1318: Jab and Go

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 16m
February 4th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Sir Adam Engh, Sir Dwayne Melancon, Grand Duke of the Pacific Northwest, Jon Dusanek, Sir Gavin, executor of serious matters, James Harris, michael ruhlin, chris Johnson, Sir Dirt Farmer

Associate Executive Producers: Scott and Erica Readicker, Captain Luke Knight of the Barbary Coast, Sir Richard of Burbank North of the Five, Mark Campbell

Cover Artist: Sir Net Ned

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Woodstock
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the mutants
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21:38
S. Carolina Dept. of Health: Percent Positive and Test-Over-Test method
KanadaDay
24:56
Mega Testing Diagnostic Platforms
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27:10
NBC: Dr. Wu Zunyou of China CDC "We didn't isolate the [COVID-19] virus."
KanadaDay
38:22
Those Two Thousand Dollars
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42:53
Third Dose Option
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43:26
Rita Wilson Has No More Antibodies back like everybody else
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46:06
Pfizer Vaccine Insert
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49:42
Dr Scott Gottlieb Booster Talk
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52:29
Untitled
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Suggested chapter: Doom and Gloom
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Start of first donation segment / And With That...
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Armie Hammer's Strange Kink
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Circle Back
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Mask & Muzzles
PTFE Experts on masks
Rob
Hi Adam, I am a PTFE expert with 34 years of working in the industry. There is no PTFE used in dust masks. PTFE is very stable and inert to almost everything. There would be no issues with PTFE breaking down. For a dust mask application, PTFE would be way too expensive to use.
There may be other fluorinated materials (just means there is fluorine in the molecular) in the masks, like N95, but not PTFE proper.
I work at one of the major US masks suppliers (not my division,) but I would know if there is PTFE in any of these masks as we make this too (my division).
If you ever have PTFE questions, I am the expert producer in your collection of experts, just ask on the show and I will pop up with a note to you. I never miss a minute of the show!
You claim we have experts for everything, you are correct!!
Kind Regards and thanks for the work you guys do!
Steven
Hi Adam,
Just listening to beginning of episode 1318 and you spoke about PTFE in the blue masks. Please keep me anonymous as my company is based on PTFE(Teflon), and while it is a very stable and safe polymer, it is caught up in the broader debate about perflouronated compounds (PFC), like DuPont's use PFOA. PTFE is used in many types of medical implantables (artificial veins, stents, etc...) because it is inert and the body does not reject it.
There is no PTFE is no surgical masks...JD is correct that those cheap, disposable masks, utilize an electro-charged, non-woven material like polyethylene or polyester so that they can attract small particles but still be very open for easy airflow. PTFE cannot be made in a non-woven fashion and it's too expensive. PTFE makes a great membrane and filter, but mainly in applications like semi-conductor where it can filter out 99.999997% of 0.3um particles or less to prevent wafer level defects in chips.
Biden Mask Order funny
The CDC also specifies that individuals do not have to wear a mask if unconscious "for reasons other than sleeping," or if they are "incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance."
The order also permits those who are "experiencing difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or are feeling winded" to remove the mask "temporarily until able to resume normal breathing with the mask."
"Persons who are vomiting should remove the mask until vomiting ceases," the order states.
Let Us Out!
Boots on the Ground Report - Perth Australia
Hi Adam,
Thought you'd be interested in a boots on the ground shitizen account of what's happening in Perth.
During the Wuhan Flu, Perth has not had community transmission for the last 10 months. Aside from restrictions on interstate and overseas travel, you would never know that the world or even the rest of Australia were dealing with the pandemic. All businesses open, all schools open, not a mask to be seen and no social distancing. Our statistics have been 904 confirmed cases with only 9 deaths since the pandemic kicked off its world tour.
On Sunday morning we were advised that a quarantine hotel worker tested positive for the UK Mutant Rona. This individual worked as a security guard at a hotel that quarantines overseas travellers. He also moonlighted as an Uber driver which meant that when he was "infected" he travelled all over the metropolitan area (equivalent to Perth Downtown) and surrounding suburbs.
Insert here the usual associated shitizen pandemonium stripping bare supermarket shelves like locusts.
By 6pm on Sunday, the state government imposed a strict 5 day "stay at home" order. All businesses closed (except for essential services)weddings cancelled, funerals restricted, opening week of school cancelled.....and.....for the first time in Perth, mandatory masks. That's around 2.5 million people in lockdown because of a single case. Within 24 hours, one person jailed for refusing to wear a mask, plastered on the media. Shut up citizens. $1,000 fine per person around town and up to $50,000 per person for not wearing a mask at the Perth airport. Our Police Commissioner said "If you're driving around in a car, if you're there by yourself in the car you can drive without a mask - BUT we strongly recommend you do" he told local radio.
It's now Wednesday and following tens of thousands of Rona tests, not a single additional positive result. The Premier of the state Mark McGowan announced today that he is considering easing restrictions on Friday.
We are a laughingstock.
One, single case.
Love your work. Vangelli.
Forced Quarantine Lowlands
BUSTED: CDC Inflated COVID Numbers, Accused of Violating Federal Law - National File
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 21:20
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stands accused of violating federal law by inflating Coronavirus fatality numbers, according to stunning information obtained by NATIONAL FILE.CDC illegally inflated the COVID fatality number by 1,600 percent as the 2020 presidential election played out, according to a study published by the Public Health Initiative of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge. The study, ''COVID-19 Data Collection, Comorbidity & Federal Law: A Historical Retrospective,'' was authored by Henry Ealy, Michael McEvoy, Daniel Chong, John Nowicki , Monica Sava, Sandeep Gupta, David White, James Jordan , Daniel Simon, and Paul Anderson. (READ THE LANDMARK RESEARCH HERE)
The CDC is now legally requiring red-blooded Americans to wear face masks on a public transportation as globalists try to push the concept of ''double-masking'' on the populace. Since the election, the World Health Organization admits that PCR tests are not totally reliable on the first try and a second test might be needed. This corresponds with CDC's quiet admission that it is blended viral and antibody test results for its case numbers and that people can test positive on an antibody test if they have antibodies from a family of viruses that cause the common cold. Hospitals in Florida had so many accuracy complications that Orlando Health had to admit that its 9.4 percent positivity rate got recorded at 98 percent. (READ: The TRUTH About Fauci and Gates And NIH Owning A Stake in the Vaccine).
''The groundbreaking peer-reviewed research'...asserts that the CDC willfully violated multiple federal laws including the Information Quality Act, Paperwork Reduction Act, and Administrative Procedures Act at minimum. (Publishing Journal '' Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge / Public Health Policy Initiative) Most notably, the CDC illegally enacted new rules for data collection and reporting exclusively for COVID-19 that resulted in a 1,600% inflation of current COVID-19 fatality totals,'' the watchdog group All Concerned Citizens declared in a statement provided to NATIONAL FILE, referring to the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge study.
''The research demonstrates that the CDC failed to apply for mandatory federal oversight and failed to open a mandatory period for public scientific comment in both instances as is required by federal law before enacting new rules for data collection and reporting. The CDC is required to be in full compliance with all federal laws even during emergency situations. The research asserts that CDC willfully compromised the accuracy and integrity of all COVID-19 case and fatality data from the onset of this crisis in order to fraudulently inflate case and fatality data,'' stated All Concerned Citizens.
''On March 24th the CDC published the NVSS COVID-19 Alert No. 2 document instructing medical examiners, coroners and physicians to deemphasize underlying causes of death, also referred to as pre-existing conditions or comorbidities, by recording them in Part II rather than Part I of death certificates as '''...the underlying cause of death are expected to result in COVID-19 being the underlying cause of death more often than not.'' This was a major rule change for death certificate reporting from the CDC 's 2003 Coroners' Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting and Physicians' Handbook on Medical Certification of Death, which have instructed death reporting professionals nationwide to report underlying conditions in Part I for the previous 17 years. This single change resulted in a significant inflation of COVID-19 fatalities by instructing that COVID-19 be listed in Part I of death certificates as a definitive cause of death regardless of confirmatory evidence, rather than listed in Part II as a contributor to death in the presence of pre-existing conditions, as would have been done using the 2003 guidelines. The research draws attention to this key distinction as it has led to a significant inflation in COVID fatality totals. By the researcher's estimates, COVID-19 recorded fatalities are inflated nationwide by as much as 1600% above what they would be had the CDC used the 2003 handbooks,'' stated All Concerned Citizens.
''Then on April 14th, the CDC adopted additional rules exclusive for COVID-19 in violation of federal law by outsourcing data collection rule development to the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), a non-profit entity, again without applying for oversight and opening opportunity for public scientific review. On April 5th the CSTE published a position paper Standardized surveillance case definition and national notification for 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) listing 5 CDC employees as subject matter experts. This key document created new rules for counting probable cases as actual cases without definitive proof of infection (section VII.A1 '' pages 4 & 5), new rules for contact tracing allowing contact tracers to practice medicine without a license (section VII.A3 '' page 5), and yet refused to define new rules for ensuring that the same person could not be counted multiple times as a new case (section VII.B '' page 7),'' stated All Concerned Citizens.
''By enacting these new rules exclusively for COVID-19 in violation of federal law, the research alleges that the CDC significantly inflated data that has been used by elected officials and public health officials, in conjunction with unproven projection models from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), to justify extended closures for schools, places of worship, entertainment, and small businesses leading to unprecedented emotional and economic hardships nationwide. A formal petition has been sent to the Department of Justice as well as all US Attorneys seeking an immediate grand jury investigation into these allegations,'' All Concerned Citizens stated.
So'...do you still trust the globalist oligarchs?
Here is a demonstration of the new COVID-19 testing methods in Chinese airports.
Have you printed your boarding pass yet? pic.twitter.com/3HCo5yaImD
'-- Dr. David Samadi, MD (@drdavidsamadi) January 29, 2021
NATIONAL FILE reported: National Institutes of Health (NIH) own a financial stake in the Bill Gates-funded Moderna Coronavirus vaccine, raising big questions about the supposed impartiality of the federal government's policy decisions during the Coronavirus outbreak. NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci, a financial ally of Bill Gates whose institute is part of NIH, has been critical of Hydroxychloroquine and the FBI even raided a health spa serving intravenous vitamin C, which are competitors to a vaccine. (RELATED: Eight NIH Coronavirus Panel Experts Disclose Financial Relationships With Price-Hiking Drugmaker Gilead).''We do have some particular stake in the intellectual property'' for the Moderna vaccine stated Francis Collins, the director of NIH, in a revelatory recent Economic Club panel discussion. ''One of the vaccines'' the one that's furthest along'' what started, actually, at the federal government in our own Vaccine Research Center at NIH'' then worked with a biotechnology company called Moderna to get to where we are now, with very impressive Phase I results and getting ready to go into a large-scale trial as early as July. That one, of course, we do have some particular stake in the intellectual property. Others, though, come from companies who've invested their efforts into getting them to the point where they might now be ready for a trial,'' Collins stated.
Newly published documents from Public Citizen have massive implications. Public Citizen states:
''The U.S. government may jointly own a potential coronavirus vaccine. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has played a critical role in coronavirus research for years. Building off this work, federal scientists have helped design and test mRNA-1273'--a vaccine candidate developed in partnership with Moderna.[2] The federal government has filed multiple patents covering mRNA-1273. In this report, we describe two patent applications that list federal scientists as co-inventors.[3] If the government successfully pursued its patent filings, the resulting patents would likely confer significant rights. We also review recently disclosed contracts between NIH and Moderna. The agreements suggest that NIH has not transferred its rights, but instead maintains a joint stake.''
Journalist Patrick Howley exposes the Coronavirus ''Contact Tracing'' program in the first-ever episode of NATIONAL FILE TV. Dr. Anthony Fauci funded the Coronavirus bat research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, believed to be the source of the outbreak, then the Political Class tried to suppress treatment as Fauci's friend and associate Bill Gates prepared mass vaccinations and the economy got battered. And the whole episode was written out, planned, in advance.
Here is the remarkable true story:
Why did the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund research at MIT on how to implant people's vaccination history under their skin? Why did Fauci meet with Bill Gates' father, George Soros, and other globalist heavyweights all the way back in 2001? Why did the Stephen King-created television series The Dead Zone predict the Coronavirus outbreak '-- and a Chloroquine cure for it '-- back in 2003?
Why did Dr. Anthony Fauci's NIAID fund the Coronavirus bat research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo and others have identified as the source of the worldwide outbreak?
WOW: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for this research into storing patient medical information within a person's skin using a vaccine.
WAKE UP, AMERICA! 🚨🚨🚨🚨https://t.co/JOEq4F59eE
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 7, 2020
WOW: A high-level source just sent me this photo, says that it shows Dr. FAUCI with George SOROS and Bill Gates' father among others. Source says it's from 2001. Fauci identified as man third from the left pic.twitter.com/l1NYyqHSAq
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 6, 2020
HERE'S THE REAL STORY OF CONTACT TRACING
Some Republicans are voicing concern after Texas state health officials granted a $295 million Coronavirus Contact Tracing deal to MTX Group, a firm run by a man named Das Nobel, which faces criticism for previous work it did for the state of Kentucky. It turns out the firm is a partner of Google, NATIONAL FILE has learned. MTX Group got the contract without conservative Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick being ''in the loop'' to the decision process, and Patrick is just one of numerous policymakers questioning the company's deal with the state, which authorizes MTX to serve as virus investigators charting people's contacts and relationships. MTX has also partnered during the Coronavirus outbreak with New York State and built Contact Tracing technology employed in Georgia. So what's really going on here? It turns out MTX is bigtime partners with Google:
I reported: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) policy confirms that ''Contact Tracing'' data may be sent to the World Health Organization (WHO) and to law enforcement authorities ''to place someone under quarantine or isolation.'' The Contact Tracing records, stored at the CDC and elsewhere, can also be sent to the Department of Justice, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, congressional offices, and to various medical and legal departments and contractors. Democrats are currently seeking $100 billion in a bill that would authorize grants to conduct contact tracing at people's homes. Meanwhile, Americans are fearing the political implications of contact tracing, considering that Chelsea Clinton is on the board of trustees of one official contact tracing group that has accepted large sums of money from Bill Gates and George Soros organizations.HHS records show a System of Records Notice (SORN 09-20-0171) in the Federal Register marking the creation of the record system called ''Quarantine- and Traveler-Related Activities, Including Records for Contact Tracing Investigation and Notification'...'' The records pertain to ''Individuals subject to quarantine or isolation orders, ill travelers (i.e., passengers and crew), contacts of ill travelers, and/or individuals exposed or suspected of being exposed to serious communicable diseases.'' The records include: ''Passenger and crew manifests from conveyances carrying individuals subject to 42 CFR parts 70 and 71, case reports, illness response forms, medical assessments, medical records (including but not limited to clinical, hospital and laboratory data and data from other relevant tests), name, address, date of birth, and related information and documents collected for the purpose of carrying out agency responsibilities under sections 311 and 361-368 of the Public Health Services Act.'' The records are being stored at: ''Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, National Center for the Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Disease (NCPDCID), Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases (CCID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., Building 16; MS E03, Atlanta, GA 30333. Records may occasionally be stored at Quarantine Stations located at key ports of entry and at contractor sites.''
READ THE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES PRIVACY GUIDELINES HERE (emphasis added):
''(1) Records may be disclosed to contractors to handle program work duties, performing many of the same functions as FTEs within DGMQ in situations where additional staff is required. Contractors are required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to such records.
(2) Records may be disclosed to state and local health departments and other cooperating medical and public health authorities and their counsel to more effectively deal with outbreaks and other significant public health conditions.
(3) Personal information from this system may be disclosed as a routine use to appropriate conveyance personnel, Federal agencies, state and local health departments, Department of State and embassy personnel (U.S. and foreign), and health authorities in foreign countries for contact tracing investigations and notifications of possible exposures to serious communicable diseases in connection with travel.
(4) Records may be disclosed to the Department of Homeland Security to restrict travel of persons who pose a public health risk and in the instance of suspected domestic or international terrorism.
(5) Disclosure may be made to medical personnel providing evaluation and care for ill or exposed persons, including travelers.
(6) Records may be disclosed to the World Health Organization in accordance with U.S. responsibilities as a signatory to the International Health Regulations or other international agreements.
(7) Personal information may be disclosed to federal, state, and local authorities for taking necessary actions to place someone under quarantine or isolation, for enforcement of other quarantine regulations, or to protect the public's health and safety.
(8) Records may be disclosed to cooperating state and local legal departments enforcing concurrent legal authority related to quarantine or isolation activities.
(9) In the event that a system of records maintained by this agency to carry out its functions indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or particular program statute, or by regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the appropriate agency, whether federal, foreign, state or local, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, or rule, regulation or order issued pursuant thereto.
(10) Disclosure may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to a verified inquiry from the congressional office made at the written request of that individual
(11) In the event of litigation where the defendant is: (a) The Department, any component of the Department, or any employee of the Department in his or her official capacity; (b) the United States where the Department determines that the claim, if successful, is likely to directly affect the operations of the Department or any of its components; or (c) any Department employee in his or her individual capacity where the Justice Department has agreed to represent such employee, disclosure may be made to the Department of Justice to enable that Department to present an effective defense.
(12) Records may be disclosed to appropriate Federal agencies and Department contractors that have a need to know the information for the purpose of assisting the Department's efforts to respond to a suspected or confirmed breach of the security or confidentiality of information disclosed is relevant and necessary for that assistance.''
Officials with Broward County Department of Health and the Florida Surgeon General's Office have created a process to force-quarantine people who have not even tested positive for Coronavirus, according to a memo from inside the Broward County Department of Health obtained by NATIONAL FILE after a source filed a public information request. The March 27 memo written by Joshua D. Lenchus, shortly before he was named chief medical officer this month of Broward Health Medical Center, confirms that the process allows for a ''Quarantine Order'' to be issued for ''Persons Under Investigation'' who have not even tested positive. This scoop comes amid public outcry after we exposed Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry caught on tape discussing going into ''family homes'' and assisted living facilities to isolate people during the Coronavirus outbreak. Freedom protesters wielding petitions were shut out of the Broward Commissioners meeting on Tuesday.Here is Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry discussing going into ''family homes'' to isolate people.
HERE IS THE MEMO ISSUED BY JOSHUA LENCHUS: browardorder
SOROS, GATES, AND CLINTONS
Partners in Health was recently selected by Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker to conduct Coronavirus ''contact tracing,'' a process that involves teams of investigators finding out who infected people have come into contact with. The group is already ''training and deploying hundreds of contact tracers.'' Some citizens fear the potential for mass surveillance posed by contact tracing, especially in light of a Democrat-introduced bill in Congress to authorize contact tracing ''at individuals' residences.'' Partners In Health's involvement will not assuage many fears, considering the group has received funding from George Soros and Bill Gates organizations and counts Chelsea Clinton on its board of trustees.Partners in Health lists George Soros' Open Society Foundations as an official partner, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Partners In Health lists Open Society Foundations on its 2015 annual report as a supporter to the tune of $1 million or above, along with the Gates Foundation. Chelsea Clinton serves on Partners in Health's Board of Trustees, according to its 2019 annual report.
Partners in Health co-founder Paul Farmer's achievement.org bio notes: ''Farmer's work attracted the support of philanthropists, including George Soros and Bill and Melinda Gates. In 2002, PIH received a $13 million grant from the Global Fund for improvements in the Cange complex. In 2005 the William J. Clinton Foundation funded a Partners in Health AIDS program in Rwanda.'' Farmer and Chelsea Clinton did a Clinton Foundation podcast together in 2019.
In response to a 2007 tuberculosis outbreak in Africa, NBC News reported: ''Soros' Open Society Institute announced a $3 million grant to the non-profit organization Partners in Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The donation will be used to design a model project of community-based XDR-TB treatment in Lesotho. Once treatment guidelines are developed, experts hope the program will be adopted in other poor countries.''
Soros personally announced the grant and said he hoped it would spark a larger project. For this initiative, Partners In Health was cited by name in the propaganda book The Philanthropy of George Soros: Building Open Societies.
In 2011, International Women's Health Coalition noted, ''YP Foundation Founder to Join Paul Farmer, George Soros, at IWHC Gala.'' Farmer was honored at the gala, which Guest of a Guest noted had David Rockefeller in attendance.
In 2014, Partners In Health co-founder Paul Farmer secured multi-million dollar Soros financing for a coalition project in Africa. Farmer was featured in an October 2014 video interview on Soros' Open Society Foundations website, which stated, ''In between trips to Liberia, Paul Farmer of Partners In Health visited Open Society's offices to discuss his work on Ebola. Paul talked about the need to ensure sustainable health systems for people in nations where the virus has spread.'' Farmer blasted ''fear and conspiracy theories around fatal illnesses'' in the video and talked about how to ''attack'' conspiracy theories with activism.
Forbes reported in September 2014: ''There's never been a connection between Ebola and first-rate medical care,'' says Paul Farmer, the renowned co-founder of Partners in Health, before pointing out that none of the health care workers flown back to the U.S. for treatment have died. Could the answer to the outbreak lie in the care regiment for those afflicted?
We'll soon find out. Farmer landed in Liberia this morning, at the center of a coalition quietly formed to specifically '' and quickly '' test that thesis. In the next few weeks, the Farmer group will open a top-notch treatment facility in one of Liberia's most rural provinces, along with strategies designed to maximize its effectiveness.
''This has been coming together for years,'' Farmer tells Forbes, a few hours before departing on the trip. ''The Ebola crisis pushed it over the edge.''
The impetus for this coalition began with a meeting two weeks ago, convened by Farmer's co-founder at Partners in Health, Jim Kim, who is now president of the World Bank. Attendees included Director-General Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization, Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute for Health. Dismayed by the global response '' Kim told the group that the outbreak already ranks among the worst health crises in world history '-- Kim tabbed Farmer as the World Bank's special Ebola advisor and also enlisted another attendee at the meeting, Raj Panjabi, who runs Last Mile Health in Liberia. (Full disclosure: Panjabi was mentored at last year's Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy and I now chair the advisory board for Last Mile Health, which hires, trains and manages front-line health care workers in remote villages.)
George Soros' Open Society Foundations quickly provided $4 million to fund this project. ''The coalition got us a proposal the next day, they answered all our questions the day after, and we got them the funds they needed before the week was out,'' says Chris Stone, the organization's president. The project was appealing to Soros' team because it features a local group familiar with the turf, an entrepreneurial mentality and the ability to scale.''
Forbes passage ends
Contact Tracers Exposed https://t.co/vv5pUJXyOo
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) May 11, 2020
Meanwhile'...
Prospective Coronavirus contact tracers in New York City are required to understand ''institutional and structural racism'' and to support immigrants and the LGBTQ community. The government is employing contact tracers to investigate who infected persons come into contact with, leading to civilian concerns that privacy is being attacked. (RELATED: Democrats Introduce Bill To Authorize Contact Tracing At People's Homes).A job posting on Columbia University School of General Studies states: ''The Fund for Public Health in New York City (FPHNYC), in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), is seeking contact tracers to perform case interviews and contact tracing to support the citywide COVID-19 response. using a trauma-informed, culturally respectful approach that builds trust and facilitates the free sharing of information.'' The job includes ''Conducting in-person investigations into congregate settings and selected cases and contacts.''
Listed requirements include: ''Ability to understand the concepts of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities'' and ''Have a demonstrated commitment to supporting communities who have experienced systemic oppression and bias (e.g. people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, justice involved persons, etc.)''
Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush has introduced a bill in Congress to authorize the federal government to grant approved entities the right to conduct contact tracing for Coronavirus at ''individuals' residences.'' Contact tracing involves investigators tracing every interaction that infected people have.Rep. Rush introduced HR 6666, ''COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, and Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act'' on May 1, 2020 and it has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill has 45 co-sponsors. According to the text of the bill: ''To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to eligible entities to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID-19, and related activities such as contact tracing, through mobile health units and, as necessary, at individuals' residences, and for other purposes.''
People are concerned that the government might be angling to use contact tracing to remove people from their homes and place them in quarantine, after a Ventura County, California health official suggested doing just that (and later walked it back, though it's unclear what his proposed policy actually is at this time).
WHAT WOULD YOU DO if your six year old son or daughter tested positive for COVID19 and was taken from your home to a quarantine center by Ventura Health Authorities? This SHOCKING VIDEO demands that you plan ahead. #BeBrave #HistoryRepeating pic.twitter.com/e5RC7dCO7o
'-- Del Bigtree (@delbigtree) May 6, 2020
Former Democrat president Bill Clinton extensively discussed contact tracing recently in video interviews with Democrat leaders including governors Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom:
The video I highlighted of Bill Clinton discussing a potential "Contact Tracer Corps" was taken down, but here is another version of it that features Bill talking to Cuomo and Newsomhttps://t.co/cr1aDlY8X0
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) May 9, 2020
CHILDREN AT RISK
Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies are facing national scrutiny as Salem, Oregon salon owner Lindsey Graham accuses CPS of questioning her children in a politically motivated targeting operation. Graham is fighting Democrat governor Kate Brown's state government in an effort to re-open her business during the government-imposed Coronavirus lockdown. Graham's crusade, predictably, is making her a target of the political establishment.
I led the way in exposing Child Protective Services with my 2019 investigative journalism series. I spotlighted the massive problems in Oregon, interviewing pro-life activist Heather Hobbs regarding her claim that a nurse targeted her with a vindictive CPS report in the hospital due to her pro-life conservative beliefs, and I showed how the Oregon Treasury invested in a foster care provider accused of lording over patient abuse.
Meanwhile: Washington state's Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCFY, also known as ''CPS'' for ''Child Protective Services'') posted a job listing for existing CPS workers to volunteer to supervise children in quarantine centers during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The job posting states: ''DCYF is seeking current DCYF employees in King, Snohomish, and Benton counties to volunteer to supervise and support children and youth in Emergency Quarantine Centers. While this is a voluntary effort, you will be compensated four ranges (approximately 20%) above you current base salary while performing these duties, and return to your normal position and salary once concluded. We are looking for current DCYF Social Service Specialist 3's to care for children who are either COVID-19 positive, or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. There are three locations'...''
One of the listed locations, Cedar Springs Camp, clarified that they were falsely listed by the state of Washington as a quarantine center, and they asked the state to remove them. The job posting closed on May 11.
Responding to social media uproar, the Washington state's DCYF put out a clarifying statement that the ad was only referring to children currently in the system. But their clarifying statement contradicts itself, at first stating that the quarantined children will be kids who have tested positive, and then stating that quarantined children will also be kids who may have been exposed to Coronavirus.
DCYF's clarifying statement reads: ''In light of some concerns from the public regarding two recent job postings by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), the agency would like to clarify the intent of these job listings and address misinformation spreading as a result of the job description.
The job postings targeted current staff interested in Social Service Specialist 3 and Social Service Specialist 5 positions. The post prematurely included sites of potential locations in the community where we could house children in our legal care and authority who've tested positive for COVID-19 in the event that a placement home was not available. The facilities listed are not affiliated with DCYF and had not signed off on this job listing.
The listings have since been taken down to avoid further confusion.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DCYF began internal recruitment of social service specialists to care for foster children who are either COVID-19 positive or may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the event a placement home was not available.
To clarify, those facilities that ultimately open their doors to this effort would only house State-dependent children and youth in out-of-home care who due to being COVID positive or COVID exposed do not currently have a foster home available. These facilities are for this limited scope and not considered quarantine centers or intended for the general public.''
Meanwhile'...
Multiple mothers have had their children taken away from them as a direct result of working in the medical profession during the Coronavirus outbreak. Will these disturbing cases register with our political leaders, who are voicing public calls to stand with our medical workers during the pandemic?Additionally, NATIONAL FILE caught a Child Protective Services worker attempting to use the Coronavirus outbreak to suspend all visits for parents of a child in the government system, citing a statewide policy that the state government says does not exist. What is going on?
(UPDATE: Dr. Theresa Greene, profiled below, got her children back after an appeals court ruling)
The Washington Examiner previously reported:
''A divorced emergency room physician temporarily lost custody of her daughter because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Theresa Greene, a doctor in South Florida, previously shared custody of her 4-year-old daughter with her ex-husband, Eric Greene, but a judge granted an emergency order granting him sole custody until the ordeal is over, according to NBC Miami.
In the court's decision, Circuit Judge Bernard Shapiro wrote, ''In order to protect the best interests of the minor child, including but not limited to the minor child's safety and welfare, this Court temporarily suspends the Former Wife's timesharing until further Order of Court. The suspension is solely related to the outbreak of COVID-19.'''...
'...Theresa Greene responded to the judge's ruling by saying that ''the family court system now is stressing me almost more than the virus.''
''I was just shocked that the judge would take this stance without talking to medical experts and knowing the facts and take it so lightly, take my child from me, and not think of the effect on her, her mental and psychological well-being,'' she added.
The doctor noted that the custody battle will not stop her from following the ''oath'' she took to help people.''
Washington Examiner passage ends
Greene appealed the decision, and an appeals court ruled in her favor.
Meanwhile, I recently reported:
An Oklahoma medical worker has been stripped of her parental custody at this time because she works in a medical clinic and could possibly be exposed to Coronavirus during the outbreak, according to court documents.A district judge for the Sac and Fox District Court took medical worker Katherine Spencer's children after the father petitioned the court. ''The Petitioner alleged, and submitted documents in support, that the Respondent alleged proximity to Coronavirus,'' the court order states. Court dockets show no record of a hearing on March 20, the day the court laid down its order to confiscate Spencer's children.
Katherine Spencer told her story on Facebook and denied that she has any history of ''neglect'' prior to getting hit with a gag order by the judge.
NATIONAL FILE recently reported'...
UPDATE: Since NATIONAL FILE broke this story, the parents in question have had multiple short video visits with their daughter)
A Child Protective Services (CPS) worker in Oklahoma used the Coronavirus outbreak to cut off a mother and father's visits with their 20-month old daughter, even though the Department of Human Services, the state agency that oversees CPS, claims to be keeping parental visits open.
''DHS statewide has suspended all visitations due to the virus so after today's visit, we cannot approve any more visitations until it is reinstated,'' said CPS permanency worker Danelle Dillman in a Friday morning text message to Andrew Ritter regarding his 20-month old daughter, who was seized by the government for ''Failure To Thrive'' due to low infant birth weight after the girl's mother chose to breastfeed her. Ritter and his wife said they preferred not to place their daughter on a particular appetite enhancer due to perceived conflict with the girl's Zyrtec Antihistemine.
An Oklahoma DHS official told National File in a confusing, defensive interview that the state agency does not have a policy in place to suspend all visitations at this time, but rather to continue visitations using technology like Skype and FaceTime. But the official does not know if visitations are actually still occurring. Ritter and his wife never received an offer to hold a cyber-visit. Here is the text that permanency worker Dillman sent to Ritter:
When National File called up the headquarters for Oklahoma DHS, a woman who answered the phone told us that parental visits were indeed ''suspended'' for the time being, ''until they get this virus under control.'' The woman refused to give us her name.
But Keeley McEwan, head of the Oklahoma DHS communications office, told National File that ''We have not suspended visitation across the board in any way.'' She pointed to the agency's daily guidance for case workers, which she noted is ''fluid'' and ''changes day to day.''
''As of today we are highly encouraging continuing visitation'' utilizing iphones and programs including Skype and FaceTime. ''Whether a visitation is cancelled is on a case by case basis.''
She did not know whether any visitations have been recently held since the Coronavirus outbreak using Skype or FaceTime. Permanency worker Danelle Dillman did not respond to repeated requests for comment. McEwan did not confirm whether or not she spoke to Dillman or Dillman's superviser following our conversation.
I have been reporting on the nationwide scourge of CPS removing children from parents' homes for highly disputable reasons or no reason at all, which many parents feel is due to the for-profit nature of the government's child removal industry.
BUSTED: FAUCI, BIRX, AND GATES: HERE IS MY ORIGINAL REPORT THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
President Donald Trump is fighting to find a medical solution for Coronavirus in the short term, expressing hope that the anti-malaria drug Chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine can help patients suffering from the Chinese virus.The truth is that President Donald Trump is locked in an intense power struggle with Bill Gates, who is pushing his vaccines, which may not be available to the public until after November's election.
Gates has a lot of pull in the medical world, he has a multi-million dollar relationship with Dr. Fauci, and Fauci originally took the Gates line supporting vaccines and casting doubt on Chloroquine. Coronavirus response team member Dr. Deborah Birx, appointed by former president Obama to serve as United States Global AIDS Coordinator, also sits on the board of a group that has received billions from Gates' foundation. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently provided funding to both IHME and Imperial College London, which put out wildly overblown models for the Coronavirus outbreak that caused mass panic and contributed to worldwide government lockdown. Gates is a big proponent for a population lockdown scenario for the Coronavirus outbreak.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID, a division of National Institutes of Health, NIH) director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is represented by the Aurumn Speakers Bureau, initially criticized Trump's hopeful assessment of Chloroquine, saying in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper that ''There's no magic drug for coronavirus right now,'' and lectured, ''Let me put it into perspective for the viewers .. there has been anecdotal non-proven data that it [chloroquine] works'... but when you have an uncontrolled trial you can never definitely say that it works.''
Fauci then changed his tune and launched a public relations campaign huddling closer to Trump. Fauci said that he would definitely prescribe Chloroquine for patients. ''Yeah, of course, particularly if people have no other option. These drugs are approved drugs for other reasons. They're anti-malaria drugs, and they're drugs against certain autoimmune diseases like lupus. Physicians throughout the country can prescribe that in an off-label way. Which means they can write it for something it was not approved for.''
Fauci makes his hostility toward the Trump-touted drugs clear:
First of all this is a brilliant idea @kilmeade to study how many people that've taken hydroxychloroquine long term have contracted #COVID maybe even have them take antibody test. Second of all Fauci doesn't want it prescribed here but it's fine if Spain does? pic.twitter.com/hcnRhos13g
'-- Rosie memos (@almostjingo) April 3, 2020
Fauci is pushing the talking point that things will never go back to normal in our society until we have the ability to mass-vaccinate people, echoing Bill Gates' assertion that mass gatherings in our culture ''may not come back at all'' before mass-vaccinations.
#NEW: Dr. Anthony Fauci on return to normalcy from pandemic:
"If 'back to normal' means acting like there never was a Coronavirus problem, I don't think that's going to happen until we do have a situation where you can completely protect the population."pic.twitter.com/JbE7uasbO2
'-- Jennifer Franco (@jennfranconews) April 6, 2020
Fauci downplayed the threat of Coronavirus on January 21 in a Newsmax TV interview, saying, ''This is not a major threat for the people in the United States, and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.'' Since then, Coronavirus has exploded in the United States, boosting demand for a vaccine.
This is Fauci 10 days before Trump's Travel Ban. pic.twitter.com/PU3AuDKctv
'-- Justin Pulitzer Trades (@JustinPulitzer) April 7, 2020
Fauci later said that people would not have to change their daily activities as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak:
It is time to #firefauci Mr. President. The People Demand Ithttps://t.co/J4SSXn1kPB
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 12, 2020
But Fauci's NIAID actually funded a study on Bat Coronavirus, which was a project that included scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese lab at the center of controversy over their bat research. That study confirmed in 2018 that humans have died from coronavirus.
Here's an excerpt from the April 4, 2018 NIAID website entry entitled ''New Coronavirus Emerges From Bats in China, Devastates Young Swine'': ''A newly identified coronavirus that killed nearly 25,000 piglets in 2016-17 in China emerged from horseshoe bats near the origin of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which emerged in 2002 in the same bat species. The new virus is named swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV). It does not appear to infect people, unlike SARS-CoV which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774. No SARS-CoV cases have been identified since 2004. The study investigators identified SADS-CoV on four pig farms in China's Guangdong Province. The work was a collaboration among scientists from EcoHealth Alliance, Duke-NUS Medical School, Wuhan Institute of Virology and other organizations, and was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The research is published in the journal Nature. The researchers say the finding is an important reminder that identifying new viruses in animals and quickly determining their potential to infect people is a key way to reduce global health threats.''
Additionally, the Daily Mail reported that National Institutes of Health, of which Fauci's NIAID is a member, provided a $3.7 million grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study bat-borne coronavirus. That study was headlined, 'Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus.'
So what is really going on here?
The true behind-the-scenes story is coming to light:
Bill Gates Cast Doubt on Chloroquine And Said He Is Running A Study On It
Here is what Gates said regarding Chloroquine in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session:
''There are a lot of therapeutic drugs being examined. This is one of many but it is not proven. If it works we will need to make sure the finite supplies are held for the patients who need it most. We have a study going on to figure this out. We also have a screening effort to look at all the ideas for Therapeutics because the number being proposed is very large and only the most promising should be tried in patients. China was testing some things but now they have so few cases that that testing needs to move to other locations,'' Gates said.
Gates Is Funding Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates That Would Compete With Chloroquine, And Dr. Fauci's Agency Is Co-Partnering On The Project
The company Moderna is working on a Coronavirus vaccine, which they expect will go into clinical trials in April. Dr. Fauci has heaped praise on Moderna and said that a vaccine is the only way to definitively assure the end of the virus. Gates is working on multiple Coronavirus vaccine projects.
The New Eastern Outlook journal reported:
''Gates Foundation money is backing vaccine development on every front. Inovio Pharmaceuticals of Pennsylvania received $9 million from the Gates-backed CEPI, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, to develop a vaccine, INO-4800, which is about to test on humans in April, a suspiciously rapid time frame. In addition Gates Foundation just gave the company an added $5 million to develop a proprietary smart device for intradermal delivery of the new vaccine.
In addition Gates Foundation monies via CEPI are financing development of a radical new vaccine method known as messengerRNA or mRNA.
They are co-funding the Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech company, Moderna Inc., to develop a vaccine against the Wuhan novel coronavirus, now called SARS-CoV-2. Moderna's other partner is the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Head of NIAID is Dr Anthony Fauci, the person at the center of the Trump Administration virus emergency response. Notable about the Fauci-Gates Moderna coronavirus vaccine, mRNA-1273, is that it has been rolled out in a matter of weeks, not years, and on February 24 went directly to Fauci's NIH for tests on human guinea pigs, not on mice as normal. Moderna's chief medical adviser, Tal Zaks, argued, ''I don't think proving this in an animal model is on the critical path to getting this to a clinical trial'...
Add to this the fact that the Gates Foundation and related entities such as CEPI constitute the largest funders of the public-private entity known as WHO, and that its current director, Tedros Adhanom, the first WHO director in history not a medical doctor, worked for years on HIV with the Gates Foundation when Tedros was a government minister in Ethiopia, and we see that there is practically no area of the current coronavirus pandemic where the footprints of the omnipresent Gates are not to be found. If that is to the good of mankind or grounds to be worried, time will tell.''
New Eastern Outlook journal passage ends
The Hill reported:
''Going into a Phase One trial within three months of getting the sequence is unquestionably the world indoor record. Nothing has ever gone that fast,'' according to Fauci.
While it is uncertain that Moderna's answer is the solution, Fauci notes that the only surefire way to stop an outbreak is to develop a vaccine. Moderna manufactures drugs around messenger RNA molecules that carry instructions to reprogram cells in the body to operate differently and beneficially. Currently, its genetic technology has not created a vaccine for humans.
The first study of the vaccine will take place at NIAID. If it is successful, a second trial would feature closer to hundreds of people. Pending the results of future studies and regulations, the vaccine may not be readily available until next year, Fauci said.
Hill passage ends
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reported in 2016 on Gates' relationship with Moderna:
''Moderna Therapeutics said today it received an initial $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a new affordable combination of messenger RNA''based antibody therapeutics geared toward preventing HIV infection.
The grant is intended for use in the antibody combination's preclinical study and a Phase I clinical trial. Gates Foundation's $20 million funding could potentially grow into a total $100 million commitment'--including the HIV antibody project'--toward development of additional mRNA-based treatments for various infectious diseases, Moderna said.
''The foundation's mission to help all people lead healthy and productive lives is well aligned with Moderna's mission to deliver on the promise of transformative mRNA science to bring new medicines to patients,'' Moderna CEO St(C)phane Bancel said in a statement.
Moderna said the development effort would be led by its infectious disease''focused venture company, Valera'...''
Fauci Is Tight with Bill Gates
''He's very good about not overpromising,'' Gates said of Fauci in 2018 as Gates worked on a universal flu vaccine. NIAID Council minutes from 2019 show Fauci's agency identifying a Gates Foundation workshop as being of interest. Gates met with Fauci in 2017 ''to discuss research opportunities in global health.'' In 2010, Fauci was named to the Leadership Council of the ''Decade of Vaccines'' Collaboration, which the World Health Organization, Fauci's agency NIAID, UNICEF, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation convened.
Fauci delivered a keynote opening address on ''The Challenge of Pandemic Preparedness'' in Washington, D.C. at the October 2, 2017 Grand Challenges meeting, which is a project of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Fauci hung out with Gates in 2018 at an NIH workshop:
Fauci shaking hands with Bill Gates pic.twitter.com/ANJ67F3lA1
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) March 24, 2020
Gates Admitted That He Stopped President Trump's Planned Vaccine Safety Commission With Robert Kennedy Jr. in the Early Days of the Trump Administration
https://twitter.com/2ndfor1st/status/1223507698064347138
In October 2019, Fauci Announced A Partnership Between the Gates Foundation and Fauci's Agency, In Which The Gates Foundation Pledged To Spend $100 Million
The American Journal of Managed Care reported on October 28, 2019:
''The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced plans to invest at least $100 million over the next 4 years to develop gene-based therapies for 2 diseases: HIV and sickle cell disease (SCD). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation) will also contribute $100 million to the goal of advancing these potential cures, with an aim toward providing affordable, globally available treatment that will be accessible to patients in low-resource settings.
According to the NIH, the collaboration between the organizations will focus on 2 key areas. First, it will identify potential candidate cures for preclinical and clinical evaluation, and second, it will define long-term opportunities to partner with organizations in Africa'...
''This collaboration is an ambitious step forward, harnessing the most cutting-edge scientific tools and NIH's sizable global HIV research infrastructure to one day deliver a cure and end the global HIV pandemic,'' said NIAID director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, in a statement announcing the initiative. ''We are taking into account those with the greatest need at the foundation of this effort, to ensure that, if realized, this exceptional public health achievement will be made accessible to all.''
Dr. Fauci Is Slated to Speak At The World Vaccine Congress in September 2020 Alongside A Coterie of Public Sector and Private Sector Folks From WHO, CDC, FDA, Merck, Pfizer, etc.
The event is in Washington, D.C.
Fauci is a Hillary Clinton Admirer
Dr. Fauci, supports Hillary Clinton: pic.twitter.com/25qiVvklCH
'-- HRHPrincessPR (@HRHPrincessPR) March 20, 2020
Fauci and fellow Coronavirus response team member Deborah Birx Have Democrat and Globalist Elite Friends Including Gates and Nancy Pelosi
FAUCI and HILLARY! I repeat, FAUCI and HILLARY! pic.twitter.com/QmpWKJ61sp
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) March 24, 2020
Fauci was a presenter at the 2001 Andrew Carnegie Medals ceremony, where he hobnobbed with George Soros, Bill Gates' father, David Rockefeller, and other globalist masters of the universe.
WOW: A high-level source just sent me this photo, says that it shows Dr. FAUCI with George SOROS and Bill Gates' father among others. Source says it's from 2001. Fauci identified as man third from the left pic.twitter.com/l1NYyqHSAq
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 6, 2020
#FireFauci https://t.co/H6Fji94qqm
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 6, 2020
https://twitter.com/BenHill4NV/status/1247276721180532736
Dr. Deborah Birx is garnering criticism for touting a disputed model for the Coronavirus outbreak prepared by the University of Washington's IHME, a project of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Birx's license to practice medicine in the state of Pennsylvania expired in 2014.
Deborah Birx Sits on the Board of The Global Fund, which is heavily funded by Bill Gates' organizational network, as journalist Jordan Schactel discovered. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave the Global Fund a $750 million promissory note in 2012.
The Global Fund explains, ''The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a key partner of the Global Fund, providing cash contributions, actively participating on its board and committees, and supporting the Global Fund's advocacy, communications and fundraising efforts. The Gates Foundation has contributed US$2.24 billion to the Global Fund to date, and pledged US$760 million for the Global Fund's Sixth Replenishment, covering 2020-2022.''
Fauci Holds Numerous Patents That Present More Potential Conflicts of Interest For Him In The Medical Field, As Many of these Patents Directly Pertain To HIV Treatment
Here Is A List of Patents Held Or Pending Patent Applications Filed By Anthony S. Fauci
Fauci was previously accused of a conflict of interest regarding one of his patents in 1999.
FAUCI'S FRIEND PELOSI GALLIVANTED AROUND CHINATOWN DURING THE OUTBREAK
Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi impeached President Donald Trump during the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States of America, while also encouraging people to socialize with her in the Chinatown district of San Francisco, where she visited a fortune cookie factory to portray her supposed opposition to bigotry and xenophobia.The CDC confirmed the first U.S. case of the Chinese virus on January 21, in Seattle from a man who got back from Wuhan, China. Incidentally, the House impeachment managers kicked off opening arguments in the Trump ''Ukraine''-focused impeachment trial two days later on January 23.
Pelosi told people to ''Come join us!'' during her Chinatown jaunt on February 24, which featured her aforementioned fortune cookie factory visit.
This was on February 24. Nancy Pelosi encouraged people to go to Chinatownhttps://t.co/JghyaWmGsT
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 3, 2020
It was a pleasure to try my hand at making fortune cookies at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (with a little guidance from owner Kevin Chan, of course).
The message inside?
''United We Stand.'' pic.twitter.com/3piGq4yKXq
'-- Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 25, 2020
During the most recent round of stimulus spending, Pelosi attempted to stall the Republican-backed plan in an effort to pass elements of the Green New Deal.
National File reported:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's 1,119 page coronavirus stimulus proposal includes a vast amount of hidden, nakedly partisan political provisions and regulations that are unrelated to family and small business relief.
Several sharp-eyed social media users who had the fortitude to browse through the massive bill found bizarre provisions, including writer Rachel Bovard.
''Pelosi's #COVID19 bill is 1,119 pages and contains provisions for ''conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections'' so yeah it's really very focused on the crisis at hand,'' Bovard said in a thread that compiled screenshots of various provisions in the bill.
After proposing a bailout for the postal service, the Democratic bill includes sections about paid studies of ''pay equity'' between ''racial and ethnic minorities'' and their ''white counterparts,'' as well as a ''comparison of pay between and women for similar roles and assignments.''
GATES IS EVERYWHERE
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently provided massive amounts of funding to both the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Imperial College in London, which both produced wildly incorrect models for the Coronavirus outbreak that sparked worldwide panic and provided false justification for government leaders to shut down the American economy, creating mass unemployment. Bill Gates is a vaccine oligarch who recently laughed at America's economic devastation, so committed he is to his vision of vaccinating the world's population and keeping society locked down until that becomes possible. Gates, like his crony Dr. Anthony Fauci, has fought the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus and has claimed that society will never fully return to normal until a vaccine is ready. (READ: The Dark Truth About Fauci, Birx, Bill Gates and the Globalist Elites).White House Coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx touted the IHME's ''Chris Murray Model'' in April. IHME is housed at the University of Washington and was reportedly founded by the Gates Foundation, according to a Fox 9 report. In 2017, the Gates Foundation provided a ten-year, $279 million grant to IHME. Birx, meanwhile, sits on the board of the Global Fund, which has received more than $2 billion from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The IHME model proved to be a total disaster. In Georgia, where Republican governor Brian Kemp led the charge for re-opening his state, the model previously predicted 1,783 new cases per day on June 12 and hundreds of new cases per day into August. That model, just revised, shows 367 new cases per day on June 12 and zero new cases per day by August.
Deborah Birx, whose PA medical license is expired, used a bogus Gates-funded model to shut down the country, defended counting non-definitive cases as Coronavirus, sits on board of Global Fund which has taken more than $2 BILLION from Gates Foundation'...https://t.co/DhgcEibTdD
'-- Patrick Howley (@HowleyReporter) April 21, 2020
In March 2020, during the Coronavirus outbreak, the Gates Foundation awarded a more than $79 million grant to Imperial College London. The Imperial College London model, spearheaded by team leader Neil Ferguson, projected 2.2 million American casualties. The disastrous model led to Elon Musk lambasting Ferguson, who resigned as an adviser to the British government when he was caught flaunting the very lockdown that his numbers inspired. Imperial College London admits on its website that its research on arboviruses, which includes work on vaccine projections undertaken by Neil Ferguson himself is Gates-funded, stating, ''Our research is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the US National Institutes of Health and the MRC.'' Business Insider reports that Neil Ferguson's MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease at Imperial College ''gets tens of millions of dollars in annual funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and works with the UK National Health Service, the US Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), and is tasked with supplying the World Health Organization with ''rapid analysis of urgent infectious disease problems.'' A job posting that opened in December 2019 and closed in January 2020 stated (emphasis added): ''We are seeking an outstanding Research Lead for the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium (https://www.vaccineimpact.org/). This major collaborative initiative directed by Professor Neil Ferguson, is based within the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London and funded jointly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance ($11 million over 2016-22).''
A Chinese government entity that has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation led a delegation of public health experts to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in December 2018, after the lab had already begun its bat coronavirus research funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). This discovery was made by citizen journalist Amazing Polly (@99freemind). President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have emboldened the narrative that Coronavirus originated at the Wuhan lab.(READ: The Full Story of Dr. Fauci, Birx, Bill Gates, and The Globalist Elites)The Chinese government's Center for Global Public Health (CGPH) guided ten experts from Africa to the Wuhan lab and other Chinese institutions and reached a consensus on ''training of biosafety personnel.'' The information on the trip from Wuhan Institute of Virology's website can be READ HERE. According to the website, ''CGPH has managed and implemented foreign aid mission assigned by the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Ministry of Commerce, as well as international cooperation projects funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.''
DHEC announces change in calculation of COVID-19 percent positive cases | Coronavirus | foxcarolina.com
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 13:08
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Peruvian court accused Gates and Soros of creating COVID-19 pandemic
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:40
The Court of Appeal of the Chincha and Pisco provinces in the southern region of Ica has declared the involvement of "the world's dominant criminal elites" in the creation of a new type of coronavirus pandemic. A copy of the court ruling was published on its website by the newspaper Peru. 21.
''No world government, no natural or legal person, no defense of the defendant can confirm that the epidemic has the property of 'predictability', except as its creators from among [the authors] of the new world order, such as Bill Gates, Soros, Rockefeller and others, managing and directing it in conditions of extreme secrecy from their global corporations, making forecasts until 2030'', - TASS quotes the text of the document.
As the news agency notes, the essence of the lawsuit did not directly concern the topic of the pandemic. The reason for the court session was the appeal of the representatives of the defense of a person arrested during the preliminary investigation on charges of committing a serious crime. The defense tried to appeal the extension of the detention for the accused. Having received a court decision with a reference to a "world conspiracy", the lawyers said that the decision with statements of a "speculative nature" violated their client's right to a reasoned decision and the right to judicial protection.
Earlier, in a number of countries, waves of rumors about the artificial nature of the occurrence of coronavirus have been repeatedly raised. Some adherents of "conspiracy theories" argued that the vaccine, created by scientists to prevent coronavirus, would lead to the "chipping" of the population and the transformation of people into "biorobots." Experts and doctors from different countries have repeatedly denied this information, but part of the population continues to believe in the "conspiracy theory".
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the total number of people infected with COVID-19 in the world has exceeded 90 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, of which 1.946 million have died. In Russia, over 3.425 million people have already become infected with the infection, 62,273 patients have died.
Found a typo in the text? Select it and press ctrl + enter
Vaccines and such
India Covid Home Care Kit
ITM Adam
I have a UK friend holidaying in Patnem, South Goa, India. He sent me photos showing that the beaches are absolutely packed as normal - with Indians, though, rather than the usual tourists - no masks and no social distancing.
He sent me an image of the Ziverdo 'Covid Home Care Kit' that "everyone over here is using" containing Doxycycline, Ivermectin and Zinc - costs $2.
Took me a while to connect that your reporting of the Chiners buying up dog-worming treatments (around Jan 2020?) is linked to Ivermectin.
Thank you for the show and TYFYC. Very best wishes
Sir Twenty-Threes, Knight of the Electric Sea
Vaccine definition changing
Webster
a: an antigenic preparation of a typically inactivated or attenuated (see ATTENUATED sense 2) pathogenic agent (such as a bacterium or virus) or one of its components or products (such as a protein or toxin)
Hi Adam,
I just have a very short observation and I don't think I have heard you or John mention it just straight out.
The government and medical world is changing the definition of the word Vaccine.
a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and PROVIDE IMMUNITY AGAINST one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease
the covid "vaccine" does not provide immunity so it really should not be called a vaccine but just a shot Covid Shot like the flu shot.
I am an american living in New Zealand and while I am happy to be here and be living pretty normally I do worry about what will happen once we open our borders and if the government will make the "vaccine" mandatory.
Just thought I would point that out and we love your show - we have been listening for years.
Thank you for your courage.
Adverse Reactions
95 Moderna deaths
139 Pfizer/Biontech deaths
Pfizer disclaimer
Report: China Denying Entry To People Who Took Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 00:53
China is reportedly denying entry to individuals who have taken the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Adam Curry of the ''No Agenda'' podcast claimed.
Curry explained on his ''Mark of the Mask'' episode that his producer's wife, who works at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, learned firsthand that China had severe travel restrictions for U.S. employees entering the country to help build a new park in Beijing.
''She's getting asked to go help finish their new park in Beijing set to open this summer. Human resources gave her the rundown on what it takes to get into China right now,'' Curry said Thursday (39:30 minute mark).
''And she says, 'I'll work backwards. When you get to China, you have to quarantine for two 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.'''
''But our anonymous producer continues: '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.'''
''So he says it seems strange, they wouldn't want people with the antibodies, but maybe they're being overly cautious. But here it comes: 'If you have had either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you are not allowed entry into China.' Hello. What's that about?'' Curry asked.
According to mainstream news reporting from last week, China has not specified a policy for vaccinated travelers.
From Reuters:
CAN VACCINATED PEOPLE ENTER CHINA?
China does not say clearly how it decides to exempt vaccinated people from its requirements for negative antibody tests.
Responding to a query on the topic, one of its Singapore embassy staff said a vaccinated foreigner can submit an immunisation certificate and await a response. China's Foreign Ministry declined to comment.
Why would China want to keep vaccinated traveler out of the country? Perhaps it thinks the vaccines are a risk to its population?
Leo Zagami Has some first on the ground insights on what to do with dealing with this dangerous new COVID-19 vaccine.
Italy cautious on AstraZeneca vaccine for over-55s - The Local
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 13:23
You will be connected to www.thelocal.it in just a moment...
Learn about Project Shield
The Millennials
Millennial Kate Clown World
I hope this note finds both you and John well. I wanted to share a little bit about my perspective, since I'm not sure how many producers out there are like me. My name is Kate, I am 23 years old and live in Chicago. I have been a listener of the show for about 4 month now, and never miss an episode since I gave the show a try. I am a proud producer of the show, even if it's only $5 a show for now. Technically speaking, I am a zoomer (born in 1997, the millennial cutoff is 1996), but I relate to neither group. 2020 was an incredibly interesting time to be just entering adulthood, and though I have somewhat known this my whole life -- it has been made extremely clear to me in the past year that I am unlike most people my age. I started to peel back the curtain in 2016 (my sophomore year of college) when I realized there must have been so much I was not seeing after Trump was elected, and I didn't understand how that could have been. But unlike seemingly everyone else my age, I've never been satisfied by simple answers or distracting myself with reality TV or phone screens, so I began to try to start piecing some things together to help make sense of the world around me. Things are never how they seem.
Fast forward to today, I am living downtown Chicago in an apartment with 3 other girls, one of whom has been my good friend my entire life. Never in my wildest dreams could I have expected the level of which the news, big tech, virtue signaling, and social media can hold absolute control and entirely change (and somewhat diminish) the personality of human beings. That might sound hyperbolic, but they legitimately worship CNN, Boe Jiden, AOC, the New York Times, covid, etc. They cried over what happened on January 6th. When RBG passed away, my roommate screamed and cried out so loud I thought something had fallen on her and broken her leg. It's to the point that when one of them opens their mouths, there is a 75% chance they are about to bring up covid, politics, or condemn/cancel someone for something. I sincerely wish I was kidding or exaggerating even a little. I'm not. The first week I lived here, one of them told me that "if she finds out someone isn't a democrat, she can't even look at them anymore." Talk about creating a warm and inviting environment for someone you just met! I keep my opinions to myself, but I also spend as little time around them as humanly possible. They don't understand why. It's so sad.
