Oud-president Sarkozy tot celstraf veroordeeld wegens corruptie | Buitenland | Telegraaf.nl
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 15:09
Nicolas Sarkozy maandag bij aankomst bij de rechtbank in Parijs.
Sarkozy's voorganger Jacques Chirac (1932-2019) is ooit na zijn presidentschap tot een voorwaardelijke celstraf veroordeeld, maar dat was wegens gesjoemel in de tijd dat hij eerder burgemeester van Parijs was.
Het tegen Sarkozy aangevoerde bewijs komt van afluisterpraktijken van aanklagers, die volgens Sarkozy erop uit waren hem politiek uit te schakelen en geen recht hadden de gesprekken af te luisteren. Sarkozy weerspreekt iets verkeerd te hebben gedaan en heeft het een 'schandalig'' proces genoemd dat is gevoerd door 'wraakzuchtige linkse magistraten en aanklagers.''
De oud-president was volgens aanwezigen in de rechtszaal volledig in shock door de uitspraak. Hij ging er namelijk vanuit dat hij zou worden vrijgesproken. Het is vrijwel zeker dat Sarkozy het er niet bij laat zitten en dat hij in hoger beroep gaat.
OmkopingSarkozy voerde destijds telefoongesprekken onder de schuilnaam Paul Bismuth. Duizenden gesprekken zijn afgeluisterd en in een gesprek repte hij van een openstaande functie in Monaco terwijl hij een rechter om informatie vroeg over een andere zaak tegen hem. Dit was volgens aanklagers en rechters onomstotelijk een poging zijn gesprekspartner om te kopen. Sarkozy misbruikte zo zijn macht en zou ook vertrouwelijke informatie van de magistraat, Gilbert Azibert, hebben gehad.
Sarkozy vormde volgens de rechter een 'corrupt pact'' met de twee medebeklaagden, zijn toenmalige advocaat Thierry Herzog en de betrokken magistraat Azibert. Zij zijn ook schuldig bevonden en veroordeeld tot lichtere straffen onder meer wegens schending van hun ambtsgeheim.
KaddafiDe 'afluisteraffaire' was een bijvangst in een ander onderzoek naar Nicolas Sarkozy. Eind 2013 werden twee mobiele telefoons van de ex-president getapt in een zaak over vermeende illegale campagnefinanciering door de inmiddels dode Libische dictator Muammar Kaddafi. Deze zaak staat inmiddels op losse schroeven, omdat een belangrijke getuige zich heeft teruggetrokken. Uit die taps bleek dat 'Sarko' er nog een derde mobiele lijn op nahield, onder de naam Paul Bismuth.
De 66-jarige Sarkozy was president van 2007 tot 2012 en is nog steeds populair in het centrum van de Franse politiek. Hij had een comeback kunnen maken als alternatief voor de steeds minder populaire links-liberale president Emmanuel Macron en de rechtse nationalistische Marine Le Pen.
Nieuwe zaakDe voormalige president beweert al jaren dat Justitie een hetze tegen hem voert. In twee eerdere zaken ging hij vrijuit, dit is zijn eerste veroordeling. Sarkozy staat vanaf 17 maart weer in een andere zaak voor de rechter. Hij wordt er dan van beschuldigd op een onwettige manier zijn verkiezingscampagne in 2012 te hebben gefinancierd.
Lunch UpdateDagelijks tijdens de lunch een update van het belangrijkste nieuws.
Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
Lees hier ons privacybeleid.
Woolworths pulls pin on cashless stores trial - Finance - iTnews
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 14:29
Woolworths has called time on a trial of electronic-only payments at a small number of its Metro stores, saying it would accept cash again at the stores as early as Wednesday.
The cashless payments trial started in July last year at 11 Metro stores in Sydney and Melbourne, locations the retailer said already received ''few cash payments''.
The grocery retailer expanded the trial to cover 14 stores with the addition of Brisbane, and came at a time of heightened concern over cash handling during the Covid-19 pandemic and broad encouragement of contactless payments.
But the conversion of stores to all-electronic payments - and prohibition of cash payments - led to concerns about the exclusion of people without cards, as well as over the data being collected about purchasing habits.
The trial was also frequently criticised in social media forums, and Woolworths Metro general manager Justin Nolan said that the retailer hadn't ''fully appreciated'' the impact of making some of its stores cashless.
''We want Woolworths to be a place where everyone feels welcome, no matter who they are or how they shop with us,'' Nolan said in a statement.
''It's become clear to us that not all customers have felt this way when shopping in our Woolworths Metro stores trialling card-only payments.
''While almost all Metro customers choose to pay with cards, cash remains incredibly important to those who don't for a whole range of reasons we didn't fully appreciate.
''Based on feedback from our customers, we can see we've moved ahead of current community expectations on cash and will be ending the trial.''
It is understood that the majority of stores participating in the cashless trial have either already started accepting cash payments again or will do so by March 3.
The exception to this is Woolworths' York and George Street Metro stores in Sydney, which will revert to accept cash and cards on March 10.
It is understood that some trial locations saw fewer than 10 percent cash transactions a month, however this was ultimately deemed important, resulting in the trial ending.
Technology and media entities join forces to create standards group aimed at building trust in online content '' Stories
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 13:32
Adobe, Arm, BBC, Intel, Microsoft and Truepic form coalition to develop end-to-end, open standard for tracing the origin and evolution of digital contentSAN JOSE, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash. '-- Feb. 22, 2021 '-- A group of influential technology and media companies has partnered to form the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), a Joint Development Foundation project established to address the prevalence of disinformation, misinformation and online content fraud through developing technical standards for certifying the source and history or provenance of media content. Founding members Adobe, Arm, BBC, Intel, Microsoft and Truepic seek to establish a standardized provenance solution with the goal of combating misleading content.
C2PA member organizations will work together to develop content provenance specifications for common asset types and formats to enable publishers, creators and consumers to trace the origin and evolution of a piece of media, including images, videos, audio and documents. These technical specifications will include defining what information is associated with each type of asset, how that information is presented and stored, and how evidence of tampering can be identified.
The C2PA's open standard will give platforms a method to preserve and read provenance-based digital content. Because an open standard can be adopted by any online platform, it is critical to scaling trust across the internet. In addition to the inclusion of varied media types at scale, C2PA is driving an end-to-end provenance experience from the capturing device to the information consumer. Collaboration with chipmakers, news organizations, and software and platform companies is critical to facilitate a comprehensive provenance standard and drive broad adoption across the content ecosystem.
The formation of the C2PA brings together founding members of the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) and the Microsoft- and BBC-led Project Origin, unifying technical specifications under a single entity. The CAI is building a system to provide provenance and history for digital media, giving creators a tool to claim authorship and empowering consumers to evaluate whether what they are seeing is trustworthy. Project Origin has its roots in the production and distribution of news. The effort has focused on tackling disinformation in the digital news ecosystem by attaching signals to a piece of content to demonstrate its integrity and making this information available to those using it. With the foundation of the C2PA, technical standards will be unified while these two entities continue to pursue adoption, prototyping and education within their respective communities.
Today's C2PA announcement builds on several recent advances in content provenance, including Project Origin's efforts to develop a pipeline for signaling, certification and tracking the history of news content; the CAI's first-ever end-to-end demonstration of provenance for captured media online; and Truepic's development of the first native integration of hardware-secured photo capture smartphone technology.
Designing standards and technologies that can certify the source and provenance of online content is an important step forward in addressing rising concerns with the manipulation and manufacture of news and information. Companies interested in joining the C2PA can apply through [email protected] .
Adobe: ''Adobe is proud to be a founding member of the C2PA along with our partners in technology and media. With the collective expertise of this group, we will accelerate the critical work of rebuilding the public's trust in online content through broad and open adoption of a provenance standard at scale. We welcome everyone to join and participate in this effort so crucial to us all.''
'' Dana Rao, General Counsel and Content Authenticity Initiative executive sponsor, Adobe
BBC: ''It's vital that news providers play a part in the battle against disinformation. We welcome the opportunity to participate in the C2PA provenance work, which has the potential to support audience confidence in news at a time when trusted sources of information are more important than ever.''
'' Jatin Aythora, Chief Architect, BBC
Microsoft: ''There's a critical need to address widespread deception in online content '-- now supercharged by advances in AI and graphics and diffused rapidly via the internet. Our imperative as researchers and technologists is to create and refine technical and sociotechnical approaches to this grand challenge of our time. We're excited about methods for certifying the origin and provenance of online content. It's an honor to work alongside Adobe, BBC and other C2PA members to take this critical work to the next step.''
'' Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientific Officer and Project Origin executive sponsor, Microsoft
Truepic: ''Truepic was founded on the principle that provenance-based media authenticity is the only viable, scalable long-term solution to restoring trust in what we see online. We firmly believe that ecosystemwide adoption through an open standard is crucial to the long-term health of the internet. The C2PA will streamline the distribution of high-integrity digital content at scale, a vital step in restoring society's shared sense of reality.''
'' Jeffrey McGregor, CEO, Truepic
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.
Microsoft (Nasdaq ''MSFT'' @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
For more information, press only:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]
Fenot Tekle, Adobe, [email protected] , or Joe Berg, Adobe, [email protected]
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.
Myanmar Security Forces Filmed Shooting Into Anti-Coup Crowds, 33 Protesters Dead | ZeroHedge
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 13:15
Eyewitnesses and international observers say Myanmar security forces opened fire with live ammo on anti-coup protesters in multiple locations Wednesday, killing over 30 people and wounding dozens more.
By day's end, the Associated Press tallied at least 33 people killed, also amid a near total internet blockage to the country imposed by the military government. This makes Wednesday the highest daily death toll since the coup began at the start of February, bringing the total killed to 60.
JUST IN: Staying true to form, #Myanmar military authorities cut Internet for 18th consecutive night, reports @netblocks .33 people were killed by security during day (AP), and now a digital crackdown at night: https://t.co/UthNgKLgat
'-- Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) March 3, 2021"Myanmar security forces dramatically escalated their crackdown on protests against last month's coup, killing at least 33 protesters Wednesday in several cities, according to accounts on social media and local news reports compiled by a data analyst," the AP recorded.
Opposition activists who are in the streets defying a junta-imposed 'state of emergency' and curfew, which includes a ban on crowds, are describing it as an "massacre" even at a moment neighboring countries are urging "restraint" by military authorities.
"The security forces resorted to live fire with little warning in several towns and cities, witnesses said, as the junta appeared more determined than ever to stamp out protests against the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi," Reuters reports.
Via NDTVEyewitnesses further say that in many cases what starts off as standard riot control measures commonly used by police like water canons and tears gas are increasingly and without warning turning to gun fire:
In the central town of Myingyan, where one teenaged boy was killed, protest leader Si Thu Maung, told Reuters police initially fired tear gas and stun grenades but quickly opened fire.
"They didn't spray us with water cannon, no warning to disperse, they just fired their guns," he said.
The heaviest toll was in another central town, Monywa, where five people - four men and one woman - were killed, said Ko Thit Sar, editor of the Monywa Gazette.
This comes after a particularly deadly weekend. The UN Human Rights Office on Sunday cited at least 18 people killed - mostly believed by police and military gunfire - on crowds of pro-democracy protesters demanding an immediate restoration of elected civilian rule.
Graphic scenes of people being gunned down in the streets have been increasing on social media particularly in the past days...
A social media video showing, a young protester was shot dead during protest on March 3, in Myingyan, a city in upper Myanmar. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/FfMHxu3o8a
'-- Wa Lone (@walone4) March 3, 2021"Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku,'' the UN agency said in reference to unrest in several cities.
Police and 77th LID soldiers broke up a protest at Yangon's North Okkalapa roundabout with teargas and rubber bullets at 10:30am. Frontier saw police beat protesters and arrest 10. From hiding, our reporter saw police kick and drag this wounded protester#WhatsHapppeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/TONAebV5a5
'-- Frontier Myanmar (@FrontierMM) March 3, 2021"We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters," the statement added.
In some cases there appears to be instances of summary executions happening in the streets amid the unrest; however, much of the avalanche of social media videos coming out of the country can't be verified.
A video footage of juntas(terrorists) shooting a man in North Oakkala today. They arrested him and then shot. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Mar3Coup pic.twitter.com/JMZ9bAdPoI
'-- Myanmar Protests News (@MMProtestsNews) March 3, 2021So far the Biden administration has slapped sanctions on select military coup leaders, while also saying the US "stands with the people" of Myanmar, which it still officially calls Burma.
Germany agrees to pay $662 million in coronavirus aid to Holocaust survivors | The Times of Israel
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:57
BERLIN (AP) '-- Germany has agreed to provide more than a half billion euros to aid Holocaust survivors struggling under the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization that negotiates compensation with the German government said Wednesday.
The payments will be going to approximately 240,000 survivors around the world, primarily in Israel, North America, the former Soviet Union and Western Europe, over the next two years, according to the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also referred to as the Claims Conference.
With the end of World War II now 75 years in the past, Holocaust survivors are all elderly, and because many were deprived of proper nutrition when they were young today they suffer from numerous medical issues. In addition, many live isolated lives having lost their entire families and also have psychological issues because of their persecution under the Nazis.
''There's this kind of standard response for survivors, that 'we've been through worse, I've been through worse and if I survived the Holocaust, through the deprivation of food and what we had to go through, I'll get through this,''' said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, in a telephone interview from New York with The Associated Press.
Holocaust survivor Bracha Ghilai, 75, shows her tattooed arm at her house in Holon near Tel Aviv, January 23, 2005. (AP/Ariel Schalit)
''But if you probe deeper you understand the depths of trauma that still resides within people.''
Many are also on the poverty line, and the additional costs of masks and other protective gear, delivery groceries and other pandemic-related expenses has been crushing for many, Schneider said.
''You're teetering between making it every month,'' he said. ''Having to decide between food, medicine and rent.''
The new funds are targeted to Jews who aren't receiving pensions already from Germany, primarily people who fled the Nazis and ended up in Russia and elsewhere to hide during the war.
Schneider said about 50% of Holocaust survivors in the US live in Brooklyn and were particularly hard-hit when New York was the center of the American outbreak, but now numbers are looking worse in Israel and other places.
''It's a rolling calamity,'' he said.
Each of those survivors will receive two payments of 1,200 euros ($1,400) over the next two years, for an overall commitment of approximately 564 million euros ($662 million) to some of the poorest survivors alive today.
The funds come on top of an emergency $4.3 million the Claims Conference distributed in the spring to agencies providing care for survivors.
In addition to the coronavirus-related funds, Germany agreed in the recently concluded round of annual negotiations to increase funding for social welfare services for survivors by 30.5 million euros ($36 million), to a total of 554.5 million ($651 million) for 2021, the Claims Conference said.
Germany's Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment on the latest round of negotiations.
The money is used for services including funding in-home care for more than 83,000 Holocaust survivors and assisting more than 70,000 with other vital services, including food, medicine, transportation to doctors and programs to alleviate social isolation.
As a result of negotiations with the Claims Conference since 1952, the German government has paid more than $80 billion in Holocaust reparations.
Part of the Claims Conference's annual negotiations also includes working with Germany to expand the number of people eligible for compensation.
This year, the German government agreed to recognize 27 ''open ghettos'' in Bulgaria and Romania, enabling survivors who were in those places to receive compensation payments.
THE ''BLACK EYE'' CLUB - Prepare For Change
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:49
Although not officially an organization at all, the ''Black Eye'' club refers to a growing number of politicians, celebrities, business elites, and heads of State who have suddenly and mysteriously wound up with black eyes. Although a few of them have sustained injuries to their right eye, the majority occur on the left. Among those who have succumbed to this affliction are George Bush, Kanye West, and the Pope.
But why this current and periodic rash of Black Eyes? And why has this phenomenon disproportionately afflicted people of considerable power and influence? Even allowing for our modern 24-hour news cycle and tabloid cellphone camera culture, up until the year 2000 I can't recall any publically recognizable figures having black eyes.
It would appear that there are two main categories within the ''Black Eye'' Club. Those seated firmly into positions of government/politics and those in the entertainment/Hollywood. Are there others in the fields of science, and military? I'm sure there are.
Theories as to this strange phenomenon are abuzz on the internet and range from a secret society ritual which involves striking the participant in the head, to alien abduction and ''Soul Scalping'' in order to replace our world leaders with alien consciousness. (More on Soul Scalping at the bottom of this page.) Another theory holds that it is a form of punishment used to as a sort of check and balance within secret societies. And still, other theories lean towards the implementation of life extension technologies or preparatory surgeries for off-world travel.
A less extreme theory holds that the phenomenon is nothing more than the entertainment industry capitalizing on the public's recent enlightenment of the existence of the Illuminati. But let's assume for a moment this is only media marketing. This would mean that the entertainment industry is using occult ritual to manipulate people into certain behavior and consciousness. The end result is the same. And the fact that most every successful pop and rap artist use Illuminati symbology in their act openly telegraphs the ritual. People can pretend like it's a game, but if you're acting out a ritual you are very much indeed participating in a ritual. A ritual which permeates the hierarchical tiers of the entertainment industry and obviously defines success.
George Bush January 2002
Official Explanation '' Choked on a pretzel, fainted and fell off the couch and hit the floor. According to Dr. Abdul Giwa, an emergency room doctor at St. Lutes=Roosevelt Hospital, the President likely fell victim to ''vasovagal syndrome, ''a rare occurrence in which the vegus nerve, which regulates heart rate, is stimulated and the signal slows the heart. Victims can pass out, and they often look pale afterward.
''It can be brought on by a number of causes, usually stress, but also swallowing something,'' Giwa said. ''As food goes down through the esophagus, it passes by the vegus nerve.''
The event happened at 5:35 p.m. Note. that 5:35 reduces to the number 13.
Official Explanation- Slipped and fell while running in the rain. Also suffered a dislocated shoulder.
January 1 2015
Harry Reid's second eye injury in 4 years.
Right eye, multiple bones around the eye, loss of eyesight, broken ribs, concussion.
Official Explanation '' I know there are a lot of rumors as to what happened, but that's very simple. My wife and I were in our new home. I was doing exercises that I've been doing for many years with those large rubber bands and, uh, one of them broke and spun me around and I crashed into these cabinets and injured my eye.
John KerryJanuary 2012
Official Explanation '' Black eyes received from sustaining a broken nose while playing Ice hockey.
Prince AndrewJune 2017
Official Explanation '' Palace refused to comment.
John McCainJuly 2017
Official Explanation '' Mayo Clinic surgeons took out the 5-centimeter blood clot during ''a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision,'' according to a Mayo Clinic Hospital statement released by McCain's office.
Michael NoonanFebruary 2015
Official Explanation '' The Department of finance stated that Noonan underwent eye surgery but refused to elaborate further. A Dr. Gray diagnosed he had a unilateral exophthalmos or proptosis, otherwise known as bulging of the eye. This was supposedly his second surgeryon his eye in a couple years.
Prince Philip April 2013
Official Explanation '' the Palace gave a press release that he just woke up with the black eye.
Official Explanation '' NO OFFICIAL EXPLANATION GIVEN.
Pope FrancisSeptember 2017
Pope Francis smiles as he answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Cartagena, Colombia, to Rome Sept. 10. Earlier, the pope cut and bruised his face on the popemobile window when he was greeting people. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-PLANE-DACA Sept. 11, 2017.''She was playing peekaboo with her baby,'' publicist Liz Rosenberg said. ''I'm almost embarrassed to tell you about it because it sounds so cute. But that's what happened.''
Pope Benedict XVIOctober 2017
Offiical Explanation '' The Pope fell
Madona's publicist Liz Rosenberg said. ''She was playing peekaboo with her baby, I'm almost embarrassed to tell you about it because it sounds so cute. But that's what happened.'' She went on to explain that she was bouncing her 18-month-old daughter Lourdes on her lap when the child's head smacked into the bone under her eye.
Kanye WestApril 2014
Official explanation '' Got punched in a random game of knockout after leaving a night club.
Kelly OsbourneAugust 2008
Official Explanation '' The contents of her cupboard fell out and on top of her head.
Robert Downey Jr.December 2012
(US TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) attends the first annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 30, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California.Official explanation '' No explanation was given.
Ryan GoslingMay 2009
Official explanation '' accidentally hit by Harrison Ford in a stunt gone wrong while filming Blade Runner
Richard BransonUndated handout image issued by Virgin.com on Friday Aug. 26, 2016, of Sir Richard Branson after he was involved in an accident when he crashed his bicycle on Virgin Gorda, one of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. The Virgin founder badly damaged his cheek and suffered severe cuts to his knee, chin, shoulder and body. Sir Richard said: ''I was heading down a hill towards Leverick Bay when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a traffic hump in the road head on.(Virgin.com via AP)Official Explanation '' The entrepreneur was cycling in the dark on Virgin Gorda, one of the British Virgin Islands, with his children, when he hit a bump in the road, causing him to be flung over his handlebars.
Lady GagaJune 2012
Official Explanation '' Got hit in the face with a pole during a performance.
John StamosMay 2008
Official Explanation '' Kickboxing accident
Justin BieberJanuary 2011
Official Explanation '' Fighting
388116 13: Actor Steve Buscemi shows the effects of a stab wound to his head and neck during a recent brawl in a North Carolina bar as he attends a cocktail party honoring Sir Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Heather Mills April 20, 2001 in New York City. McCartney and Mills were honored for their efforts to eradicate the world of deadly land mines. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers)Official Explanation '' Bar room brawl
Reece WitherspoonSeptember 2011
Official Explanation '' Involved in a car accident.
Jamie OliverFebruary 2012
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tim Rooke / Rex Features ( 557833s )Jamie OliverNATIONAL TV AWARDS, ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON, BRITAIN '' 25 OCT 2005Official Explanation '' Fell down the stairs at his home.
Ritual?The idea that these people are all taking part in a ritual is not at all far-fetched. Cults and societies exist and have existed since the dawn of time and are still very much alive. If you not aware that this is happening, simply go to Catholic mass and watch it unfold. In our modern culture, we've been desensitized to them in since childhood when we were first put in front of a Television. We've seen them portrayed in cartoons and movies, and every once in a while it makes the news. Recently the leaked video footage or the ''Cremation of Care'' ceremony at the Bohemian Grove. Before this, there was the Skull and Bones ritual which took place in the courtyard filmed from the vantage point of the wall surrounding the compound.
I think it hilarious that it's not even a secret that elites from all over the world have been engaging in rituals and ceremonies since the beginning of nation-states throughout all of history, yet we believe that in today's world they have somehow grown out of this practice and it has been replaced by Oaths of Office, and public ceremonies. While these things do occur and have become part of the public show during the peaceable transition of power, there are pipers to be paid beneath the public sphere of awareness. Those pipers being the organizations responsible for the assent of these candidates in the first place. If you still believe that presidents are elected and not chosen I urge you to do your research.
Checks and BalancesWe are aware of the checks and balances designed into the three branches of government here in the United States of America. Other countries too have systems in place which prevent tyranny. When first implemented these governments worked quite well, however, as time marched on and the those within secret societies learned how to game the system the checks and balances have all but failed in any practical sense of their intended purpose.
It has been theorized that the black eyes are a result of an internal power structure. Checks and balances. Warnings or perhaps even rites of passage within what is generally referred to as the Illuminati. One could use the term globalists as well I would think. Is there an organization so powerful that even the Pope and heads of monarchy are subject to its law? Some think so. And have we not been desensitized to this idea already? Think of the evil Empire in Star Wars. The vast organization of Sauron and the Lord of the rings, etc. of course this is fiction but it forms the foundational reality for our subconscious, and whether or not we realize it we pull from this foundation and use it in contrast to process and evaluate current events and information.
Soul ScalpingThe term soul scalping was coined by Sherry Shriner, although the idea had been around since the 1940s and portrayed in sci-fi classics such as the invasion of the body snatchers. The famous miniseries from the 1980s ''V'' also ran with this theme. Probably the most recent and accurate depiction of this theory, however, can be seen in the Stargate series. In the series, the Goa'uld are a parasitic race of ancient astronauts which integrate with their host. The resulting creature is a powerful race been on galactic conquest and domination largely without pity compassion or remorse.
Sherry's belief is that heads of state and Hollywood elites are abducted and a surgery is performed on their eye. This is a segment from her website.
''They take a slimy skinny snake, about 6-8 inches long, greyish in color'...it looks more like a long slimy worm, and open the person's mouth and stick it down their throat'...These reptile aliens work in groups. In true form most of them are over 6 ''4''. They watch and study the targeted person so they know all about them, and when they take over their brains and bodies they literally can act and become that person. They even do this to their kids so the kids don't make a fuss that something's wrong with mommy or daddy because something's just not right about them. They don't care about destroying the lives of children. They're all cold and heartless, unemotional reptiles with no thought of love, compassion or human emotions and sentiment. Those are emotions they have to learn to fake when they take over a human's body so they can blend in with society as a human.''
''What they do is transform their entire being or conscious self into this proboscis and eject it off their head and then wiggle into the host, such as a human and they enter into a person's eye. If they have help the host's eyeball can be pulled out and this proboscis can be put into the back of the eye where it will then wiggle and spiral itself around the person's optical nerve and it also takes control of the person's brain as well. Donald Marshall talks about this. He's part of Lucifer's Disclosure Project where they are revealing all their methods, technology, and nefarious agendas to mankind.
Wow'...That's some pretty heavy stuff. How she knows this I'm not exactly sure, but there are quite a few people out there who are behind this theory. If I were making an argument for this theory I would point to the Web-Slinging Wasp, the Jewel Wasp, the Lancet Liver Fluke, the Euhaplorchis californiensis, and Hairworms. Then there is Toxoplasma gondii which is found aplenty in cats and already transfers to humans. All these parasites actively affect the behavior of its host in order to complete its reproductive cycle. Over 50% of people in developed nations believe an extraterrestrials. And if there are extraterrestrials we have to assume that some of them may not be benevolent and themselves. Of course, I'm just brainstorming here. But it really isn't that big of a leap if one runs the numbers.
Does the Black Eye Club have anything to do with the all-seeing eye of the Illuminati?The British magazine ID famously adorns each one of their covers with a facial portrait of someone either covering their right eye or obscuring their left. This bimonthly magazine is dedicated to fashion, music, art and youth culture. What point are they trying to make? Is it just fun, fashion, and modern youth culture?
