiting, then your city will wake up and say we need to support them.'' In her own neighborhood, she says, residents began using parking spaces to hold dinners with their neighbors during summer, and eventually persuaded the municipality to convert many into community gardens.
Citizen-led groups focused on the doughnut that are forming in places including S£o Paulo, Berlin, Kuala Lumpur and California bring the potential to transform their own areas from the bottom up. ''It's powerful when you have peers inspiring peers to act: a teacher inspires another teacher, or a schoolchild inspires their class, a mayor inspires another mayor,'' Raworth says. ''I'm really convinced that's the way things are going to happen if we're going to get the transformation that we need this decade.''
COVID-19 has the potential to massively accelerate that transformation, if governments use economic-stimulus packages to favor industries that lead us toward a more sustainable economy, and phase out those that don't. Raworth cites Milton Friedman'--the diehard free-market 20th century economist'--who famously said that ''when [a] crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.'' In July, Raworth's DEAL group published the methodology it used to produce the ''city portrait'' that is guiding Amsterdam's embrace of the doughnut, making it available for any local government to use. ''This is the crisis,'' she says. ''We've made sure our ideas are lying around.''
This appears in the February 1, 2021 issue of TIME.
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Write to Ciara Nugent at ciara.nugent@time.com.
The Miami Heat Plan To Use COVID-sniffing Dogs Outside Their Arena, Sounds Like Mandatory Vaccinations Are On The Way '' OutKick
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 13:04
According to a report from ESPN, the Miami Heat are planning to unleash COVID-sniffing dogs to screen fans before they attend games. Sounds like a joke, considering the well-documented inaccuracies cotton swab COVID testing, but they didn't let logic stop their ignorance.
For a league that routinely spoke about Donald Trump being a dictator, dogs patrolling a facility sounds awfully hypocritical. The NBA is setting the tone for their true long-term goal: Mandatory vaccinations.
The Miami Heat plan to use COVID-sniffing dogs at all security entrances when they re-open their arena to fans.Oh my. ðŸ‚
'-- Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) January 21, 2021Fans won't be allowed to attend games, according to their new protocols, until they pass the ''sniff'' test. It's bizarre, but as you can see in the tweet above''people aren't taking this news as serious as they should.
Sounds like a joke at first, right? Certainly a protocol Dr. Evil would enforce at his death layer. But season ticket holders are about to sign waivers that COVID-sniffing dogs are somehow qualified to kick a paying customer out the building.
We're consistently moving the requirements and restricting human rights as far as we're willing to go. Considering fans are about to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars, you'd think they cared about their own rights. What's most important for us to understand is that the NBA's audience is predominantly liberal and they fundamentally don't worry about their free-will. Most fans of the NBA believe Adam Silver and our government are plenty qualified to lead us''no matter the regulations. A COVID-sniffing dog is just the latest idea someone in a suit could whip up. A perfect plan to show Twitter users how much they care about public health.
How thoughtful.
Where does this head?It's actually quite obvious. The NBA wants to ease their audience into compliance for mandatory vaccinations. How can they possibly get this done you ask? Well, all they have to do is make a statement that public health is their main concern and the only way to ensure our safety is if they know every last customer has their vaccination card.
We're quite certain Bill Gates will get involved.
Check out how embarrassingly clueless Mathew Jafarian is, who serves as the Miami Heat's VP for business strategy:
''If you think about it, detection dogs are not that new,'' he said. ''You've seen them in airports, they've been used in mission-critical situations by the police and the military. We've used them at the arena for years to detect explosives.''
Heat season-ticket holders were told details this morning about obtaining tickets for the next 6 home games.Among policies: food won't be sold at the AAA yet, COVID-19 Detection Dogs will be at entrances, health screening will occur, masks (duh), no bags, cashless transactions.
'-- Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 22, 2021'When you think about it', huh? This is how the majority of our media operates these days. Instead of letting us think for ourselves and draw our own conclusions, he's got us covered. They lay out their own thought process and protocols, and then they implement it. No fan or free-thinking American gets a word in. If you do''you're chastised for not caring about public safety.
A vicious cycle that leads to half the country feeling betrayed.