You might think my living situation is a bit of an anomaly -- it's not. The power that Twitter and Instagram hold over a lot of people my age is so insane that I actually no longer relate to a lot of my friends anymore. It's a pretty sad time to be in your early 20s and basically have most of your friends and peers be so obsessed with politics, glued to their phones, believe everything they are told point blank, question nothing, and afraid of everything. So many are no longer able to hold a conversation on a topic that doesn't somehow relate to politics. As a matter of fact, I rapidly quit all social media over the summer right after the death of George Floyd. I knew the virtue signaling was really about to begin, and I wanted nothing to do with it. To my surprise, I was actually condemned for this by my friends. Apparently it's super suspicious to not be on social media. I don't really call those people "friends" anymore.
My boyfriend (the only person in my life who seems to see what I see) and I are planning to get out of the city as soon as our leases are up. We joke that we're actually the new area of "punk" for our wild and crazy ideas that social media is actually harmful and that we don't worship the government. We're looking into moving somewhere that's more conservative, potentially somewhere in Colorado. We're not even conservatives, but as you know, if you're not a devout follower of big daddy government, you must be pure evil. We hope we can find people who aren't brainwashed and a community that is actually open minded about ideas. Or at the very least find people who won't shove shit down our throats every 5 minutes. Hopefully it's out there!
Finding the show has been such a light in my life. You both, along with the community of producers, give me hope that I'm not alone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your courage and what you're doing. The show helps me make sense of things, while simultaneously making me laugh and keep me looking forward to more. As I re-read this email, I realize how depressing this all sounds. But I find freedom in knowledge and understanding. I'd rather know what I know and feel a little lonesome than be a blind follower. Plus I know I'm not alone thanks to the show and the relief it brings. I'm not sure if you read these notes, but thank you either way!
WSB was a good exercise
Shows the system is rigged
They hold power
Centralized systems suck
Build Back Better
About Us | Council for Inclusive Capitalism
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 15:56
Trusted. FAIR. RESPONSIBLE.Dynamic. Sustainable.
OUR MISSION IS TO HARNESS THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO CREATE A MORE INCLUSIVE, SUSTAINABLE AND TRUSTED ECONOMIC SYSTEM
Capitalism lifts people out of poverty and powers global innovation and growth. But to address the challenges of the 21st century, capitalism needs to adapt. Through our commitments, actions and solutions, we will create stronger, fairer, more collaborative economies and societies, ultimately improving the lives of countless millions of people across the globe.
The Movementis an historic collaboration of CEOs and global leaders working with the moral guidance of Pope Francis, Cardinal Peter Turkson, and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to harness the power of business for good.
Ours is a moral and market imperative to make economies more inclusive and sustainable with a movement of bold, business-led actions that span the economic ecosystem.
Our ValuesThe Principles for Inclusive Capitalism establish the foundational values that guide the movement. For more to benefit from our economic system, leaders are committing their organizations to transition operational and investment practices according to these values:
' TRUSTED by people to meet their needs' FAIR promoting diversity, plurality and equality of opportunity' RESPONSIBLE impact on others ' DYNAMIC to enable innovation, progress and adaptation' SUSTAINABLE incentives aligned across generations
Concrete Actionsare the core of the Council's work. Leaders and their organizations are committing to specific actions to create long-term value for all stakeholders in line with the International Business Council's four sustainability pillars:
Invest in the Empowerment of People
Protect Our Planet
Foster Inclusive Prosperity
Elevate Principles of Governance
UN Sustainable Development Goalsare interlinked with our priority areas to drive and scale actions that support the UN's call to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Vision of Outcomes is to deliver long-term value to all stakeholders '' businesses, investors, employees, customers, governments, and communities '' guided by an approach that provides:
' Equality of opportunity' Equitable outcomes' Fairness across generations' Fairness to those in society prevented from full economic participation
Through dedicated leadership, committed actions from organizations of all sizes, and a collective approach, we can extend the benefits of capitalism to all people and build a sustainable future for generations to come.
PROMOTE a sense of responsibility within institutions and individuals to strive for the common good of humanity.
REFORM global capital markets and business practices through concrete steps that define success as momentum in growing dynamic, inclusive economies and societies .
INSPIRE collaborative actions from the business world, creative leaders, and society as a whole to advance the common goal of achieving Inclusive Capitalism.
drive initiatives aimed at breaking down systemic barriers while creating opportunities to promote equality, inclusivity, and sustainability.
engage other leaders from across different sectors and industries committed to best practices for the development of Inclusive Capitalism.
The Council for Inclusive Capitalism is led by a core group of business and global leaders using their combined imagination, influence and resources to contribute to an economic system that is more TRUSTED, FAIR, RESPONSIBLE, DYNAMIC, and SUSTAINABLE. Our leaders come from organizations representing:
In addressing the 2016 Fortune-Time Global Forum, Pope Francis stated, ''[w]hat is required now is not a new social compact in the abstract, but concrete ideas and decisive action which will benefit all people and which will begin to respond to the pressing issues of our day.'' We are pleased to include Fortune magazine as a media partner.
Guardians of the Council: Lynn Forester de Rothschild in conversation with Brian Moynihan and Roger Ferguson
The Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican Announces Support of Convergence Toward Common Metrics and Standards Around ESG and SDG-Aligned Investments
Guardians of the Council: Lynn Forester de Rothschild in conversation with Mark Carney and Bernard Looney
Reuters | Lady de Rothschild's road to the Vatican
Lynn Forester de Rothschild Celebrates OECD's 60th Anniversary
Inclusive Capitalism lies at the heart of our focus on Responsible Growth
Recognizing it will take alignment of all our organizations to scale impact globally, we invite you to join the movement as a Steward of Inclusive Capitalism. Together, the collective action of Council members will contribute to a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable future for all people and our planet.
Biden Crime Syndicate
Was FBI Agent Daniel Alfin also Hunter's investigation guy?
DVE's
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 'I'm a survivor of sexual assault' | WGN-TV
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 15:01
by: Nexstar Media Wire
Posted:
Feb 1, 2021 / 10:29 PM CST / Updated:
Feb 2, 2021 / 04:53 AM CSTNEW YORK, NY '' JUNE 23: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) campaigns on June 23, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Ocasio-Cortez is running for re-election in the 14th congressional district against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
(NEXSTAR) '' On Monday night, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) revealed while speaking on Instagram Live about the Capitol riots that she is ''a survivor of sexual assault.''
Ocasio-Cortez compared those denying the seriousness of the insurrection to ''abusers.''
''The reason I'm getting emotional in this moment is because the folks who tell us to move on, that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what's happened, or even telling us to apologize, these are the same tactics of abusers,'' the representative said.
She then revealed: ''I'm a survivor of sexual assault.''
''And I haven't told many people that in my life,'' she continued. ''But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other. And so whether you had a neglectful parent or whether you had someone who was verbally abusive to you, whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experienced any sort of trauma in your life '... These episodes can compound on one another.''
After the Capitol riots, Ocasio-Cortez said on a separate Instagram Live that she and other elected officials ''narrowly escaped death.''
The Democrat said she personally had an encounter, the details of which she said she couldn't disclose due to security concerns, ''where I thought I was going to die.''
She said there was ''a sense that something was wrong from the inside'' and that she remained fearful even after she was taken to a secure location with other elected officials.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is Hispanic, noted that her fears were heightened because there were white supremacists and other extremists taking part in the mostly white mob.
The second-term representative, whose New York district covers part of Queens and the Bronx, is among the most high-profile elected officials on the political left and a lightning rod for the right and extreme right.
She had strong condemnation for Trump for inciting the riots, as well as members of his administration who have not invoked the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, as well as those who voted to overturn the election results.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Color Revolutions
Myanmar Alex Soros
Color revolution?
China pipelines?
Myanmar's coup: Why now - and what's next? - BBC News
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 06:10
By Flora DruryBBC News
image copyright EPA
image caption The army detained civilian politicians hours before parliament was due to sitMyanmar's military has announced it has taken control of the country, a decade after agreeing to hand power to a civilian government.
The coup has sent a shudder of fear through the country, which endured almost 50 years of rule under oppressive military regimes before the move towards democratic rule in 2011. The early morning arrests of Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians were all too reminiscent of days many hoped they had left behind.
For the past five years, Suu Kyi and her once-banned National League for Democracy (NLD) party led the country after being elected in 2015 in the freest and fairest vote seen in 25 years. On Monday morning, the party should have begun its second term in office.
But behind the scenes, the military has kept a relatively tight grip on Myanmar (also known as Burma), thanks to a constitution which guarantees it a quarter of all seats in parliament and control of the country's most powerful ministries.
Which raises the question why did it seize power now - and more to the point, what happens next?
'Trumpian' fraud allegations
The exact timing is easily explained, as the BBC's South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head points out: Monday morning should have been the first session of parliament, which in turn would have enshrined the result. This now won't happen.
Elections in November saw the NLD win more than 80% of the vote, remaining hugely popular even in the face of allegations of genocide against the country's Rohingya Muslims.
The military-backed opposition immediately began making accusations of fraud after the vote. The allegation was repeated in a signed statement released by the newly-instated acting president to justify the imposition of the year-long state of emergency.
"The UEC [election commission] failed to solve huge voter list irregularities in the multi-party general election which was held on 8 November 2020," Myint Swe, a former general who had been vice-president, said.
media caption The early morning arrest of regional MP Pa Pa Han was live streamed on Facebook by her husbandBut there has been little evidence to support the allegation.
"Obviously Aung San Suu Kyi won a resounding election victory," Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in Asia, tells the BBC. "There have been allegations of electoral fraud. It is somewhat Trumpian - all these allegations of fraud with no evidence."
Even so, Mr Robertson describes the takeover as "inexplicable".
"Did [the vote] mean a loss of power? The answer is no."
Embarrassing the 'Father of the nation'
November's vote may have seen the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) win a fraction of the vote, but the military still holds massive sway over the government thanks to a controversial 2008 constitution drawn up during junta rule.
It not only gives the military a quarter of parliamentary seats automatically, but also hands it control of three key ministries - home affairs, defence and border affairs.
So, as long as the constitution remains the same, the military retains some control. But could the NLD, with its majority, have amended the constitution?
Unlikely, says Jonathan Head, as that requires the support of 75% of the parliament - an almost impossible task when the military controls at least 25%.
image copyright Reuters
image caption Myanmar citizens in Japan have already taken to the streets to protest against the armyAye Min Thant, a former journalist, suggests there may be another reason for today's action: embarrassment on the part of the military.
"They weren't expecting to lose," the tech educator tells the BBC from Yangon (Rangoon). "People whose families were in the military must have voted against them."
Of course, it is far more than that.
"You need to understand how the army views its position in the country," Aye Min Thant adds. "International media are quite used to referring to Aung San Suu Kyi as 'mother'. The army considers itself the 'father' of the nation."
As a result, it feels a sense of "obligation and entitlement" when it comes to ruling - and in recent years, as the country has become more open to international trade, it has not liked what it has seen.
"They view outsiders especially as a danger."
The pandemic and international concerns over the Rohingya being disenfranchised in the November vote may have emboldened the military to act now, Aye Min Thant suggests. All the same, it still raised surprise.
What does the future hold?
Indeed, experts appear unsure of exactly why the military acted now, as there seems little to gain.
"It is worth remembering that the current system is tremendously beneficial for the army: it has complete command autonomy, sizeable international investment in its commercial interests and political cover from civilians for war crimes," Gerard McCarthy, a postdoctoral fellow at the National University of Singapore's Asia Research Institute, tells the BBC.
"Seizing power for a year as it has announced will isolate non-Chinese international partners, harm the military's commercial interests and provoke escalating resistance from millions of people who placed Suu Kyi and the NLD in power for in another term of government."
image copyright Reuters
image caption Soldiers have been spotted inside City Hall in YangonPerhaps, he says, they hope to improve the USDP's standings in future elections, but the risks of such a move "are significant".
HRW's Phil Robertson points out the move puts Myanmar in danger of becoming a "pariah state" once more, while angering the people at home.
"I do not think the people of Myanmar are going to take this lying down," he adds. "They do not want to head back to a military future. They see Suu Kyi as a bulwark against a return to military power."
There are still hopes that this can be resolved through negotiation, he says, but adds: "If we start seeing major protests beginning, then we are into a major crisis."
SJW
'ŽSofia with an F: The Truth ft. Paige Lorenze on Apple Podcasts
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:10
TRIGGER WARNING: This episode may contain sensitive subjects to some listeners regarding sexual assault and abuse. This week, Sofia is joined by lifestyle model and content creator Paige Lorenze. Paige lets Sofia in on all of the intimate details regarding her former relationship with actor Armie Hammer. Sofia and Paige dive deep into the reality and potential risks of BDSM and other non-normative sexual practices. The girls also discuss the blurred lines of consent, how trauma can affect the mind and body for years to come, and the strength it takes to speak out against ones abuser. Check out Paige's Instagram @paigelorenze and Youtube channel at youtube/paigelorenzeHelp is available and you are never alone. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 and can be contacted at tel:1-800-656-4673
Follow Sofia on Instagram and Twitter SofiaFranklyn
Find merch HERE: https://sofiafranklyn.com/ Episode promo codes:
Theragun: http://www.theragun.com/SOFIAEarnest: http://www.earnest.com/SOFIAFunction of Beauty: http://www.functionofbeauty.comSOFIARitual: http://www.ritual.com/SOFIALearn more about your ad choices. Visit http://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Black Lives Matter nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian MP
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 13:22
Black Lives Matter has been nominated for a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
Norwegian member of parliament Petter Eide said he nominated the organization because it is "bringing forward a new consciousness and awareness about racial justice."
"To carry forward a movement of racial justice and to spread that to other countries is very, very important. Black Lives Matter is the strongest force today doing this, not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and in Asia," Eide told USA TODAY on Saturday.
Eide said Black Lives Matter carries forward the legacy of earlier racial justice movements, such as the civil rights movement in the U.S. and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and Albert Luthuli and Nelson Mandela won the prize in 1960 and 1993, respectively, for their campaigns against racial discrimination in South Africa.
"For the Nobel Prize Committee, this is not unusual to link a fight for (racial) justice, to link that with peace," Eide said. "There will be no peace without justice."
'He was sacrificed for being Black':Billboard project aims to keep George Floyd's death at forefront of racial justice movement
Eide said the nomination "is not a comment on domestic American politics." Eide said he woke up Saturday morning to an email inbox "full of very angry Americans" who wrote to Eide saying Black Lives Matter is not a peaceful organization. Edie said he was "prepared for that critique."
"If we go 50 years back, those arguments also came up when Dr. Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 '' exactly the same arguments. And when twice the (African National Congress) leaders of South Africa received the Nobel Peace Prize, there were also incidents of violence. But you can't use that as a counter-argument to say Mandela was not working for justice or peace."
Eide is a member of Norway's Socialist Left Party and the former Secretary General of the Norwegian branch of Amnesty International.He has previously nominated human rights activists from Russia and China for the prize.
"We hold the largest social movement in global history. Today, we have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize," Black Lives Matter wrote on Twitter Friday. "People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy. We're only getting started (raised fist)."
Under Nobel Peace Prize rules, any member of a national assembly or a head of state can submit a nomination. Monday is the deadline for submission, and the five-person Norwegian Nobel Committee is expected to draft a short list in March.
"It's a long shot to see them receive the prize, but it's quite important that we spark this discussion. That's a contribution in itself," Eide said.
Meanwhile, a member of the Norwegian Parliament's far-right Progress Party nominated former President Donald Trump for a second time. Last year, Christian Tybring-Gjedde nominated the then-president for his efforts in the Middle East. The United Nations' World Food Program won the prize for its work to combat hunger and food insecurity around the globe, beating out more than 300 candidates.
Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi founded the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013 after George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Thousands of protests affiliated with the movement erupted around the world last year in the wake of a series of killings of Black Americans.
According to a report by the U.S. Crisis Monitor, a joint effort including Princeton University that collects and analyzes real-time data on demonstrations and political violence in the U.S., demonstrators did not engage in violence or destructive activity in more than 93% of the more than 7,750 demonstrations across thousands of locations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., between May 26,the day after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, and late August.
'A fanciful reality':Trump claims Black Lives Matter protests are violent, but the majority are peaceful
Separately, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation won Sweden's annual Olof Palme human rights prize for 2020, according to a release Friday. The prize is awarded by a fund established by the Swedish Social Democratic Party and the family of Olof Palme, a former prime minister of Sweden who was assassinated.
"Black Lives Matter had its great national and international breakthrough in the summer of 2020, in connection with a number of cases of extreme brutality," the Olof Palme Memorial Fund for International Understanding and Common Security said.
"In the United States alone, an estimated twenty million people have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests, and millions more have made their voices heard all over the world. This illustrates that racism and racist violence is not just a problem in American society, but a global problem, including Sweden."
BTC
Visa May Add Cryptocurrencies to Its Payments Network, Says CEO - CoinDesk
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 15:22
The card giant works with wallets and exchanges to enable crypto purchases, and could eventually use digital currencies over blockchain in the same way it processes traditional money.
Visa HQ(Shutterstock)
Jan 30, 2021 at 3:43 p.m. UTC Updated Jan 30, 2021 at 4:51 p.m. UTC
Visa May Add Cryptocurrencies to Its Payments Network, Says CEOVisa CEO Al Kelly said the payments giant is in a position to make cryptocurrencies more ''safe, useful and applicable'' and may add them to the company's payments network.Speaking on the company's fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call, Kelly described cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as ''digital gold'' which are ''not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.''
''Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally,'' Kelly said.
The payments executive also said stablecoins could be used for ''global commerce'' and that ''digital currencies running on public blockchains as additional networks just like RTP or ACH networks.''
Kelly added:
''Today, 35 of the leading digital currency platforms and wallets have already chosen to issue Visa, including coin-based Crypto.com, BlockFi, Fold and BitPanda. These wallet relationships represent the potential for more than 50 million Visa credentials. The next leading network has a fraction of that. And it goes without saying, to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there's no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies today.''
CLIPS
VIDEO-Bon Jovi explains his songwriting, '2020,' and doing it 'My Way'
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 13:31
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jon Bon Jovi opens up about his songwriting, from classics like ''It's My Life'' to new ballads about Covid-19 and the BLM protests; why he runs his band like a CEO; and how he has learned to measure true success, in this new installment of ''Mavericks with Ari Melber,'' a series of interviews with artists, musicians and cultural icons. Feb. 2, 2021
VIDEO-Google going? WhatsApp going! Trump gone - Download This Show - ABC Radio National
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 13:20
DuckDuckGo, Ask Jeeves, Yandex, Swisscows, Bing - the search engines we could be forced to use if Google delivers on their threat to quit Australia. How likely is that? Messaging service WhatsApp sees an Old Testament scale exodus. Plus, Donald Trump may not be President or on most social media platforms - will that make it harder to track his influence online?
Skip YouTube VideoFireFox NVDA users - To access the following content, press 'M' to enter the iFrame.
Guests: Sarah Moran, Founder, Girl Geek Academy @GirlGeekAcademy & Jonno Seidler, Creative Lead, Unyoked @jonnoseidler
VIDEO-Gov. DeSantis Drops NUKE on Big Tech and Their Censorship of Conservatives - YouTube
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 13:13
VIDEO-'What Planet Are You From?' '-- Rand Paul Slams Biden's Education Secretary Nominee Over Transgender Athletes | The Daily Caller
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:12
Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul slammed President Joe Biden's nominee for Education Secretary Miguel Cardona during his hearing with the Senate education committee Wednesday.
During Paul's time to question Cardona, the Kentucky Republican focused on Cardona and the Biden administration's stance on transgender athletes playing school sports. Paul pressed Cardona on his view of transgender athletes, asking him specifically if he thinks a boy should be able to compete against a girl on the same level.
''If you're confirmed, will you enforce that Office of Civil Rights opinion?'' Paul asked.
''I understand that there are a lot of concerns about that. If confirmed, it's my responsibility and my privilege to make sure that we're following civil rights of all students, and that includes activities that they may engage in high school or athletics,'' Cardona responded.
''What do you think in general of boys running in girls' track meets like they've been doing in Connecticut?'' '-- ''Do you worry about having boys run in girls' track meets?,'' Paul pressed.
''I think it's appropriate '' I think it's the legal responsibility for schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities and this includes students who are transgender,'' Cardona replied.
WATCH:
''So you don't have a problem then, of boys running in the girls' track meets, swimming meets, you name it, you're ok then with boys competing with girls?,'' Paul continued to ask. (RELATED: Biden Education Secretary Pick Says Schools Have Responsibility To Let Biological Males In Girls Sports If They Are Trans)
''Respectfully, senator, I believe I answered the question,'' Cardona replied. ''I think the fact that you seem to be afraid to answer the question, or you basically do answer the question by saying it's ok without saying it's ok, really is a statement to real problem we have and a disconnect between middle America and what most Americans actually believe,'' Paul said.
''Who are these people that think it's okay? From what planet are you from?,'' Paul said to Cardona.
Biden has pledged a number of times to sign the Equality Act, which would make public schools allow biological males who identify as transgender girls to play sports with females.
VIDEO-Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter: "We are preparing the post-COVID world. A place where generations meet, life is affordable, the planet is protected and style matches with sustainability. I invite you to take part in the #NewEuropeanBauhaus. https:/
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 04:59
Ursula von der Leyen : We are preparing the post-COVID world.A place where generations meet, life is affordable, the planet is protected'... https://t.co/DOigdNwqHW
Mon Jan 18 11:18:28 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Chris Massey on Twitter: "@stillgray @adamcurry DO THE WORK!" / Twitter
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:18
Chris Massey : @stillgray @adamcurry DO THE WORK!
Wed Feb 03 13:14:48 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Bill Gates on Twitter: "When it comes to preventing pandemics, scientific tools alone aren't enough. We also need new capabilities, including a global alert system and infectious disease first responders (or what I like to call a pandemic fire squ
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 13:53
Bill Gates : When it comes to preventing pandemics, scientific tools alone aren't enough. We also need new capabilities, includi'... https://t.co/3pXBaC8LAt
Mon Feb 01 22:52:36 +0000 2021
VIDEO-"Psaki: Wow Space Force, it's the plane of today https://t.co/FETk5uHBHG" / Twitter
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 23:13
Acyn Torabi : Psaki: Wow Space Force, it's the plane of today https://t.co/FETk5uHBHG
Tue Feb 02 19:12:20 +0000 2021
Illegitimate Goat : @Acyn @adamcurry THIS IS NOT A GREAT QUESTION!
Tue Feb 02 23:10:35 +0000 2021
Steve Adler 🏴'' ¸ : @Acyn @Crazyloc123 File under the... ''I should have asked this in an email'' file
Tue Feb 02 23:09:50 +0000 2021
Xander Berkeley : @Acyn OMG you have you Love ''¤¸ having a normal Non Freak as Press Sec!!
Tue Feb 02 23:08:00 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Infectious disease expert: double-masking 'can do more harm'
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 14:38
January 31, 2021 | 3:56pm | Updated February 1, 2021 | 9:26am
A top infectious disease expert has warned that wearing two masks can ''do more harm'' if one of the face coverings isn't being worn correctly.
Michael Osterholm, who was an adviser to President Biden's transition team, said the problem occurs with masks that have an ''already compromised fit or filtration capacity,'' allowing respiratory droplets to escape out of holes.
''If you add on another mask, you may actually make it tougher for the air to move through the two-cloth area, and then at that point it causes more air to actually leak around the sides, which actually enhances your ability to get infected,'' Osterholm told NBC anchor Chuck Todd on ''Meet the Press'' Sunday.
Osterholm said there are cases where double-masking can be an effective tool against the coronavirus.
Dr. Michael Osterholm explained on ''Meet the Press'' that in some cases, wearing two masks ''can do more harm.'' Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, Pool''But at the same time, there are many [where] you may do more harm,'' said the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Osterholm said what's ''very important'' to him is to stop people from wearing the mask under their nose.
''You know, that's like fixing three of the five screen doors in your submarine,'' he said.
''We've got to get people to start using these right, that would help right there tremendously,'' he added.
White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has said two masks are ''likely '... more effective.''
VIDEO-Another Fauci Flip Flop: On Second Thought, Double Masking Doesn't Work
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 14:37
BonginoReport Published February 1, 2021 37,218 Views 532 rumbles
Rumble '-- It took about a week for double masking to go from "common sense" to something supported by zero evidence in his eyes
... and disable advertisements! No kidding :)
1m44sDouble masking for protectionKGTV
18sDOUBLE MASKING: Even Fauci Says There is No Data to Support itDanielle D'Souza Gill
1m49sLocal medical experts weigh option of double maskingWFTS
1m00sDouble Black Downhill Doesn't End WellViralHog$0.01 earned
28sAnother Thought Provoking Revelation by Miss RubyMissRuby
1m54sFauci says forced masking would helpPRconservative
2m16sDouble Masking: Legit Science or Machination of Clickbait Media?American Center for Law and Justice
1m16sDouble Planet sighting or Jesus' Second Coming? December 21, 2020LindaOpines$0.02 earned
17m57sThe Thought Police, Double Speak And The Nuremberg CodeWaking the Future
14sSecond Work VideoMountainMariner
VIDEO- Julia back on form
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 14:10
Jeff OB : @talkRADIO @LPerrins @JuliaHB1 @michelledonelan Julia back on form. FYI NOAGENDA clip of the day? @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK
Tue Feb 02 13:50:43 +0000 2021
VIDEO-"MASHUP: $2,000 STIMULUS CHECKS. https://t.co/XBHhcp7l8y" / Twitter
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 14:08
Watchdog : MASHUP: $2,000 STIMULUS CHECKS. https://t.co/XBHhcp7l8y
Mon Feb 01 16:43:31 +0000 2021
That guy. : @demswatchdog Anywhere I can download this video
Tue Feb 02 14:07:40 +0000 2021
Sam Tudor : @demswatchdog @this_vid
Tue Feb 02 14:06:50 +0000 2021
fallfan : @demswatchdog It was $2000. minus 10% for the big guy
Tue Feb 02 14:06:35 +0000 2021
BamaGoose ðŸ... : @demswatchdog Still waiting @SenSchumer @RepAOC @VP @JoeBiden @POTUS.....
Tue Feb 02 14:00:18 +0000 2021
BamaGoose ðŸ... : @demswatchdog They lied, PAWL https://t.co/R8Wj7rpN9C
Tue Feb 02 13:57:31 +0000 2021
A҉m҉e҉r҉i҉c҉a҉n҉S҉a҉u҉c҉e҉ : @demswatchdog In any case, they at least would pass 1400 in March when the second stimulus expires.
Tue Feb 02 13:56:24 +0000 2021
keith allen : @demswatchdog But...but..when Trump wanted 2400$$ they said the American people didnt need it and NO DEMOCRATS APRROVED????
Tue Feb 02 13:54:36 +0000 2021
Dr. Random name here- get used to it : @demswatchdog Remember when Donald Trump said the stimulus checks should be $2000 first? Yeah that was awesome. https://t.co/EGqAA5mBmo
Tue Feb 02 13:54:22 +0000 2021
Karen Freebersyser : @demswatchdog Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Tue Feb 02 13:53:30 +0000 2021
Mike : @demswatchdog #BidenLied
Tue Feb 02 13:49:45 +0000 2021
Clarice 🌹 : @demswatchdog @ggreenwald Doing the Lords work
Tue Feb 02 13:49:12 +0000 2021
Ann chapman : @demswatchdog Lair
Tue Feb 02 13:49:11 +0000 2021
Matt Starr : @demswatchdog so... where's my $2,000..?
Tue Feb 02 13:48:18 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Interview with Dr. David Martin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Rocco Galati and Judy Mickovits PhD
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 13:19
/from the video, featuring doctors David Martin and Judy Mikovits (who have both been very outspoken thus far in exposing the COVID plandemic) who are speaking with Robert Kennedy Jr. and lawyer Rocco Galati, who is representing a Canadian freedom g'...
/from the video, featuring doctors David Martin and Judy Mikovits (who have both been very outspoken thus far in exposing the COVID plandemic) who are speaking with Robert Kennedy Jr. and lawyer Rocco Galati, who is representing a Canadian freedom group suing the government for the entire COVID scam./
David Martin makes some extremely important points about how we can't accurately label the device Moderna and Pfizer are pushing as a vaccine, because both medically and legally, it's not a vaccine:
''This is not a vaccine '... using the term vaccine to sneak this thing under public health exemptions '... This is a mRNA packaged in a fat envelope that is delivered to a cell. It is a medical device designed to stimulate the human cell into becoming a pathogen creator. It is not a vaccine!
''Vaccines actually are a legally defined term '... under public health law '... under CDC and FDA standards, and a vaccine specifically has to stimulate both an immunity within the person receiving it, but it also has to disrupt transmission '...
''They have been abundantly clear in saying that the mRNA strand that is going into the cell is not to stop transmission. It is a treatment. But if it was discussed as a treatment, it would not get the sympathetic ear of public health authorities, because then people would say ''What other treatments are there?''
''Moderna was a started as a chemotherapy company for cancer, not a vaccine manufacturer for SARS '... if we said we're going to give people prophylactic chemo for the cancer they don't have, you'd be laughed out of a room, because it's a stupid idea.
''That's exactly what this is! This is a mechanical device, in the form of a very small packet of technology, that is being inserted into the human system to activate the cell to become a pathogen manufacturing site.
The only reason why the term [vaccine] is being used is to abuse the 1905 Jacobsen case that has been misrepresented since it was written.
If we were honest with this, we would actually call it what it is: it is a chemical pathogen device, that is actually meant to unleash a chemical pathogen production action within the cell.
It is a medical device, not a drug, because it meets the CDRH [Center for Devices and Radiological Health] definition of a device.
It is made to make you sick '... 80% of the people who are exposed to allegedly the virus [SARS-Cov-2] have no symptoms at all '... 80% of people who get this injected into them have a clinical adverse event.
You are getting injected with a chemical substance to induce illness, not to induce a[n] immuno-transmissive response.
In other words, nothing about this is going to stop you transmitting anything. This is about getting you sick, and having your own cells be the thing that get you sick.''
Judy Mikovits also chips in with this:
''It's a synthetic pathogen. They've literally injected this pathogenic part of the virus into every cell of the body '... it can actually directly cause multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, Alzheimer's disease '... it can cause accelerated cancer '... that's what the expression of that piece of virus '... has been known to do for decades.''
COVID Vaccine Is An Operating System, Says Moderna
The COVID mRNA Vaccine is an operating system which can program your DNA, and therefore program you, at your core essential blueprint level.
Is this an exaggeration? No it's not. Moderna states on their website that their mRNA technology platform is a ''software of life'' and ''functions very much like an operating system on a computer.''
Excerpt from the full broadcast found here:https://www.bitchute.com/video/sbWIFIDNHvNO/
#COVID19 #Event201 #GreatReset #Agenda2030 #BioWarfare #BioWeapon
VIDEO-AOC recounts trauma of Capitol siege in Instagram Live video.
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 12:35
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opened up Monday night about her harrowing experience running and hiding from rioters inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. In an Instagram Live chat watched live by roughly 150,000 viewers, the New York Democrat described hiding in the bathroom in her congressional office, fearing for her life as she heard people systematically working their way down the hall banging on doors and shouting: “Where is she? Where is she?” “This was the moment where I thought everything was over,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the emotional 90-minute video. “I thought I was going to die.” The people searching for the second term congresswoman turned out to be the Capitol police, not the pro-Trump mob that has targeted her online and in real life, but AOC’s ordeal was just beginning, as the police aggressively urged her to evacuate to a different building as the siege played out.
Recounting the events and feelings of that day was emotional for AOC, who also revealed in the video she had been the victim of sexual assault in the past. “I really just felt like, if this is the plan for me, then people will be able to take it from here,” she said, occasionally wiping away tears. “I had fulfilled my purpose.” AOC, who has been derided by Republicans for opening up about the fear and trauma of the riot, accused other members, like Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, of adopting the language of abusers in their responses. “These folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologize. These are the same tactics of abusers. And I’m a survivor of sexual assault,” she said. “I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other.”
Republicans have sneered at the idea that anyone might have actually worried about their personal safety that day, despite five people dying in the violent incursion. The terror was very real for many members of Congress; this is, after all, a country where schools are routinely subjected to deadly shooting sprees. Not to mention there is a disturbingly large subsection of the country that has been moved to violence by the words and deeds of an American president and abetted by the Republican Party.
In the lead-up to Jan. 6, AOC had received warnings from congressional colleagues urging her to be careful and make plans to stay safe. That’s a horrifying reality for the country writ large that lawmakers’ safety isn’t assured while at work. Ocasio-Cortez said she felt increasingly unsafe in the days before the siege, as Trump supporters grew more combative with lawmakers everywhere, outraged by the fiction that the election had been stolen. After returning to her car following a vote on Jan. 4, AOC was greeted by Trump supporters waiting for her, and heckling. “It felt actively volatile and dangerous,” she said of the altercation.
Days later, the aggression erupted into coordinated violence for all to see, and during the chaotic and confusing moments hiding in her office, AOC recounted not knowing if she would make it out alive. When the Capitol police officer finally entered her legislative office, an aide told the congresswoman to come out from hiding, but AOC said the situation still felt confusing and unstable. It was unclear who was who, but the congresswoman evacuated to another building that she didn’t name and found herself wandering the halls looking for a place to hide.
AOC said she came across Democratic congresswoman Katie Porter of California and went to her office where Porter’s staff barricaded the door with furniture. Inside, AOC said she shut off the lights, closed the blinds, and looked for a change of clothes, something other than the dress and heels she was wearing, that would be more suitable to escape. She said the group spent five hours in the office, during which time they learned that bombs had been planted outside the Democratic and Republican headquarters.
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VIDEO-Examining Domestic Extremist Threats To Americans And U.S. Government : NPR
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 12:13
Examining Domestic Extremist Threats To Americans And U.S. Government The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a bulletin warning of violence by domestic extremists. How is the government dealing with these threats?
February 2, 2021 5:03 AM ET
Examining Domestic Extremist Threats To Americans And U.S. Government Download Embed <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/963115515/963115516" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a bulletin warning of violence by domestic extremists. How is the government dealing with these threats?
VIDEO-AOC reveals she is a survivor of sexual assault: ''Trauma compounds on each other.'' https://t.co/h9Wdkh1X6K" / Twitter
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 11:56
The Recount : Discussing the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection and GOP denial, @AOC reveals she is a survivor of sexual assau'... https://t.co/hipENSgF33
Tue Feb 02 02:26:53 +0000 2021
Linda Craig : @therecount @AOC You want all the other people to move on when the riots were going on in their lives but not your.'... https://t.co/oLwo7HkF3m
Tue Feb 02 11:55:13 +0000 2021
VIDEO-HR 127 Is One of the Worst Gun Control Bills I've Ever Seen and Here's Why - YouTube
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 11:41
VIDEO-Group behind camping ban petition calls for audit of Austin's spending on homelessness | KXAN Austin
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 06:00
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Billy Hilliard has lived in a tent underneath U.S. 183 in north Austin for the past year.
Behind Hilliard's constant smile, he worries about the politics surrounding homelessness in Austin and the threat of a reinstated public camping ban.
He knows that a local group has claimed to have the needed signatures to put the ban, which was ended by the Austin City Council in 2019, on the ballot for voters in May.
''I was freaking out,'' Hilliard told KXAN.
Save Austin Now, the group behind the petition to reinstate a public camping ban in the city, is calling for an independent audit of the city's spending on homelessness.
Save Austin Now wants a ''thorough'' report of spending on homelessness programs, including housing facilities purchased since July 1.
Last year, the city purchased two hotels for a combined $16.7 million as part of its motel conversion strategy. The hotels have been used as protective lodges for high-risk individuals experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.
The Austin City Council voted last week to purchase a third hotel for $6.7 million last week and postponed a vote to purchase a fourth hotel.
''Taxpayers deserve to know how $160 million were spent over fiscal years 2018-2020 and what we have to show for it. Because it appears the money has been widely spent on waste, with precious little new homeless housing being made available despite massive investment,'' Matt Mackowiak, co-founder of Save Austin Now, said in a statement.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler has said reinstating the public camping ban would be ''inhumane'' but acknowledged that the city's approach to homelessness isn't working the way it's supposed to in the years since the Austin City Council ended the ban in 2019.
Save Austin Now said it has collected more than the needed petition signatures to place reinstatement of the camping ban before city voters in May.
Gov. Greg Abbott said his forthcoming plan to address homelessness will include a statewide ban on camping in public.
New recommendations on homelessnessThe Economic Prosperity Commission, a civilian-led group that advises the Austin City Council, has approved a list of recommendations on how to address homelessness.
The recommendations include:
Funding for a Universal Basic Income Program (UBI) to help combat displacementContinue investing in permanent supportive housing, including refurbished hotelsEstablish city-sanctioned campsites on city-owned property, with restrooms, bathing facilities, 24/7 security, food and water distribution, health care accessConsider ways to enforce cleanliness in public spaces without reinstating finesConsider incentives to encourage those experiencing homelessness to move campsites to city-sanctioned propertyDirect city manager and city to rework land use and development code to ensure all types of housing can be built to stabilize the rising cost of housingNathan Ryan, a business owner and appointed member of the civilian-led commission, is concerned about the rhetoric surrounding Austin's approach to homelessness.
It's possible, he said, to take issue with the level of camping in public spaces of the city while also being concerned for the health and well-being of those experiencing homelessness.
''I do assume that most people really care here in Austin about unhoused Austinites and want to make sure that they're safe and given access to the resources that they need to improve their station in life,'' Ryan said.
KXAN politics reporter John Engel will have a full report tonight at 6 p.m.
VIDEO-Dave Portnoy on Twitter: "The biggest group of crybaby sore losers ever #ddtg https://t.co/oSuiKfNQbd" / Twitter
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 22:45
Dave Portnoy : The biggest group of crybaby sore losers ever #ddtg https://t.co/oSuiKfNQbd
Mon Feb 01 20:19:36 +0000 2021
Pterodactyl : @stoolpresidente What a boomer, has anyone told him that you can monitor your stocks on your watch when on the treadmill?
Mon Feb 01 22:45:05 +0000 2021
Andrew Just : @stoolpresidente They are trying to save us from ourselves Dave. Such a sad state of shmucks. Let freedom reign!!!'... https://t.co/iuUJyeeOAY
Mon Feb 01 22:44:30 +0000 2021
emd621 : @stoolpresidente What nerve.
Mon Feb 01 22:44:17 +0000 2021
Mark Clarey (Rampage) : @stoolpresidente @shadybrady224 he says you might be depressed and have a gambling addiction. PLEASE RESPOND
Mon Feb 01 22:43:38 +0000 2021
Michael lukacs : @stoolpresidente Never lksten to this guy part of cabal govt/wall street thieves
Mon Feb 01 22:42:45 +0000 2021
ct : @stoolpresidente #amc https://t.co/1XiM1q4ALr
Mon Feb 01 22:41:57 +0000 2021
Elon Mutt : @stoolpresidente What horses ass. Never did he say go read a book learn to trade- study charts learn history. HE SA'... https://t.co/SHSBOIsIo6
Mon Feb 01 22:41:44 +0000 2021
ð'•°ð'–žð'–Š ð'š¶ð'–‹ ð'–ð'–ð'–Š ð'•ð'–Žð'–Œð'–Šð'–— : @stoolpresidente Wow ðŸ" This guy is a clown 🤠We will do what we want with our money and our free time the way we wa'... https://t.co/PHKx5vJYEN
Mon Feb 01 22:41:36 +0000 2021
Jonathan Espy : @stoolpresidente Love you Dave, but you're completely wrong here and this guy is completely right
Mon Feb 01 22:41:30 +0000 2021
Super Bowl LIV Champions fan : @stoolpresidente ''go workout and learn to be good at something other than manipulating markets. That's our thing''
Mon Feb 01 22:41:04 +0000 2021
Nathan Bertao : @stoolpresidente He's not talking about me cause I watch stocks on my phone way more than a few hrs... ðŸ‚
Mon Feb 01 22:41:01 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Andr(C) on Twitter: "@Kees71234 @Godfriet3 @adamcurry have you seen this video? Candanavia is going full North Korea now." / Twitter
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 21:35
Andr(C) : @Kees71234 @Godfriet3 @adamcurry have you seen this video? Candanavia is going full North Korea now.
Mon Feb 01 18:50:46 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Anthony Fauci on coronavirus: risk is 'low for the American public' | USA TODAY - YouTube
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 12:26
VIDEO - (51) Rep. Stephen Lynch Tests Positive For COVID-19 - YouTube
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 15:42
STORIES
COVID-19 Vaccines and Monoclonal Antibodies | CMS
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 15:23
Medicare Part B Payment for COVID-19 Vaccines and Certain Monoclonal Antibodies during the Public Health Emergency
CMS has released a set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare and assist in swiftly administering these products once they become available. These resources are designed to increase the number of providers that can administer the products and ensure adequate reimbursement for administration in Medicare, while making it clear to private insurers and Medicaid programs their responsibility to cover these products at no charge to beneficiaries. This webpage provides the payment allowances and other related information for these products. For more information, review the COVID-19 provider toolkit.
Payment Allowances and Effective Dates for COVID-19 Vaccines and their Administration during the Public Health Emergency: Code
CPT Short Descriptor
Labeler Name
Vaccine/Procedure Name
Payment Allowance
Effective Dates
91300
SARSCOV2 VAC 30MCG/0.3ML IM
Pfizer
Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 Vaccine
$0.010*
12/11/2020 '' TBD
0001A
ADM SARSCOV2 30MCG/0.3ML 1ST
Pfizer
Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 Vaccine Administration '' First Dose
$16.940**
12/11/2020 '' TBD 0002A
ADM SARSCOV2 30MCG/0.3ML 2ND
Pfizer
Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 Vaccine Administration '' Second Dose
$28.390**
12/11/2020 '' TBD 91301
SARSCOV2 VAC 100MCG/0.5ML IM
Moderna
Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine
$0.010*
12/18/2020 '' TBD 0011A
ADM SARSCOV2 100MCG/0.5ML1ST
Moderna
Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine Administration '' First Dose
$16.940**
12/18/2020 '' TBD 0012A
ADM SARSCOV2 100MCG/0.5ML2ND
Moderna
Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine Administration '' Second Dose
$28.390**
12/18/2020 '' TBD 91302
SARSCOV2 VAC 5X10^10VP/.5MLIM
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine
$0.010*
xx/xx/xxxx '' TBD
0021A
ADM SARSCOV2 5X10^10VP/.5ML 1
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Administration '' First Dose
$16.940**
xx/xx/xxxx '' TBD
0022A
ADM SARSCOV2 5X10^10VP/.5ML 2
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Administration '' Second Dose
$28.390**
xx/xx/xxxx '' TBD
91303 SARSCOV2 VAC AD26 .5ML IMJanssenJanssen Covid-19 Vaccine$0.010*xx/xx/xxxx '' TBD0031AADM SARSCOV2 VAC AD26 .5MLJanssenJanssen Covid-19 Vaccine Administration$28.390**xx/xx/xxxx '' TBD * Since we anticipate that providers, initially, will not incur a cost for the product, CMS will update the payment allowance at a later date. Providers should not bill for the product if they received it for free.
** These rates will also be geographically adjusted for many providers. For providers and suppliers with payments that are geographically adjusted by the methodology used by the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), files with the geographically adjusted payment rates for COVID-19 vaccine administration are included in the ''Additional Resources'' section below. Certain settings utilize other payment methodologies, such as payment based on reasonable costs.
Payment Allowances and Effective Dates for COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibodies and their Administration during the Public Health Emergency: Code
CPT Short Descriptor
Labeler Name
Vaccine/Procedure Name
Payment Allowance
Effective Dates
Q0239
bamlanivimab-xxxx
Eli Lilly
Injection, bamlanivimab, 700 mg
$0.010*
11/10/2020 '' TBD M0239
bamlanivimab-xxxx infusion
Eli Lilly
Intravenous infusion, bamlanivimab-xxxx, includes infusion and post administration monitoring
$309.600***
11/10/2020 '' TBD Q0243
casirivimab and imdevimab
Regeneron
Injection, casirivimab and imdevimab, 2400 mg
$0.010*
11/21/2020 '' TBD
M0243
casirivi and imdevi infusion
Regeneron
intravenous infusion, casirivimab and imdevimab includes infusion and post administration monitoring
$309.600***
11/21/2020 '' TBD
* Since we anticipate that providers, initially, will not incur a cost for the product, CMS will update the payment allowance at a later date. Providers should not bill for the product if they received it for free.
*** Medicare will pay a rate of $309.60 for many providers. These rates will also be geographically adjusted for many providers. For providers and suppliers with payments that are geographically adjusted by the methodology used by the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), files with the geographically adjusted payment rates for monoclonal antibody administration are included in the ''Additional Resources'' section below. Certain settings utilize other payment methodologies, such as payment based on reasonable costs.
Additional Resources: Following links contain helpful information for providers. Product NDCs can be found in the EUA Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers and can be used to identify the appropriate HCPCS codes for each product and its administration. NDC - HCPCS crosswalk is available in CMS ASP crosswalk zip folder. Long, medium, and short descriptors of COVID-19 CPT codes are available from AMA website.
Medicare Monoclonal Antibody COVID-19 Infusion Program Instruction
Covid-19 NDC-HCPCS crosswalk
COVID-19 Vaccination Resources at CDC
COVID-19 CPT vaccine and immunization codes - AMA
Quick reference guide to the coding structure for Covid-19 vaccine CPT reporting
Bamlanivimab Emergency Use Authorization
Casirivimab and imdevimab Emergency Use Authorization (ZIP)
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization (PDF)
Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers - Emergency Use Authorization of bamlanivimab
Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers - Emergency Use Authorization of casirivimab and imdevimab
Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers - Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers - Emergency Use Authorization of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
Information about Public Health Emergency
COVID-19 Vaccination Training Programs and Reference Materials for Healthcare Professionals
2020 Geographically-adjusted Payment Rates for Monoclonal Antibody Administration (for Providers & Suppliers Paid MPFS-Adjusted Rates) (ZIP)
2021 Geographically-adjusted Payment Rates for Monoclonal Antibody Administration (for Providers & Suppliers Paid MPFS-Adjusted Rates) (ZIP) *Updated 1/7/2021 for Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021*
2020 Geographically-adjusted Payment Rates for Covid-19 Vaccine Administration (for Providers & Suppliers Paid MPFS-Adjusted Rates) (ZIP)
2021 Geographically-adjusted Payment Rates for Covid-19 Vaccine Administration (for Providers & Suppliers Paid MPFS-Adjusted Rates) (ZIP) *Updated 1/7/2021 for Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021*
AMC and Nokia Purchases Re-enabled
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 14:58
Update as of 2/2/2021 11:29 AM PST
Our clearing broker, Axos, has resumed the ability to buy AMC and Nokia through Cash App for the rest of the trading day. At this time, we don't have information as to the reasons for Axos' decision or whether they met the increased deposit requirements. We will provide an update if the situation changes.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Original Post - Market Open 2/2/2021
The clearing broker who processes our trades, Axos, has temporarily halted Cash App's ability to complete purchases of AMC Entertainment ($AMC) and Nokia ($NOK). This was not Cash App's decision. This halt only applies to buy trades of these stocks; sell trades remain available.
Cash App currently works with a carrying broker dealer, DriveWealth, and a clearing broker dealer, Axos, to process trades on our customers' behalf and we are entirely subject to our brokers' ability to support our trades.
Clearing brokers must provide capital deposits to support trading. Yesterday, the central clearinghouse (DTC), significantly increased the capital requirements on Axos. As of this time, Axos has not provided the necessary additional capital and has restricted purchases of AMC and Nokia.
To provide our customers with full transparency, we've posted the exact email we received from DriveWealth regarding the buy trade halt. Cash App has not yet been provided with a clear path to fix this situation ourselves. We are monitoring the situation closely and are working to make these stocks available for purchase again as soon as possible.
Investing involves risk; you may lose money. Brokerage services provided by Cash App Investing LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and a subsidiary of Square, Inc. Past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. You should consider the risks before investing. For more on the risks of investing see our Disclosure Library
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Paris court rules French state liable for inaction on climate change - The Local
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 13:10
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Learn about Project Shield
Sales of copper-infused masks boom after German rule change | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 13:04
File photo of a copper-infused mask. Image: Merja HeponiemiSales of face masks containing copper have seen an unexpected rise this year, with pharmacies across the country running out of stock.
"Working-age people in their 30s or 40s are buying them," explains Anne J¤rvenp¤¤, a pharmacist from Sein¤joki.
"We have run out of copper masks, and we can't get hold of any more," pharmacist Katri Koiranen from Helsinki told Yle.
It is claimed that masks containing copper are self-sterilising, as the copper prevents viruses from clinging to the surface.
Professor Ali Harlin from the VTT Technical Research Centre told Helsingin Sanomat (link in Finnish) that masks containing copper can provide better protection than a typical surgical mask.
German news coverage stimulates demand"There's a smaller batch coming from China this week, and then a larger one next week to replenish stocks," says Merja Heponiemi, CEO of medical equipment importer Adesso.
"Demand has been really high in the last few weeks," Heponiemi says, adding that she believes coverage of Germany's decision to mandate the use of FFP2-standard respirators in public places has affected Finns' behaviour.
An FFP2 respirator is thought to filter out up to 94 percent of airborne contaminants.
"People began to wonder if an ordinary surgical mask was sufficient protection," she says.
In an interview with Yle, HUS's Assistant Chief Physician Eeva Ruotsalainen expressed hope that people would swap fabric masks for more effective alternatives. FFP2 and FFP3-standard respirators are more difficult to wear for longer periods, so Ruotsalainen recommends them for use by those particularly at risk from coronavirus and those in contact with them.
In recommendations to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, however, experts from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) suggested that FFP-level protection may not be necessary in all cases.
"A surgical mask is enough for everyday use, and FFP2-level respirators do not need to be used more widely in Finland," said Antti Koivula, FIOH's director general.
More research neededConsumers may also be tempted by the manufacturer's claims that the copper's anti-viral properties will not diminish over time.
Erja M¤kel¤, a senior expert at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), would not comment on a single product, but says that for example, groups responsible for the standardisation of personal protective equipment in Europe have been talking about the research and development of so-called "smart protection" and self-cleaning products for some time.
The problem is that not enough research has been carried out to provide a basis for new safety standards.
"It is likely that protective equipment with these kinds of features will be used to combat future pandemics," M¤kel¤ says, adding that there are already standards for measuring the effectiveness of disinfectants against microbes, for example.
"But when it comes to the safe re-use of face masks, I would like to see clearer evidence. More research is needed," she says.
WARMINGTON: Bread and water in locked room during forced detention after landing at Pearson | Toronto Sun
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 13:03
It's disturbing this man is being held captive when there is no presented reason nor rationale to do so
Author of the article:
Joe Warmington
Publishing date:
Feb 03, 2021
'
19 hours ago
'
3 minute read
Steve Duesing shows the breakfast he was provided Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 while being forced to stay at the Radisson hotel on Dixon Rd. after landing at Pearson airport on Sunday. Steve Duesing Article contentYes, there is bread and water served while detained at this hotel.
Bagels too.
''Got breakfast,'' teased Steve Duesing Wednesday morning.
Now into his third full day of being held by the government, the 34-year-old Scarborough man remains locked in his ''hotel room'' turned cell at the Radisson hotel near Pearson airport. ''The bagel is almost as hard as the apple.''
The breakfast Steve Duesing was provided Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 while being forced to stay at the Radisson hotel on Dixon Rd. after landing at Pearson airport on Sunday. Steve DuesingBut it's on par with the ham sandwich dropped outside his ninth-floor room Tuesday.
''They send up four bottles of water a day,'' he said.
A sandwich provided to Steve Duesing during his forced hotel stay after landing at Pearson. Steve DuesingHe's not on vacation at this hotel. He is being held against his will until he gets clearance by Health Canada to leave. They detained him Sunday night after arriving home from Charlotte, N.C. after not accepting the negative COVID test he paid for in the U.S.
Authorities tested him again and he's been forced to cool his heels until the results are in.
The 48 hours he was originally told passed by at 10 p.m. Tuesday and he's not been able to find out when word will come. If for some reason his test comes back positive, he believes he may have to stay there for 14 days.
''But I don't have any symptoms and I have had a negative test,'' he said.
A photo taken by Steve Duesing of the hallway at the Radisson hotel on Dixon Rd. where he's being forced to stay after landing at Pearson. Steve DuesingStill, he's in forced quarantine in a room he's not permitted to leave, with a guard at the end of the hallway of a hotel that has erected fencing all the way around it and has a security guard on station checking each person who comes on the premises.
It's disturbing that this man is being held captive like this when there is no presented reason nor rationale to do so. He could be allowed to go home and wait for results there in isolation. That he is not permitted to do that is a new, dark chapter for Canadian civil liberties and in the country's history.
If he was showing signs of COVID-19 there may be a debate on mandated isolation, but he has none. Holding him prisoner is cruel and unusual punishment. There is nowhere else this could happen without police being called. He should be immediately set free as the free citizen he is. No Canadian should be held against their will without a trial or order from a judge.
We apologize, but this video has failed to load.
No Canadian should be forced to pay $2,000 for lodging with such putrid food in non luxury rooms. These are fellow Canadians. They are not criminals. If they were criminals, they would not be treated this way.
Meanwhile, Steve tells me early Wednesday morning there was much more activity going on at the hotel.
''They seem to be getting more people,'' he said. ''It's definitely more active outside and inside. I can't see much, obviously, but it's a lot more loud and active with shuttles arriving every hour or two.''
Article content continuedHe sent us a picture of a bus arriving taken from his window view.
An image taken by Steve Duesing of a bus arriving Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 at the Radisson hotel on Dixon Rd. where he has been forced to stay since landing at Pearson on Sunday. Steve DuesingHealth Canada has said it will offer comment on this situation Wednesday. What they should do is cease and desist on holding any more people until this form of detention is debated in the House of Commons and Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms are considered. This is not a totalitarian or police state. People have rights here.
More On This TopicIf Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to have a voluntary holding centre, that could be helpful in stopping coronavirus spread. But forcing healthy people who have provided a test and who display no symptoms is not Canadian.
With bread and water already on the menu, the only thing missing are bars on the doors and windows.
jwarmington@postmedia.com
Volante to Help Shape the Future of Instant Payments
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:58
NEW YORK, February 01, 2021 '' Volante Technologies, the global leader in cloud payments and financial messaging, today announced their participation in a pilot program for the Federal Reserve's upcoming instant payments offering, the FedNowSM Service. The offering highlights the industry's charge to provide American consumers and businesses with instant payments services that deliver control, convenience and certainty.
In the U.S., Volante is known as the enabler of the first real-time payment over The Clearing House RTP® network, and is a member of the U.S. Faster Payments Council. The company has also been a driving force in payments modernization internationally, helping banks of all sizes process instant payments in Europe (SEPA instant payments through TIPS and RT1), Mexico (SPEI), Saudi Arabia, and many other countries. Volante's cloud-native and API-first solutions are also an ideal fit for the demands of ISO 20022-based instant payments networks like FedNowSM.
The FedNow Service will provide an important payments infrastructure when it becomes available in 2023 or 2024. Financial institutions and their service providers will be able to use the service as a springboard to bring the benefits of safe, efficient instant payments to communities across the country.
''We are proud to be supporting the Federal Reserve in developing its first major new payment system in four decades,'' said John Farrell, SVP Global Product Management, Volante Technologies. ''We look forward to working side by side as trusted partners with the Fed and other pilot participants to help ensure the service meets stakeholder needs.''
Volante will help shape the FedNow Service's features and functions, provide input into the overall user experience, ensure readiness for testing and be the first to experience the FedNow Service before its general availability. In the initial advisory phase, participant input will help to further define the service and adoption roadmap, industry readiness approaches and overall instant payments strategy.
For more information on the FedNow Pilot Program and the FedNow Service, visit FedNow.org. For insights on generating business value from instant payments, read the recent briefing from Mercator Advisory Group on the role of Request For Pay in real-time and instant payment customer experiences.
''FedNow'' is a service marks of the Federal Reserve Banks. A list of marks related to financial services products that are offered to financial institutions by the Federal Reserve Banks is available at FRBservices.org.