What about all the other hands covering one eye found all over entertainment and media?
From fashion to art, to music, to design, clothing, and business. The covering of one eye has infiltrated nearly EVERY nitch of marketing in the world, and the target is always, the next generation.
Why now?But here's the important question. Why now? What changed in the late 90s that brought on this rash of black eyes in conjunction with the rise of the all-seeing eye of the Illuminati? We didn't have this in the 80s or the 70s or the 60s. No, this is a new phenomenon.
ANSWER: THE INTERNET
My guess is that the global elite had to step up their timeline. The Internet simply got away from them. As of 2017, they began reeling it back in through censorship of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. The four primary platforms on the Internet today. The Internet was supposed to replace the television, just as television followed the radio and radio followed the newspaper in the newspaper followed the town halls. Only they lost control of it early.
Ask any YouTube content creator about censorship and unless they're making cat videos or cooking tutorials they will fill you in about shadow banning, subscription blackouts, and demonetization. The elite realized they could not control the flow of ideas but they could control the exposure those ideas received and who ultimately came in contact with them. THIS IS THE CURRENT BATTLEGROUND.
As the plans of the elite were brought to light they were no longer permitted to operate in the shadows, so they simply changed tactics. I believe they began openly embracing their religion. Throwing it back in the face of those who have been outing them. Making a mockery of the whole thing while continuing to operate at full speed.
It's obvious to me that the rise of the all-seeing eye of the Illuminati and the black eyes we've been seeing since the mid-90s is simply the conscious and unconscious programming of the society to desensitize them to what is coming. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is part of the ritual and draws in energy which they harness and use for their own ends. Whatever is causing these black eyes, one thing is a fact. They are not hiding them but are instead flaunting them.
If this seems far out there to you, it may be because you never been exposed to this material. It may be that you live in a world of football, office parties, and barbecues. It may be that you are one of the many hundreds of millions who been successfully kept from this ancient occultic science and believe it is fantasy. It is hard to see your prison walls when your prison is 1000 miles across. There are many prisons. Mental prison, spiritual prisons, the prison of fear, and the prison of a reality which has been constructed for you since birth.
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Disclaimer: We at Prepare for Change (PFC) bring you information that is not offered by the mainstream news, and therefore may seem controversial. The opinions, views, statements, and/or information we present are not necessarily promoted, endorsed, espoused, or agreed to by Prepare for Change, its leadership Council, members, those who work with PFC, or those who read its content. However, they are hopefully provocative. Please use discernment! Use logicalthinking, your own intuition and your own connection with Source, Spirit and Natural Laws to help you determine what is true and what is not. By sharing information and seeding dialogue, it is our goal to raise consciousness and awareness of higher truths to free us from enslavement of the matrix in this material realm.
NYT David Brooks's Project Funded By Facebook And Bezos's Dad
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:39
The New York Times columnist has been using his perch to promote the Weave Project '-- without disclosing his potential conflicts of interest to his readers.
By Craig Silverman and Ryan Mac
Posted on March 3, 2021, at 6:44 p.m. ET
The Aspen Institute / YouTube / Via youtube.comDavid Brooks.
New York Times columnist David Brooks is drawing a second salary for his work on an Aspen Institute project funded by Facebook and other large donors '-- a fact he has not disclosed in his columns.
A Times spokesperson refused to tell BuzzFeed News whether the paper was aware Brooks was taking a salary for his work on Weave, a project he founded and leads for the Aspen Institute, a prominent think tank based in Washington, DC. The spokesperson also wouldn't say if the Times knew that Weave took money from Facebook.
In Dec. 2018, Facebook earmarked a $250,000 gift to the Aspen Institute for the project. Three months later, Brooks introduced Times readers to his concept of ''Weavers,'' which he described as people who fight social isolation by ''building community and weaving the social fabric'' across the US.
''We need to create a shared Weaver identity,'' Brooks wrote in the column ''A Nation of Weavers.'' To make that happen, Brooks explained, he had started Weave at the Aspen Institute.
Brooks has published multiple columns that promote Weave, in addition to writing pieces that mention Facebook, its founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the company's products without disclosing his financial ties to the social networking giant.
Brooks has published multiple columns that promote Weave, in addition to writing pieces that mention Facebook, its founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the company's products without disclosing his financial ties to the social networking giant.
The amount and timing of Facebook's funding, which had not been previously reported, combined with Brooks's promotion of Weave in the Times, has raised questions about the columnist's conflicts of interest. Last Friday, BuzzFeed News reported that Brooks wrote a blog post for Facebook's corporate website that was timed with the release of a New York University''led study about Facebook Groups that was funded by the social media giant. Brooks did not tell his editors he was writing for Facebook, according to a Times spokesperson.
The Aspen Institute declined to say how much it pays Brooks, but confirmed that ''as chair of the Weave project, he is a staff member at the Aspen Institute.'' Brooks's work on Weave means that, in addition to pulling down a salary from the Times, he has a second salaried position that's funded by donations from companies and billionaire families that hasn't been disclosed to Times readers.
The Times said it's reviewing Brooks's work with Weave.
''We're in the process of reviewing David's relationship with the Weave Project and the Aspen Institute, and what disclosures, if any, should be added to David's columns going forward,'' said Eileen Murphy, the senior vice president of corporate communications for the Times.
Murphy said other Times columnists have roles outside the paper. When asked for an example, she cited Paul Krugman, who was a professor of economics at Princeton and is currently a distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
''We're in the process of reviewing David's relationship with the Weave Project and the Aspen Institute, and what disclosures, if any, should be added to David's columns going forward.''
Brooks did not respond to requests for comment.
Two people who work for the Times and who asked to remain anonymous said they were embarrassed by BuzzFeed News' previous report on Brooks's writings for Facebook's corporate site, in which he extolled the potential of connecting people via Facebook Groups. In recent years, his colleagues at the Times have reported critically on Facebook, detailing how the platform fostered Russian election disinformation, hoaxes, and hate speech.
On Feb. 2, Times tech writer Shira Ovide wrote a newsletter on ''How to Fix Facebook Groups,'' arguing that the Facebook product was the ''common thread'' between the spread of the QAnon mass delusion, bogus health treatments, and false claims of election fraud. Three weeks later, Brooks wrote for Facebook's corporate site in praise of the social network, suggesting that any faults attributed to the platform are due to the people using it, not the technology itself.
''My takeaway from all this research is that it's not social media that's the problem, it's the ideas and behavior of the people who use it,'' he wrote for Facebook on Feb. 23.
Brooks began work on Weave in May 2018, according to the Aspen Institute. Its transparency report for that year shows Weave received just over $1.3 million from donors, including the Resnick Family Foundation, the Robert K. Steel Family Foundation, and James Schine Crown, an Aspen Institute trustee who sits on the boards of General Dynamics Corporation and JPMorgan Chase. Weave's single largest donation, over $300,000, came from Miguel Bezos, the father of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and an Institute trustee.
Facebook's $250,000 arrived before the end of 2018 but was not reflected in the 2018 report, the most recent one released by the Institute. The Aspen Institute said Weave has not received money from Facebook since.
A Feb. 18, 2019, column appears to be Brooks's first mention of Weave in the paper. Brooks told readers that his concern about the lack of social cohesion led to him ''starting something nine months ago at the Aspen Institute called Weave: The Social Fabric Project.''
In May 2019, Brooks plugged an upcoming Weave event in a Times column. Three days later, he dedicated his next column to recounting the event, and the Times sent a photographer to document it.
''The people at this gathering are some of the most compelling people I've ever met,'' Brooks wrote.
Describing how participants shared emotional, personal stories, he wrote that ''this was a gathering in which it was permissible to be an angry black person.''
Brooks, who is listed as Weave's chair on its site, didn't hesitate to drop mentions of the organization in his columns. But he was less forthcoming about the financial status of his second job and its connection to Facebook. In 2019, as Weave pursued a project with Facebook funding, Brooks peppered columns with mentions of Zuckerberg, Instagram, and Facebook, but didn't disclose that the company was actively funding Weave '-- and, by extension, his own salary.
That year also saw Brooks write sponsored content for another supporter of Weave. In Sept. 2019, his byline appeared on a piece published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy to promote Upswell, a conference organized by Independent Sector, a nonprofit. Brooks extolled the benefits of ''Weavers'' and his project before offering a hearty endorsement of the event.
''This is why we love working with Independent Sector and being at Upswell,'' Brooks wrote. ''It is an established organization that does convening in new ways. It emphasizes social collision, not panel discussion.''
The article carried a disclaimer that it was ''paid for and created by Upswell.''
Brooks and Independent Sector did not answer questions about whether he was paid to write the sponsored content. Brooks spoke at the 2019 Upswell event in a session titled ''Weaving Strong Communities.'' He was joined by Deepti Doshi, a Facebook employee who works on strategic partnerships and who also completed a fellowship at the Aspen Institute, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Brooks, Independent Sector, and Facebook declined to comment on how Brooks and Doshi came to share the stage at Upswell. A Facebook spokesperson said Doshi did not play a role in Facebook's decision to fund Weave. Doshi did not respond to a request for comment.
''Strong communities don't just happen,'' read the Upswell program describing the 2019 panel. ''They are built and strengthened by people (Weavers) with time, skill and love. David Brooks of Weave: The Social Fabric Project and the New York Times will be in conversation with Deepti Doshi of Facebook around what motivates people to become Weavers and how they learn these weaving skills.''
Samsung tells Texas it wants to create 1,800 jobs with a $17 billion factory in Austin - The Verge
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:26
In return, Samsung is asking for a billion dollars in tax incentives
By Mitchell Clark on March 3, 2021 5:13 pm Samsung has submitted paperwork to Texas officials, requesting a billion dollars in tax incentives to make Austin the future home of the company's $17 billion chip factory, as noted by Bloomberg and reported last month by the Austin American-Statesman. In the documents, which were filed in January, the company says it plans on bringing 1,800 permanent jobs to the factory over the first 10 years, with an average starting salary around $66K.
In return, Samsung is asking for a break on its property taxes: it's looking for a 100 percent break on its payments to Travis County for 20 years, which the company estimates would save it roughly $718 million, and a 50 percent break on the taxes to the City of Austin for five years, with an estimated $87 million. It also wants the state to subsidize its property tax payments to the school district.
It seems like Samsung is still trying to decide where to put the factory: in the documents, the company calls the project ''highly competitive,'' and says that ''[d]ue to the higher tax cost of operating in Texas, the appraised value limitation is a determining factor. Without the appraised value limitation award, the company would likely locate the project in Arizona, New York or Korea.''
If Samsung chooses Austin, it would be expanding its existing plant there '-- the company already has a chip-making fab in the city, which has been there since 1997. The factory currently employs around 10,000 people, and the Austin American-Statesman notes that Samsung has recently bought 257.7 acres of land near its existing factory.
Looking for incentives from cities and states is nothing new, but Samsung is asking for quite a lot, especially compared to Tesla, which is also building a factory in Austin: the car manufacturer only got around $60 million in tax rebates from the county and school district. The two planned factories aren't directly comparable due to differences in cost, employment numbers and salaries, and more, but Samsung's still looking for an order of magnitude more than Tesla received. It could be that Samsung used the billion-dollar figure as an opening negotiation, but any deals being worked on don't yet seem to be public.
CDC's draft guidelines for vaccinated Americans call for small steps toward normal life
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:24
Rochelle Walensky speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. | AP Photo/Susan Walsh
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to release guidance this week on safe activities for people who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine amid growing questions about when, and how, shots will enable a return to normal life.
The recommendations will mark the first time the federal government has signaled to Americans that they can start taking steps back to the old rhythms of work, school and play, according to two senior administration officials involved in the drafting of the guidelines.
AdvertisementThe CDC guidance, which could be released as early as Thursday, will include recommendations that Americans limit their social interactions to small gatherings in the home with other fully vaccinated individuals, wear masks in public and adhere to other public-health measures such as social distancing for the foreseeable future.
But the agency's advice is likely to disappoint many who hoped the increasing pace of inoculations would allow some common restrictions to be relaxed immediately for vaccinated people.
The document will include a series of scenarios for Americans to consider, including where they socialize, with whom they can socialize with and what to consider when making plans. It will also include a section on travel.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical officer, as well as CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky previewed the guidance at a press conference with reporters Monday. Fauci said while the guidelines were still being finalized, ''doubly vaccinated'' Americans could gather within the home safely.
Advertisement''I use the example of a daughter coming in from out of town who is doubly vaccinated, and a husband and wife doubly vaccinated, and maybe a next-door neighbor who you know are doubly vaccinated,'' Fauci said. ''Small gatherings in the home of people, I think you can clearly feel that the risk '-- the relative risk is so low that you would not have to wear a mask, that you could have a good social gathering within the home.''
Over the last several weeks the CDC director has warned Americans in public press appearances that the emergence of new variants and increased transmission could threaten the progress the country has made over the last month with decreased hospitalizations, cases and deaths. On Monday, Walensky again urged caution.
''I want to really keep our eye on the fact that ... cases are increasing right now, slightly. The goal is not to sort of open up travel, open up all things because '... we're scaling up vaccination. The goal in those first 100 days has always been to sort of make sure that we are in a place to be out of this pandemic,'' Walensky said. ''At 70,000 cases per day, we're not in that place right now.''
The new CDC guidelines come two weeks after the agency released its recommendations for school reopenings. Since then, the agency has faced criticism from school unions that the guidelines did not go far enough in ensuring teachers receive vaccinations before reopening. Republicans, on the other hand, say the CDC recommendations put too many restrictions on schools and that they limit their ability to open quickly.
AdvertisementThe vaccination guidelines could provoke a similar debate. With more than 76 million doses administered and infection rates decreasing, states across the country are considering advancing reopening plans. In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday that restaurants in the state will no longer have to adhere to capacity restrictions. Several states, including Montana and Iowa, have lifted their mask mandates.
But Walensky has been adamant that the country continue to adhere to strict public health guidelines and only move to widen reopening when community transmission rates fall. The CDC's new guidelines will reflect that sentiment, officials said.
Fauci, too, says he does not want to move too quickly toward reopening, pointing to the summer surge and the move by some states to open restaurants and bars.
''That's a big lesson. In my mind, what occurred back last early summer, when we said, 'okay, let's try and open up the country and open up the economy', and we gave gateway guidelines ... there were two things about that that were problematic,'' Fauci told POLITICO.
''The first was that the baseline level of daily infections at that time was really quite high. So you were starting off in a precarious situation," he said. "The second problematic thing is that many of the states did not adhere to the reopening guidelines. The reason I go back to that story is that as we get the level of cases to be very low '... and get more and more people vaccinated you're going to have to gradually pull back in a very measured way. You can't make it like a light switch.''
The Biden administration has in recent weeks ramped up its vaccine distribution efforts, promising states additional increases in doses shipped over the coming months. Health officials expect vaccine supply to expand significantly with the authorization last weekend of Johnson &Johnson's vaccine. The company is expanding manufacturing capacity through a new partnership with Merck, which President Biden will speak to Tuesday afternoon.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine raises moral questions for Catholics | KXAN Austin
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:16
An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson on November 17, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- The use of ''abortion-derived cell lines'' in the recently approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has raised concerns in the Catholic community.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) put out a statement from Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, chairman of the USCCB, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the USCCB's pro-life committee. In the statement, the bishops discuss the moral questions raised by the development and production of the coronavirus vaccines.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses abortion-derived cell lines in its production, while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only used the cells in their testing process. Because of this, Pfizer and Moderna are preferred by the USCCB.
However, the bishops are not discouraging Catholics to get vaccines.
''While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good,'' the USCCB statement said.
Bishop Joe S. Vsquez of the Diocese of Austin put out a statement in December when concerns about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were initially raised.
''While it is true that there was a tainted cell line used in confirmatory testing,'' Vsquez said. ''Catholic moralists have determined that any cooperation in the evil of this tainted cell line is so remote, and the good to be gained for society so valuable, that one may take these vaccines in good conscience.''
Denmark - Wikipedia
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:12
Coordinates: 56°N 10°E >> / >> 56°N 10°E >> / 56; 10
Denmark (Danish: Danmark, pronounced [Ët...nmÉk] ( listen ) ), officially the Kingdom of Denmark,[N 10] is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. Denmark proper,[N 2] which is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway,[N 11] and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark is constitutionally a unitary state comprising Denmark proper and the two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has a total area of 42,943 km2 (16,580 sq mi) as of 2020[update], and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi). Denmark proper has a population of 5.83 million (as of 2020[update]).
Kingdom of Denmark
Location of the Kingdom of Denmark (green), including
Faroe Islands (circled), and Denmark proper
Capitaland largest city
Copenhagen 55°43'²N 12°34'²E >> / >> 55.717°N 12.567°E >> / 55.717; 12.567 Official languagesDanish Recognised regional languages FaroeseGreenlandicGerman[N 3]
Ethnic groups 86.11% DanishFaroeseIndigenous status:
13.89% non-DanishReligion 75.8% Christianity'--74.3% Church of Denmark[N 4]'--1.5% Other Christian19.1% No religion4.4% Islam0.7% OthersDemonym(s)Government Unitary parliamentaryconstitutional monarchy Margrethe IIMette FrederiksenLegislatureFolketingHistoryc. 8th century5 June 184924 March 1948[N 5]1 January 1973Area ' Denmark proper
42,933 km2 (16,577 sq mi) (130th)2,220,930 km2 (857,510 sq mi)(12th)Population' Q3 2020 estimate
5,837,213 (114th)' Faroe Islands
56,081' Density (Denmark)
137.65/km2 (356.5/sq mi)GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate' Total
$299 billion[N 6] (52nd)' Per capita
$51,643 (19th)GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate' Total
$370 billion[N 6] (34th)' Per capita
$63,829 (6th)Gini (2019) 27.5 low HDI (2019) 0.940 very high · 10thCurrencyDanish krone[N 7] (DKK)Time zone UTC+1 (CET) UTC+2 (CEST)[N 8]Driving siderightCalling code +45 (Denmark) +298 (Faroe Islands) +299 (Greenland) ISO 3166 codeDKInternet TLDThe unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 8th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523. The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until 1814, Denmark''Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the First Schleswig War. After the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Denmark lost the Duchy of Schleswig to Prussia. Denmark remained neutral during World War I; however, in 1920 the northern half of Schleswig became Danish again. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.
The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, and main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islandsin 1948; in Greenland home rule was established in 1979 and further autonomy in 2009. Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973, but negotiated certain opt-outs; it retains its own currency, the krone.
A developed country, Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and LGBT equality. It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area. Denmark also has close ties to its Scandinavian neighbours linguistically, with the Danish language being partially mutually intelligible with both Norwegian and Swedish.
Etymology The etymology of the name "Denmark", the relationship between "Danes" and "Denmark", and the emergence of Denmark as a unified kingdom are topics of continuous scholarly debate. This is centered primarily on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending.
Most etymological dictionaries and handbooks derive "Dan" from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave". The element mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland (see marches), with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig.
The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old (c. '955 ) and Harald Bluetooth (c. '965 ). The larger of the two stones is popularly cited as the "baptismal certificate" (d¥bsattest) of Denmark, though both use the word "Denmark", in the accusative áá
áá±á´ tanmaurk ([danmÉ'rk] ) on the large stone, and the genitive áá
á± "tanmarkar" (pronounced [danmarkaÉ½] ) on the small stone, while the dative form tÄ
nmarku (pronounced [danmarkÊ] ) is found on the contemporaneous Skivum stone. The inhabitants of Denmark are there called tani ([danÉª] ), or "Danes", in the accusative.
History Prehistory The earliest archaeological finds in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000 to 110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC. The Nordic Bronze Age (1800''600 BC) in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot.
During the Pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BC '' AD 1), native groups began migrating south, and the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age (AD 1''400). The Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, and Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron.
The tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands (Zealand) and Scania and spoke an early form of North Germanic. Historians believe that before their arrival, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by tribal Jutes. The Jutes migrated to Great Britain eventually, some as mercenaries of Brythonic King Vortigern, and were granted the south-eastern territories of Kent, the Isle of Wight and other areas, where they settled. They were later absorbed or ethnically cleansed by the invading Angles and Saxons, who formed the Anglo-Saxons. The remaining Jutish population in Jutland assimilated in with the settling Danes.
A short note about the Dani in "Getica" by the historian Jordanes is believed to be an early mention of the Danes, one of the ethnic groups from whom modern Danes are descended. The Danevirke defence structures were built in phases from the 3rd century forward and the sheer size of the construction efforts in AD 737 are attributed to the emergence of a Danish king. A new runic alphabet was first used around the same time and Ribe, the oldest town of Denmark, was founded about AD 700.
Viking and Middle Ages The
Ladby ship, the largest ship burial found in Denmark
From the 8th to the 10th century the wider Scandinavian region was the source of Vikings. They colonised, raided, and traded in all parts of Europe. The Danish Vikings were most active in the eastern and southern British Isles and Western Europe. They conquered and settled parts of England (known as the Danelaw) under King Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013, and France where Danes and Norwegians founded Normandy with Rollo as head of state. More Anglo-Saxon pence of this period have been found in Denmark than in England.
Denmark was largely consolidated by the late 8th century and its rulers are consistently referred to in Frankish sources as kings (reges). Under the reign of Gudfred in 804 the Danish kingdom may have included all the lands of Jutland, Scania and the Danish islands, excluding Bornholm.The extant Danish monarchy traces its roots back to Gorm the Old, who established his reign in the early 10th century. As attested by the Jelling stones, the Danes were Christianised around 965 by Harald Bluetooth, the son of Gorm. It is believed that Denmark became Christian for political reasons so as not to get invaded by the rising Christian power in Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, which was an important trading area for the Danes. In that case, Harald built six fortresses around Denmark called Trelleborg and built a further Danevirke. In the early 11th century, Canute the Great won and united Denmark, England, and Norway for almost 30 years with a Scandinavian army.
Throughout the High and Late Middle Ages, Denmark also included Sk¥neland (the areas of Scania, Halland, and Blekinge in present-day south Sweden) and Danish kings ruled Danish Estonia, as well as the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Most of the latter two now form the state of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany.
In 1397, Denmark entered into a personal union with Norway and Sweden, united under Queen Margaret I. The three countries were to be treated as equals in the union. However, even from the start, Margaret may not have been so idealistic'--treating Denmark as the clear "senior" partner of the union. Thus, much of the next 125 years of Scandinavian history revolves around this union, with Sweden breaking off and being re-conquered repeatedly. The issue was for practical purposes resolved on 17 June 1523, as Swedish King Gustav Vasa conquered the city of Stockholm. The Protestant Reformation spread to Scandinavia in the 1530s, and following the Count's Feud civil war, Denmark converted to Lutheranism in 1536. Later that year, Denmark entered into a union with Norway.
Early modern history (1536''1849) After Sweden permanently broke away from the personal union, Denmark tried on several occasions to reassert control over its neighbour. King Christian IV attacked Sweden in the 1611''1613 Kalmar War but failed to accomplish his main objective of forcing it to return to the union. The war led to no territorial changes, but Sweden was forced to pay a war indemnity of 1 million silver riksdaler to Denmark, an amount known as the lvsborg ransom. King Christian used this money to found several towns and fortresses, most notably Gl¼ckstadt (founded as a rival to Hamburg) and Christiania. Inspired by the Dutch East India Company, he founded a similar Danish company and planned to claim Ceylon as a colony, but the company only managed to acquire Tranquebar on India's Coromandel Coast. Denmark's large colonial aspirations included a few key trading posts in Africa and India. While Denmark's trading posts in India were of little note, it played an important role in the highly lucrative transatlantic slave trade, through its trading outposts in Fort Cristiansborg in Osu, Ghana though which 1.5 million slaves were traded. While the Danish colonial empire was sustained by trade with other major powers, and plantations '' ultimately a lack of resources led to its stagnation.
In the Thirty Years' War, Christian tried to become the leader of the Lutheran states in Germany but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Lutter. The result was that the Catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein was able to invade, occupy, and pillage Jutland, forcing Denmark to withdraw from the war. Denmark managed to avoid territorial concessions, but King Gustavus Adolphus' intervention in Germany was seen as a sign that the military power of Sweden was on the rise while Denmark's influence in the region was declining. Swedish armies invaded Jutland in 1643 and claimed Scania in 1644.
In the 1645 Treaty of Br¸msebro, Denmark surrendered Halland, Gotland, the last parts of Danish Estonia, and several provinces in Norway. In 1657, King Frederick III declared war on Sweden and marched on Bremen-Verden. This led to a massive Danish defeat and the armies of King Charles X Gustav of Sweden conquered Jutland, Funen, and much of Zealand before signing the Peace of Roskilde in February 1658, which gave Sweden control of Scania, Blekinge, Tr¸ndelag, and the island of Bornholm. Charles X Gustav quickly regretted not having ruined Denmark and in August 1658, he began a two-year-long siege of Copenhagen but he failed to take the capital. In the ensuing peace settlement, Denmark managed to maintain its independence and regain control of Tr¸ndelag and Bornholm.
Denmark tried but failed to regain control of Scania in the Scanian War (1675''1679). After the Great Northern War (1700''21), Denmark managed to regain control of the parts of Schleswig and Holstein ruled by the house of Holstein-Gottorp in the 1720 Treaty of Frederiksborg and the 1773 Treaty of Tsarskoye Selo, respectively. Denmark prospered greatly in the last decades of the 18th century due to its neutral status allowing it to trade with both sides in the many contemporary wars. In the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark traded with both France and the United Kingdom and joined the League of Armed Neutrality with Russia, Sweden, and Prussia. The British considered this a hostile act and attacked Copenhagen in 1801 and 1807, in one case carrying off the Danish fleet, in the other, burning large parts of the Danish capital. This led to the so-called Danish-British Gunboat War. British control of the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union's economy and in 1813 Denmark''Norway went bankrupt.
The union was dissolved by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814; the Danish monarchy "irrevocably and forever" renounced claims to the Kingdom of Norway in favour of the Swedish king. Denmark kept the possessions of Iceland (which retained the Danish monarchy until 1944), the Faroe Islands and Greenland, all of which had been governed by Norway for centuries. Apart from the Nordic colonies, Denmark continued to rule over Danish India from 1620 to 1869, the Danish Gold Coast (Ghana) from 1658 to 1850, and the Danish West Indies from 1671 to 1917.