Is the NBA watchable for everyone? No, but more than half this country turned away from the sport because of instances like this. Anyone with common sense grasps how COVID-sniffing dogs are a waste of resources and overall too invasive. Unfortunately, moves like this are made in all shapes and sizes to appease their true audience and money making machine:
China.
SARS-CoV-2 Needs Cholesterol to Invade Cells and Form Mega Cells | HHMI.org
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:27
HHMI scientists are joining many of their colleagues worldwide in working to combat the new coronavirus. They're developing diagnostic testing, understanding the virus's basic biology, modeling the epidemiology, and developing potential therapies or vaccines. We will be sharing stories of some of this work.
Researchers engineered cells to carry either a protein (green) from SARS-CoV-2 or its human target ACE2 (magenta). When near each other, the cells' membranes fused. Researchers think a similar process lets the virus slip into cells. Credit: D. Sanders et al./bioRxiv.orgTo cause COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 virus must force its way into people's cells '' and it needs an accomplice. Cholesterol, the waxy compound better known for clogging arteries, helps the virus open cells up and slip inside, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Clifford Brangwynne's lab reports.
Without cholesterol, the virus cannot sneak past a cell's protective barrier and cause infection, the team writes in a preprint posted to bioRxiv.org on December 14, 2020. The work, which recreated the early stage of infection in lab-grown cells, has not yet undergone the scientific vetting process of peer review.
''Cholesterol is an integral part of the membranes that surround cells and some viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. It makes sense that it should be so important for infection,'' says Brangwynne, a biophysical engineer at Princeton University.
The finding might underlie the better health outcomes seen in COVID-19 patients taking cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, he adds. Although scientists haven't yet established the mechanism responsible, this study and another published last fall suggest the drugs prevent SARS-CoV-2 from getting into cells by denying it cholesterol.
This discovery of cholesterol's importance could help scientists develop new stopgap measures to treat COVID-19 until most people are vaccinated, Brangwynne says. The work may also shed light on a strange feature of the disease: the formation of giant, compound cells found in the lungs of COVID-19 patients. In their experiments, the scientists saw similar mega cells emerge under the microscope.
Mimicking a viral infectionIn normal times, Brangwynne's team studies the physical forces that organize molecules within cells. But in the spring of 2020, his lab, like many others across the world, shifted focus, training their biological expertise on SARS-CoV-2. They began investigating how viral and human proteins interact, and how that interaction lets SARS-CoV-2 enter cells. ''We're not a virology lab, we've never worked in this space before, so we started thinking about the tools and approaches we have developed that we could use,'' he says.
Brangwynne's lab often works with lab-grown cells. To mimic SARS-CoV-2 infection, his team engineered such cells to sport one of two molecules, either the viral ''spike protein'' or the human ACE2 protein. (To cause an infection, the virus must fuse its membrane to a cell's membrane. This process begins when spike proteins meet their cellular target, ACE2.)
The surface of a cell carrying ACE2 (magenta) sprouts tentacles that attach to spike proteins (green) on a nearby cell. Credit: D. Sanders et al./ bioRxiv.orgIn the lab, the researchers watched as lab-grown cells with these proteins interacted. First, tiny tentacles emerged from cells with ACE2 and stuck to spike proteins on nearby cells. At these points, the two cellular membranes fused and openings formed, letting the cells' contents mix. Eventually, the two cells melded together '' similar to how scientists expect the virus merges with a cell to infect it.
The researchers, including Princeton's David Sanders, Chanelle Jumper, and Paul Ackerman, tried to disrupt this cell melding. Using an automated system, they tested the effects of about 6,000 compounds, as well as more than 30 tweaks to the spike protein. These experiments and others suggested that if SARS-CoV-2's membrane lacks cholesterol, the virus cannot enter its target cell.
This isn't the first evidence implicating cholesterol. The previous study, by a group at the University of California, San Diego, found that the body's immune response to the virus produces a compound that depletes cholesterol '' but in this case from the cell's own membrane, not the virus's.
''Cholesterol has been very well studied as an important factor in a large number of viral infections,'' says Peter Kasson, a scientist at the University of Virginia who studies the physical mechanisms of viral disease. ''The interesting thing is that cholesterol's role in viral entry varies a lot between viruses.'' It's not clear exactly how cholesterol aids SARS-CoV-2, but understanding that process could offer clues about the biology of infection, says Kasson, who was not involved in the research.