Biden admin should set up 'truth commission,' appoint 'reality czar' to battle 'disinformation and domestic extremism,' 'experts' tell NY Times | CauseACTION Clarion
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:56
https://www.theblaze.com/news/biden-admin-truth-commission-ny-times
The Biden administration should set up a ''truth commission'' and appoint a ''reality czar'' to battle ''disinformation and domestic extremism,'' a group of ''experts'' told the New York Times.
Say what?The Times' technology columnist, Kevin Roose, wrote that he's ''spent the past several years reporting on our national reality crisis, and I worry that unless the Biden administration treats conspiracy theories and disinformation as the urgent threats they are, our parallel universes will only drift further apart, and the potential for violent unrest and civic dysfunction will only grow.''
Roose noted that he got in touch with a ''number of experts and asked what the Biden administration could do to help fix our truth-challenged information ecosystem, or at least prevent it from getting worse.''
Oh, and did they have some ideas for him.
Form a 'truth commission'Yes, you read that correctly.
Roose wrote in his piece that Joan Donovan '-- research director of Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy '-- said the Biden administration could form a ''truth commission,'' which would be similar to the 9/11 Commission, to probe the inner workings of the Capitol riots.
And who would lead the charge, so to speak? Donovan said ideally those with knowledge of ''networked factions'' behind the rioting '-- including white supremacist groups and far-right militias '-- would undertake the task, the Times reported.
''There must be accountability for these actions,'' Donovan told the paper. ''My fear is that we will get distracted as a society and focus too much on giving voice to the fringe groups that came out in droves for Trump.''
How about a 'reality czar'?Roose acknowledged that more than one of the ''experts'' he talked to suggested the Biden administration appoint a kind of ''reality czar'' who would lead a ''cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism.''
''It sounds a little dystopian, I'll grant,'' Roose added. ''But let's hear them out.''
The task force would eliminate multiple-agency overlap and become a central hub that could coordinate a single, strategic response to ''misinformation'' and ''conspiracy theories,'' the Times noted.
Ren(C)e DiResta, a disinformation researcher at Stanford's Internet Observatory, told the paper such a task force could tackle ''two seemingly unrelated problems: misinformation about COVID-19 and misinformation about election fraud.''
Social media wouldn't escape, eitherThe Times said ''several experts recommended that the Biden administration push for much more transparency into the inner workings of the black-box algorithms that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other major platforms use to rank feeds, recommend content and usher users into private groups, many of which have been responsible for amplifying conspiracy theories and extremist views.''
Donovan added to the paper that ''we must open the hood on social media so that civil rights lawyers and real watchdog organizations can investigate human rights abuses enabled or amplified by technology.''
Coax folks 'off their screens' and into programs to 'keep them engaged and occupied'Roose also said ''many people are drawn to extremist groups like the Proud Boys and conspiracy theories like QAnon not because they're convinced by the facts, but because the beliefs give them a sense of community or purpose, or fills a void in their lives.''
''Clearly there's a public safety issue, but there's also very much a public health issue,'' Micah Clark '-- a program director at Moonshot CVE, a counterextremism firm in London '-- told the Times.
One effective countermeasure, Mr. Clark suggested, could be a kind of ''social stimulus'' '-- a series of federal programs to encourage people to get off their screens and into community-based activities that could keep them engaged and occupied.
Encouraging offline gatherings would, admittedly, be easier after the pandemic. But there are interventions that seem to work on a smaller scale, too '-- like a series of ''de-escalation'' ads that Moonshot CVE ran on Google and Twitter, targeting high-risk potential violent extremists with empathetic messages about mental health and mindfulness.
Most of the experts agreed that the most effective thing the Biden administration could do to fix our national reality crisis, and possibly even de-radicalize some of those who have been lured into extremist groups and conspiracy theory movements, would be to address the underlying problems that drove them there in the first place.
You can read the entire Times' article here.
Peruvian Court Rules That Bill Gates, George Soros Criminally Liable For ''Creating'' COVID-19 Pandemic '' enVolve
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:40
Bill Gates, George Soros, and several members of the Rockefeller family were deemed responsible for the advent and spread of the Chinese virus, which has killed tens of thousands of small businesses and forever changed the world for the worst.
A Peruvian court charged the group with responsibility for creating the coronavirus pandemic.
In its decision, the Chicha and Pisco Criminal Appeals Chamber said the pandemic was the invention of a ''criminal elite around the world'' made up of billionaires such as Soros, Gates and Rockefeller, among others.
Thus, the court justified the delay by issuing a ruling on the appeal of the accused, who sought the abolition of preventive detention and whose permission was postponed due to the pandemic.
For Judges Tito Gallegos, Luis Legia and Tony Changarei, the pandemic was ''unpredictable''; for all but the alleged creators, ''who have been involved in it and continue to manage it with particular secrecy in their environment.
''No world government, individuals or legal entities, nor the defense of the accused can claim that this pandemic has the quality of 'foresight', except for the creators of the new world order, such as Bill Gates, Soros, Rockefeller, etc.'' write the magistrates in a resolution posted on the portal LP Law.
Judges without a shadow of a doubt declared that the coronavirus was ''created by a criminal elite that rules the world.''
In particular, the document cites financial investor George Soros, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the Rockefeller family of billionaires, whom he accuses of ''managing'' and ''continuing to direct'' the virus into the ''new world order.''
'See Something, Say Something Online Act' Punishes Big Tech for Not Snitching '' Reason.com
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:39
A new bill revitalizes the war on terror's favorite slogan in service of forcing tech companies to turn over more user data to the government. The "See Something, Say Something Online Act," introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin (D''W.Va.) and co-sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R''Texas), is the latest attack on the federal communications law known as Section 230 as well as freedom of speech and online privacy.
The legislation says any interactive computer service provider'--that means social media giants, small blogs, podcast hosting services, app stores, consumer review platforms, independent political forums, crowdfunding and Patreon-style sites, dating apps, newsletter services, and much more'--will lose Section 230 protections if they fail to report any known user activity that might be deemed "suspicious."
"Suspicious" content is defined as any post, private message, comment, tag, transaction, or "any other user-generated content or transmission" that government officials later determine "commits, facilitates, incites, promotes, or otherwise assists the commission of a major crime." Major crimes are defined as anything involving violence, domestic, or international terrorism, or a "serious drug offense."
For each suspicious post, services must submit a Suspicious Transmission Activity Report (STAR) within 30 days, providing the user's name, location, and other identifying information, as well as any relevant metadata.
Those submitting the user surveillance reports would henceforth be barred from talking about or even acknowledging the existence of them. STARs would also be exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
The bill, which comes amid renewed calls to stamp out domestic terrorism after the Capitol riot, is impressive in managing to be both completely invasive and utterly unconcerned with even appearing to be about protection, since the remedy'--report within 30 days'--would hardly help stop the commission of crimes. If we were talking about the Capitol riot, for instance, companies who still hadn't reported posts about it would be OK.
The bill would set up a massive new system of intense user monitoring and reporting that would lead to more perfectly innocent people getting booted from internet platforms. It would provide the government with a new tool to punish disfavored tech companies, and it would enlist all digital service providers to be cops in the failed post-9/11 war on terror and the drug war.
The bill states that some posts facilitating crimes require a STAR to be filed immediately, though it's vague about what these are (any "suspicious transmission that requires immediate attention" requires being reported immediately). The first example it provides is "an active sale or solicitation of sale of drugs."
A new federal agency would handle the suspicious activity reports'--which could also be submitted by any individual, not just tech companies.
An easy, anonymous, online way for people to flag each other's social media accounts for the Department of Justice'--what could go wrong? (Insert all the eye rolls here.)
Anyone with experience on social media now knows how hyperbolic people can be in describing threatening behavior, how gleeful folks can be in snitching on those they deem unenlightened, and how easy it can be for trolls, abusers, and other ne'er-do-wells to weaponize reporting systems against disliked individuals or marginalized groups. The See Something, Say Something Online Act would put this on steroids'--all while ensuring such a glut of reports, including many that are frivolous, politically motivated, or otherwise disingenuous, that federal agents would still be searching for needles in haystacks.
Worse than simply overloading the system, it would make federal agents investigate all sorts of ordinary Americans for harmless comments. It also seems likely to make finding actual terrorists and violent criminals even more difficult.
FREE MINDSDrug decriminalization takes effect in Oregon. Residents of the state voted in November to decriminalize small amounts of drugs including heroin, LSD, and meth. "Today, the first domino of our cruel and inhumane war on drugs has fallen, setting off what we expect to be a cascade of other efforts centering health over criminalization," Kassandra Frederique, executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement, continuing:
For the first time in at least half a century, one place in the United States'--Oregon'-- will show us that we can give people help without punishing them. This law is meant to protect people against persecution, harassment and criminalization at the hands of the state for using drugs and instead given access to the supports they need. Over the last year, we have been painfully reminded of the harms that come from drug war policing and the absence of necessary health services and other support systems in our communities. Today, Oregon shows us a better, more just world is possible.
FREE MARKETSKroger closes two grocery stores in Long Beach, California, after the city instituted a new hazard pay rule. "Kroger, which owns several supermarket chains, said Monday it would close two stores in Long Beach in response to city rules mandating an extra $4 an hour in 'hero pay' for grocery workers during the COVID-19 pandemic," reports the Los Angeles Times. The Ralphs and Food 4 Less stores that will be closed now employ about 200 people, it says.
Here's Kroger's statement:
This misguided action by the Long Beach City Council oversteps the traditional bargaining process and applies to some, but not all, grocery workers in the city. The irreparable harm that will come to employees and local citizens as a direct result of the City of Long Beach's attempt to pick winners and losers, is deeply unfortunate. We are truly saddened that our associates and customers will ultimately be the real victims of the city council's actions.
Other cities in California, including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Oakland, are considering hazard pay proposals similar to the one in Long Beach.
QUICK HITS' Brown University cryptographers envision a gun registry system "that can be deployed nationally while also being fully encrypted and decentralized."
' Reasons for environmental optimism?
' Black Lives Matter has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
USAF Recruiting Service Commander Declares Reducing The Number of White Male Pilots A "War-Fighting Imperative" | Blog Posts | VDARE.com
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:34
Previously by Paul Kersey: The United States Air Force ''Worries About the Lack of Diversity'' Among Pilots (93% White) Being 'Very White and Very Male''...
Russia and China deploying next generation technology in their armed forces (hypersonic flight and fighter jets flown via artificial intelligence) is of no concern to our top brass in the U.S. Air Force, because we have a secret ingredient we've barely begun to tap into and utilize for undeniably advantageous military superiority.
Do you know what it is? Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, right, the commander of Air Force Recruiting Service, will now tell you. But, spoiler alert, it's diversity and embracing the goal of replacing white men'--who constitute nearly 9 of every 10 of our Air Force Pilots'--with non-whites.
All in the name of George Floyd.
86% of Air Force pilots are white men. Here's why this needs to change, Yahoo News, October 20, 2020The tragic death of George Floyd and recent events have fueled widespread protests and a renewed call for racial equality nationwide. Amid this, our country has been compelled to reflect on issues that are often uncomfortable, and leaders have been driven to examine their organizations in ways like never before. The Air Force, in many ways, is no different. But as a war-fighting organization we cannot afford to squander this moment, because our future '-- and national security '-- depends on it.
Pursuing equality means we must be sure that we are attracting the most capable members of our society, from all races and walks of life, as we prepare for the next fight. This fighting force should be highly capable while reflecting the diversity of the country we serve.
Before I even took command of my service's recruiting efforts this spring, Air Force leadership made it clear to me that improving diversity would be on the top of my to-do list. And recent national events only serve as an accelerant as we take aim and tackle this vexing issue.
Pentagon leaders didn't need to explain the why, although Gen. David Goldfein, our former chief of staff, did that in calling diversity ''a war-fighting imperative.'' It's been clear for some time that our progress in better reflecting the society we serve has been too slow.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. [Right], the first African-American to lead any branch of the military, has called on us to accelerate change or risk losing ground to Russia and China, both of which are integrating potential game-changing technologies like artificial intelligence and hypersonic flight. We need both the best technologies and the best people to win. Improving our diversity falls squarely in Brown's mandate.
The competition to attract the best and brightest recruits is getting tougher all the time, and our connection with society grows more fragile every day. Survey data shows that only one-quarter of American youth between the ages of 17 and 24 are qualified for military service for a variety of reasons, which include aptitude, chronic health conditions, obesity or drug use. The pool is ever shrinking: In 1995, 40 percent of Americans ages 16 to 24 had a parent who served in the armed forces. Today that number is 15 percent. The result is that only about 1 in 10 young Americans say they are interested in serving in the military.
We simply can no longer afford for significant segments of our society to be underrepresented in our U.S. Air Force or our newest branch, the U.S. Space Force.
To be clear, the Air and Space Forces are not setting quotas based on race or gender. We will, however, focus intensely and concentrate our efforts in traditionally underserved communities. It wouldn't be legal or productive to hold recruiters accountable for bringing in a certain number of recruits from various demographic groups. But if we see that we're not hitting recruiting targets that mirror the qualified population in those categories, we will adjust to concentrate on areas where we can get a more representative balance in our applicant pool. To use a fishing analogy, recruiters must not only cast a wide net but ensure we are spending time in the right fishing holes.
And by measuring those targets, we'll employ the old management axiom that what gets measured gets done. And we'll get it done.
While we are meeting or exceeding nearly all demographic targets in our enlisted ranks, inside our cockpits is where we have the greatest disparities and opportunities for improvement. In all, 86 percent of our aviators are white males. Less than 3 percent of our fighter pilots are females. This is why we established a detachment within Air Force recruiting two years ago charged with improving diversity for those who wear flight suits. The mission of Detachment 1 is to bring a singular focus to recruiting qualified women and minorities who have not always felt they belonged.
Our goal is to get in front of every demographic group in America and show them someone who wears a flight suit every day they can look up to and say, ''That could be me.''
There is evidence to suggest we can do significantly better in diversifying our aviator ranks. Fifty years ago, just before the advent of the all-volunteer military, there was a paucity of women doctors and lawyers in the U.S. Only 4 percent of attorneys were female. Today that number is 37 percent. The same was true for doctors: In five decades we've gone from 8 percent to 36 percent, and last year women outnumbered men in medical schools for the first time. The time is now to make similar progress.
Our research data is clear on something else '-- the importance of exposure to aircraft and flight. We've set up programs like Aim High Outreach and the Aim High Flight Academy to get young people into aircraft. We've set up educational programs that allow both youth and their influencers to ask aircrew members and experts how to join the Air Force, how to qualify for a flying position and what it's like to have a career in military aviation. It is the same kind of dedicated outreach that the legal and medical professions began decades ago.
I am amazed to still hear about young men and women who meet a pilot who, for the first time, looks like them. Too often the teen will say, ''I didn't know you could do that.'' Well, they can. And we're going to make that clear to the next generation of young Americans.
Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas is the commander of Air Force Recruiting Service.
If in some future war with Russia or China the United States is defeated, will it truly matter if we won the moral victory by replacing racially superfluous white men with non-whites in the cockpits? If diversity is a ''war-fighting imperative,'' why not just ban white men from applying for flight school?
Anything deemed ''too white'' is axiomatically morally bad and in need of an immediate melanin infusion, because only systemic racism could keep an organization, company or profession insufficiently diverse (i.e., devoid of a majority of white individuals).
How hard to you think the top generals in the respective air forces of China and Russia are laughing when they read this type of insanity from Maj. Gen. Thomas?
[Comment at Unz.com]
Visa Says "No Reason" Why It Cannot Add Bitcoin To Its Network | ZeroHedge
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:16
If one ever wants to get the worst possible - and most incorrect - "take" in the world of finance at any given moment, one should just listen to the man who has mad an art form of "failing upward", the former Goldman, Pimco B-grade employee, failed candidate for California governor, and current Minneapolis Fed uberdovish president, Neel Kashkari who after doing everything in his power to blow the biggest asset bubble in history and enabling the price explosion in such assets as bitcoin, had the temerity to slam the relentless move higher in the cryptocurrency.
On Monday, speaking somewhere (meaning some people actually cared about his opinion), Kashkari said - without a trace of irony - that Bitcoin is "a novelty, a toy, that people speculate on." So... like all other assets which are terminally disconnected from fundamentals thanks to the Fed's trillions in newly generated liqudity, hence bubble?
Yet while ignoring Kashkari's "sophisticated" opinion is not only easy but mandatory in this day and age, what many missed last week when the world was transfixed by the reddit rollercoaster, is what Visa said in its earnings call, namely that the largest global payments processor is this close to adopting bitcoin:
Today, 35 of the leading digital currency platforms and wallets have already chosen to issue Visa, including coin-based Crypto.com, BlackFi, Fold and BitPanda. These wallet relationships represent the potential for more than 50 million Visa credentials. The next leading network has a fraction of that. And it goes without saying, to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there's no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies today.
As CoinTelegraph adds, during the Visa Q1 earnings call on Thursday, chairman and CEO Al Kelly devoted a portion of his comments to reaffirming the financial giant's commitment to crypto payments and onramps, as well as explaining ''how Visa thinks about crypto in general and our approach.''
The financial services firm with over $72 billion in assets as of 2019 has been aggressively pursing crypto payments as of late, including by way of partnerships enabling crypto debit cards, and investing Zap, a crypto payments startup. Additionally, earlier this month Visa was forced to abandon a $5.3 billion acquisition of payments platform Plaid on antitrust grounds.
Source: CoinTelegraphThursday's comments made it clear that Visa "still has long-term plans in the sector", according to Cointelegraph, and that the company believes itself to be in an excellent position to pursue them. As Kelly said ''we believe that we are uniquely positioned to help make cryptocurrencies more safe, useful and applicable for payments,'' by virtue of Visa's size, integrations, and brand recognition.
And to demonstrate its dedication to bitcoin, this morning Visa announced that it is piloting a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) that will allow banks to offer bitcoin services. As CoinDesk reports, the Visa Crypto APIs pilot program will let clients ''easily connect into the infrastructure provided by Visa's partner, Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank, to allow their customers to buy and sell digital assets such as bitcoin as an investment within their existing consumer experiences,'' Visa said in a press statement.
Visa envisions a product set that extends to other cryptocurrencies and stablecoins as well as other crypto services such as trading, Visa crypto lead Cuy Sheffield told CoinDesk in an interview. Digital bank First Boulevard is the first bank involved in the pilot; Visa has issued a wait list for other banks.
The step is a logical evolution to a company that may soon accept bitcoin as a "recognized" means of exchange: while previously, Visa had been focused on helping crypto companies issue bank cards and has partnered with 35 crypto firms to date, this is the first time the company has offered crypto services to banks.
Perhaps the only question is how much of Visa's adoption of bitcoin - once it is officially announced - is now priced in, or alternatively, how much higher does the cryptocurrency still have to go into record territory once hybrid global bitcoin-mediated transactions via the Visa network becomes a reality.
Parler CEO Fired By 'Rebekah-Mercer-Controlled Board' | ZeroHedge
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:15
John Matze, CEO of beleaguered Twitter competitor Parler, has been fired by the board of directors amid a highly contentious period for the conservative-friendly platform.
(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)"On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision," wrote Matze in a statement obtained by Fox Business. "I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement."
Matze wrote that over the past few months he has been met with "constant resistance" to his original vision for the social media platform following Amazon Web Services' decision to shut Parler down for failure to moderate "egregious content" related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. -Fox Business
"Over the past few months, I've met constant resistance to my product vision, my strong belief in free speech and my view of how the Parler site should be managed. For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation," Matze's statement continues.
"I have worked endless hours and fought constant battles to get the Parler site running but at this point, the future of Parler is no longer in my hands," he continued. "I want to thank the Parler employees, the people on Parler and Parler supporters for their tireless work and devotion to the company. They are an amazing group of diverse, hardworking and talented individuals and I have the utmost respect for them. Many of them have become my second family."
After several Parler users were found to have been participants in the Jan. 6 'Capitol riot,' the company was swept up in a cancel campaign - with Amazon Web Services and several other third-party service providers critical to the service dropped them as a client. Parler subsequently went offline, only to pop back up last week with several posts from Matze - calling for a "respectful conversation to improve our society" and detailing the company's legal struggles in the wake of the Amazon decision.
Parler was also dropped from both Google and Apple's app stores, and has yet to relaunch services.
According to Fox, Matze says he'll spend a few weeks off before searching for a new venture.
"After that, I'll be looking for new opportunities where my technical acumen, vision and the causes I am passionate about will be required and respected," he wrote, adding "I want to thank all the people of Parler that supported me and the platform. This has been the true American Dream: an idea from a living room to a company of considerable value. I'm not saying goodbye, just so long for now."
Merck Scraps COVID Vaccines; Says It's More Effective to Get the Virus and Recover '' Anti-Empire
Thu, 04 Feb 2021 04:45
"Generated an 'inferior' immune system response in comparison with natural infection," will work on therapeutic drugs instead
Vaccine manufacturer Merck has abandoned development of two coronavirus vaccines, saying that after extensive research it was concluded that the shots offered less protection than just contracting the virus itself and developing antibodies.
The company announced that the shots V590 and V591 were 'well tolerated' by test patients, however they generated an 'inferior' immune system response in comparison with natural infection.
The company stated that instead it will focus on research into therapeutic drugs labeled as MK-7110 and MK-4482.
The drugs aim to protect patients from the damage of an overactive immune response to the virus.
''Interim results from a Phase 3 study showed a greater than 50 percent reduction in the risk of death or respiratory failure in patients hospitalized with moderate to severe COVID-19,'' the company's statement noted of the MK-7110 drug.
Merck is to receive around $356 million from the US government to fast-track production of the potential treatments under Operation Warp Speed.
Chief Marketing Officer Michael Nally recently told Bloomberg that Merck is aiming to produce some 20 million courses of the MK-4482 drug, an oral antiviral which patients will take twice a day for five days.
Meanwhile, in related news, German scientists have claimed that the UK Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is less than 8% effective in over 65s, prompting the vaccine developers to hit back, rubbishing the claims.
The German media published the claims, alleging it had been 'confirmed' by 'multiple' unnamed senior German government sources.
UK government ministers have suggested that the claim could be related to the ongoing dispute over delivery of the vaccine between the European Union and AstraZeneca.
The EU, which is yet to approve the vaccine, has threatened to block exports of shots to Britain, in a move that has been branded 'spiteful' by British government sources.
In an effort to make sure its member states get their 'fair share' of vaccines, the EU has also threatened to block the delivery of Pfizer vaccines to the UK, demanding that drug companies provide detailed information on when they plan to export Covid jabs to countries outside the bloc.
Source: News Break
Drive a stake through the heart of the Covid Rouge at:
Astronomer Avi Loeb Says Aliens Have Visited, and He's Not Kidding - Scientific American
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 22:19
Avi Loeb is no stranger to controversy. The prolific Harvard University astrophysicist has produced pioneering and provocative research on black holes, gamma-ray bursts, the early universe and other standard topics of his field. But for more than a decade he has also courted a more contentious subject'--namely, space aliens, including how to find them. Until relatively recently, Loeb's most high-profile work in that regard was his involvement with Breakthrough Starshot, a project funded by Silicon Valley billionaire Yuri Milner to send laser-boosted, gossamer-thin mirrorlike spacecraft called ''light sails'' on high-speed voyages to nearby stars. All that began to change in late 2017, however, when astronomers around the world scrambled to study an enigmatic interstellar visitor'--the first ever seen'--that briefly came within range of their telescopes.
The object's discoverers dubbed it 'Oumuamua'--a Hawaiian term that roughly translates to ''scout.'' The unavoidably cursory examinations of this celestial passerby showed it had several properties that defied easy natural explanation. 'Oumuamua's apparent shape'--which was like a 100-meter-long cigar or pancake'--did not closely resemble any known asteroid or comet. Neither did its brightness, which revealed 'Oumuamua was at least 10 times more reflective than one of our solar system's typical space rocks'--shiny enough to suggest the gleam of burnished metal. Most strangely, as it zoomed off after swooping by the sun, the object sped up faster than could be explained by our star's waning gravitational grip alone. Run-of-the-mill comets can exhibit similar accelerations because of the rocketlike effect of evaporating gases jetting from their sunlight-warmed icy surfaces. But no signs of such jets were seen around 'Oumuamua.
To Loeb, the most plausible explanation was as obvious as it was sensational: taken together with its possibly pancakelike shape and high reflectivity, 'Oumuamua's anomalous acceleration made perfect sense if the object was in fact a light sail'--perhaps a derelict from some long-expired galactic culture. Primed by years spent pondering how we might someday find evidence of cosmic civilizations in the sky's depths, he became increasingly convinced that, with 'Oumuamua, the evidence had instead found us. In late 2018 Loeb and his co-author Shmuel Bialy, a Harvard postdoctoral fellow, published a paper in the Astrophysical Journal Letters arguing that 'Oumuamua had been nothing less than humanity's first contact with an artifact of extraterrestrial intelligence.
The paper has been a smash hit with journalists but has fallen flat with most of Loeb's astrobiology-focused peers, who insist that, while strange, 'Oumuamua's properties still place it well within the realm of natural phenomena. To claim otherwise, Loeb's critics say, is cavalier at best and destructive at worst for the long struggle to remove the stigma of credulous UFO and alien-abduction reports from what should unquestionably be a legitimate field of scientific inquiry.
Loeb has now taken his case to the public with the book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life beyond Earth, which is just as much about the author's life story as it is about 'Oumuamua's fundamental mysteries. Scientific American spoke with Loeb about the book, his controversial hypothesis and why he believes science is in crisis.
[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]
Hi Avi. How are you?
I'm good, but I have been losing sleep, because in order to cope with all the media requests, I've been doing interviews with, for example, Good Morning Britain at 1:50 A.M. and Coast to Coast AM at 3 A.M.'--plus appearances on U.S. network and cable television. I've got about 100 podcast interviews to do in the next few weeks. And I already recorded long conversations with [podcasters] Lex Fridman and Joe Rogan for their shows. I've never seen anything like this; there has been so much interest in the book. I mean, there were 10 filmmakers and producers from Hollywood who contacted me over the past few weeks! I joked with my literary agent that if a film comes out of this, I want to be played by Brad Pitt.
Ha, indeed, the resemblance is uncanny. Based on your productivity, I've never gotten the sense that you get a lot of sleep anyway.
My routine is to wake up each morning at 5 A.M. and go jogging. It's really beautiful when nobody's outside'--just me and the birds, ducks and rabbits. And, yes, because of the pandemic, the past 10 months have been the most productive in my career. I don't need to commute to work. I don't need to meet so many people. And most importantly, I don't need to think about what's wrong with all the things that other people say!
Speaking of important things, here is one I think we both agree on: in science, we must keep each other honest. I mention it only because there's a point in Extraterrestrial where you claim you don't want the limelight and that you're not interested in self-promotion. How can that be true?
Let me explain. I think talking to the media is an important opportunity because it allows me to share my message with a broader audience that otherwise would not have exposure to it.
What is your message, exactly? I take it you're talking about more than 'Oumuamua.
Yes. My message is that something is wrong with the scientific community today in terms of its health.
Too many scientists are now mostly motivated by ego, by getting honors and awards, by showing their colleagues how smart they are. They treat science as a monologue about themselves rather than a dialogue with nature. They build echo chambers using students and postdocs who repeat their mantras so that their voice will be louder and their image will be promoted. But that's not the purpose of science. Science is not about us; it's not about empowering ourselves or making our image great. It's about trying to understand the world, and it's meant to be a learning experience in which we take risks and make mistakes along the way. You can never tell in advance, when you work on the frontier, what is the right path forward. You only learn that by getting feedback from experiments.
Which is the other problem with science today: people are not only motivated by the wrong reasons; they are also no longer guided by evidence. Evidence keeps you modest because you predict something, you test it, and the evidence sometimes shows you're wrong. Right now you have many celebrated scientists doing mathematical gymnastics about lots of untestable things: string theory, the multiverse, even the theory of cosmic inflation. Once, in a public forum, I asked [physicist] Alan Guth, who originated the theory, ''Is inflation falsifiable?'' And he said it's a silly question, because for whatever cosmological data an experiment gives us, a model of inflation can be found that accommodates it. And therefore, inflation is in a very strong position because it can explain anything! But I see this as a very weak position because a theory of everything is sometimes a theory of nothing. There may be no difference between the two.
To me, this bubble of imaginary stuff is like being high on drugs: You can get high and imagine that you're wealthier than Elon Musk, who is now the richest person in the world. That's a very fun thought. You can feel really good about it and talk about it with your friends. And if you're part of a big like-minded community, everyone can support and respect one another, and you give one another awards, and that's great, right? But then if you go to withdraw funds, if you want to really spend that money you think you have, you realize that you don't actually have anything. Just like going to an ATM, doing experiments can serve as a reality check. And in science, it's essential that we have that check'--that we make testable predictions and put some skin in the game'--because otherwise we won't learn anything new. I don't think that's properly recognized anymore.
Marked with a blue circle, 'Oumuamua appears as a faint dot in the center of this image, which is one of the best available and combines observations from multiple different telescopes. Credit: ESO/K. Meech et al.So speculating about string theory and multiverses is bad, but speculating about alien civilizations and their artifacts passing through the solar system is okay? You could say appealing to ''aliens'' can explain anything, too.
The difference is: you can make predictions and test for the latter, and the speculations come from a conservative position.
If 'Oumuamua is a member of a population of objects moving on random trajectories, then based on its discovery with the Pan-STARRS telescope, you can estimate that we should very soon begin finding, on average, one of these objects per month after the Vera C. Rubin Observatory comes online. We can also establish a system of instruments'--satellites, maybe'--that would not only monitor the sky but also be able to react to the approach of such objects so we can get photographs of them as they come in rather than chasing them as they go out, because they move very fast. Not all this work needs to be in space, either: You can imagine meteors of interstellar origin as well, and we can search for those. And if you find any that ended up on Earth's surface, you might even be able to examine them with your own hands.
People ask why I get this media attention. The only reason is because my colleagues are not using common sense. Contrast string theory and multiverses with what I and many others say, which is that based on the data from NASA's Kepler mission, roughly half of the galaxy's sunlike stars have a planet about the size of the Earth, at about the same distance of the Earth from the sun, so that you can have liquid water on the surface and the chemistry of life as we know it. So if you roll the dice on life billions of times in the Milky Way, what is the chance that we are alone? Minuscule, most likely! To say that if you arrange for similar circumstances, you get similar outcomes is, to me, the most conservative statement imaginable. So I would expect most people to endorse that, to hug me and say, ''Great, Avi, you're correct. We should look for these things because they must be very likely.'' Instead what I see is a backlash that shows a loss of an intellectual compass'--because how else can you explain working on string theory's extra dimensions or the multiverse when we have no clue for their existence? But that is considered mainstream? That's crazy.
Allow me to put this in a very specific context. I'm obviously not a rebel outsider; I'm in leadership positions. I chair the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies [of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine], okay? That board is overseeing the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, which will set major science priorities for NASA and the [National Science Foundation] when it is released later this year. Now, I see astronomers talking about future telescopes costing billions of dollars, with the main motivation being to find life by looking for oxygen in the atmospheres of exoplanets. That is a noble wish. But if you look at the Earth for its first two billion years or so, the planet did not have much oxygen in its atmosphere even though it had a lot of microbial life. That's point number one. Point number two is that even if you have oxygen, you can get it from natural processes such as breaking apart water molecules. So even if you if you spend these billions and find oxygen and maybe even find methane along with it, people will still argue about it forever. Look at how much discussion there has been about the potential detection of phosphine on Venus, which is a very unusual molecule, compared with oxygen. Anyway, my point is that with these same instruments'--you don't need any extra investment of funds'--you can actually get conclusive evidence for life, intelligence and technology. What would that be? Industrial pollution in the same atmosphere. You could, for instance, look for chlorofluorocarbons, these complex molecules only produced on Earth for refrigeration systems. If you found that on another planet, there is just no way nature would produce these molecules naturally. You would have conclusive evidence that life'--and more'--existed there.
So what is the problem with saying that looking for industrial pollution is a worthwhile thing to do? What other than some sort of psychological barrier that prevents some scientists from admitting they want the search for technological signatures of alien civilizations to be at the periphery, with very little funding? What I'm saying is that these sorts of things should be prioritized and that they are conservative things to do because they will bring us the most information about the existence of alien life. And yet the opposite is being done right now.
You write about a concept you call '''Oumuamua's wager,'' after Pascal's wager, 17th-century mathematician Blaise Pascal's argument that the benefits of assuming God exists outweigh the drawbacks. Similarly, you say believing 'Oumuamua is an alien artifact would be a net good because it could catalyze a revolution in space science and technology centered around a more vigorous search for life and intelligence beyond Earth. Even if that hunt finds no aliens, your reasoning goes, we'd still gain a much deeper understanding of our cosmic context. And the investments behind it would enhance our ability to answer other questions about the universe and perhaps even help stave off our own extinction.
But if the stakes are so high, what about the counterargument that going ''all in'' on promoting 'Oumuamua's putative artificial nature is reckless and dangerous? Your critics say you are doing more harm than good. For instance, you mentioned you appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast, one of the most popular in the world. That's great for selling books. But given Rogan's reputation for spreading dangerous misinformation on his podcast, is that sort of thing a wise move? Would you also agree to be a speaker at a gathering of UFO ''true believers'' outside Area 51? Where do you draw the line for public outreach that risks enhancing the so-called giggle factor that has stymied progress in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) for decades?
Okay, here is my point of view. By and large, the public funds science. And the public is extremely interested in the search for alien life. So I must ask: If scientists are supported by the public, how dare they shy away from this question that can be addressed with the technologies they are developing?
There are, of course, science-fiction stories about aliens, and there are many unsubstantiated UFO reports. Now, suppose there was some literature about the magical properties of COVID-19 that had no bearing in reality. Would that mean scientists should never work on finding a vaccine to this pandemic? No! I don't see the search for technological signatures any differently from the search for the nature of dark matter. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in searching for weakly interacting massive particles, a leading dark matter candidate. And so far those searches have failed. That doesn't mean they were a waste: going down dark alleys is part of the scientific process.
And in terms of risk, in science, we are supposed to put everything on the table. We cannot just avoid certain ideas because we worry about the consequences of discussing them, because there is great risk in that, too. That would be similar to telling Galileo not to speak about Earth moving around the sun and to avoid looking in his telescope because it was dangerous to the philosophy of the day. We should not want to repeat that experience. We need an open dialogue among scientists where people present different ideas and then allow evidence to dictate which one is right. In the context of 'Oumuamua, I say the available evidence suggests this particular object is artificial, and the way to test this is to find more [examples] of the same and examine them. It's as simple as that.
So how do you change this situation? I think the answer is to bring it to the public as much as I can.
Credit: Houghton Mifflin HarcourtIn your book, you link your outspokenness about 'Oumuamua with a phrase, an ethos, you learned when you were a conscript in the Israel Defense Forces: ''To lay your body on the barbed wire.'' That is, to make personal sacrifices for the greater good. Are you to be a martyr for this cause, then? Have you lost friends or stature over it?
No one has violently assaulted me or anything like that. Maybe people talk behind my back, which would make more sense, given my leadership positions. But I don't really know. I have zero footprint on social media. Although I should say that I think my critics who are most vocal with nasty remarks on Twitter and elsewhere are relatively mediocre scientists. Most really good scientists would not behave that way'--they would make arguments for or against my claims, and that would be enough. Nasty remarks don't make sense'--except, well, deep inside, I would not be surprised if many of these critics are actually quite intrigued by this possibility that 'Oumuamua is artificial. But they don't want to admit it. So they loudly say the opposite.
Unfortunately, my situation is different from that of the young postdocs who I've worked with because they need to apply for jobs. I'm sure that people have approached them and said, ''Look, this is dangerous for you.'' And so they froze and basically stopped working on anything related. This isn't surprising. If you create a hostile intellectual culture where something like SETI is not being honored, then young, bright people will not go there. But don't step on the grass and then complain it doesn't grow as you stand on it. Don't block brilliant researchers from working on SETI and then say, ''Look, nothing is being found. SETI is a failure!''
None of this means all of space science should be about SETI. If you look at the commercial world, companies such as Bell Labs in the past or Google now, they incentivize and allow for their personnel to pursue innovative ''blue-sky'' research that is not immediately applicable for profit. But if you look at academia, it's much more conservative than the commercial sector. That doesn't make sense.
How do you respond to the idea that for a person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail? Someone could uncharitably say what you are really doing here is attempting to curry further favor with wealthy benefactors, such as Yuri Milner, because you are an adviser for his Breakthrough Initiatives programs, which fund research related to SETI and light sails.
It's true for me'--and everyone else, I think'--that my imagination is limited by what I know. I can't deny the fact that my involvement in Breakthrough was influential here. I was the one who suggested the light sail [proposed by physicist Philip Lubin] to Yuri Milner as a promising concept for interstellar spacecraft in the first place. So I had it in my vocabulary, and as a result of that, I imagined it as applied to 'Oumuamua. Now, you might ask, ''Okay, well, isn't that a biased view?'' I would say this occurs again and again in physics and in SETI. In the context of SETI, you know, once we developed radio technology, we started searching the sky looking for radio signals. It was the same for lasers. It's just natural that once you work on some technology that you imagine maybe it exists out there and search for it. So I would not deny that the reason the light sail idea was in my brain is because I had previously worked on it, yeah. But in terms of trying to motivate Yuri, that has nothing to do with it. Why would I do it this way when I can just approach him directly whenever I want to advocate my views? And it is not as if my work on 'Oumuamua was coordinated with or supported by Breakthrough Initiatives. They have issued no press releases about my ideas. If anything, they might be worried'--they have their own reputation to preserve and so forth. On this issue, I've had zero support from or communication with them. This was me being curious, not using 'Oumuamua as some sort of a political vehicle in the context of Breakthrough. That has nothing to do with my motivation.
After this, what comes next for you? Do you have plans?
I just stepped down from being chair of Harvard's astronomy department, so I really do have the ability now to move to the next phase. And the question is: What would it be? Life, of course, is not always what you've planned, but another leadership opportunity would be so tempting because I could try to shape reality in a way others would not. I couldn't pass that up. But maybe we should exclude leadership possibilities from this. Maybe I won't be offered anything again because of my ideas about 'Oumuamua! That's a possibility. Then I'd write more books, do more research and continue to jog every morning.
AOC wasn't in the Capitol Building at the time of the Jan. 6 riot'--she was in another building entirely | The Post Millennial
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 22:17
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Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has spoken at length about her experience during the Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6. From her live Instagram videos, it has seemed like she was on the front line, facing down Trump supporting rioters in the halls outside her office. But it turns out, Ocasio-Cortez wasn't in the Capitol at the time of the assault on Congress, she was in her office another building entirely.
Ocasio-Cortez's congressional office is in the Cannon House Office Building, according to her website, her Washington, DC address is 229 Cannon HOB. The Cannon HOB is accessible to the Capitol via tunnel. On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez spoke to millions of fans on Instragram relaying her past experience of sexual assault, which she said left her traumatized. This experience, she said, was compounded by her what happened to her during the Capitol Hill riot.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said that her office is in the same hallway as Ocasio-Cortez, two doors down, and that there were no rioters in that area at any time. She called out the New York representative for her "egregious" claims.
.@AOC made clear she didn't know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous.My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn't even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM won't politicize? pic.twitter.com/Tl1GiPSOft
'-- Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) February 2, 2021Taking emotion out of the equation, it appears that what happened was that Ocasio-Cortez was in her office in a building on congressional campus at the time the Capitol Building was unlawfully accessed by a mob of violent rioters seeking to disrupt Congress. Ocasio-Cortez was afraid, in her office in another building, and hid in the bathroom.
A short time later, as she was still hiding in the bathroom, a Capitol Hill Police Officer came to her office and checked on her safety, directing her where to go to be evacuated from any impending danger. She did not trust the officer's intention, but complied with his directive, took her handbag, and left her office, along with a member of her staff, who similarly did not trust the officer.
Ocasio-Cortez said that the officer was "looking at me with all this anger and hostility. At first, in my brain and in my mind, I just came from this super intense experience just now, maybe I'm reading into this, right? Like maybe I'm projecting, maybe I'm projecting something on to him that, maybe I'm just sensing anger but maybe he's not trying to be angry, um."
"But I talked to... my legislative director, and he said 'no, I didn't know if he would help us or hurt us either, and [he] was actually like 'this man came with so much hostility, that um" she said. She said that her staffer was "sizing him up" to see if he "would have to fight him."
She compared this experience to "so many other communities in this country where you don't know if you're safe or not." The officer told her where to go, and she said "we're just so rattled in that moment, and the situation felt so volatile with the officer that I run over, I grab my bag, and we just start running over to that building."
In her view, many members of the GOP, both in the Senate and House, are "using the same tactics as abusers," and she fears that they will "do it again."
Ocasio-Cortez later said that she believed her colleagues in the GOP were white supremacists who she feared would allow others do to harm to her. Ocasio-Cortez falsely accused Senator Ted Cruz of "trying to get [her] killed," that she wouldn't attend President Joe Biden's inauguration because she didn't "feel safe" around Republicans, and has demanded the removal of Republicans in the House and Senate.
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Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Biden Admin: https://t.co/vOZ2alyfCL" / Twitter
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 17:43
Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 : Biden Admin: https://t.co/vOZ2alyfCL
Wed Feb 03 14:00:32 +0000 2021
No Agenda Quest - No Agenda Show Notes Search Engine : Search
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 16:21
Jeff Zients Joins Facebook Board of Directors | Facebook Newsroomhttps://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/05/zients-joins-facebook-board/ ArchivedArchive.orgSun, 13 May 2018 12:52 May 8, 2018 Facebook today announced that
Jeff Zients, the CEO of Cranemere, has been appointed to the company's board of directors and audit committee, effective May 31, 2018, immediately following Facebook's... (from
No Agenda Episode 1033 - "Swagger")
VIDEO-RUBIO - Eric Swalwell's Relationship with Chinese Spy Shows FBI's Double Standardhttps://charliekirk.com/news/eric-swalwells-relationship-with-chinese-spy-shows-fbis-double-standard/ ArchivedArchive.org...November of 2011, then-deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Jeff Zients hosted the Chinese group after ''a colleague of Archer's reached out to suggest there was an opportunity to gain 'outstanding new clients'' reports... (from
No Agenda Episode 1303 - "Redneck Red Herring")
BIG TECH BIDEN: Former Facebook leaders involved in transition | Gregg Jarretthttps://thegreggjarrett.com/big-tech-biden-former-facebook-leaders-involved-in-transition/ ArchivedArchive.org...Former Facebook board member
Jeff Zients is co-chairing Biden's transition team, while another former board member is an adviser. Two others '' one who was a Facebook director and another who was a lobbyist for the company '' have taken... (from
No Agenda Episode 1296 - "Kraken Keeper")
Biden Has Ties To 5 Major Tech Companies | The Daily Callerhttps://dailycaller.com/2021/01/10/biden-big-tech-apple-facebook-trump-parler/ ArchivedArchive.org...
Jeff Zients, a former Facebook board member who served in the Obama administration, is Biden's Covid-19 czar. Tony Blinken, who Biden tapped as his secretary of state, provided advisory services to Facebook through his consulting firm, WestExec Partners... (from
No Agenda Episode 1313 - "Q Victims")
Ben Rhodes (White House staffer) - Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Rhodes_(White_House_staffer) ArchivedArchive.org...Retrieved September 24, 2013 . ^ Brian Steinberg (November 20, 2014). "David Rhodes To Take Over CBS News As
Jeff Fager Steps Down". Variety . Retrieved May 29, 2015 . ^ a b Landler, Mark (March 15, 2013). "Worldly at 35, and Shaping Obama's... (from
No Agenda Episode 1133 - "No Apology")
Tina Tchen - Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tina_Tchen ArchivedArchive.org...Orszag 2009''10 Chief of Staff to the First Lady Jackie Norris 2009 Jack Lew 2010''12 Susan Sher 2009''11 Jeffrey
Zients 2012''13 Tina Tchen 2011''17 Sylvia Mathews Burwell 2013''14 White House Social Secretary Desir(C... (from
No Agenda Episode 1124 - "Work To Rules")
Google's Remarkably Close Relationship With the Obama White House, in Two Chartshttps://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/googles-remarkably-close-relationship-with-the-obama-white-house-in-two-charts/ ArchivedArchive.org...Since 2009, Google has met with all three of Obama's directors of the National Economic Council (Larry Summers, Gene Sperling, and Jeffrey
Zients), one chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (Austan Goolsbee), and another official who would become... (from
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Proposition Joe - Wikipedia
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:33
Joseph Stewart, better known as "Proposition Joe" or "Prop Joe", is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by actor Robert F. Chew. Joe was an Eastside drug lord who preferred a peaceful solution to business disputes when possible. He was responsible for creating the lucrative New Day Co-Op with Stringer Bell, supplying much of Baltimore with heroin brought into the city by "The Greeks". Displaying a cunning, business-oriented demeanor, Joe was often a match in wits for rival drug lords Avon Barksdale and Marlo Stanfield, and was able to manipulate most situations to his advantage.[1] His nickname stemmed from his trademark phrase, "I've got a proposition for you", going back to his days selling test answers on the schoolyard. Along with Poot Carr, Wee-Bey Brice, Omar Little, and Bubbles, he is one of the few characters from the drug trade to appear in every season.
Biography [ edit ] Season 1 [ edit ] Joe first appears at an annual basketball game between the Eastside Projects' team and the Westside Projects'. Joe plays on Avon Barksdale's pride, goading him into doubling their wager on the outcome, then bringing in a ringer at the last minute to win the game.
That same day, Joe is visited by stick-up-man Omar Little, who gives Joe some of the Barksdale Organization's stolen narcotics in exchange for Barksdale's pager number. Omar uses the information in an unsuccessful attempt on Barksdale's life, but Joe's role in Omar's attack is never revealed to Barksdale. Joe later serves as a neutral go-between, organizing a meeting between Barksdale's business partner Stringer Bell and Omar to discuss a truce.
Season 2 [ edit ] In season 2, Joe's role is expanded, and it is revealed that Joe relies on the Greek's smuggling ring to supply him with heroin through the Baltimore ports. Joe says that he still has to source his cocaine from New York, as the Greeks only deal in heroin. Joe accommodates Nick Sobotka at the request of Sergei "Serge" Malatov to resolve a dispute over a bad drug deal between Ziggy Sobotka and Joe's nephew and lieutenant Calvin "Cheese" Wagstaff. Out of respect for Malatov, Joe resolves the dispute in Nick's favour by compensating him for Ziggy's destroyed car (minus the amount owed to Cheese), but warns him to stay away in the future.
Joe's heroin supply is the purest in Baltimore, but he lacks the territory to maximize profits. Due to Avon Barksdale's arrest, the Barksdale Organization is cut off from their Dominican suppliers and is forced to sell weaker heroin. Joe offers Stringer Bell a portion of his product in exchange for the right to deal drugs in some of the Barksdale-controlled towers. Barksdale vehemently rejects the idea, but Bell secretly agrees, and Cheese's crew moves into part of what was exclusively Barksdale territory.
Barksdale is unaware of Bell's move and brings in Brother Mouzone to protect the towers. Mouzone confronts Cheese and wounds him with a non-fatal gunshot. Joe fears Mouzone's reputation and knows it would be a mistake to attack him directly, so Joe sets up a meeting between Bell and Omar Little, and Bell tricks Omar into shooting Mouzone. This elaborate deception achieves Joe and Bell's shared goals: it drives Mouzone back to New York and forces Barksdale to grudgingly agree to the drugs-for-territory exchange with arch-rival Joe.
Season 3 [ edit ] Joe insulates himself against police investigation by maintaining a strict policy of only meeting face to face. His nephew "Drac" is targeted as a potential inroad for an investigation by Lieutenant Cedric Daniels' Major Crimes Unit, due to Drac's propensity to talk business over the phone. Daniels' unit arrests Joe's lieutenant Lavelle Mann in an undercover bust operation, hoping Drac would be promoted to replace him. However, Joe chooses someone more reliable, thwarting the unit's efforts inadvertently.
Daniels tips his hand when he arrests Cheese, believing he had Cheese on tape discussing a murder. Cheese realizes the tape is of him talking about shooting his injured pet dog, and the police are forced to release him.
Cheese reports the incident to Joe who, now forewarned about the investigation and wiretap, passes the information on to Stringer Bell. The unit moves their investigation away from Joe and onto the more violent Kintel Williamson when they fail to make further progress.
Joe extends the sharing of his supply to many other drug dealers in Baltimore, forming the New Day Co-Op with Bell, Ricardo "Fat-Face Rick" Hendrix and Kintell Williamson, among others. Joe supplies all of these drug dealers with his package, and they receive a discount for the bulk buying; they also agree to avoid attracting unnecessary police attention by limiting violence. As a result, Williamson stops killing people, and the police begin investigating a brewing turf war between Avon Barksdale and up-and-coming Marlo Stanfield.
Joe and the rest of the Co-Op object to the police attention the war creates, as it interferes with their business. Joe meets with Stanfield's advisor Vinson to try to negotiate a settlement, but Stanfield is unwilling to back out of the war, believing that Barksdale is weak. Joe gives Bell an ultimatum: end the war, or he will be thrown out of the Co-Op. The ultimatum is defused when Bell is murdered and Barksdale is arrested, leaving Joe with complete control of the Co-Op.[2]
Season 4 [ edit ] Joe recruits former Barksdale Organization soldier Slim Charles as his lieutenant to supply the independent dealers who have arisen to replace the Barksdale organization in Western Baltimore. However, problems arise; Marlo Stanfield has taken control of much of the Barksdales' prime territory, and the New York drug organizations are taking over territory in Eastern Baltimore. The co-op votes to negotiate with Stanfield and recruit him to strike back against the New York drug dealers.
Joe contacts Stanfield, who turns down his first offer. Joe manipulates Omar Little again, inducing him to rob a card game which Stanfield attends, by pretending that he wanted to make amends for his involvement in the Stringer Bell/Brother Mouzone incident. After Omar robs the card game, Joe offers Stanfield another meeting and claims he could protect him against such surprises in the future.
Joe also explains that he has contacts within the Baltimore police department and courts. Joe routinely shares information about police activity with other Co-Op members. Although much of his information is actually public record, Joe is also aware of the investigation of Kintel Williamson that was suspended and inconclusive.
Stanfield agrees to work with the co-op, and with his help, the New York dealers are driven out of Baltimore. Joe also offers Stanfield advice on how to deal with a police surveillance camera, discovers the identity of the unit investigating Stanfield, and tries to encourage Stanfield's transition into being less violent and more business-minded.
Stanfield frames Omar for murder and plans to have him killed while in prison. Omar escapes the charges and plots revenge on Stanfield. Omar forces Joe (at gunpoint) to agree to betray Stanfield, but Omar ultimately double-crosses Joe and steals an entire co-op shipment as it is delivered.
The co-op decides that Joe should cover the expense of replacing it, and Joe threatens to cut them off from his supplier, forcing them to back down. Omar returns to sell the shipment back to Joe for 20 cents on the dollar; Joe, ever the opportunist, informs the Co-Op that the price is 30 cents on the dollar, allowing Joe to recoup some of his losses from the theft.
Stanfield is perturbed by the robbery and suspects that Cheese, who was responsible for collecting the shipment, was involved. To protect his nephew Joe is forced to reveal his suppliers' identity and arrange for Stanfield to meet with Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos. At the end of the season, Joe and the rest of the New Day Co-Op resume business as usual, but have put a bounty on Omar's head.[3]
Season 5 [ edit ] Season 5 opens over a year later. Joe's advice has allowed Marlo Stanfield to successfully avoid prosecution despite an ongoing Major Case Unit investigation. Joe finds that he is losing territory in the redevelopment and gentrification of Eastern Baltimore, and he proposes a division of new territory in Baltimore County to compensate the Eastside drug dealers. Stanfield objects and then sows the seed of dissent in Joe's organization by suggesting that Joe should allow Joe's lieutenants to manage the new territory.[4][5]
Stanfield approaches Joe for assistance both with money laundering and obtaining literally clean bills. Joe claims that he is happy to help and puts Stanfield in touch with several of his contacts.
Joe uses a pastor with charitable organizations abroad to launder money; Joe makes "donations" to the charities and then receives 10% of his funds back as cashier's checks. Joe introduces Stanfield to the pastor explains how the scheme works, and - since Stanfield wants to actually see his laundered money - offers to get Stanfield a passport, so he can check on the deposits in offshore accounts. But privately Joe describes "civilizing" Stanfield as an ongoing uphill struggle.
Stanfield also requests clean bills from Joe and is accommodated, free of charge. Joe is unaware that Stanfield is using the money to pay tribute to The Greek and is plotting to usurp Joe's supply connection.
Stanfield also hopes to get revenge on the elusive Omar Little. Joe believes that he has escaped further involvement with Omar, and despite Stanfield's offering a bounty on anyone connected to Omar, Joe does not reveal Omar's connection to Butchie. However, Cheese betrays Joe for the reward money, and Stanfield has his enforcers murder Butchie.[6][7]
Joe fears reprisal from Omar and decides to leave town. He arranges for Slim Charles to watch Cheese closely, as he suspects his nephew's betrayal. Joe arranges flowers for Butchie's funeral both as a gesture to his friend and to signal to Omar his innocence in the murder.
Cheese has created a feud with Co-Op kingpin Hungry Man over the new county territory, and Joe publicly reprimands his nephew. Stanfield gets the agreement of The Greek that he will consider him an insurance policy if Joe is unable to continue to handle their supply. Stanfield then seizes on Cheese's feud with Hungry Man to convince Cheese to betray his uncle. Cheese gives Joe up as Joe is packing to leave town. Stanfield corners Joe in his home, and Joe correctly guesses that Cheese betrayed him. Stanfield rejects Joe's final proposition to disappear quietly and has Chris Partlow shoot Joe while he watches.[8]
Joe went to school at Dunbar High School with former Police Commissioner Ervin Burrell. Joe tells this to Herc, who is now working for Maury Levy, and that Burrell was "stone stupid" and was in the glee club.
Production [ edit ] Actor Robert F. Chew appeared in David Simon's previous series Homicide: Life on the Street, in the three part episode "Blood Ties", playing Wilkie Collins, a drug kingpin who hates violence. Collins provides the police with key information about which drug dealer was shooting at them so that the police would not interfere with his business. Collins and his wife are subsequently murdered by the Mahoney drug cartel for his betrayal. His young son witnesses their deaths and helps the police arrest their murderer. Chew also had a small role in Simon's HBO mini-series The Corner in which he played a shoe salesman.