Constitutional monarchy (1849''present) A nascent Danish liberal and national movement gained momentum in the 1830s; after the European Revolutions of 1848, Denmark peacefully became a constitutional monarchy on 5 June 1849. A new constitution established a two-chamber parliament. Denmark faced war against both Prussia and Austrian Empire in what became known as the Second Schleswig War, lasting from February to October 1864. Denmark was defeated and obliged to cede Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia. This loss came as the latest in the long series of defeats and territorial losses that had begun in the 17th century. After these events, Denmark pursued a policy of neutrality in Europe.
Industrialisation came to Denmark in the second half of the 19th century. The nation's first railways were constructed in the 1850s, and improved communications and overseas trade allowed industry to develop in spite of Denmark's lack of natural resources. Trade unions developed, starting in the 1870s. There was a considerable migration of people from the countryside to the cities, and Danish agriculture became centred on the export of dairy and meat products.
Denmark maintained its neutral stance during World War I. After the defeat of Germany, the Versailles powers offered to return the region of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. Fearing German irredentism, Denmark refused to consider the return of the area without a plebiscite; the two Schleswig Plebiscites took place on 10 February and 14 March 1920, respectively. On 10 July 1920, Northern Schleswig was recovered by Denmark, thereby adding some 163,600 inhabitants and 3,984 square kilometres (1,538 sq mi). The country's first social democratic government took office in 1924.
In 1939 Denmark signed a 10-year non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany but Germany invaded Denmark on 9 April 1940 and the Danish government quickly surrendered. World War II in Denmark was characterised by economic co-operation with Germany until 1943, when the Danish government refused further co-operation and its navy scuttled most of its ships and sent many of its officers to Sweden, which was neutral. The Danish resistance performed a rescue operation that managed to evacuate several thousand Jews and their families to safety in Sweden before the Germans could send them to death camps. Some Danes supported Nazism by joining the Danish Nazi Party or volunteering to fight with Germany as part of the Frikorps Danmark. Iceland severed ties with Denmark and became an independent republic in 1944; Germany surrendered in May 1945. In 1948, the Faroe Islands gained home rule. In 1949, Denmark became a founding member of NATO.
Denmark became a member of the European Union in 1973 and signed the
Lisbon Treaty in 2007.
Denmark was a founding member of European Free Trade Association (EFTA). During the 1960s, the EFTA countries were often referred to as the Outer Seven, as opposed to the Inner Six of what was then the European Economic Community (EEC). In 1973, along with Britain and Ireland, Denmark joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union) after a public referendum. The Maastricht Treaty, which involved further European integration, was rejected by the Danish people in 1992; it was only accepted after a second referendum in 1993, which provided for four opt-outs from policies. The Danes rejected the euro as the national currency in a referendum in 2000. Greenland gained home rule in 1979 and was awarded self-determination in 2009. Neither the Faroe Islands nor Greenland are members of the European Union, the Faroese having declined membership of the EEC in 1973 and Greenland in 1986, in both cases because of fisheries policies.
Constitutional change in 1953 led to a single-chamber parliament elected by proportional representation, female accession to the Danish throne, and Greenland becoming an integral part of Denmark. The centre-left Social Democrats led a string of coalition governments for most of the second half of the 20th century, introducing the Nordic welfare model. The Liberal Party and the Conservative People's Party have also led centre-right governments.
Geography A satellite image of Jutland and the Danish islands
Located in Northern Europe, Denmark[N 2] consists of the peninsula of Jutland and 443 named islands (1,419 islands above 100 square metres (1,100 sq ft) in total). Of these, 74 are inhabited (January 2015), with the largest being Zealand, the North Jutlandic Island, and Funen. The island of Bornholm is located east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. Many of the larger islands are connected by bridges; the resund Bridge connects Zealand with Sweden; the Great Belt Bridge connects Funen with Zealand; and the Little Belt Bridge connects Jutland with Funen. Ferries or small aircraft connect to the smaller islands. The four cities with populations over 100,000 are the capital Copenhagen on Zealand; Aarhus and Aalborg in Jutland; and Odense on Funen.
The country occupies a total area of 42,943.9 square kilometres (16,581 sq mi). The area of inland water is 700 km2 (270 sq mi), variously stated as from 500 to 700 km2 (193''270 sq mi).[citation needed ] Lake Arres¸ northwest of Copenhagen is the largest lake. The size of the land area cannot be stated exactly since the ocean constantly erodes and adds material to the coastline, and because of human land reclamation projects (to counter erosion). Post-glacial rebound raises the land by a bit less than 1 cm (0.4 in) per year in the north and east, extending the coast. A circle enclosing the same area as Denmark would be 234 kilometres (145 miles) in diameter with a circumference of 736 km (457 mi) (land area only:232.33 km (144.36 mi) and 730 km (454 mi) respectively). It shares a border of 68 kilometres (42 mi) with Germany to the south and is otherwise surrounded by 8,750 km (5,437 mi) of tidal shoreline (including small bays and inlets). No location in Denmark is farther from the coast than 52 km (32 mi). On the south-west coast of Jutland, the tide is between 1 and 2 m (3.28 and 6.56 ft), and the tideline moves outward and inward on a 10 km (6.2 mi) stretch. Denmark's territorial waters total 105,000 square kilometres (40,541 square miles).
Denmark's northernmost point is Skagen point (the north beach of the Skaw) at 57° 45' 7" northern latitude; the southernmost is Gedser point (the southern tip of Falster) at 54° 33' 35" northern latitude; the westernmost point is Bl¥vandshuk at 8° 4' 22" eastern longitude; and the easternmost point is stersk...r at 15° 11' 55" eastern longitude. This is in the small Ertholmene archipelago 18 kilometres (11 mi) north-east of Bornholm. The distance from east to west is 452 kilometres (281 mi), from north to south 368 kilometres (229 mi).
The country is flat with little elevation, having an average height above sea level of 31 metres (102 ft). The highest natural point is M¸lleh¸j, at 170.86 metres (560.56 ft). A sizeable portion of Denmark's terrain consists of rolling plains whilst the coastline is sandy, with large dunes in northern Jutland. Although once extensively forested, today Denmark largely consists of arable land. It is drained by a dozen or so rivers, and the most significant include the Guden¥, Odense, Skjern, Sus¥ and Vid¥'--a river that flows along its southern border with Germany.
The Kingdom of Denmark includes two overseas territories, both well to the west of Denmark: Greenland, the world's largest island, and the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. These territories are self-governing and form part of the Danish Realm.
Climate Denmark has a temperate climate, characterised by mild winters, with mean temperatures in January of 1.5 °C (34.7 °F), and cool summers, with a mean temperature in August of 17.2 °C (63.0 °F). The most extreme temperatures recorded in Denmark, since 1874 when recordings began, was 36.4 °C (97.5 °F) in 1975 and ''31.2 °C (''24.2 °F) in 1982. Denmark has an average of 179 days per year with precipitation, on average receiving a total of 765 millimetres (30 in) per year; autumn is the wettest season and spring the driest. The position between a continent and an ocean means that the weather is often unstable.
Because of Denmark's northern location, there are large seasonal variations in daylight. There are short days during the winter with sunrise coming around 8:45 am and sunset 3:45 pm (standard time), as well as long summer days with sunrise at 4:30 am and sunset at 10 pm (daylight saving time).
Climate data for Denmark (2001''2010)MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearAverage high °C (°F)3.3(37.9)3.3(37.9)6.1(43.0)11.5(52.7)15.5(59.9)18.5(65.3)21.6(70.9)21.2(70.2)17.5(63.5)12.3(54.1)7.9(46.2)4.2(39.6)11.9(53.4)Daily mean °C (°F)1.5(34.7)1.2(34.2)3.0(37.4)7.5(45.5)11.4(52.5)14.6(58.3)17.4(63.3)17.2(63.0)13.8(56.8)9.4(48.9)5.7(42.3)2.2(36.0)8.8(47.8)Average low °C (°F)''0.8(30.6)''1.3(29.7)''0.2(31.6)3.6(38.5)7.4(45.3)10.6(51.1)13.4(56.1)13.5(56.3)10.2(50.4)6.2(43.2)3.2(37.8)''0.3(31.5)5.5(41.9)Average precipitation mm (inches)66(2.6)50(2.0)43(1.7)37(1.5)53(2.1)68(2.7)77(3.0)91(3.6)62(2.4)83(3.3)75(3.0)61(2.4)765(30.1)Average rainy days ('¥ 1 millimetre (0.039 in)) 181513111313141614172017181Mean monthly sunshine hours477114619823523923219616211158451,739Source: Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut The Danish landscape is characterised by flat,
arable land and sandy coasts.
Beech trees are common throughout Denmark, especially in the sparse woodlands.
Ecology Denmark belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and can be subdivided into two ecoregions: the Atlantic mixed forests and Baltic mixed forests. Almost all of Denmark's primeval temperate forests have been destroyed or fragmented, chiefly for agricultural purposes during the last millennia. The deforestation has created large swaths of heathland and devastating sand drifts. In spite of this, there are several larger second growth woodlands in the country and, in total, 12.9% of the land is now forested. Norway spruce is the most widespread tree (2017); an important tree in the Christmas tree production. Denmark holds a Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 0.5/10, ranking it 171st globally out of 172 countries'--behind only San Marino.[further explanation needed ]
Roe deer occupy the countryside in growing numbers, and large-antlered red deer can be found in the sparse woodlands of Jutland. Denmark is also home to smaller mammals, such as polecats, hares and hedgehogs. Approximately 400 bird species inhabit Denmark and about 160 of those breed in the country. Large marine mammals include healthy populations of Harbour porpoise, growing numbers of pinnipeds and occasional visits of large whales, including blue whales and orcas. Cod, herring and plaice are abundant culinary fish in Danish waters and form the basis for a large fishing industry.
Environment In 2020, Denmark was placed first in the Environmental Performance Index. Denmark stopped to give new licences for oil and gas extraction in December 2020.
Land and water pollution are two of Denmark's most significant environmental issues, although much of the country's household and industrial waste is now increasingly filtered and sometimes recycled. The country has historically taken a progressive stance on environmental preservation; in 1971 Denmark established a Ministry of Environment and was the first country in the world to implement an environmental law in 1973. To mitigate environmental degradation and global warming the Danish Government has signed the Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol. However, the national ecological footprint is 8.26 global hectares per person, which is very high compared to a world average of 1.7 in 2010. Contributing factors to this value are an exceptional high value for cropland but also a relatively high value for grazing land, which may be explained by the substantially high meat production in Denmark (115.8 kilograms (255 lb) meat annually per capita) and the large economic role of the meat and dairy industries. In December 2014, the Climate Change Performance Index for 2015 placed Denmark at the top of the table, explaining that although emissions are still quite high, the country was able to implement effective climate protection policies.
Denmark's territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, catch approximately 650 whales per year. Greenland's quotas for the catch of whales are determined according to the advice of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), having quota decision-making powers.
Administrative divisions Denmark, with a total area of 43,094 square kilometres (16,639 sq mi), is divided into five administrative regions (Danish: regioner). The regions are further subdivided into 98 municipalities (kommuner). The easternmost land in Denmark, the Ertholmene archipelago, with an area of 39 hectares (0.16 sq mi), is neither part of a municipality nor a region but belongs to the Ministry of Defence.
The regions were created on 1 January 2007 to replace the 16 former counties. At the same time, smaller municipalities were merged into larger units, reducing the number from 270. Most municipalities have a population of at least 20,000 to give them financial and professional sustainability, although a few exceptions were made to this rule. The administrative divisions are led by directly elected councils, elected proportionally every four years; the most recent Danish local elections were held on 21 November 2017. Other regional structures use the municipal boundaries as a layout, including the police districts, the court districts and the electoral wards.
Regions The governing bodies of the regions are the regional councils, each with forty-one councillors elected for four-year terms. The councils are headed by regional district chairmen (regionsr¥dsformanden), who are elected by the council.The areas of responsibility for the regional councils are the national health service, social services and regional development. Unlike the counties they replaced, the regions are not allowed to levy taxes and the health service is partly financed by a national health care contribution until 2018 (sundhedsbidrag), partly by funds from both government and municipalities. From 1 January 2019 this contribution will be abolished, as it is being replaced by higher income tax instead.
The area and populations of the regions vary widely; for example, the Capital Region, which encompasses the Copenhagen metropolitan area with the exception of the subtracted province East Zealand but includes the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, has a population three times larger than that of North Denmark Region, which covers the more sparsely populated area of northern Jutland. Under the county system certain densely populated municipalities, such as Copenhagen Municipality and Frederiksberg, had been given a status equivalent to that of counties, making them first-level administrative divisions. These sui generis municipalities were incorporated into the new regions under the 2007 reforms.
Danish nameEnglish nameAdmin. centreLargest city (populous)Population(January 2020)Total area(km2)HovedstadenCapital Region of DenmarkHiller¸dCopenhagen1,846,0232,568.29MidtjyllandCentral Denmark RegionViborgAarhus1,326,34013,095.80NordjyllandNorth Denmark RegionAalborgAalborg589,9367,907.09Sj...llandRegion ZealandSor¸Roskilde837,3597,268.75SyddanmarkRegion of Southern DenmarkVejleOdense1,223,10512,132.21Source: Regional and municipal key figuresGreenland and the Faroe Islands The Kingdom of Denmark is a unitary state that comprises, in addition to Denmark proper, two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean: Greenland and the Faroe Islands. They have been integrated parts of the Danish Realm since the 18th century; however, due to their separate historical and cultural identities, these parts of the Realm have extensive political powers and have assumed legislative and administrative responsibility in a substantial number of fields. Home rule was granted to the Faroe Islands in 1948 and to Greenland in 1979, each having previously had the status of counties.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands have their own home governments and parliaments and are effectively self-governing in regards to domestic affairs apart from the judicial system and monetary policy. High Commissioners (Rigsombudsmand) act as representatives of the Danish government in the Faroese L¸gting and in the Greenlandic Parliament, but they cannot vote. The Faroese home government is defined to be an equal partner with the Danish national government, while the Greenlandic people are defined as a separate people with the right to self-determination.
Politics Politics in Denmark operate under a framework laid out in the Constitution of Denmark.[N 12] First written in 1849, it establishes a sovereign state in the form of a constitutional monarchy, with a representative parliamentary system. The monarch officially retains executive power and presides over the Council of State (privy council). In practice, the duties of the monarch are strictly representative and ceremonial,[N 13] such as the formal appointment and dismissal of the Prime Minister and other Government ministers. The Monarch is not answerable for his or her actions, and their person is sacrosanct. Hereditary monarch Queen Margrethe II has been head of state since 14 January 1972.
Government The Danish parliament is unicameral and called the Folketing (Danish: Folketinget). It is the legislature of the Kingdom of Denmark, passing acts that apply in Denmark and, variably, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Folketing is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets, approving the state's accounts, appointing and exercising control of the Government, and taking part in international co-operation. Bills may be initiated by the Government or by members of parliament. All bills passed must be presented before the Council of State to receive Royal Assent within thirty days in order to become law.
Denmark is a representative democracy with universal suffrage.[N 14] Membership of the Folketing is based on proportional representation of political parties, with a 2% electoral threshold. Denmark elects 175 members to the Folketing, with Greenland and the Faroe Islands electing an additional two members each'--179 members in total. Parliamentary elections are held at least every four years, but it is within the powers of the prime minister to ask the monarch to call for an election before the term has elapsed. On a vote of no confidence, the Folketing may force a single minister or an entire government to resign.
The Government of Denmark operates as a cabinet government, where executive authority is exercised'--formally, on behalf of the monarch'--by the prime minister and other cabinet ministers, who head ministries. As the executive branch, the Cabinet is responsible for proposing bills and a budget, executing the laws, and guiding the foreign and internal policies of Denmark. The position of prime minister belongs to the person most likely to command the confidence of a majority in the Folketing; this is often the current leader of the largest political party or, more effectively, through a coalition of parties. A single party generally does not have sufficient political power in terms of the number of seats to form a cabinet on its own; Denmark has often been ruled by coalition governments, themselves usually minority governments dependent on non-government parties.
Following a general election defeat, in June 2015 Helle Thorning-Schmidt, leader of the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne), resigned as prime minister. She was succeeded by Lars L¸kke Rasmussen, the leader of the Liberal Party (Venstre). Rasmussen became the leader of a cabinet that, unusually, consisted entirely of ministers from his own party. Following the 2019 general election the Social Democrats, led by leader Mette Frederiksen, formed a single-party government with support from the left-wing coalition. Frederiksen became prime minister on 27 June 2019.
Law and judicial system Denmark has a civil law system with some references to Germanic law. Denmark resembles Norway and Sweden in never having developed a case-law like that of England and the United States nor comprehensive codes like those of France and Germany. Much of its law is customary.
The judicial system of Denmark is divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with jurisdiction over litigation between individuals and the public administration. Articles sixty-two and sixty-four of the Constitution ensure judicial independence from government and Parliament by providing that judges shall only be guided by the law, including acts, statutes and practice. The Kingdom of Denmark does not have a single unified judicial system '' Denmark has one system, Greenland another, and the Faroe Islands a third. However, decisions by the highest courts in Greenland and the Faroe Islands may be appealed to the Danish High Courts. The Danish Supreme Court is the highest civil and criminal court responsible for the administration of justice in the Kingdom.
Foreign relations Denmark wields considerable influence in Northern Europe and is a middle power in international affairs. In recent years, Greenland and the Faroe Islands have been guaranteed a say in foreign policy issues such as fishing, whaling, and geopolitical concerns. The foreign policy of Denmark is substantially influenced by its membership of the European Union (EU); Denmark including Greenland joined the European Economic Community (EEC), the EU's predecessor, in 1973.[N 15] Denmark held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on seven occasions, most recently from January to June 2012. Following World War II, Denmark ended its two-hundred-year-long policy of neutrality. It has been a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 1949, and membership remains highly popular.
As a member of Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Denmark has for a long time been among the countries of the world contributing the largest percentage of gross national income to development aid. In 2015, Denmark contributed 0.85% of its gross national income (GNI) to foreign aid and was one of only six countries meeting the longstanding UN target of 0.7% of GNI.[N 16] The country participates in both bilateral and multilateral aid, with the aid usually administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The organisational name of Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) is often used, in particular when operating bilateral aid.
Military Danish MP-soldiers conducting advanced law enforcement training
Denmark's armed forces are known as the Danish Defence (Danish: Forsvaret). The Minister of Defence is commander-in-chief of the Danish Defence, and serves as chief diplomatic official abroad. During peacetime, the Ministry of Defence employs around 33,000 in total. The main military branches employ almost 27,000: 15,460 in the Royal Danish Army, 5,300 in the Royal Danish Navy and 6,050 in the Royal Danish Air Force (all including conscripts).[citation needed ] The Danish Emergency Management Agency employs 2,000 (including conscripts), and about 4,000 are in non-branch-specific services like the Danish Defence Command and the Danish Defence Intelligence Service. Furthermore, around 55,000 serve as volunteers in the Danish Home Guard.
Denmark is a long-time supporter of international peacekeeping, but since the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 and the War in Afghanistan in 2001, Denmark has also found a new role as a warring nation, participating actively in several wars and invasions. This relatively new situation has stirred some internal critique, but the Danish population has generally been very supportive, in particular of the War in Afghanistan. The Danish Defence has around 1,400 staff in international missions, not including standing contributions to NATO SNMCMG1. Danish forces were heavily engaged in the former Yugoslavia in the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR), with IFOR, and now SFOR. Between 2003 and 2007, there were approximately 450 Danish soldiers in Iraq. Denmark also strongly supported American operations in Afghanistan and has contributed both monetarily and materially to the ISAF. These initiatives are often described by the authorities as part of a new "active foreign policy" of Denmark.
Economy Denmark has a developed mixed economy that is classed as a high-income economy by the World Bank. In 2017 it ranked 16th in the world in terms of gross national income (PPP) per capita and 10th in nominal GNI per capita. Denmark's economy stands out as one of the most free in the Index of Economic Freedom and the Economic Freedom of the World. It is the 10th most competitive economy in the world, and 6th in Europe, according to the World Economic Forum in its Global Competitiveness Report 2018.
Denmark has the fourth highest ratio of tertiary degree holders in the world. The country ranks highest in the world for workers' rights. GDP per hour worked was the 13th highest in 2009. The country has a market income inequality close to the OECD average, but after taxes and public cash transfers the income inequality is considerably lower. According to Eurostat, Denmark's Gini coefficient for disposable income was the 7th-lowest among EU countries in 2017.According to the International Monetary Fund, Denmark has the world's highest minimum wage. As Denmark has no minimum wage legislation, the high wage floor has been attributed to the power of trade unions. For example, as the result of a collective bargaining agreement between the 3F trade union and the employers group Horesta, workers at McDonald's and other fast food chains make the equivalent of US$20 an hour, which is more than double what their counterparts earn in the United States, and have access to five weeks' paid vacation, parental leave and a pension plan. Union density in 2015 was 68%.
Denmark is a leading producer of
pork, and the largest exporter of pork products in the EU.
Once a predominantly agricultural country on account of its arable landscape, since 1945 Denmark has greatly expanded its industrial base and service sector. By 2017 services contributed circa 75% of GDP, manufacturing about 15% and agriculture less than 2%. Major industries include wind turbines, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, machinery and transportation equipment, food processing, and construction. Circa 60% of the total export value is due to export of goods, and the remaining 40% is from service exports, mainly sea transport. The country's main export goods are: wind turbines, pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, furniture and design. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has for a number of years had a balance of payments surplus which has transformed the country from a net debitor to a net creditor country. By 1 July 2018, the net international investment position (or net foreign assets) of Denmark was equal to 64.6% of GDP.
A liberalisation of import tariffs in 1797 marked the end of mercantilism and further liberalisation in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century established the Danish liberal tradition in international trade that was only to be broken by the 1930s. Even when other countries, such as Germany and France, raised protection for their agricultural sector because of increased American competition resulting in much lower agricultural prices after 1870, Denmark retained its free trade policies, as the country profited from the cheap imports of cereals (used as feedstuffs for their cattle and pigs) and could increase their exports of butter and meat of which the prices were more stable. Today, Denmark is part of the European Union's internal market, which represents more than 508 million consumers. Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union (EU) members and by EU legislation. Support for free trade is high among the Danish public; in a 2016 poll 57% responded saw globalisation as an opportunity whereas 18% viewed it as a threat. 70% of trade flows are inside the European Union. As of 2017[update], Denmark's largest export partners are Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Denmark's currency, the krone (DKK), is pegged at approximately 7.46 kroner per euro through the ERM II. Although a September 2000 referendum rejected adopting the euro, the country follows the policies set forth in the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU) and meets the economic convergence criteria needed to adopt the euro. The majority of the political parties in the Folketing support joining the EMU, but since 2010 opinion polls have consistently shown a clear majority against adopting the euro. In May 2018, 29% of respondents from Denmark in a Eurobarometer opinion poll stated that they were in favour of the EMU and the euro, whereas 65% were against it.
Ranked by turnover in Denmark, the largest Danish companies are: A.P. M¸ller-M...rsk (international shipping), Novo Nordisk (pharmaceuticals), ISS A/S (facility services), Vestas (wind turbines), Arla Foods (dairy), DSV (transport), Carlsberg Group (beer), Salling Group (retail), rsted A/S (power), Danske Bank.
Public policy Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the Danish economy is characterised by extensive government welfare provisions. Denmark has a corporate tax rate of 22% and a special time-limited tax regime for expatriates. The Danish taxation system is broad based, with a 25% value-added tax, in addition to excise taxes, income taxes and other fees. The overall level of taxation (sum of all taxes, as a percentage of GDP) was 46% in 2017. The tax structure of Denmark (the relative weight of different taxes) differs from the OECD average, as the Danish tax system in 2015 was characterized by substantially higher revenues from taxes on personal income and a lower proportion of revenues from taxes on corporate income and gains and property taxes than in OECD generally, whereas no revenues at all derive from social security contributions. The proportion deriving from payroll taxes, VAT, and other taxes on goods and services correspond to the OECD average
As of 2014[update], 6% of the population was reported to live below the poverty line, when adjusted for taxes and transfers. Denmark has the 2nd lowest relative poverty rate in the OECD, below the 11.3% OECD average. The share of the population reporting that they feel that they cannot afford to buy sufficient food in Denmark is less than half of the OECD average.
Labour market Like other Nordic countries, Denmark has adopted the Nordic Model, which combines free market capitalism with a comprehensive welfare state and strong worker protection. As a result of its acclaimed "flexicurity" model, Denmark has the freest labour market in Europe, according to the World Bank. Employers can hire and fire whenever they want (flexibility), and between jobs, unemployment compensation is relatively high (security). According to OECD, initial as well as long-term net replacement rates for unemployed persons were 65% of previous net income in 2016, against an OECD average of 53%. Establishing a business can be done in a matter of hours and at very low costs. No restrictions apply regarding overtime work, which allows companies to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With an employment rate in 2017 of 74.2% for people aged 15''64-years, Denmark ranks 9th highest among the OECD countries, and above the OECD average of 67.8%. The unemployment rate was 5.7% in 2017, which is considered close to or below its structural level.
The level of unemployment benefits is dependent on former employment and normally on membership of an unemployment fund, which is usually closely connected to a trade union, and previous payment of contributions. Circa 65% of the financing comes from earmarked member contributions, whereas the remaining third originates from the central government and hence ultimately from general taxation.
Science and technology With an investment of 8.5 million euros over the ten-year construction period, Denmark confirms participation in E-ELT.
Denmark has a long tradition of scientific and technological invention and engagement, and has been involved internationally from the very start of the scientific revolution. In current times, Denmark is participating in many high-profile international science and technology projects, including CERN, ITER, ESA, ISS and E-ELT.
In the 20th century, Danes have also been innovative in several fields of the technology sector. Danish companies have been influential in the shipping industry with the design of the largest and most energy efficient container ships in the world, the Maersk Triple E class, and Danish engineers have contributed to the design of MAN Diesel engines. In the software and electronic field, Denmark contributed to design and manufacturing of Nordic Mobile Telephones, and the now-defunct Danish company DanCall was among the first to develop GSM mobile phones.