The apparent beneficial effect of statins extends to other viral infections, too. Some research suggests that these drugs impair the influenza virus by depriving it of cholesterol, Kasson says. But that may not be the only way the drugs can alter the course of viral infections, he says. ''It's a little complicated because statins also modify the immune response.''
Mysterious mega cellsAs Brangwynne's experiments ran, his team noticed something strange. The cells continued to engulf one another, spilling their contents together like eggs cracked into a bowl. The compound cells, known as syncytia, that appeared under the microscope resemble those found in healthy tissues, such as muscle and the placenta, and in some viral diseases.
Many cells can fuse together, producing mega cells (green), or syncytia, similar to those found in the lungs of COVID-19 patients. Credit: D. Sanders et al./bioRxiv.org''People already knew that the COVID-19 virus will create syncytia, but the researchers were able to visualize the process beautifully,'' says Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, a senior group leader at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus, who was not involved in the research. ''Cell-cell fusion is itself a really under-studied area in biology.''
The experiments likely illustrate how mega cells found in patients' lungs form, she says. ''The formation of syncytia can be very injurious in the case of COVID, where it can destroy lung tissues and lead to death.''
Brangwynne says it's not clear yet whether or not syncytia play a major role in the progression of COVID-19. But, his team writes, the discovery of cholesterol's contribution could help scientists fight the disease. ''Our findings underscore the potential utility of statins and other [similar] treatments.''
###
Citation
David W. Sanders et al., ''SARS-CoV-2 requires cholesterol for viral entry and pathological syncytia formation.'' Posted on bioRxiv.org on December 14, 2020. doi: 10.1101/2020.12.14.422737
The Second-Generation COVID Vaccines Are Coming - Scientific American
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:26
Six months ago, as the northern hemisphere was still battling the coronavirus pandemic's first wave, all eyes turned to the COVID-19 vaccines in late-stage clinical trials. Now, a year after the pandemic first erupted, three COVID vaccines have been given emergency authorization by either the U.S. or U.K., as well as other countries. Two of the vaccines, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna, respectively, both employ a novel genetic technology known as mRNA. And the third is a more conventional vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca that uses a chimpanzee virus to deliver DNA for a component of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID. (Russia, China and India have rolled out their own vaccines, but with the exception of a few countries, they have not been widely authorized elsewhere.)
But impressive as they are, these vaccines alone will likely not be sufficient to end the pandemic, experts say. Luckily, there are hundreds of other COVID vaccines under development'--including many with new mechanisms of action'--that could prove to be effective and cheaper and easier to distribute.
''I believe that this virus is going to change and that the vaccines we have approved right now are just not going to be as effective as we think they are,'' says Danny Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London. SARS-CoV-2 has already evolved several new variants'--including the ones first identified in the U.K. and South Africa, which are more transmissible (though not'--for now, at least'--more deadly).
Gregory Poland, a vaccinologist at the Mayo Clinic, agrees it is far too early to think we have this virus beat. He points out that no vaccine for a coronavirus has ever been deployed in a public vaccination program. And mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer's and Moderna's'--touted by many as the future of vaccinology'--have never previously been brought to market. ''We don't know what we don't know. We have no idea what surprises we might find in a virus that we've only been aware of for a year,'' says Poland, who co-authored an extensive review of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the Lancet last October. ''And the history of vaccinology'--in which I've been involved for four decades'--is amply littered with things we thought we knew.''
What happens if somebody is vaccinated but contracts COVID anyway? Would they suffer an even worse case of illness, a phenomenon known as antibody-dependent enhancement? Or in a less dramatic scenario, what if the vaccines prevent immunized individuals from falling ill but do not prevent them from infecting others? The latter could actually worsen the pandemic if vaccinated individuals think they are safe and become asymptomatic carriers. Moreover, people worldwide display a wide range of natural immunity to the virus, so there may be a similar diversity in vaccine responses. ''There are lots of booby traps that could lie in wait,'' Poland says.
Furthermore, the vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have logistical issues that prevent them from being easily deployed globally. Pfizer's vaccine needs to be stored at ''70 degrees Celsius'--colder than Antarctica's average temperatures'--in freezers that cost many thousands of dollars. Moderna's can be stored at ''15 degrees C, but because of freezer requirements, it still has little chance of reaching rural corners of India or Africa or poor, densely packed neighborhoods in South America. As long as vaccines are fragile, expensive and difficult to distribute, the pandemic will continue.