References [ edit ]
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation - InfluenceWatch
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:33
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLM Global Network Foundation) is the national, organizing chapter of a network of 16 local Black Lives Matters chapters. [1] It is the primary organizational outgrowth of the more decentralized Black Lives Matter movement, and is a fiscally-sponsored project of the Tides Center, a subsidiary entity of the Tides Foundation, a major left-of-center donor-advised fund. [2]
Mission and ActivitiesBLM Global Network Foundation was founded in 2013 by activists Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. [3] Cullors, Garza, and Tometi created and popularized the ''#blacklivesmatter'' hashtag on social media that was instrumental in the early growth of the Black Lives Matter movement. [4] BLM Global Network Foundation was under the fiscal sponsorship of Thousand Currents (formerly the International Development Exchange). [5] Thousand Currents officially transferred control of BLM Global Network Foundation to Tides Center in July 2020. [6] That same month, Cullors became the executive director of the Foundation. [7]
BLM Global Network Foundation claims that its mission, and the mission of the Black Lives Matter movement generally, ''is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.'' Advocating against the use of excessive force by law enforcement against African-Americans is central to the BLM Global Network Foundation mission,[8] and the movement as a whole gained national prominence after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in which Black Lives Matters protestors played central roles in organizing demonstrations against police. [9] BLM Global Network Foundation co-founder Cullors wrote at the time that the Black Lives Matter movement was ''rooted in grief and rage but pointed towards vision and dreams.'' [10]
BLM Global Network Foundation organizes protests against allegedly unjustified killings of African-Americans by police. In 2017, it organized protests and petition drives to demand that Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey prosecute five Inglewood, California, police officers involved in the shooting of two African-Americans who were sleeping in the officers' police car. [11] The officers were fired but not prosecuted, and eventually sued the city for discrimination and unlawful termination, settling out of court for $8.6 million. [12]
In 2019, BLM Global Network Foundation unveiled its #WhatMatters2020 campaign, an effort to increase African-American turnout in the 2020 presidential election and ''build collective power and ensure candidates are held accountable for the issues that systematically and disproportionately impact Black and under-served communities across the nation.'' The campaign features voter registration drives in minority communities and especially among younger black voters. [13]
In 2020, BLM Global Network Foundation began advocating for releasing inmates from prisons and local jails in response to the spread of COVID-19 in those institutions, as well as for limitations on arrests during the pandemic to prevent viral spread in jail populations. [14]
BLM Global Network Foundation also sponsors ''Black Lives Matter Arts+Culture,'' which seeks to ''disrupt the status quo of the art world by uplifting emerging Black artists who speak audaciously, who are unafraid, and who stand in solidarity with the most marginalized among us.'' [15] In 2017, BLM Global Network Foundation sponsored ''The Provocateurs: A Master Series,'' where ''[a]rtists give 12-minute TED-style talks about their practice and journey as a provocative Black artist.'' [16]
BLM Global Network Foundation has been noted for its links to communist ideology. In 2020, video of an interview from 2015 resurfaced in which BLM Global Network Foundation co-founder Patrisse Cullors declared that she and fellow co-founder Alicia Garza were ''trained Marxists.''[17] When Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died in 2016, the organization published an article on Medium that declared ''we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante,'' and ended with ''Fidel Vive!''[18] Susan Rosenberg, the vice-char of the board of directors of BLM Global Network Foundation's former fiscal sponsor Thousand Currents, was a convicted member of the May 19th Communist Organization responsible for multiple bombings in the 1980s.[19]
Several of BLM Global Network Foundation's affiliated local chapters make statements in opposition to capitalism on their official websites, including Black Lives Matter DC[20] and Black Lives Matter Chicago.[21]
In October 2020, activists from St. Louis created the Black Lives Matter PAC, a political action committee designed to endorse progressive, left-wing candidates and mobilize black voters. [22] The Black Lives Matter movement leaders are not officially affiliated with Black Lives Matter PAC but the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation does advertise the PAC to its email list. [23]
Organizational Structure and Internal DisagreementsBLM Global Network Foundation has asserted that it does not control the Black Lives Matter movement generally or even set the policy agenda for chapters within its network, claiming that it is a ''leaderful,'' not ''leaderless'' movement[24] that relies mostly on local leadership and activism as opposed to national leadership or policy advocacy. [25] The organization has been subject to internal disagreements between more moderate ''reform'' activists and more strident ''abolition'' activists who seek wholesale transformation of the criminal justice and political systems. [26] This dynamic has led some critics to argue that BLM Global Network Foundation and the Black Lives Matter movement generally disingenuously encourages radical and strident rhetoric, especially against police officers, and then disavows acts of violence against those officers committed by persons associated with or sympathetic to the movement. [27]
One example of the split between reformist and abolitionist camps is the conflict between BLM Global Network Foundation co-founders Garza and Tometi. Garza has been described as advocating ''for staying outside of existing power structures'' and as ''not interested in playing ball with Democratic politicians for the sake of a few concessions here and there'--or, worse, being used as a photo op prop by politicians.'' By contrast, Tometi advocated working with the leadership of the Democratic party to enact legislative changes, especially in immigration policy. The relationship between the two founders deteriorated and Tometi has not been involved in the management of BLM Global Network Foundation since December 2015. [28]
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has been confused with the Black Lives Matter Foundation, a separate independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Santa Clarita, California with which it has no affiliation.[29] Thousand Currents, the former fiscal sponsor of BLM Global Network Foundation, reported more than $90,000 in combined grants to the Santa Clarita-based Black Lives Matter Foundation in its 2017[30] and 2018[31] tax filings. Thousand Currents later explained that these tax filings were erroneous, that no money was actually provided to the Black Lives Matter Foundation, and that the money was sent to local Black Lives Matter chapters.[32]
In audits covering fiscal years 2018[33] and 2019,[34] Thousand Currents reported $2,622,017 and $3,354,654, respectively, in donor-restricted assets for BLM Global Network Foundation. These audits also showed that 83.3 percent of BLM Global Network Foundation expenditures were for personnel, consultant, and travel costs during the three year period from 2017-2019, while about 6 percent were for grants to outside organizations, including to local Black Lives Matter Chapters.[35]
DonorsAmong the largest donors to the group, at least indirectly, is the Ford Foundation, which in 2016 gave $100 million to the Black-Led Movement Fund, a fund administered by the philanthropic intermediary Borealis Philanthropy. [36] The Black-Led Movement Fund has in turn provided general operating funding to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation several times since 2016. [37]
Organizations that had donated to BLM Global Network Foundation through its former fiscal sponsor Thousand Currents between 2015 and 2019 include the NoVo Foundation ($1,525,000), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation ($900,000) and Borealis Philanthropy ($343,000).[38]
In 2015, Politico reported that members of the Democracy Alliance, a network of left-leaning high-dollar donors and grant makers organized by billionaire financier George Soros and Taco Bell heir Rob McKay, were encouraged to consider making large-dollar grants to the Black Lives Matter movement. Left-leaning mega-donors Tom Steyer and Paul Egerman were also listed by Politico as invited participants. However, it is unclear how much money eventually went to BLM Global Network Foundation from this gathering. It has also been reported by the Washington Times that Soros has given groups associated with the Black Lives Matter movement more than $33 million from his Open Society Foundations (OSF), though it is again unclear if BLM Global Network Foundation directly received funding from OSF. [39] [40]
On June 11, 2020, BLM Global Network Foundation acknowledged the ''generosity and support of donors'' when announcing a $6.5 million fund to support grassroots organizing work at any of its affiliated chapters.[41]
Mulatto Accused Of Colorism After Calling Brown-Skinned Friend An "Orangutan"
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:33
She was joking with her best friend, but people took to social media to share that they didn't believe her remarks were funny. Throughout her career, dating back to when she was an aspiring rap star on The Rap Game with Jermaine Dupri, Mulatto's stage name was cause for controversy. People have called out the biracial artist for using the term as her moniker, but although she continues to garner negative opinions, Mulatto, real name Alyssa Stephens, stands by her choice.
On Tuesday (September 15), the XXL Freshman once again found herself fighting against accusations of colorism after a video surfaced online. The rap star was getting her hair done in the clip and she said, "This my assistant and my hairstylist and my best friend and my pet f*ckin' orangutan." Later in the video, her friend tells her to stop complaining because her hair is almost done. "Your p*ssy is well-done," Mulatto said with a laugh. Because her friend is brown-skinned, people accused Mulatto of being a colorist.
As the controversy continues to build among fans and foes, Mulatto refused to acknowledge the naysayers and has continued to promote her music. Social media users have used Mulatto's stage name against her in their arguments, so check out a few responses and let us know if you think people are overreacting.
Portland Protesters Meet Federal Tear Gas After Biden Inauguration - The New York Times
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:33
As President Biden calls for unity and calmer rhetoric, his presidency began with burned flags and federal agents deployed once again into the streets.
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Chaos in Portland Hours After Biden's InaugurationFederal agents used tear gas in Portland, Ore., against protesters gathered on Wednesday outside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement building near downtown.[crowd chanting] [shots fired] [explosions] [explosions] The men are '-- [shouting]
Federal agents used tear gas in Portland, Ore., against protesters gathered on Wednesday outside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement building near downtown. Credit Credit... Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times PORTLAND, Ore. '-- In the hours after President Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered for a series of events across the liberal city of Portland, Ore. '-- not to celebrate, but to mobilize for the struggles to come.
At one demonstration, speakers denounced Mr. Biden as a ''feckless puppet of the centrist Democratic establishment.'' At another, crowds of antifascist and racial justice protesters made their doubts about the new president even more explicit, burning a Biden flag in the street. At a third event, several people smashed the windows of the local Democratic Party headquarters. ''We are ungovernable,'' the group's banner declared.
While Mr. Biden has vowed to try to unify the nation and urged Americans to ''stop the shouting'' after a bitter election campaign, a Capitol riot and a year of unrest over racial injustices and pandemic restrictions, the first day of his presidency concluded with a scene reminiscent of many under his predecessor: Federal agents in camouflage and riot gear moved into the streets of Portland, unleashing thick clouds of tear gas.
If people were wondering whether Mr. Biden's presidency would ease the conflict, the opening hours of his tenure illustrated the daunting challenge he faces to bridge the lingering gulfs on both sides of the political spectrum '-- divisions stoked by Donald J. Trump during his presidency and, to the left, exacerbated by years of inaction over climate change, economic disparity and systemic racism.
Image Demonstrators in Portland continued challenging immigration policies after President Biden took office. Credit... Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times Eric Schickler, co-director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, said Mr. Biden was stepping into the White House at a time of such vitriol that opposing sides view each other as the enemy.
''He's fighting against some pretty strong forces,'' Dr. Schickler said.
Many conservatives, such as those who stormed the U.S. Capitol in the final days of Mr. Trump's presidency, remain under the false belief that Mr. Biden won a rigged election and that his presidency is illegitimate. ''Not my president'' has become a common refrain on online message boards. Federal authorities have warned about the threats of far-right extremist groups.
But the demonstrators who mounted protests against Mr. Biden in Portland on Wednesday hailed from the left '-- and their skepticism about what lies ahead reflects the degree to which the new administration will have to build bridges in many directions.
In Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally offered a look at rising right-wing violence early in Mr. Trump's presidency, those who have fought for racial justice said Mr. Biden's unity effort also requires accountability for the perpetrators of racial violence, not just calls to come together in peace.
In Minneapolis, the community organizer Marcia Howard said Mr. Biden's elevation to the presidency meant that those who have hoped to create a world without the police need to double down on their efforts.
Image About 150 people chanted anti-Trump and anti-Biden slogans in Seattle. Credit... Grant Hindsley for the New York Times The president and his allies have paid ''lip service'' to issues of racial equity, police brutality and mass incarceration, she said. ''And now they must be pressed to put action where their mouths are.''
In Seattle on Wednesday, a crowd of about 150 people marched through the streets chanting both anti-Trump and anti-Biden slogans. One member of the group handed out fliers that said: ''Biden won! And so did corporate elites!'' The fliers argued that a ''Democratic administration is not a victory for oppressed people'' and ''Biden will not save us.''
''I came out here because no matter what happens, Biden and Kamala aren't enough,'' said one of the protesters, Alejandro Quezada Brom, 28, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. He said the new president needed to know that ''the pressure's not off'' for progress on immigration and policing reforms.
Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, said she had met with members of Mr. Biden's transition team and held initial conversations with Merrick Garland, the attorney general nominee, and Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary nominee. They agreed to sit with Black Lives Matter organizers for more formal meetings once the administration was in office, she said.
She said she believed that Mr. Biden was off to a good start with the executive order he signed on racial equity, which included things her group had discussed with the transition team around eradicating white supremacy and discrimination in communities and government agencies.
Image Protesters in Portland smashed windows and vandalized the local Democratic Party headquarters. Credit... Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times But that was hardly enough, Ms. Cullors said. She said Black Lives Matter would be pushing the administration hard in areas where some of Mr. Biden's past positions have not always aligned with the movement's goals.
''We're going to really push this administration to look at ending police terror and mass incarceration,'' she said. ''And that can't happen through body cameras. It can't happen through more training. We actually have to look at the budgets of police departments at the national level to the local level. And we have to look at the budgets of everything else, every other social aid program and social service program.''
At one of the lower-key events on Wednesday in Portland, about 200 people gathered under the lights at Irving Park, sharing pizza and visions for the coming four years.
Ray Austin, 25, was the one who described Mr. Biden to the crowd as a ''feckless puppet,'' declaring that he ''is only president because of his ties to corporate interests'' '-- a proclamation that brought clapping and cheers. ''My friends, the fight has just begun,'' he said.
A series of speakers laid out urgent goals ahead where they said Mr. Biden seemed unlikely to lead the way: a Green New Deal to fight climate change, a ''Medicare for All''-style health insurance system, overhauls of police departments to address racial disparities.
Image Law enforcement made arrests outside an ICE building in Portland. Credit... Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times Reese Monson, one of the leaders in Portland's Black Lives Matter movement, said he welcomed the inauguration and Mr. Biden's early promises. He also expressed hope about Ms. Harris, the first Black vice president. But he said activists would need to keep up the pressure to ensure that the changes enacted go far enough.
''No matter who is in political power, we're not going to stop until we get justice,'' Mr. Monson said. ''And even then we want to make sure it's real justice.''
In the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis last May, protesters in Portland mobilized on the streets nightly, much of their ire targeted at the mayor and the police force that repeatedly used tear gas to subdue them. The crowds swelled during the summer after Mr. Trump issued an executive order to protect federal property and agents wearing camouflage brought a crackdown to the city.
On Wednesday night, one rowdy group of protesters gathered at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in the city, targeting the harsh deportation and detention tactics that the agency had used against immigrants. Mr. Biden began his presidency with executive orders on immigration that made it clear he would chart a much different course than Mr. Trump, but the crowd wanted more, calling for abolition of the immigration-enforcement agency. Some protesters spray-painted graffiti on the building: ''Reunite families now.''
Minutes later, a line of federal agents in camouflage and tactical gear emerged from the building and began firing tear gas and pepper balls into the crowd '-- a scene that had unfolded similarly on dozens of nights in Portland over the past year.
The parallels were not lost on the crowd.
As one person held a lighter below a Biden-for-president flag, another chanted a phrase often seen on conservative message boards: ''Not my president.''
Mike Baker reported from Portland, and John Eligon from Kansas City, Mo. Hallie Golden contributed reporting from Seattle.
Rahm Emanuel remains in line for a 'high level' Biden ambassador post: May be China or Japan Israel cabinet NBC - Chicago Sun-Times
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:33
WASHINGTON '-- In December the Chicago Sun-Times reported ex-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in play for a ''high level'' ambassadorship, and on Monday night, NBC news said it may be to China or Japan.
Emanuel had made a push to be President Joe Biden's Transportation Secretary, with Pete Buttigieg getting the spot instead.
Emanuel became too hot for Biden to handle for a Cabinet post after protests from leaders of public service unions, civil rights groups and progressive organizations.
In the alternative, the Sun-Times learned from multiple sources Emanuel, the first chief of staff for former President Barack Obama, would be in line for ''high level ambassadorship jobs.''
NBC News said options for Emanuel included China and Japan, with Israel briefly considered and then off the table because Emanuel had a ''rocky relationship'' with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Emanuel, whose late father, Benjamin, was born in Jerusalem, has worked on Israel peace issues in the Obama and Clinton administrations.
Emanuel's record in the Laquan McDonald killing contributed to sidelining him for a Cabinet slot. McDonald is the Black 17-year-old youth who died in 2014 after being shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer, with Emanuel sitting on the release of a video of the incident until after he was reelected in 2015.
Did U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris' Ancestor Own Slaves in Jamaica?
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:33
In June and July 2019, social media users shared reports that claimed one of the ancestors of 2020 presidential Democratic primary candidate and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was a slave owner on the Caribbean island of Jamaica.
Such claims were shared widely in the aftermath of the first round of Democratic primary debates, during which Harris brought racial issues to the fore by criticizing primary rival and former Vice President Joe Biden's legislative record on busing, which she called ''hurtful'' to her as a black woman.
The focus on racial issues and Harris' racial identity intensified after Donald Trump, Jr., son of President Donald Trump, briefly shared a tweet that averred: ''Kamala Harris is *not* an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican.'' The source of that tweet, the @ali account, has consistently promulgated the claim that Harris is descended from ''Jamaican Slave Owners.''
Amid the renewed scrutiny of Harris' family history, the right-leaning website ''Big League Politics'' posted what it said were the names of the ''slaves Kamala Harris' ancestor owned,'' adding:
''Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris is descended from Irish slave owner Hamilton Brown, the namesake of Brown's Town in Jamaica, who recruited massive numbers of Irish migrants to Jamaica to work on his sugar plantations after the British empire abolished slavery.''
The ''Red State'' website published a similar post, whose headline asked, ''When Will Race-Baiting Kamala Harris Acknowledge She is a Descendant of a Slave Owner?''
Similar reports appeared on right-leaning blogs and websites in January and February 2019. All of them were based on an account written by Donald Harris, a retired Stanford University economics professor and the father of Sen. Harris.
On Jan. 13, Jamaica Global, a website for the global Jamaican diaspora, published an article that Prof. Harris had written in September 2018 about his family's roots in Jamaica. He was born on the island, before immigrating to the United States in the 1960s, to pursue a career as an economist and university lecturer.
While studying for his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley, he met Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian cancer researcher. The couple were married, and their daughter, the future California Attorney General and U.S. Senator, was born in Berkeley in 1964. Harris and her sister, Maya, are therefore first-generation American citizens, born in the U.S. to a Jamaican father and Indian mother.
In his Jamaica Global article, Harris claimed to be descended from the 19th-century planter and slave owner Hamilton Brown. He wrote:
''My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (n(C)e Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown's Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (n(C)e Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me). The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural 'produce' exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1939 one year after I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown's Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte).'' [Emphasis is added].
There is no doubt that Hamilton Brown was a prominent plantation owner in Jamaica during the first half of the 19th century, owned slaves, and also advocated against the abolition of slavery and sought to downplay the difficult working and living conditions of slaves in Jamaica.
However, we have been unable to verify that a line of descent exists between the modern-day Harris family and the 19th-century slave owner. As such, the claim that an ancestor of Sen. Harris owned slaves in Jamaica remains unproven. If evidence emerges that verifies that line of descent, we will update this fact check accordingly.
Hamilton BrownThe slave owner at the heart of this controversy died in Jamaica on Sept. 18, 1843, ''in the sixty-eighth year of his age.'' His headstone is located in St. Mark's Anglican (Church of England) cemetery in Brown's Town and establishes that he was born, likely in 1776, in County Antrim, in what is now Northern Ireland.
According to one contemporary news article, he died after he was ''thrown from his gig'' in a horse-and-carriage accident. Another contemporary news report indicated he first immigrated to Jamaica in or around 1795. According to a National Library of Jamaica entry, Brown ''started out humbly as an estate book-keeper and rose to become a large landowner.'' He was the founder of Brown's Town in St. Ann's parish, which he represented in the colonial House of Assembly for 22 years.
He also owned many slaves. According to one document, held by the U.K. National Archives, Brown owned at least 121 slaves in 1826, comprising 74 females and 47 males. In 1817, he owned at least 124 slaves, made up of 74 females and 50 males. According to records held by the ''Legacies of British Slave-Ownership'' project at University College London (UCL), Brown was at various times the owner, manager, or executor of several dozen plantations and estates on the island of Jamaica.
Brown was also a steadfast slavery apologist. In contributions to the colonial House of Assembly, he opposed efforts, emanating from mainland Britain (where slavery was by then widely opposed), to ''interfere'' in the slave trade in Jamaica. In one 1823 speech, he lashed out at the ''hypocrisy'' and ''cloven foot'' of William Wilberforce, a British M.P. widely regarded as the hero of the anti-slavery abolitionist movement.
In 1832, a Methodist missionary named Henry Whiteley spent three months in Jamaica, touring the island and inspecting the conditions of life for slaves, and the practices of colonial settlers and slave owners, including Brown. In a pamphlet published the following year, Whiteley recalled that he and Brown discussed the concept of ''amelioration'' '-- a gradualist approach to slavery in the 1820s and 1830s which, as distinct from the outright prohibition and extinction of slavery that characterized abolitionism, instead proposed making slavery more humane and tolerable. Brown was opposed even to this, according to Whiteley:
'... I was rather startled to hear that Gentleman [Brown] swear by his Maker that [amelioration] should never be adopted in Jamaica; nor would the planters of Jamaica, he said, permit the interference of the Home [London] Government with their slaves in any shape. A great deal was said by him and others present about the happiness and comfort enjoyed by the slaves, and of the many advantages possessed by them of which the poor in England were destitute.
Among other circumstances mentioned in proof of this, Mr. Robinson, a wharfinger [wharf owner], stated that a slave in that town had sent out printed cards to invite a party of his negro acquaintance to a supper party. One of these cards was handed to Mr. Hamilton Brown, who said he would present it to the Governor [imperial viceroy of Jamaica] as proof of the comfortable condition of the slave population.
Notwithstanding that dinner party, the conditions suffered by slaves in Jamaica were far from ''comfortable,'' and Whiteley's pamphlet went on to document, in disturbing detail, the punishments meted out to slaves by their owners, which he personally witnessed and described in some cases as ''inhumanly severe.''
Whiteley saw slaves, some girls as young as 12 years old, flogged between 40 and 50 times with a horse whip, for supposed misconduct as trivial as over-sleeping or not meeting their assigned work targets. In one case, a man was whipped 39 times despite not having committed any discernible ''offense'' '-- rather, one planter had him flogged as a method of petty revenge against the slave's owner, for some unspecified sleight. Whiteley's findings about the conditions of life for slaves in Jamaica could not have been further from the outlandish claims made by Brown and his fellow colonial settlers.
Uncertain linksWe discovered ample evidence of Brown's slave ownership and his political and business career on the island of Jamaica. However, details about his immediate family are lacking, by comparison. With the generous and expert assistance of Rachel Lang, a researcher at University College London's ''Legacies of British Slave-Ownership'' project, we have managed to piece together the following facts:
A ''Hamilton Brown Jnr.'' (likely the Antrim slave owner) had a daughter named Mary Melvina Brown, born to an unnamed woman, and baptised on June 4, 1839. The father's residence was listed as Grier Park (an estate Brown once owned), and the father's occupation was listed as ''Planter.'' Mary Melvina later married a different Hamilton Brown. By him, she gave birth to several children, including Mabel Melvina (born 1879, died 1935); Edwin Hamilton (born 1877, died 1932); and Gilbert Charles Clement (born 1875, died 1948). (In these baptism records, Mary Melvina's last name and maiden name are both listed as Brown, which makes it highly likely she is the Mary Melvina born to Hamilton Brown in 1839). We have not yet found a record of a Christiana Brown being born to Mary Melvina Brown. Such a record would establish a link between Donald Harris' paternal grandmother Christiana and the Antrim slave owner Hamilton Brown. As a result of this absence, we are issuing a rating of ''unproven,'' until such evidence emerges.
We did discover other notable details. Donald Harris wrote in his ''Jamaica Global'' article that his grandmother, Christiana, died in 1951, at the age of 62. We found a record of a woman named Christiana Brown having died in Brown's Town in June 1951. However, that woman's age was listed as 70, which would mean she was born in 1880 or 1881.
We found a birth certificate for a Christiana Brown, born to Frances Brown and an unnamed man, in September 1881. We found no other details about either of these women, and a woman born in September 1881 would be 69, rather than 70 years old, in June 1951. However, it's possible that the June 1951 death certificate contained a small error about the deceased's age, and that Donald Harris made a larger error in recalling his grandmother's age at the time of her death, which took place several decades ago.
We also found a baptismal record for a male child born to Hamilton and Mary Melvina Brown in April 1881. No name was provided for the child, and the birth year does not match any of the Brown's other children, as far as we are aware. It is possible that the child's gender was recorded in error, and a female child born to the Browns in April 1881 would indeed have been 70 years old by June 1951. However, we have so far not been able to reconcile these discrepancies.
(Stanford University agreed to send Donald Harris our request for any evidence that might corroborate his claim that his grandmother was a descendant of the planter Hamilton Brown. Unfortunately, we did not receive a response of any kind).
Complicated historiesFinally, it is worth noting that, even if it is true that the Harris family are descendants of the Antrim slave owner Hamilton Brown, they are also quite likely to be descendants of slaves. It is well-documented that British and Irish slave owners in the Caribbean (and their counterparts in the American colonies) routinely raped and engaged in illicit sex with female slaves, resulting in many ''illegitimate'' children of mixed racial heritage.
If it is the case, for example, that Christiana Brown was the daughter of Hamilton and Mary Melvina Brown, this means that two of Christiana's siblings were Mabel Melvina and Edwin Hamilton Brown, both of whom were listed in their baptismal records as ''colored,'' that is of mixed race (as opposed to ''black'' or ''white,'' the other labels used in baptismal records at that time).
This in turn would mean that Hamilton Brown, a man born on the island of Ireland in the late 18th century and a prominent and powerful slave owner, had racially mixed grandchildren, after fathering a daughter (Mary Melvina) with a woman whose name did not appear on the baptismal certificate. Although we don't have clear proof, that pattern strongly suggests that that particular branch of Brown's family tree derived just as much from an enslaved woman, whose identity may well be lost to history, as it did from Brown himself.
Even if it is the case that the Harris family, by way of Christiana Brown, are descendants of Hamilton Brown, those who seek to attack or undermine Sen. Harris for the wrongdoing of a man who died almost 200 years ago should first gain a better understanding of the often complicated, traumatic histories of black families in the United States '-- and tread much more carefully.
Uncle Luke: Kamala Harris Can't Count on Black Voters in 2020 | Miami New Times
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:33
Sen. Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris U.S. Senate Office
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Kamala Harris will have trouble persuading black voters to make her president in 2020. First, the U.S. senator from California must explain why Donald Trump has a better prison-reform record than she had as the Golden State's attorney general. Then she'll have to overcome the perception she'll do anything to climb to the top.
On the street, many blue-collar African-Americans, especially men, have already made up their minds not to vote for her. Between 2004 and 2016, when Harris worked as San Francisco's district attorney and state attorney general, she supported legislation that sent kids who skipped school to jail. And she opposed federal supervision of California's prisons after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling declared the overcrowded facilities inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on inmates.
When she appealed a court order to implement new parole programs, Harris cited the need to use prisoners as slave labor to fight wildfires and pick up highway trash.
Though black voters want politicians who'll put away thugs and killers terrorizing the neighborhood, they don't support those who deny defendants rehabilitation and send them to prison for crimes they didn't commit to line private prison companies' pockets.
Harris rose to prominence in California after an affair with married, but separated, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who recently wrote a column that mentioned their relationship. Brown said he influenced Harris' career by appointing her to two state commissions when he was California Assembly speaker. He also helped her in her first race for San Francisco district attorney.
When Harris, whose mother is from India and father is from Jamaica, decided it was time to take her talents to Washington, D.C., she married Douglas Emhoff, a rich white lawyer. For better or worse, black men don't want to vote for a black woman who married a white man or was the mistress of a powerful black man.
Like everyone else, black voters want help from one of their own. The Bushes made sure their people got oil money. Bill Clinton let the telecommunications industry gobble up small radio and TV stations. And Donald Trump is looking out for his developer buddies through a tax cut and opportunity zones that gentrify minority neighborhoods. Meanwhile, Harris has let black people know they can't count on her.
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Should We Call Respected Black Women 'Auntie'? - Essence
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:32
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for THRWhen Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King told the world not to call them ''auntie,'' the whole world of Black folks, who use the word as a term of endearment and respect, sighed a heavy sigh.
Even though many Black people use ''auntie'' to show respect and reverence, women like DuVernay, who has gotten the title tagged onto her first name, said she feels the word ages them.
''Why?! Why?! Am I that old? Because I don't feel that old,'' DuVernay said in a recent interview.
On the BET blue carpet held last month, ESSENCE asked other Black celebrities how they feel about the term ''auntie.''
''I don't want to be called auntie,'' Insecure star Amanda Seales admitted. ''I'm sis. I'm cousin.''
R&B singer Elle Varner said it best.
''I think it's on a case by case basis,'' she explained, adding that you can't go around calling folks 'auntie' or assuming they're fine with the moniker.
Power star Rotimi, however, said he ''doesn't see anything wrong with it.''
Check out the video above to hear celebrities, including Method Man and Erica Campbell, weigh in on this new debate.
TOPICS:
Amanda Seales Auntie Ava DuVernay bet awards BET Awards 2019 Gayle King
Urban Dictionary: Auntie
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:32
An
auntie is that one person who's blessed to have a sibling who gave birth. These
aunties tend to be better than
the mom's because they can give them back anytime they'd like and have a magical bond that allows the niece/nephew to trust the auntie and tell them anything. These kids will become your life. One day you'll quickly realize that food and these kids are the main reasons you're living.
"Auntie you're my best friend!!"
"Auntie can we do this? No, I want to do this!"
*starts to
whine and cry* "
Hey sister I have to go, here are
your kids!"
Get a Auntie mug for your coworker Jos(C).
A
desi(
south asian) woman who has all of the following characteristics:
1) has a thick desi accent when talking in English
2) talks in English to be cool
3)
pinches your cheeks and calls you beta or glares at u and calls u batameez
4) chases people with chappals
5) smells like curry
6) asks you to marry her son the first time you meet her
7) is a fob.
That auntie offered me "
ass cream" .. it took me a whole 10
mins to figure out she was referring to ice cream.
After discovering I'm in my last year of medical school, this auntie declared I was going to marry her son.
Get a auntie mug for your friend Manafort.
Not your real Aunt, just your mom's best "friend" who is always over
spilling tea about other people's children. This is someone who wishes your mom success, but less than her own or that of her own children. Also a woman who always has to
one up anything your mom says. You
don't really know why this woman is in your house all the time before you're awake but she always is.
Get a Auntie mug for your grandma Beatrix.
Colloquial and endearing term of reference for the BBC (British
Broadcasting Corporation). Implies a friendly and trusted old relative who can always be relied upon to be there for you. Often used by newspapers and magazines in the UK to refer to the BBC and allow the creation of otherwise nonsensical national
headlines (
see below).
Get a Auntie mug for your sister Rihanna.
Local Kroger Stores Close as California 'Hero Pay' Ordinance Backfires - Foundation for Economic Education
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 13:29
A new ''Hero Pay'' mandate in Long Beach, California has inadvertently cost some frontline grocery workers their jobs.
'' Ralphs and Food 4 Less, both owned by the parent company Kroger, announced Monday that they will be closing 25% of their stores in Long Beach after the city council passed an ordinance requiring companies with over 300 employees nationwide to pay employees an extra $4 per hour,'' local news outlet Fox 11 reports . Two stores in the area will be shut down.
A company spokesperson directly cited the city council's ordinance mandating higher wages as the reason they are closing down.
"The irreparable harm that will come to employees and local citizens as a direct result of the City of Long Beach's attempt to pick winners and losers, is deeply unfortunate," the spokesperson said . "We are truly saddened that our associates and customers will ultimately be the real victims of the city council's actions."
The ordinance was passed with the stated intention of rewarding hard-working grocery store employees who have kept a vital service running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia was a key proponent of the measure and signed it into law. He argues it is justified because grocery store workers '' have been on the frontlines of this pandemic and deserve this support.''
Tomorrow, on the day we inaugurate our new President, I'll sign into law a $4 an hour hero pay increase to our hardworking grocery and supermarket workers. They have been on the frontlines of this pandemic and deserve this support.
'-- Robert Garcia (@RobertGarcia) January 20, 2021 Similarly, Garcia and other supporters of the mandated wage hike argue that companies are just being selfish by closing down rather than paying their workers more. They point to the fact that Kroger has seen high levels of profit this year.
When large corporations make record profits and double their earnings - they need to share that success with those providing the labor. Period.
'-- Robert Garcia (@RobertGarcia) February 2, 2021 In truth, whether the company is being selfish and whether it's really flush with cash (Kroger says these specific stores were already financially struggling) are both beside the point. This mandatory wage hike ''honoring heroes'' was passed by politicians eager to spend other people's money and claim the credit. But like any minimum wage law, it was always going to have the unintended consequence of eliminating some jobs altogether.
The minimum wage in Long Beach is already $14 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. A $4 increase would therefore be $18 an hour, a nearly 30 percent raise for every employee. This amounts to an enormous spike in a grocery store's labor costs, which are already one of the biggest expenses an enterprise usually faces.
Whether do-good politicians feel workers ''deserve it'' or not, the reality is that some grocery store employees don't provide labor that is worth $18 an hour, and some stores cannot afford to pay such an artificially high price. The basic laws of supply and demand tell us what comes next: the government's supposed benevolence will leave a significant number of workers unemployed.
This specific instance of wage mandates backfiring is just one example of a much broader trend. On the national level, the ''Fight for $15'' movement demanding a $15 federal minimum wage ostensibly seeks to help workers. In reality, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that this policy would eliminate 1.3 to 3.7 million jobs. A wealth of economic research similarly shows that minimum wage hikes cause unemployment.
The moral of the story is clear.
Sweeping government price controls and labor market interventions will always have vast unintended consequences, no matter how noble the stated intentions are or how sympathetic the intended beneficiary may be. Indeed, unintended consequences are an inherent feature of big government programs.
''Every human action has both intended and unintended consequences,'' economist Antony Davies and political scientist James Harrigan explain . ''Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended.'' The more complex the underlying situation and the more sweeping the rule or regulation, the more pronounced the unintended consequences will be.
Long Beach lawmakers may truly have hoped to help front-line workers by mandating higher ''Hero Pay'' under the law. But their na¯ve good intentions will mean little to the grocery store clerks left unemployed as a result.
Is this any way to treat heroes?
Staatscourant 2021, 4662 | Overheid.nl > Officile bekendmakingen
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 13:28
Home Uitgebreid zoeken Mijn abonnementen Help U bent hier:
Home Staatscourant 2021, 4662 De Minister voor Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport,
Gelet op artikel 34, eerste lid, van de Wet publieke gezondheid:
Besluit:
Artikel 1 Het Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen wordt aangewezen als ziekenhuis waar gedwongen isolatie van (vermoedelijke) patinten met covid-19 (ge¯nfecteerd met SARS-CoV-2-virus) plaatsvindt als bedoeld in artikel 31 Wpg.
Artikel 2 Dit besluit treedt in werking met ingang van de dag na de datum van uitgifte van de Staatscourant waarin het wordt geplaatst.
Dit besluit wordt met de toelichting in de Staatscourant geplaatst.
De Minister van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport, H.M. de Jonge
Een belanghebbende kan tegen dit besluit bezwaar maken op grond van artikel 7:1 van de Algemene wet bestuursrecht. Dit kan door een bezwaarschrift in te dienen bij het Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport, t.a.v. Directie Wetgeving en Juridische Zaken, Postbus 20350, 2500 EJ Den Haag.
De termijn voor het indienen van een bezwaarschrift bedraagt zes weken. De termijn vangt aan met ingang van de dag volgend op de dag waarop het besluit is gedagtekend.
Het bezwaarschrift wordt ondertekend door de indiener en bevat:
'' de naam en het adres van de indiener,
'' de dagtekening,
'' een omschrijving van het bestreden besluit, bijvoorbeeld door vermelding van het briefkenmerk en datum of door bijvoeging van het kopie van het besluit,
'' de gronden van het bezwaar.
TOELICHTING Vanwege de uitbraak van Covid-19 is het nodig een ziekenhuis aan te wijzen waar patinten kunnen worden ge¯soleerd die (vermoedelijk) besmet zijn met deze infectieziekte en die niet vrijwillig meewerken aan isolatie. Na overleg met het Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen (onderdeel Beatrixoord) is dat ziekenhuis bereid om enkele patinten op te nemen die, in overeenstemming met advies van de GGD en het RIVM, niet thuis in isolatie kunnen blijven. Een besluit tot opname in UMCG wordt uitsluitend genomen na samenspraak tussen RIVM en UMCG. De aanwijzing geschiedt op grond van artikel 34 van de Wet publieke gezondheid.
Deze maatregel van gedwongen isolatie wordt getroffen door de voorzitter van de veiligheidsregio op grond van artikel 31 van de Wet publieke gezondheid. De procedure hiervoor alsmede de rechtsbescherming is geregeld in de artikelen 31, 32, 33 en 39 tot en met 46 van de Wet publieke gezondheid.
De Minister van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport, H.M. de Jonge
Staatsblad, Staatscourant en Tractatenblad worden met ingang van 1 juli 2009 als pdf-bestanden uitgegeven. De hier aangeboden pdf-bestanden van deze bladen vormen de formele bekendmakingen in de zin van de Grondwet. Voor publicaties van v""r deze datum geldt dat alleen de in papieren vorm uitgegeven bladen formele status hebben; de hier aangeboden elektronische versies daarvan worden bij wijze van service aangeboden.
Study: Pandemic's cleaner air added heat to warming planet - ABC News
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 13:21
A new study finds that cleaner air from the pandemic lockdown warmed the planet a bit in 2020, especially in places such as the eastern United States, Russia and China
By BY SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer
February 2, 2021, 9:28 PM
' 2 min read
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2020 file photo, people take selfies of the Pudong skyline as they stand on the Bund in Shanghai, China. A new study finds that cleaner air from the pandemic lockdown warmed the planet a bit in 2020, especially in places such as the eastern United States, Russia and China. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021 study found the pandemic lockdown reduced soot and sulfate air pollution, but those particles also reflect the sun's heat and help cool areas briefly. (AP Photo)
Earth spiked a bit of a fever in 2020, partly because of cleaner air from the pandemic lockdown, a new study found.
For a short time, temperatures in some places in the eastern United States, Russia and China were as much as half to two-thirds of a degree (.3 to .37 degrees Celsius) warmer. That's due to less soot and sulfate particles from car exhaust and burning coal, which normally cool the atmosphere temporarily by reflecting the sun's heat, Tuesday's study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters reported.
Overall, the planet was about .05 degrees (.03 degrees Celsius) warmer for the year because the air had fewer cooling aerosols, which unlike carbon dioxide is pollution you can see, the study found.
''Cleaning up the air can actually warm the planet because that (soot and sulfate) pollution results in cooling'' which climate scientists have long known, said study lead author Andrew Gettelman, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His calculations come from comparing 2020 weather to computer models that simulated a 2020 without the pollution reductions from pandemic lockdowns.
This temporary warming effect from fewer particles was stronger in 2020 than the effect of reduced heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, Gettelman said. That's because carbon stays in the atmosphere for more than a century with long-term effects, while aerosols remain in the air about a week.
Even without the reduction in cooling aerosols, global temperatures in 2020 already were flirting with breaking yearly heat record because of the burning of coal, oil and natural gas '-- and the aerosol effect may have been enough to help make this the hottest year in NASA's measuring system, said top NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, who wasn't part of this study but said it confirms other research.
''Clean air warms the planet a tiny bit, but it kills a lot fewer people with air pollution,'' Gettelman said.
'--'--'--
Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter: @borenbears
'--'--'--
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Lame Cherry: The Trump Weapon
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 12:46
 
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
As Donald Trump was President, an interesting process was being involved by the United States Navy and what would become President Trump's Space Force. While the world thinks of atomic bombs and visions of Star Trek's photon or anti matter bombs, the Navy was busy building perpetual energy engine to power not only their ships but flying saucers into space and were building a weapon which would make a hydrogen bomb look like a firecracker.
“ Under uniquely defined conditions, the Plasma Compression Fusion Device can lead to development of a Spacetime Modification Weapon (SMW- a weapon that can make the Hydrogen bomb seem more like a firecracker, in comparison). Extremely high energy levels can be achieved with this invention, under pulsed ultrahigh current (I) / ultrahigh magnetic flux density (B) conditions (Z-pinch with a Fusion twist).“
In translation, they are making the engine of the Starship Enterprise, which contains anti matter in an electromagnetic field. In this case it is plasma, which is being compressed, as in a black hole, which then is fusing or blowing up atoms. In nature, this process would be like a Super Nova.
Donald Trump's Navy has built a multi platformed engine, which like a gas engine compresses fuel to detonate, this time it is compressing atoms, to create the closest thing there is to the power of an anti matter bomb.
This is like a turbo atomic engine or bomb.
Direct this energy, and one could tear chunks out of continents or planet earth, the shockwave would kill hundreds of millions in congested Chinese situations, and it would rip holes in the atmosphere as it would also cook it.
Once again, another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
agtG
agtG
Biden admin dismisses Trump appointees, hundreds of DOD advisory board members | American Military NewsAmerican Military News
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 12:44
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks with Guardsmen at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2021. (DOD photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase)
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby announced on Tuesday that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the resignation of all board members on all 42 department advisory committees.
Kirby said during a press conference that Austin was ''deeply concerned with the pace and extent of recent changes to memberships in the department's advisory committees'' between November and January, referring to the large number of appointments former President Donald Trump made to the committees at the end of his term.
As a result, hundreds of members on 42 advisory boards must ''conclude their service no later February 16,'' Kirby said.
Kirby said that the ''frenetic activity that occurred to the composition of so many boards'' drove Austin to his decision to dismiss members.
Austin also ordered a review of all advisory boards that advise the Department of Defense, which will conclude in June. Only ''members that are appointed by Congress or by the president are retained during this review period,'' Kirby said.
Last week, the Pentagon had announced it had halted processing several Trump appointees to the boards.
An internal Pentagon memo stated at the time that ''all appointments, reappointments and renewals'' to the boards would be frozen ''pending a thorough review by the new Administration.''
Trump's 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and deputy campaign manager David Bossie were among those momentarily prevented from serving, in addition to numerous other Trump loyalists who had been sworn into the boards prior to Biden's inauguration.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata were two other high profile figures Trump appointed. Gingrich and Tata were appointed to the Defense Policy Board, which specifically advises the DOD's top civilian officials on defense policies.
Trump had fired at least nine members from the Defense Business Board alone in December and filled their positions with figures close to him. Some of the fired board members lamented on what they viewed was a political decision.
I was very surprised that the White House would, at the eleventh hour, adjust an advisory board that for 19 years has had a record of nonpartisan support with the department,'' now former-board member Michael Bayer told POLITICO.
Another member said the board ''has never been political, ever.''
DOD advisory boards are comprised of industry experts who serve in a volunteer capacity.
Akhenaten - Wikipedia
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 04:10
18th Dynasty pharaoh
Akhenaten (pronounced ), also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten (Ancient Egyptian: ê'£á¸-n-jtn, meaning "Effective for the Aten"), was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning c. '‰1353''1336 or 1351''1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Before the fifth year of his reign, he was known as Amenhotep IV (Ancient Egyptian: jmn-ḥtp, meaning "Amun is satisfied", Hellenized as Amenophis IV).
Akhenaten is noted for abandoning Egypt's traditional polytheistic religion and introducing Atenism, worship centered on Aten. The views of Egyptologists differ whether Atenism should be considered as absolute monotheism, or whether it was monolatry, syncretism, or henotheism. This culture shift away from traditional religion was not widely accepted. After his death, Akhenaten's monuments were dismantled and hidden, his statues were destroyed, and his name excluded from lists of rulers compiled by later pharaohs. Traditional religious practice was gradually restored, notably under his close successor Tutankhamun, who changed his name from Tutankhaten early in his reign. When some dozen years later rulers without clear rights of succession from the Eighteenth Dynasty founded a new dynasty, they discredited Akhenaten and his immediate successors, referring to Akhenaten himself as "the enemy" or "that criminal" in archival records.
Akhenaten was all but lost to history until the late 19th century discovery of Amarna, or Akhetaten, the new capital city he built for the worship of Aten. Furthermore, in 1907, a mummy that could be Akhenaten's was unearthed from the tomb KV55 in the Valley of the Kings by Edward R. Ayrton. Genetic testing has determined that the man buried in KV55 was Tutankhamun's father, but its identification as Akhenaten has since been questioned.
Akhenaten's rediscovery and Flinders Petrie's early excavations at Amarna sparked great public interest in the pharaoh and his queen Nefertiti. He has been described as "enigmatic", "mysterious", "revolutionary", "the greatest idealist of the world", and "the first individual in history", but also as a "heretic", "fanatic", "possibly insane", and "mad". The interest comes from his connection with Tutankhamun, the unique style and high quality of the pictorial arts he patronized, and ongoing interest in the religion he attempted to establish.
Family [ edit ] The future Akhenaten was born Amenhotep, a younger son of pharaoh Amenhotep III and his principal wife Tiye. Crown Prince Thutmose, Amenhotep III and Tiye's eldest son and Akhenaten's brother, was recognized as Amenhotep III's heir. Akhenaten also had four or five sisters, Sitamun, Henuttaneb, Iset, Nebetah, and possibly Beketaten. Thutmose's early death, perhaps around Amenhotep III's thirtieth regnal year, Akhenaten was next in line for Egypt's throne.
Akhenaten was married to Nefertiti, his Great Royal Wife; the exact timing of their marriage is unknown, but evidence from the pharaoh's building projects suggests that this happened either shortly before or after Akhenaten took the throne. Egyptologist Dimitri Laboury suggested that the marriage took place in Akhenaten's fourth regnal year. A secondary wife of Akhenaten named Kiya is also known from inscriptions. Some have theorized that she gained her importance as the mother of Tutankhamun, Smenkhkare, or both. Some Egyptologists, such as William Murnane, proposed that Kiya is a colloqial name of the Mitanni princess Tadukhipa, daughter of the Mitanni king Tushratta, widow of Amenhotep III, and later wife of Akhenaten. Akhenaten's other attested consorts are the daughter of Å atiya, ruler of EniÅasi, and a daughter of Burna-Buriash II, king of Babylonia.
Akhenaten could have had seven or eight children based on inscriptions. Egyptologists are fairly certain about his six daughters, who are well attested in contemporary depictions. Among his six daughters, Meritaten was born in regnal year one or five; Meketaten in year four or six; Ankhesenpaaten, later queen of Tutankhamun, before year five or eight; Neferneferuaten Tasherit in year eight or nine; Neferneferure in year nine or ten; and Setepenre in year ten or eleven. Tutankhamun, born Tutankhaten, was most likely Akhenaten's son, with Nefertiti or another wife. There is less certainty around Akhenaten's relationship with Smenkhkare, his coregent or successor, who could have been Akhenaten's eldest son with an unknown wife, and later married Meritaten, his own sister.
Some historians, such as Edward Wente and James Allen, have proposed that Akhenaten took some of his daughters as wives or sexual consorts to father a male heir. While this is debated, some historical parallels exist: Akhenaten's father Amenhotep III married his daughter Sitamun, while Ramesses II married two or more of his daughters, even though their marriages might simply have been ceremonial. In Akhenaten's case, Meritaten, for example, recorded as Great Royal Wife to Smenkhkare, is listed on a box from Tutankhamun's tomb alongside pharaohs Akhenaten and Neferneferuaten as Great Royal Wife. Additionally, letters written to Akhenaten from foreign rulers make reference to Meritaten as "mistress of the house." Egyptologists in the early 20th century also believed that Akhenaten could have fathered a child with his daughter Meketaten. Meketaten's death, at perhaps age ten to twelve, is recorded in the royal tombs at Akhetaten from around regnal years thirteen or fourteen. Early Egyptologists attributed her death possibly to childbirth, because of a depiction of an infant in her tomb. Because no husband is known for Meketaten, the assumption had been that Akhenaten was the father. Aidan Dodson believed this to be unlikely, as no Egyptian tomb has been found that mentions or alludes to the cause of death of the tomb owner, and Jacobus van Dijk proposed that the child is a portrayal of Meketaten's soul. Finally, various monuments, originally for Kiya, were reinscribed for Akhenaten's daughters Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten. The revised inscriptions list a Meritaten-tasherit ("junior") and an Ankhesenpaaten-tasherit. Some view this to indicate that Akhenaten fathered his own grandchildren. Others hold that, since these grandchildren are not attested to elsewhere, they are fictions invented to fill the space originally filled by Kiya's child.
Early life [ edit ] Akhenaten's elder brother
Thutmose, shown in his role as
High Priest of Ptah. Akhenaten became heir to the throne after Thutmose died during their father's reign.
Egyptologists know very little about Akhenaten's life as prince. Donald B. Redford dated his birth before his father Amenhotep III's 25th regnal year, c. '‰1363''1361 BC , based on the birth of Akhenaten's first daughter, which likely happened fairly early in his own reign. The only mention of his name, as "the King's Son Amenhotep," was found on a wine docket at Amenhotep III's Malkata palace, where some historians suggested Akhenaten was born. Others contended that he was born at Memphis, where growing up he was influenced by the worship of the sun god Ra practiced at nearby Heliopolis. Redford and James K. Hoffmeier stated, however, that Ra's cult was so widespread and established throughout Egypt that Akhenaten could have been influenced by solar worship even if he did not grow up around Heliopolis.
Some historians have tried to determine who was Akhenaten's tutor during his youth, and have proposed scribes Heqareshu or Meryre II, the royal tutor Amenemotep, or the vizier Aperel. The only person we know for certain served the prince was Parennefer, whose tomb mentions this fact.
Egyptologist Cyril Aldred suggested that prince Amenhotep might have been a High Priest of Ptah in Memphis, although no evidence supporting this had been found. It is known that Amenhotep's brother, crown prince Thutmose, served in this role before he died. If Amenhotep inherited his brother's roles in preparation for his accession to the throne, he might have become a high priest in Thutmose's stead. Aldred proposed that Akhenaten's unusual artistic inclinations might have been formed during his time serving Ptah, who was the patron god of craftsmen, and whose high priest were sometimes referred to as "The Greatest of the Directors of Craftsmanship."
Reign [ edit ] Coregency with Amenhotep III [ edit ] There is much controversy around whether Amenhotep IV succeeded to the throne on the death of his father Amenhotep III or whether there was a coregency, lasting perhaps as long as 12 years. Eric Cline, Nicholas Reeves, Peter Dorman, and other scholars have argued strongly against the establishment of a long coregency between the two rulers and in favor of either no coregency or a brief one lasting at most two years. Donald Redford, William Murnane, Alan Gardiner, and Lawrence Berman contested the view of any coregency whatsoever between Akhenaten and his father.
Most recently, in 2014, archeologists found both pharaohs' names inscribed on the wall of the Luxor tomb of vizier Amenhotep-Huy. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities called this "conclusive evidence" that Akhenaten shared power with his father for at least eight years, based on the dating of the tomb. This conclusion was called into question by other Egyptologists, according to whom the inscription only means that construction on Amenhotep-Huy's tomb commenced during Amenhotep III's reign and concluded under Akhenaten's, and Amenhotep-Huy thus simply wanted to pay his respects to both rulers.[60]
Early reign as Amenhotep IV [ edit ] Akhenaten took Egypt's throne as Amenhotep IV, most likely in 1353 or 1351 BC. It is unknown how old Amenhotep IV was when he did this; estimates range from 10 to 23. He was most likely crowned in Thebes, or perhaps Memphis or Armant.
The beginning of Amenhotep IV's reign followed established pharaonic traditions. He did not immediately start redirecting worship toward the Aten and distancing himself from other gods. Egyptologist Donald B. Redford believed this implied that Amenhotep IV's eventual religious policies were not conceived of before his reign, and he did not follow a pre-established plan or program. Redford pointed to three pieces of evidence to support this. First, surving inscriptions show Amenhotep IV worshipping several different gods, including Atum, Osiris, Anubis, Nekhbet, Hathor, and the Eye of Ra, and texts from this era refer to "the gods" and "every god and every goddess." Moreover, the High Priest of Amun was still active in the fourth year of Amenhotep IV's reign. Second, even though he later moved his capital from Thebes to Akhetaten, his initial royal titulary honored Thebes (for example, his nomen was "Amenhotep, god-ruler of Thebes"), and recognizing its importance, he called Thebes "Southern Heliopolis, the first great (seat) of Re (or) the Disc." Third, while his initial building program sought to build new places of worship to the Aten, he did not yet destroy temples to the other gods. Amenhotep IV continued his father's construction projects at Karnak's Precinct of Amun-Re. For example, he decorated the walls of the precinct's Third Pylon with images of himself worshipping Ra-Horakhty, portrayed in the god's traditional form of a falcon-headed man.
Tombs built or completed early in Amenhotep IV's reign, such as those of Kheruef, Ramose, and Parennefer, show the pharaoh in the traditional artistic style. In Ramose's tomb, Amenhotep IV appears on the west wall, seated on a throne, with Ramose appearing before the pharaoh. On the other side of the doorway, Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti are shown in the window of appearances, with the Aten depicted as the sun disc. In Parennefer's tomb, Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti are seated on a throne with the sun disc depicted over the pharaoh and his queen.
Early in his reign, Amenhotep IV ordered the construction of temples or shrines to the Aten in several cities across the country, such as Bubastis, Tell el-Borg, Heliopolis, Memphis, Nekhen, Kawa, and Kerma. Amenhotep IV also ordered the construction of a large temple complex dedicated to the Aten at Karnak in Thebes, northeast of the parts of the Karnak complex dedicated to Amun. The Aten temple complex, collectively known as the Per Aten ("House of the Aten"), consisted of several temples whose names survive: the Gempaaten ("The Aten is found in the estate of the Aten"), the Hwt benben ("House or Temple of the Benben"), the Rud-menu ("Enduring of monuments for Aten forever"), the Teni-menu ("Exalted are the monuments of the Aten forever"), and the Sekhen Aten ("booth of Aten").
Amenhotep IV organized a Sed festival around regnal year two or three. Sed festivals were ritual rejuvenations of an aging pharaoh. They usually took place for the first time around the thirtieth year of a pharaoh's reign, then after every three or so years. Egyptologists only speculate as to why Amenhotep IV organized a Sed festival when he was likely still in his early twenties. Some historians see it as evidence for Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV's coregency, and believe that Amenhotep IV's Sed festival coincided with one of his father's celebrations. Others speculate that Amenhotep IV chose to hold his festival three years after his father's death, aiming to proclaim his rule a continuation of his father's reign. Yet others believe that the festival was held to honor the Aten on whose behalf the pharaoh ruled Egypt, or, as Amenhotep III was considered to have become one with the Aten following his death, the Sed festival honored both the pharaoh and the god at the same time. It is also possible that the purpose of the ceremony was to figuratively fill Amenhotep IV with strength before his great enterprise: the introduction of the Aten cult and the founding of the new capital Akhetaten. Regardless of the celebration's aim, Egyptologists concluded that during the festivities, Amenhotep IV only made offerings to the Aten rather than the many gods and goddesses, as customary.
Among the discovered documents that refer to Akhenaten as Amenhotep IV the latest in his reign are two copies of a letter to the pharaoh from Ipy, the high steward of Memphis. These letters, found in Gurob and informing the pharaoh that the royal estates in Memphis are "in good order" and the temple of Ptah is "prosperous and flourishing," are dated to regnal year five, day nineteen of the growing season's third month. About a month later, day thirteen of the growing season's fourth month, one of the boundary stela at Akhetaten already had the name Akhenaten carved on it, implying that Akhenaten changed his name between the two inscriptions.
Name change [ edit ] In regnal year five, Amenhotep IV decided to show his devotion to the Aten by changing his royal titulary. No longer would he be known as Amenhotep IV and be associated with the god Amun, but rather he would completely shift his focus to the Aten. Egyptologists debate the exact meaning of Akhenaten, his new personal name. The word "akh" (Ancient Egyptian: ê'£á¸) could have different translations, such as "satisfied," "effective spirit," or "serviceable to," and thus Akhenaten's name could be translated to mean "Aten is satisfied," "Effective spirit of the Aten," or "Serviceable to the Aten," respectively. Gertie Englund and Florence Friedman arrived at the translation "Effective for the Aten" by analyzing contemporary texts and inscriptions, in which Akhenaten often described himself as being "effective for" the sun disc. Englund and Friedman concluded that the frequency with which Akhenaten used this term likely means that his own name meant "Effective for the Aten."
Some historians, such as William F. Albright, Edel Elmar, and Gerhard Fecht, proposed that Akhenaten's name is misspelled and mispronounced. These historians believe "Aten" should rather be "Jāti," thus rendering the pharaoh's name Akhenjāti or Aá¸anjāti (pronounced ), as it could have been pronounced in Ancient Egypt.
Amenhotep IVAkhenatenHorus nameKanakht-qai-Shuti
"Strong Bull of the Double Plumes"
Meryaten"Beloved of Aten"
Nebty nameWer-nesut-em-Ipet-swt"Great of Kingship in Karnak"
Wer-nesut-em-Akhetaten"Great of Kingship in Akhet-Aten"
Golden Horus nameWetjes-khau-em-Iunu-Shemay"Crowned in Heliopolis of the South" (Thebes)
Wetjes-ren-en-Aten"Exalter of the Name of Aten"
Prenomen Neferkheperure-waenre "Beautiful are the Forms of Re, the Unique one of Re"Nomen Amenhotep Netjer-Heqa-Waset"Amenhotep god-ruler of Thebes"
Akhenaten"Effective for the Aten"
Founding Amarna [ edit ] One of the stele marking the boundary of the new capital Akhetaten.