Life science is a key sector with extensive research and development activities. Danish engineers are world-leading in providing diabetes care equipment and medication products from Novo Nordisk and, since 2000, the Danish biotech company Novozymes, the world market leader in enzymes for first generation starch-based bioethanol, has pioneered development of enzymes for converting waste to cellulosic ethanol. Medicon Valley, spanning the resund Region between Zealand and Sweden, is one of Europe's largest life science clusters, containing a large number of life science companies and research institutions located within a very small geographical area.
Danish-born computer scientists and software engineers have taken leading roles in some of the world's programming languages: Anders Hejlsberg (Turbo Pascal, Delphi, C#); Rasmus Lerdorf (PHP); Bjarne Stroustrup (C++); David Heinemeier Hansson (Ruby on Rails); Lars Bak, a pioneer in virtual machines (V8, Java VM, Dart). Physicist Lene Vestergaard Hau is the first person to stop light, leading to advances in quantum computing, nanoscale engineering and linear optics.
Energy Denmark has considerably large deposits of oil and natural gas in the North Sea and ranks as number 32 in the world among net exporters of crude oil and was producing 259,980 barrels of crude oil a day in 2009. Denmark is a long-time leader in wind power: In 2015 wind turbines provided 42.1% of the total electricity consumption. In May 2011[update] Denmark derived 3.1% of its gross domestic product from renewable (clean) energy technology and energy efficiency, or around '¬6.5 billion ($9.4 billion). Denmark is connected by electric transmission lines to other European countries.
Denmark's electricity sector has integrated energy sources such as wind power into the national grid. Denmark now aims to focus on intelligent battery systems (V2G) and plug-in vehicles in the transport sector. The country is a member nation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Denmark exported roughly 460 million GJ of energy in 2018.
Transport The Great Belt Fixed Link, the East Bridge as seen from
ZealandSignificant investment has been made in building road and rail links between regions in Denmark, most notably the Great Belt Fixed Link, which connects Zealand and Funen. It is now possible to drive from Frederikshavn in northern Jutland to Copenhagen on eastern Zealand without leaving the motorway. The main railway operator is DSB for passenger services and DB Schenker Rail for freight trains. The railway tracks are maintained by Banedanmark. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea are intertwined by various, international ferry links. Construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, connecting Denmark and Germany with a second link, will start in 2015. Copenhagen has a rapid transit system, the Copenhagen Metro, and an extensive electrified suburban railway network, the S-train. In the four largest cities '' Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg '' light rail systems are planned to be in operation around 2020.
Cycling in Denmark is a very common form of transport, particularly for the young and for city dwellers. With a network of bicycle routes extending more than 12,000 km and an estimated 7,000 km of segregated dedicated bicycle paths and lanes, Denmark has a solid bicycle infrastructure.
Private vehicles are increasingly used as a means of transport. Because of the high registration tax (150%), VAT (25%), and one of the world's highest income tax rates, new cars are very expensive. The purpose of the tax is to discourage car ownership.In 2007, an attempt was made by the government to favour environmentally friendly cars by slightly reducing taxes on high mileage vehicles. However, this has had little effect, and in 2008 Denmark experienced an increase in the import of fuel inefficient old cars, as the cost for older cars'--including taxes'--keeps them within the budget of many Danes.As of 2011[update], the average car age is 9.2 years.
With Norway and Sweden, Denmark is part of the Scandinavian Airlines flag carrier. Copenhagen Airport is Scandinavia's busiest passenger airport, handling over 25 million passengers in 2014. Other notable airports are Billund Airport, Aalborg Airport, and Aarhus Airport.
Demographics Population by ancestry (Q2 2020):
People of Danish origin (including Faroese and Greenlandic) (86.11%)
Descendant of an immigrant (3.34%)
Population The population of Denmark, as registered by Statistics Denmark, was 5.825 million in April 2020. Denmark has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 41.9 years, with 0.97 males per female. Despite a low birth rate, the population is growing at an average annual rate of 0.59% because of net immigration and increasing longevity. The World Happiness Report frequently ranks Denmark's population as the happiest in the world. This has been attributed to the country's highly regarded education and health care systems, and its low level of income inequality.
Denmark is a historically homogeneous nation. However, as with its Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark has recently transformed from a nation of net emigration, up until World War II, to a nation of net immigration. Today, residence permits are issued mostly to immigrants from other EU countries (54% of all non-Scandinavian immigrants in 2017). Another 31% of residence permits were study- or work-related, 4% were issued to asylum seekers and 10% to persons who arrive as family dependants. Overall, the net migration rate in 2017 was 2.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population, somewhat lower than the United Kingdom and the other Nordic countries.
There are no official statistics on ethnic groups, but according to 2020 figures from Statistics Denmark, 86.11% of the population in Denmark was of Danish descent (including Faroese and Greenlandic), defined as having at least one parent who was born in the Kingdom of Denmark and holds Danish Nationality.[N 6] The remaining 13.89% were of foreign background, defined as immigrants or descendants of recent immigrants. With the same definition, the most common countries of origin were Turkey, Poland, Syria, Germany, Iraq, Romania, Lebanon, Pakistan, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Somalia.
The Inuit are indigenous to Greenland in the Kingdom and have traditionally inhabited Greenland and the northern parts of Canada and Alaska in the Arctic. From the 18th century up to the 1970s, the Danish government (Dano-Norwegian until 1814) have through time tried to assimilate the Greenlandic Inuit, encouraging them to adopt the majority language, culture and religion. Because of this "Danization process", several persons of Inuit ancestry now identify their mother tongue as Danish.
Largest cities in Denmark (as of 1 January 2016
RankCore CityRegionUrban PopulationMunicipal Population Odense Aalborg
1CopenhagenCapital Region of Denmark1,280,371591,4812AarhusCentral Denmark Region264,716330,6393OdenseRegion of Southern Denmark175,245198,9724AalborgNorth Denmark Region112,194210,3165EsbjergRegion of Southern Denmark72,151115,7486RandersCentral Denmark Region62,34297,5207KoldingRegion of Southern Denmark59,71291,6958HorsensCentral Denmark Region57,51787,7369VejleRegion of Southern Denmark54,862111,74310RoskildeRegion Zealand50,04686,207Source: Statistics DenmarkLanguages Danish is the de facto national language of Denmark. Faroese and Greenlandic are the official languages of the Faroe Islands and Greenland respectively. German is a recognised minority language in the area of the former South Jutland County (now part of the Region of Southern Denmark), which was part of the German Empire prior to the Treaty of Versailles. Danish and Faroese belong to the North Germanic (Nordic) branch of the Indo-European languages, along with Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish. There is a limited degree of mutual intelligibility between Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Danish is more distantly related to German, which is a West Germanic language. Greenlandic or "Kalaallisut" belongs to the Eskimo''Aleut languages; it is closely related to the Inuit languages in Canada, such as Inuktitut, and entirely unrelated to Danish.
A large majority (86%) of Danes speak English as a second language, generally with a high level of proficiency. German is the second-most spoken foreign language, with 47% reporting a conversational level of proficiency. Denmark had 25,900 native speakers of German in 2007 (mostly in the South Jutland area).
Religion Members, Church of DenmarkYearMembersPopulation%19854,675,2705,111,10891.5%19904,584,4505,135,40989.3%19954,539,7735,215,71887.0%20004,536,4225,330,02085.1%20054,498,7035,411,40583.1%20104,479,2145,534,73880.9%20154,400,7545,659,71577.8%20204,327,0185,822,76374.3%Source: Statistics Denmark and Ministry of Ecclesiastical AffairsChristianity is the dominant religion in Denmark. In January 2020, 74.3% of the population of Denmark were members of the Church of Denmark (Den Danske Folkekirke), the officially established church, which is Protestant in classification and Lutheran in orientation.[N 17] The membership percentage have been in steadily decline since the 1970s, mainly as fewer newborns are being baptized into it. Only 3% of the population regularly attend Sunday services and only 19% of Danes consider religion to be an important part of their life.
The Constitution states that the sovereign must have the Lutheran faith, though the rest of the population is free to adhere to other faiths. In 1682 the state granted limited recognition to three religious groups dissenting from the Established Church: Roman Catholicism, the Reformed Church and Judaism, although conversion to these groups from the Church of Denmark remained illegal initially. Until the 1970s, the state formally recognised "religious societies" by royal decree. Today, religious groups do not need official government recognition, they can be granted the right to perform weddings and other ceremonies without this recognition. Denmark's Muslims make up approximately 5.3% of the population and form the country's second largest religious community and largest minority religion. The Danish Foreign Ministry estimates that other religious groups comprise less than 1% of the population individually and approximately 2% when taken all together.
According to a 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, 28% of Danish nationals polled responded that they "believe there is a God", 47% responded that they "believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 24% responded that they "do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force". Another poll, carried out in 2009, found that 25% of Danes believe Jesus is the son of God, and 18% believe he is the saviour of the world.
Education All educational programmes in Denmark are regulated by the Ministry of Education and administered by local municipalities. Folkeskole covers the entire period of compulsory education, encompassing primary and lower secondary education. Most children attend folkeskole for 10 years, from the ages of 6 to 16. There are no final examinations, but pupils can choose to sit an exam when finishing ninth grade (14''15 years old). The test is obligatory if further education is to be attended. Alternatively pupils can attend an independent school (friskole), or a private school (privatskole), such as Christian schools or Waldorf schools.
Following graduation from compulsory education, there are several continuing educational opportunities; the Gymnasium (STX) attaches importance in teaching a mix of humanities and science, Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX) focuses on scientific subjects and the Higher Commercial Examination Programme emphasises on subjects in economics. Higher Preparatory Examination (HF) is similar to Gymnasium (STX), but is one year shorter. For specific professions, there is vocational education, training young people for work in specific trades by a combination of teaching and apprenticeship.
The government records upper secondary school completion rates of 95% and tertiary enrollment and completion rates of 60%. All university and college (tertiary) education in Denmark is free of charges; there are no tuition fees to enrol in courses. Students aged 18 or above may apply for state educational support grants, known as Statens Uddannelsesst¸tte (SU), which provides fixed financial support, disbursed monthly. Danish universities offer international students a range of opportunities for obtaining an internationally recognised qualification in Denmark. Many programmes may be taught in the English language, the academic lingua franca, in bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, doctorates and student exchange programmes.
Health As of 2015[update], Denmark has a life expectancy of 80.6 years at birth (78.6 for men, 82.5 for women), up from 76.9 years in 2000. This ranks it 27th among 193 nations, behind the other Nordic countries. The National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark has calculated 19 major risk factors among Danes that contribute to a lowering of the life expectancy; this includes smoking, alcohol, drug abuse and physical inactivity. Although the obesity rate is lower than in North America and most other European countries, the large number of Danes becoming overweight is an increasing problem and results in an annual additional consumption in the health care system of DKK 1,625 million. In a 2012 study, Denmark had the highest cancer rate of all countries listed by the World Cancer Research Fund International; researchers suggest the reasons are better reporting, but also lifestyle factors like heavy alcohol consumption, smoking and physical inactivity.
Denmark has a universal health care system, characterised by being publicly financed through taxes and, for most of the services, run directly by the regional authorities. One of the sources of income is a national health care contribution (sundhedsbidrag) (2007''11:8%; '12:7%; '13:6%; '14:5%; '15:4%; '16:3%; '17:2%; '18:1%; '19:0%) but it is being phased out and will be gone from January 2019, with the income taxes in the lower brackets being raised gradually each year instead. Another source comes from the municipalities that had their income taxes raised by 3 percentage points from 1 January 2007, a contribution confiscated from the former county tax to be used from 1 January 2007 for health purposes by the municipalities instead. This means that most health care provision is free at the point of delivery for all residents. Additionally, roughly two in five have complementary private insurance to cover services not fully covered by the state, such as physiotherapy. As of 2012[update], Denmark spends 11.2% of its GDP on health care; this is up from 9.8% in 2007 (US$3,512 per capita). This places Denmark above the OECD average and above the other Nordic countries.
Ghettos Denmark is the only country to officially use the word 'ghetto' in the 21st century to denote certain residential areas. Since 2010, the Danish Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing publishes the ghettolisten (List of ghettos) which in 2018 consists of 25 areas. As a result, the term is widely used in the media and common parlance. The legal designation is applied to areas based on the residents' income levels, employment status, education levels, criminal convictions and non-Western ethnic background. In 2017, 8.7% of Denmark's population consisted of non-Western immigrants or their descendants. The population proportion of 'ghetto residents' with non-Western background was 66.5%. In 2018, the government has proposed measures to solve the issue of integration and to rid the country of parallel societies and ghettos by 2030. The measures focus on physical redevelopment, control over who is allowed to live in these areas, crime abatement and education. These policies have been criticized for undercutting 'equality before law' and for portraying immigrants, especially Muslim immigrants, in a bad light. While some proposals like restricting 'ghetto children' to their homes after 8 p.m. have been rejected for being too radical, most of the 22 proposals have been agreed upon by a parliamentary majority.
Culture Denmark shares strong cultural and historic ties with its Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and Norway. It has historically been one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world. In 1969, Denmark was the first country to legalise pornography, and in 2012, Denmark replaced its "registered partnership" laws, which it had been the first country to introduce in 1989, with gender-neutral marriage, and allowed same-sex marriages to be performed in the Church of Denmark. Modesty and social equality are important parts of Danish culture. In a 2016 study comparing empathy scores of 63 countries, Denmark ranked 4th world-wide having the highest empathy among surveyed European countries.
The astronomical discoveries of Tycho Brahe (1546''1601), Ludwig A. Colding's (1815''1888) neglected articulation of the principle of conservation of energy, and the contributions to atomic physics of Niels Bohr (1885''1962) indicate the range of Danish scientific achievement. The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen (1805''1875), the philosophical essays of S¸ren Kierkegaard (1813''1855), the short stories of Karen Blixen (penname Isak Dinesen), (1885''1962), the plays of Ludvig Holberg (1684''1754), and the dense, aphoristic poetry of Piet Hein (1905''1996), have earned international recognition, as have the symphonies of Carl Nielsen (1865''1931). From the mid-1990s, Danish films have attracted international attention, especially those associated with Dogme 95 like those of Lars von Trier.
A major feature of Danish culture is Jul (Danish Christmas). The holiday is celebrated throughout December, starting either at the beginning of Advent or on 1 December with a variety of traditions, culminating with the Christmas Eve meal.
There are seven heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in Northern Europe: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement, the Jelling Mounds (Runic Stones and Church), Kronborg Castle, Roskilde Cathedral, and The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand and 3 in the World Heritage list in North America: Ilulissat Icefjord, Aasivissuit '-- Nipisat, Kujataa within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Human rights Denmark has been considered a progressive country, which has adopted legislation and policies to support women's rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights. Human rights in Denmark are protected by the state's Constitution of the Realm (Danmarks Riges Grundlov); applying equally in Denmark proper, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and through the ratification of international human rights treaties. Denmark has held a significant role in the adoption of both the European Convention on Human Rights and in the establishment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In 1987, the Kingdom Parliament (Folketinget) established a national human rights institution, the Danish Centre of Human Rights, now the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
In 2009, a referendum on changing the Danish Act of Succession were held to grant absolute primogeniture to the Danish throne, meaning that the eldest child, regardless of gender, takes precedence in the line of succession. As it was not retroactive, the current successor to the throne is the eldest son of the King, rather than his eldest child. The Danish constitution Article 2 states that "The monarchy is inherited by men and women"
The Inuit have for decades been the subject of discrimination and abuse by the dominant colonisers from Europe, those countries claiming possession of Inuit lands. The Inuit have never been a single community in a single region of Inuit. From the 18th century up to the 1970s, the Danish government (Dano-Norwegian until 1814) have through time tried to assimilate the indigenous people of Greenland, the Greenlandic Inuit, encouraging them to adopt the majority language, culture and religion. Denmark has been greatly criticised by the Greenlandic community for the politics of Danization (50's and 60's) of and discrimination against the indigenous population of the country. Critical treatment paying non-Inuit workers higher wages than the local people, the relocation of entire families from their traditional lands into settlements, and separating children from their parents and sending them away to Denmark for schooling has been practiced. Nevertheless, Denmark ratified, in 1996, to recognise the ILO-convention 169 on indigenous people recommended by the UN.
In regard to LGBT rights, Denmark was the first country in the world to grant legal recognition to same-sex unions in the form of registered partnerships in 1989. On 7 June 2012, the law was replaced by a new same-sex marriage law, which came into effect on 15 June 2012. Greenland and the Faroe Islands legalized same-sex marriage in April 2016, and in July 2017 respectively. In January 2016, a resolution was implemented by the Danish parliament which prevented transgender being classified as a mental health condition. In doing so, Denmark became the first country in Europe to go against the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, which classified transgender identity as being a mental health issue until June 2018.
Media Danish mass media date back to the 1540s, when handwritten fly sheets reported on the news. In 1666, Anders Bording, the father of Danish journalism, began a state paper. In 1834, the first liberal, factual newspaper appeared, and the 1849 Constitution established lasting freedom of the press in Denmark. Newspapers flourished in the second half of the 19th century, usually tied to one or another political party or trade union. Modernisation, bringing in new features and mechanical techniques, appeared after 1900. The total circulation was 500,000 daily in 1901, more than doubling to 1.2 million in 1925. The German occupation during World War II brought informal censorship; some offending newspaper buildings were simply blown up by the Nazis. During the war, the underground produced 550 newspapers'--small, surreptitiously printed sheets that encouraged sabotage and resistance.
Danish cinema dates back to 1897 and since the 1980s has maintained a steady stream of productions due largely to funding by the state-supported Danish Film Institute. There have been three big internationally important waves of Danish cinema: erotic melodrama of the silent era; the increasingly explicit sex films of the 1960s and 1970s; and lastly, the Dogme 95 movement of the late 1990s, where directors often used hand-held cameras to dynamic effect in a conscious reaction against big-budget studios. Danish films have been noted for their realism, religious and moral themes, sexual frankness and technical innovation. The Danish filmmaker Carl Th. Dreyer (1889''1968) is considered one of the greatest directors of early cinema.
Other Danish filmmakers of note include Erik Balling, the creator of the popular Olsen-banden films; Gabriel Axel, an Oscar-winner for Babette's Feast in 1987; and Bille August, the Oscar-, Palme d'Or- and Golden Globe-winner for Pelle the Conqueror in 1988. In the modern era, notable filmmakers in Denmark include Lars von Trier, who co-created the Dogme movement, and multiple award-winners Susanne Bier and Nicolas Winding Refn. Mads Mikkelsen is a world-renowned Danish actor, having starred in films such as King Arthur, Casino Royale, the Danish film The Hunt, and the American TV series Hannibal. Another renowned Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is internationally known for playing the role of Jaime Lannister in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
Danish mass media and news programming are dominated by a few large corporations. In printed media JP/Politikens Hus and Berlingske Media, between them, control the largest newspapers Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten and major tabloids B.T. and Ekstra Bladet. In television, publicly owned stations DR and TV 2 have large shares of the viewers. DR in particular is famous for its high quality TV-series often sold to foreign broadcasters and often with leading female characters like internationally known actresses Sidse Babett Knudsen and Sofie Gr¥b¸l. In radio, DR has a near monopoly, currently broadcasting on all four nationally available FM channels, competing only with local stations.
Music Denmark and its multiple outlying islands have a wide range of folk traditions. The country's most famous classical composer is Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), especially remembered for his six symphonies and his Wind Quintet, while the Royal Danish Ballet specialises in the work of the Danish choreographer August Bournonville. The Royal Danish Orchestra is among the world's oldest orchestras. Danes have distinguished themselves as jazz musicians, and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival has acquired international recognition.
The modern pop and rock scene has produced a few names of international fame, including Aqua, Alphabeat, D-A-D, King Diamond, Kashmir, Lukas Graham, Mew, Michael Learns to Rock, M, Oh Land, The Raveonettes and Volbeat, among others. Lars Ulrich, the drummer of the band Metallica, has become the first Danish musician to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Roskilde Festival near Copenhagen is the largest music festival in Northern Europe since 1971 and Denmark has many recurring music festivals of all genres throughout, including Aarhus International Jazz Festival, Skanderborg Festival, The Blue Festival in Aalborg, Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival and Skagen Festival among many others.
Denmark has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1957 and has won the contest three times, in 1963, 2000 and 2013.
Architecture and design Denmark's architecture became firmly established in the Middle Ages when first Romanesque, then Gothic churches and cathedrals sprang up throughout the country. From the 16th century, Dutch and Flemish designers were brought to Denmark, initially to improve the country's fortifications, but increasingly to build magnificent royal castles and palaces in the Renaissance style.During the 17th century, many impressive buildings were built in the Baroque style, both in the capital and the provinces. Neoclassicism from France was slowly adopted by native Danish architects who increasingly participated in defining architectural style. A productive period of Historicism ultimately merged into the 19th-century National Romantic style.
The 20th century brought along new architectural styles; including expressionism, best exemplified by the designs of architect Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint, which relied heavily on Scandinavian brick Gothic traditions; and Nordic Classicism, which enjoyed brief popularity in the early decades of the century. It was in the 1960s that Danish architects such as Arne Jacobsen entered the world scene with their highly successful Functionalist architecture. This, in turn, has evolved into more recent world-class masterpieces including J¸rn Utzon's Sydney Opera House and Johan Otto von Spreckelsen's Grande Arche de la D(C)fense in Paris, paving the way for a number of contemporary Danish designers such as Bjarke Ingels to be rewarded for excellence both at home and abroad.
Danish design is a term often used to describe a style of functionalistic design and architecture that was developed in the mid-20th century, originating in Denmark. Danish design is typically applied to industrial design, furniture and household objects, which have won many international awards. The Royal Porcelain Factory is famous for the quality of its ceramics and export products worldwide. Danish design is also a well-known brand, often associated with world-famous, 20th-century designers and architects such as B¸rge Mogensen, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen and Verner Panton. Other designers of note include Kristian Solmer Vedel (1923''2003) in the area of industrial design, Jens Quistgaard (1919''2008) for kitchen furniture and implements and Ole Wanscher (1903''1985) who had a classical approach to furniture design.
Literature and philosophy The first known Danish literature is myths and folklore from the 10th and 11th century. Saxo Grammaticus, normally considered the first Danish writer, worked for bishop Absalon on a chronicle of Danish history (Gesta Danorum). Very little is known of other Danish literature from the Middle Ages. With the Age of Enlightenment came Ludvig Holberg whose comedy plays are still being performed.
In the late 19th century, literature was seen as a way to influence society. Known as the Modern Breakthrough, this movement was championed by Georg Brandes, Henrik Pontoppidan (awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature) and J. P. Jacobsen. Romanticism influenced the renowned writer and poet Hans Christian Andersen, known for his stories and fairy tales, e.g. The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and The Snow Queen. In recent history Johannes Vilhelm Jensen was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Karen Blixen is famous for her novels and short stories. Other Danish writers of importance are Herman Bang, Gustav Wied, William Heinesen, Martin Andersen Nex¸, Piet Hein, Hans Scherfig, Klaus Rifbjerg, Dan Tur¨ll, Tove Ditlevsen, Inger Christensen and Peter H¸eg.
Danish philosophy has a long tradition as part of Western philosophy. Perhaps the most influential Danish philosopher was S¸ren Kierkegaard, the creator of Christian existentialism. Kierkegaard had a few Danish followers, including Harald H¸ffding, who later in his life moved on to join the movement of positivism. Among Kierkegaard's other followers include Jean-Paul Sartre who was impressed with Kierkegaard's views on the individual, and Rollo May, who helped create humanistic psychology. Another Danish philosopher of note is Grundtvig, whose philosophy gave rise to a new form of non-aggressive nationalism in Denmark, and who is also influential for his theological and historical works.
Painting and photography While Danish art was influenced over the centuries by trends in Germany and the Netherlands, the 15th and 16th century church frescos, which can be seen in many of the country's older churches, are of particular interest as they were painted in a style typical of native Danish painters.
The Danish Golden Age, which began in the first half of the 19th century, was inspired by a new feeling of nationalism and romanticism, typified in the later previous century by history painter Nicolai Abildgaard. Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg was not only a productive artist in his own right but taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where his students included notable painters such as Wilhelm Bendz, Christen K¸bke, Martinus R¸rbye, Constantin Hansen, and Wilhelm Marstrand.
In 1871, Holger Drachmann and Karl Madsen visited Skagen in the far north of Jutland where they quickly built up one of Scandinavia's most successful artists' colonies specialising in Naturalism and Realism rather than in the traditional approach favoured by the Academy. Hosted by Michael and his wife Anna, they were soon joined by P.S. Kr¸yer, Carl Locher and Laurits Tuxen. All participated in painting the natural surroundings and local people. Similar trends developed on Funen with the Fynboerne who included Johannes Larsen, Fritz Syberg and Peter Hansen, and on the island of Bornholm with the Bornholm school of painters including Niels Lergaard, Kr...sten Iversen and Oluf H¸st.
Painting has continued to be a prominent form of artistic expression in Danish culture, inspired by and also influencing major international trends in this area. These include impressionism and the modernist styles of expressionism, abstract painting and surrealism. While international co-operation and activity has almost always been essential to the Danish artistic community, influential art collectives with a firm Danish base includes De Tretten (1909''1912), Linien (1930s and 1940s), COBRA (1948''1951), Fluxus (1960s and 1970s), De Unge Vilde (1980s) and more recently Superflex (founded in 1993). Most Danish painters of modern times have also been very active with other forms of artistic expressions, such as sculpting, ceramics, art installations, activism, film and experimental architecture. Notable Danish painters from modern times representing various art movements include Theodor Philipsen (1840''1920, impressionism and naturalism), Anna Klindt S¸rensen (1899''1985, expressionism), Franciska Clausen (1899''1986, Neue Sachlichkeit, cubism, surrealism and others), Henry Heerup (1907''1993, naivism), Robert Jacobsen (1912''1993, abstract painting), Carl Henning Pedersen (1913''2007, abstract painting), Asger Jorn (1914''1973, Situationist, abstract painting), Bj¸rn Wiinblad (1918''2006, art deco, orientalism), Per Kirkeby (b. 1938, neo-expressionism, abstract painting), Per Arnoldi (b. 1941, pop art), Michael Kvium (b. 1955, neo-surrealism) and Simone Aaberg K...rn (b. 1969, superrealism).