But by far the most important issue, Altmann says, is ''durability'': how long people remain immune after vaccination. If a vaccine confers immunity for only a few months rather than many years, little progress will have been made in six months. By then we could be faced with more virulent forms of the disease swirling around the globe.
The good news, however, is that ''second generation'' vaccines are being developed by researchers, many of whom are working with novel techniques. ''We have an embarrassment of riches,'' Altmann says. ''One thing that certainly hasn't been appreciated by most people is that, on the back burner, the field of vaccinology has been steaming ahead over the past 15 years, developing a range of incredibly snazzy strategies.''
There are nearly 240 novel vaccine candidates in development, waiting in the wings for their moment. Here are a few that show the most potential.
Self-Amplifying RNA (Imperial College London)Similar to the approved mRNA vaccines, this one inserts genetic material from the virus directly into human cells, spurring the body to manufacture the famed ''spike'' protein that covers the surface of SARS-CoV-2. And like mRNA vaccines, Imperial College London's design only delivers the genetic material, not the actual virus, so it is unlikely to exacerbate illness if people are infected following vaccination. The twist with this vaccine is that it has been modified to turn the body's own cells into factories that continually churn out spike proteins on their own'--meaning a booster shot will not be necessary. Moreover, such ''self-amplifying'' RNA can reportedly be made in huge volumes for little cost. ''I feel very excited about the way [this approach] may turn out to be like Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines but even better,'' says Altmann, who was not directly involved in developing this vaccine.
Protein Subunit (Novavax)Researchers at the Maryland-based start-up Novavax have focused on delivering the actual spike protein itself (rather than a whole virus or genetic material). They created the vaccine by engineering moth cells to churn out spike proteins in bioreactors at low cost. Furthermore, this vaccine can be kept at two to eight degrees C'--normal refrigeration temperature'--making it far more practical to distribute. The trick with this approach is the addition of an ''adjuvant'''--an additive that ''soups up'' the immune system's response'--made from saponin, a compound derived from the bark of the Chilean soapbark tree. ''Engineered protein technology has been tested and proved in the past'--it just takes a little more time to produce than RNA,'' explains Gregory Glenn, president of research and development at Novavax.
Designed Protein Nanoparticle (Institute for Protein Design, University of Washington)Like Novavax, University of Washington researchers have chosen to deliver proteins from SARS-CoV-2 as their weapon of choice. But instead of injecting the entire spike protein, they have homed in on the virus's ''Achilles' heel'': the receptor binding domain (RBD), the portion of the spike protein that directly fuses with human cells. Neil King, a biochemist at the university's Institute for Protein Design, has created a vaccine delivered by spherical ''nanoparticles'' shaped like soccer balls. Synthetically manufactured RBD proteins are affixed to the nanoparticles in regular arrays. This design makes the vaccine capable of eliciting antibody responses at least 10 times higher than those that use the whole, natural spike protein, King says. ''We aren't just taking existing proteins and tweaking them a little bit'--we are making completely new ones to do exactly what we want,'' he notes. The vaccine is currently being tested in early-stage, or phase I, trials with human volunteers. If successful, it could reach the public later this year.
Other Vaccines in the PipelineThese are just a few of the vaccine candidates in development. Others that could help slow the pandemic, including the vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech in China, utilize more conventional designs, such as an inactivated virus (a technique used to help conquer polio and still used in many influenza vaccines). It remains to be seen how well all of these approaches may work. But with so many efforts underway, there is good reason to hope that the end of this pandemic nightmare is in sight.
And when it does end, scientists will have many tools ready-made for when the next pandemic hits.
Read more about the coronavirus outbreak from Scientific American here. And read coverage from our international network of magazines here.
Opinion | Trump Contrives His Stab-in-the-Back Myth - The New York Times
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:23
Opinion | Trump Contrives His Stab-in-the-Back MythAn obscene conspiracy theory from the past echoes loudly in the present.