Around the same time he changed his royal titulary, on the thirteenth day of the growing season's fourth month, Akhenaten decreed that a new capital city be built: Akhetaten (Ancient Egyptian: ê'£á¸t-jtn, meaning "Horizon of the Aten"), better known today as Amarna. The event Egyptologists know the most about during Akhenaten's life are connected with founding Akhetaten, as several so-called boundary stelae were found around the city to mark its boundary. The pharaoh chose a site about halfway between Thebes, the capital at the time, and Memphis, on the east bank of the Nile, where a wadi and a natural dip in the surrounding cliffs form a silhouette similar to the "horizon" hieroglyph. Additionally, the site had previously been uninhabited. According to inscriptions on one boundary stela, the site was appropriate for Aten's city for "not being the property of a god, nor being the property of a goddess, nor being the property of a ruler, nor being the property of a female ruler, nor being the property of any people able to lay claim to it."
Historians do not know for certain why Akhenaten established a new capital and left Thebes, the old capital. The boundary stelae detailing Akhetaten's founding is damaged where it likely explained the pharaoh's motives for the move. Surviving parts claim what happened to Akhenaten was "worse than those that I heard" previously in his reign and worse than those "heard by any kings who assumed the White Crown," and alludes to "offensive" speech against the Aten. Egyptologists believe that Akhenaten could be referring to conflict with the priesthood and followers of Amun, the patron god of Thebes. The great temples of Amun, such as Karnak, were all located in Thebes and the priests there achieved significant power earlier in the Eighteenth Dynasty, especially under Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, thanks to pharaohs offering large amounts of Egypt's growing wealth to the cult of Amun; historians, such as Donald B. Redford, therefore posited that by moving to a new capital, Akhenaten may have been trying to break with Amun's priests and the god.
Akhetaten was a planned city with the Great Temple of the Aten, Small Aten Temple, royal residences, records office, and government buildings in the city center. Some of these buildings, such as the Aten temples, were ordered to be built by Akhenaten on the boundary stela decreeing the city's founding.
The city was built quickly, thanks to a new construction method that used substantially smaller building blocks than under previous pharaohs. These blocks, called talatats, measured '‹ 1'2 by '‹ 1'2 by 1 ancient Egyptian cubits (c. '‰27 by 27 by 54 cm ), and because of the smaller weight and standardized size, using them during constructions was more efficient than using heavy building blocks of varying sizes. By regnal year eight, Akhetaten reached a state where it could be occupied by the royal family. Only his most loyal subjects followed Akhenaten and his family to the new city. While the city continued to be built, in years five through eight, construction work began to stop in Thebes. The Theban Aten temples that had begun were abandoned, and a village of those working on Valley of the Kings tombs was relocated to the workers' village at Akhetaten. However, construction work continued in the rest of the country, as larger cult centers, such as Heliopolis and Memphis, also had temples built for Aton.
International relations [ edit ] Painted limestone miniature stela. It shows Akhenaten standing before 2 incense stands, Aten disc above. From Amarna, Egypt. 18th Dynasty. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
The Amarna letters have provided important evidence about Akhenaten's reign and foreign policy. The letters are a cache of 382 diplomatic texts and literary and educational materials discovered between 1887 and 1979 and named after Amarna, the modern name for Akhenaten's capital Akhetaten. The diplomatic correspondence comprises clay tablet messages between Amenhotep III, Akhenaten, and Tutankhamun, various subjects through Egyptian military outposts, rulers of vassal states, and the foreign rulers of Babylonia, Assyria, Syria, Canaan, Alashiya, Arzawa, Mitanni, and the Hittites.
The Amarna letters portray the international situation in the Eastern Mediterranean that Akhenaten inherited from his predecessors. The kingdom's influence and military might increased greatly before starting to wane in the 200 years preceding Akhenaten's reign, following the expulsion of the Hyksos from Lower Egypt at the end of the Second Intermediate Period. Egypt's power reached new heights under Thutmose III, who ruled approximately 100 years before Akhenaten and led several successful military campaigns into Nubia and Syria. Egypt's expansion led to confrontation with the Mitanni, but this rivalry ended with the two nations becoming allies. Amenhotep III aimed to maintain the balance of power through marriages'--such as his marriage to Tadukhipa, daughter of the Mitanni king Tushratta'--and vassal states. Yet under Amenhotep III and Akhenaten, Egypt was unable or unwilling to oppose the rise of the Hittites around Syria. The pharaohs seemed to eschew military confrontation at a time when the balance of power between Egypt's neighbors and rivals was shifting, and the Hittites, a confrontational state, overtook the Mitanni in influence.[94]
Early in his reign, Akhenaten had conflicts with Tushratta, the king of Mitanni, who had courted favor with his father against the Hittites. Tushratta complains in numerous letters that Akhenaten had sent him gold-plated statues rather than statues made of solid gold; the statues formed part of the bride-price that Tushratta received for letting his daughter Tadukhepa marry Amenhotep III and then later marry Akhenaten. An Amarna letter preserves a complaint by Tushratta to Akhenaten about the situation:
I...asked your father Mimmureya for statues of solid cast gold, ... and your father said, 'Don't talk of giving statues just of solid cast gold. I will give you ones made also of lapis lazuli. I will give you too, along with the statues, much additional gold and [other] goods beyond measure.' Every one of my messengers that were staying in Egypt saw the gold for the statues with their own eyes. ... But my brother [i.e., Akhenaten] has not sent the solid [gold] statues that your father was going to send. You have sent plated ones of wood. Nor have you sent me the goods that your father was going to send me, but you have reduced [them] greatly. Yet there is nothing I know of in which I have failed my brother. ... May my brother send me much gold. ... In my brother's country gold is as plentiful as dust. May my brother cause me no distress. May he send me much gold in order that my brother [with the gold and m]any [good]s may honor me.
While Akhenaten was certainly not a close friend of Tushratta, he was evidently concerned at the expanding power of the Hittite Empire under its powerful ruler Suppiluliuma I. A successful Hittite attack on Mitanni and its ruler Tushratta would have disrupted the entire international balance of power in the Ancient Middle East at a time when Egypt had made peace with Mitanni; this would cause some of Egypt's vassals to switch their allegiances to the Hittites, as time would prove. A group of Egypt's allies who attempted to rebel against the Hittites were captured, and wrote letters begging Akhenaten for troops, but he did not respond to most of their pleas. Evidence suggests that the troubles on the northern frontier led to difficulties in Canaan, particularly in a struggle for power between Labaya of Shechem and Abdi-Heba of Jerusalem, which required the pharaoh to intervene in the area by dispatching Medjay troops northwards. Akhenaten pointedly refused to save his vassal Rib-Hadda of Byblos'--whose kingdom was being besieged by the expanding state of Amurru under Abdi-Ashirta and later Aziru, son of Abdi-Ashirta'--despite Rib-Hadda's numerous pleas for help from the pharaoh. Rib-Hadda wrote a total of 60 letters to Akhenaten pleading for aid from the pharaoh. Akhenaten wearied of Rib-Hadda's constant correspondences and once told Rib-Hadda: "You are the one that writes to me more than all the (other) mayors" or Egyptian vassals in EA 124. What Rib-Hadda did not comprehend was that the Egyptian king would not organize and dispatch an entire army north just to preserve the political status quo of several minor city states on the fringes of Egypt's Asiatic Empire. Rib-Hadda would pay the ultimate price; his exile from Byblos due to a coup led by his brother Ilirabih is mentioned in one letter. When Rib-Hadda appealed in vain for aid from Akhenaten and then turned to Aziru, his sworn enemy, to place him back on the throne of his city, Aziru promptly had him dispatched to the king of Sidon, where Rib-Hadda was almost certainly executed.
Several Egyptologists in the late 19th and 20th centuries interpretated the Amarna letters to mean that Akhenaten neglected foreign policy and Egypt's foreign territories in favor of his internal reforms. For example, Henry Hall believed Akhenaten "succeeded by his obstinate doctrinaire love of peace in causing far more misery in his world than half a dozen elderly militarists could have done," while James Henry Breasted said Akhenaten "was not ¬t to cope with a situation demanding an aggressive man of affairs and a skilled military leader." Others noted that the Amarna letters counter the conventional view that Akhenaten neglected Egypt's foreign territories in favour of his internal reforms. For example, Norman de Garis Davies praised Akhenaten's emphasis on diplomacy over war, while James Baikie said that the fact "that there is no evidence of revolt within the borders of Egypt itself during the whole reign is surely ample proof that there was no such abandonment of his royal duties on the part of Akhenaten as has been assumed." Indeed, several letters from Egyptian vassals notified the pharaoh that they have followed his instructions, implying that the pharaoh sent such instructions:
To the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, the Sun from the sky: Message of Yapahu, the ruler of Gazru, your servant, the dirt at your feet. I indeed prostrate myself at the feet of the king, my lord, my god, my Sun, the Sun from the sky, 7 times and 7 times, on the stomach and on the back. I am indeed guarding the place of the king, my lord, the Sun of the sky, where I am, and all the things the king, my lord, has written me, I am indeed carrying out'--everything! Who am I, a dog, and what is my house, and what is my ..., and what is anything I have, that the orders of the king, my lord, the Sun from the sky, should not obey constantly?
The Amarna letters also show that vassal states were told repeatedly to expect the arrival of the Egyptian military on their lands, and provide evidence that these troops were dispatched and arrived at their destination. Dozens of letters detail that Akhenaten'--and Amenhotep III'--sent Egyptian and Nubian troops, armies, archers, chariots, horses, and ships.
Additionally, when Rib-Hadda was killed at the instigation of Aziru, Akhenaten sent an angry letter to Aziru containing a barely veiled accusation of outright treachery on the latter's part. Akhenaten wrote:
[Y]ou acted delinquently by taking [Rib-Hadda] whose brother had cast him away at the gate, from his city. He was residing in Sidon and, following your own judgment, you gave him to [some] mayors. Were you ignorant of the treacherousness of the men? If you really are the king's servant, why did you not denounce him before the king, your lord, saying, "This mayor has written to me saying, 'Take me to yourself and get me into my city'"? And if you did act loyally, still all the things you wrote were not true. In fact, the king has reflected on them as follows, "Everything you have said is not friendly."
Now the king has heard as follows, "You are at peace with the ruler of Qidsa (Kadesh). The two of you take food and strong drink together." And it is true. Why do you act so? Why are you at peace with a ruler whom the king is fighting? And even if you did act loyally, you considered your own judgment, and his judgment did not count. You have paid no attention to the things that you did earlier. What happened to you among them that you are not on the side of the king, your lord? ... [I]f you plot evil, treacherous things, then you, together with your entire family, shall die by the axe of the king. So perform your service for the king, your lord, and you will live. You yourself know that the king does not fail when he rages against all of Canaan. And when you wrote saying, 'May the king, my Lord, give me leave this year, and then I will go next year to the king, my Lord. If this is impossible, I will send my son in my place''--the king, your lord, let you off this year in accordance with what you said. Come yourself, or send your son [now], and you will see the king at whose sight all lands live.
This letter shows that Akhenaten paid close attention to the affairs of his vassals in Canaan and Syria. Akhenaten commanded Aziru to come to Egypt and proceeded to detain him there for at least one year. In the end, Akhenaten was forced to release Aziru back to his homeland when the Hittites advanced southwards into Amki, thereby threatening Egypt's series of Asiatic vassal states, including Amurru. Sometime after his return to Amurru, Aziru defected to the Hittite side with his kingdom. While it is known from an Amarna letter by Rib-Hadda that the Hittites "seized all the countries that were vassals of the king of Mitanni." Akhenaten managed to preserve Egypt's control over the core of her Near Eastern Empire (which consisted of present-day Israel as well as the Phoenician coast) while avoiding conflict with the increasingly powerful Hittite Empire of Suppiluliuma I. Only the Egyptian border province of Amurru in Syria around the Orontes river was permanently lost to the Hittites when its ruler Aziru defected to the Hittites.
Only one military campaign is known for certain under Akhenaten's reign. In his second or twelfth year, Akhenaten ordered his Viceroy of Kush Tuthmose to lead a military expedition to quell a rebellion and raids on settlements on the Nile by Nubian nomadic tribes. The victory was commemorated on two stelae, one discovered at Amada and another at Buhen. Egyptologists differ on the size of the campaign: Wolfgang Helck considered it a small-scale police operation, while Alan Schulman considered it a "war of major proportions."
Other Egyptologists suggested that Akhenaten could have waged war in Syria or the Levant, possibly against the Hittites. Cyril Aldred, based on Amarna letters describing Egyptian troop movements, proposed that Akhenaten launched an unsuccessful war around the city of Gezer, while Marc Gabolde argued for an unsuccessful campaign around Kadesh. Either of these could be the campaign referred to on Tutankhamun's Restoration Stela: "if an army was sent to Djahy [southern Canaan and Syria] to broaden the boundaries of Egypt, no success of their cause came to pass." John Coleman Darnell and Colleen Manassa also argued that Akhenaten fought with the Hittites for control of Kadesh, but was unsuccessful; the city was not recaptured until 60''70 years later, under Seti I.
Later years [ edit ] In regnal year twelve, Akhenaten received tributes and offerings from allied countries and vassal states at
Akhetaten, as depicted in the
tomb of Meryra II.
Egyptologists know little about the last five years of Akhenaten's reign, beginning in c. '‰1341 or 1339 BC. These years are poorly attested and only a few pieces of contemporary evidence survive; the lack of clarity makes reconstructing the latter part of the pharaoh's reign "a daunting task" and a controversial and contested topic of discussion among Egyptologists. Among the newest pieces of evidence is an inscription discovered in 2012 at a limestone quarry in Deir el-Bersha, just north of Akhetaten, from the pharaoh's sixteenth regnal year. The text refers to a building project in Amarna and establishes that Akhenaten and Nefertiti were still a royal couple just a year before Akhenaten's death. The inscription is dated to Year 16, month 3 of Akhet, day 15 of the reign of Akhenaten.
Before the 2012 discovery of the Deir el-Bersha inscription, the last known fixed-date event in Akhenaten's reign was a royal reception in regnal year twelve, in which the pharaoh and the royal family received tributes and offerings from allied countries and vassal states at Akhetaten. Inscriptions show tributes from Nubia, the Land of Punt, Syria, the Kingdom of Hattusa, the islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and Libya. Egyptologists, such as Aidan Dodson, consider this year twelve celebration to be the zenith of Akhenaten's reign. Thanks to reliefs in the tomb of courtier Meryre II, historians know that the royal family, Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and their six daughters, were present at the royal reception in full. However, historians are uncertain about the reasons for the reception. Possibilities include the celebration of the marriage of future pharaoh Ay to Tey, celebration of Akhenaten's twelve years on the throne, the summons of king Aziru of Amurru to Egypt, a military victory at Sumur in the Levant, a successful military campaign in Nubia, Nefertiti's ascendancy to the throne as coregent, or the completion of the new capital city Akhetaten.
Following year twelve, Donald B. Redford and other Egyptologists proposed that Egypt was struck by an epidemic, most likely a plague. Contemporary evidence suggests that a plague ravaged through the Middle East around this time, and historians suggested that ambassadors and delegations arriving to Akhenaten's year twelve reception might have brought the disease to Egypt. Alternatively, letters from the Hattians suggested that the epidemic originated in Egypt and was carried throughout the Middle East by Egyptian prisoners of war. Regardless of its origin, the epidemic might account for several deaths in the royal family that occurred in the last five years of Akhenaten's reign, including those of his daughters Meketaten, Neferneferure, and Setepenre.
Coregency with Smenkhkare or Nefertiti [ edit ] Akhenaten could have ruled together with Smenkhkare and Nefertiti for several years before his death. Based on depictions and artifacts from the tombs of Meryre II and Tutankhamun, Smenkhkare could have been Akhenaten's coregent by regnal year thirteen or fourteen, but died a year or two later. Nefertiti might not have assumed the role of coregent until after year sixteen, when a stela still mentions her as Akhenaten's Great Royal Wife. While Nefertiti's familial relationship with Akhenaten is known, whether Akhenaten and Smenkhkare were related by blood is unclear. Smenkhkare could have been Akhenaten's son or brother, as the son of Amenhotep III with Tiye or Sitamun. Archeological evidence makes it clear, however, that Smenkhkare was married to Meritaten, Akhenaten's eldest daughter. For another, the so-called Coregency Stela, found in a tomb at Akhetaten, might show queen Nefertiti as Akhenaten's coregent, but this is uncertain as stela was recarved to show the names of Ankhesenpaaten and Neferneferuaten. Egyptologist Aidan Dodson proposed that both Smenkhkare and Neferiti were Akhenaten's coregents to ensure the Amarna family's continued rule when Egypt was confronted with an epidemic. Dodson suggested that the two were chosen to rule as Tutankhaten's coregent in case Akhenaten died and Tutankhaten took the throne at a young age, or rule in Tutankhaten's stead if the prince also died in the epidemic.
Death and burial [ edit ] The desecrated royal coffin found in Tomb KV55
Akhenaten died after seventeen years of rule and was initially buried in a tomb in the Royal Wadi east of Akhetaten. The order to construct the tomb and to bury the pharaoh there was commemorated on one of the boundary stela delineating the capital's borders: "Let a tomb be made for me in the eastern mountain [of Akhetaten]. Let my burial be made in it, in the millions of jubilees which the Aten, my father, decreed for me." In the years following the burial, Akhenaten's sarcophagus was destroyed and left in the Akhetaten necropolis; reconstructed in the 20th century, it is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo as of 2019. Despite leaving the sarcophagus behind, Akhenaten's mummy was removed from the royal tombs after Tutankhamun abandoned Akhetaten and returned to Thebes. It was most likely moved to tomb KV55 in Valley of the Kings near Thebes. This tomb was later desecrated, likely during the Ramesside period.
Whether Smenkhkare also enjoyed a brief independent reign after Akhenaten is unclear. If Smenkhkare outlived Akhenaten, and became sole pharaoh, he likely ruled Egypt for less than a year. The next successor was Nefertiti or Meritaten ruling as Neferneferuaten, reigning in Egypt for about two years. She was, in turn, probably succeeded by Tutankhaten, with the country being administered by the vizier and future pharaoh Ay.
Profile view of the skull (thought to be Akhenaten) recovered from KV55
While Akhenaten'--along with Smenkhkare'--was most likely reburied in tomb KV55, the identification of the mummy found in that tomb as Akhenaten remains controversial to this day. The mummy has repeatedly been examined since its discovery in 1907. Most recently, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass led a team of researchers to examine the mummy using medical and DNA analysis, with the results published in 2010. In releasing their test results, Hawass' team identified the mummy as the father of Tutankhamun and thus "most probably" Akhenaten. However, the study's validity has since been called into question. For instance, the discussion of the study results does not discuss that Tutankhamun's father and the father's siblings would share some genetic markers; if Tutankhamun's father was Akhenaten, the DNA results could indicate that the mummy is a brother of Akhenaten, possibly Smenkhkare.
Legacy [ edit ] With Akhenaten's death, the Aten cult he had founded fell out of favor: at first gradually, and then with decisive finality. Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamun in Year 2 of his reign (c. '‰1332 BC ) and abandoned the city of Akhetaten. Their successors then attempted to erase Akhenaten and his family from the historical record. During the reign of Horemheb, the last pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty and the first pharaoh after Akhenaten who was not related to Akhenaten's family, Egyptians started to destroy temples to the Aten and reuse the building blocks in new construction projects, including in temples for the newly restored god Amun. Horemheb's successor continued in this effort. Seti I restored monuments to Amun and had the god's name re-carved on inscriptions where it was removed by Akhenaten. Seti I also ordered that Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Neferneferuaten, Tutankhamun, and Ay be excised from official lists of pharaohs to make it appear that Amenhotep III was immediately succeeded by Horemheb. Under the Ramessides, who succeeded Seti I, Akhetaten was gradually destroyed and the building material reused across the country, such as in constructions at Hermopolis. The negative attitudes toward Akhenaten were illustrated by, for example, inscriptions in the tomb of scribe Mose (or Mes), where Akhenaten's reign is referred to as "the time of the enemy of Akhet-Aten."
Some Egyptologists, such as Jacobus van Dijk and Jan Assmann, believe that Akhenaten's reign and the Amarna period started a gradual decline in the Egyptian government's power and the pharaoh's standing in Egyptian's society and religious life. Akhenaten's religious reforms subverted the relationship ordinary Egyptians had with their gods and their pharaoh, as well as the role the pharaoh played in the relationship between the people and the gods. Before the Amarna period, the pharaoh was the representative of the gods on Earth, the son of the god Ra, and the living incarnation of the god Horus, and maintained the divine order through rituals and offerings and by sustaining the temples of the gods. Additionally, even though the pharaoh oversaw all religious activity, Egyptians could access their gods through regular public holidays, festivals, and processions. This led to a seemingly close connection between people and the gods, especially the patron deity of their respective towns and cities. Akhenaten, however, banned the worship of gods beside the Aten, including through festivals. He also declared himself to be the only one who could worship the Aten, and required that all religious devotion previously exhibited toward the gods be directed toward himself. After the Amarna period, during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties'--c. '‰270 years following Akhenaten's death'--the relationship between the people, the pharaoh, and the gods did not simply revert to pre-Amarna practices and beliefs. The worship of all gods returned, but the relationship between the gods and the worshipers became more direct and personal, circumventing the pharaoh. Rather than acting through the pharaoh, Egyptians started to believe that the gods intervened directly in their lives, protecting the pious and punishing criminals. The gods replaced the pharaoh as their own representatives on Earth. The god Amun once again became king among all gods. According to van Dijk, "the king was no longer a god, but god himself had become king. Once Amun had been recognized as the true king, the political power of the earthly rulers could be reduced to a minimum." Consequently, the influence and power of the Amun priesthood continued to grow until the Twenty-first Dynasty, c. '‰1077 BC , by which time the High Priests of Amun effectively became rulers over parts of Egypt.
Akhenaten's reforms also had a longer-term impact on Ancient Egyptian language and hastened the spread of the spoken Late Egyptian language in official writings and speeches. Spoken and written Egyptian diverged early on in Egyptian history and stayed different over time. During the Amarna period, however, royal and religious texts and inscriptions, including the boundary stelae at Akhetaten or the Amarna letters, started to regularly include more vernacular linguistic elements, such as the definite article or a new possessive form. Even though they continued to diverge, these changes brought the spoken and written language closer to one another more systematically than under previous pharaohs of the New Kingdom. While Akhenaten's successors attempted to erase his religious, artistic, and even linguistic changes from history, the new linguistic elements remained a more common part of official texts following the Amarna years, starting with the Nineteenth Dynasty.
Atenism [ edit ] Relief fragment showing a royal head, probably Akhenaten, and early Aten cartouches. Aten extends Ankh (sign of life) to the figure. Reign of Akhenaten. From Amarna, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
Pharaoh Akhenaten (center) and his family worshiping the
Aten, with characteristic rays seen emanating from the solar disk. Later such imagery was prohibited.
Egyptians worshipped a sun god under several names, and solar worship had been growing in popularity even before Akhenaten, especially during the Eighteenth Dynasty and the reign of Amenhotep III, Akhenaten's father. During the New Kingdom, the pharaoh started to be associated with the sun disc; for example, one inscriptions called the pharaoh Hatshepsut the "female Re shining like the Disc," while Amenhotep III was described as "he who rises over every foreign land, Nebmare, the dazzling disc." During the Eighteenth Dynasty, a religious hymn to the sun also appeared and became popular among Egyptians. However, Egyptologists question whether there is a causal relationship between the cult of the sun disc before Akhenaten and Akhenaten's religious policies.
Implementation and development [ edit ] The implementation of Atenism can be traced through gradual changes in the Aten's iconography, and Egyptologist Donald B. Redford divided its development into three stages'--earliest, intermediate, and final'--in his studies of Akhenaten and Atenism. The earliest stage was associated with a growing number of depictions of the sun disc, though the disc is still seen resting on the head of the falcon-headed sun god Ra-Horakhty, as the god was traditionally represented. The god was only "unique but not exclusive." The intermediate stage was marked by the elevation of the Aten above other gods and the appearance of cartouches around his incribed name'--cartouches traditionally indicating that the enclosed text is a royal name. The final stage had the Aten represented as a sun disc with sunrays like long arms terminating in human hands and the introduction of a new epithet for the god: "the great living Disc which is in jubilee, lord of heaven and earth."
In the early years of his reign, Amenhotep IV lived at Thebes, the old capital city, and permitted worship of Egypt's traditional deities to continue. However, some signs already pointed to the growing importance of the Aten. For example, inscriptions in the Theban tomb of Parennefer from the early rule of Amenhotep IV state that "one measures the payments to every (other) god with a level measure, but for the Aten one measures so that it overflows," indicating a more favorable attitude to the cult of Aten than the other gods. Additionally, near the Temple of Karnak, Amun-Ra's great cult center, Amenhotep IV erected several massive buildings including temples to the Aten. The new Aten temples had no roof and the god was thus worshipped in the sunlight, under the open sky, rather than in dark temple enclosures as had been the previous custom. The Theban buildings were later dismantled by his successors and used as infill for new constructions in the Temple of Karnak; when they were later dismantled by archaeologists, some 36,000 decorated blocks from the original Aton building here were revealed that preserve many elements of the original relief scenes and inscriptions.
One of the most important turning points in the early reign of Amenhotep IV is a speech given by the pharaoh at the beginning of his second regnal year. A copy of the speech survives on one of the pylons at the Karnak Temple Complex near Thebes. Speaking to the royal court, scribes or the people, Amenhotep IV said that the gods were ineffective and had ceased their movements, and that their temples had collapsed. The pharaoh contrasted this with the only remaining god, the sun disc Aten, who continued to move and exist forever. Some Egyptologists, such as Donald B. Redford, compared this speech to a proclamation or manifesto, which foreshadowed and explained the pharaoh's later religious reforms centered around the Aten. In his speech, Akhenaten said:
The temples of the gods fallen to ruin, their bodies do not endure. Since the time of the ancestors, it is the wise man that knows these things. Behold, I, the king, am speaking so that I might inform you concerning the appearances of the gods. I know their temples, and I am versed in the writings, specficially, the inventory of their primeval bodies. And I have watched as they [the gods] have ceased their appearances, one after the other. All of them have stopped, except the god who gave birth to himself. And no one knows the mystery of how he performs his tasks. This god goes where he pleases and no one else knows his going. I approach him, the things which he has made. How exalted they are.
In Year Five of his reign, Amenhotep IV took decisive steps to establish the Aten as the sole god of Egypt. The pharaoh "disbanded the priesthoods of all the other gods ... and diverted the income from these [other] cults to support the Aten." To emphasize his complete allegiance to the Aten, the king officially changed his name from Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten (Ancient Egyptian: ê'£á¸-n-jtn, meaning "Effective for the Aten"). Meanwhile, the Aten was becoming a king itself. Artists started to depict him with the trappings of pharaos, placing his name in cartouches'--a rare, but not unique occurrence, as the names of Ra-Horakhty and Amun-Ra had also been found enclosed in cartouches'--and wearing a uraeus, a symbol of kingship. The Aten may also have been the subject of Akhenaten's royal Sed festival early in the pharaoh's reign. With Aten becoming a sole deity, Akhenaten started to proclaim himself as the only intermediary between Aten and his people and the subject of their personal worship and attention.
Inscribed limestone fragment showing early Aten cartouches, "the Living Ra Horakhty". Reign of Akhenaten. From Amarna, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
Fragment of a stela, showing parts of 3 late cartouches of Aten. There is a rare intermediate form of god's name. Reign of Akhenaten. From Amarna, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
By Year Nine of his reign, Akhenaten declared that Aten was not merely the supreme god, but the only worshipable god. He ordered the defacing of Amun's temples throughout Egypt and, in a number of instances, inscriptions of the plural 'gods' were also removed. This emphasized the changes encouraged by the new regime, which included a ban on images, with the exception of a rayed solar disc, in which the rays appear to represent the unseen spirit of Aten, who by then was evidently considered not merely a sun god, but rather a universal deity. All life on Earth depended on the Aten and the visible sunlight. Representations of the Aten were always accompanied with a sort of hieroglyphic footnote, stating that the representation of the sun as all-encompassing creator was to be taken as just that: a representation of something that, by its very nature as something transcending creation, cannot be fully or adequately represented by any one part of that creation. Aten's name was also written differently starting as early as Year Eight or as late as Year Fourteen, according to some historians. From "Living Re-Horakhty, who rejoices in the horizon in his name Shu-Re who is in Aten," the god's name changed to "Living Re, ruler of the horizon, who rejoices in his name of Re the father who has returned as Aten," removing the Aten's connection to Re-Horakhty and Shu, two other solar deities. The Aten thus became an amalgamation that incorporated the attributes and beliefs around Re-Horakhty, universal sun god, and Shu, god of the sky and manifestation of the sunlight.
Siliceous limestone fragment of a statue. There are late Aten cartouches on the draped right shoulder. Reign of Akhenaten. From Amarna, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
Akhenaten's Atenist beliefs are best distilled in the Great Hymn to the Aten. The hymn was discovered in the tomb of Ay, one of Akhenaten's successors, though Egyptologists believe that it could have been composed by Akhenaten himself. The hymn celebrates the sun and daylight and recounts the dangers that abound when the sun sets. It tells of the Aten as a sole god and the creator of all life, who recreates life every day at sunrise, and on whom everything on Earth depends, including the natural world, people's lives, and even trade and commerce. In one passage, the hymn declares: "O Sole God beside whom there is none! You made the earth as you wished, you alone." The hymn also states that Akhenaten is the only intermediary between the god and Egyptians, and the only one who can understand the Aten: "You are in my heart, and there is none who knows you except your son."
Atenism and other gods [ edit ] Some debate has focused on the extent to which Akhenaten forced his religious reforms on his people. Certainly, as time drew on, he revised the names of the Aten, and other religious language, to increasingly exclude references to other gods; at some point, also, he embarked on the wide-scale erasure of traditional gods' names, especially those of Amun. Some of his court changed their names to remove them from the patronage of other gods and place them under that of Aten (or Ra, with whom Akhenaten equated the Aten). Yet, even at Amarna itself, some courtiers kept such names as Ahmose ("child of the moon god", the owner of tomb 3), and the sculptor's workshop where the famous Nefertiti Bust and other works of royal portraiture were found is associated with an artist known to have been called Thutmose ("child of Thoth"). An overwhelmingly large number of faience amulets at Amarna also show that talismans of the household-and-childbirth gods Bes and Taweret, the eye of Horus, and amulets of other traditional deities, were openly worn by its citizens. Indeed, a cache of royal jewelry found buried near the Amarna royal tombs (now in the National Museum of Scotland) includes a finger ring referring to Mut, the wife of Amun. Such evidence suggests that though Akhenaten shifted funding away from traditional temples, his policies were fairly tolerant until some point, perhaps a particular event as yet unknown, toward the end of the reign.
Archaeological discoveries at Akhetaten show that many ordinary residents of this city chose to gouge or chisel out all references to the god Amun on even minor personal items that they owned, such as commemorative scarabs or make-up pots, perhaps for fear of being accused of having Amunist sympathies. References to Amenhotep III, Akhenaten's father, were partly erased since they contained the traditional Amun form of his name: Nebmaatre Amunhotep.
After Akhenaten [ edit ] Following Akhenaten's death, Egypt gradually returned to its traditional polytheistic religion, partly because of how closely associated the Aten became with Akhenaten. Atenism likely stayed dominant through the reigns of Akhenaten's immediate successors, Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten, as well as early in the reign of Tutankhaten. For a period of time the worship of Aten and a resurgent worship of Amun coexisted.
Over time, however, Akhenaten's successors, starting with Tutankhaten, took steps to distance themselves from Atenism. Tutankhaten and his wife Ankhesenpaaten dropped the Aten from their names and changed them to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun, respectively. Amun was restored as the supreme deity. Tutankhamun reestablished the temples of the other gods, as the pharaoh propagated on his Restoration Stela: "He reorganized this land, restoring its customs to those of the time of Re. ... He renewed the gods' mansions and fashioned all their images. ... He raised up their temples and created their statues. ... When he had sought out the gods' precincts which were in ruins in this land, he refounded them just as they had been since the time of the first primeval age." Additionally, Tutankhamun's building projects at Thebes and Karnak used talatat's from Akhenaten's buildings, which implies that Tutankhamun might have started to demolish temples dedicated to the Aten. Aten temples continued to be torn down under Ay and Horemheb, Tutankhamun's successors and the last pharaohs of the Eighteenth Dynasty, too. Horemheb could also have ordered that Akhetaten, Akhenaten's capital city be demolished. To further underpin the break with Aten worship, Horemheb claimed to have been chosen to rule over Egypt by the god Horus. Finally, Seti I, the first pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty, ordered that the name of Amun be restored on inscriptions on which it had been removed or replaced by the name of the Aten.
Artistic depictions [ edit ] Akhenaten in the typical Amarna period style.
Styles of art that flourished during the reigns of Akhenaten and his immediate successors, known as Amarna art, are markedly different from the traditional art of ancient Egypt. Representations are more realistic, expressionistic, and naturalistic, especially in depictions of animals, plants and people, and convey more action and movement for both non-royal and royal individuals than the traditionally static representations. In traditional art, a pharaoh's divine nature was expressed by repose, even immobility.
The portrayals of Akhenaten himself greatly differ from the depictions of other pharaohs. Traditionally, the portrayal of pharaohs'--and the Egyptian ruling class'--was idealized, and they were shown in "stereotypically 'beautiful' fashion" as youthful and athletic. However, Akhenaten's portrayals are unconventional and "unflattering" with a sagging stomach; broad hips; thin legs; thick thighs; large, "almost feminine breasts;" a thin, "exaggeratedly long face;" and thick lips.
Based on Akhenaten's and his family's unusual artistic representations, including potential depictions of gynecomastia and androgyny, some have argued that the pharaoh and his family have either suffered from aromatase excess syndrome and sagittal craniosynostosis syndrome, or Antley''Bixler syndrome. In 2010, results published from genetic studies on Akhenaten's purported mummy did not find signs of gynecomastia or Antley-Bixler syndrome, although these results have since been questioned.
Arguing instead for a symbolic interpretation, Dominic Montserrat in Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt states that "there is now a broad consensus among Egyptologists that the exaggerated forms of Akhenaten's physical portrayal... are not to be read literally". Because the god Aten was referred to as "the mother and father of all humankind," Montserrat and others suggest that Akhenaten was made to look androgynous in artwork as a symbol of the androgyny of the Aten. This required "a symbolic gathering of all the attributes of the creator god into the physical body of the king himself", which will "display on earth the Aten's multiple life-giving functions". Akhenaten claimed the title "The Unique One of Re", and he may have directed his artists to contrast him with the common people through a radical departure from the idealized traditional pharaoh image.
Depictions of other members of the court, especially members of the royal family, are also exaggerated, stylized, and overall different from traditional art. Significantly, and for the only time in the history of Egyptian royal art, the pharaoh's family life is depicted: the royal family is shown mid-action in relaxed, casual, and intimate situations, taking part in decidedly naturalistic activities, showing affection for each other, such as holding hands and kissing.
Small statue of Akhenaten wearing the Egyptian Blue Crown of War
Nefertiti also appears, both beside the king and alone, or with her daughters, in actions usually reserved for a pharaoh, such as "smiting the enemy," a traditional depiction of male pharaohs. This suggests that she enjoyed unusual status for a queen. Early artistic representations of her tend to be indistinguishable from her husband's except by her regalia, but soon after the move to the new capital, Nefertiti begins to be depicted with features specific to her. Questions remain whether the beauty of Nefertiti is portraiture or idealism.
Speculative theories [ edit ] Sculptor's trial piece of Akhenaten.
Akhenaten's status as a religious revolutionary has led to much speculation, ranging from scholarly hypotheses to non-academic fringe theories. Although some believe the religion he introduced was mostly monotheistic, many others see Akhenaten as a practitioner of an Aten monolatry, as he did not actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshiping any but the Aten.
Akhenaten and monotheism in Abrahamic religions [ edit ] The idea that Akhenaten was the pioneer of a monotheistic religion that later became Judaism has been considered by various scholars. One of the first to mention this was Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, in his book Moses and Monotheism. Basing his arguments on his belief that the Exodus story was historical, Freud argued that Moses had been an Atenist priest who was forced to leave Egypt with his followers after Akhenaten's death. Freud argued that Akhenaten was striving to promote monotheism, something that the biblical Moses was able to achieve. Following the publication of his book, the concept entered popular consciousness and serious research.
Freud commented on the connection between Adonai, the Egyptian Aten and the Syrian divine name of Adonis as the primeval unity of languages between the factions; in this he was following the argument of Egyptologist Arthur Weigall. Jan Assmann's opinion is that 'Aten' and 'Adonai' are not linguistically related.
There are strong similarities between Akhenaten's Great Hymn to the Aten and the Biblical Psalm 104; however, there has been some debate as to whether the similarities reflect direct or indirect borrowing.[239][240]
Others have likened some aspects of Akhenaten's relationship with the Aten to the relationship, in Christian tradition, between Jesus Christ and God, particularly interpretations that emphasize a more monotheistic interpretation of Atenism than a henotheistic one. Donald B. Redford has noted that some have viewed Akhenaten as a harbinger of Jesus. "After all, Akhenaten did call himself the son of the sole god: 'Thine only son that came forth from thy body'." James Henry Breasted likened him to Jesus, Arthur Weigall saw him as a failed precursor of Christ and Thomas Mann saw him "as right on the way and yet not the right one for the way".
Redford argued that while Akhenaten called himself the son of the Sun-Disc and acted as the chief mediator between god and creation, kings had claimed the same relationship and priestly role for thousands of years before Akhenaten's time. However Akhenaten's case may be different through the emphasis that he placed on the heavenly father and son relationship. Akhenaten described himself as being "thy son who came forth from thy limbs", "thy child", "the eternal son that came forth from the Sun-Disc", and "thine only son that came forth from thy body". The close relationship between father and son is such that only the king truly knows the heart of "his father", and in return his father listens to his son's prayers. He is his father's image on earth, and as Akhenaten is king on earth, his father is king in heaven. As high priest, prophet, king and divine he claimed the central position in the new religious system. Because only he knew his father's mind and will, Akhenaten alone could interpret that will for all mankind with true teaching coming only from him.
Redford concluded:
Before much of the archaeological evidence from Thebes and from Tell el-Amarna became available, wishful thinking sometimes turned Akhenaten into a humane teacher of the true God, a mentor of Moses, a christlike figure, a philosopher before his time. But these imaginary creatures are now fading away as the historical reality gradually emerges. There is little or no evidence to support the notion that Akhenaten was a progenitor of the full-blown monotheism that we find in the Bible. The monotheism of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament had its own separate development'--one that began more than half a millennium after the pharaoh's death.
Possible illness [ edit ] Hieratic inscription on a pottery fragment. It records year 17 of Akhenaten's reign and reference to wine of the house of Aten. From Amarna, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
Limestone trial piece of a king, probably Akhenaten, and a smaller head of uncertain gender. From Amarna, Egypt. 18th Dynasty. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
The unconventional portrayals of Akhenaten'--different from the traditional athletic norm in the portrayal of pharaohs'--have led Egyptologists in the 19th and 20th centuries to suppose that Akhenaten suffered some kind of genetic abnormality. Various illnesses have been put forward, with Fr¶lich's syndrome or Marfan syndrome being mentioned most commonly.
Cyril Aldred, following up earlier arguments of Grafton Elliot Smith and James Strachey, suggested that Akhenaten may have suffered from Fr¶lich's syndrome on the basis of his long jaw and his feminine appearance. However, this is unlikely, because this disorder results in sterility and Akhenaten is known to have fathered numerous children. His children are repeatedly portrayed through years of archaeological and iconographic evidence.
Burridge suggested that Akhenaten may have suffered from Marfan syndrome, which, unlike Fr¶lich's, does not result in mental impairment or sterility. Marfan sufferers tend towards tallness, with a long, thin face, elongated skull, overgrown ribs, a funnel or pigeon chest, a high curved or slightly cleft palate, and larger pelvis, with enlarged thighs and spindly calves, symptoms that appear in some depictions of Akhenaten. Marfan syndrome is a dominant characteristic, which means sufferers have a 50% chance of passing it on to their children. However, DNA tests on Tutankhamun in 2010 proved negative for Marfan syndrome.
By the early 21st century, most Egyptologists argued that Akhenaten's portrayals are not the results of a genetic or medical condition, but rather should be interpreted through the lens of Atenism. Akhenaten was made to look androgynous in artwork as a symbol of the androgyny of the Aten.
Cultural depictions [ edit ] The life of Akhenaten has inspired many fictional representations.
On page, Thomas Mann made Akhenaten the "dreaming pharaoh" of Joseph's story in the fictional biblical tetraology Joseph and His Brothers from 1933''1943. Akhenaten appears in Mika Waltari's The Egyptian, first published in Finnish (Sinuhe egyptil¤inen) in 1945, translated by Naomi Walford; David Stacton's On a Balcony from 1958; Gwendolyn MacEwen's King of Egypt, King of Dreams from 1971; Allen Drury's A God Against the Gods from 1976 and Return to Thebes from 1976; Naguib Mahfouz's Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth from 1985; Andree Chedid's Akhenaten and Nefertiti's Dream; and Moyra Caldecott's Akhenaten: Son of the Sun from 1989. Additionally, Pauline Gedge's 1984 novel The Twelfth Transforming is set in the reign of Akhenaten, details the construction of Akhetaten and includes accounts of his personal relationships with Nefertiti, Tiye and successor Smenkhkare. Akhenaten inspired the poetry collection Akhenaten by Dorothy Porter. And in comic books, Akhenaten is the major antagonist in the 2008 comic book series (reprinted as a graphic novel) "Marvel: The End" by Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom. In this series, Akhenaten gains unlimited power and, though his stated intentions are benevolent, is opposed by Thanos and essentially all of the other superheroes and supervillains in the Marvel comic book universe. Finally, Akhenaten provides much of the background in the comic book adventure story Blake et Mortimer: Le Myst¨re de la Grande Pyramide vol. 1+2 by Edgar P. Jacobs from 1950.
On stage, the 1937 play Akhnaton by Agatha Christie explores the lives of Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Tutankhaten. He was portrayed in the Greek play Pharaoh Akhenaton (Greek: Î...αραώ ΑχεναÏόν ) by Angelos Prokopiou. The pharaoh also inspired the 1983 opera Akhnaten by Philip Glass.
In film, Akhenaten is played by Michael Wilding in The Egyptian from 1954 and Amedeo Nazzari in Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile from 1961. In the 2007 animated film La Reine Soleil, Akhenaten, Tutankhaten, Akhesa (Ankhesenepaten, later Ankhesenamun), Nefertiti, and Horemheb are depicted in a complex struggle pitting the priests of Amun against Atenism. Akhenaten also appears in several documentaries, including The Lost Pharaoh: The Search for Akhenaten, a 1980 National Film Board of Canada documentary based on Donald Redford's excavation of one Akhenaten's temples, and episodes of Ancient Aliens, which propose that Akhenaten may have been an extraterrestrial.
In video games, for example, Akhenaten is the enemy in the Assassin's Creed Origins "The Curse of the Pharaohs" DLC, and must be defeated to remove his curse on Thebes. His afterlife takes the form of 'Aten', a location that draws heavily on the architecture of the city of Amarna. Additionally, a version of Akhenaten (incorporating elements of H. P. Lovecraft's Black Pharaoh) is the driving antagonist behind the Egypt chapters of The Secret World, where the player must stop a modern-day incarnation of the Atenist cult from unleashing the now-undead pharaoh and the influence of Aten (which is portrayed as a real and extremely powerful malevolent supernatural entity with the ability to strip followers of their free will) upon the world. He is explicitly stated to be the Pharaoh who opposed Moses in the Book of Exodus, diverging from the traditional Exodus narrative in that he retaliates against Moses's 10 Plagues with 10 plagues of his own before being sealed away by the combined forces of both Moses and Ptahmose, the High Priest of Amun. He is also shown to have been an anachronistic alliance with the Roman cult of Sol Invictus, who are strongly implied to be worshiping Aten under a different name.
In music, Akhenaten is the subject of several compositions, including the jazz album Akhenaten Suite by Roy Campbell, Jr., the symphony Akhenaten (Eidetic Images) by Gene Gutch, the progressive metal song Cursing Akhenaten by After the Burial, and the technical death metal song Cast Down the Heretic by Nile.
Ancestry [ edit ] See also [ edit ] Pharaoh of the ExodusOsarsephNotes and references [ edit ] Notes [ edit ] ^ Brand 2020, pp. 63''64. ^ Drioton & Vandier 1952, pp. 411''414. ^ Hoffmeier 2015, pp. 246''256: "...it seems best to conclude for the present that the ''parallels'' between Amarna hymns to Aten and Psalm 104 should be attributed to ''the common theology'' and the ''general pattern"..."; Hoffmeier 2005, p. 239: "...There has been some debate whether the similarities direct or indirect borrowing... it is unlikely that "the Israelite who composed Psalm 104 borrowed directly from the sublime Egyptian 'Hymn to the Aten'," as Stager has recently claimed."; Alter 2018, p. 54: "...I think there may be some likelihood, however unprovable, that our psalmist was familiar with at least an intermediate version of Akhenaton's hymn and adopted some elements from it."; Brown 2014, p. 61''73: "the question of the relationship between Egyptian hymns and the Psalms remains open"
^ Assmann 2020, pp. 40''43: "Verses 20''30 cannot be understood as anything other than a loose and abridged translation of the "Great Hymn":..."; Day 2014, pp. 22''23: "...a significant part of the rest Of Psalm 104 (esp. vv. 20''30) is dependent on... Akhenaten's Hymn to the Sun god Aten... these parallels almost all come in the same order:..."; Day 2013, pp. 223''224: "...this dependence is confined to vv. 20''30. Here the evidence is particularly impressive, since we have six parallels with Akhenaten's hymn... occurring in the identical order, with one exception."; Landes 2011, pp. 155, 178: "the hymn to Aten quoted as epigraph to this chapter'--replicates the intense religiosity and even the language of the Hebrew Psalm 104. Indeed, most Egyptologists argue that this hymn inspired the psalm...", "...For some, the relationship to Hebraic monotheism seems extremely close, including the nearly verbatim passages in Psalm 104 and the ''Hymn to Aten'' found in one of the tombs at Akhetaten..."; Shaw 2004, p. 19: "An intriguing direct literary (and perhaps religious) link between Egypt and the Bible is Psalm 104, which has strong similarities with a hymn to the Aten"
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Egypt, the Trunk of the Tree, A Modern Survey of and Ancient Land, Vol. II. New York: Algora Publishing. ISBN 978-0875862569. Nims, Charles F. (1973). "The Transition from the Traditional to the New Style of Wall Relief under Amenhotep IV". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. 32 (1/2): 181''187. doi:10.1086/372234. ISSN 0022-2968. JSTOR 543483 . Van der Perre, Athena (2012). "Nofretetes [vorerst] letzte dokumentierte Erw¤hnung". In Kampp-Seyfried, Friederike (ed.). Im Licht von Amarna '' 100 Jahre Fund der Nofretete (Exhibition catalogue) (in German). Petersberg, Hesse: Imhof Verlag. ISBN 978-3865688422. Van der Perre, Athena (2014). "The Year 16 graffito of Akhenaten in Dayr AbŠḤinnis: A Contribution to the Study of the Later Years of Nefertiti". Journal of Egyptian History. Brill. 7 (1): 67''108. doi:10.1163/18741665-12340014. ISSN 1874-1657. Perry, Dominic (May 15, 2019). "The Aten Appears (Episode 110)". The History of Egypt Podcast (Podcast). Event occurs at 03:59 . Retrieved May 23, 2020 . Prokopiou, Aggelos G. (December 1993). Pharaoh Akhnaton: The First Prophet of Monotheism: Holy Drama (in Greek). Pyrinos Kosmos. ISBN 978-9607327666. O'Connor, David; Silverman, David P., eds. (1995). Ancient Egyptian Kingship. Probleme der gyptologie. 9. Leiden; New York; K¶ln: Brill. ISBN 90-04-10041-5. Ockinga, Boyo (2001). "Piety". In Redford, Donald (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 44''47. ISBN 0-19-510234-7. Redford, Donald B. (1976). "The Sun-disc in Akhenaten's Program: Its Worship and Antecedents, I". Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. San Antonio, Texas: American Research Center in Egypt. 13: 53''56. doi:10.2307/40001118. ISSN 0065-9991. JSTOR 40001118 . Redford, Donald B. (1984). Akhenaten: The Heretic King. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691035673. OCLC 10099207. Redford, Donald B. (1987). "The Monotheism of the Heretic Pharaoh: Precursor of Mosaic monotheism or Egyptian anomaly?". Biblical Archaeology Review. 13 (3): 53''56. Redford, Donald B.; Shanks, Hershel; Meinhardt, Jack (1997). Aspects of Monotheism: How God is One (Conference paper and proceedings). Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society. ISBN 978-1880317198. OCLC 37608180. Redford, Donald B. (May 2013). "Akhenaten: New Theories and Old Facts". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. American Schools of Oriental Research. 369 (369): 9''34. doi:10.5615/bullamerschoorie.369.0009. ISSN 0003-097X. JSTOR 10.5615/bullamerschoorie.369.000 . OCLC 05748058. Reeves, Nicholas (2019) [2001]. Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet (Electronic ed.). London; New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-29469-7. LCCN 00108868. Reeves, Nicholas; Wilkinson, Richard H. (2008) [1996]. The Complete Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Treasures of Egypt's Greatest Pharaohs (5th ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500284032. OCLC 635756751. Rogers, Robert William, ed. (1912). Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament. London; Toronto; Melbourne; and Bombay: Oxford University Press. Rose, Mark (2010). "Commentary: Who's the Real Tut?". Archaeology. Boston, Massachusetts: Archaeological Institute of America. 63 (3): 7''17. ISSN 0003-8113 . Retrieved June 22, 2020 . "The royal family at Amarna". University College London. 2001 . Retrieved June 10, 2020 . Ridley, Ronald Thomas (2019). Akhenaten: A Historian's View. The AUC History of Ancient Egypt. Cairo; New York: The American University in Cairo Press. ISBN 978-9774167935. Robins, G. (1993). Women in Ancient Egypt. Harvard University Press. Ross, Barbara (November''December 1999). "Akhenaten and Rib Hadda from Byblos". Saudi Aramco World. 50 (6): 30''35. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010 . Retrieved August 8, 2013 . Schemm, Paul (February 16, 2010). "A Frail King Tut Died From Malaria, Broken Leg". USA Today. Associated Press. Schulman, Alan R. (1982). "The Nubian War of Akhenaten". L'‰gyptologie en 1979: Axes prioritaires de recherches. Colloques internationaux du Centre national de la recherche scientifique. 2. Paris: Editions du Centre national de la recherche scientifique. pp. 299''316. ISBN 978-2222029298. Sethe, Kurt, ed. (1906''1909). Urkunden der 18. Dynastie [Documents of the 18th Dynasty] (PDF) . Urkunden des gyptischen Altertums (in German). 4. Leipzig, Germany: J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 6, 2020 . Retrieved June 12, 2020 . Shaw, Ian, ed. (2003) [2000]. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (New ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280458-7. Shaw, Ian (2004). Ancient Egypt: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-157840-3. Shupak, Nili (1995). "The Monotheism of Moses and the Monotheism of Akhenaten". The Bible as a Meeting Point of Cultures through the Ages. Sevivoth. pp. 18''27. Silverman, David P.; Wegner, Josef W.; Wegner, Jennifer Houser (2006). Akhenaten and Tutankhamun: Revolution and Restoration (1st ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. ISBN 978-1931707909. Smith, Elliot, ed. (1923). Tutankhamen and the discovery of his tomb by the late Earl of Canarvon and Mr Howard Carter. London: Routledge. Sooke, Alastair (January 9, 2014). "Akhenaten: mad, bad, or brilliant?". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group . Retrieved May 10, 2020 . Sooke, Alastair (February 4, 2016). "How ancient Egypt shaped our idea of beauty". Culture. British Broadcasting Corporation . Retrieved May 25, 2020 . Spence, Kate (February 17, 2011). "Akhenaten and the Amarna Period". BBC.co.uk. BBC . Retrieved May 10, 2020 . Stent, Gunther Siegmund (2002). Paradoxes of Free Will. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. 92. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: American Philosophical Society. ISBN 0-87169-926-5. OCLC 50773277. Strachey, James (1939). "Preliminary Notes Upon the Problem of Akhenaten" . International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. 20: 33''42. ISSN 0020-7578 . Retrieved June 12, 2020 . Strouhal, Eugen (2010). "Biological age of skeletonized mummy from Tomb KV 55 at Thebes". Anthropologie. Brno, Czech Republic: Moravian Museum. 48 (2): 97''112. JSTOR 26292898 . Takcs, Sarolta Anna; Cline, Eric H., eds. (2015) [2007]. "Akhenaten (also Akhenaton) (r. ca. 1353''1335 B.C.E.)". The Ancient World. 1''5. London; New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7656-8082-2. LCCN 2006101384. Trigger, Bruce Graham; Kemp, Barry; O'Connor, David Bourke; Lloyd, Alan Brian (2001) [1983]. Ancient Egypt, A Social History. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521284279. LCCN 82-22196. Tyldesley, Joyce Ann (1998). Nefertiti: Egypt's Sun Queen. London: Viking. ISBN 978-0670869985. OCLC 1153684328. Tyldesley, Joyce A. (2005). Egypt: How a Lost Civilisation was Rediscovered. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520250208. Tyldesley, Joyce A. (2006). Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt: From Early Dynastic Times to the Death of Cleopatra. New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05145-3. OCLC 61189103. Van Dyke, John Charles (1887). Principles of Art: Pt. 1. Art in History; Pt. 2. Art in Theory. New York, New York: Fords, Howard, & Hulbert . Retrieved June 19, 2020 . Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05120-8. Wolf, Walther (1951). Die Stellung der ¤gyptischen Kunst zur antiken und abendl¤ndischen und Das Problem des K¼nstlers in der ¤gyptischen Kunst (in German). Hildesheim, Germany: Gerstenberg. Zaki, Mey (2008). The Legacy of Tutankhamun: Art and History. Photographs by Farid Atiya. Giza, Egypt: Farid Atiya Press. ISBN 978-977-17-4930-1. Further reading [ edit ] Aldred, Cyril (1973). Akhenaten and Nefertiti. London: Thames & Hudson. Aldred, Cyril (1984). The Egyptians . London: Thames & Hudson. Bilolo, Mubabinge (2004) [1988]. "Sect. I, vol. 2". Le Cr(C)ateur et la Cr(C)ation dans la pens(C)e memphite et amarnienne. Approche synoptique du Document Philosophique de Memphis et du Grand Hymne Th(C)ologique d'Echnaton (in French) (new ed.). Munich-Paris: Academy of African Thought. El Mahdy, Christine (1999). Tutankhamen: The Life and Death of a Boy King. Headline. Choi B, Pak A (2001). "Lessons for surveillance in the 21st century: a historical perspective from the past five millennia". Soz Praventivmed. 46 (6): 361''368. doi:10.1007/BF01321662. PMID 11851070. S2CID 12263035. Rita E. Freed; Yvonne J. Markowitz (1999). Sue H. D'Auria (ed.). Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten '' Nefertiti '' Tutankhamen. Bulfinch Press. Gestoso Singer, Graciela (2008). El Intercambio de Bienes entre Egipto y Asia Anterior. Desde el reinado de Tuthmosis III hasta el de Akhenaton Free Access (in Spanish) Ancient Near East Monographs, Volume 2. Buenos Aires, Society of Biblical Literature '' CEHAO.Holland, Tom (1998). The Sleeper in the Sands (novel), Abacus '' a fictionalised adventure story based closely on the mysteries of Akhenaten's reignKozloff, Arielle (2006). "Bubonic Plague in the Reign of Amenhotep III?". KMT. 17 (3). McAvoy, S. (2007). "Mummy 61074: a Strange Case of Mistaken Identity". Antiguo Oriente. 5: 183''194. Najovits, Simson. Egypt, Trunk of the Tree, Volume I, The Contexts, Volume II, The Consequences, Algora Publishing, New York, 2003 and 2004. On Akhenaten: Vol. II, Chapter 11, pp. 117''73 and Chapter 12, pp. 205''13Redford, Donald B. (1984). Akhenaten: The Heretic King. Princeton University PressShortridge K (1992). "Pandemic influenza: a zoonosis?". Semin Respir Infect. 7 (1): 11''25. PMID 1609163. Stevens, Anna (2012). Akhenaten's workers : the Amarna Stone village survey, 2005''2009. Volume I, The survey, excavations and architecture. Egypt Exploration Society. External links [ edit ] Akhenaten on In Our Time at the BBCThe City of AkhetatenThe Great Hymn to the AtenM.A. Mansoor Amarna CollectionGrim secrets of Pharaoh's city BBCAncestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family HawassThe Long Coregency Revisited: the Tomb of Kheruef by Peter Dorman, University of ChicagoRoyal Relations, Tut's father is very likely Akhenaten. National Geographic 09. 2010
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The Wire - Wikipedia
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American TV series
The Wire is an American crime drama television series created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon. The series was broadcast by the cable network HBO in the United States. The Wire premiered on June 2, 2002 and ended on March 9, 2008, comprising 60 episodes over five seasons. The idea for the show started out as a police drama loosely based on the experiences of his writing partner Ed Burns, a former homicide detective and public school teacher.[4]
Set and produced in Baltimore, Maryland, The Wire introduces a different institution of the city and its relationship to law enforcement in each season, while retaining characters and advancing storylines from previous seasons. The five subjects are, in chronological order: the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and bureaucracy, education and schools, and the print news medium. Simon chose to set the show in Baltimore because of his familiarity with the city.[4] The large cast consists mainly of actors who are little known for their other roles, as well as numerous real-life Baltimore and Maryland figures in guest and recurring roles. Simon has said that despite its framing as a crime drama, the show is "really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals. Whether one is a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge or a lawyer, all are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution to which they are committed."[5]
The Wire is lauded for its literary themes, its uncommonly accurate exploration of society and politics, and its realistic portrayal of urban life. Although during its original run, the series received only average ratings and never won any major television awards, it is now widely regarded as one of the greatest television shows of all time.[6]
Production [ edit ] Conception [ edit ] Simon has stated that he originally set out to create a police drama loosely based on the experiences of his writing partner Ed Burns, a former homicide detective and public school teacher who had worked with Simon on projects including The Corner (2000). Burns, when working on protracted investigations of violent drug dealers using surveillance technology, had often been frustrated by the bureaucracy of the Baltimore Police Department; Simon saw similarities with his own ordeals as a police reporter for The Baltimore Sun.