Danish photography has developed from strong participation and interest in the very beginnings of the art of photography in 1839 to the success of a considerable number of Danes in the world of photography today. Pioneers such as Mads Alstrup and Georg Emil Hansen paved the way for a rapidly growing profession during the last half of the 19th century. Today Danish photographers such as Astrid Kruse Jensen and Jacob Aue Sobol are active both at home and abroad, participating in key exhibitions around the world.
Cuisine Sm¸rrebr¸d, a variety of Danish open sandwiches piled high with delicacies
The traditional cuisine of Denmark, like that of the other Nordic countries and of Northern Germany, consists mainly of meat, fish and potatoes. Danish dishes are highly seasonal, stemming from the country's agricultural past, its geography, and its climate of long, cold winters.
The open sandwiches on rye bread, known as sm¸rrebr¸d, which in their basic form are the usual fare for lunch, can be considered a national speciality when prepared and decorated with a variety of fine ingredients. Hot meals traditionally consist of ground meats, such as frikadeller (meat balls of veal and pork) and hakkeb¸f (minced beef patties), or of more substantial meat and fish dishes such as fl...skesteg (roast pork with crackling) and kogt torsk (poached cod) with mustard sauce and trimmings. Denmark is known for its Carlsberg and Tuborg beers and for its akvavit and bitters.
Since around 1970, chefs and restaurants across Denmark have introduced gourmet cooking, largely influenced by French cuisine. Also inspired by continental practices, Danish chefs have recently developed a new innovative cuisine and a series of gourmet dishes based on high-quality local produce known as New Danish cuisine. As a result of these developments, Denmark now have a considerable number of internationally acclaimed restaurants of which several have been awarded Michelin stars. This includes Geranium and Noma in Copenhagen.
Sports Michael Laudrup, named the best Danish football player of all time by the Danish Football Union
Sports are popular in Denmark, and its citizens participate in and watch a wide variety. The national sport is football, with over 320,000 players in more than 1600 clubs. Denmark qualified six times consecutively for the European Championships between 1984 and 2004, and were crowned European champions in 1992; other significant achievements include winning the Confederations Cup in 1995 and reaching the quarter-final of the 1998 World Cup. Notable Danish footballers include Allan Simonsen, named the best player in Europe in 1977, Peter Schmeichel, named the "World's Best Goalkeeper" in 1992 and 1993, and Michael Laudrup, named the best Danish player of all time by the Danish Football Union.
There is much focus on handball, too. The women's national team celebrated great successes during the 1990s and has won a total of 13 medals - seven gold (in 1994, 1996 (2), 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2004), four silver (in 1962, 1993, 1998 and 2004) and two bronze (in 1995 and 2013). On the men's side, Denmark has won 12 medals'--four gold (in 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2019), four silver (in 1967, 2011, 2013 and 2014) and four bronze (in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007)'--the most that have been won by any team in European Handball Championship history. In 2019, the Danish men's national handball team won their first World Championship title in the tournament that was co-hosted between Germany and Denmark.[citation needed ]
In recent years, Denmark has made a mark as a strong cycling nation, with Michael Rasmussen reaching King of the Mountains status in the Tour de France in 2005 and 2006. Other popular sports include golf'--which is mostly popular among those in the older demographic; tennis'--in which Denmark is successful on a professional level; basketball'--Denmark joined the international governing body FIBA in 1951; rugby'--the Danish Rugby Union dates back to 1950; ice hockey'-- often competing in the top division in the Men's World Championships; rowing'--Denmark specialise in lightweight rowing and are particularly known for their lightweight coxless four, having won six gold and two silver World Championship medals and three gold and two bronze Olympic medals; and several indoor sports'--especially badminton, table tennis and gymnastics, in each of which Denmark holds World Championships and Olympic medals. Denmark's numerous beaches and resorts are popular locations for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and many other water-themed sports.
See also Index of Denmark-related articlesOutline of DenmarkNotes ^ Kong Christian has equal status as a national anthem but is generally used only on royal and military occasions. ^ a b c The Kingdom of Denmark's territory in continental Europe is referred to as "Denmark proper" (Danish: egentlig Danmark), "metropolitan Denmark", or simply Denmark. In this article, usage of "Denmark" excludes Greenland and the Faroe Islands. ^ Faroese is co-official with Danish in the Faroe Islands. Greenlandic is the sole official language in Greenland. German is recognised as a protected minority language in the South Jutland area of Denmark. ^ The Church of Greenland is a diocese of the Church of Denmark that is the state church in Greenland, and the Church of the Faroe Islands is an independent but also Lutheran Church that is the state church in the Faroe Islands ^ The Faroe Islands became the first territory to be granted home rule on 24 March 1948. Greenland also gained autonomy on 1 May 1979. ^ a b c This data is for Denmark proper only. For data relevant to Greenland and the Faroe Islands see their respective articles. ^ In the Faroe Islands the currency has a separate design and is known as the kr"na, but is not a separate currency. ^ Other time zones used in Greenland and the Faroe Islands include: WET, EGT, WGT and AST. Marginal DST time zones, offset by one hour, include: GMT, EGST, WGST, ADT ^ The TLD .eu is shared with other European Union countries. Greenland (.gl) and the Faroe Islands (.fo) have their own TLDs. ^ Danish: Kongeriget Danmark, pronounced [ËkÊ°É--ÅÉÊiË°Ì(C) Ët...nmÉk] ( listen ) . See also: The unity of the Realm ^ The island of Bornholm is offset to the east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. ^ Denmark has a codified constitution. Changes to it require an absolute majority in two consecutive parliamentary terms and the approval of at least 40% of the electorate through a referendum. ^ The Constitution refers to "the King" (Danish: kongen), rather than the gender-neutral term "monarch". In light of the restriction of powers of the monarchy, this is best interpreted as referring to the government Cabinet. ^ The Economist Intelligence Unit, while acknowledging that democracy is difficult to measure, listed Denmark 5th on its index of democracy. ^ The Faroese declined membership in 1973; Greenland chose to leave the EEC in 1985, following a referendum. ^ As measured in official development assistance (ODA). Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdomexceeded the United Nations' ODA target of 0.7% of GNI. ^ The Church of Denmark is the established church (or state religion) in Denmark and Greenland; the Church of the Faroe Islands became an independent body in 2007. 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Archived from the original on 26 May 2014 . Retrieved 15 June 2014 . ^ "Michael Laudrup bedste spiller gennem tiderne". DBU. 13 November 2006. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011 . Retrieved 18 November 2012 . ^ "National Team rankings". European Handball Federation. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014 . Retrieved 13 May 2014 . ^ "Om DIF '' Medlemstal". Archived from the original on 16 July 2007 . Retrieved 16 July 2007 . (in Danish) , The National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark ^ Profile | Denmark Archived 14 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Fiba.com. Retrieved 24 September 2015. ^ Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p66. Archived from July 2007 and Retrieved June 2012. Bibliography Stone, Andrew; Bain, Carolyn; Booth, Michael; Parnell, Fran (2008). Denmark (5th ed.). Footscray, Victoria: Lonely Planet. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-74104-669-4. (in Danish) Busck, Steen and Poulsen, Henning (ed.), "Danmarks historie '' i grundtr...k", Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2002, ISBN 87-7288-941-1Gammelgaard, Frederik; S¸rensen, Niels (1998). Danmark '' en demokratisk stat (in Danish). Alinea. ISBN 978-87-23-00280-8. J¸rgensen, Gitte (1995). S¥dan styres Danmark (in Danish). Flachs. ISBN 978-87-7826-031-4. (in Danish) Michaelsen, Karsten Kjer, "Politikens bog om Danmarks oldtid", Politikens Forlag (1. bogklubudgave), 2002, ISBN 87-00-69328-6 (in Swedish) Nationalencyklopedin, vol. 4, Bokf¶rlaget Bra B¶cker, 2000, ISBN 91-7024-619-X.External links Denmark.dkDenmark. The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.Denmark entry at Encyclop...dia Britannica.Denmark at CurlieDenmark profile from the BBC News.Key Development Forecasts for Denmark from International Futures.
AOC invokes Denmark in minimum wage debate '-- critics point out Denmark doesn't have a federal minimum wage | Fox News
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:07
Published March 03, 2021
Last Update 17 hrs ago
Despite the odds of it passing, Democrats are pushing hard for the wage hikeRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., omitted a key detail on Wednesday while comparing the U.S. federal minimum wage to the wage paid to Danish McDonald's workers.
The New York congresswoman called the discussion around raising the federal minimum wage "utterly embarrassing" in a tweet published Tuesday night.
She then called on the Senate to "[o]verride the parliamentarian and raise the wage" to $15 an hour and pointed to the wage McDonald's workers in Denmark are paid to back her demand.
She also claimed the $15 minimum wage hike was "a deep compromise" after demanding the Senate override the chamber's parliamentarian '-- a nonpartisan officer who oversees rules and procedures in the legislative body.
"[McDonald's] workers in Denmark are paid $22/hr [plus] 6 [weeks] paid vacation. $15/hr is a deep compromise - a big one, considering the phase in," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.
There is one thing Ocasio-Cortez's argument left out, though: Denmark doesn't have a nationally mandated minimum wage. Typically, trade unions work to keep wages above $20, but there is no federal wage, USA Today noted in a fact check last month.
Ocasio-Cortez's office did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
AOC APPEARS IN VANITY FAIR IN OUTFITS WORTH $14,000 TO CURSE TRUMP OUT
Several people online '-- such as conservative journalist David Harsanyi '-- were quick to call out the error in the Democratic congresswoman's argument, pointing out that Denmark does not have a federal minimum wage.
National Review Institute media strategist Giancarlo Sopo also pointed out the error to the congresswoman '-- who has an economics degree from Boston University.
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza did not mince words in his response to Ocasio-Cortez's tweet.
"Denmark, like most Scandinavian countries, does not have a minimum wage," D'Souza wrote. "It is utterly embarrassing you don't seem to know that."
Ocasio-Cortez's tweet came as Congress debates raising the federal minimum wage to $15.
The Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, ruled last week the wage hike should not be included in the Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, throwing a wrench into the Democrats' plans.
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Despite the odds of it passing, Democrats are pushing hard for the wage hike. However, key votes in the Senate from party moderates Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Kirsten Synema, D-Az., have also put the plan at risk.
Democrats would need the support of 10 Senate Republicans to pass the measure with the wage hike, unless they abolish the filibuster.
A daunting task, but one with some room for negotiation '-- Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., penned a joint op-ed published on FoxNews.com supporting a more modest minimum wage increase.
Dr. Seuss Books Are Pulled, and a 'Cancel Culture' Controversy Erupts - The New York Times
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 11:59
The beloved author's most famous books, like ''Green Eggs and Ham,'' were untouched, but his estate's decision nevertheless prompted a backlash and raised questions about what should be preserved as part of the cultural record.
''If I Ran the Zoo,'' ''And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,'' ''On Beyond Zebra!'' and ''McElligot's Pool'' were among the six Dr. Seuss books that his estate said ''portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.'' Credit... Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune, via Associated Press March 4, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET In the summer of 1936, Theodor Geisel was on a ship from Europe to New York when he started scribbling silly rhymes on the ship's stationery to entertain himself during a storm: ''And this is a story that no one can beat. I saw it all happen on Mulberry Street.''
The rhymes morphed into his first children's book, ''And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,'' about a boy who witnesses increasingly outlandish things. First published in 1937, the book started Geisel's career as Dr. Seuss. He went on to publish more than 60 books that have sold some 700 million copies globally, making him one of the world's most enduringly popular children's book authors.
But some aspects of Seuss's work have not aged well, including his debut, which features a crude racial stereotype of an Asian man with slanted lines for eyes. ''Mulberry Street'' was one of six of his books that the Seuss estate said it would stop selling this week, after concluding that the egregious racial and ethnic stereotypes in the works ''are hurtful and wrong.''
The estate's decision '-- which prompted breathless headlines on cable news and complaints about ''cancel culture'' from prominent conservatives '-- represents a dramatic step to update and curate Seuss's body of work, acknowledging and rejecting some of his views while seeking to protect his brand and appeal. It also raises questions about whether and how an author's works should be posthumously curated to reflect evolving social attitudes, and what should be preserved as part of the cultural record.
''It will cause people to re-evaluate the legacy of Dr. Seuss, and I think that's a good thing,'' said Philip Nel, a children's literature scholar at Kansas State University and the author of ''Dr. Seuss: American Icon.'' ''There are parts of his legacy one should honor, and parts of his legacy that one should not.''
He added: ''They may be motivated by the fact that racism is bad for the brand, or they may be motivated by a deeper sense of racial justice.''
Image ''And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street'' was the first book Theodor Geisel, right, wrote under the pen name Dr. Seuss. He died in 1991. Credit... Burt Steel/Associated Press Classic children's books are perennial best sellers and an important revenue stream for publishers. Last year, more than 338,000 copies of ''Green Eggs and Ham'' were sold across the United States, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks the sale of physical books at most retailers. ''One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish'' sold more than 311,000 copies, and ''Oh, the Places You'll Go!'' '-- always popular as a high school graduation gift '-- sold more than 513,000 copies.
''And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,'' one of the six books pulled by the estate, sold about 5,000 copies last year, according to BookScan. ''McElligot's Pool'' and ''The Cat's Quizzer'' haven't sold in years through the retailers BookScan tracks. Putting the merits of the books aside, removing ''Green Eggs and Ham'' would be a completely different business proposition from doing away with new printings of ''McElligot's Pool.'' (Though the news that the books would be pulled caused a burst of demand, and copies of ''Mulberry Street'' were listed on eBay and Amazon for hundreds or thousands of dollars on Wednesday.)
Dr. Seuss is perhaps the most beloved children's book author to come under criticism for outdated and insensitive depictions of racial, ethnic, cultural and gender differences.
In recent decades, librarians and scholars have led a push to re-evaluate children's classics that contain stereotypes and caricatures. Editions of illustrated series like ''Tintin'' and ''Babar,'' which have long been accused of promoting colonialist and imperialist viewpoints, have been withdrawn from some libraries following criticism that their European authors depicted nonwhite characters as savages.
Children's publishers and literary estates are trying to walk a delicate line by preserving an author's legacy, while recognizing and rejecting aspects of a writer's work that are out of step with current social and cultural values.
Some authors self-edited their work in response to criticism. In the 1970s, Roald Dahl revised ''Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,'' which originally depicted the factory workers as dark-skinned pygmies from Africa. After facing charges of racism from the N.A.A.C.P., Dahl made the workers Oompa Loompas from a fictional country called Loompaland. The revision failed to appease those who contend that the Oompa Loompas are essentially indentured servants, and other critiques of some of Dahl's works, like ''The Witches,'' which many regard as anti-Semitic, have endured.
Occasionally, publishers have made tweaks to illustrations and texts to refurbish outdated picture books. Fans of Richard Scarry, the prolific children's book author and illustrator, have noted ongoing updates to his works to erase archaic gender roles and racial stereotypes. Over the decades, his books, which have sold more than 160 million copies, have been revised to better reflect gender equality, so that a bear ''policeman'' became a female bear ''police officer,'' and a mother cat pushing a stroller became a father cat. Later editions also sought to eliminate racial stereotypes, for example, by deleting an image of an ''Indian'' mouse in a feathered headdress next to an ice cream cone to illustrate the letter ''I.''
Image A room at the Brooklyn Public Library where rare children's books are kept, including ''Tintin in the Congo'' after a patron complained that the book was racially offensive. Credit... Ruby Washington/The New York Times In rare instances, works have been taken out of circulation. Herg(C)'s ''Tintin in the Congo,'' which is no longer widely available in the United States, became part of a controversy called ''Tintingate'' about a decade ago after librarians and booksellers in the United States and Britain removed the book from children's sections. More recently, some new children's books have come under scrutiny for insensitive or inaccurate depictions of race, sometimes leading them to be postponed, or even recalled and pulped. In 2016, Scholastic pulled a picture book, ''A Birthday Cake for George Washington,'' from stores after critics said it glossed over the horrors of slavery.
Many were stunned by the Seuss estate's decision, however, which was announced on Tuesday to coincide with Dr. Seuss's birthday. In a statement, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said it decided to discontinue those six titles last year, after consulting a panel of experts, including educators, to review its catalog.
Geisel, who died in 1991, is best known for whimsical picture books like ''Green Eggs and Ham'' and ''The Cat in the Hat,'' as well as works with ethical and moral imperatives to treat others with kindness and care for the planet, like ''Horton Hears a Who!'' and ''The Lorax.''
Scholars have long noted racism in his wartime political cartoons, which he later offered a halfhearted apology for, saying they were the result of ''snap judgments that every political cartoonist has to make.'' Others have noted anti-Semitic and Islamophobic overtones in the comics and advertisements he wrote before and during his career as a children's book author.
Scrutiny of his picture books has started to gain momentum more recently. In his 2017 book titled ''Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books,'' Mr. Nel, the Kansas State University professor, made the case that the beloved character had roots in blackface minstrelsy. In 2019, an academic journal dedicated to the study of diversity in children's literature published ''The Cat Is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss's Children's Books,'' a paper examining racism and bias in Dr. Seuss's books.
The authors, Katie Ishizuka and Ram"n Stephens, argued that much of Dr. Seuss's work exhibited racism or bias against Black, Asian, Mexican, Native American and Jewish people, as well as women and other groups. ''Minimizing, erasing or not acknowledging Seuss' racial transgressions across his entire publishing career deny the very real historical impact they had on people of color and the way that they continue to influence culture, education, and children's views of people of color,'' they wrote.
Image ''And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street'' has been criticized for its depictions of an Asian man. Credit... Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune, via Associated Press Regardless of the content, books go out of print every day if they don't sell, and indeed, some of the Seuss books would likely be in that category if they had been written by another author. Valerie Lewis, a co-owner of Hicklebee's bookstore in San Jose, Calif., said that sort of attrition is perfectly sensible, but pulling a book altogether for political reasons makes her uncomfortable.
''I think when there is something in a book that you find offensive, what a great teaching opportunity,'' Ms. Lewis said.
''We all have a choice as to whether we buy it or not,'' she added, ''but removing it kind of makes me want to shake my head.''
The reaction to Tuesday's announcement was one of swift derision from many conservative politicians and commentators, including Donald Trump Jr. and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who complained on the House floor that Democrats were outlawing Dr. Seuss. He posted a YouTube video of himself the next day reading ''Green Eggs and Ham.''
For many people, regardless of their politics, there is a disconnect between books that feel cozy and familiar from their childhood, and accusations that they could be offensive or hurtful.
''Folks are not remembering the text itself, they are remembering the affective experiences they had around those texts,'' said Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. ''White children or parents might not have noticed the offensive anti-Asian stereotyping in 'Mulberry Street.' I certainly didn't.''
The ongoing re-evaluation of these classic works is part of a larger debate about a lack of representation in publishing, and there has been an effort to diversify not just children's book characters but also their creators. Data compiled by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education in recent years has shown a significant increase in the number of authors and characters of color in the books it tracks. There remains, however, a long way to go.
''It's one thing to take six books off the shelves,'' said Cathryn Mercier, the children's literature department chair at Simmons University. ''It's something completely different to fundamentally change what's on the shelves. And that is where children's literature is right now.''
Tammy Tarng contributed research.
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Super Follower Dan Hirsch ð¥(C)ð¥ð§ðð¥ð¥¥ : @SBakerMD Since grown-ups are even worse than kids, I suggest everybody who really wants to save mankind and the pl'... https://t.co/z5wdy2Ue0q
Thu Mar 04 11:30:08 +0000 2021
ð¥(C) St(C)phane CARRIER ððð : @SBakerMD They should be kind. Them first https://t.co/dM8ZvyyNuo
Thu Mar 04 10:06:51 +0000 2021
Luca : @SBakerMD I don't have kids, nor I want them, yet this looks awful to me. As with everything, we shouldn't be told'... https://t.co/AYakaDbMUE
Thu Mar 04 09:06:20 +0000 2021
Cryptographically speaking : @SBakerMD Haha it's probably better anyway if these people don't have more children ð
Thu Mar 04 08:09:14 +0000 2021
Tink : @SBakerMD The whole green thing makes me laugh, it's a whole load of people thinking we are somehow not part of nat'... https://t.co/jQIVJ3DqvV
Thu Mar 04 07:46:43 +0000 2021
Yi En : @SBakerMD Those who eat less meat to save the planet will be infertile anyway...ðð¤£
Thu Mar 04 06:29:22 +0000 2021
Michael McGuire : @SBakerMD I'm on board with the people that read these things in earnest not having kids.
Thu Mar 04 05:15:56 +0000 2021
Google News - A Second Power Provider Defaults After Texas Energy Crisis
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 04:45
Language & region English (United States)
The controversy over Dr. Seuss books and Read Across America Day, explained - Vox
Thu, 04 Mar 2021 01:52
On Tuesday, the publishing imprint Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that it would cease publishing six books by Dr. Seuss that include offensive images. In the statement, which was published on the author's birthday, the publisher said it reached its decision after working with a panel of experts, including educators, in the service of its mission ''of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship.''
The six shelved books are all comparatively obscure works in the Seuss canon: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat's Quizzer. Beloved classics like The Cat in the Hat and Oh, the Places You'll Go! remain untouched. But the decision, which caused enormous uproar across the right-wing infosphere, is part of a larger debate raging across the children's literature community.
For decades, the works of Dr. Seuss (real name Theodor Seuss Geisel) have been considered both iconic childhood classics and bastions of liberalism. They are lauded for their celebration of all that makes us different, and Seuss books like Horton Hears a Who and The Sneetches appear frequently in anti-racism curricula for children.
But in recent years, the Dr. Seuss brand name has lost some of its shine. Read Across America Day, an annual day of programming designed by the National Education Association to get kids excited to read, is traditionally held on or around March 2, Geisel's birthday. It usually features a lot of Cat in the Hat paraphernalia and other beloved Seuss branding. But when the NEA's contract with Dr. Seuss Enterprises ran out in 2018, it chose not to renew the terms, leading to a lot less Dr. Seuss merch getting distributed to different schools. And this year, the NEA has pivoted away from Dr. Seuss entirely. Instead, it's using Read Across America Day to spotlight children's books by authors of color.
And now Dr. Seuss Enterprises has decided to cease publishing six of Dr. Seuss's books, all of which include racist caricatures.
Notably, in If I Ran the Zoo, the narrator declares his intention to put a ''chieftain'' (illustrated as a man in a turban) on display in the zoo; a pair of African characters are portrayed as monkeys; and a group of Asian characters, described as ''helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant'' from ''countries no one can spell'' carry a caged animal on their heads. The other books contain similar Orientalist caricatures.
Other questionable imagery runs throughout Dr. Seuss's work, including some of his most beloved classics. And outside of his children's books, in his career as a political cartoonist and advertiser, Dr. Seuss frequently drew racist caricatures and used racial slurs in his captions.
So as the children's literature community grapples with how to make its canon more diverse and inclusive, Dr. Seuss has come in for particular reexamination. These books have become a case study of sorts for what to do with brand-name authors as the social context surrounding their work shifts. Or, more specifically: What do you do with a set of adored classics that explicitly promote values like tolerance and love for everyone '-- but that are also seeded through with racist ideas?
Some of Dr. Seuss's political cartoons were unabashedly liberal and ahead of their time. Others were wildly racist.Dr. Seuss's work for adults includes some pretty unambiguously racist images. Husband-and-wife team Katie Ishizuka and Ram"n Stephens, who run the Conscious Kid Social Justice Library, developed a study of Dr. Seuss's history of racism that features a small sampling.
One ad Dr. Seuss drew for Flit insecticide featured a disgusted white woman saying to a Black man, ''You hold a job, Worthless? Say, ni**er, when you hold a job a week, mosquitos will brush their teeth with Flit and like it!''' Dr. Seuss tended to draw Black people as cannibals or monkeys, and they weren't the only racial group he caricatured.
Beginning well before the lead-up to World War II, Dr. Seuss frequently drew Japanese people with animalistic features who were violent threats to America, referred to them as ''Japs,'' and captioned them with jokey lines that replaced their Rs with Ls. ''Velly Scary Jap-in-the-Box,'' reads the caption for one cartoon of a Japanese man crawling out of a box labeled ''JAP WAR THREAT.'' He also drew caricatures of Jewish people with oversize noses causing chaos everywhere they went by demanding lower prices.
Notably, Dr. Seuss also drew cartoons decrying Jim Crow laws, the policies of Nazi Germany, and American isolationism. Dr. Seuss's political cartoons, Maus author Art Spiegelman writes in the foreword to the 1999 book Dr. Seuss Goes to War, ''rail against isolationism, racism, and anti-semitism with a conviction and fervor lacking in most other American editorial pages of the period.'' In fact, Dr. Seuss, Spiegelman argues, drew ''virtually the only editorial cartoons outside the communist and Black press that decried the military's Jim Crow policies and Charles Lindbergh's anti-semitism.''
Dr. Seuss was on the right side of history in many ways '-- and he also drew a lot of really virulently racist stuff. That's his legacy as a cartoonist.
But what does that background mean for his legacy as a children's author?
There are very few characters of color in Dr. Seuss's children's books. The ones that do appear are racist caricatures.There aren't that many racial caricatures in Dr. Seuss's children's books, mostly because there aren't that many nonwhite characters in Dr. Seuss's children's books. In their study, Ishizuka and Stephens counted 45 characters of color among the 2,240 human characters who appear in Dr. Seuss's 50 books, which works out to just 2 percent. Notably, all of those characters are male. There are no girls or women of color in the Dr. Seuss canon.
And when characters of color do appear in these books, they appear as racial caricatures. In their study, Ishizuka and Stephens found that all 45 characters of color were either subservient, exotified, dehumanized, or some combination of the three. Dr. Seuss's characters of color drive carriages for whip-wielding white characters, dress in turbans and ''rice paddy hats,'' and never speak out loud. Most of them are Orientalist caricatures, and the two that aren't are those African characters drawn as monkeys in If I Ran the Zoo.
And Dr. Seuss's interest in racial caricatures influences some of the rest of his work in ways that are no longer visible to casual readers '-- especially when it comes to the Cat in the Hat, that icon of Seussian madcap humor and surrealism.