Nov. 23, 2020 Credit... Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times The word Dolchstosslegende is hard to pronounce but important to understand. It translates as ''stab-in-the-back myth'' and was a key element in the revival of German militarism in the Weimar years. Even modestly educated Germans know exactly what it denotes and the evil it entails.
Donald Trump and his legal team are now contriving their own Dolchstosslegende.
That's true even as Trump's effort to overturn the results of the election seems to descend from fantasy to farce. The main point of the exercise is no longer (if it ever seriously was) to find a judge, governor or other pliable instrument to deny Joe Biden the presidency. It is to deny the legitimacy of the Biden presidency, of the electoral system that gave him the office and of the federal and judicial systems that turned Trump's legal challenges aside.
The point of the farce is farce. It is to make an obscene joke of the Biden administration and our constitutional system of government.
This was also the point of the Dolchstosslegende, which claimed that the German Army, though in retreat in the fall of 1918, could have kept up the fight had it not been betrayed by defeatist and scheming politicians who agreed to an armistice that November.
This was, of course, a self-serving lie: Germany's armies were being routed, its strategic situation was hopeless, its sailors were mutinying, its people were approaching starvation and only the armistice (which the kaiser's generals asked for) spared it from a much more painful defeat.
But the nature of the myth wasn't that it should be believable. It's that it should be believed.
There's a difference. The success of the first rests on a plausible interpretation of facts. The success of the second requires a psychologically astute understanding of the people to whom the lie is peddled. The Dolchstosslegende may have been a transparent falsehood, but it had the double advantage of bucking up a humiliated nation's pride and playing to its gut prejudices. Translated into the bigoted vernacular, ''defeatist'' and ''scheming'' almost always meant socialists, communists and Jews.
In this sense, it doesn't matter that Rudy Giuliani's legal case is being laughed out of court. What matters is that the district judge who did so is an Obama appointee (despite being a conservative Republican), and therefore can be dismissed as part of the deep-state conspiracy seeking to bring Trump down.
Nor does it matter that the lawyer Sidney Powell painted an anti-Trump conspiracy so vast that it seems to have embarrassed Giuliani and would have made the ghost of Joe McCarthy proud. What matters is that Powell's list of enemies '-- from the director of the C.I.A. to the former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chvez '-- hit all the right notes for the president's die-hards.
And there are a lot of them: 52 percent of Republicans think the president ''rightfully won'' re-election, at least according to a Reuters Ipsos poll from last week. In other words, a majority of Republicans will believe literally anything Trump says.
Here again the comparison to Germany rings loud. In a famous passage of ''The Origins of Totalitarianism,'' Hannah Arendt noted how ''Mass Propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.''
The Dolchstosslegende worked because so many Germans were happy to believe what, at some level, they also knew wasn't true. But it also worked because it had a clear aim that a growing number of Germans shared, which was to overthrow the struggling Weimar Republic by claiming that it was founded on treason. In other words, it wasn't just a conspiracy theory. It was a political weapon with the revolutionary aim of destroying democracy itself.
What Trump and his minions are now attempting is of a piece. It is rich that many of the same people who spent years claiming that Robert Mueller's lawful and constrained investigation was a deep-state coup are now happy to entertain a sitting president's preposterous claims of electoral fraud.
But the aim is clear: to treat the Biden presidency as a product of treachery by a political order that is so comprehensively corrupt that it will require far tougher means than the ones Trump employed to root out.
In case certain readers think I'm making a comparison between Trump supporters and Nazis, let me emphasize that I am not. What I am saying is that this modern-day Dolchstosslegende, like surf pounding against a bluff, abets future demagogues by eroding public confidence in democratic institutions, until, unprotected, they collapse.
No comparison with the Weimar years is complete without noting that the republic wasn't just done in. It did a lot to do itself in, too, mostly through economic mismanagement. All the more reason to wish the Biden administration well as it navigates crises that now include some of the most disreputable opponents our own republic has ever known.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.
Dutch politicians condemn weekend rioting as curfew started
Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:02
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) '-- Politicians and local leaders on Monday condemned rioters who clashed with police in about 10 towns and cities across the Netherlands a day earlier, on the second night of a coronavirus curfew.
''It is unacceptable,'' Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. ''This has nothing to do with protesting, this is criminal violence and that's how we'll treat it.''