Simon chose to set the show in Baltimore because of his familiarity with the city. During his time as a writer and producer for the NBC program Homicide: Life on the Street, based on his book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (1991), also set in Baltimore, Simon had come into conflict with NBC network executives who were displeased by the show's pessimism. Simon wanted to avoid a repeat of these conflicts and chose to take The Wire to HBO, because of their working relationship from the miniseries The Corner. HBO was initially doubtful about including a police drama in its lineup but agreed to produce the pilot episode.[7][8] Simon approached the mayor of Baltimore, telling him that he wanted to give a bleak portrayal of certain aspects of the city; Simon was welcomed to work there again. He hoped the show would change the opinions of some viewers but said that it was unlikely to affect the issues it portrays.[7]
Casting [ edit ] The casting of the show has been praised for avoiding big-name stars and using character actors who appear natural in their roles.[9] The looks of the cast as a whole have been described as defying TV expectations by presenting a true range of humanity on screen.[10] Most of the cast is African-American, consistent with the demographics of Baltimore.
Wendell Pierce, who plays Detective Bunk Moreland, was the first actor to be cast. Dominic West, who won the ostensible lead role of Detective Jimmy McNulty, sent in a tape he recorded the night before the audition's deadline of him playing out a scene by himself.[11] Lance Reddick received the role of Cedric Daniels after auditioning for the roles of Bunk and heroin addict, Bubbles.[12] Michael K. Williams got the part of Omar Little after only a single audition.[13] Williams himself recommended Felicia Pearson for the role of Snoop after meeting her at a local Baltimore bar, shortly after she had served prison time for a second degree murder conviction.[14]
Several prominent real-life Baltimore figures, including former Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.; Rev. Frank M. Reid III; radio personality Marc Steiner; former police chief, and radio personality Ed Norris; Virginia Delegate Rob Bell; Baltimore Sun reporter and editor David Ettlin; Howard County Executive Ken Ulman; and former mayor Kurt Schmoke have appeared in minor roles despite not being professional actors.[15][16] "Little Melvin" Williams, a Baltimore drug lord arrested in the 1980s by an investigation that Burns had been part of, had a recurring role as a deacon beginning in the third season. Jay Landsman, a longtime police officer who inspired the character of the same name,[17] played Lieutenant Dennis Mello.[18] Baltimore police commander Gary D'Addario served as the series technical advisor for the first two seasons[19][20] and has a recurring role as prosecutor Gary DiPasquale.[21] Simon shadowed D'Addario's shift when researching his book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets and both D'Addario and Landsman are subjects of the book.[22]
More than a dozen cast members previously appeared on HBO's first hour-long drama Oz. J. D. Williams, Seth Gilliam, Lance Reddick, and Reg E. Cathey were featured in very prominent roles in Oz, while a number of other notable stars of The Wire, including Wood Harris, Frankie Faison, John Doman, Clarke Peters, Domenick Lombardozzi, Michael Hyatt, Michael Potts, and Method Man appeared in at least one episode of Oz.[23] Cast members Erik Dellums, Peter Gerety, Clark Johnson, Clayton LeBouef, Toni Lewis and Callie Thorne also appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street, the earlier and award-winning network television series also based on Simon's book; Lewis appeared on Oz as well.[24][25][26][27][28] A number of cast members, as well as crew members, also appeared in the preceding HBO miniseries The Corner including Clarke Peters, Reg E. Cathey, Lance Reddick, Corey Parker Robinson, Robert F. Chew, Delaney Williams, and Benay Berger.
Crew [ edit ] Alongside Simon, the show's creator, head writer, showrunner, and executive producer, much of the creative team behind The Wire were alumni of Homicide and Primetime Emmy Award-winning miniseries The Corner. The Corner veteran, Robert F. Colesberry, was executive producer for the first two seasons and directed the season 2 finale before dying from complications from heart surgery in 2004. He is credited by the rest of the creative team as having a large creative role for a producer, and Simon credits him for achieving the show's realistic visual feel.[5] He also had a small recurring role as Detective Ray Cole.[29] Colesberry's wife Karen L. Thorson joined him on the production staff.[19] A third producer on The Corner, Nina Kostroff Noble also stayed with the production staff for The Wire rounding out the initial four-person team.[19] Following Colesberry's death, she became the show's second executive producer alongside Simon.[30]
Stories for the show were often co-written by Burns, who also became a producer in the show's fourth season.[31] Other writers include three acclaimed crime fiction writers from outside of Baltimore: George Pelecanos from Washington, Richard Price from the Bronx and Dennis Lehane from Boston.[32] Reviewers drew comparisons between Price's works (particularly Clockers) and The Wire even before he joined.[33] In addition to writing, Pelecanos served as a producer for the third season.[34] Pelecanos has commented that he was attracted to the project because of the opportunity to work with Simon.[34] Staff writer Rafael Alvarez penned several episodes' scripts, as well as the series guidebook The Wire: Truth Be Told. Alvarez is a colleague of Simon's from The Baltimore Sun and a Baltimore native with working experience in the port area.[35] Another city native and independent filmmaker, Joy Lusco, also wrote for the show in each of its first three seasons.[36] Baltimore Sun writer and political journalist William F. Zorzi joined the writing staff in the third season and brought a wealth of experience to the show's examination of Baltimore politics.[35]
Playwright and television writer/producer Eric Overmyer joined the crew of The Wire in the show's fourth season as a consulting producer and writer.[31] He had also previously worked on Homicide. Overmyer was brought into the full-time production staff to replace Pelecanos who scaled back his involvement to concentrate on his next book and worked on the fourth season solely as a writer.[37] Primetime Emmy Award winner, Homicide and The Corner, writer and college friend of Simon, David Mills also joined the writing staff in the fourth season.[31]
Directors include Homicide alumnus Clark Johnson,[38] who directed several acclaimed episodes of The Shield,[39] and Tim Van Patten, a Primetime Emmy Award winner who has worked on every season of The Sopranos. The directing has been praised for its uncomplicated and subtle style.[9] Following the death of Colesberry, director Joe Chappelle joined the production staff as a co-executive producer and continued to regularly direct episodes.[40]
Episode structure [ edit ] Each episode begins with a cold open that seldom contains a dramatic juncture. The screen then fades or cuts to black while the intro music fades in. The show's opening title sequence then plays; a series of shots, mainly close-ups, concerning the show's subject matter that changes from season to season, separated by fast cutting (a technique rarely used in the show itself). The opening credits are superimposed on the sequence, and consist only of actors' names without identifying which actors play which roles. In addition, actors' faces are rarely seen in the title sequence. At the end of the sequence, a quotation (epigraph) is shown on-screen that is spoken by a character during the episode. The three exceptions were the first season finale which uses the phrase "All in the game", attributed to "Traditional West Baltimore", a phrase used frequently throughout all five seasons including that episode; the fourth season finale which uses the words "If animal trapped call 410-844-6286" written on boarded up vacant homes attributed to "Baltimore, traditional" and the series finale, which started with a quote from H. L. Mencken that is shown on a wall at The Baltimore Sun in one scene, neither quote being spoken by a character. Progressive story arcs often unfold in different locations at the same time. Episodes rarely end with a cliffhanger, and close with a fade or cut to black with the closing music fading in.
When broadcast on HBO and on some international networks, the episodes are preceded by a recap of events that have a bearing upon the upcoming narrative, using clips from previous episodes.
Music [ edit ] Rather than overlaying songs on the soundtrack, or employing a score, The Wire primarily uses pieces of music that emanate from a source within the scene, such as a jukebox or car radio. This kind of music is known as diegetic or source cue. This practice is rarely breached, notably for the end-of-season montages and occasionally with a brief overlap of the closing theme and the final shot.[41]
The opening theme is "Way Down in the Hole," a gospel-and-blues-inspired song, written by Tom Waits for his 1987 album Franks Wild Years. Each season uses a different recording and a different opening sequence, with the theme being performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama, Waits, The Neville Brothers, DoMaJe and Steve Earle. The season four version of "Way Down in the Hole" was arranged and recorded for the show and is performed by five Baltimore teenagers: Ivan Ashford, Markel Steele, Cameron Brown, Tariq Al-Sabir and Avery Bargasse.[42] Earle, who performed the fifth season version, is also a member of the cast, playing the recovering drug addict Walon.[43] The closing theme is "The Fall," composed by Blake Leyh, who is also the music supervisor of the show.
During season finales, a song is played before the closing scene in a montage showing the lives of the protagonists in the aftermath of the narrative. The first season montage is played over "Step by Step" by Jesse Winchester, the second "I Feel Alright" by Steve Earle, the third "Fast Train" written by Van Morrison and performed by Solomon Burke, the fourth "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" written by Dr. John and performed by Paul Weller and the fifth uses an extended version of "Way Down In The Hole" by the Blind Boys of Alabama, the same version of the song used as the opening theme for the first season. While the songs reflect the mood of the sequence, their lyrics are usually only loosely tied to the visual shots. In the commentary track to episode 37, "Mission Accomplished", executive producer David Simon said: "I hate it when somebody purposely tries to have the lyrics match the visual. It brutalizes the visual in a way to have the lyrics dead on point. ... Yet at the same time it can't be totally off point. It has to glance at what you're trying to say."[33]
Two soundtrack albums, called The Wire: And All the Pieces Matter'--Five Years of Music from The Wire and Beyond Hamsterdam, were released on January 8, 2008 on Nonesuch Records.[44] The former features music from all five seasons of the series and the latter includes local Baltimore artists exclusively.[44]
Style [ edit ] Realism [ edit ] The writers strove to create a realistic vision of an American city based on their own experiences. Simon, originally a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, spent a year researching a Homicide Police Department for his book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, where he met Burns. Burns served in the Baltimore Police Department for 20 years and later became a teacher in an inner-city school. The two of them spent a year researching the drug culture and poverty in Baltimore for their book The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. Their combined experiences were used in many storylines of The Wire.
Central to the show's aim for realism was the creation of truthful characters. Simon has stated that most of them are composites of real-life Baltimore figures.[45] For instance, Donnie Andrews served as the main inspiration of Omar Little.[46] Martin O'Malley served as "one of the inspirations" for Tommy Carcetti.[47] The show often cast non-professional actors in minor roles, distinguishing itself from other television series by showing the "faces and voices of the real city" it depicts.[3] The writing also uses contemporary slang to enhance the immersive viewing experience.[3]
In distinguishing the police characters from other television detectives, Simon makes the point that even the best police of The Wire are motivated not by a desire to protect and serve, but by the intellectual vanity of believing they are smarter than the criminals they are chasing. While many of the police do exhibit altruistic qualities, many officers portrayed on the show are incompetent, brutal, self-aggrandizing, or hamstrung by bureaucracy and politics. The criminals are not always motivated by profit or a desire to harm others; many are trapped in their existence and all have human qualities. Even so, The Wire does not minimize or gloss over the horrific effects of their actions.[5]
The show is realistic in depicting the processes of both police work and criminal activity. There have even been reports of real-life criminals watching the show to learn how to counter police investigation techniques.[48][49] The fifth season portrayed a working newsroom at The Baltimore Sun and was described by Brian Lowry of Variety magazine in 2007 as the most realistic portrayal of the media in film and television.[50]
In a December 2006 Washington Post article, local African-American students said that the show had "hit a nerve" with the black community and that they themselves knew real-life counterparts of many of the characters. The article expressed great sadness at the toll drugs and violence are taking on the black community.[51]
Visual novel [ edit ] Many important events occur off-camera and there is no artificial exposition in the form of voice-over or flashbacks, with the exceptions of two flashbacks '' one at the end of the pilot episode that replays a moment from earlier in the same episode and one at the end of the fourth season finale that shows a short clip of a character tutoring his younger brother earlier in the season. Thus, the viewer needs to follow every conversation closely to understand the ongoing story arc and the relevance of each character to it. Salon has described the show as novelistic in structure, with a greater depth of writing and plotting than other crime shows.[32] Each season of The Wire consists of 10 to 13 episodes that form several multi-layered narratives. Simon chose this structure with an eye towards long story arcs that draw in viewers, resulting in a more satisfying payoff. He uses the metaphor of a visual novel in several interviews,[7][52] describing each episode as a chapter, and has also commented that this allows a fuller exploration of the show's themes in time not spent on plot development.[5]
[ edit ] "Murderland Alley" is both realistically and bleakly portrayed.
Simon described the second season as "a meditation on the death of work and the betrayal of the American working class ... it is a deliberate argument that unencumbered capitalism is not a substitute for social policy; that on its own, without a social compact, raw capitalism is destined to serve the few at the expense of the many."[45] He added that season 3 "reflects on the nature of reform and reformers, and whether there is any possibility that political processes, long calcified, can mitigate against the forces currently arrayed against individuals." The third season is also an allegory that draws explicit parallels between the Iraq War and drug prohibition,[45] which in Simon's view has failed in its aims[49] and has become a war against America's underclass.[53] This is portrayed by Major Colvin, imparting to Carver his view that policing has been allowed to become a war and thus will never succeed in its aims.
Writer Ed Burns, who worked as a public school teacher after retiring from the Baltimore police force shortly before going to work with Simon, has called education the theme of the fourth season. Rather than focusing solely on the school system, the fourth season looks at schools as a porous part of the community that are affected by problems outside of their boundaries. Burns states that education comes from many sources other than schools and that children can be educated by other means, including contact with the drug dealers they work for.[54] Burns and Simon see the theme as an opportunity to explore how individuals end up like the show's criminal characters, and to dramatize the notion that hard work is not always justly rewarded.[55]
Themes [ edit ] Institutional dysfunction [ edit ] Barack Obama and
David Simon discuss Simon's inspiration for
The Wire, including the breakdown of effective policing in the War on Drugs
Simon has identified the organizations featured in the show'--the Baltimore Police Department, City Hall, the Baltimore public school system, the Barksdale drug trafficking operation, The Baltimore Sun, and the stevedores' union'--as comparable institutions. All are dysfunctional in some way, and the characters are typically betrayed by the institutions that they accept in their lives.[5] There is also a sentiment echoed by a detective in Narcotics'--"Shit rolls downhill"'--which describes how superiors, especially in the higher tiers of the Police Department in the series, will attempt to use subordinates as scapegoats for any major scandals. Simon described the show as "cynical about institutions"[49] while taking a humanistic approach toward its characters.[49]A central theme developed throughout the show is the struggle between individual desires and subordination to the group's goals.
Surveillance [ edit ] Central to the structure and plot of the show is the use of electronic surveillance and wiretap technologies by the police'--hence the title The Wire. Salon described the title as a metaphor for the viewer's experience: the wiretaps provide the police with access to a secret world, just as the show does for the viewer.[32] Simon has discussed the use of camera shots of surveillance equipment, or shots that appear to be taken from the equipment itself, to emphasize the volume of surveillance in modern life and the characters' need to sift through this information.[5]
Cast and characters [ edit ] The Wire employs a broad ensemble cast, supplemented by many recurring guest stars who populate the institutions featured in the show. The majority of the cast is black, which accurately reflects the demographics of Baltimore.
The show's creators are also willing to kill off major characters, so that viewers cannot assume that a given character will survive simply because of a starring role or popularity among fans. In response to a question on why a certain character had to die, David Simon said,
We are not selling hope, or audience gratification, or cheap victories with this show. The Wire is making an argument about what institutions'--bureaucracies, criminal enterprises, the cultures of addiction, raw capitalism even'--do to individuals. It is not designed purely as an entertainment. It is, I'm afraid, a somewhat angry show.[56]
Main cast [ edit ] Dominic West (pictured here in 2014) starred throughout the series as
Jimmy McNulty.
The major characters of the first season were divided between those on the side of the law and those involved in drug-related crime. The investigating detail was launched by the actions of Detective Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West), whose insubordinate tendencies and personal problems played counterpoint to his ability as a criminal investigator. The detail was led by Lieutenant Cedric Daniels (Lance Reddick) who faced challenges balancing his career aspirations with his desire to produce a good case. Kima Greggs (Sonja Sohn) was a capable lead detective who faced jealousy from colleagues and worry about the dangers of her job from her domestic partner. Her investigative work was greatly helped by her confidential informant, a drug addict known as Bubbles (Andre Royo).
Like Greggs, partners Thomas "Herc" Hauk (Domenick Lombardozzi) and Ellis Carver (Seth Gilliam) were reassigned to the detail from the narcotics unit. The duo's initially violent nature was eventually subdued as they proved useful in grunt work, and sometimes served as comic relief for the viewer.[32] Rounding out the temporary unit were detectives Lester Freamon (Clarke Peters) and Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski (Jim True-Frost). Freamon, seen as a quiet "house cat", soon proved to be one of the unit's most methodical and experienced investigators, with a knack for noticing important details and a deep knowledge of public records and paper trails. Prez faced sanction early on and was forced into office duty, but this setback quickly became a boon as he demonstrated natural skill at deciphering the communication codes used by the Barksdale organization.
These investigators were overseen by two commanding officers more concerned with politics and their own careers than the case, Deputy Commissioner Ervin Burrell (Frankie Faison) and Major William Rawls (John Doman). Assistant state's attorney Rhonda Pearlman (Deirdre Lovejoy) acted as the legal liaison between the detail and the courthouse and also had a sexual relationship with McNulty. In the homicide division, Bunk Moreland (Wendell Pierce) was a gifted, dry-witted, hard-drinking detective partnered with McNulty under Sergeant Jay Landsman (Delaney Williams), the sarcastic, sharp-tongued squad supervisor. Peter Gerety had a recurring role as Judge Phelan, the official who started the case moving.[32]
On the other side of the investigation was Avon Barksdale's drug empire. The driven, ruthless Barksdale (Wood Harris) was aided by business-minded Stringer Bell (Idris Elba). Avon's nephew D'Angelo Barksdale (Larry Gilliard Jr.) ran some of his uncle's territory, but also possessed a guilty conscience, while loyal Wee-Bey Brice (Hassan Johnson) was responsible for multiple homicides carried out on Avon's orders. Working under D'Angelo were Poot (Tray Chaney), Bodie (J. D. Williams), and Wallace (Michael B. Jordan), all street-level drug dealers.[32] Wallace was an intelligent but naive youth trapped in the drug trade,[32] and Poot a randy young man happy to follow rather than lead. Omar Little (Michael K. Williams), a renowned Baltimore stick-up man robbing drug dealers for a living, was a frequent thorn in the side of the Barksdale clan.
The second season introduced a new group of characters working in the Baltimore port area, including Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos (Paul Ben-Victor), Beadie Russell (Amy Ryan), and Frank Sobotka (Chris Bauer). Vondas was the underboss of a global smuggling operation, Russell an inexperienced port authority officer and single mother thrown in at the deep end of a multiple homicide investigation, and Frank Sobotka a union leader who turned to crime to raise funds to save his union. Also joining the show in season 2 were Nick Sobotka (Pablo Schreiber), Frank's nephew; Ziggy Sobotka (James Ransone), Frank's troubled son; and "The Greek" (Bill Raymond), Vondas' mysterious boss. As the second season ended, the focus shifted away from the ports, leaving the new characters behind.
The third season saw several previously recurring characters assuming larger starring roles, including Detective Leander Sydnor (Corey Parker Robinson), Bodie (J.D. Williams), Omar (Michael K. Williams), Proposition Joe (Robert F. Chew), and Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin (Robert Wisdom). Colvin commanded the Western district where the Barksdale organization operated, and nearing retirement, he came up with a radical new method of dealing with the drug problem. Proposition Joe, the East Side's cautious drug kingpin, became more cooperative with the Barksdale Organization. Sydnor, a rising young star in the Police Department in season 1, returned to the cast as part of the major crimes unit. Bodie had been seen gradually rising in the Barksdale organization since the first episode; he was born to their trade and showed a fierce aptitude for it. Omar had a vendetta against the Barksdale organization and gave them all of his lethal attention.
New additions in the third season included Tommy Carcetti (Aidan Gillen), an ambitious city councilman; Mayor Clarence Royce (Glynn Turman), the incumbent whom Carcetti planned to unseat; Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector), leader of an upstart gang seeking to challenge Avon's dominance; and Dennis "Cutty" Wise (Chad Coleman), a newly released convict uncertain of his future.
In the fourth season, four young actors joined the cast: Jermaine Crawford as Duquan "Dukie" Weems; Maestro Harrell as Randy Wagstaff; Julito McCullum as Namond Brice; and Tristan Wilds as Michael Lee. The characters are friends from a West Baltimore middle school. Another newcomer was Norman Wilson (Reg E. Cathey), Carcetti's deputy campaign manager.
The fifth season saw several actors join the starring cast. Gbenga Akinnagbe returns as the previously recurring Chris Partlow, chief enforcer of the now dominant Stanfield Organization. Neal Huff reprises his role as Mayoral chief of staff Michael Steintorf, having previously appeared as a guest star at the end of the fourth season. Two other actors also join the starring cast having previously portrayed their corrupt characters as guest stars'--Michael Kostroff as defense attorney Maurice Levy and Isiah Whitlock Jr. as State Senator Clay Davis. Crew member Clark Johnson appeared in front of the camera for the first time in the series to play Augustus Haynes, the principled editor of the city desk of The Baltimore Sun. He is joined in the newsroom by two other new stars; Michelle Paress and Tom McCarthy play young reporters Alma Gutierrez and Scott Templeton.
Episodes [ edit ] Season 1 [ edit ] Map of Baltimore and its neighborhoods
The first season introduces two major groups of characters: the Baltimore Police Department and a drug dealing organization run by the Barksdale family. The season follows the police investigation of the latter over its 13 episodes.
The investigation is triggered when, following the acquittal of D'Angelo Barksdale for murder after a key witness changes her story, Detective Jimmy McNulty meets privately with Judge Daniel Phelan. McNulty tells Phelan that the witness has probably been intimidated by members of a drug trafficking empire run by D'Angelo's uncle, Avon Barksdale, having recognized several faces at the trial, most notably Avon's second-in-command, Stringer Bell. He also tells Phelan that no one is investigating Barksdale's criminal activity, which includes a significant portion of the city's drug trade and several unsolved homicides.
Phelan reacts to McNulty's report by complaining to senior Police Department figures, embarrassing them into creating a detail dedicated to investigating Barksdale. However, owing to the department's dysfunction, the investigation is intended as a fa§ade to appease the judge. An intradepartmental struggle between the more motivated officers on the detail and their superiors spans the whole season, with interference by the higher-ups often threatening to ruin the investigation. The detail's commander, Cedric Daniels, acts as mediator between the two opposing groups of police.
Meanwhile, the organized and cautious Barksdale gang is explored through characters at various levels within it. The organization is continually antagonized by a stick-up crew led by Omar Little, and the feud leads to several deaths. Throughout, D'Angelo struggles with his conscience over his life of crime and the people it affects.
The police have little success with street-level arrests or with securing informants beyond Bubbles, a well known West Side drug addict. Eventually the investigation takes the direction of electronic surveillance, with wiretaps and pager clones to infiltrate the security measures taken by the Barksdale organization. This leads the investigation to areas the commanding officers had hoped to avoid, including political contributions. When an associate of Avon Barksdale is arrested by State Police and offers to cooperate, the commanding officers order the detail to undertake a sting operation to wrap up the case. Detective Kima Greggs is seriously hurt in the operation, triggering an overzealous response from the rest of the department. This causes the detail's targets to suspect that they are under investigation.
Wallace is murdered by his childhood friends Bodie and Poot, on orders from Stringer Bell, after leaving his "secure" placement with relatives and returning to Baltimore. D'Angelo Barksdale is eventually arrested transporting a kilo of uncut heroin, and learning of Wallace's murder, is ready to turn in his uncle and Stringer. However, D'Angelo's mother convinces him to rescind the deal and take the charges for his family. The detail manages to arrest Avon on a minor charge and gets one of his soldiers, Wee-Bey, to confess to most of the murders, some of which he did not commit. Stringer escapes prosecution and is left running the Barksdale empire. For the officers, the consequences of antagonizing their superiors are severe, with Daniels passed over for promotion and McNulty assigned out of homicide and into the marine unit.
Season 2 [ edit ] The second season, along with its ongoing examination of the drug problem and its effect on the urban poor, examines the plight of the blue-collar urban working class as exemplified by stevedores in the city port, as some of them get caught up in smuggling drugs and other contraband inside the shipping containers that pass through their port.[45] In a season-long subplot, the Barksdale organization continues its drug trafficking despite Avon's imprisonment, with Stringer Bell assuming greater power.
McNulty harbors a grudge against his former commanders for reassigning him to the marine unit. When thirteen unidentified young women are found dead in a container at the docks, McNulty successfully makes a spiteful effort to place the murders within the jurisdiction of his former commander. Meanwhile, police Major Stan Valchek gets into a feud with Polish-American Frank Sobotka, a leader of the International Brotherhood of Stevedores, a fictional dockers' union, over competing donations to their old neighborhood church. Valchek demands a detail to investigate Sobotka. A detail is assigned, but staffed with "humps". Valcheck threatens Burrell with a disruption of Burrell's confirmation hearings and insists on Daniels. Cedric Daniels is interviewed, having been praised by Prez, Major Valchek's son-in-law, and also because of his work on the Barksdale case. He is eventually selected to lead the detail assigned just to investigate Sobotka; when the investigation is concluded Daniels is assured he will move up to head a special case unit with personnel of his choosing.
Life for the blue-collar men of the port is increasingly hard and work is scarce. As union leader, Sobotka has taken it on himself to reinvigorate the port by lobbying politicians to support much-needed infrastructure improvement initiatives. Lacking the funds needed for this kind of influence, Sobotka has become involved with a smuggling ring. Around him, his son and nephew also turn to crime, as they have few other opportunities to earn money. It becomes clear to the Sobotka detail that the dead girls are related to their investigation, as they were in a container that was supposed to be smuggled through the port. They again use wiretaps to infiltrate the crime ring and slowly work their way up the chain towards The Greek, the mysterious man in charge. But Valchek, upset that their focus has moved beyond Sobotka, gets the FBI involved. The Greek has a mole inside the FBI and starts severing his ties to Baltimore when he learns about the investigation.
After a dispute over stolen goods turns violent, Sobotka's wayward son Ziggy is charged with the murder of one of the Greek's underlings. Sobotka himself is arrested for smuggling; he agrees to work with the detail to help his son, finally seeing his actions as a mistake. The Greek learns about this through his mole inside the FBI and has Sobotka killed. The investigation ends with the fourteen homicides solved but the perpetrator already dead. Several drug dealers and mid-level smuggling figures tied to the Greek are arrested, but he and his second-in-command escape uncharged and unidentified. The Major is pleased that Sobotka was arrested; the case is seen as a success by the commanding officers, but is viewed as a failure by the detail.
Across town, the Barksdale organization continues its business under Stringer while Avon and D'Angelo Barksdale serve prison time. D'Angelo decides to cut ties to his family after his uncle organizes the deaths of several inmates and blames it on a corrupt guard to shave time from his sentence. Eventually Stringer covertly orders D'Angelo killed, with the murder staged to look like a suicide. Avon is unaware of Stringer's duplicity and mourns the loss of his nephew.
Stringer also struggles, having been cut off by Avon's drug suppliers in New York and left with increasingly poor-quality product. He again goes behind Avon's back, giving up half of Avon's most prized territory to a rival named Proposition Joe in exchange for a share of his supply, which is revealed to be coming from the Greek. Avon, unaware of the arrangement, assumes that Joe and other dealers are moving into his territory simply because the Barksdale organization has too few enforcers. He uses his New York connections to hire a feared assassin named Brother Mouzone. Stringer deals with this by tricking his old adversary Omar into believing that Mouzone was responsible for the vicious killing of his partner in their feud in season one. Seeking revenge, Omar shoots Mouzone but, realizing Stringer has lied to him, calls 9-1-1. Mouzone recovers and leaves Baltimore, and Stringer (now with Avon's consent) is able to continue his arrangement with Proposition Joe.
Season 3 [ edit ] In the third season, the focus returns to the street and the Barksdale organization. The scope is expanded to include the city's political scene. A new subplot is introduced to explore the potential positive effects of de facto "legalizing" the illegal drug trade, and incidentally prostitution, within the limited boundaries of a few uninhabited city blocks'--referred to as Hamsterdam. The posited benefits, as in Amsterdam and other European cities, are reduced street crime city-wide and increased outreach of health and social services to vulnerable people. These are continuations of stories hinted at earlier.
The demolition of the residential towers that had served as the Barksdale organization's prime territory pushes their dealers back out onto the streets of Baltimore. Stringer Bell continues his reform of the organization by cooperating with other drug lords, sharing with one another territory, product and profits. Stringer's proposal is met with a curt refusal from Marlo Stanfield, leader of a new, growing crew. Against Stringer's advice, Avon decides to take Marlo's territory by force and the two gangs become embroiled in a bitter turf war with multiple deaths. Omar Little continues to rob the Barksdale organization wherever possible. Working with his new boyfriend Dante and two women, he is once more a serious problem. The violence related to the drug trade makes it an obvious choice of investigation for Cedric Daniels' permanently established Major Crimes Unit.
Councilman Tommy Carcetti begins to prepare himself for a mayoral race. He manipulates a colleague into running against the mayor to split the black vote, secures a capable campaign manager and starts making headlines for himself.
Approaching the end of his career, Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin of Baltimore's Western District wants to effect some real change in the troubled neighborhoods for which he has long been responsible. Without the knowledge of central command, Colvin sets up areas where police would monitor, but not punish, the drug trade. The police crack down severely on violence in these areas and also on drug trafficking elsewhere in the city. For many weeks, Colvin's experiment works and crime is reduced in his district. Colvin' superiors, the media and city politicians eventually find out about the arrangement and the "Hamsterdam" experiment ends. With top brass outraged, Colvin is forced to cease his actions, accept a demotion and retire from the Police Department on a lower-grade pension. Tommy Carcetti uses the scandal to make a grandstanding speech at a weekly Baltimore city council meeting.
In another strand, Dennis "Cutty" Wise, once a drug dealer's enforcer, is released from a fourteen-year prison term with a street contact from Avon. Cutty initially wishes to go straight partly to reignite his relationship with a former girlfriend. He tries to work as a manual laborer, but struggles to adapt to life as a free man. He then flirts with his former life, going to work for Avon. Finding he no longer has the heart for murder, he quits the Barksdale crew. Later, he uses funding from Avon to purchase new equipment for his nascent boxing gym.
The Major Crimes Unit learns that Stringer has been buying real estate and developing it to fulfill his dream of being a successful legitimate businessman. Believing that the bloody turf war with Marlo is poised to destroy everything the Barksdale crew had worked for, Stringer gives Major Colvin information on Avon's weapons stash. Brother Mouzone returns to Baltimore and tracks down Omar to join forces. Mouzone tells Avon that his shooting must be avenged. Avon, remembering how Stringer disregarded his order which resulted in Stringer's attempt to have Brother Mouzone killed, furious over D'Angelo's murder to which Stringer had confessed, and fearing Mouzone's ability to harm his reputation outside of Baltimore, informs Mouzone of Stringer's upcoming visit to his construction site. Mouzone and Omar corner him and shoot him to death.
Colvin tells McNulty about Avon's hideout and armed with the information gleaned from selling the Barksdale crew pre-wiretapped disposable cell phones, the detail stages a raid, arresting Avon and most of his underlings. Barksdale's criminal empire lies in ruins and Marlo's young crew simply moves into their territory. The drug trade in West Baltimore continues.
Season 4 [ edit ] The fourth season concentrates on the school system and the mayoral race. It takes a closer look at Marlo Stanfield's drug gang, which has grown to control most of western Baltimore's trafficking, and Dukie, Randy, Michael, and Namond '' four boys from West Baltimore '' as they enter the eighth grade. Prez has begun a new career as a mathematics teacher at the same school. The cold-blooded Marlo has come to dominate the streets of the west side, using murder and intimidation to make up for his weak-quality drugs and lack of business acumen. His enforcers Chris Partlow and Snoop conceal their numerous victims in abandoned and boarded-up row houses where the bodies will not be readily discovered. The disappearances of so many known criminals come to mystify both the major crimes unit investigating Marlo and the homicide unit assigned to solve the presumed murders. Marlo coerces Bodie into working under him.
McNulty is a patrolman and lives with Beadie Russell. He politely refuses offers from Daniels who is now a major and commanding the Western District. Detectives Kima Greggs and Lester Freamon, as part of the major crimes unit, investigate Avon Barksdale's political donations and serve several key figures with subpoenas. Their work is shut down by Commissioner Ervin Burrell at Mayor Clarence Royce's request, and after being placed under stricter supervision within their unit, both Greggs and Freamon request and receive transfer to the homicide division.
Meanwhile, the city's mayoral primary race enters its closing weeks. Royce initially has a seemingly insurmountable lead over challengers Tommy Carcetti and Tony Gray, with a big war chest and major endorsements. Royce's lead begins to fray, as his own political machinations turn against him and Carcetti starts to highlight the city's crime problem. Carcetti is propelled to victory in the primary election.
Howard "Bunny" Colvin joins a research group attempting to study potential future criminals in the middle school population. Dennis "Cutty" Wise continues to work with boys in his boxing gym, and accepts a job at the school rounding up truants. Prez has a few successes with his students, but some of them start to slip away. Disruptive Namond is removed from class and placed in the research group, where he gradually develops affection and respect for Colvin. Randy, in a moment of desperation, reveals knowledge of a murder to the assistant principal, leading to his being interrogated by police. When Bubbles takes Sherrod, a homeless teenager, under his wing, he fails in his attempts to encourage the boy to return to school.
Proposition Joe tries to engineer conflict between Omar Little and Marlo to convince Marlo to join the co-op. Omar robs Marlo who, in turn, frames Omar for a murder and organises attempts to have him murdered in jail but Omar manages to beat the charge with the help of Bunk. Omar is told that Marlo set him up, so takes revenge on him by robbing the entire shipment of the co-op. Marlo is furious with Joe for allowing the shipment to be stolen. Marlo demands satisfaction, and as a result, Joe sets up a meeting between him and Spiros Vondas, who assuages Marlo's concerns. Having gotten a lead on Joe's connection to the Greeks, Marlo begins investigating them to learn more about their role in bringing narcotics into Baltimore.
Freamon discovers the bodies Chris and Snoop had hidden. Bodie offers McNulty testimony against Marlo and his crew, but is shot dead on his corner by O-Dog, a member of Marlo's crew.[57] Sherrod dies after snorting a poisoned vial of heroin that, unbeknownst to him, Bubbles had prepared for their tormentor. Bubbles turns himself in to the police and tries to hang himself, but he survives and is taken to a detox facility. Michael has now joined the ranks of Marlo's killers and runs one of his corners, with Dukie leaving high school to work there. Randy's house is firebombed by school bullies for his cooperation with the police, leaving his caring foster mother hospitalized and sending him back to a group home. Namond is taken in by Colvin, who recognized the good in him. The major crimes unit from earlier seasons is largely reunited, and they resume their investigation of Marlo Stanfield.
Season 5 [ edit ] The fifth season focuses on the media and media consumption.[58] The show features a fictional depiction of the newspaper The Baltimore Sun, and in fact elements of the plot are ripped-from-the-headlines events (such as the Jayson Blair New York Times scandal) and people at the Sun.[59] The season, according to David Simon, deals with "what stories get told and what don't and why it is that things stay the same."[58] Issues such as the quest for profit, the decrease in the number of reporters, and the end of aspiration for news quality would all be addressed, alongside the theme of homelessness. John Carroll of The Baltimore Sun was the model for the "craven, prize hungry" editor of the fictional newspaper.[60]
Fifteen months after the fourth season concludes, Mayor Carcetti's cuts in the police budget to redress the education deficit force the Marlo Stanfield investigation to shut down. Cedric Daniels secures a detail to focus on the prosecution of Senator Davis for corruption. Detective McNulty returns to the Homicide unit and decides to divert resources back to the Police Department by faking evidence to make it appear that a serial killer is murdering homeless men.
The Baltimore Sun also faces budget cuts and the newsroom struggles to adequately cover the city, omitting many important stories. Commissioner Burrell continues to falsify crime statistics and is fired by Carcetti, who positions Daniels to replace him.
Marlo Stanfield lures his enemy Omar Little out of retirement by having Omar's mentor Butchie murdered. Proposition Joe teaches Stanfield how to launder money and evade investigation. Once Joe is no longer useful to him, Stanfield has Joe killed with the help of Joe's nephew Cheese Wagstaff and usurps his position with the Greeks and the New Day Co-Op. Michael Lee continues working as a Stanfield enforcer, providing a home for his friend Dukie and younger brother Bug.
Omar returns to Baltimore seeking revenge, targeting Stanfield's organization, stealing and destroying money and drugs and killing Stanfield enforcers in an attempt to force Stanfield into the open. However, he is eventually shot and killed by Kenard, a young Stanfield dealer.
Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Templeton claims to have been contacted by McNulty's fake serial killer. City Editor Gus Haynes becomes suspicious, but his superiors are enamored of Templeton. McNulty backs up Templeton's claim in order to further legitimize his fabricated serial killer. The story gains momentum and Carcetti spins the resulting attention on homelessness into a key issue in his imminent campaign for Governor and restores funding to the Police Department.
Bubbles is recovering from his drug addiction while living in his sister's basement. He is befriended by Sun reporter Mike Fletcher, who eventually writes a profile of Bubbles.
Bunk is disgusted with McNulty's serial killer scheme and tries to have Lester Freamon reason with McNulty. Instead, Freamon helps McNulty perpetuate the lie and uses resources earmarked for the case to fund an illegal wiretap on Stanfield. Bunk resumes working the vacant house murders, leading to a murder warrant against Partlow for killing Michael's stepfather.
Freamon and Leander Sydnor gather enough evidence to arrest Stanfield and most of his top lieutenants, seizing a large quantity of drugs. Stanfield suspects that Michael is an informant, and orders him killed. Michael realizes he is being set up and kills Snoop instead. A wanted man, he leaves Bug with an aunt and begins a career as a stick-up man. With his support system gone, Dukie lives with drug addicts.
McNulty tells Kima Greggs about his fabrications to prevent her wasting time on the case. Greggs tells Daniels, who, along with Rhonda Pearlman, takes this news to Carcetti, who orders a cover-up because of the issue's importance to his campaign.
Davis is acquitted, but Freamon uses the threat of federal prosecution to blackmail him for information. Davis reveals Maurice Levy has a mole in the courthouse from whom he illegally purchases copies of sealed indictments. Herc tells Levy that the Stanfield case was probably based on an illegal wiretap, something which would jeopardize the entire case. After Levy reveals this to Pearlman, she uses Levy's espionage to blackmail him into agreeing to a plea bargain for his defendants. Levy ensures Stanfield's release on the condition that he permanently retires, while his subordinates will have to accept long sentences. Stanfield sells the connection to The Greeks back to the Co-Op and plans to become a businessman, although he appears unable or unwilling to stay off the corner.
As the cover-up begins, a copy-cat killing occurs, but McNulty quickly identifies and arrests the culprit. Pearlman tells McNulty and Freamon that they can no longer be allowed to do investigative work and warns of criminal charges if the scandal becomes public. They opt to retire. Haynes attempts to expose Templeton but the managing editors ignore the fabrications and demote anyone critical of their star reporter. Carcetti pressures Daniels to falsify crime statistics to aid his campaign. Daniels refuses and then quietly resigns rather than have his FBI file leaked.
In a final montage, McNulty gazes over the city; Freamon enjoys retirement; Templeton wins a Pulitzer; Carcetti becomes Governor; Haynes is sidelined to the copy desk and replaced by Fletcher; Campbell appoints Valchek as commissioner; Carcetti appoints Rawls as Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Dukie continues to use heroin; Michael becomes a stickup boy; Pearlman becomes a judge and Daniels a defense attorney; Bubbles is allowed upstairs where he enjoys a family dinner; Chris serves his life sentence alongside Wee-Bey; the drug trade continues; and the people of Baltimore go on with their lives.
Prequel shorts [ edit ] During the fifth season, HBO produced three shorts depicting moments in the history of characters in The Wire. The three prequels depict the first meeting between McNulty and Bunk; Proposition Joe as a slick business kid; and young Omar.[61] The shorts are available on the complete series DVD set.[62]
Reception and legacy [ edit ] Critical response [ edit ] All seasons of The Wire have received positive reviews from many major television critics, several naming it the best contemporary show and one of the best drama series of all time. The first season received mainly positive reviews from critics,[68][69] some even calling it superior to HBO's better-known "flagship" drama series such as The Sopranos and Six Feet Under.[70][71][72] On the review aggregation website Metacritic, the first season scored 78 out of 100 based on 22 reviews.[63] One reviewer pointed to the retread of some themes from HBO and David Simon's earlier works, but still found it valuable viewing and particularly resonant because it parallels the war on terror through the chronicling of the war on drugs.[73] Another review postulated that the series might suffer because of its reliance on profanity and slowly drawn-out plot, but was largely positive about the show's characters and intrigue.[38]
Despite the critical acclaim, The Wire received poor Nielsen ratings, which Simon attributed to the complexity of the plot; a poor time slot; heavy use of esoteric slang, particularly among the gangster characters; and a predominantly black cast.[74] Critics felt the show was testing the attention span of its audience and that it was mistimed in the wake of the launch of the successful crime drama The Shield on FX.[73] However, anticipation for a release of the first season on DVD was high at Entertainment Weekly.[75]
After the first two shows of season two, Jim Shelley in The Guardian, called The Wire the best show on TV, praising the second season for its ability to detach from its former foundations in the first season.[39] Jon Garelick with the Boston Phoenix was of the opinion that the subculture of the docks (second season) was not as absorbing as that of the housing projects (first season), but he went on to praise the writers for creating a realistic world and populating it with an array of interesting characters.[76]
The critical response to the third season remained positive. Entertainment Weekly named The Wire the best show of 2004, describing it as "the smartest, deepest and most resonant drama on TV." They credited the complexity of the show for its poor ratings.[77] The Baltimore City Paper was so concerned that the show might be cancelled that it published a list of ten reasons to keep it on the air, including strong characterization, Omar Little, and an unabashedly honest representation of real world problems. It also worried that the loss of the show would have a negative impact on Baltimore's economy.[78]
At the close of the third season, The Wire was still struggling to maintain its ratings and the show faced possible cancellation.[79] Creator David Simon blamed the show's low ratings in part on its competition against Desperate Housewives and worried that expectations for HBO dramas had changed following the success of The Sopranos.[80]
As the fourth season was about to begin, almost two years after the previous season's end, Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that The Wire "has tackled the drug war in this country as it simultaneously explores race, poverty and 'the death of the American working class,' the failure of political systems to help the people they serve, and the tyranny of lost hope. Few series in the history of television have explored the plight of inner-city African Americans and none'--not one'--has done it as well."[81] Brian Lowry of Variety wrote at the time, "When television history is written, little else will rival 'The Wire.'"[82] The New York Times called the fourth season of The Wire "its best season yet."[83] Doug Elfman of the Chicago Sun-Times was more reserved in his praise, calling it the "most ambitious" show on television, but faulting it for its complexity and the slow development of the plotline.[84] The Los Angeles Times took the rare step of devoting an editorial to the show, stating that "even in what is generally acknowledged to be something of a golden era for thoughtful and entertaining dramas'--both on cable channels and on network TV'--The Wire stands out."[85] TIME magazine especially praised the fourth season, stating that "no other TV show has ever loved a city so well, damned it so passionately, or sung it so searingly."[86] On review aggregation website Metacritic the fourth season received a weighted average score of 98%, the second highest score for any television season in Metacritic history (with the fifth season of Breaking Bad being the first).[66] Andrew Johnston of Time Out New York named The Wire the best TV series of 2006, and wrote, "The first three seasons of David Simon's epic meditations on urban America established The Wire as one of the best series of the decade, and with season four--centered on the heart-breaking tale of four eighth-graders whose prospects are limited by public-school bureaucracy--it officially became one for the ages."[87]
Several reviewers have called it the best show on television, including TIME,[86] Entertainment Weekly,[77] the Chicago Tribune,[88] Slate,[58] the San Francisco Chronicle,[89] the Philadelphia Daily News[90] and the British newspaper The Guardian,[39] which ran a week-by-week blog following every episode,[91] also collected in a book, The Wire Re-up.[92] Charlie Brooker, a columnist for The Guardian, has been particularly enthusiastic in his praise of the show, both in his "Screen Burn" column and in his BBC Four television series Screenwipe, calling it possibly the greatest show of the last 20 years.[93][94] In 2007, TIME listed it among the one hundred best television series of all-time.[95] In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked The Wire as the ninth best written TV series.[96] In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Wire as the fifth greatest drama[97] and the sixth greatest show of all time.[98] In 2013, Entertainment Weekly listed the show at #6 in their list of the "26 Best Cult TV Shows Ever," describing it as "one of the most highly praised series in HBO history" and praising Michael K. Williams's acting as Omar Little.[99] Entertainment Weekly also named it the number one TV show of all-time in a special issue in 2013.[100] In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked it second on its list of 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In September 2019, The Guardian, which ranked the show #2 on its list of the 100 best TV shows of the 21st century, described it as "polemical, panoramic, funny, tragic or all of those things at once", saying it was "beautifully written and performed" and was both "TV as high art and TV wrenched from the soul" and "an exemplar of a certain brand of intelligent, ambitious and uncompromising television".[101]
Critics have often described the show in literary terms: the New York Times calls it "literary television;" TV Guide calls it "TV as great modern literature;" the San Francisco Chronicle says the series "must be considered alongside the best literature and filmmaking in the modern era;" and the Chicago Tribune says the show delivers "rewards not unlike those won by readers who conquer Joyce, Faulkner or Henry James."[81][83][102][103] 'The Wire Files', an online collection of articles published in darkmatter Journal, critically analyzes The Wire's racialized politics and aesthetics of representation.[104] Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "The deft writing'--which used the cop-genre format to give shape to creator David Simon's scathing social critiques'--was matched by one of the deepest benches of acting talent in TV history."[105]
Former President of the United States Barack Obama has said that The Wire is his favorite television series.[106] The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate, Mario Vargas Llosa, wrote a very positive critical review of the series in the Spanish newspaper El Pa­s.[107] The comedian turned mayor of Reykjav­k, Iceland, J"n Gnarr, has gone so far as to say that he would not enter a coalition government with anyone who has not watched the series.[108]
Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, is a strong follower of The Wire; he has tried to cast as many actors from it into the television series of the same name as possible, so far having cast Chad Coleman, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Seth Gilliam, and Merritt Wever.[109]
Awards [ edit ] David Simon accepting the
Peabody Award for
The Wire at the 63rd Annual Peabody Awards.
The Wire was nominated for and won a wide variety of awards, including nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for "Middle Ground" (2005) and "''30''" (2008), NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series for each of its five seasons, Television Critics Association Awards (TCA), and Writers Guild of America Awards (WGA).
Most of the awards the series won were for season 4 and season 5. These included the Directors Guild of America Award and TCA Heritage Award for season 5, and the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Dramatic Series for season 4, plus the Crime Thriller Award, Eddie Award, Edgar Award, and Irish Film & Television Academy Award. The series also won the ASCAP Award, Artios Award, and Peabody Award for season 2.[110]
The series won the Broadcasting & Cable Critics' Poll Award for Best Drama (season 4) and won TIME 's critics choice for top television show for season 1 and season 3.
Despite the above mentioned awards and unanimous critical approval, The Wire never won a single Primetime Emmy Award nor received any major nominations, except for two writing nominations in 2005 and 2008. Several critics recognized its lack of recognition by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.[111][112][113] According to a report by Variety, anonymous Emmy voters cited reasons such as the series' dense and multilayered plot, the grim subject matter, and the series' lack of connection with California, as it is set and filmed in Baltimore.[114]
Academia [ edit ] In the years following the end of the series' run, several colleges and universities such as Johns Hopkins, Brown University, and Harvard College have offered classes on The Wire in disciplines ranging from law to sociology to film studies. Phillips Academy, a boarding high school in Massachusetts, offers a similar course as well.[115][116] University of Texas at San Antonio offers a course where the series is taught as a work of literary fiction.[117]
In an article published in The Washington Post, Anmol Chaddha and William Julius Wilson explain why Harvard chose The Wire as curriculum material for their course on urban inequality: "Though scholars know that deindustrialization, crime and prison, and the education system are deeply intertwined, they must often give focused attention to just one subject in relative isolation, at the expense of others. With the freedom of artistic expression, The Wire can be more creative. It can weave together the range of forces that shape the lives of the urban poor."[118] University of York's Head of Sociology, Roger Burrows, said in The Independent that the show "makes a fantastic contribution to their understanding of contemporary urbanism", and is "a contrast to dry, dull, hugely expensive studies that people carry out on the same issues".[119] The series is also studied as part of a Master seminar series at the Paris West University Nanterre La D(C)fense.[120] In February 2012, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek gave a lecture at Birkbeck, University of London titled The Wire or the clash of civilisations in one country.[121] In April 2012, Norwegian academic Erlend Lavik posted online a 36-minute video essay called "Style in The Wire" which analyzes the various visual techniques used by the show's directors over the course of its five seasons.[122]
The Wire has also been the subject of growing numbers of academic articles by, amongst others, Fredric Jameson (who praised the series' ability to weave utopian thinking into its realist representation of society);[123] and Leigh Claire La Berge, who argues that although the less realistic character of season five was received negatively by critics, it gives the series a platform not only for representing reality, but for representing how realism is itself a construct of social forces like the media;[124] both commentators see in The Wire an impulse for progressive political change rare in mass media productions. While most academics have used The Wire as a cultural object or case study, Benjamin Leclair-Paquet has instead argued that the "creative methods behind HBO's The Wire evoke original ways to experiment with speculative work that reveal the merit of the imaginary as a pragmatic research device." This author posits that the methods behind The Wire are particularly relevant for contentious urban and architectural projects.[125]
Broadcasters [ edit ] HBO aired the five seasons of the show in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008. New episodes were shown once a week, occasionally skipping one or two weeks in favor of other programming. Starting with the fourth season, subscribers to the HBO On Demand service were able to see each episode of the season six days earlier.[126] American basic cable network BET also aired the show. BET adds commercial breaks, blurs some nudity, and mutes some profanity. Much of the waterfront storyline from the second season is edited out from the BET broadcasts.[127]
The series was remastered in 16:9 high-definition in late 2014. As the series was shot with a 16:9-safe area, the remastered series is an open matte of the original 4:3 framing.[128] Creator David Simon approved the new version, and worked with HBO to remove film equipment and crew members, and solve actor sync problems in the widened frame.[129] The remastered series debuted on HBO Signature, airing the entire series consecutively, and on HBO GO on December 26, 2014.