There's a classic origin story for The Cat in the Hat. According to Seuss biographers Judith and Neil Morgan, Dr. Seuss was inspired by a trip to his publishers. He had been assigned to write a reading primer that would get reluctant readers eager to learn, and he found himself struck by the appearance of the elevator operator: a woman wearing white gloves with a sly smile. It's this woman, the legend goes, who inspired the Cat.
In his book-length study Was the Cat in the Hat Black?, English professor Philip Nel notes that the woman in question, Annie Williams, was Black. And Nel argues that Dr. Seuss, who performed in minstrel shows in college, used Williams as the basis for a character whose iconic look would be rooted in the imagery of the American minstrel show and blackface.
''The Cat's umbrella (which he uses as a cane) and outrageous fashion sense link him to Zip Coon, that foppish 'northern dandy negro,''' writes Nel. ''His bright red floppy tie recalls the polka-dotted ties of blackfaced Fred Astaire in Swing Time (1936) and of blackfaced Mickey Rooney in Babes in Arms (1939). His red-and-white-striped hat brings to mind Rooney's hat in the same film or the hats on the minstrel clowns in the silent picture Off to Bloomingdale Asylum.''
To be clear, I am not arguing that The Cat in the Hat is definitely racist, or that someone has to be racist to read The Cat in the Hat to their kids. (I would, though, suggest that this context makes that plot line in the sequel where the Cat smears ink all over the house and then the kids yell at him to kill the stains kind of uncomfortable, in light of the racial history of the way Black people, dirt, and ink are associated in American pop culture.)
But the example of the Cat in the Hat is illustrative. It shows how a man steeped in racist ideas and imagery could end up reproducing the same imagery in a medium as innocent as a book designed to teach kids to read, all while espousing liberal ideals about tolerance and love for all. And it shows how that imagery can swim subliminally through our popular culture, divorced from its context, without our ever quite being fully aware that it's there.
Contrary to Fox News's claims, neither the National Education Association nor Dr. Seuss Enterprises is attempting to cancel Dr. Seuss. The six remaindered books are obscure also-rans in his canon, and the rest of his much-beloved classics remain in print, in bookstores, and in school libraries. His books will still be taught in schools. He continues to be the rare author so iconic that his pen name is a literal brand name.
But the children's literature world is in the middle of figuring out exactly how central Dr. Seuss should be to its ecosystem as our culture reevaluates the racist ideas that run very clearly through his adult work and arguably through his work for children. And, by extension, it is in the middle of sorting out how it wants to handle the many other pieces of beloved children's literature that include harmful racial attitudes: books like Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series, with its fraught treatment of Indigenous peoples; the Narnia books, with their deeply uncomfortable Middle Eastern villains; the redface fantasies of Peter Pan.
These books are institutions in children's literature, books that people dream about introducing their kids to. And now the progressive wing of the children's literature world is working to find ways to situate those books in the landscape of children's literature that will let kids appreciate them without getting blindsided by their racism.
That's complex work, not easily reducible to a handful of outrageous sound bites for either side of the political aisle. But it's unlikely that as children's literature struggles with this dilemma, anyone is going to be appreciably hurt because they cannot find an in-print copy of McElligot's Pool.
Sign up for The Weeds newsletter. Every Friday, you'll get an explainer of a big policy story from the week, a look at important research that recently came out, and answers to reader questions '-- to guide you through the first 100 days of President Joe Biden's administration.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said that the Cat in the Hat smears a house with black ink in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. It was actually pink ink.
FBI Official Nukes Key Capitol Riot Narrative, 'To My Knowledge' Zero Firearms Confiscated
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 21:02
A top FBI official investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol testified before the Senate on Wednesday that no firearms were confiscated that day.
The admission certainly undermines the ''armed insurrection'' narrative the Democrats and their allies in the establishment media have been pushing for the past two months.
The image that an armed insurrection calls to mind is firearms, not the makeshift weapons some of the rioters employed that day, such as bear spray and a flagpole.
FBI Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Jill Sanborn told a joint hearing of the Senate Rules and Homeland Security committees that 300 people have been charged so far with various crimes due to their conduct on Jan. 6.
Of them, 40 have been charged with assault. Other crimes have included disorderly conduct and trespassing, Sanborn said.
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''How many firearms were confiscated in the Capitol or on the Capitol grounds that day?'' GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin asked the FBI official.
''To my knowledge, we have not recovered any on that day from any of the arrests at the scene at this point,'' Sanborn answered.
Sen Johnson asks FBI official how many firearms were confiscated from suspects arrested at Capitol riot on January 6. 'To my knowledge, none,' official answers.
'-- Byron York (@ByronYork) March 3, 2021
''But I don't want to speak on behalf of Metro and Capitol Police, but to my knowledge, none,'' she said.
Johnson confirmed again with Sanborn that nobody had been charged with having a firearm in the Capitol or Capitol grounds.
''Correct,'' she answered. ''The closest we came was the vehicle that had the Molotov cocktails in it, and when we did a search of that vehicle later on, there was a weapon.''
Presumably, based on her answer, that vehicle was some distance away.
Having worked at the Capitol and visited many times since, I know there isn't any public parking within at least a few block radius of the Capitol grounds.
RELATED: FBI 'Can't Disclose' Brian Sicknick's Cause of Death: Director Wray
''How many shots were fired that we know of?'' Johnson also wanted to know.
''I believe the only shots that were fired were the ones that resulted in the death of the one lady,'' Sanborn answered.
That lady was 35-year-old Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was unarmed.
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Federal authorities reportedly opened an excessive force investigation into her death last month.
Sanborn's testimony definitely shoots a big, fat hole in the narrative that the rioters engaged in an ''armed insurrection,'' at least in the commonly understood meaning of the phrase.
What happened on Jan. 6 was entirely unacceptable, and the lawbreakers should be prosecuted.
But let's not make it more than it was, which was the misguided conduct of a relative few thugs among the hundreds of thousands of former President Donald Trump's supporters in Washington that day.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
Germany extends shutdown until March 28th - but loosens some measures
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 21:01
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The never-ending drip drip drip of Yellow Peril propaganda
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 21:01
At this point, one may wish to ask when "drip drip drip" becomes a gusher. Surely, once we're up to three or four anti-China features per week, we're well on our way.
The latest iteration is served up by Canada's national newspaper of record this morning, under the front-page banner headline, "China Removes Uyghurs To Destroy Culture." Yup, it's the old genocide bugbear again!
Turns out intrepid China basher Nathan Vanderklippe hasn't actually committed any fresh journalism to produce this expose. Instead, the appearance of this story today is occasioned by a "research paper" released yesterday by Adrian Zenz of the Victims of Communism Foundation. That's another one of those amazing "Non-Government Organizations" created and funded by the US government! Zenz himself is an "Evangelical Christian" who claims to be on a God-given mission to defeat communism.
The actual "mistreatment" inflicted on the Uyghur minority would seem to be a thing of envy for many persecuted minorities around the world; they are "forced" (i.e. given free transport) to travel to areas of the country experiencing labour shortages, then provided guaranteed jobs, housing, and childcare. When Canadians are forced to up sticks and relocate across country for better opportunities, they're on their own, as tens of thousands of displaced Maritimers can attest.
No matter! It's China we're talking about, and China's been on Uncle Sam's naughty list ever since Obama announced the "pivot to Asia." For the architects of American Exceptionalism in the beltway, fanning the flames of whatever nascent separatism tendencies exist in Xinjiang looks like a winning formula.
That Canada's premier newspaper so shamelessly parrots made-in-USA anti-China propaganda should give us pause. The long term goal of US strategy is the overthrow of the CCP and the disintegration of the PRC. This cannot and will not happen, and we as Canadians would be well advised to distance ourselves from this latest American obsession before it becomes a bloodbath.
Using Phase Change Materials For Energy Storage
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 21:01
Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly popular. However, such energy can be wasted if an excess is available when it's not yet needed. A particularly relevant example is solar power; solar panels provide most of their output during the day, while often a household's greatest energy use is at night.
One way to get around this problem is by storing excess energy so that it can be used later. The most common way this is done is with large batteries, however, it's not the only game in town. Phase change materials are proving to be a useful tool to store excess energy and recover it later '' storing energy not as electricity, but as heat. Let's take a look at how the technology works, and some of its most useful applications.
It's All About HeatThe heating curve of water. Note the flat lines on the curve where the latent heat must be overcome to change phase.Unlike batteries or capacitors, phase change materials don't store energy as electricity, but heat. This is done by using the unique physical properties of phase changes '' in the case of a material transitioning between solid and liquid phases, or liquid and gas. When heat energy is applied to a material, such as water, the temperature increases. However, when the liquid water reaches temperatures close to boiling point, something strange happens.
As more energy is put in, the temperature begins to flatline. This is because enough energy must be put in to overcome what is called the latent heat of vaporization '' the energy required to turn the liquid into a gas. Eventually, once enough heat is put in, the water turns to steam and the temperature is again free to rise. This latent heat can store a significant amount of energy in a material over a relatively small temperature change. This latent heat exists in solid-to-liquid phase changes as well, where it's known as the latent heat of fusion. By taking advantage of latent heat, large amounts of energy can be stored in a relatively small change in actual temperature, and accessed by manipulating the phase change of a material.
Perhaps the most common form of phase change heat storage on the market is the sodium-acetate handwarmer. These handwarmers contain a sodium-acetate gel in a plastic pouch. When the gel is given a nucleation point by tweaking a metal disk in the gel, it quickly changes phase from a super-saturated liquid to a solid. Suddenly freezing like this releases the latent heat the material was holding in its liquid form, and warms the user's hands nicely. The material can later be recharged by heating the handwarmer up to melt the sodium acetate once more, before allowing it to gently cool back down to room temperature. The latent heat will then be trapped in the liquid until it is once more disturbed, causing it to freeze again.
A wide variety of materials have been studied for heat storage through the phase change effect. Paraffin wax is perhaps one of the most commonly studied, thanks to its phase change occuring in a useful temperature range. However, its low thermal conductivity limits the rate at which energy can be exchanged, hampering performance. Hydrated salts have been another material of significant interest, though face problems of their own. Often, such materials will undergo subcooling. As heat is extracted from the liquid material, its temperature declines below freezing point without the material actually becoming solid. Without undergoing a change in phase, the latent heat remains trapped in the liquid, and can't be extracted. Additionally, like many battery chemistries, repeated cycling can cause problems. The phase change material must retain its properties over many cycles, without chemicals falling out of solution or corrosion harming the material or its enclosure over time. Much research into phase change energy storage is centered around refining solutions and using additives and other techniques to engineer around these basic challenges. Often, the specifics of such materials remains a commercial secret as companies attempt to recoup research costs through sales.
Sunamp's early phase change cells for home heating '' note the input and output fluid ports that feed into the internal heat exchanger.The phase change effect can be used in a variety of ways to functionally store and save energy. Heat can be applied to a phase-change material, melting it and thus storing energy within it as latent heat. Excess electrical energy, such as from renewable sources, can readily be stored in such phase change materials, as it's possible to turn electrical energy into heat quite efficiently. The reverse is not so easy, however.
Instead, such phase change devices are often instead used to output heat more directly '' either by being used as hot water heaters or to supply heat energy to refrigeration processes. This is achieved often by simply passing working fluid, like water or refrigerant, through a heat exchanger in contact with the phase change material. The former has plenty of applicability to households, cutting down on costs for residential heating and hot water. The latter is of more relevance to large commercial and industrial facilities. Particularly in industries such as winemaking and cold storage, refrigeration can be a major bottom-line expense that is essential to operations. Even small percentage gains in efficiency or reduced energy use can have huge payoffs over time.
Different phase change materials freeze at different temperatures, making them suitable for different applications. Lower-temperature materials are useful for refrigeration applications such as in this project by the University of South Australia.Another interesting use of phase-change materials is as a passive heat management solution for buildings. The idea is to use a phase change material with a melting point around a comfortable room temperature '' such as 20-25 degrees Celsius. The material is encapsulated in plastic matting, and can be installed in a building in walls and ceilings along with insulation. The material then acts as a sort of thermal buffer. Heat energy building up in a room can be absorbed by the phase change material, keeping temperatures lower. As the building then cools, the material can release its heat, acting to stabilize temperatures. It can be a lightweight way to increase the thermal mass of a building, and can reduce the reliance on active cooling or heating from HVAC systems.
BioPCM brand phase-change material installed in a ceiling. This is used as a lightweight way to add thermal mass to a building, helping maintain stable comfortable temperatures without the need for continuous heating and cooling.Looking to the future, it may be that phase change energy storage remains of limited use in the residential space. While it can have benefits, its limited heating-only application makes it less attractive than battery storage that can run an entire home. However, for industrial processes, such as refrigeration and process heating, there's plenty of scope for phase change technologies to be used as a cheap and effective store of energy. With research ongoing in the field, it's likely we'll see greater uptake of this technology in future as energy conservation increases in relevance in future years.
Washington replacing cheerleading team with coed dance team...
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 20:59
Washington will not have cheerleaders for the first time since the NFL's longest-running cheerleading team was founded in 1962, with a coed dance team taking its place.
Washington will not have cheerleaders for the first time since the NFL's longest-running cheerleading team was founded in 1962, with a coed dance team taking its place.
The move is part of the organization's rebranding effort and not related to a confidential settlement reached with members of the 2008 and 2010 cheerleading teams. Lawyers for the team and those cheerleaders told The Associated Press last month that ''the matter has been resolved'' but would not say when the settlement was reached.
Former Laker Girl manager Petra Pope was hired Wednesday as an adviser to use her three-plus decades of NBA experience to revamp the group.
''I've been asked to create a more modern entertainment team that is inclusive and diverse,'' Pope said in a phone interview. ''We just want to follow that mode of being more modern and a more modern franchise. Change is difficult, but I do feel that the fans will love what we bring to the table.''
The ''First Ladies of Football'' program was put on pause after last season unrelated to allegations of team employees making inappropriate videos from calendar photo shoots of previous members in prior years. Washington on Monday made Joey Colby-Begovich vice president of gameday experience, and Pope will be in charge of forming and naming the new dance team.
The contracts of previous members of the cheerleading team expired, Pope confirmed, though she said they're able to try out for the 2021 group ''as long as they have that athletic skillset. I have no idea who the former dancers were, so I don't know them, so everyone's welcome to audition.''
Pope said she's convinced owner Dan Snyder and wife Tanya ''are committed to bringing this team to a more modern level.'' Snyder vowed last summer to change the culture of the team in light of allegations of workplace sexual harassment made by former employees, which prompted an independent investigation that the NFL took over.
In his comments at the Super Bowl, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, ''The Washington football club has made a lot of changes already.'' That included the hiring of Jason Wright as team president.
This is another change, which Pope said is expected to be in place for next season. Wright has said he expects ''Washington Football Team'' to continue for 2021 with a new, permanent name to be ready in 2022.
Pope, who worked 14 years for the NBA's New York Knicks in addition to her Los Angeles Lakers experience, said she's the ''new kid on the block'' in the big picture of the name change and will concentrate on the dancer element of the rebrand.
''My focus is really just reinventing this team,'' she said. ''My goal is to create this team, reinvent this team and make it more modern.''
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Copyright (C) 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
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Kaepernick-Backed "Social Justice" SPAC Disappoints In Public Debut
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 20:55
In a time when a record $1.5 billion in new SPAC issuance hits the market every single day amid unprecedented, massive investor demand...
... it is virtually unheard of to find a blank check vehicle that does not soar on the first day of trading. And while that may be the case for SPACs that generally invest on their supposed merits which are a mix of the sponsor's professional reputation and investing acumen which assures that the target company will be at least a somewhat suitable - and successful - investment, it certainly appears to not be the case for SPAC vehicles designed to be just a way to signal one's virtues to the rest of the market.
That was the case today with Mission Advancement, a company co-sponsored by former NFL quarterback-turned activist Colin Kaepernick, which was barely changed in anemic volumes in its debut after boosting its initial public offering to raise $300 million.
Shares of the blank-check firm, which boasts of a board made up entirely of ''Black, Indigenous and people of color,'' were flat at $10.01 at 12:42 p.m. Wednesday.
According to Bloomberg, the company, which is in part run by Jahm Najafi, who heads private-equity firm Najafi Companies, sold 30 million units for $10 apiece Tuesday. Najafi and Kaepernick will "focus on diversity issues and racial justice" and aim to acquire a consumer company with an enterprise value around $1 billion.
At least on its first day of trading, the market is less than excited about the possibility.
As Bloomberg also notes, today's debut for Kaepernick's SPAC marked the second former-professional athlete-backed blank check company to go public in the last 10 days. Former Yankee all-star Alex Rodriguez's Slam Corp. rose 5.1% in its first day of trading on Feb. 23, but has since trimmed gains to just 0.9%.
3 fa§ons d'innover avec son podcast | by Anthony Gourraud | Feb, 2021 | Medium
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 20:52
Illustration : Freepik StorysetLes (C)volutions technologiques permettent d'imaginer de nouvelles formes de production, de diffusion, et de mon(C)tisation des podcasts. Voici trois approches (exp(C)rimentales) (C)tudier.
L'insertion de publicit(C)s programmatiques est tr¨s r(C)pandue pour mon(C)tiser ses contenus. Pour optimiser les campagnes, les spots sont int(C)gr(C)s aux (C)missions audio selon des conditions sp(C)cifiques : localisation de l'auditeur, appareil utilis(C), jour et heure de requªte, entre autres. Certains acteurs proposent d'aller encore plus loin, avec la personnalisation des annonces. Des acteurs comme A Million Ads permettent d'exposer aux auditeurs de multiples variantes d'un message publicitaire, personnalis(C)es selon le contexte d'(C)coute. Mais pourquoi r(C)server cette technologie de DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimization) uniquement pour la publicit(C) ? Pourquoi ne pas profiter des outils programmatiques pour cr(C)er des (C)pisodes personnalis(C)s par groupe d'auditeurs ? Une des premi¨res exp(C)rimentations dans ce sens a (C)t(C) r(C)alis(C)e avec le principal r(C)seau de service public des tats-Unis, la NPR. Le podcast Consider This propose une version nationale de l'(C)mission, ainsi qu'une partie locale pour certains auditeurs (diff(C)rente en fonction de leur g(C)olocalisation). Le flux RSS et les liens d'(C)coute sont identiques pour tous, c'est le service de diffusion qui adapte l'assemblage audio. Mªmes principes pour le podcast Mindfacts, qui propose une partie des (C)pisodes al(C)atoirement diff(C)rente pour tous les auditeurs, en utilisant l'insertion dynamique de l'h(C)bergeur Spreaker.Autre id(C)e int(C)ressante : Bryan Barletta du podcast Sounds Profitable utilise l'insertion dynamique pour la syndication de contenus, aux moyens de campagnes param(C)tr(C)es avec l'h(C)bergeur Whooshkaa et associ(C)es des URLs VAST. Chaque (C)pisode de Sounds Profitable int¨gre notamment une mouture hebdomadaire d'un autre podcast, Podnews, produit par James Cridland. Ce dernier s'invite dans chaque (C)pisode de Sounds Profitable pour lister les principales derni¨res actualit(C)s du podcasting. Si vous (C)coutez un (C)pisode de Sounds Profitable puis le t(C)l(C)chargez de nouveau plusieurs semaines plus tard, vous remarquerez que la partie sp(C)cifique avec Podnews a chang(C)e, remplac(C)e par sa plus r(C)cente version.
Illustration concr¨te : Ci-dessous la version audio de cet article, contenant une partie dynamique. En cliquant sur ''Run Pen'', un player avec l'(C)pisode appara®t. Placez le curseur 02:21, vous m'entendrez : - vous annoncer que vous avez gagn(C) un goodie, avec un code m'envoyer par mail pour recevoir votre cadeau- ou bien vous inviter lancer une nouvelle lecture pour retenter votre chancePour lancer une nouvelle lecture avec une reg(C)n(C)ration de l'(C)pisode, il suffit de cliquer sur le bouton ''Rerun'' en bas droite
Cette d(C)monstration a (C)t(C) r(C)alis(C)e avec le service d'h(C)bergement de podcasts gratuit Redcircle (vous pouvez retrouver le RSS g(C)n(C)r(C) et la documentation de l'outil pour cette fonctionnnalit(C))
Param(C)trage de l'insertion dynamique dans l'(C)pisode sur RedCircleL'(C)cosyst¨me du podcast est consid(C)r(C) comme ''ouvert'' et mªme ''d(C)centralis(C)'' puisqu'une (C)mission peut ªtre (C)cout(C)e sur toute plateforme qui supporte la lecture de fichiers audio list(C)s par RSS. Cependant, les (C)pisodes sont toujours diffus(C)s depuis un mªme point central, le serveur qui les h(C)berge. Pour rem(C)dier cette forte d(C)pendance, il existe des solutions pour distribuer les productions via un syst¨me de pair pair. Le protocole IPFS par exemple permet ainsi d'assurer une r(C)silience aux attaques DDoS, aux censures et aux pannes. Chaque utilisateur du r(C)seau peut devenir un noeud (un ''node'') qui d(C)cide ou non de garder (''(C)pingler'' ou ''pin'' en anglais) en local une copie de fichiers qu'il t(C)l(C)charge. Appliqu(C) au podcasting, il suffit alors d'un seul ''node'' actif qui (C)pingle un (C)pisode pour que le m(C)dia soit disponible aupr¨s de l'ensemble des auditeurs.IPFS Companion est une extension qui permet d'int(C)grer IPFS son navigateur web. Pour ajouter des fichiers sans g(C)rer soi-mªme un noeud IPFS, il existe des services comme Pinata.
Illustration concr¨te : le hash IPFS donnant acc¨s MP3 de cet article est : QmawH8tQooQeKZttUnbDie1x48K5AnmchJo6C3fxu3ewgG
- Acc¨s direct via IPFS (n(C)cessite l'extension IPFS Companion ou autre, peut prendre du temps charger au tout d(C)but) : ipfs://QmawH8tQooQeKZttUnbDie1x48K5AnmchJo6C3fxu3ewgG
- Acc¨s en HTTP (aucune configuration requise, en passant par des passerelles) : https://gateway.pinata.cloud/ipfs/QmawH8tQooQeKZttUnbDie1x48K5AnmchJo6C3fxu3ewgG ou http://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmawH8tQooQeKZttUnbDie1x48K5AnmchJo6C3fxu3ewgG
Acc¨s la version audio de cet article via IPFS, un r(C)seau d(C)centralis(C)La mon(C)tisation par la publicit(C) programmatique n'est pas forc(C)ment pertinente. Une (C)tude de l'ISBA d(C)montre que seulement la moiti(C) du budget des annonceurs est capt(C)e par les (C)diteurs. Ce qui explique en partie pourquoi les mod¨les par abonnements sont de plus en plus privil(C)gi(C)s par les m(C)dias en ligne. Cependant, les consommateurs doivent multiplier les souscriptions, et payer une somme fixe chaque mois quelque soit leurs usages. Face au ph(C)nom¨ne de ''subscription fatigue'' et au rejet de la publicit(C), un nouveau paradigme (C)merge pour le web de demain : la r(C)mun(C)ration par temps d'utilisation. Le navigateur web Brave et sa cryptomonnaie BAT ou mªme Coil qui utilise la sp(C)cification Web Monetization sont deux syst¨mes qui permettent tout cr(C)ateur sur Youtube et tout (C)diteur de site web d'ªtre pay(C)s au prorata des dur(C)es de sessions des internautes. Ces derniers provisionnent chaque mois un seul et unique montant allou(C) l'ensemble de leurs visites sur Internet. Concr¨tement, un podcast diffus(C) sur Youtube est (C)ligible au programme Brave Rewards ou Coil Creators. Sur les mªmes principes, le tag <podcast:value> de PodcastIndex pr(C)voit une r(C)mun(C)ration de l'(C)cosyst¨me par micropaiements en bitcoin sur le r(C)seau Lightning. L'application Sphinx et l'extension Chrome podStation supportent cette fonctionnalit(C). Tout podcast peut facilement ªtre (C)ligible cette forme de mon(C)tisation via podcasterwallet.com. Une fois valid(C), un canal de conversation associ(C) au podcast, appel(C) ''tribe'', est alors cr(C)(C) et mis disposition des utilisateurs de Sphinx. Un composant de lecture donnant acc¨s aux (C)pisodes du podcast est plac(C) en bas du chat. Les auditeurs paient un certain montant en sats (1 Bitcoin = 100 000 000 sats) pour acc(C)der au canal du podcast et devenir membre du groupe. Chacun peut aussi d(C)finir combien de sats sont envoyer par minute d'(C)pisode lu via le player int(C)gr(C). Mais notons que l'acc¨s l'application Sphinx est plut´t fastidieuse pour les auditeurs. Disposer d'un node Lightning Network Daemon et comprendre comment s'en servir avec Sphinx ou avec podStation n'est pas du tout la port(C)e de n'importe qui.
Illustration concr¨te : - Tout internaute qui a un abonnement Coil et/ou le navigateur Brave soutient automatiquement par micro-dons le podcast Des Ondes Vocast, en proportion du temps pass(C) sur le site web du projet ou la version Youtube de cet article.- Des Ondes Vocast est aussi disponible sur Sphinx
Exemple de paiements automatiques via Coil Le syst¨me de contributions propos(C) par le navigateur Brave Exemple d'un podcast recevant des dons en Bitcoin (sats) via Sphinx. gauche, c´t(C) utilisateur, un player avec un chat (possibilit(C) d'(C)crire un message et lire ceux des autres auditeurs). droite, l'administration du canal avec la possibilit(C) de fixer le prix pour rejoindre le chat et le prix par message. Notons que c'est l'auditeur qui choisit le montant en sats automatiquement envoy(C) chaque minute d'(C)pisode lue.Je suis Anthony GOURRAUD, ing(C)nieur sp(C)cialis(C) sur les sujets d'innovation pour les m(C)dias. Je suis un ''creative technologist'' fran§ais, passionn(C) par la radio (broadcast & podcasting).Je produis un podcast mensuel sur le monde radiophonique : Des Ondes Vocast. chaque (C)pisode, il est question d'actualit(C), d'innovation et technologies autour de la radio et du podcast, en plus d'une partie sur l'histoire du m(C)dia illustr(C)e avec des extraits d'archives.