Worst hit was Eindhoven, where police clashed with hundreds of rioters who torched a car, threw rocks and fireworks at officers, smashed windows and looted a supermarket at the southern city's railway station.
''My city is crying, and so am I,'' Eindhoven Mayor John Jorritsma told media Sunday night. In an emotional impromptu press conference, he called the rioters ''the scum of the earth'' and added ''I am afraid that if we continue down this path, we're on our way to civil war.''
The rioting coincided with the first weekend of the new national coronavirus 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew, but mayors stressed that the violence was not the work of citizens concerned about their civil liberties.
''These demonstrations are being hijacked by people who only want one thing and that is to riot,'' Hubert Bruls, mayor of the city of Nijmegen and leader of a group of local security organizations, told news talk show Op1 on Sunday night.
Amsterdam police arrested 190 people amid rioting at a banned demonstration Sunday while Eindhoven police detained at least 55. One woman who was not involved in the rioting in Eindhoven was injured
In the eastern city of Enschede, rioters threw rocks at the windows of a hospital; on Saturday night, youths in the fishing village of Urk torched a coronavirus testing facility. Police in the southern province of Limburg said military police were sent as reinforcements to two cities.
''There is absolutely no excuse,'' Overseas Development Minister Sigrid Kaag told Dutch television. ''This is violence and I hope the police track down all these people and there are heavy punishments.''

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All Clips

Bob Woodson on EQUITY of Biden administration.mp3
DO enslave me kamala.mp3
jen psaki circle supercut.mp3
Joe and Super Spreader Jingle.mp3
Ben Shapiiro 33 Executive orders.mp3
Press Sec Says To Not Worry About The Stock Market Because Treasury Sec Is A Woman.mp3
Radio Davos Day 2-Gillian Tett of Financial Times -Slithering.mp3
Radio Davos Day 2-Kenneth Rogoff, Economist, Former CFR-IMF-Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.mp3
Radio Davs Day 1 - Klaus Introduces the agenda.mp3
Radio Davs Day 1 - Xi Jing Ping shilling diversity and inclusion and consensus.mp3
Radio Davos Day 2-Fauci - Upgraded Vaccines.mp3
Apollo Global CEO Leon Black paid sex predator Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for financial advice after conviction.mp3
Biden equality equity gaffe.mp3
Biden mumble fest.mp3
Biden on Climate ONE F24.mp3
Biden on Climate Survey Three F24.mp3
Biden on Climate Survey TWO F24.mp3
COVID DN death report Echo.mp3
Covid roundup INTL DN.mp3
guards ISO.mp3
Houthis now good guys DN.mp3
Impeachment update DN.mp3
KEX 1190 Call of the NW Portland.mp3
Kimmel Rushmore meme.mp3
Mexico report usage clip DN.mp3
pa_estinian shot dead DN.mp3
palestinians gold again DN.mp3
Tony Blinken report F24.mp3
Amy bad reporting on Riot arrests.mp3
Biden -- Susan Rice.mp3
Biden blue truth'.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Kyra Phillips - new details on how covid spreads among kids and how it affects schools (1min18sec).mp3
Toronto cop tells camera man Media no longer considered essential.mp3
uk advert people will die if you jog.mp3
Well Health Safety celebrity ad for healthy buildings GaGa DiNero etc.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Kenneth Moton - dogs being used to sniff for covid (25sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Kenneth Moton - Newsom lifts stay at home orders - data could be confusing to the public if made public (28sec).mp3
Dr. David Martin -The result of long-term masking is suspended intelligence (reduced ability to sense).mp3
Fauci - Double masking is just common sense.mp3
Shep Smith CNBC - Is a double mask really better than a single with CHINA kicker.mp3
CBS Face the Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan - Birx parallel data streams (58sec).mp3
CNN - anchor Brianna Keilar (1) - Trump disinfectant context clip sets up next 2 clips (57sec).mp3
CNN - anchor Brianna Keilar (2) - Birx response on Face the Nation - Keilar birx missed her chance (44sec).mp3
CNN - anchor Brianna Keilar (3) - birx 40 year career will be wiped away (44sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Kenneth Moton - new york times report fauci the skunk at the picnic (24sec).mp3
CBS Face the Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan - Birx covid deniers (44sec).mp3
Rand Paul v Stephanapolous -1- Intro to The Big Lie - inserting himself into the discussion.mp3
Rand Paul v Stephanapolous -2- Some fraud needs to be investigated.mp3
The Purge Jingle.mp3
CNN - anchor Jake Tapper - after impeachment vote no consequences for trump - criminal trial - we all predicted the violence (1min18sec).mp3
BIden Vaccine Numbers -2- Joe loses it 300 American REPEAT 300.mp3