In the United Kingdom, the show has been broadcast on FX until 2009 when the BBC bought terrestrial television rights to The Wire in 2008, when it was broadcast on BBC Two,[130] although controversially it was broadcast at 11:20 pm[131] and catchup was not available on BBC iPlayer.[132] In a world first, British newspaper The Guardian made the first episode of the first season available to stream on its website for a brief period[133] and all episodes were aired in Ireland on the public service channel TG4 approximately six months after the original air dates on HBO.[134]
The series became available in Canada in a remastered 16:9 HD format on streaming service CraveTV in late 2014.[135]
Home media [ edit ] Every season was released on DVD, and were favorably received, though some critics have faulted them for a lack of special features.[9][10][136][137]
The remastered version is on iTunes, and was released as a complete series Blu-ray box set on June 2, 2015.[138][139][140]
DVD releases [ edit ] SeasonRelease datesEpisodesSpecial featuresDiscsRegion 1Region 2Region 41October 12, 2004[141]April 18, 2005[142]May 11, 2005[143]13Three audio commentaries by crew members52January 25, 2005[144]October 10, 2005[145]May 3, 2006[146]12Two audio commentaries by cast and crew members53August 8, 2006[147]February 5, 2007[148]August 13, 2008[149]12Five audio commentaries by crew membersQ&A with David Simon and Creative Team, courtesy of the Museum of Television & RadioConversation with David Simon at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts[33]54December 4, 2007[150]March 10, 2008[151]August 13, 2008[152]13Six audio commentaries by cast and crew members"It's All Connected" featurette"The Game Is Real" featurette45August 12, 2008[153]September 22, 2008[154]February 2, 2010[155]10Six audio commentaries by cast and crew members"The Wire: The Last Word" '' A documentary exploring the role of the media"The Wire Odyssey" '' A retrospective of the first four seasonsThe Wire PrequelsFrom the Wrap Party Gag Reels ...4AllDecember 9, 2008[156]December 8, 2008[157]February 2, 2010[158]60Collects the previously released box-sets23See also [ edit ] References [ edit ] ^ " " The Wire": David Simon reflects on his modern Greek tragedy". Variety. March 8, 2008 . Retrieved January 28, 2019 . ^ Lynskey, Dorian (March 6, 2018). "The Wire, 10 years on: 'We tore the cover off a city and showed the American dream was dead ' ". The Guardian . Retrieved January 28, 2019 . ^ a b c Margaret Talbot (October 22, 2007). "Stealing Life". The New Yorker . Retrieved October 14, 2007 . ^ a b "Real Life Meets Reel Life With David Simon". The Washington Post. September 3, 2002 . Retrieved May 8, 2020 . ^ a b c d e f David Simon (2005). "The Target" commentary track (DVD). HBO. ^ Sources that refer to The Wire ' s being praised as one of the greatest television shows of all time include:Traister, Rebbeca (September 15, 2007). "The best TV show of all time". Salon.com . Retrieved March 7, 2008 . "The Wire: arguably the greatest television programme ever made". Telegraph. London. April 2, 2009 . Retrieved April 2, 2009 . Wilde, Jon (July 21, 2007). "The Wire is unmissable television". The Guardian. London . Retrieved September 7, 2009 . 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Retrieved April 23, 2009 . ^ Brook, Stephen (July 20, 2007). "Guardian website to stream The Wire". The Guardian. London . Retrieved July 20, 2007 . ^ Carrol, Jim (July 30, 2008). "On The Record on The Wire is now in session". Irish Times . Retrieved June 7, 2014 . ^ Elliott, Josh (December 3, 2014). "Bell Media unveils CraveTV premium streaming service". CTV . Retrieved January 3, 2015 . ^ Jason Clark (August 1, 2006). "The Wire: The Complete Third Season". Entertainment Weekly. ^ James Poniewozik (August 14, 2006). "5 stellar series to catch up with on DVD". TIME. ^ "HBO(R) Unveils New High-Definition Re-Mastering of Award-Winning Hit Series "The Wire(R) " ". HBO. December 2, 2014 . Retrieved December 2, 2014 . ^ Obenson, Tambay A. (December 26, 2014). "Marathon of New High-Definition Re-Mastering of 'The Wire '' Shadow and Act". Indiewire. Archived from the original on December 29, 2014 . Retrieved December 29, 2014 . ^ Lambert, David (March 5, 2015). "HBO Announces a High-Def Blu-ray Disc Release of 'The Complete Series ' ". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2015 . Retrieved March 5, 2015 . ^ "The Wire: The Complete First Season (2002)". Amazon.com. June 6, 2006 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: Complete HBO Season 1". Amazon.co.uk. November 4, 2005 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "Wire, The '' The Complete 1st Season (5 Disc Box Set)". EzyDVD.com.au. Archived from the original on October 6, 2009 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: The Complete Second Season (2003)". Amazon.com. June 6, 2006 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: Complete HBO Season 2". Amazon.co.uk. October 10, 2005 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "Wire, The '' The Complete 2nd Season (5 Disc Box Set)". EzyDVD.com.au. Archived from the original on October 6, 2009 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: The Complete Third Season (2004)". Amazon.com. May 2007 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: Complete HBO Season 3". Amazon.co.uk . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "Wire, The '' The Complete 3rd Season (5 Disc Set)". EzyDVD.com.au. Archived from the original on October 6, 2009 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: The Complete Fourth Season (2005)". Amazon.com. December 4, 2007 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: Complete HBO Season 4". Amazon.co.uk. March 10, 2008 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "Wire, The '' The Complete 4th Season (5 Disc Set)". EzyDVD.com.au. Archived from the original on October 6, 2009 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: The Complete Fifth Season (2008)". Amazon.com . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire: Complete HBO Season 5". Amazon.co.uk. September 22, 2008 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "Wire, The '' The Complete 5th Season (4 Disc Set)". EzyDVD.com.au. Archived from the original on February 14, 2010 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "The Wire '' The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2017 . Retrieved October 6, 2017 . ^ "The Wire: Complete HBO Season 1''5". Amazon.co.uk. December 8, 2008 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . ^ "Wire, The '' The Complete Series (24 Disc Box Set)". EzyDVD.com.au. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010 . Retrieved September 11, 2010 . Further reading [ edit ] Peter L. Beilenson & Patrick A. McGuire, Tapping Into the Wire: The Real Urban Crisis, Johns Hopkins University Press 2013, ISBN 978-1-4214-1190-3Sherryl Vint, The Wire. Wayne State University Press 2013, ISBN 978-0-8143-3590-1Tiffany Potter (ed.), C. W. Marshall (ed.): The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television. Continuum international Publishing Group 2009, ISBN 978-0-8264-3804-1Rafael Alvarez: The Wire: Truth Be Told. Simon & Schuster 2004, ISBN 0-7434-9732-5Brian G. Rose: The Wire. In: Gary Richard Edgerton (ed.), Jeffrey P. Jones (ed.): The Essential HBO Reader. University of Kentucky Press 2008, ISBN 978-0-8131-2452-0, pp. 82''91 (online copy, p. 82, at Google Books)Peter Dreier, John Atlas: The Wire'‚'' Bush-Era Fable about America's Urban Poor?. City & Community Volume 8, Issue 3, pp. 329''340, September 2009 (online copy)Helena Sheehan, Sheamus Sweeney: The Wire and the World: Narrative and Metanarrative. Jump Cut, 51 (Spring 2009), ISSN 0146-5546 (online copy)Play or Get Played '' Exclusive interviews with David Simon and cast members.Ten Thousand Bullets '' An interview with George Pelecanos.George Pelecanos on The Wire and D.C. pulp fiction '' A supplement to "Ten Thousand Bullets.""The Rhetoric of The Wire" Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, No.1, 2010Gang and Drug-Related Homicide: Baltimore's Successful Enforcement Strategy '' Ed Burns discusses some of the investigations and individuals which inspired The Wire.A collection of interviews with Wire cast members '' Interviews include Michael K. Williams, Lance Reddick, Robert Wisdom, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and more.Reason Magazine Interview with Ed Burns '' The Wire co-creator talks about how Baltimore inspires and informs The Wire, and opinions on the "War on Drugs" from his and other co-creators' experiences.The New Yorker Profiles David Simon '' A long profile article about David Simon with info about season five as well as his next project.Maxim Interrogates the Makers and Stars of The Wire '' A large 2012 interview with David Simon, Ed Burns, other crew, and most of the principal cast members.Bill Moyers Journal: David Simon (on The Wire) part 1 on YouTube, part 2 on YouTubeExternal links [ edit ] Official website The Wire on IMDbThe Wire at TV.comLinks to related articles
Lost, season 1 (2005) The Sopranos, season 6, part I (2006) The Wire, season 4 (2007) Mad Men, season 2 (2008) Mad Men, season 3 (2009) Mad Men, season 4 (2010) Breaking Bad, season 4 (2011) Breaking Bad, season 5, part I (2012) Breaking Bad, season 5, part II (2013) True Detective, season 1 (2014) Mad Men, season 7, part II (2015) The Americans, season 4 (2016) The Handmaid's Tale, season 1 (2017) The Americans, season 6 (2018) Succession, season 2 (2019)
(66) History of Race & Ethnicity in the United States (1610-2060) - YouTube
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Crazy Days and Nights: Blind Items Revealed #2
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 23:17
January 25, 2021
Settlement talks have been under way for the past year between several record labels and this online video playing service. The record labels have been using bot farms to not only increase views of videos, but, and this is the source of contention, those views are all monetized with the money going to the labels. So, yeah, they have been stealing money from the video company to the tune of nearly $200M.
YouTube
A Guide to the New Covid-19 Testing Rules for Travel to the U.S. - WSJ
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 23:04
Travelers flying to the U.S. from abroad now have to show proof of negative Covid-19 tests before boarding their flight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said preflight testing is necessary as Covid-19 cases continue to soar and more-contagious strains of the virus emerge around the world. President Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 21 affirming the new testing requirements and directing agencies to consider additional travel-safety measures.
Here is what you need to know about the new protocols before you take a trip.
Who does it affect?The order applies to everyone traveling to the U.S. on international flights, including U.S. citizens. You will need to show negative test results even if you are flying on a private jet or charter flight. There are exceptions for children under age 2, airline crews and federal law-enforcement agents and members of the military traveling for duty.
What countries are covered?All of them. Passengers need to show proof of a negative test when traveling to the U.S. from any country, including Mexico and the Caribbean. The CDC won't be granting any temporary waivers for countries where testing capacity is lacking, as it had originally planned: ''With the U.S. already in surge status, the testing requirement for all air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public,'' the agency said.
The universal testing requirement went into effect Jan. 26. People arriving from the U.K. had already been subject to similar testing requirements that went into effect in December, following the emergence of a new coronavirus strain there.
Airline executives have said they expect some short-term hiccups as the new policy goes into effect but say they believe testing will help restore confidence in travel in the long run. United Airlines Holdings Inc., for example, has said it is working with partners to increase the supply of tests in places like Mexico, where the new requirements have put a damper on appetite for trips to beach resorts.
''We are going to work really, really hard to make sure it's really, really easy to travel with United even with the new testing requirements,'' Toby Enqvist, United's chief customer officer, said.
What kind of test will I need, and when? What happens if I don't have my results?U.S.-bound air travelers must get tested no more than three days before flying and bring written or electronic proof of the results. Airlines can accept both PCR and rapid antigen tests. The CDC has said home diagnostic kits that are analyzed in a lab should qualify, if the kits have been approved by national health authorities.
If you don't have the documentation with you, airlines won't allow you to board, according to the CDC's order.
Finding a test is your responsibility, and lack of supply won't be an excuse. The rules are strict, and exceptions will be rare. The CDC says passengers who can't find tests in the country they are flying from might need to arrange to travel to a second country to be tested before heading to the U.S. Embassies also won't be providing tests, the State Department says.
Hotels and resorts are starting to offer tests on-site, and airlines are also looking to help customers find out where to get tested. United is adding information about local testing options to a digital hub on its website and app. In the coming weeks and months, United said its customers will be able to use that tool to book tests at sites around the world. Delta Air Lines Inc. has also launched a website where customers can find approved testing sites in cities where the airline flies.
To streamline the verification process, airlines including United and American Airlines Group Inc. are launching health passports where passengers can upload documents such as negative Covid-19 test results.
What if my test is positive?If you test positive for Covid-19 while you are abroad, get ready to extend your trip. Some carriers have said they will let passengers rebook only after 14 days, and will require proof of recovery. Government officials are warning travelers to think through how to handle work and child care if this happens. The costs of finding a place to stay and obtaining medical care will fall to you. Some hotels and resorts are offering complimentary space to quarantine, but make sure to check.
''If you cannot easily access a Covid-19 test or if you test positive, you will end up overseas for much longer than you planned,'' said Ian Brownlee, acting assistant secretary of the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs. ''All travelers should have a Plan B.''
What if I have been vaccinated?Even if you have been vaccinated for Covid-19, you still will need to show proof of a negative test.
What if I recently had Covid-19 and got better?If you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past three months but no longer have symptoms, the CDC doesn't recommend getting tested again. If you are in this group and have met the criteria to end isolation, the CDC says you can travel as long as you have written permission from a health-care provider or public-health official. Bring your positive test result and the doctor's letter to show the airline in lieu of a negative test result.
Does this mean the U.S. has lifted bans on most travel from Europe, the U.K. and other countries?No. Mr. Biden rejected a last-minute effort by former President Donald Trump to lift those travel restrictions on Jan. 26, citing the worsening pandemic and more-contagious variants of the virus emerging around the world. That means people who aren't U.S. citizens or permanent residents generally can't come to the U.S. from most of Europe, the U.K., Brazil, China and Iran, with a few exceptions. South Africa is also being added to that list due to concerns about how a new coronavirus variant discovered there will respond to vaccines. Likewise, many countries don't allow travelers to enter from the U.S. or continue to impose lengthy quarantine requirements on arrival.
What if I need to change my travel plans now?Airlines already have done away with most international change fees and are adding more flexibility for people who need to adjust their plans in light of the new testing requirements.
Do I need to get tested again or quarantine when I get back to the U.S.?The CDC recommends people get a second test three to five days after travel and stay home for seven days (or 10 days without a second test). Testing on its own isn't a substitute for social distancing and wearing face masks, CDC officials said.
President Biden has said he believes people arriving from abroad should be required to self-quarantine; his executive order says air travelers will be required to follow the CDC's guidelines, including self-isolation recommendations, ''to the extent feasible.'' It isn't yet clear how that might be enforced, and the order doesn't specify. The order also directs federal agencies to develop a plan for ensuring compliance with CDC guidelines and to consider other public-health measures, including consideration of additional testing immediately before departure.
Write to Alison Sider at alison.sider@wsj.com
Two FBI agents shot dead in Florida while serving child-exploitation warrant, police say - The Washington Post
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 22:33
Two FBI agents were shot and killed and three others wounded early Tuesday morning as they tried to search the South Florida apartment of a suspect in a child pornography investigation, FBI officials said, marking one of the most gruesome days in recent memory for the country's premier federal law enforcement institution.
The deadly encounter marks the first time since 2008 that an FBI agent has been fatally shot while out doing law enforcement work, and it drew comparisons to an incident 35 years ago in which two agents were killed and five others were wounded in a bloody shootout in a residential suburb of Miami. The bureau released few details of the encounter, other than to say the shooting occurred as agents went to an apartment complex about 6 a.m. ''to execute a federal court-ordered search warrant in furtherance of a violent crimes against children case.''
Law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said preliminary reports indicate the suspected shooter killed himself, though cautioned that investigators were still working to piece together the precise circumstances of the encounter. Authorities have not identified the suspect.
Authorities said those killed from the FBI were special agents Daniel Alfin, 36, and Laura Schwartzenberger, 43, who both specialized in investigating crimes against children. Two other agents were taken to the hospital in stable condition, and another was hurt but remained on the scene, officials said.
''Every day, FBI Special Agents put themselves in harm's way to keep the American people safe,'' FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said in a statement. ''Special Agent Alfin and Special Agent Schwartzenberger exemplified heroism today in defense of their country. The FBI will always honor their ultimate sacrifice and will be forever grateful for their bravery. We continue to stand by our FBI Family, and the families of these Special Agents, in the days to come, bringing every resource we can to get through this together.''
The shooting took place at the Water Terrace apartments in Sunset, Fla., a bedroom community just northwest of Fort Lauderdale. Royal palms line the nearby streets, with the complex itself located in a part of town where expensive subdivisions of lavish homes give way to middle-class housing. Officials said agents went in hopes of seizing computer or other equipment from the residence when the shooting broke out.
The sprawling campus, cut by a canal, is gated and surrounded mauve-colored walls, and the units are housed in taupe buildings, some of them two stories tall. On Tuesday, children in multicolored backpacks were being escorted by crossing guards across the street, where yellow caution tape marked a police cordon.
The complex is located within a four-mile radius of at least three schools, including the Franklin Academy Charter School directly across the street. Some parents there on Tuesday afternoon left work to pick up their children after hearing about the shooting.
''This is scary, but it speaks to our day and age,'' said Ester Fredric, 40, a retail clerk. ''I feel like I need to sit down and talk to my daughter in ways she can understand. You know, 'No strangers. Be careful.'''
David Alfin, Daniel Alfin's father, said his son was a graduate of Florida State University who came from a family dedicated to public service. Daniel's older brother works in law enforcement in South Florida, and his younger brother teaches at U.S. Military Academy West Point in New York.
''I couldn't be more proud of Daniel and his brothers,'' David Alfin said. ''I think that they were incredibly great kids that were interested in helping others, and they found a way to do that through their service commitments.''
According to a 2017 FBI article, Alfin was involved in the investigation into the creator of what was believed to be the world's largest child pornography website: Playpen. Schwartzenberger did similar work, including investigating those who assume fake identities online who try to solicit or extort nude images from minors. She would periodically talk about her work and the dangers of social media to students at Miami's Rockway Middle School, the school said in a statement.
''She would always say, 'I feel that coming here and talking about the hard stuff means that I won't see you guys on my end,''' the school said in a statement. ''With her presentations, students would gain an awareness of online safety, cyberbullying, and experience the evidence response process of an FBI agent. '... Laura's commitment and dedication to not just Rockway, but the community as a whole, will be missed.''
Across the country, current and former law enforcement officials praised the agents, and said the shooting underscored the dangerous nature of their jobs.
''These Agents were working to protect the most vulnerable in our society,'' said FBI Agents Association President Brian O'Hare. ''FBI Special Agents risk their lives to protect our country, and the loss of these Agents is devastating to the entire FBI community and to our country. FBIAA hopes that all Americans will join us in our efforts to support these FBI families in this time of tragedy.''
At the Justice Department in D.C., a spokeswoman said Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson had been briefed on the shooting and was monitoring the investigation.
''We mourn the tragic loss of two of our FBI colleagues who were killed today in the line of duty,'' Wilkinson said in a statement. ''Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones and with their three colleagues who were shot in today's devastating events. On this dark day, we pay tribute to the brave men and women of the FBI who put their lives on the line every day in support of our mission. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by these special agents.''
The FBI publicly lists 81 agents and other employees who have lost their lives in the line of duty, according to an FBI site that tracks those who have been killed or died in the line of duty. The total includes several, in recent years, whose deaths were attributed to illnesses linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
According to the agency's ''Wall of Honor,'' the most recent shooting death occurred in 2008, when Special Agent Samuel S. Hicks was killed while serving a warrant near Pittsburgh. Authorities were executing a warrant at a house connected to a drug-trafficking organization when Hicks was fatally shot, according to the bureau.
Faiola reported from Sunrise, Fla. Julie Tate and Mark Berman in Washington contributed to this report.
Effect of Hydroxychloroquine on Clinical Status at 14 Days in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial | Critical Care Medicine | JAMA | JAMA Network
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 14:14
Key PointsQuestion Does treatment with hydroxychloroquine improve clinical outcomes of adults hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Findings In this randomized clinical trial that included 479 hospitalized adults with respiratory symptoms from COVID-19, the distribution of the day 14 clinical status score (measured using a 7-category ordinal scale) was not significantly different for patients randomized to receive hydroxychloroquine compared with placebo (adjusted odds ratio, 1.02).
Meaning These findings do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 among hospitalized adults.
Importance Data on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are needed.
Objective To determine whether hydroxychloroquine is an efficacious treatment for adults hospitalized with COVID-19.
Design, Setting, and Participants This was a multicenter, blinded, placebo-controlled randomized trial conducted at 34 hospitals in the US. Adults hospitalized with respiratory symptoms from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection were enrolled between April 2 and June 19, 2020, with the last outcome assessment on July 17, 2020. The planned sample size was 510 patients, with interim analyses planned after every 102 patients were enrolled. The trial was stopped at the fourth interim analysis for futility with a sample size of 479 patients.
Interventions Patients were randomly assigned to hydroxychloroquine (400 mg twice daily for 2 doses, then 200 mg twice daily for 8 doses) (n'‰='‰242) or placebo (n'‰='‰237).
Main Outcomes and Measures The primary outcome was clinical status 14 days after randomization as assessed with a 7-category ordinal scale ranging from 1 (death) to 7 (discharged from the hospital and able to perform normal activities). The primary outcome was analyzed with a multivariable proportional odds model, with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) greater than 1.0 indicating more favorable outcomes with hydroxychloroquine than placebo. The trial included 12 secondary outcomes, including 28-day mortality.
Results Among 479 patients who were randomized (median age, 57 years; 44.3% female; 37.2% Hispanic/Latinx; 23.4% Black; 20.1% in the intensive care unit; 46.8% receiving supplemental oxygen without positive pressure; 11.5% receiving noninvasive ventilation or nasal high-flow oxygen; and 6.7% receiving invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), 433 (90.4%) completed the primary outcome assessment at 14 days and the remainder had clinical status imputed. The median duration of symptoms prior to randomization was 5 days (interquartile range [IQR], 3 to 7 days). Clinical status on the ordinal outcome scale at 14 days did not significantly differ between the hydroxychloroquine and placebo groups (median [IQR] score, 6 [4-7] vs 6 [4-7]; aOR, 1.02 [95% CI, 0.73 to 1.42]). None of the 12 secondary outcomes were significantly different between groups. At 28 days after randomization, 25 of 241 patients (10.4%) in the hydroxychloroquine group and 25 of 236 (10.6%) in the placebo group had died (absolute difference, ''0.2% [95% CI, ''5.7% to 5.3%]; aOR, 1.07 [95% CI, 0.54 to 2.09]).
Conclusions and Relevance Among adults hospitalized with respiratory illness from COVID-19, treatment with hydroxychloroquine, compared with placebo, did not significantly improve clinical status at day 14. These findings do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 among hospitalized adults.
Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04332991
Through September 2020, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused more than 30 million confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), resulting in more than 1 million deaths globally.1,2
Hydroxychloroquine has been widely promoted as a potential therapy for COVID-19 due to its anti-inflammatory effects and in vitro studies suggesting antiviral activity.3-9 Hydroxychloroquine was adopted into routine care for hospitalized adults with COVID-19 at many hospitals.10-12 However, lack of evidence on efficacy and safety led multiple groups, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Infectious Diseases Society of America, to recommend clinical trials to evaluate hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for patients with COVID-19.13-15
This trial'--Outcomes Related to COVID-19 Treated With Hydroxychloroquine Among Inpatients With Symptomatic Disease (ORCHID)'--was conducted to test the hypothesis that, compared with placebo, hydroxychloroquine improves clinical outcomes for adults hospitalized with COVID-19.
Trial Design and Oversight
Details of the trial's rationale and design were previously published16 and are available in the trial protocol and statistical analysis plan included in Supplement 1 and Supplement 2, respectively. We conducted a multicenter, blinded, randomized clinical trial comparing hydroxychloroquine vs placebo among hospitalized adults with respiratory illness from COVID-19. Patients were enrolled between April 2, 2020, and June 19, 2020, at 34 hospitals in the US within the Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Clinical Trials Network (eTable 1 in Supplement 3). The final outcome assessment was scheduled on July 17, 2020. The trial was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the NIH. A central institutional review board at Vanderbilt University Medical Center approved the study. A data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) appointed by the NHLBI provided trial oversight. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an investigational new drug exemption (IND No. 149243). Patients or legally authorized representatives provided informed consent for participation, primarily using electronic consent procedures, including electronic consent forms and video conferencing for informed consent discussions, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and to conserve personal protective equipment.16
Adults (aged '‰¥18 years) who were hospitalized for less than 48 hours with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptoms of respiratory illness for less than 10 days were enrolled. The main exclusion criteria were more than 1 dose of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in the prior 10 days; QTc interval greater than 500 ms; prior receipt or planned administration of select medications that prolong the QTc interval; and seizure disorder. Full eligibility criteria are listed in eTable 2 in Supplement 3. Race and ethnicity were reported in this study because the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 might vary by race or ethnicity. Race and ethnicity were reported by the participant or surrogate; categories of race and ethnicity were provided in the trial's case report form.
Due to delays in SARS-CoV-2 testing early in the pandemic, the trial was initially designed to enroll hospitalized patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, but after testing capacity increased, eligibility criteria were narrowed to include only laboratory-confirmed cases. Prior to this change, 2 patients without laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled; these patients were included in the primary analysis.
Using a centralized electronic system, we randomly assigned enrolled patients to hydroxychloroquine or placebo in a 1:1 ratio stratified by enrolling hospital using randomization block sizes of 2 and 4. Allocation was concealed. Patients, treating clinicians, trial personnel, and outcome assessors were blinded to group assignment.
The first dose of the trial drug was administered within 4 hours of randomization. Patients assigned to the hydroxychloroquine group received 400 mg of hydroxychloroquine sulfate in pill form twice a day for the first 2 doses and then 200 mg in pill form twice a day for the subsequent 8 doses, for a total of 10 doses over 5 days.7 Patients assigned to the placebo group received matching placebo in the same dosing frequency. Patients discharged from the hospital before day 5 continued the trial medication after discharge to complete the 10-dose course.
An important safety consideration for hydroxychloroquine is QTc prolongation.17,18 Hence, trial personnel systematically assessed the QTc interval between 24 and 48 hours after administration of the first dose of trial drug. Additional doses of the trial drug were held for a QTc greater than 500 ms. Study personnel monitored daily for administration of medications with potential interactions with hydroxychloroquine and did not administer the trial drug if the participant received a concomitant medication with a high risk for interaction (eTable 3 in Supplement 3).
Open-label, clinical use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine was not allowed during the 5-day course of trial drug. Treating clinicians determined all other aspects of patient care. Concomitant medications were recorded through hospital discharge.
The primary outcome was clinical status 14 days after randomization assessed with a 7-category ordinal scale (the COVID Outcomes Scale) recommended by the World Health Organization.19 The scale consisted of 7 mutually exclusive categories: 1, death; 2, hospitalized, receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or invasive mechanical ventilation; 3, hospitalized, receiving noninvasive mechanical ventilation or nasal high-flow oxygen therapy; 4, hospitalized, receiving supplemental oxygen without positive pressure or high flow; 5, hospitalized, not receiving supplemental oxygen; 6, not hospitalized and unable to perform normal activities; and 7, not hospitalized and able to perform normal activities. To distinguish between category 6 and category 7, study personnel assessed the patient's performance of usual activities with questions consistent with validated health status measures.20,21 Patients who were discharged from the hospital were contacted by telephone for assessment of the COVID Outcome Scale at 7, 14, and 28 days after randomization.
The trial included 12 secondary outcomes: scores on the COVID Outcomes Scale at 2, 7, and 28 days after randomization; all-cause all-location mortality at 14 and 28 days after randomization; time to recovery, defined as time to reach COVID Outcome Scale category 5, 6, or 7; the composite of death or receipt of ECMO through 28 days; and support-free days through 28 days, including hospital-free, oxygen-free, intensive care unit (ICU)''free, ventilator-free, and vasopressor-free days.22 Data on the occurrence of several safety events with potential mechanistic links to hydroxychloroquine were also systematically collected between randomization and 28 days later, including cytopenia, plasma aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase concentration greater than twice the local laboratory upper limit of normal, cardiac arrest treated with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, symptomatic hypoglycemia, ventricular tachyarrhythmia, and seizure. Serious adverse events, defined as untoward medical events leading to death, a life-threatening experience, prolongation of hospitalization, or persistent or significant disability or incapacity in the judgment of the site investigator, were also reported. Definitions for all outcomes are available in the statistical analysis plan (Supplement 2).
The trial was analyzed by comparing patients randomized to hydroxychloroquine vs those randomized to placebo, with the placebo group serving as the referent. The primary outcome was analyzed with a multivariable proportional odds model with the following prespecified covariables: age, sex, baseline (prerandomization) COVID Outcomes Scale category, baseline Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score,23 and duration of acute respiratory symptoms prior to randomization. An adjusted odds ratio (aOR) greater than 1.0 indicated more favorable outcomes on the COVID Outcomes Scale among patients randomized to hydroxychloroquine compared with placebo.
Due to the paucity of information available on COVID-19 at the beginning of the trial for estimation of event rates and treatment effects, we used a bayesian framework to guide serial interim analyses. Interim analyses for the DSMB to evaluate trial data were planned after approximately 102, 204, 306, 408, and 510 patients reached follow-up time for the primary outcome. Enrollment was planned to continue until the DSMB recommended stopping the trial for evidence of efficacy, futility, or harm, based on evaluation of all available data, including data internal and external to the trial. At interim analyses, the DSMB was presented with the probability that the aOR for the primary outcome met each of 3 separate thresholds: greater than 1.0 with a skeptical prior (evidence of efficacy); less than 1.1 with a noninformative prior (evidence of futility); and less than 0.7 with a noninformative prior (evidence of harm) (eTable 4 in Supplement 3). Although there were no mandatory stopping criteria, the investigators suggested and specified in the statistical analysis plan that the DSMB strongly consider stopping the trial if the probability of efficacy (aOR'‰>'‰1.0) was greater than 95%, the probability of futility (aOR'‰<'‰1.1) was greater than 90%, or the probability of harm (aOR'‰<'‰0.7) was greater than 70%. Based on statistical simulation of a range of possible treatment effect sizes, the investigators anticipated that enrolling approximately 510 patients would provide sufficient data for the DSMB to draw conclusions regarding hydroxychloroquine and support recommendations about stopping or continuing the trial.16 The minimal clinically important difference between groups on the COVID Outcomes Scale was unknown. Enrollment of 510 patients would provide 90% power to detect an aOR of 1.82, which the investigators considered a moderate effect size, using a 2-sided significance level of .05.
Sensitivity analyses for the primary outcome included (1) a modified population limited to patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection; (2) a modified population limited to patients who received at least 1 dose of trial drug; and (3) a post hoc analysis including enrolling site as a random effect in the multivariable proportional odds model.
Heterogeneity of treatment effect by prespecified baseline characteristics was evaluated by adding an interaction term between randomized group assignment and the baseline characteristic of interest in the primary model.24 Baseline characteristics evaluated in heterogeneity of treatment effect analyses included baseline COVID Outcomes Scale category, hospital location at randomization (ICU vs outside an ICU), baseline SOFA score, duration of symptoms prior to randomization, age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
Secondary outcomes were analyzed using regression models including the same covariables as the primary model (details are provided in the statistical analysis plan in Supplement 2). Survival and hospital discharge through day 28 were analyzed using proportional hazards regression. For the time-to-hospital discharge model, death was treated as a competing risk, and the subdistribution hazard ratio was reported.25 A treatment — time interaction was used to test the proportional hazards assumption for the survival and time to discharge models; the proportional hazards assumption was determined to be met for both models.
Post hoc analyses included a comparison of persistent symptoms at 14 and 28 days after randomization between the hydroxychloroquine and placebo groups and evaluation of the primary outcome among patients who received each of the following medications during the same hospitalization as trial enrollment: remdesivir, azithromycin, and corticosteroids.
In presentation of final trial results, between-group differences were reported using point estimates and 2-sided 95% CIs. Results with a 95% CI that did not include the null (eg, a 95% CI for an aOR that did not include 1.0) were considered statistically significant. The widths of confidence intervals were not adjusted for multiplicity and thus findings for analyses of secondary outcomes should be interpreted as exploratory. For patients who remained hospitalized 14 days after randomization, primary outcome ascertainment was completed by medical record review. For patients who were discharged prior to 14 days after randomization, primary outcome ascertainment was completed by telephone calls. Patients who could not be reached by telephone for the primary outcome assessment at day 14 had the COVID Outcomes Scale score carried forward from a day 7 follow-up call if such a call was successfully completed or had a category 6 score (not hospitalized and unable to perform normal activities) imputed if no prior follow-up calls were successfully completed. Mortality was not imputed when vital status was unknown. Analyses were performed using SAS version 9.4 (SAS Institute) and R rms package version 6.0 and rmsb package version 0.0.1 (R Project for Statistical Computing).
On June 19, 2020, enrollment was stopped for futility based on recommendations from the DSMB after it reviewed information both internal and external to the trial. Enrollment was stopped at the fourth interim analysis, which included 371 patients with primary outcome data and an additional 108 patients who had not reached 14 days after randomization for primary outcome assessment. At that time, trial data did not meet the prespecified threshold for futility (defined as >90% probability of an aOR'‰<'‰1.1 for the primary outcome) but demonstrated an 81% probability for an aOR less than 1.1. Furthermore, a post hoc conditional power analysis showed less than 1% probability of the trial reaching the prespecified threshold for efficacy (defined as >95% probability of an aOR'‰>'‰1.0) if it continued to a sample size of 510 participants (eTable 5 in Supplement 3). At that time, new information about hydroxychloroquine from sources external to the trial reviewed by the DSMB included (1) a June 5, 2020, press release from the Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) platform trial leadership stating that results from their trial suggested no survival benefit from hydroxychloroquine26; (2) a June 15, 2020, revision to the FDA Emergency Use Authorization for remdesivir recommending against co-administration of remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine due to the potential of hydroxychloroquine reducing the efficacy of remdesivir27; and (3) a June 16, 2020, press release from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency instructing all clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine in the United Kingdom to suspend recruitment.28
During the 78-day enrollment period, 1889 patients were screened; 1041 patients met eligibility criteria and 479 patients were randomized (Figure 1). The most common reasons for exclusion among screened patients were duration of respiratory symptoms longer than 10 days (34.8% of exclusions), hospitalization for more than 48 hours at the time of screening (25.1%), and QTc greater than 500 ms (14.0%). The most common reason for eligible patients not to be enrolled was the patient or legally authorized representative declining participation (60.0%). Among enrolled patients, the median age was 57 years (interquartile range [IQR], 44 to 68 years), 44.3% were female, 37.2% were Hispanic/Latinx, and 23.4% were Black. The median duration of symptoms prior to randomization was 5 days (IQR, 3 to 7 days). Among 479 enrolled patients, 242 (50.5%) were randomized to hydroxychloroquine and 237 (49.5%) were randomized to placebo. Baseline characteristics of patients randomized to the hydroxychloroquine group and placebo group are presented in Table 1 and eTables 6-11 in Supplement 3.
Primary outcome assessment of the COVID Outcomes Scale 14 days after randomization was completed for 433 (90.4%) of 479 randomized patients; 46 patients who were discharged from the hospital before primary outcome assessment, including 25 in the hydroxychloroquine group and 21 in the placebo group, were not successfully contacted for primary outcome evaluation and had values imputed based on a follow-up call on day 7 or were assigned a score of 6 if no call was completed on day 7. Follow-up information on survival through day 28 was completed for 477 (99.6%) of 479 randomized patients; 1 patient in the hydroxychloroquine group and 1 patient in the placebo group were lost to follow-up for vital status.
Receipt of Trial Drug and Cointerventions
In the hydroxychloroquine group, 242 (100%) of 242 patients received at least 1 dose of the trial drug, and 2149 (88.8%) of 2420 scheduled doses of trial drug were received (eTables 12-13 in Supplement 3). In the placebo group, 231 (97.5%) of 237 patients received at least 1 dose of placebo, and 2038 (86.0%) of 2370 scheduled doses of placebo were received. QTc prolongation greater than 500 ms was the reason for 38 (14.0%) of the missed doses in the hydroxychloroquine group and 21 (6.3%) of the missed doses in the placebo group.
Among the 479 patients in the trial, remdesivir, azithromycin, and corticosteroids were received by 104 (21.7%), 91 (19.0%), and 88 (18.4%) patients, respectively, during the same hospitalization in which they were enrolled in the trial (eTables 14-15 in Supplement 3).
At 14 days after randomization, there was no significant difference in the COVID Outcomes Scale score between the hydroxychloroquine group (median [IQR] score, 6 [4-7]) and placebo group (median [IQR] score, 6 [4-7]) (aOR, 1.02 [95% CI, 0.73-1.42) (Table 2; Figure 2). Similarly, there were no significant differences in the primary outcome in sensitivity analyses that limited the population to patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (n'‰='‰477), that limited the population to patients who received at least 1 dose of trial drug (n'‰='‰473), and that included enrolling site as a random effect (n'‰='‰479) (eTable 16 in Supplement 3). There was no significant difference in the primary outcome between the hydroxychloroquine group and placebo group in any prespecified subgroups, including those based on age, sex, race/ethnicity, baseline illness severity, and duration of symptoms (eFigure in Supplement 3). In post hoc analyses among subgroups of patients treated clinically with open-label remdesivir, azithromycin, and corticosteroids, there were no significant differences in the primary outcome between the hydroxychloroquine group and placebo group (eTable 17 in Supplement 3).
There was no significant difference in any of the 12 secondary outcomes between the hydroxychloroquine and placebo groups (Table 2; eTables 18-19 in Supplement 3). At 28 days after randomization, 25 (10.4%) of 241 patients with confirmed vital status in the hydroxychloroquine group and 25 (10.6%) of 236 patients with confirmed vital status in the placebo group had died (aOR, 1.07 [95% CI, 0.54-2.09]) (Figure 3). In a post hoc analysis, persistent symptoms of COVID-19 were common in both the hydroxychloroquine and placebo groups at 14 days (34.7% vs 32.9%) and 28 days (28.5% vs 30.4%) after randomization (eTable 20 in Supplement 3).
Systematically Collected Safety Events and Adverse Events
Data on systematically collected safety events and adverse events are presented in eTables 21 to 24 in Supplement 3. In the 5 days following randomization, 13 patients (5.9% of 221 patients with QTc assessed) in the hydroxychloroquine group and 7 patients (3.3% of 214 patients with QTc assessed) in the placebo group had a recorded QTc interval greater than 500 ms. A total of 30 serious adverse events were reported, including 18 serious adverse events from 14 patients (5.8%) in the hydroxychloroquine group and 12 serious adverse events from 11 patients (4.6%) in the placebo group.
In this multicenter, blinded, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial conducted at 34 US hospitals, treatment with hydroxychloroquine did not improve or worsen clinical outcomes for adults hospitalized for respiratory illness from COVID-19. These findings were consistent in all subgroups and for all outcomes evaluated, including an ordinal scale of clinical status, mortality, organ failures, duration of oxygen use, and hospital length of stay.
Enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine as a potential therapy for COVID-19 was sparked by in vitro studies that suggested it limited entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human cells by inhibiting glycosylation of cell receptors targeted by coronaviruses and increasing endosomal pH, thereby reducing endosome-mediated viral entry.6-8 Additionally, hydroxychloroquine reduces the production of several proinflammatory cytokines involved in the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a severe manifestation of COVID-19.3-5 These factors, combined with broad availability, oral administration, and perceived safety based on historical use in the treatment of malaria and rheumatologic diseases,4 led to widespread clinical use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.10,15 On March 28, 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat adults hospitalized with COVID-19,29 which was later revoked on June 15, 2020.30
The finding of this clinical trial that hydroxychloroquine was not efficacious for the treatment of COVID-19 is consistent with results from recent in vitro studies suggesting no antiviral activity for hydroxychloroquine against SARS-CoV-231,32 and open-label pragmatic trials in the United Kingdom33 and Brazil34 suggesting no clinical benefit. Interpreted along with these prior studies, the results of this trial provide strong evidence that hydroxychloroquine is not beneficial for adults hospitalized with COVID-19.
Strengths of this trial included its blinded, placebo-controlled design, high adherence to the study protocol, rigorous monitoring for safety events and adverse events, and rapid recruitment from geographically diverse hospitals serving ethnically and racially diverse populations within the US. Additionally, the primary outcome was a patient-centered, clinically meaningful ordinal scale that captured mortality and morbidity related to COVID-19.
This trial had several limitations. First, the trial only included hospitalized adults, and findings may not be generalizable to other populations.
Second, patients with respiratory symptoms for up to 10 days prior to randomization were included. Some trials of antiviral medications limit enrollment to patients with symptoms for a shorter duration in an effort to enrich the population for patients most likely to benefit; however, notably, no evidence to suggest efficacy of hydroxychloroquine among patients with shorter duration of symptoms was found in this trial.
Third, outcome ascertainment was limited to 28 days after randomization to accelerate dissemination of findings in the context of an ongoing pandemic; reporting long-term outcomes of trial participants is planned for the future.
Fourth, the minimal clinically important difference in scores on the COVID Outcomes Scale is unknown. While the 95% CI for the aOR for the primary outcome in this trial (0.73-1.42) did not include point estimates that have been considered clinically meaningful in prior trials of COVID-19 therapies,35,36 moderate sample size in this trial may mean that it had inadequate power to exclude small, yet clinically meaningful, differences between groups.
Fifth, the trial did not include collection of information on serum hydroxychloroquine concentrations, viral shedding, or biomarkers of inflammation.
Sixth, only 1 dosing regimen of hydroxychloroquine was studied in the trial; this regimen was selected based on guidance from the FDA, in vitro studies of hydroxychloroquine lung concentrations,7 and doses commonly used in US hospitals for COVID-19. Other trials that evaluated higher doses of hydroxychloroquine also demonstrated no clinical benefit.33,34
Seventh, this trial evaluated hydroxychloroquine as monotherapy for COVID-19 and did not systematically study co-administration with azithromycin,9 zinc,37 remdesivir,35,36 or other agents.
Among adults hospitalized with respiratory illness from COVID-19, treatment with hydroxychloroquine, compared with placebo, did not significantly improve clinical status at day 14. These findings do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 among hospitalized adults.
Corresponding Author: Wesley H. Self, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1313 21st Ave S, Oxford House 312, Nashville, TN 37232 (wesley.self@vumc.org).
Accepted for Publication: October 26, 2020.
Published Online: November 9, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.22240
Author Contributions: Drs Schoenfeld and Hayden had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Drs Schoenfeld and Self take responsibility for the trial overall.
Concept and design: Self, Semler, Angus, Casey, Brower, Collins, Eppensteiner, Ginde, Gong, Johnson, Moss, Rice, Robinson, Schoenfeld, Shapiro, Steingrub, Weissman, Yealy, Thompson, Brown.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Self, Semler, Leither, Casey, Angus, Brower, Chang, Collins, Filbin, Files, Gibbs, Ginde, Gong, Harrell, Hayden, Hough, Johnson, Khan, Lindsell, Matthay, Park, Rice, Robinson, Schoenfeld, Steingrub, Ulysse, Weissman, Thompson, Brown.
Drafting of the manuscript: Self, Semler, Casey, Angus, Collins, Johnson, Khan, Matthay, Moss, Robinson, Shapiro, Steingrub, Ulysse, Weissman, Yealy, Thompson, Brown.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Self, Semler, Leither, Casey, Angus, Brower, Chang, Collins, Eppensteiner, Filbin, Files, Gibbs, Ginde, Gong, Harrell, Hayden, Hough, Johnson, Schoenfeld, Khan, Lindsell, Matthay, Moss, Park, Rice, Robinson, Shapiro, Steingrub, Ulysse, Yealy, Thompson, Brown.
Statistical analysis: Semler, Casey, Angus, Gibbs, Harrell, Hayden, Lindsell, Schoenfeld, Steingrub, Ulysse.
Obtained funding: Self, Collins, Gong, Moss, Shapiro, Thompson.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Self, Semler, Casey, Angus, Ginde, Khan, Rice, Robinson, Shapiro, Thompson.
Supervision: Self, Semler, Casey, Angus, Brower, Chang, Collins, Ginde, Johnson, Moss, Rice, Robinson, Yealy, Thompson, Brown.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Self reported receiving grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Aerpio Pharmaceuticals outside the submitted work. Dr Semler reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study. Dr Leither reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study. Dr Casey reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study. Dr Angus reported receiving grants from the NHLBI and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Bayer AG and stock from Alung Technologies. Dr Angus has patents pending through Ferring Pharmaceuticals and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr Chang reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study and personal fees from PureTech Health and LaJolla Pharmaceuticals outside the submitted work. Dr Collins reported receiving grants from the NHLBI and personal fees from Vir Biotechnology outside the submitted work. Dr Filbin reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study. Dr Files reported receiving grants from the NIH during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Cytovale and Medpace outside the submitted work. Dr Ginde reported receiving grants from the NIH during the conduct of the study. Dr Gong reported receiving grants from the NHLBI for the submitted work and research funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Regeneron outside the submitted work. Dr Harrell reported receiving grants from the NHLBI and the NCATS during the conduct of this study and personal fees from Adapt Health, Springer, Stanford, University of Texas, ICSB, Duke, Ottawa Hospital, American Statistical Association, Yale, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Arnold Foundation outside the submitted work. Dr Hough reported receiving grants from the NIH during the conduct of the study. Dr Khan reported receiving grants from GlaxoSmithKline, United Therapeutics, Reata Pharmaceuticals, Actelion Pharmaceuticals, and Lung LLC outside the submitted work. Dr Lindsell reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study and grants from the Department of Defense, NCATS, the NHLBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Marcus Foundation; research contracts from Endpoint Health, Entegrion, and bioMerieux outside the submitted work; in addition, Dr Lindsell has a patent risk stratification in sepsis and septic shock issued. Dr Matthay reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study and grants from Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Roche-Genentech, the Department of Defense, and the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and personal fees from GEn1E LifeSciences, Citius Pharma, and Novartis outside the submitted work. Dr Moss reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study. Dr Park reported receiving grants from NHLBI during the conduct of the study and grants from Eli Lilly and service on Council of the Society of Critical Care Medicine outside the submitted work. Dr Rice reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc, Avisa Pharmaceutical LLC consulting, and Cytovale Inc outside the submitted work. Dr Schoenfeld reported receiving grants from the NIH during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Immunity Pharma and Theravance outside the sumitted work. Dr Shapiro reported receiving grants from the NIH during the conduct of the study. Dr Steingrub reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study. Dr Yealy reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study and personal fees from McGraw Hill Inc, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Wolters Kluwer Inc, the American College of Emergency Physicians, multiple legal corporations, and UpToDate Inc outside the submitted work. Dr Thompson reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Bayer, Novartis, and Thetis outside the submitted work. Dr Brown reported receiving grants from the NHLBI during the conduct of the study and personal fees from Hamilton, Oxford University Press/Brigham Young University, and New York University and grants from Faron Pharmaceuticals, Sedana Pharmaceuticals, Janssen, the NIH, and Department of Defense outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
Funding/Support: This study was supported by grants from the NHLBI (3U01HL123009-06S1, U01HL123009, U01HL122998, U01HL123018, U01HL123023, U01HL123008, U01HL123031, U01HL123004, U01HL123027, U01HL123010, U01HL123033, U01HL122989, U01HL123022, and U01HL123020). The REDCap data tools used for this study were supported by a grant from NCATS (5UL1TR002243). The work at Massachusetts General Hospital was supported in part by the Harvard Catalyst/Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (NCATS, NIH awards UL1TR001102 and UL1TR002541-01). Sandoz, a Novartis division, supplied the hydroxychloroquine and placebo used in this trial.
Role of the Funders/Sponsor: The NHLBI supported the trial through funding, appointed a protocol review committee and data and safety monitoring board, and reviewed the manuscript prior to submission for publication but did not have the power to veto publication or select a journal. The NHLBI had no role in the design and conduct of the study; in the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; in the preparation of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. Representatives from Sandoz reviewed the manuscript prior to submission for publication but did not have the power to veto publication or select a journal. Sandoz had no role in the design and conduct of the study; in the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; the preparation of the manuscript; and the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Disclaimer: Dr Angus is Senior Editor of JAMA, but he was not involved in any of the decisions regarding review of the manuscript or its acceptance.
Group Information: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute PETAL Clinical Trials Network members are listed in the eAppendix in Supplement 3.
Data Sharing Statement: See Supplement 4.
Additional Information: The data analyses for this trial were conducted at the PETAL Clinical Trials Network Data Coordinating Center at Massachusetts General Hospital by Drs Schoenfeld and Hayden and Ms Ulysse.
7.Yao X>>, Ye F>>, Zhang M>>, et al. In vitro antiviral activity and projection of optimized dosing design of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). >>
Clin Infect Dis. 2020;71(15):732-739. doi:
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PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 9.Gautret P>>, Lagier J-C>>, Parola P>>, et al. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial. >>
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PubMedGoogle Scholar18.Mercuro NJ>>, Yen CF>>, Shim DJ>>, et al. Risk of QT interval prolongation associated with use of hydroxychloroquine with or without concomitant azithromycin among hospitalized patients testing positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). >>
JAMA Cardiol. 2020;5(9):1036-1041. doi:
10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1834>>
PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 27.Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Fact sheet for healthcare providers: emergency use authorization (EUA) of Veklury (remdesivir) for hospitalized pediatric patients weighing 3.5 kg to less than 40 kg or hospitalized pediatric patients less than 12 years of age weighing at least 3.5 kg. Accessed October 8, 2020.
https://www.fda.gov/media/137566/download29.Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Request for emergency use authorization for use of chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate supplied from the strategic national stockpile for treatment of 2019 coronavirus disease. Accessed July 2, 2020.
https://www.fda.gov/media/136534/download34.Cavalcanti AB>>, Zampieri FG>>, Rosa RG>>, et al; Coalition Covid-19 Brazil I Investigators. Hydroxychloroquine with or without azithromycin in mild-to-moderate COVID-19. >>
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10.1056/NEJMoa2019014>>
PubMedGoogle Scholar35.Spinner CD>>, Gottlieb RL>>, Criner GJ>>, et al; GS-US-540-5774 Investigators. Effect of remdesivir vs standard care on clinical status at 11 days in patients with moderate COVID-19: a randomized clinical trial. >>
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PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 37.Derwand R>>, Scholz M>>. Does zinc supplementation enhance the clinical efficacy of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine to win today's battle against COVID-19? >>
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Pennsylvania official at center of Trump election concerns resigns
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 13:41
February 1, 2021 | 2:20pm | Updated February 1, 2021 | 2:42pm
Enlarge Image Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar speaks during a news conference on November 4, 2020. AP Photo/Julio Cortez
The Pennsylvania secretary of state who emerged as a villain to supporters of former President Donald Trump said Monday she will resign for failing to comply with an unrelated state election law.
Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, will leave office on Feb. 5. Her office botched the handling of a state constitutional amendment that would allow more sexual abuse victims to sue their alleged abusers.
In a statement, she said, ''I've always believed that accountability and leadership must be a cornerstone of public service. While I only became aware of the mistake last week, and immediately took steps to alert the administration to the error, I accept the responsibility on behalf of the department.''
Pennsylvania law requires that proposed amendments pass the state legislature twice. The secretary of state's office must publicize the proposed amendment in two newspapers in each of the state's 67 counties ahead of the election between votes, which her office failed to do.
Gov. Tom Wolf, also a Democrat, announced Boockvar's resignation in a press release that stressed the issue was separate from the presidential election.
''This change at the Department of State has nothing to do with the administration of the 2020 election, which was fair and accurate,'' Wolf said.
Kathy Boockvar speaks at a press conference regarding election vote counting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich/File Photo''The delay caused by this human error will be heartbreaking for thousands of survivors of childhood sexual assault, advocates and legislators, and I join the Department of State in apologizing to you. I share your anger and frustration that this happened, and I stand with you in your fight for justice.''
Boockvar became a national political figure after she sought to accept mail-in ballots three days after the Nov. 3 election, which the state Republican Party said usurped the power of the state legislature.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court sided with Boockvar, as did the US Supreme Court.
Ultimately, Boockvar said about 10,000 ballots arrived in the three days after the election '-- far short of President Biden's margin of victory of about 80,000 votes.
Trump and his campaign claimed Boockvar was complicit in voting irregularities, but those claims were presented unsuccessfully in court.
Trump tweeted one day after the election, ''We are winning Pennsylvania big, but the PA Secretary of State just announced that there are 'Millions of ballots left to be counted.'''
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri objected to certification of Pennsylvania's electors for Biden shortly after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and disrupted proceedings. The Senate voted 92-7. to accept Biden's victory in Pennsylvania. The House voted 282-138 to affirm Biden's win.
New OCC Rule Is a Win in the Fight Against Financial Censorship | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 12:33
On Thursday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finalized its Fair Access to Financial Services rule, which will prevent banks from refusing to serve entire classes of customers that they find politically or morally unsavory. The rule is a huge win for civil liberties, and for the many sectors who have found themselves in the bad graces of corporate financial services, like cryptocurrency projects, marijuana businesses, sex worker advocacy groups, and others.
For years, financial intermediaries have engaged in financial censorship , shutting down accounts in order to censor legal speech. For example, banks have refused to serve entire industries on the basis of political disagreement, and other financial intermediaries have cut off access to financial services for independent booksellers , social networks , and whistleblower websites , even when these websites are engaged in First Amendment-protected speech.
Banks have refused to serve entire industries on the basis of political disagreement
For the organizations losing access to financial services, this censorship can disrupt operations and, in some cases, have existential consequences. For that reason, financial censorship can affect free expression. As just one example, in Backpage.com, LLC v. Dart , a county sheriff embarked on a campaign to crush a website by demanding that payment processors prohibit the use of their credit cards to purchase ads on the site. The Seventh Circuit court of appeals held that the sheriff's conduct violated the First Amendment and noted that the sheriff had attacked the website ''not by litigation but instead by suffocation, depriving the company of ad revenues by scaring off its payments-service providers.'' As EFF explained in our amicus brief in that case, ''[ like] access to Internet connectivity, access to the financial system is a necessary precondition for the operations of nearly every other Internet intermediary, including content hosts and platforms. The structure of the electronic payment economy . . . make these payment systems a natural choke point for controlling online content.'' In that case, the Seventh Circuit analogized shutting down financial services to ''killing a person by cutting off his oxygen supply rather than by shooting him.''
Innovators in the cryptocurrency space are all too familiar with these problems. For years, they have struggled to access basic financial services'--regardless of how successful, promising, or financially sound the particular company is. The Blockchain Association highlighted this problem in its comments supporting the OCC's new rule, noting that in some cases individuals working at legal U.S. cryptocurrency businesses have been denied personal banking services because of their employment. The difficulty in accessing these financial services has been a huge barrier for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, whose time and energy would be better spent innovating rather than trying to figure out how to get a bank account.
The OCC's new rule will help address this. It will limit the ability of certain financial institutions like large, national banks to categorically refuse service to a class of customers. Under the new rule, banks will still be empowered to refuse to serve certain customers, but must use individual, quantifiable, customer-by-customer risk assessment, rather than refusing to serve an entire industry. We hope that, under this regulation, historically underserved businesses will be able to access the financial services they need, and won't lose their financial lifelines solely based on the whims and subjective moral standards of bank executives.
Google union in turmoil following global alliance announcement - The Verge
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 12:10
The Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) is in turmoil following the announcement of an international alliance on Monday. The alliance, Alpha Global, was billed as a worker-led initiative, but union members in the US say they didn't know about it until The Verge published an exclusive. That piece included a press release quote from AWU executive council member Parul Koul, which she says she didn't write.
The news was an unwelcome surprise to union members who expect the Alphabet Workers Union to run democratically. Now, multiple sources tell The Verge that some AWU organizers are considering pushing the group to disaffiliate from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), a national union representing workers in telecommunications and media. AWU has also set up a committee to investigate CWA's role in the announcement.
In a statement, AWU executive council member Auni Ahsan said: ''We want to honor the concerns that have been raised, but our primary focus as a union isn't affiliation or disaffiliation.''
The upheaval points to the difficulties facing AWU. As a so-called minority union, it isn't recognized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and can't require Alphabet or its subsidiaries like Google to negotiate a contract for its members. Its power comes in part from uniting Alphabet workers and swelling its membership base to mount public pressure campaigns.
Since the union went public on January 4th, it's grown from 230 members to more than 800. But some members have raised concerns that the Communications Workers of America pushed the union to go public prematurely. They also say the CWA has a history of publishing big announcements without first consulting Google workers. Amr Gaber, a Google engineer who helped organize the 2018 walkout, told The New York Times that the union has been more concerned with claiming turf than listening to the needs of organizers.
The Alphabet union's rapid expansion has also underlined the need for clear rules and processes, including when the group puts out statements and who controls major announcements. So far, AWU has called on YouTube to permanently ban Donald Trump and expressed concern about the treatment of Margaret Mitchell, co-lead of the ethical AI team. Both statements involved significant input from union members.
That didn't happen with the global alliance announcement.
Uni Global Union, a Switzerland-based federation of labor unions, organized the coalition, and worked with at least one CWA representative on the rollout strategy. The idea was to bring together unions representing Google workers across the globe and allow members to share information more easily.
Uni sent out a press release stating that ''Alphabet workers'' were ''announcing a new global union alliance to build a more ethical and accountable company.'' The press release included a quote from Koul talking about the importance of global solidarity, and CWA representative Wes McEnany told The Verge that the alliance was worker-led in a phone call about the announcement.
After the article came out, however, multiple AWU members told The Verge they were blindsided by the news. A Google worker in Europe also said they hadn't known about the announcement, but noted they typically don't find out about union news before it becomes public.
When asked why so many AWU members had been left out of the planning, a spokesperson for CWA said there had been a mixup in the messaging.
On January 25th, AWU called an emergency meeting. According to meeting notes reviewed by The Verge, Koul said Uni's announcement ''happened [without] any of us being notified or given a heads up that this alliance was being formed or that this statement was going out.'' She stressed that she'd never said the quote attributed to her in the press release, and noted she'd been ''burned'' by the announcement.
(Koul did not respond to a request for comment from The Verge.)
CWA organizer Tom Smith said he hadn't known about the situation until that morning, claiming CWA president Christopher Shelton sent an email ''literally saying 'WTF?!''' He added that Uni had been asked to take the press release down. On February 1st, Uni issued a correction stating that it had ''mistakenly included CODE-CWA and the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) as members of the Alpha Global Alliance and a quote from AWU Executive Chair Parul Koul, without receiving proper authorization from CWA.''
But Uni also told The Verge that McEnany was ''very involved'' in the alliance, and during the meeting, McEnany acknowledged he was partly to blame '-- he'd told Uni to attribute the quote to Koul. He said the timeline of the announcement had been fuzzy. (McEnany spoke to The Verge three days prior to the article's publication.)
Later in the meeting, Koul announced McEnany would be resigning from his role working with AWU, though he is not leaving CWA altogether.
On January 29th, CWA sent out a newsletter, which, again, falsely attributed the quote to Koul.
McEnany's resignation did not quell concerns from Google organizers like Kathryn Spiers, who says she sees the botched alliance announcement as part of a larger pattern. In 2019, Google fired Spiers and four other workers who were engaged in workplace organizing. When CWA offered to pay the workers' legal fees, the group agreed, with the understanding that CWA would not publish information about the case without first getting their approval, according to multiple sources. Despite that understanding, workers say CWA put out a press release referencing Spiers, before she'd been fired and her name had become public, and without getting her approval.
During the emergency meeting on Monday, Spiers spoke about her experience with CWA and said she wanted to acknowledge that the alliance announcement was not an isolated incident. Now, she's participating in a campaign to disaffiliate from the larger organization.
The campaign could threaten to destabilize AWU, a nascent union still in its first month of public life. But it might also be a sign that the organization is working as intended. Workers are coming together to push for change, even if it means breaking up with a powerful ally.
If that happens, it will be a serious setback for the Communications Workers of America. In 2020, the organization launched CODE-CWA, a campaign dedicated to unionizing workers in the tech industry. Losing Google could make it more difficult for CWA to organize staff at other big tech companies.
For some workers who've been organizing with Google for years, however, disaffiliation might be the only option. If the campaign fails, they say they are likely to leave the organization.