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Kamala Harris on Twitter: "Happy birthday, #DrSeuss! ''The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.''" / Twitter
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 20:11
Kamala Harris : Happy birthday, #DrSeuss! ''The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.''
Thu Mar 02 17:12:00 +0000 2017
Petalluma, Calif. permanently bans new gas stations | Fortune
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 16:34
Bokhari: Microsoft and Friends Want to Destroy Online Privacy
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 16:29
Microsoft has teamed up with a number of tech and media companies to create a system of tracing content around the internet that could destroy online privacy and anonymity, radically transforming the nature of the web.
Against stiff competition, the alliance of tech and media giants has devised a plan that may constitute Big Tech's most brazen power-grab yet.
According to Microsoft's press release, it has partnered with several other organizations to form the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA).
Put simply, the purpose of this organization is to devise a system whereby all content on the internet can be traced back to its author.
The press release states that it will develop these specifications for ''common asset types and formats,'' meaning videos, documents, audio, and images.
Whether it's a meme, an audio remix, or a written article, the goal is to ensure that when content reaches the internet, it will come attached with a set of signals allowing its provenance '-- meaning authorship '-- can be detected.
Consider the companies that have signed on to this initiative. Leading the pack is Microsoft, which operates Word, Paint, Notepad, Edge, and the Office Suite. If you create a .doc or a .jpg, a Microsoft service is probably involved in some capacity.
Then there's Adobe, the company behind Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and Premiere Pro, as well as several other market-leading applications for publishing photos, videos, and documents.
There's also Truepic, a company that has developed technology to track the provenance of photos from the very moment they are captured on a smartphone.
Finally, there's Intel, which dominates the market in laptop and desktop central processing units (CPUs). The CPU is responsible for processing virtually all information on computers. Whether you're typing a sentence or taking a screenshot, it's the CPU that is processing that data.
Accessing the CPU is the ultimate form of digital surveillance. Even if you're disconnected from the internet, the CPU still sees what your computer is doing.
The combination of these forces creates the potential to track and de-anonymize information from the moment it is created on a computer. Signals could be attached to information to ensure it is censored and suppressed wherever it travels online. Even if someone else is sharing the information, it could be suppressed simply because of its point of origin. And, of course, the signals could be used to identify the creators of dissident content.
Nowhere in Microsoft's press release is there any indication that these are not the ultimate goals.
And, in fact, the press release gives several indications that these are precisely the ultimate goals.
According to Microsoft, the coalition was created for a single purpose: to stop the spread of ''disinformation'' '-- which, in modern establishment journo-speak, means information that challenges establishment narratives. Disinformation, based on how the word is used today, might as well be called dissident information.
According to Microsoft's press release, the coalition has been established ''to address the prevalence of disinformation, misinformation and online content fraud through developing technical standards for certifying the source and history or provenance of media content.''
Naturally, the mainstream media, which is most threatened by dissident information, is heavily involved. The precursor to this coalition, Project Origin, included the New York Times, the BBC, CBC, and Radio Canada.
Project Origin's mission statement declares:
Misinformation is a growing threat to the integrity of the information eco-system. Having a provable source of origin for media, and knowing that it has not been tampered with en-route, will help to maintain confidence in news from trusted providers.
The goal has been stated up front. The establishment media wants to trace the origin of all digital content so that ''trusted providers'' can be distinguished from non-trusted providers.
We all know what this means by now. The difference is that instead of doing it via the censorship of online social media platforms and search engines, they are now going to do it at the level of offline software and hardware, most likely down to the most fundamental unit of computer hardware '' the CPU.
In other words, there will be nowhere to hide.
Even the brazen behavior of Facebook, Twitter, and Google over the past year '-- the election interference, the censorship of a President, the mass-censorship of grassroots political movements '-- pales in comparison to this.
This is Big Tech's most dangerous plan yet.
Breitbart News has reached out to Microsoft for comment.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech's Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
JOIN US | Four Hundred and One
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 16:17
A Phrontistery for Black Revolutionaries
HOW TO QUALIFY FOR PRAXIS:
Step 4: Disruption Container Participation
Step 6: Disruption Container Facilitation
400+1's connection to Marxist-Leninism, and Black Marxism is undeniable. Take a deep dive into anti-capitalist theory and imagine, construct, and plan for the classless, moneyless, stateless society we all deserve. Don't forget to learn to bear arms, and enhance your ability to communicate with other members of the Diaspora.
Eat the Rich.
We are socialists of no nation, but what would happen if that dynamic shifted? Join us in our pursuit of Cuba's collective truth through the collection of the thoughts, opinions, anecdotes and experiences of everyday people. Analyze Cuba's journey from home to the Ciboney Taino people to a formidable Marxist-Leninist socialist state. Our time in Havana will be spent interrogating the Cuban revolutionary vanguard, Castro's choices, and the republic's potential to evolve from socialism to communism. Help us confront the anti-Black racism that survived in what should be a liberated society. Guerilla warfare is both a principle and a project during this meditation on revolution. Be ready.
Off the Pigs.
If your vanguard isn't developing alliances with the colonized and positioning itself to defeat imperialism, then what are we talking about? Practice? Build connections in Loiza, Puerto Rico; a Yoruba settlement of escaped slaves that, for centuries, has preserved its culture in the face of colonial occupation. Study the anti-colonial, anti-imperialist work of Frantz Fanon and place Puerto Rico in the context he's provided us. Place the debt crisis in the context he's provided us. Place Hurricane Maria in the context he's provided us. Place Rosello in the context he's provided us. Puerto Rico's resistance is significant to revolutionary struggle. How are we in support of it? Black love, and spiritual action are all centered principles and projects during this exploration of our own potential to win. Your body is a weapon.
Revolutionaries Are Welcome Here // Africa for Africans.
The Continent's position within Diasporic revolutionary struggle has always been and has only grown more complicated over time, with the fight against colonial and imperialist powers being one of few crystallized moments of potential Pan-Africanism. It was different with Ghana. It was different with Nkrumah. His vision of African socialism and a synchronization of African tradition with equitable distribution a Black Marxist dream, where did his revolutionary praxis fall short? As we look toward building a socialist and, eventual, communist Black future what are the ways we envision systemizing just transition? As we dream of Black autonomy, how do we envision the global interdependence and fierce allyship that may be necessary to support post-revolutionary life? When should we begin developing those relationships? Now seems as good a time as any.
Imagine that we've physically driven the oppressor from our space. It's just us now, but the intangible remnants of white supremacy remain. Imagine that the structures upheld by capitalism and toxic democracy, albeit maintained by our own skinfolk, are beginning to crumble around us. Revolution is a long process. Now what? Come with us to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to sit, humbly, at the feet of our ancestors; the revolutionaries who established the first Black republic so that we might honor them by taking another step toward liberated land, toward free Black society. Spend seven days with the Avril family, connecting with those ancestors through the art and practice of Haitian fencing. Embrace the opacity of Hatian Creole. We won't let you leave without learning. Most importantly, put our conceptualization of the L3 village to the test through contextualization and practice.
Shoot to Kill.
The history of resistance in South Africa is strong, with the legacy of The ANC and Nelson Mandela in his early years nestled firmly in the minds of Pan-Africanists across the globe. Mandela's momentum was ultimately compromised by nearly thirty years in prison and his eventual release revealed a man whose revolutionary spirit had been stolen. Today, revolutionaries in South Africa are forced to proclaim themselves a discontinuation of Mandela's trajectory. Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters are poised to fight for a new South Africa. What might we learn and how might we help?
Our Word Is Our Weapon.
In Chiapas, Mexico, Praxis students will pour over the history of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. What nuance exists within the concept and practice of decentralization? The vanguard may catalyze revolution, but party politics can't carry us all the way to freedom. Experiment with the power of narrative, autonomy, and charismatic leadership. We must give EZLN its flowers while it's here.
Phase Two | Feb.-Dec. 2022On Gang: Vanguardism, Charismatic Leadership, and Revolution in the Global South
January - April 2023
Enjoy the breathtaking views of The Basque Country while exploring the constellation of connection between Spain's notorious and revolutionary Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, the strength of U.S. influence on and support of counterrevolutionary movements after September 11th, and the impotency rendered upon revolutionary movements by neoliberalism.
May - August 2023
Join 400+1 in Ha Noi, Vietnam to break down communism's momentous victory in the face of determined, U.S. imperialism. Strategic propaganda, brilliant narrative building, unmatched political organizing, charismatic leadership, unyielding revolutionary spirit, and domestic unrest are all the heart of this case study for resistance. Examine the position in which America found itself in 1975 and explore the possibility of recreating those very conditions.
Sept. - Dec. 2023
Spend the final wave of Praxis's existence as a traveling institution in Lebanon with 400+1's L1 collective. Dive into U.S. Foreign Policy and interrogate its impact on the Palestenian struggle. Learn the intricacies of the United Nations as a political entity and position yourself in relation to international law.
Our Word Is Our Weapon.
Phase Three | Jan. - Dec. 2023Studying the Opps: Victories and Losses of the Imperialist Machine
Jan. 2024 - Spring 2028
Details of Phase Four will be shared only with those who are accepted to the final stage of the program.
Phase Four | Jan. 2024 - Spring 2028
Praxis: A Phrontistery for Black Revolutionaries is an incubator for the next Black, revolutionary vanguard.
Government Consigned Israeli Population to be Human Subjects in a Massive Experiment - Alliance for Human Research Protection
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 14:13
BBC: ''Israel bought large stocks of the [Covid-19] jab in exchange for acting as the world's guinea pig.''
On November 18, 2020, Israel's senior health officials were caught unprepared when Pfizer announced that its vaccine was ''90% effective'' (revised to 95%) against Covid-19. They had ordered millions of vaccine doses from Moderna and AstraZeneca but none for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
How then, did Israel procure an estimated four to five million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020 '' enough to vaccinate at least two million people?
Benjamin Netanyahu- Donald Trump
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sought to show that he singlehandedly saved the day; as did Donald Trump when he launched Operation Warp Speed, to accelerate the production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. Both heads of state entered into secret contracts with vaccine manufacturers. Both failed to disclose to their constituents that the COVID-19 (mRNA) vaccines are experimental.
The COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 clinical trials have not yet been completed. This is why both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines have NOT been licensed by the FDA. Both vaccines received ''Emergency Use Authorization'' (EUA): ''a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures'...Under an EUA, FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products.''[i]The safety of these experimental vaccines has not been established during the frenzied pace of production and distribution. The sheer speed at which the vaccines were developed and tested precluded obtaining sufficient information about adverse side effects; in particular, serious, long term adverse effects.Furthermore, mRNA technology used in these vaccines is also experimental.[ii] No other vaccines using this technology have been approved. The long-term risks are unknown.As of January 27, 2021, Johns Hopkins' tracking system states that the infection fatality rate in the U.S. is 1.7%; in Israel it is 0.7%.[iii]According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of Dec. 18, 2020 (just when mass vaccinations began), the adverse event rate following Covid-19 vaccination was 2.79%.[iv] This would indicate that the short-term risk of harm from the vaccine is far greater than the risk of dying from COVID-19.
On December 10th, at FDA's advisory committee meeting to evaluate Pfizer's vaccine for use under EUA, Dr. Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer's lead representative, acknowledged that despite being vaccinated with Pfizer's vaccine, monkeys became infected when they were exposed to the virus.[v] Pfizer did not test whether vaccinated people could also become infected when exposed to the virus. It is, therefore, entirely possible that the Covid-19 vaccine is no defense against infection.On January 26 2021, the World Health Organization posted the latest news about the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine: What You Need to Know, in which the WHO confirmed lack of efficacy evidence: ''We do not know whether the vaccine will prevent infection and protect against onward transmission. Immunity persists for several months, but the full duration is not yet known. These important questions are being studied.''[vi] The acknowledged lack of evidence for the protective value of both of the mRNA vaccines refutes the widely publicized ''90% -95% effectiveness'' claims. The absence of evidence for the protective value of these vaccines eliminates the justification for exposure to the risks; and undermines the claimed need for these vaccines.The Primary Focus is on High Vaccination Rates and Mega-Billion Dollars in Sales and Profits.Lack of evidence that the vaccine will, in fact, prevent infection, is not Pfizer's or Moderna's primary concern. As reported by Fierce Pharma, on February 2nd Pfizer revealed to its investors that its nRNA vaccine is expected to garner $15 billion in 2021. And it could be more, with additional contracts. This is almost three times more than revenues from its previous bestselling vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13, which generated $5.85 billion in 2020.
Moderna has secured $11.7 billion in advance mRNA vaccine purchase orders from various governments and organizations. And like Pfizer, the company is in the process of negotiating more deals. Moderna did not ever have any approved product until Covid-19.
Demand for the vaccines has been generated by the continuous scaremongering propaganda which fomented a heightened degree of fear and panic. Public health officials discarded the precautionary principle in medicine '' ''First, do no harm'' '' and despite serious uncertainty, officials proceeded full speed ahead, with mass vaccination. It is astonishing that the government of Israel entrusted the health of the people to Pfizer; by entering into a secret contract that enrolled the Israeli population to become research subjects, without their knowledge or consent.
Under the contract, Real World Epidemiological EvidenceCollaboration Agreement,[vii] the government signed a commitment to vaccinate the entire seven million adult population and to provide weekly data on its citizens during a 24-month surveillance follow-up study. The government disregarded potentially serious medical risks from the experimental vaccine and risks to privacy.
Israel is considered an ideal place for a vast epidemiological study, encompassing 9.3 million people, because of its universal, state-sponsored healthcare system in which insurers maintain 40 years of digitized medical records, including vaccination records for each Israeli citizen. This centralized system helped Israel administer more than 2 million doses of the vaccine in under a month. In exchange, Israel received priority delivery of millions of doses of the vaccines.
Netanyahu stated that the reason Israel received so many vaccine doses so quickly is that:
''Israel has committed to send Pfizer data and details especially gathered for them, including the consequences of the inoculations, side effects, efficacy, amount of time it takes to develop antibodies according to different types of population, age, gender, preexisting conditions etc. The agreement extensively details the various parameters that will be sent to Pfizer.''[viii]
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak pointed out that Pfizer is using the Israeli population as a ''perfect testing ground'' for its COVID-19 vaccine.
''This data is a treasure trove for Pfizer. It's a huge asset to Pfizer, because it lets them show that when someone dies after being vaccinated '' and people my age tend to die more often '' he didn't die because of the vaccine, but as a result of some background illness.''[ix]
Israeli citizens became the unwitting human subjects of a massive, unethical, unapproved, non-consensual human experiment. The public was not informed that (a) the vaccine is experimental; (b) the population was being used as human subjects for a two-year epidemiological study; the data is meant to be shared with foreign countries and journals; the secrecy of the contract has led to strong suspicions that (c) their personal medical record '' ''a data treasure-trove'' '' would be shared with Pfizer.Pfizer seeks to obtain basic safety and efficacy information that it lacks, in order for its vaccine to be eligible for an FDA license. No vaccine has ever before been administered to millions of people without having met safety and efficacy requirements. The following information must normally be obtained during controlled clinical trials prior to public distribution.
First, the company needs to demonstrate that the vaccine is effective in preventing infection when one is exposed to the virus. Second, serious adverse effects need to be identified and their frequency and duration determined. Third, the risk for specific populations, including children, pregnant women and the elderly need to be identified and weighed against the benefits. Fourth, causes of deaths during the trial need to be documented.
Ilana Rachel Daniel
''In effect, Bibi [Netanyahu] has signed up his people, all seven million citizens aged 12 years and over, without our informed consent, to become the first country in its entirety to do human testing on a technology which has been, for many decades, attempted and failed in the laboratory'...Our citizens must first and foremost define the discussion in order to accurately weigh the choices'...[We] have been given little information at all and that includes complete opacity of data on the unfolding outcomes of adverse reactions currently taking place.''[x] [Ilana Rachel Daniel, Arutz Sheva, Israel National News]
Dr. Nachman Ash
On January 19, 2021, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that over 12,400 Israelis who had been vaccinated tested positive for Covid '' that's 6.6% of the 189,000 vaccinated people. Dr. Nachman Ash, Israel's national pandemic coordinator, warned on Army Radio that: ''Many people have been infected between the first and second injections of the vaccine. The protective effect appears ''lower than we thought [and] lower than [the data] presented by Pfizer.'' He warned that restrictions will continue longer than expected. ''With COVID-19 mutations, third lockdown may not be Israel's last
Should pregnant women be exposed to a controversial, experimental vaccine? The safety of the vaccine has not been adequately ascertained under Operation Warp Speed. It has never been tested in pregnant women.
On January 8th the W.H.O. advised against vaccinating pregnant and breastfeeding women'' ''due to insufficient data, WHO does not recommend the vaccination of pregnant women at this time.''[xi] The C.D.C. issued conflicting advice:[xii] The WHO came under pressure two days after the media reported the conflicting advice.[xiii] Citing no new data, the WHO rescinded its cautionary guideline stating: ''based on the data at hand, we don't have any'....reason to believe there are specific risks'...'' However, the WHO continues to warn that data on Covid-19 vaccines and pregnancies is lacking, making safety assessments difficult.[xiv]
Those who regard vaccines as a Holy Grail '' throw caution to the wind. Have they forgotten the disastrous tragedies that followed when pregnant women were prescribed Thalidomide[xv] and Diethylistilbestrol (DES)? Vaccine zealots disregard medicine's precautionary ''do no harm'' principle before applying any invasive medical intervention. They blame the lack of data on the precaution against exposing expectant mothers to clinical trials. Pfizer's experiment in Israel will fill the gap. Dr. Ash has not only recommended the vaccine for pregnant women, he added pregnant Israeli women to the priority vaccination list.[xvi]
Pregnant Israeli women have not been informed that the vaccine is experimental. Neither are they aware that they are being consigned '' like rabbits '' in a massive medical experiment without their informed consent.
Pfizer, the company to whom the Prime Minister and officials of the Department of Health entrusted to test its experimental vaccine on the entire population of Israel, is an unscrupulous business corporation with an extensive Rap Sheet compiled by Corporate Research Project.[xvii] Pfizer's track record is filled with cases in which it was accused of misleading regulators and the public about the safety of its products.
One of the most notorious cases of criminal human rights violations involved Pfizer's unapproved clinical trial conducted in Nigeria. Pfizer enrolled 200 children to test its new, experimental antibiotic drug Trovan, deceiving parents by falsely claiming that it was an approved therapy for meningitis. In fact, Pfizer sought to obtain data so that their drug could get an FDA approval; a process that should have taken at least a whole year (or longer) was rushed through in six weeks '-- much like the testing process for its Covid-19 vaccine was rushed.
The Trovan trial resulted in the death of eleven children, and twelve others were left permanently disabled. Two years later the FDA warned that the drug could cause liver damage and death.
The mass vaccination experiment is being conducted in violation of Israel's legal ethics requirements; namely, review and approval by the Institutional Review Board / Ethics (Helsinki) Committee.[xviii] The Helsinki Committee approval is required for any research study involving human subjects and is also required for any deal by the Israeli government that provides citizens' data to other entities, especially if they are foreign. A senior official of the Helsinki Committee confirmed the ''clear, unequivocal and unambiguous evidence that the contract with Pfizer is a clinical study'':
''Reading the contract signed between the Israeli government and Pfizer, it is clear, unequivocal and unambiguous that this is a clinical study for all intents and purposes, and thus, it needed to be approved by the Helsinki Committee. And that's what will be written in the Committee's opinion:
'There's nothing wrong with clinical trials, on the contrary, but clinical trials (human trials) must get committee approval, and of course, from the people on whom the trial is being conducted, while giving the right to refuse to be part of the trial. These are very basic matters.''[xix]
Senior Israel Democracy Institute attorney Dr. Tehila Schwartz-Altshuler described: the experiment in Calcalist: ''This is the most extensive study of human beings in the 21st century.
The experiment violates the Nuremberg Code;[xx] the most important document in the history of medical research ethics standards. The foremost ethical principle of the Nuremberg Code is as relevant today as it was in 1947: ''The voluntary, informed consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.''Informed consent is ''absolutely essential'' because it affirms the human right of the individual to accept or reject. Informed consent stands as a moral/legal barrier to ensure that governments ''Never Again'' pervert medicine.''The right to refuse'' a medical intervention is reaffirmed under the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005) which states:''Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information.''[xxi]Medicine is not like a commodity; medical decisions are personal, requiring the weighing of benefits against risks. Medicine often involves life and death decisions. Without informed consent of the individual, medicine can be, and has been, weaponized. Under Operation Warp Speed, the dangerously abbreviated clinical trials were far too short to document the scope or severity of vaccine adverse effects.Risks of greatest concern from the experimental mRNA vaccines are described clearly in detail here.[xxii] Both vaccines are made from messenger RNA and lipid nanoparticles containing polyethylene glycol (PEG). Scientists believe PEG poses a risk of anaphylaxis[xxiii]. The risks include: severe allergic reactions, such as, anaphylaxis; systemic inflammatory response syndrome;[xxiv]autoimmune disease;[xxv] and antibody-dependent enhancement. The latter is the focus of a recent peer reviewed report in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, by scientists from New York University and Tulane who warn that:
Timothy Cardozo, MD, PhD
''THE RISK OF ADE IN COVID'19 VACCINES IS NON'THEORETICAL AND COMPELLING''
''COVID'19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated.
The prior evidence that vaccine'elicited, antibody'dependent enhancement (ADE) of disease is likely to occur to some degree with COVID'19 vaccines is vertically consistent from controlled SARS studies in primates to clinical observations in SARS and COVID'19. Thus, a finite, non'theoretical risk is evident in the medical literature that vaccine candidates composed of the SARS'CoV'2 viral spike and eliciting anti'SARS'CoV'2 antibodies, be they neutralising or not, place vaccinees at higher risk for more severe COVID'19 disease when they encounter circulating viruses.''
Israel's Health Ministry claims that it had obtained all required approvals; clearly this is not true.The other major issue of concern is the violation of the right to PRIVACY.The transfer of extensive, sensitive medical data to a multi-national foreign corporation exposes every Israeli citizen to extraordinary risks of harm. The most important commodity today is data. The transfer of its citizens' medical data exposes the State of Israel to security risks.
Pfizer is one of the most unscrupulous business corporations whose court-adjudicated corrupt and illegal business practices includes numerous product safety violations, bribery in eight countries, and other crimes too numerous to be reviewed here.
A 27-year record of pharmaceutical company criminal and civil violations that led to settlements with U.S. state and federal government, was compiled by Public Citizen.[xxvi] Pfizer has the dubious distinction of setting two records; Pfizer's corrupt business practices resulted in the highest criminal fine in US history for $2.3 billion, and the largest civil fraud settlement of $1 billion.
This is the company to whom Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel's Department of Health entrusted with the data of its citizens' personal medical records. That data contains a treasure trove of information that Pfizer might even sell to the highest bidder.
Attorney Tehila Schwartz-Altshuler of Israel Democracy Institute expressed serious concerns about the secret contractual provisions; which she strongly suspects, provide Pfizer with anonymized personal data of citizens' medical records from which names, addresses and ID numbers are removed. However, she noted that:
''One of the crucial problems with the agreement is that although it acknowledges the need to preserve anonymity and privacy of Israelis, it does not outline steps to protect this principle'...and there are loopholes, such as secondary uses of data. ''
''The problem is that technology today is so advanced that research has shown that even data that has been rendered anonymous can be ''de-anonymized. [It is a] huge risk.''[xxvii]
Jonathan Klinger, a cyberlaw attorney and legal adviser for the Israeli Digital Rights Movement, a nonprofit group, agrees: ''we don't really know what's being shared. Even if aggregated or anonymous data is transferred, it could be re-identified. This is still a concern.''
''Bibi feels that my health data belongs to him. If you give someone else or give away my medical records '-- which are the most sensitive kind of data that someone can know about me '-- you need my permission. Why didn't you ask for my permission? Treating this personal data as if it belongs to the government is ''not ethically, not legally and not morally right.'''' [TSA]
The Helsinki Ethics Committee has yet to issue its ruling about the experiment and the transmission of personal health data to Pfizer without the specific agreement of every individual person who is a de facto subject.
[iii] Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Cases and Mortality by Country
[xiii] https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-recommends-against-moderna-pfizer-vaccines-for-most-pregnant-women-11611775138; https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/health/covid-vaccine-pregnancy.html
[xiv] The original WHO Interim Guidance: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCoV-vaccines-SAGE_recommendation-BNT162b2-2021.1; WHO news release: https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-can-take-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19''vaccine; https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/1612010348-who-makes-u-turn-on-recommendation-against-coronavirus-jabs-for-pregnant-women-at-risk
[xv] https://ahrp.org/?s=Thalidomide; https://ahrp.org/from-the-holocaust-to-thalidomide-a-nazi-legacy/
This is not a vaccine - Israel National News
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 14:05
The nation of Israel is at this moment engaged in a historic and decisive juncture that will determine the trajectory of this people now and for the foreseeable future. It is an undertaking that cannot be overstated.
As is now widely publicized, revealed initially by former PM Ehud Barak  and then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself , a deal has been made. In Israel, Pfizer has found a home for its experimental pilot program of expansive human trials. According to Barak, Pfizer has chosen our country for its decades of meticulously recorded medical and vaccination records, which allow it to explain adverse reactions to its product by pointing to previously existing conditions within the patient.
In effect, Bibi has signed up his people, all seven million citizens aged 12 years and over , without our informed consent, to become the first country in its entirety to do human testing on a technology which has been, for many decades, attempted and failed in the laboratory. Thus far, the pilot study is moving at truly astonishing speed; some two million people have already been injected under a program that runs daily from early morning until late night, even on Shabbat. 
However, the Israeli people have not been given the information required to make a sufficient risk benefit analysis in this extraordinary endeavor. In fact, they have been given little information at all and that includes complete opacity of data on the unfolding outcomes of adverse reactions currently taking place.
Our citizens must first and foremost define the discussion in order to accurately weigh their choices. What they are being asked to inject is not a vaccine as defined by the CDC as ''A product that stimulates a person's immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease.''  Rather, it is an experimental and novel technology. By definition of the FDA  as a component used as treatment to affect a body's function, it is in fact a medical device, a physical device that comes in a molecular sized package. Erroneously referring to this intervention as a vaccine exploits the public's ingrained trust of the vaccination program to solicit knee jerk response and action. It keeps us entrenched in needless debate in place of taking the necessary measures to investigate the impact on our health.