Distilled Science Tik Tok Team Halo - how to discuss vaccine with friends.mp3
Fauci Face the Nation - Vaccine number discrepancies Arms vs People.mp3
Local Florida report - vaccine changes nothing.mp3
polk count vaccine theft.mp3
BIden Vaccine Numbers -1- 100 million shots in 100 days NOT People The 100 Billion.mp3
Magical Shapeshifting Jews-Secret Agent Paul.mp3
ABC AU News German Politician shape shifting problem.mp3
  • 0:00
    Unknown: That's not good enough. Show
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    him the anal swab. Adam Curry
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    Jhansi devora
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    January 28 2021 this is your award winning media
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    assassination Episode 1316 This
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    is no agenda
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    broadcasting live from opportunity zone 33 here in the
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    frontier of Austin, Texas capital of the drone Star State
  • 0:23
    in the morning everybody. I'm Adam Curry.
  • 0:25
    I'm from Northern Silicon Valley where they figure they can take
  • 0:28
    us out with an executive order, by the way it's storming here
  • 0:38
    What do you mean take you out are they are they gonna take out
  • 0:40
    California we finally getting rid of it dropping off the edge
  • 0:43
    of the map what's going on
  • 0:44
    the way this guy's cranking out executive orders is like he's,
  • 0:48
    he's the king. King Biden
  • 0:51
    is funny you say that I have a guy thought I had a clip now. I
  • 0:57
    guess I didn't cut it. I had ben shapiro counting how many
  • 1:00
    executive orders there were.
  • 1:03
    Oh, here it is. I
  • 1:03
    do have the clip. Hold on a sec. This one.
  • 1:05
    Joe Biden is now the president of the United States. According
  • 1:08
    to Hank Barry and daily wire through
  • 1:09
    Monday, January 25, the
  • 1:10
    sixth day of his tenure in office, Joe Biden had issued 28
  • 1:14
    executive orders. dwarfing the initial number of executive
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    orders issued by former presidents in the initial days
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    of their tenure, former President Trump signed for
  • 1:20
    executive orders in the first week of his tenure, with a total
  • 1:23
    of 220 executive orders signed in his total time as President,
  • 1:26
    former President Barack Obama signed five in the first week
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    276 overall, former President George W. Bush signs zero in his
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    first week, former President Bill Clinton signed one in his
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    first week presidential Biden has signed a 28 in the first six
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    days.
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    Apparently he signed a few more yesterday, that means he is up
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    to 3333.
  • 1:52
    I love how ben shapiro can put five times more information in a
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    space of time than anyone in the world. It's really, it's really
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    quite phenomenal. But I think we need to just start off with a
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    brief discussion. Luckily, you're an expert at this stuff
  • 2:09
    about what happens. Yeah. Well, you know, I heard you and Andrew
  • 2:12
    on th unplug talking about the GameStop the Reddit
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    group. Oh, geez, that's the strangest thing I've ever seen.
  • 2:18
    Oh, it's fantastic. This is. Now I was a day trader for a while
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    remember, I had day trader I had I was a podcaster. And a day
  • 2:27
    trader, it's amazing. I found a woman who would put up with me.
  • 2:33
    And I did that for a while. So I know a little bit about this.
  • 2:36
    But I'm glad that we have your expertise to set me straight, I
  • 2:39
    figured just give it a try and then see how this fits into the
  • 2:43
    bigger picture. So first, I think a lot of people don't
  • 2:47
    really understand the concept of shorting. And I'm gonna give
  • 2:50
    that a shot. And I want you to correct me and I don't know, I
  • 2:53
    don't know much about options. JOHN, you can explain that, how
  • 2:57
    that fits into this much
  • 2:59
    of that history.
  • 3:02
    Do you want me to do this, or,
  • 3:04
    I'm sorry, just bringing a bunch of songs to mind.