''Google couldn't have paid for this kind of union busting,'' Spiers says.
Update February 1st, 10:51AM: This article has been updated to include a new version of Uni's press release.
Immigration: Biden to sign executive orders and establish task force to reunite separated families - CNNPolitics
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 12:00
By Priscilla Alvarez, CNN
Updated 5:01 AM EST, Tue February 02, 2021
(CNN) President Joe Biden will sign three executive orders Tuesday that take aim at his predecessor's hardline immigration policies and try to rectify the consequences of those policies, including by establishing a task force designed to reunite families separated at the US-Mexico border, according to senior administration officials.
The latest orders build upon the actions taken in Biden's first days in office and begin to provide a clearer picture of the administration's immigration priorities.
"President Trump was so focused on the wall that he did nothing to address the root cause of why people are coming to our southern border. It was a limited, wasteful and naive strategy, and it failed," one senior administration official said. "President Biden's approach is to deal with immigration comprehensively, fairly, and humanely."
Hours into his presidency, Biden moved to swiftly undo many Trump administration policies in a series of executive actions. He also sent an immigration bill to Congress. But his administration has already faced legal hurdles in implementing those policies. Last week, for example, a federal judge temporarily blocked Biden's 100-day pause on deportations, as the case proceeds.
RELATED: Biden asks Supreme Court to delay oral arguments on border wall and asylum rule
Legal challenges are likely to continue to dog the administration as it sets forth its immigration agenda. On Tuesday, Biden is expected to follow his first-day actions by tackling family separation, the root causes of migration, and the legal immigration system.
The Senate is also expected to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security secretary on Tuesday, after Monday night's vote was delayed due to weather.
Creating a task force to reunify families During his presidential campaign, Biden pledged to set up a task force focused on identifying and reunifying families separated at the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy. The administration's new task force stems from that promise.
RELATED: Justice Department was unprepared for family separations but Jeff Sessions pushed it anyway, watchdog says
The task force will be chaired by the Department of Homeland Security secretary and work across the US government, along with partners, to find parents separated from their children under the former administration. CNN previously reported that first lady Jill Biden is expected to take an active role in the task force.
It will be charged with identifying all children separated from their parents or legal guardians on the southern border, facilitating and enabling the reunification of children with their families, and providing regular reports to the President, including one containing recommendations.
The consequences of the "zero tolerance" policy which led to the separation of thousands of families are still felt today. Lawyers are unable to reach the parents of 611 children who had been split from their families by US border officials between 2017 and 2018, according to the latest court filing in an ongoing family separation case.
"The Biden administration is committed to remedying this awful harm the Trump administration inflicted on families," a senior administration official said, calling the policy a "moral failure" and "national shame."
The Justice Department also officially rescinded the policy last week in a memo to federal prosecutors, even though it had already been ended.
Cases of separated families will be examined on an individual basis to determine next steps. "The goal of the task force is one to identify, but two to make recommendations as to how the families can be united, taking into account the menu of options that exist under immigration law," the official said.
Addressing root causes of migration This executive order will focus on providing support to Central America to stem the flow of migrants to the US-Mexico border and provide other pathways to migrate to the US without journeying north.
The administration plans to provide aid to the region to support initiatives combating corruption and revive the Central American minors program that had been ended by Trump and allows certain at-risk youths to live in the US, according to a senior administration official.
Homeland Security will also be directed to review the Trump-era policy that requires non-Mexican migrants to stay in Mexico until their immigration court date in the United States. The policy, informally known as "Remain in Mexico," has left thousands of asylum seekers waiting in dangerous and deplorable conditions on the border.
RELATED: Biden wasting no time naming officials to reverse Trump's immigration policies
The Biden administration has stopped new enrollments into the program, but has not disclosed its plans to address the thousands of migrants still waiting in Mexico, saying only that they will be taken into account as new systems are put in place.
"The situation at the border will not transform overnight," a senior administration official said. "This is in large part due to the damage done over the last four years, but we are committed to addressing it in full."
The order will also call for a series of actions to restore the asylum system, which was drastically changed over the last four years and made it exceedingly difficult for migrants to be granted asylum in the US.
Reviewing the legal immigration system This executive order seeks to promote immigrant integration and inclusion, according to the White House, and re-establish a Task Force on New Americans.
Like the other executive orders, it also seeks to reverse Trump-era policies that targeted low-income immigrants, including calling for a review of the public charge rule which makes it more difficult for immigrants to obtain legal status if they use public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers.
The order also kicks off a review of the naturalization process to streamline it and make it more accessible, according to a senior administration official.
Mitch McConnell Comes Out Against Marjorie Taylor Greene With Removal Efforts Underway
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 11:59
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has criticized Republican Georgia House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene for her belief in extremist conspiracy theories.
He is one of the few Republicans to openly speak against the freshman congresswoman, even as Democrats move to get Greene removed from her recent assignments to the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Budget Committee as well as preventing her from getting placed on any other influential congressional committees in the future.
"Somebody who's suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.'s airplane is not living in reality," McConnell said, according to The Hill. "This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party."
Among the theories she has supported or spread, Greene believes said that an airplane never hit the Pentagon during the September 11 terrorist attacks; that former President Barack Obama was secretly Muslim; that Black Lives Matters is a "domestic terrorist" organization; that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump; that all school shootings were staged events meant to increase firearm regulations; that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once sliced off a child's face and wore it; and that wealthy Jews used a space laser to start wildfires and others.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has criticized Republican Georgia House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene for her belief in extremist conspiracy theories. Drew Angerer/GettyAs a growing number of Democrats have called on Republican Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy to remove the freshman congresswoman from her committee assignments, on Monday, the House Rules Committee said it would present a resolution on Tuesday.
The resolution alleges that Green has violated clause 1 of House rule 23 which states, "A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House."
In a statement sent to Newsweek on Monday, Greene said the Democrats and the "Fake News Media" are "coming after" her because she's "a threat to their goal of Socialism" and represents "the people, not the politicians." She has never publicly disavowed any of her previously stated beliefs in the aforementioned conspiracy theories.
GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he plans to meet with Greene to discuss her extremist beliefs.
"These comments are deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them," Mark Bednar, a spokesperson for McCarthy, told Axios last week.
Newsweek contacted McConnell's office for comment.
White House Reporters Say Biden Team Wanted Their Questions in Advance
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 06:25
If you're a reporter with a tough question for the White House press secretary, Joe Biden's staff wouldn't mind knowing about it in advance.
According to three sources with knowledge of the matter, as well as written communications reviewed by The Daily Beast, the new president's communications staff have already on occasion probed reporters to see what questions they plan on asking new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki when called upon during briefings.
The requests prompted concerns among the White House press corps, whose members, like many reporters, are sensitive to the perception that they are coordinating with political communications staffers.
One reporter raised the issue during an informal White House Correspondents Association Zoom call last Friday. According to multiple sources, leaders at the meeting advised print reporters to push back against requests by the White House press team to learn of questions in advance, or simply to not respond to the Biden team's inquiries.
''While it's a relief to see briefings return, particularly with a commitment to factual information, the press can't really do its job in the briefing room if the White House is picking and choosing the questions they want,'' one White House correspondent said. ''That's not really a free press at all.''
''It pissed off enough reporters for people to flag it for the [WHCA] for them to deal with it,'' another knowledgeable source said.
The WHCA Zoom call was off the record, and Daily Beast staffers participated in the talk. Those staffers had no input into this story whatsoever. The reporter who wrote this story was not bound by the terms of the call's agreement. All of the information in this article was independently gathered, and without his colleagues' knowledge.
Since Biden took office two weeks ago, the White House press team has visibly attempted to draw contrasts with the Trump press team, which had a notoriously antagonistic relationship with reporters and eventually scrapped the traditional daily briefing altogether.
Psaki has pleased many members of the press pool by ensuring that the reporters in attendance aren't doing so in vain. In each of the early press conferences, she's fielded questions from every reporter in the room.
During her first presser, Psaki promised to restore regular briefings, including those with top administration health officials, adding that she had a ''deep respect for the role of a free and independent press,'' and that they shared ''a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people.''
Biden's press team did not deny that staffers had solicited questions from reporters. But the White House contended that it has tried to foster a better relationship with the press corps than the previous administration, and has tried to reach out to reporters directly in order to avoid appearing to dodge questions during briefings.
''Our goal is to make the daily briefing as useful and informative as possible for both reporters and the public,'' a White House spokesperson said. ''Part of meeting that objective means regularly engaging with the reporters who will be in the briefing room to understand how the White House can be most helpful in getting them the information they need. That two-way conversation is an important part of keeping the American people updated about how government is serving them.''
This practice isn't totally unheard-of in previous administrations, departments, or federal agencies. For instance, former President Donald Trump's White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was known to have asked certain news outlets about their questions in advance of some major or high-profile Trump press conferences or events, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Communications staffers during the Bush and Obama years would ask reporters for the gist of questions in advance if they wanted to interview Cabinet secretaries.
Under previous administrations, many White House reporters would meet informally in the morning for gaggles with the press secretaries. During these interactions, White House communications staff could get a sense of the topics reporters were interested in that day, and would come prepared for questions during televised briefings later in the afternoon.
Eric Schultz, a former deputy press secretary in the Obama White House, said that the new comms team was restoring normalcy to the briefing process. Finding out what reporters are focusing on, he said, was standard procedure in most pre-Trump White Houses in order to reduce the number of questions that go unanswered during televised briefings.
''This is textbook communications work. The briefing becomes meaningless if the press secretary has to repeatedly punt questions, instead of coming equipped to discuss what journalists are reporting on,'' he said. ''In a non-covid environment, this would happen in casual conversations throughout the day in lower and upper press. One of the few upsides to reporters hovering over your desk all day, is that you get a very quick sense of what they're working on.''
Despite concerns some reporters had with the Biden team's behind-the-scenes queries, Psaki's tenure thus far has received positive reviews from many media outlets. The Washington Post told readers to get ready for a ''reality-grounded'' press briefings, which Forbes has already described as ''must-see TV.'' The New York Times noted that she had extended an ''olive branch'' to reporters during her first briefing, which Vox described as a ''breath of fresh air.''
'--With additional reporting by Asawin Suebsaeng.
It Costs WHAT?! A Sounding Into Hearing Aids | Hackaday
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 05:57
We are accustomed to medical devices being expensive, but sometimes the costs seem to far exceed reasonable expectations. At its most simplistic, a hearing aid should just be a battery, microphone, amplifier, and speaker, all wrapped in an enclosure, right? These kinds of parts can be had for a few dimes, so why do modern hearing aids cost thousands of dollars, and why can't they seem to go down in price?
BackgroundUntil the nearly 1900s, the best available option for partial hearing loss was the ear trumpet, which takes the sound over a larger area and condenses it into a smaller area at the ear canal. The invention of the microphone enabled electronic hearing devices, with Miller Reese Hutchison inventing the Akouphone, a tabletop unit. By 1902 it had become a battery-powered smaller device called the Acousticon, but it was still bulky and the batteries didn't last long and it didn't have good volume control or frequency filtering; basically it was pretty much every V1 product, but it was still revolutionary.
The Acousticon hearing aid (image is public domain)Since it was impossible to jam vacuum tubes into people's ears safely, it took a long time before hearing aids got significantly better, but suffice it to say that as technology improved, so did hearing aids. Advances in plastics, microelectronics, sensing, filtering, batteries, manufacturing, and all of the other things that have improved every other aspect of modern life also contributed to better hearing aids.
Now there are a variety of types, but they exist in three general categories: behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and in-the-canal (ITC or completely-in-the-canal CTC). Their names are descriptive enough, and their advantages are easily imagined. Behind-the-ear allows for larger batteries and more complex electronics, at the expense of bulk. In-the-ear is smaller but still visible and is a compromise. In-the-canal are the smallest yet, but aren't easy to adjust or remove, and can't have some of the nicer features or amplify very much.
FeaturesHearing aids have come a long way in 120 years. Current aids can have Bluetooth connectivity for interfacing directly with smartphones. There is also a feature called telecoil, which uses a magnetic field created by a loop in the listening area. Many meeting places, like churches and libraries, have this technology installed in meeting rooms to allow the hearing impaired to pick up and amplify the sound more clearly. Aids will have adjustable volumes and frequency ranges (to only amplify the ranges where the patient has loss, or to shift frequencies from ones where there is loss to ones where there is not), dynamic volume adjustment, noise reduction, profiles for different environments. The R&D and engineering involved in these advancements is certainly part of the high cost, but in some cases these features can be undesirable, such as when it filters out sounds you want to hear, like music. There is definitely a sweet spot between a high cost product that amplifies exactly what you want exactly how you want it but with a complicated interface for navigating all of those settings, and a cheap run-of-the-mill amplifier that barely gets the job done. The only problem is it's a different spot for everyone.
TeardownNot having any hearing aids around, I resorted to my favorite FCC trick for teardowns, and discovered the internal photos of a few.
Behind-the-ear units are rigid-flex PCBs folded into a variety of contortions to place all the components into the curved enclosure. Behold the Aurora BTE:
The completely-in-canal Aurora CIC is a marvel of engineering and a challenge to photograph. Fortunately their user guide has a helpful diagram to assist.
The components of a CIC hearing aid are as minimal as possible.Designing a new oneIf one were to assume that all the current manufacturers of hearing aids are misguided in their goals of making smaller and more expensive devices, and one wanted to make something for the masses of underinsured and uninsured who have mild to severe hearing loss, how would one go about it? First, let's assume that CIC or even ITC is unrealistic, as it requires far too many customized components, including a molded shell for the user's ears, and difficult assembly. BTE is far more accessible, as is a headphone or earbud solution.
What kind of off-the-shelf parts could be used to reduce NRE and scaling costs? A rechargeable battery would be nice, but more expensive, lower energy density, and more difficult to service than disposable cells or alkalines. How about the circuit: a pure analog solution, or a digital solution that incorporates DSP? Throw in Bluetooth or not? What knobs should it have? A digital solution with some pre-designed profiles and a knob for volume and a knob to select the profile could accomplish the vast majority of the requirements.
And this is where we come to the difference between a hearing aid and a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP). There are lots of PSAPs available for a wide range of prices, with many offering all of the same features at a fraction of the cost of a hearing aid, but an equally large number of warnings about them and their inappropriateness as hearing aids. The primary concern is that they will do more harm than help, as improper amplification of frequencies can contribute to further damage, and using one can delay being seen by a professional who may be able to diagnose and treat the underlying cause before it's too late.
Proper procedure aside, when presented with a choice between a PSAP and nothing, there are still many who will choose the PSAP, and some who have done research in it as an acceptable solution. We shared one such device in 2016, and as recently as September another group created LoCHAid with a BOM of <$1 (primarily a MAX98306 3.7W Class D amplifier).
RegulatoryBeing able to slap the words ''medical device'' on a product automatically adds zeroes to the price, but the privilege comes with a lot of effort and cost on the part of the manufacturers as well. The regulatory requirements are rigorous. Because it is worn so close to the body for extended periods, it must pass radiation emissions tests, SAR evaluation, biocompatibility tests, and other safety tests. Acidic ear wax can have effects on the enclosure as well, and the device must not cause harm to the users. Testing and documentation and regulatory filings can occupy years of time and hundreds of thousands of dollars, and vary from country to country, so it is an effort not lightly undertaken. This is why PSAPs exist.
ConclusionsGetting involved in helping people with their medical problems, especially those who are underprivileged, is a noble endeavor. Technology has improved to the point where an open source design may even be accessible. Maybe there is a middle ground somewhere for a low-cost design with the minimum features that is safe, with an open source development environment and BSP that would allow developers to improve the audio features. There may be room in the market for budget hearing aids for low and middle-income countries. However, where health is concerned, we should be extremely careful not to create something that would cause more harm than good.
The Destructive Plan Behind the Biden Russia Agenda
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 05:53
The Destructive Plan Behind the Biden Russia Agenda By F. William Engdahl29 January 2021 Image:Victoria Nuland - CEO, Center for a New American Security 29 November 2018 Author: Ssturner71 License: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. License Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Victoria_Nuland_-_CEO,_Center_for_a_New_American_Security.jpg
The new Biden Administration has from day one made it clear it will adopt a hostile and aggressive policy against the Russian Federation of Vladimir Putin. The policy behind this stance has nothing to do with any foul deeds Putin's Russia may or may not have committed against the West. It has nothing to do with absurd allegations that Putin had pro-US dissident Alexei Navalny poisoned with the ultra-deadly Novichok nerve agent. In has to do with a far deeper agenda of the globalist Powers That Be. That agenda is what is being advanced now.
The Cabinet choices of Joe Biden reveal much. His key foreign policy picks''Tony Blinken as Secretary of State and Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; Bill Burns as CIA head; Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor ; Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence'--all are from the Obama-Biden Administration and all have worked closely together. As well, all see Russia, not China, as the prime security threat to the United States' global hegemony.
As candidate, Joe Biden stated this often. His key foreign policy choices underscore that the focus with the Biden Administration, regardless how fit Biden himself is, will shift from the China threats to that of Putin's Russia. Biden's CIA head, Bill Burns, is a former Ambassador to Moscow and was Deputy Secretary of State during the Obama CIA coup d'etat in Ukraine in 2014. Notably, when Burns left State in November 2014 he was succeeded by Tony Blinken, now Secretary of State. Blinken reportedly formulated the US State Department response to Russia's Crimea annexation.
Nuland is key
All Biden choices are uniformly clear in blaming Putin's Russia for everything from US election interference in 2016 to the recent SolarWinds US government computer hack, to every other claim aired against Russia in recent years, whether proven or not.
In trying to determine what the new Biden Administration and the US intelligence agencies have in store towards Putin and Russia, however, the best indication is the prominent role being given to Victoria Nuland, the person, together with then-Vice President Joe Biden, who ran the political side of the US coup d'etat in Ukraine in 2013-14. She infamously was wire-tapped in a phone call to the US Ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Square 2013-14 protests, telling the Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, regarding EU choices for a new Ukraine regime, ''F**k the EU.'' Her husband, Robert Kagan is a notorious Washington neocon.
On leaving government on Trump's election in 2016, Nuland became a Senior Counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, headed by former Clinton Secretary of State Madeline Albright who is also chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) affiliate, National Democratic Institute. Nuland also joined the Board of the NED, after 2016, keeping in close contact with NED regime change operations. She is a Russia expert, fluent in Russian and a specialist in toppling regimes.
As Obama Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian and European Affairs in 2013, Nuland worked closely with Vice President Joe Biden to put into power Arseniy Yatsenyuk in a US-friendly and Russia-hostile Ukraine coup. She fostered months of protest against the regime of the elected President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, to force his ouster after his decision to join the Russian Eurasian Economic Union. Founder of the private intelligence group Stratfor, George Friedman, in an interview just after the February 2014 coup in Kiev, called it ''the most blatant coup in (US) history.''
New Initiatives
In a major article in the August, 2020 Foreign Affairs, journal of the New York Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Nuland outlines what most likely will be US strategy for undermining Russia in the coming months. She complains that, ''resignation has set in about the state of US-Russian relations, and Americans have lost confidence in their own ability to change the game.'' In other words, she is about ''changing the game'' with Putin. She charges that in the past 12 years, ''Russia has violated arms control treaties; fielded new, destabilizing weapons; threatened Georgia's sovereignty; seized Crimea and much of the Donbass; and propped up despots in Libya, Syria, and Venezuela. It has used cyber-weapons against foreign banks, electrical grids, and government systems; interfered in foreign democratic elections; and assassinated its enemies on European soil.''
She goes on to say the repeated US economic sanctions on select Russian banks and companies as well as Putin backers have done little to change Russian policy, claiming that, ''US and allied sanctions, although initially painful, have grown leaky or impotent with overuse and no longer impress the Kremlin.''
But Nuland suggests that Putin's Russia today is vulnerable as never in the past 20 years: ''the one thing that should worry the Russian president: the mood inside Russia. Despite Putin's power moves abroad, 20 years of failing to invest in Russia's modernization may be catching up with him. In 2019, Russia's GDP growth was an anemic 1.3 percent. This year, the coronavirus pandemic and the free fall in oil prices could result in a significant economic contraction'...Russia's roads, rails, schools, and hospitals are crumbling. Its citizens have grown restive as promised infrastructure spending never appears, and their taxes and the retirement age are going up. Corruption remains rampant, and Russians' purchasing power continues to shrink.''
In her CFR article Nuland advocates using, ''Facebook, YouTube, and other digital platforms'... there is no reason why Washington and its allies shouldn't be more willing to give Putin a dose of his own medicine inside Russia, while maintaining the same deniability.'' She adds that because Russians widely use the Internet and it is largely open, ''Despite Putin's best efforts, today's Russia is more permeable. Young Russians are far more likely to consume information and news via the Internet than through state-sponsored TV or print media. Washington should try to reach more of them where they are: on the social networks Odnoklassniki and VKontakte; on Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube; and on the many new Russian-language digital platforms springing up.''
Navalny
Around the time Nuland submitted her July-August Foreign Affairs article, perennial Putin opponent, Alexey Navalny was in Berlin, ostensibly recovering from what he claims was an attempt by Putin's intelligence to kill him with highly toxic nerve agent, Novichok. Navalny, a US-educated opposition figure who was a Yale University Fellow in 2010 has been trying to gain a strong following for well over a decade, has been documented receiving money from Nuland's National Endowment for Democracy, whose founder in the 1990s described it as doing, ''what the CIA used to do, but privately.'' In 2018 according to NPR in the US, Navalny had more than six million YouTube subscribers and more than two million Twitter followers. How many are bots paid by US intelligence is not known. Now, five months after exile in Berlin, Navalny makes a bold return where he knew he faced likely jail for past charges. It was obviously a clear calculation by his Western sponsors.
The US government's NGO for Color Revolution regime change, the NED, in a piece published on January 25 echoes Nuland's call for a social media-led destabilization of Putin. Writing about the Moscow arrest of Navalny just three days before the Biden inauguration, the NED states that, ''By creating a model of guerrilla political warfare for the digital age, Navalny has exposed the regime's utter lack of imagination and inability'....'' They add, ''Putin is in a Catch-22: If Putin kills Navalny, it could draw more attention to the problem and exacerbate unrest. If Putin lets Navalny live, then Navalny remains a focus for resistance, whether he is in prison or not'... Navalny has very much outmaneuvered Putin at each turn since the poisoning. It's becoming a bit humiliating for him.''
Since his alleged botched poisoning in August in Russian Far East, Navalny was allowed by the Russian government to fly to Berlin for treatment, a strange act if indeed Putin and Russian intelligence had really wanted him dead. What clearly took place in the intervening five months in exile suggests that Navalny's return was professionally prepared by unnamed Western intelligence regime change specialists. The Kremlin has claimed intelligence that shows Navalny was directly being tutored while in exile by CIA specialists.
On Navalny's Moscow arrest January 17, his anti-corruption NGO released a sophisticated YouTube documentary on Navalny's channel, purporting to show a vast palace alleged to belong to Putin on the Black Sea, filmed with use of a drone, no small feat. In the video Navalny calls on Russians to march against the alleged billion dollar ''Putin Palace'' to protest corruption.
Navalny, who clearly is being backed by sophisticated US information warfare specialists and groups such as the NED, is likely being told to build a movement to challenge United Russia party candidates in the September Duma elections where Putin isn't a candidate. He has even been given a new tactic, which he calls a ''smart voting'' strategy, a hallmark NED tactic.
Stephen Sestanovich, New York Council on Foreign Relations Russia expert and former board member of the NED, suggested the likely game plan of the new Biden team. On January 25 Sestanovich wrote in the CFR blog, ''The Putin regime remains strong, but nationwide protests in support of Alexei Navalny are the most serious challenge to it in years. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is showing a political creativity and tactical skill that Putin has not previously faced. If the protests continue, they could reveal vulnerabilities in his decades-long hold on power.'' This was two days after Russia-wide protests demanding Navalny's release from jail. ''With his bold decision to return to Moscow and the release of a widely viewed video purporting to expose regime corruption, Navalny has shown himself to be a capable and imaginative political figure'--even from jail, perhaps the most formidable adversary Putin has faced,'' he wrote. ''The strategic sophistication of Navalny's team is underscored both by its video release and, before that, by its expos(C) of the Federal Security Services (FSB) personnel who poisoned him last summer.''
The clear decision of the Biden team to name a former Moscow ambassador to head the CIA and Victoria Nuland to No. 3 position at the State Department, along with his other intelligence choices indicate that destabilizing Russia will be a prime focus of Washington going forward. As the NED gleefully put it, ''Navalny's arrest, three days before Biden's inauguration former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says, has all the makings of ''Biden's first foreign policy crisis. Whatever was in their transition documents, this is now front and center for them.''
The reason however is not because of domestic corruption by Putin's inner circle, true or not. Biden could care less. Rather it is the very existence of Russia under Putin as an independent sovereign nation that tries to defend that national identity, whether in military defense or in defense of a traditionally conservative Russian culture. Ever since the US-backed NED destabilization of the Soviet Union in 1990 during the Bush Administration, it has been NATO policy and that of the influential financial interests behind NATO to break Russia into many parts, dismantle the state and loot what is left of its huge raw materials resources. The globalist Great Reset has no room for independent nation states like Russia is the message that the new Biden team will clearly convey now.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine''New Eastern Outlook''
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After COVID, Davos Moves to Great Reset
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 05:51
After COVID, Davos Moves to Great Reset By F. William Engdahl25 January 2021 Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay Pixabay License Free for commercial use No attribution required
With the USA Biden Presidency, Washington has rejoined the Global Warming agenda of the Paris Accords. With China making loud pledges about meeting strict CO2 emission standards by 2060, now the World Economic Forum is about to unveil what will transform the way we all live in what WEF head Klaus Schwab calls the Great Reset. Make no mistake. This all fits into an agenda that has been planned for decades by old wealth families such as Rockefeller and Rothschild. Brzezinski called it the end of the sovereign nation state. David Rockefeller called it ''one world government.'' George H.W. Bush in 1990 called it the New World Order. Now we can better see what they plan to impose if we allow.
The Great Reset of the World Economic Forum is a 21st Century rollout for a new form of global total control. ''We only have one planet and we know that climate change could be the next global disaster with even more dramatic consequences for humankind. We have to decarbonise the economy in the short window still remaining and bring our thinking and behaviour once more into harmony with nature,'' declared WEF founder Schwab about the January 2021 agenda. The last time these actors did something at all similar in scope was in 1939 on the very eve of World War II.
War & Peace Studies
At that time the Rockefeller Foundation financed a top secret strategy group working out of the New York Council on Foreign Relations. It was known as the War and Peace Studies and headed by 'America's Haushofer,' geographer Isaiah Bowman of Johns Hopkins University. Before German Panzer tanks had even rolled into Poland, they were planning a postwar world where the United States would emerge as the sole victor and replace the British as the global hegemonic power.
Formulation of a US-dominated United Nations and Bretton Woods monetary order based on the dollar was part of their project. In 1941 as America formally entered the war, the CFR group sent a memo to the US State Department: ''If war aims are stated which seem to be solely concerned with Anglo-American imperialism, they will offer little to people in the rest of the world. The interests of other peoples should be stressed. This would have a better propaganda effect.''
That successful project has been the framework of what Henry Luce in 1941 called the American Century, and lasted until quite recently.
Now those same families, again including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rothschilds in the person of Lynn de Rothschild's ''Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican,'' are moving to create the next generation in their pursuit of global domination. It's being called the Great Reset. It requires global government, a plank significantly endorsed by the Jesuit Pope Francis. Its PR man, Klaus Schwab, is a self-admitted prot(C)g(C) of Rockefeller insider Henry Kissinger, from their days 50 years ago at Harvard.
'Build Back Better'
In May, 2020 as the coronavirus had caused global panic lockdowns far beyond the initial outbreak in Wuhan, the British Crown Prince Charles, together with the World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab, unveiled what they gleefully named the Great Reset. Increasingly world political and business leaders are using terms such as ''the Great Reset,'' or ''the Fourth Industrial Revolution'' and the call to ''Build Back Better'' which the Biden Administration prefers. They all are anchored on the same set of dramatic global changes. The US Green New Deal and the EU European Green Deal are all part of it.
The most striking fact about the agenda of the Great Reset is that it is being advanced by the same giga-rich plutocrat families responsible for the flaws of the present world economic model. They, not we, have created ruin of organic fields and nature with their Roundup glyphosate and toxic pesticides. They have ruined the air quality in our cities by the transportation models they force on us. They created the ''free market'' model of globalization that has ruined the industrial base of the United States and the industrial EU nations. Now, as they blame us for an alleged catastrophic emission of CO2, we're being conditioned to accept guilt and be punished in order to ''save the next generation'' for Greta and friends.
The 4th Industrial Revolution
Behind the seductive rhetoric of the Powers That Be on creating a ''sustainable'' world, lies an agenda of raw eugenics, depopulation on a scale never before tried. It is not human, in fact, some call it ''transhuman.''
In 2016 WEF head Schwab wrote a book titled Shaping the Future of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. In it, he describes the technological changes coming with the 4th Industrial Revolution of 5G smart phones, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence that link everything to everything to make the most banal decisions for us such as buying more milk or turning down the stove. At the same time data is centralized in private corporations such as Google or Facebook to monitor every breath we take.
Schwab describes how new generation technologies, already being rolled out by Google, Huawei, Facebook and countless others, will allow governments to ''intrude into the hitherto private space of our minds, reading our thoughts and influencing our behavior'...Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will not stop at becoming part of the physical world around us '-- they will become part of us,'' said Schwab. ''Today's external devices '-- from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets '-- will almost certainly become implantable in our bodies and brains.''
Schwab adds, ''What the fourth industrial revolution will lead to is a fusion of our physical, digital and biological identity.'' Among those fusion technologies are, ''active implantable microchips that break the skin barrier of our bodies,'' Schwab explained. These ''implantable devices will likely also help to communicate thoughts normally expressed verbally, through a 'built-in' smartphone, and potentially unexpressed thoughts or moods by reading brain waves and other signals. '' I don't know about you but I am not eager to have the state or Google read my brainwaves.
Control Our Food
The confusing aspect for many is the plethora of front groups, NGOs and programs which all lead to the same goal: the drastic control over every member of society in the name of sustainability'--UN Agenda 2030. Nowhere is it more ominous than in their plans for the future of our food. After creating the present system of globalized industrial agriculture, agribusiness, a project begun in the 1950s by the Rockefeller Foundation, the same circles now advocate ''sustainable'' agriculture which will mean a shift to genetically edited fake foods, lab-made synthetic meats and such, even including worms and weeds as new food sources.
The WEF'S Schwab has partnered with something called EAT Forum, which describes itself as a ''Davos for food'' that plans to ''set the political agenda.'' EAT was created in Sweden in 2016 with support from the UK Wellcome Trust (established with funds from GlaxoSmithKline), and the German Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Lab-grown synthetic gene-edited meats are being supported among others by Bill Gates, the same one backing Moderna and other genetically edited vaccines. EAT works among others with Impossible Foods and other biotech companies. Impossible Foods was initially co-funded by Google, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Recent lab results showed the company's imitation meat contained toxic glyphosate levels 11 times higher than its closest competitor.
In 2017 EAT launched FReSH (Food Reform for Sustainability and Health) with the backing of Bayer AG, one of the world's most toxic pesticide and GMO producers that now owns Monsanto; the China-owned GMO and pesticide giant Syngenta, Cargill, Unilever, DuPont and even Google. This is the planned food future under the Great Reset. Forget the traditional family farmer.
In his 2020 book on The Great Reset, Schwab argues that biotechnology and genetically modified food should become a central pillar to global food scarcity issues, issues which COVID has exacerbated. He is pushing GMO and especially the controversial gene-editing. He writes ''global food security will only be achieved if regulations on genetically modified foods are adapted to reflect the reality that gene editing offers a precise, efficient and safe method of improving crops.'' Gates, a project partner with Schwab since years, has argued the same.
EAT has developed what it refers to as ''the planetary health diet,'' which the WEF champions as the ''sustainable dietary solution of the future.'' But according to Federic Leroy, a food science and biotechnology professor at University of Brussels, ''The diet aims to cut the meat and dairy intake of the global population by as much as 90% in some cases and replaces it with lab-made foods, cereals and oil.''
This is just a hint of what is being prepared under the guise of COVID-19 lockdowns and economic collapse, and 2021 will be a decisive year for this anti-human agenda. The introduction of AI, robots, and other digital technologies will enable the Powers That Be to dispose of hundreds of millions of workplaces. Contrary to their propaganda, new jobs will not be sufficient. We will become increasingly ''redundant.'' This all seems too surreal until you read from their own descriptions. The fact that the cabal of the world's most influential corporations and billionaires sit on the board of WEF with Kissinger's student, Klaus Schwab, along with the head of the UN and of the IMF, with the CEOs of the world's largest financial giants including Blackrock, BlackStone, Christine Lagarde of the European Central Bank, David Rubenstein of Carlyle group, Jack Ma, richest billionaire in China, is proof enough this Great Reset is not being done with our true interests at heart, despite their silky words. This dystopian agenda is 1984 on steroids. COVID-19 was merely the prelude.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine''New Eastern Outlook''
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The Dangerous Alliance of Rothschild and the Vatican of Francis
Tue, 02 Feb 2021 05:46
The Dangerous Alliance of Rothschild and the Vatican of Francis By F. William Engdahl22 December 2020 Image: Pope Francis in Colombo Author: Prasanna Welangoda License: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license License Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pope_Francis_in_Colombo.jpg
Holy Moly! The most globalist and interventionist Pope since the Crusades of the 12th Century has formalized an alliance with the largest figures in global finance led by none other than that noble banking family, Rothschild. The new alliance is a joint venture they call ''Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican.'' The venture is one of the more cynical and given the actors, most dangerous frauds being promoted since Davos WEF guru and Henry Kissinger prot(C)g(C), Klaus Schwab, began to promote the Great Reset of the world capitalist order. What and is behind this so-called Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican?
On their website they proclaim in a typical UN doublespeak, ''The Council for Inclusive Capitalism is a movement of the world's business and public sector leaders who are working to build a more inclusive, sustainable, and trusted economic system that addresses the needs of our people and the planet.'' A more sustainable, trusted economic system? Doesn't that sound like the infamous UN Agenda 21 and its Agenda 2030 daughter, the globalist master plan? They then claim, ''Inclusive Capitalism is fundamentally about creating long-term value for all stakeholders '' businesses, investors, employees, customers, governments and communities.''
They continue, ''Council members make actionable commitments aligned with the World Economic Forum International Business Council's Pillars for sustainable value creation'--People, Planet, Principles of Governance, and Prosperity'--and that advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.''
In announcing the deal with the Vatican, Lynn Forester de Rothschild declared, ''This Council will follow the warning from Pope Francis to listen to 'the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor' and answer society's demands for a more equitable and sustainable model of growth.''
Their reference to Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum is no accident. The group is yet another front group in what is becoming a globalist bum's rush to try to convince a skeptical world that the same people who created the post-1945 model of IMF-led globalization and giga-corporate entities more powerful than governments, destroying traditional agriculture in favor of toxic agribusiness, dismantling living standards in industrialized countries to flee to cheap labor countries like Mexico or China, will now lead the effort to correct all their abuses? We are being na¯ve if we swallow this.
Rothschild and pals
First off it is useful to see who are the ''inclusive'' capitalists joining forces with the Pope and Vatican. The founder is a lady who carries the name Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild. She is the wife of the 90-year old retired mega-billionaire head of London's NM Rothschilds Bank, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. Lady Lynn however is from ''commoner'' roots, born into a US working class family in New Jersey whose father, as she tells, worked two jobs to put her and her brothers through law and medical schools. She seemed to have had some influential mentors, as she went to Wall Street then to telecoms including Motorola and made reported tens of millions before hooking up with Sir Evelyn and his reported $20 billion in assets. Reports have it that Henry Kissinger played a personal role in encouraging the Transatlantic union of the two.
Lady Lynn is interesting as well beyond her famous husband. According to the list of names of those who flew on the private jet of convicted child sex trafficker and reported Mossad operative Jeffrey Epstein, one name that appears is ''de Rothschild, Lynn Forester.''
It is interesting to note, that the same Lynn Forester in 1991, before she took Sir Evelyn as her husband, generously let a British friend have full use of one of Lynn's Manhattan apartment properties, following the apparent murder of the woman's father, British media tycoon and Mossad agent, Robert Maxwell. The British friend of Lynn, Ghislaine Maxwell, today is awaiting trial for complicity in child sex trafficking as the partner of Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell reportedly maintained the Manhattan address of Lady Lynn until very recently to register a bizarre non-profit called Terramar that she and Epstein set up in 2012, allegedly aimed at saving our oceans. When Epstein was arrested she quickly dissolved the non-profit. One of the donors to Ghislaine's TerraMar was something called the Clinton Foundation, which leads to the next friend.
Lady Lynn has another long-time friend named Hillary Clinton, whose husband, Bill, was also logged on Epstein's Lolita Express private jet, around two dozen times. Lynn and her new husband, Sir Evelyn, in fact were so close to the Clintons that in 2000 the Rothschild newlyweds spent part of their honeymoon as guests at the White House of Mr and Mrs Clinton. Lady Lynn after that became a major fund-raiser in 2008 and again 2016 for a possible Hillary bid for President, called a ''bundler.'' She also advised Hillary on her economic program, a free market one based on Adam Smith as she described it in an interview once.
Lady Lynn's ''Guardians''
The Rothschild venture with the Vatican at this point, in addition to co-founder Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, includes hand-picked money moguls and their select foundations who pompously call themselves the ''Guardians.'' That's a term sounding more like a South Side Chicago gang or some kind of mafia overlords. They call themselves the moral guardians, together now with their new friends at the Vatican, for reform of capitalism.
The Guardian member list includes Rajiv Shah, the CEO of the Rockefeller Foundation, and former partner of the Gates Foundation's AGRA scam to introduce GMO seeds in Africa. The Rockefeller Foundation has been involved in promoting a pandemic ''lockdown'' since 2010, and is a core part of the WEF Great Reset agenda. He just released a Rockefeller report, Reset the Table: Meeting the Moment to Transform the US Food System.
Rothschild's Guardians also include Darren Walker the CEO of the Ford Foundation. Those two foundations, Ford and Rockefeller, have done more to shape an imperial American foreign policy than even the US State Department or CIA, including the funding of the failed Green Revolution in India and Mexico, and the creation by Rockefeller funds of GMO crops.
The head of DuPont, a GMO giant and chemicals group is another Guardian as well as scandal-ridden vaccine and drug companies, Merck and Johnson & Johnson. Merck lied about the risks of its arthritis drug Vioxx until more than 55,000 users died of heart attacks. Johnson & Johnson has been involved in numerous frauds in recent years including around negative effects of its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, illegal presence of cancer-causing asbestos in its baby powder, and potentially thousands of legal actions for its role as a leading supplier of the opioid in Purdue Pharma's deadly prescription painkiller OxyContin.
Other Guardians include CEOs of Visa, Mastercard, Bank of America, Allianz insurance, BP. In 2016 Visa along with USAID were behind the catastrophic Modi experiment to introduce a cashless economy in India.
Notable also is Guardian Mark Carney, former Bank of England head and also advocate of cashless digital central bank currencies to replace the dollar. Carney is now United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.
Carney is also a Board member of the Davos World Economic Forum, the public promoter of the Global Reset of capitalism to impose the dystopian Agenda 2030 ''sustainable'' economy. In fact several of Rothschild's Guardians are on the WEF Board, including billionaire Marc Benioff, founder of cloud computing Salesforce, and OECD head Angel Gurria. And ex-Credit Suisse CEO, Tidjane Thiam is on the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.
Other Guardians of the inclusive capitalism transformation include the head of Bank of America, which bank was sued by the US Government for fraud connected with the 2008 US subprime mortgage crisis, as well as for laundering money for the deadly Mexican drug cartels and Russian organized crime. The select Guardian list also includes Marcie Frost, the controversial head of CalPERS, the huge fraud-ridden California state pension fund managing over $360 billion.
The head of State Street Corporation, one of the world's largest asset management companies with US$3.1 trillion under management, is another Guardian. In January 2020 State Street announced it would vote against directors of companies in major stock indices that do not meet targets for environmental, social and governance changes. This is what is called Green Investing, as part of so-called Socially Responsible Investing. The WEF strategy, pushed also by WEF board members like Larry Fink of BlackRock, reward companies that they deem ''socially responsible.'' This is the key to the inclusive capitalism agenda of not just Rothschild's inclusive capitalism Guardians, but also the WEF.
Their website claims that the Guardians manage more than $10.5 trillion dollars and control companies that employ 200 million workers. Now a brief look at their new Vatican partner.
Vatican Morals?
Ironically, or maybe not, Pope Francis, the partner chosen to give Rothschild's group of mega-capitalists ''moral'' credibility, is himself embroiled in what could be the largest financial scandals, fraud and misuse of church funds in the modern history of the Vatican. That, despite the fact Pope Francis declared as new Pope in 2013, one of his main tasks would be to clean up the scandal-ridden Vatican finances. That has hardly taken place even after more than six years. Some Vatican observers even claim the financial corruption has worsened.
The unravelling scandal revolves around now-disgraced Cardinal Angelo Becciu who until 2018 was de facto chief-of-staff to the Pope and regular confidante. Becciu was Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State, a key position in the Roman Curia until June, 2018 when the pope elevated him to Cardinal, ironically enough, responsible for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Becciu, clearly no saint, was able to invest hundreds of millions even billions over years of Church funds, including donations for the poor in Peter's Pence, into projects he chose with a former banker from Credit Suisse. Projects included '‚¬150 million share in a luxury London real estate complex and $1.1 million into a film, Rocketman, about the life of Elton John. That comes to light as the ongoing Vatican child sex scandals caused Pope Francis to defrock Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, the first Cardinal to fall in the Church's deep sexual abuse charges.
Italian press reports that the Pope knew about the dubious investments of Becciu and even praised them before the depth of the scandals broke. In November, 2020 Italian police raided the residence of Becciu's former Vatican accountant and found '‚¬600,000 in cash and evidence the Vatican employee received $15 million in fake invoicing over years.
With a background like this, the new Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican of Lynn de Rothschild warrants close scrutiny as they clearly plan big things along with Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum to ''reform'' the world economy, and it won't be nice or moral we can be sure.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine''New Eastern Outlook''
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Lobbyists Spent Nearly $3.5 Billion in 2020 to Influence Federal Lawmakers ' Children's Health Defense
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 13:59
The health sector was the top lobbying spender in 2020, shelling out a record $615 million. Big Pharma spent a record $306.23 million and was awarded lucrative federal contracts.
Lobbying spending remained steady in 2020 amid partisan gridlock, a tumultuous election and the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
Lobbying spending nearly reached $3.5 billion in 2020, according to OpenSecrets' review of lobbying filings, just falling short of 2019's record total. The final year of former President Donald Trump's term capped three straight years of relatively high lobbying spending, a departure from the final years of the Obama administration.
Lobbying spending totaled roughly $839 million from October through December, according to OpenSecrets' initial review of fourth-quarter lobbying data. That figure will likely increase as firms file late reports.
The year kicked off with a record $941 million in lobbying spending in the first quarter, driven by an all-out lobbying push from every major industry to influence the initial COVID-19 stimulus package. Lobbying spending took a dip in the second quarter after many industries missed out on government aid. And spending stagnated in the third quarter as it became clear Congress would not come to another bipartisan stimulus agreement before the November election.
Much of 2020's lobbying activity revolved around proposed stimulus legislation to combat the virus and its damaging effect on the economy. The bipartisan CARES Act '-- the $2.2 trillion package Congress passed in March '-- and Democrats' HEROES Act, which passed the House but not the Senate, became the second and third most lobbied non-appropriations bills of all time, respectively.
Some sectors had more to gain '-- and lose '-- from the pandemic than others. The health sector was the top lobbying spender in 2020, shelling out a record $615 million. Congress delivered massive windfalls to hospitals and the federal government awarded lucrative contracts to pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The pharmaceutical industry spent a record amount on lobbying in 2020, and many companies hired lobbyists with close ties to Trump and congressional leaders.
Health care providers ultimately won an expensive lobbying battle against insurers over ''surprise'' medical bills last year. Congress included a measure in the year-end spending package that will use arbitration to determine how much insurers would pay medical providers when the patient isn't covered. Emergency services companies, physician groups and private equity firms backing them spent massive sums on lobbying and aired a $75 million ad campaign to oppose a different proposal that would have the government set rates.
The finance, insurance and real estate sector also spent a record high on lobbying in 2020, shelling out $539 million. That figure is boosted by the National Association of Realtors, which spent $84 million on lobbying, more than any other organization. Congress, whose members are heavily invested in real estate, included new tax breaks for real estate investors in the CARES Act. With the pandemic hitting renters and homeowners hard, Realtors pushed Congress to include mortgage and rental assistance in its stimulus packages.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent nearly $82 million on lobbying in 2020. It's the first time the business lobbying giant didn't claim the top spot among lobbying spenders since 2000. After spending tens of millions backing Republicans over the last decade, the Chamber made the rare step of endorsing congressional Democrats last year. It has also supported many of President Joe Biden's plans, including his proposed COVID-19 relief bill.
Tech giants Amazon and Facebook topped all other companies on lobbying spending in 2020, bested only by massive trade associations. Among Amazon's recent hires is a lobbyist whose brother is a top Biden adviser. Those powerful companies and others in the tech industry have increased their presence in Washington each year, hoping to defeat calls from lawmakers on both sides to regulate or break up tech giants. Those proposals could gain traction under the Biden administration, which is expected to more strongly regulate Silicon Valley.
Originally published by Open Secrets.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children's Health Defense.
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UPS Will End Home Delivery of Vaping Products - Vaping360
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 13:51
Following congressional passage of the ''vape mail'' ban that will end U.S. Postal Service shipping of vaping products to consumers, UPS has joined Fedex in announcing it too will end shipping of vapes. The ban covers shipping to both consumers and businesses.
''Effective April 5, 2021, UPS will not transport vaping products to, from, or within the United States due to the increased complexity to ship those products,'' a company spokesperson told Vaping360 by email. The policy, which will soon leave no major shipping service willing to deliver vaping products to homes, has left online vaping retailers scrambling to find a solution.
The announcement followed days of uncertainty, with some vaping businesses being told that their accounts would be closed, and others being reassured that the company's tobacco and vapor product policy would not change. (The UPS website has still not amended the policy.)
Fedex had already confirmed that it will end vapor product shipping as of March 1. DHL, the other major shipping service, previously banned domestic retail shipments of e-cigarettes and all nicotine-containing products.
The new law, which was inserted into the federal Omnibus Spending Bill, mandates that the U.S. Postal Service create regulations within 120 days banning U.S. Mail delivery of vaping products'--whether they contain nicotine or not. The bill was so broad that the wording includes all vaping products, including all cannabis, CBD, and flavor-only liquids and devices.
The Postal Service has not issued its new rules yet. Existing USPS regulations allow manufacturers and distributors to ship cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to each other, but not directly to customers. If those rules carry over to vaping products, vape shops will still be able to receive products, but individual customers will be unable to receive deliveries at home.
In addition to banning USPS deliveries of vaping products, the ''Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act'' forces vape product sellers into the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, which is part of the larger federal Jenkins Act. The PACT Act imposes a series of stringent requirements on shippers of included products:
Register with the U.S. Attorney General/ATFVerify age of customers using a commercially available databaseUse private shipping services that collect an adult signature at the point of deliveryIf selling in states that tax vaping products, sellers must register with the federal government and with the tobacco tax administrators of the statesCollect all applicable local and state taxes, and affix any required tax stamps to the products soldSend each taxing state's tax administrator a list of all transactions with customers in their state, including the names and addresses of each customer sold to, and the quantities and type of each product soldMaintain records for five years of any ''delivery interrupted because the carrier or service determines or has reason to believe that the person ordering the delivery is in violation of the [PACT Act]''Sellers who do not register or don't comply with the requirements of the PACT Act are subject to severe penalties, including prison. The PACT Act provisions of the law take effect in late March, and apply to all online sales, no matter which carrier ships them.
Andrew Brooks, who led development of the first FDA-approved Covid-19 saliva test, dies at 51 - CNN
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 13:37
(CNN)Andrew Brooks, a research professor at Rutgers University who led the development of the first FDA-approved Covid-19 saliva test, died suddenly on January 23, according to a Rutgers statement.
His sister, Janet Green, confirmed to CNN on Sunday that the cause of death was a heart attack. She called him "an intellect, an amazing scientist, an amazing father ... an amazing family man."
Brooks, 51, was the chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR Infinite Biologics, the lab that developed the saliva test. The test, which was
approved in April 2020, was authorized for
at-home use a month later.New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy referred to Brooks as "one of our state's unsung heroes" in a January 25 news conference, saying his work "undoubtedly saved lives."
"We cannot thank Andy enough for all he did across his career," Murphy said. "He will be sorely missed by many."
Last year, Brooks spoke about the impact the saliva test had as an alternative to nasal PCR tests for health care workers.
"It means we no longer have to put health care professionals at risk for infection by performing nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal collections," he
said in a statement at the time. "We can preserve precious personal protective equipment for use in patient care instead of testing. We can significantly increase the number of people tested each and every day as self-collection of saliva is more quick and scalable than swab collections. All of this combined will have a tremendous impact on testing in New Jersey and across the United States."
Brooks is survived by his mother, sister, wife and three daughters, along with a niece and nephew, Rutgers' statement said.
CNN's Heather Law contributed to this report.
Patrick Byrne: Overstock Exploring Block Chain-Based Public Stock Offering
Mon, 01 Feb 2021 13:04
Overstock.com has proved itself to be a pioneer in bitcoin advocacy, helping push a number of major merchants to consider accepting digital currency when it became the first marquee name to do so this January.
Now, in a new interview with CoinDesk, CEO Patrick Byrne has opened up about how Overstock may be seeking to further develop its plans for promoting decentralisation in the global financial market.
The Utah-based e-commerce giant launched a new open-source wiki page on its website on 29th July. Entitled 'How to issue a cryptosecurity', the page provides a broad overview of the topic, and lists the pros and cons of the various major players in the marketplace including Counterparty, Ethereum and NXT. The offerings all allow users to trade securities person to person, without a centralised mediator such as a stock exchange.
Speaking to CoinDesk about the wiki, Byrne confirmed that the page seeks to crowdsource opinion from the digital currency community so that the company can shape its stance on whether it would be able to introduce such an offering.
Choosing his words carefully, Byrne said:
''I can't say that we have the intention to actually do it, but I can say that my intention is as firm as the intention can get while being still exploratory. If it gets any more solid, I will have to notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).''
If introduced, Overstock would be the first publicly traded company to also offer a cryptosecurity as an option to investors. Byrne suggested any Overstock offering, should it move past the exploratory phase, would not be focused on raising revenue, saying:
''If we hypothetically issued such stock, it would really be in a small amount. ['...] We're doing it because we want to figure out how to do it and show how to do it [so] other people can fund their companies using the system we develop.''
Cryptocurrency crowdsales have become an increasingly popular and sometimes contentious way for bitcoin startups to launch and raise money, with leading Canadian exchange CAVIRTEX and the now defunct Neo & Bee providing notable examples of the varying results produced so far through this approach.
Eliminating corruptionThroughout the conversation, Byrne stressed that he believes that cryptosecurities have the potential to vastly impact the traditional investment industry.
Noting how he thinks cryptosecurities could be even more powerful than cryptocurrencies in the long term, Byrne remarked:
''If every payment went to bitcoin, it would be a $16tn industry. If every exchange on the stock market went to a cryptosecurity it would be a $4qn industry.''
Byrne went on to suggest that he believes the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) '' a financial services company that provides clearing and settlement for the majority of US securities transactions, should be disintermediated by a block chain-based solution, and that doing so could prove more valuable to society than replacing central banks.
''The central bank is not good institutional design, it's bad institutional design,'' Byrne said. ''It's good people trying to do the right thing. ['...] In the case of the DTCC, I think that it's a corrupt organization that shows [the] influence of organized crime.''
Cryptosecurities, he asserted, hold the potential to eradicate the need for such centralized parties, and any steps toward this future, he suggested, would be beneficial.
How the offering could workThough the specifics of a final offering would likely be shaped by the cryptosecurities exchange platform Overstock chooses, the end result would aim to be similar to a traditional common stock, with the same associated economic and legal rights.
Byrne stated:
''Hypothetically, we would want to make it as close to an equivalent to our common stock as possible and trade at the same price.''
Speaking to CoinDesk in the past, some of the burgeoning cryptosecurity sector's major players acknowledged that the legality of securities trading using decentralised block chain-based platforms is still murky, especially as laws around traditional crowdfunding remain opaque.
Still, without guidance from the SEC, Byrne suggested that Overstock could seek to be the company that raises the issue, adding:
''We're open-sourcing how to create an alternative to the current corrupt institutions that dominate Wall Street. If their lap dog, the SEC, subpoenas me, I intend to open-source their subpoena and open-source my response. And when the DOJ indicts me, I'll post that online and we'll open-source our response to that.''
Obstacles aheadShould Overstock go ahead with such a proposal, it acknowledges it would likely encounter a number of issues. The wiki page currently names transaction recordkeeping and legal requirements, for example, as two areas that need further clarity.
In part, Byrne explained, the company's new wiki page is an attempt to find solutions to these obstacles. He said:
''We're basically open-sourcing the answers. Instead of asking some law firm to spend $1m to try and figure it out, we're turning it over to the world and say 'Hey you folks who want to see this happen, come and help figure out some of these questions on our wiki'.''
Still, Byrne cautioned that while he's enthusiastic about the project, the SEC will have the final say on whether Overstock could even issue a cryptosecurity.
''I agree that it's too exploratory to do now, but that's why we have the blank wiki page,'' Byrne said. ''As the issues get resolved on that wiki page it will become less and less risky.''
In particular, Byrne suggested that Overstock is hoping securities lawyers and stockbrokers can contribute to the page as it continues to explore the possible offering.
To learn more about Overstock's proposal, visit the full wiki page.
Hat tip to Wired / Image via Wired
CNA Nursing Home Whistleblower: Seniors Are DYING LIKE FLIES After COVID Injections!(SHARE)
Sun, 31 Jan 2021 15:25
James (he gives his last name in the video) is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), and he recorded this video as a whistleblower because he could not keep silent any longer.
James reports that in 2020 very few residents in the nursing home where h'...
James (he gives his last name in the video) is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), and he recorded this video as a whistleblower because he could not keep silent any longer.
James reports that in 2020 very few residents in the nursing home where he works got sick with COVID, and none of them died during the entire year of 2020.
However, shortly after administering the Pfizer experimental mRNA injections, 14 died within two weeks, and he reports that many others are near death.
He makes it very clear that these were patients he knew and cared for (he is also a "lay pastor"), and that after being injected with the mRNA shot, residents who used to walk on their own can no longer walk. Residents who used to carry on an intelligent conversation with him could no longer talk.
And now they are dying. "They're dropping like flies."
James calls upon other CNAs, Nurses, and family members to go public and tell the world what is going on with these experimental mRNA COVID injections.
"How many more lives need to be lost before we say something?"
If you know what is happening, but are not speaking out, then you are part of the problem.Full story: https://healthimpactnews.com/2021/cna-nursing-home-whistleblower-seniors-are-dying-like-flies-after-covid-injections-speak-out/
EMAILS FROM PFIZER AND THE EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY : The emails included information about Pfizer's VIDOC vaccine. documents allow a better understanding of Pfizer's interests, its strategy to conquer the vaccine market against other competitors...
Most importantly, the documents suggest that the vaccine's actual efficacy rate is much lower than the official figure of 90%. A recent study (https://archive.ph/7XiGJ) would have further confirmed that the vaccine's efficacy is only 19%
Source: https://archive.ph/Roq3V (MSM) , EMAIL FILES: https://bit.ly/2Yq6HjJ
BREAKING PROOF That HCQ Could Have Saved Tens of Thousands of Lives in the US from Coronavirus '-- Jail Fauci: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/08/stunning-proof-hcq-saved-tens-thousands-lives-us-coronavirus-land-dr-fauci-prison/
Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232869/
If you need more proof check out this video:Patient Gail Meyer Being Held Hostage In Hospital For Refusing Covid Test By Police and Staff: https://www.bitchute.com/video/Qb5a6L8E7ryf/
(Overview)Dr. Morgan at West Point Academy Speaking On Neurological Weapon Systems:https://www.bitchute.com/video/LNlgN9SxtGs5/

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