  • 3:08
    As long as you just keep that up? Yes, I'll give you some cues
  • 3:12
    for new songs. So let me hold your hand as we
  • 3:17
    hold your hand.
  • 3:23
    Okay, so in the way the markets work is you have to be able to
  • 3:27
    make money, when a stock goes up and goes down. That's a mature
  • 3:31
    financial market. And the way it goes the way you make money on
  • 3:35
    the way up, I think everyone understands that you buy low,
  • 3:37
    you sell high, the way you make money on the way down. And this
  • 3:42
    is it's kind of a mind Bender, but you got to wrap your head
  • 3:45
    around it, in order to make money on a stock going down. You
  • 3:49
    let's say you want it, you think it'll go from 10 to five, that's
  • 3:52
    kind of your your price target, you will borrow the stock
  • 3:57
    someone else's stock, this is made very efficient, you can do
  • 4:00
    it with a click of a mouse, you will borrow the amount of stock
  • 4:03
    you want and immediately an interest counter starts ticking.
  • 4:07
    So you do have to pay interest over that. And that can vary
  • 4:10
    based upon the stock etc. Just like a loan. It's it's not it's
  • 4:15
    not like a loan, it's a loan of the stock at that price at the
  • 4:18
    at the $10. So you have to eventually over some time. And
  • 4:23
    sometimes that's even restricted as to how much time you have to
  • 4:27
    put to give the stock back. So you, what you'll do is you will
  • 4:33
    sell that stock that you just borrowed again, for even for for
  • 4:38
    Robin Hood people. It's really one tap, it's one click, it's
  • 4:41
    not a big deal happens in the background. And then if the
  • 4:44
    stock hits your price target if it's five, but as long as it's
  • 4:47
    below that, you then buy the stock the same amount, and then
  • 4:52
    you give it back to the guy that you borrowed it from or the
  • 4:54
    institution again, just a mouse click. And so then you've made
  • 4:57
    the difference minus whatever interest you had over here. Long
  • 5:00
    You had the stock shortage, that's what it's called. Now
  • 5:03
    when you add options to that, that just makes it the the prize
  • 5:09
    that much bigger or the loss that much bigger Is that fair to
  • 5:12
    say, john?
  • 5:15
    Little loss can never be with options can ever be more than
  • 5:18
    they do whatever you plan to put in the option. If you're doing
  • 5:21
    the site bought $1,000 with the option is the most I can lose it
  • 5:24
    is 1000. Okay, so better was shorting I can lose my ass.
  • 5:31
    Well, here's here's what's interesting about this case. So
  • 5:34
    this and we'll just a GameStop. But a lot of stocks were
  • 5:38
    involved in this and a lot of hedge funds, I think, and I
  • 5:41
    spoke with Porter, which yesterday afternoon and we put a
  • 5:44
    couple more things together. The way a hedge fund will typically
  • 5:48
    short a stock is they may short 100 shares of a stock but then
  • 5:53
    to hedge that, you know, so that they you know they have if that
  • 5:59
    if they start losing money on it, they may have an upside
  • 6:01
    somewhere else, they'll buy an equal amount or value in
  • 6:05
    something that they're long on IE they think it's going up and
  • 6:08
    then might be a little more stable like Apple etc. So you
  • 6:13
    run into trouble when the price of the stock that's shorted
  • 6:17
    starts to go up. And here's the kicker. This stock was shorted
  • 6:21
    by 140%. Now I've seen 30 ac 30 40% short, you're like, wow,
  • 6:29
    that'd be pretty fun. If that goes up to 140. That means 40%
  • 6:33
    of the shares that were that people had bet a bet a bet on on
  • 6:37
    the downside shorted, were Phantom, they would be had been
  • 6:40
    loaned out multiple times or just made up or God knows.
  • 6:44
    Yes, that's a problem.
  • 6:46
    Well, this is so they got screwed by their own system. And
  • 6:49
    then when you have an organizing force that has enough buying
  • 6:54
    power, and you
  • 6:55
    read it just all things
  • 6:57
    well, and it's it I mean, the Reddit is now private and the
  • 7:00
    guys move to telegram, it doesn't matter. They organize
  • 7:03
    and they did it well. And they just went out and just bought a
  • 7:06
    whole crapload coordinated, which is exactly what the hedge