DNA is, in short, the basis for our genetic structure. Inside each cell are codes which transfer its information to make proteins through messenger RNA. Messenger RNA is an intermediary between gene and protein and the protein elicits the immune response, not the RNA. The contents of this shot being given on an experimental basis is a synthetic messenger RNA that is inserted into the human system to activate the cell to manufacture, in this case, a spike protein.  An mRNA vaccine is not a vaccine, because it does not elicit an immune response. What it is, is genetic engineering.
There are a number of prominent concerns of serious adverse reactions of which include, in brief summary, some of the following:
In previous clinical trials since the 1960's  attempts to vaccinate against RSV,  Dengue,  SARS and MERS, the studies each failed during the animal phase. Cats, ferrets, monkeys, and rabbits each and every time experienced Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE), also known as pathogenic priming or a cytokine storm. This occurs when the immune system creates an uncontrolled and overwhelming inflammatory response upon being confronted with the pathogen in the real world, and the outcome, tragically, is death. The same immune system overreaction took place in a number of infants in clinical trials who received an attempted RSV shot, as well as some six hundred Filipino children who died following early vaccination against Dengue  and it remains a viable concern today. 
Autoimmune disease occurs when the body's immune system can't tell the difference between its own cells and foreign cells, and causes the body to attack its normal cells.  It has been suggested that "molecular mimicry" may contribute to this problem, with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 cross-reacting with structurally similar host protein sequences and raising an acute autoimmune response against them. 
Scientists have determined that the same spike protein found in SARS viruses are also responsible for the development of the placenta in mammals, including humans, and is therefore an essential prerequisite for a successful pregnancy. If a woman's body is primed to attack these protein spikes, the immune system may prevent a placenta from being formed, which would render that woman infertile. 
Drs Yeadon and Wodarg further explain; ''To my knowledge, Pfizer/BioNTech has yet to release any samples of written materials provided to patients, so it is unclear what, if any, information regarding (potential) fertility-specific risks caused by antibodies is included. According to section 10.4.2 of the Pfizer/BioNTech trial protocol, a woman of childbearing potential is eligible to participate if she is not pregnant or breastfeeding, and is using an acceptable contraceptive method as described in the trial protocol during the intervention period (for a minimum of 28 days after the last dose of study intervention). This means that it could take a relatively long time before a noticeable number of cases of post vaccination infertility could be observed.'' 
We have additionally heard the reports of multiple cases of Bell's Palsy in both trials  and administration, numerous cases of anaphylaxis shock even when no previous allergies were detected, as well as several announced incidents of ''false positive'' HIV tests. 
The remaining elephant in the room is that of the greatest unknown, of tampering with the human genome. There is much we have yet to comprehend of the complexity of the human body and immune system. Science has gotten it wrong many times before, having made assumptions about its ability to exert its dominance over nature. It is still and always nature which has the final say. In the human genome project they tried genetic engineering by changing a singular gene which they believed was the defect in the genetic process. Unexpectedly, instead of correcting, it caused a domino effect of uncontrolled regulation onto multiple other genes.
Of the media press release of 95% efficacy taken as gospel and repeated as fact, Peter Doshi of the British Medical Journal posits whether the study trials were designed too poorly not to fail. With 3,410 total cases of suspected, but unconfirmed COVID 19 in the overall study population accounted for makes a relative risk reduction of 19%, far below the 50% required for emergency use authorization. 
Pfiizer, Moderna, Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO's chief scientist, have made it abundantly clear that the novel mRNA strand entering the cell is not intended to stop transmission but rather as a treatment. However, were we at long last permitted to hold public discourse on the profoundly viable and formerly ubiquitous treatments such as Ivermectin,  for one example, and were these treatments not denied us both in access and scientific data but disseminated to the global community, we might not have had need for an emergency use technology at all.
If this experiment does prove to cause any or combination of these problems in a year's time or a few more and has already been administered to billions worldwide it will be too late. It cannot be removed and it cannot be turned off, it has been irretrievably unleashed into the cellular system. And there is not a government in the world nor the manufacturer himself who will be held accountable if you find yourself come to grave harm. 
In a multitude of monumental changes that have taken place over the course of the last year the one thing that has remained consistent is that the mortal risk a Covid-19 infection poses is, with exception, to those above 65 years or with comorbidity. There is not in existence a reasonable scientific or medical indication to inject an experimental technology forever into the veins of anyone outside that narrow group. I argue that to do so it is a reckless and cynical display of disregard for human life and well being in the perverted name of saving a particular few.
We claim an unbridled love of science and yet we are missing the crater sized gaps in reason. A tremendous risk of known and ''known unknown'' issues is considered against the singular benefit to avert symptoms in questionable potential at best. Tested on an uninformed populace, this is not a flag for public health. The use of the word ''vaccine'' and the magic bullet it has come to represent confounds the discussion as does its expeditious administration alongside an exponentially changing world. The brevity with which this technology was so recently produced is long forgotten and I, with many others, face the sobering fact that with a now live totalitarian Green Passport initiative, must choose which of my freedoms to concede, the loss of my self determination or my autonomy of body itself.
I stand for your right to understand the risks and choose to take this intervention. I ask you to stand, equally and emphatically, with my right to understand them and choose not to. However forcefully you may disagree with my perspectives, the risks of my being wrong don't touch the risks of removing the freedoms to choose them. Free choice is what breathes living into life. It is what gives us the opportunity to learn. It is what gives us hope for the future. These are the greatest challenges we will ever meet. Whatever you are called to do to make change, do it soon, do it now. Your choice matters.
Ilana Rachel Daniel is a Health and Wellness Counselor in Jerusalem and dedicates her time to research health and advocacy. www.choicesources.com
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 Batito E (2020) Controversy erupts around Health Ministry plan to vaccinate on Shabbat, Jerusalem Post, Accessed on the 12th January 2021 from https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/controversy-erupts-around-health-ministry-plan-to-vaccinate-on-shabbat-653253
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 White S (2020) Rapid Response: Could COVID-19 mRNA vaccines cause autoimmune diseases?, Letter to the British Medical Journal, accessed on the 13th January 2020 from https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4347/rr-6 White S (2020) Rapid Response: Could COVID-19 mRNA vaccines cause autoimmune diseases?, Letter to the British Medical Journal, accessed on the 13th January 2020 from https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4347/rr-6
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 Doshi P (2021) Peter Doshi: Pfizer and Moderna's ''95% effective'' vaccines'--we need more details and the raw data, British Medical Journal, accessed on the 13th January 2021 from https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/04/peter-doshi-pfizer-and-modernas-95-effective-vaccines-we-need-more-details-and-the-raw-data/
 Kory, P., MD, Meduri, G. U., MD, Iglesias, J., Varon, J., Berkowitz, K., MD, Kornfeld, H., MD, Marik, P. E. (2020, November 13). Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/wx3zn
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Blast at Dutch COVID test centre appears intentional, police say | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 13:51
Explosion in northern town, which caused damage but no injuries, comes after riots over lockdown measures.
A coronavirus testing centre in the Netherlands was intentionally targeted, Dutch police said, after an explosion at the site.
The blast on Wednesday in Bovenkarspel, a northern town, shattered windows but caused no injuries, police from the province of North Holland said in a statement.
An explosives team was on site to examine the device, police in North Holland province said.
The metal remains of the explosive were found in front of the building; the device ''must have been placed'' there, police spokesman Menno Hartenberg told Reuters news agency.
''Something like that doesn't just happen by accident, it has to be laid,'' he said, adding the device was about 10cm by 10cm (four inches by four inches).
There was one security guard inside the building when the explosion took place, but that person was unharmed.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge described the incident as an ''insane'' act.
''For more than a year we have been leaning on these people on the front lines and now this,'' he tweeted.
Officers cordoned off the area as they carried out investigations.
Wednesday morning test appointments in Bovenkarspel were cancelled, according to public broadcaster NOS.
The region around Bovenkarspel is currently suffering one of the Netherlands' worst COVID-19 outbreaks, with 181 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared with around 27 per 100,000 nationally.
At least one hospital has been forced to send patients to other provinces because intensive care units are overwhelmed.
''In this area, the infections are going up, there is a real serious outbreak and the hospitals here are struggling,'' Al Jazeera's Vaessen said.
''And also generally in the Netherlands infections are on the rise.''
Recent riotsThe blast follows the worst unrest the Netherlands has witnessed in decades, with many angered by strict restrictions aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, the government introduced a night-time curfew, the first to be implemented in the Netherlands since World War II.
The measure went into effect on January 23 and led to several days of rioting.
The protests gripped several cities and saw rioters torch a COVID testing centre in Urk, a northern village.
Police clamped down and hundreds of rioters were arrested. Many have already been sentenced by Dutch courts.
Security has been stepped up at some coronavirus test locations because of threats and vandalism.
The blast follows the worst unrest the Netherlands has witnessed in decades, with many angered by strict restrictions aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic [File: Rob Engelaar/ANP/AFP]The curfew is in effect from 9pm to 4:30am daily, and is due to expire on March 15 '' two days before general elections.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government won a court case last week over its use of emergency powers to install the measure.
The curfew was part of a strict lockdown in which bars, restaurants and non-essential shops have been closed for months.
Some measures were eased on Wednesday, with hairdressers reopening and non-essential shops allowed to accept a small number of visitors by appointment.
More than 15,700 people have died of coronavirus in the Netherlands, which has recorded more than 1.1 million cases.
Supreme | Definition of Supreme by Merriam-Webster
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 09:31
su·'preme | \ sÉ-ËprÄ'm , s¼- \ 1 : highest in rank or authority the supreme commander
2 : highest in degree or quality supreme endurance in war and in labour '-- R. W. Emerson
Other Words from supreme supremely adverb
Synonyms for supremeSynonyms
chief, commanding, first, foremost, head, high, lead, leading, preeminent, premier, presiding, primary, prime, principal, supereminent, top Visit the Thesaurus for More Examples of supreme in a Sentence The board has supreme authority over such issues. She has an air of supreme confidence about her. the supreme example of what not to do a problem of supreme importance It's a matter of supreme indifference to her.
Recent Examples on the Web My flight today only reaffirmed my supreme confidence in the airworthiness of the MAX. '-- Dallas News, "Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly rides Boeing's 737 Max as carrier readies to unground fleet," 24 Dec. 2020 The supreme leader, 81, has the final say on all matters of state in Iran and approved the efforts at reaching the nuclear deal in 2015. '-- Fox News, "Iran demands US lift sanctions before it lives up to nuclear deal," 7 Feb. 2021 The supreme leader, 81, has the final say on all matters of state in Iran and approved the efforts at reaching the nuclear deal in 2015. '-- NBC News, "U.S. must lift sanctions before Iran lives up to nuclear deal, supreme leader Khamenei says," 7 Feb. 2021 The people decided yesterday by a majority of 482 that Coronado should be segregated form San Diego, and the people are supreme. '-- San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Coronado became a city 130 years ago," 11 Dec. 2020 White ultimately faced various charges, including posting private images, collaborating with the U.S. against Iran and disrespecting Iran's supreme leader. '-- Eric Tucker, Star Tribune, "Diary shows how quest for love landed Navy vet in Iran jail," 15 Jan. 2021 On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was imposing sanctions on two organizations controlled by Iran's supreme leader. '-- Saphora Smith, NBC News, "Iran set to further reduce compliance with nuclear deal," 14 Jan. 2021 The Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, mocked the U.S. political system after the attack, suggesting in speeches and on Twitter that the chaos in Washington was retribution for U.S. policy in the Middle East. '-- Ruby Mellen, Washington Post, "What the world is saying about the U.S. after the Capitol attack," 13 Jan. 2021 In a supreme irony, both of those entities are suing Uber and Lyft over their drivers' employment status '-- essentially coming down on the side against Prop. 22. '-- Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "Lawsuit seeks to overturn Prop. 22, measure that keeps gig workers from becoming employees," 12 Jan. 2021 These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supreme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
See More First Known Use of supreme1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1
History and Etymology for supreme Latin supremus, superlative of superus upper '-- more at superior
Learn More about supremeCite this Entry
''Supreme.'' Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supreme. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.
More Definitions for supreme
su·'preme | \ suÌ-ËprÄ'm \ Kids Definition of supreme 1 : highest in rank, power, or authority
2 : highest in degree or quality I have supreme trust in you.
3 : most extreme or great They made the supreme sacrifice.
Other Words from supreme
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Supremacy | Definition of Supremacy by Merriam-Webster
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 09:31
su·'prem·'a·'cy | \ sÉ-Ëpre-mÉ-sÄ' , s¼- also -ËprÄ'- \ : the quality or state of being supreme also : supreme authority or power Synonyms for supremacySynonyms
ascendance ( also ascendence ) , ascendancy ( also ascendency ) , dominance, domination, dominion, hegemony, imperium, predominance, predominancy, preeminence, reign, sovereignty ( also sovranty ) Visit the Thesaurus for More Examples of supremacy in a Sentence the Roman empire had supremacy over the entire Mediterranean world the supremacy of cashmere among wools accounts for its high price
Recent Examples on the Web Padilla believes that classics is so entangled with white supremacy as to be inseparable from it. '-- New York Times, "He Wants to Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive?," 2 Feb. 2021 Some have tried to argue that the Confederate flag is actually a symbol of states' rights, but this ignores its long association with white supremacy and racial violence. '-- Star Tribune, "America's divide seen in a clash of symbols," 15 Jan. 2021 The headline games of the Week 12 start in the Big Ten with division supremacy on the line in both the East and West. '-- USA TODAY, "USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for Week 12," 19 Nov. 2020 Facebook has removed 250 white supremacy groups and any groups deliberately spreading misinformation. '-- Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Facebook bans anti-vaccination ads, vows to help boost immunization rates," 14 Oct. 2020 Chris Jones is a Report For America fellow who covers white supremacy groups in Appalachia. '-- Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville's Breonna Taylor protest livestreamers deal with hate speech and threats," 1 Sep. 2020 Read a book about transracial adoption; join or volunteer with a group standing up against white supremacy; march in a Black Lives Matter rally; donate to an anti-racist movement. '-- NBC News, "How to talk to parents about race if you're adopted or multiracial," 22 Dec. 2020 The indigenous movement aims to develop communities in a sustainable manner, defend American land and fight against White supremacy. '-- Julia Musto, Fox News, "Statues vandalized over Thanksgiving in 'LANDBACK' campaign," 28 Nov. 2020 This was my version of speaking up, speaking out against all the vitriol that's coming our way, and also essentially against white supremacy. '-- Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Is food political? How a recipe can be a protest," 9 Nov. 2020 These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supremacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
See More First Known Use of supremacy1537, in the meaning defined above
History and Etymology for supremacy supreme + -acy (as in primacy)
Learn More about supremacyCite this Entry
''Supremacy.'' Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supremacy. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.
More Definitions for supremacy
su·'prem·'a·'cy | \ suÌ-Ëpre-mÉ-sÄ' \ Kids Definition of supremacy : the highest rank, power, or authority
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Tenure | Definition of Tenure by Merriam-Webster
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 09:27
ten·'ure | \ Ëten-yÉr also -ËyuÌr \ 1 : the act, right, manner, or term of holding something (such as a landed property, a position, or an office) especially : a status granted after a trial period to a teacher that gives protection from summary dismissal Examples of tenure in a Sentence '... but there is also about it just the trace of the nettlesome righteousness that alienated much of Washington during his tenure there, the not-so-subtle suggestion that while he might be in politics, he is not of politics and certainly not, God forbid, a politician. '-- Jim Wooten , New York Times Magazine , 29 Jan. 1995 Pittsburgh's offensive linemen, trap blockers during Noll's tenure , had to bulk up for the straight-ahead game. '-- Paul Zimmerman , Sports Illustrated , 9 Nov. 1992 A mural on the upper half of a four-story guesthouse was painted in 1977 by twelve-year-old schoolchildren, whose tenure on the scaffold must have thrilled their parents. '-- John McPhee , New Yorker , 22 Feb. 1988 During his tenure as head coach, the team won the championship twice. her 12-year tenure with the company His tenure in office will end with the next election. After seven years I was finally granted tenure. He hopes to get tenure next year. The defendant did not have tenure on the land. land tenure in Anglo-Saxon Britain
Recent Examples on the Web But the Big Ten went outside the family and hired Kevin Warren from the Minnesota Vikings, whose tenure has been less than impressive thus far. '-- Jon Wilner | Bay Area News Group, oregonlive, "There are qualified internal candidates for Pac-12 commissioner, but the politics are thorny," 12 Feb. 2021 What led to the demise of Mark Dantonio's legendary tenure will be perhaps the biggest challenge for Mel Tucker in his second year as head coach. '-- Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football must score '-- a lot more '-- to climb to top of Big Ten," 13 Jan. 2021 Wolf's tenure at DHS was short but included a number of achievements for the Trump administration, as well as lawsuits waged by liberal organizations. '-- Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf stepping down from Trump administration," 11 Jan. 2021 Before his team played Oregon seven years ago, Brown knew without a doubt his Texas tenure was over. '-- Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Finger: As Texas makes a return to Alamo, a standard remains elusive," 28 Dec. 2020 Jalen Hurts' tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles has been a lightning road for social-media outbursts and traditional-media commentary from the beginning. '-- Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts staying away from the 'rat poison'," 24 Dec. 2020 His tenure is subject to the nine-member Board of Governors. '-- Alana Abramson, Time, "The Postal Service Delivered On Election Day. But the Agency Remains in Peril," 22 Dec. 2020 But his tenure was not without controversy, with some saying his lack of experience was an issue. '-- Patrick Mcgreevy, Los Angeles Times, "Meet Alex Padilla, California's first Latino U.S. senator and a rising political star since his 20s," 22 Dec. 2020 DeVos's tenure has been unprecedented in many ways, from her outsider status to her contentious confirmation to the devastating pandemic that upended American education over the last year. '-- Frederick M. Hess, National Review, "Betsy DeVos Speaks Out on Four Years of 'Truly Disheartening' Attacks," 17 Dec. 2020 These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
See More First Known Use of tenure15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
History and Etymology for tenure Middle English, "possession of land under obligation to a superior, the land so held," borrowed from Anglo-French tenure, teneure, going back to Gallo-Romance *tenitÅra "act of possessing," from Latin ten-, base of tenÄ're "to hold, possess" + -it-, generalized from past participles ending in -itus + -Åra -ure '-- more at tenant entry 1
Note: A number of renderings of the word in Medieval Latin from the 11th century on (as tenetura, tenatura, tentura, tenura, etc.) may reflect stages in the passage from Latin to French or attempts to Latinize a vernacular form.
Learn More about tenureCite this Entry
''Tenure.'' Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenure. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.
More Definitions for tenure
ten·'ure | \ Ëten-yÉr \ Legal Definition of tenure 1 : the act, manner, duration, or right of holding something tenure of office specifically : the manner of holding real property : the title and conditions by which property is held freehold tenure
2 : a status granted to a teacher usually after a probationary period that protects him or her from dismissal except for reasons of incompetence, gross misconduct, or financial necessity
Other Words from tenure
tenurial \ te-'ËnyuÌr-'Ä'-'Él \ adjective tenurially \ -'É-'lÄ' \ adverbHistory and Etymology for tenure
Anglo-French, feudal holding, from Old French tene¼re, from Medieval Latin tenitura, ultimately from Latin tenÄ're to hold
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'Too soon to take away masking,' Austin health authority says ahead of Gov. Abbott lifting mask mandate | KXAN Austin
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 04:58
Austin's Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott talks to a joint meeting of Austin City Council and Travis County Commissioners on March 2, 2021. Screenshot from ATXN Live.
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Tuesday morning, hours before Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the statewide mask mandate would be lifted starting March 10, Austin's top doctor said it is too early to remove the mask requirement.
Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott told Austin City Council and Travis County Commissioners Tuesday while COVID-19 numbers have declined statewide, removing protections like mask requirements right now could result in a reversal of progress.
''I think right now we have to stay the course,'' Escott said. ''We've vaccinated maybe 10% of our population.''
Texas Department of State Health Services data indicates about 12% of Texans have received at least one vaccine dose. Meanwhile, only 6.2% of Texans are fully vaccinated.
''We're not anywhere near close to herd immunity,'' Escott continued. ''And the danger that we face by releasing [or] reducing those restrictions '-- particularly the mask mandate, which really has been the most effective public policy decision the governor has ever made '-- surely has the potential to initiate a surge at the moment when we have the potential to drive the [COVD-19 numbers into the ground.''
Escott's comments came after Abbott suggested last week all statewide orders, including the mask mandate that has been in place since July, could be lifted ''very soon.''
Escott said May or June would be a more suitable timeframe for relaxing mask requirements '-- as it would be after hundreds of thousands of Texans would be vaccinated in March and April.
''My hope is that the mask mandate will continue at least through the end of April to allow us to ride this curve down,'' Escott said.
He noted COVID-19 hospital admission rates in the Austin area are down 57% since Feb. 1, and local officials will soon decide whether to downgrade to Stage 3 of the Risk-Based Guidelines.
COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines (Courtesy of Austin Public Health)Escott said while Austin's COVID-19 numbers are headed in the right direction now, he's concerned because of instances in other regions where protections were relaxed too soon, which sparked a COVID-19 surge.
''Now is too soon to return to normal,'' he said. ''Now is too soon to take away masking. ''
Escott followed up with this statement after Abbott's announcement: ''Despite the impending removal of the state mask mandate, we must continue our vigilance with masking, distancing and hand washing. These remain critical in our ongoing fight against COVID-19.''
Governor Cuomo Announces Pilot Program Testing the Excelsior Pass at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 04:52
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a pilot program to test the Excelsior Pass during events at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. First announced in the Governor's 2021 State of the State address and developed in partnership with IBM, the Excelsior Pass will use proven, secure technology to confirm an individual's vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test through a confidential data transfer to help fast-track the reopening of theaters, stadiums and other b usinesses in accordance with New York State guidelines. This new technology was successfully tested during the initial phase of the pilot during the Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center on February 27. It will now be tested for a second time during the New York Rangers game on March 2 at Madison Square Garden.
Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass's "Wallet App." Each pass will have a secure QR code, which venues will scan using a companion app to confirm someone's COVID health status. The results of the pilot program will be used to enhance the quality of the application, maximizing return on investment and saving development time, prior to submission to Apple and Google for approval to go into their app stores.
"We're doing everything we can to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, as quickly as possible, while keeping the infection rate down and reenergizing our economy in a safe, smart way," Governor Cuomo said. "As we begin reopening the valves on different sectors of our economy, we are putting guidelines in place to ensure individuals attending events involving larger gatherings have tested negative for COVID or have been vaccinated to avoid an outbreak of the virus. The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal."
While some businesses have been able to operate by reducing capacity or by having their employees work from home, many others, like performing arts and sporting events with fans, which involve large, dense gatherings, have only just been able to re-open under strict health and safety guidelines. As more New Yorkers are being vaccinated, these activities will be permitted to resume in accordance with new public health guidelines, and this new mobile app can help to further fast-track the reopening of these venues.
As part of major stadium and arena reopening guidelines announced by the Governor on February 10, venues must ensure that all staff and spectators receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the event. During this pilot program, a subset of predetermined participants will be able to use the pass to confirm their recent negative COVID-19 test and gain entry to these events at Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden.
Robust privacy protections are woven throughout the digital health pass solution, giving individuals a secure, verifiable and trusted way to maintain control of their personal health information using an encrypted digital smartphone wallet or printed credential. Each participant will be able to determine if they would like to use it -and if so, what passes they wish to use for which purpose -all without sharing their underlying personal data. User data is always kept completely confidential, and participation is voluntary. The QR code only informs the venue if a pass is valid or invalid.
Steve LaFleche, General Manager, IBM Public and Federal Market, said, "This solution can provide New York, and other states, a simple, secure, and voluntary method for showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or certification of vaccination. IBM is proud to support the State of New York with its efforts to apply innovative technologies to help residents and communities respond to COVID-19."
James Dolan, Executive Chairman, MSG Sports and Executive Chairman and CEO, MSG Entertainment, said, "We are pleased to partner with the state on this important pilot, which we hope will be another step forward in helping New York City to reopen."
John Abbamondi, CEO of BSE Global, said, "We applaud the State for developing the Excelsior Pass, which we believe can help New Yorkers quickly return to venues while keeping them safe from COVID-19. Barclays Center and the Nets are proud to participate in this effort."
The Excelsior Pass and its companion verification app are built on IBM's Digital Health Pass solution and is designed to enable the verification of health credentials such as test results and vaccination records. Using blockchain technology, individuals will be able to voluntarily share their health status through an encrypted digital wallet on their smartphone without the need to share underlying medical and personal information. The technology is flexible and built to scale, allowing other states to join and help foster a safer, trusted transition to a post-pandemic reality.
New Yorkers must flash COVID-19 passport to enter venues under new program
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 04:52
By Elizabeth Elizalde
March 2, 2021 | 10:30pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new program that would have residents use a COVID-19 passport to get into local venues. Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via AP
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday the rolling out of a new pilot program where New Yorkers would have to flash a sort of COVID-19 passport in order to enter sports arenas, theaters and other businesses as the state continues reopening efforts.
The plan is to test the ''Excelsior Pass,'' which will use secure technology to confirm if a person has gotten vaccinated or has had a recent negative COVID-19 exam result, during events at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, Cuomo said in a statement.
The pass was recently tested at Tuesday night's New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden.
Similar to an airline boarding pass, people will be able to print out their pass or save it on their phones using the Excelsior Pass's ''Wallet App.'' Each pass will have a secure QR code, which venues will scan using a companion app to confirm a person's health status.
''We're doing everything we can to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, as quickly as possible, while keeping the infection rate down and reenergizing our economy in a safe, smart way,'' Cuomo said.
Basketball and hockey fans have been allowed back into NYC sports venues. AP''The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal,'' he added.
MSG Entertainment praised the pilot program, saying, ''We applaud Governor Cuomo's leadership in reopening New York. The Excelsior Pass program, along with his decision to allow venues to begin welcoming fans, will play important roles in helping to get our City back on its feet.''
Last Tuesday, Nets and Knicks fans were able to watch their favorite teams play on the basketball court for the first time in nearly a year.
That was made possible after Cuomo said in early February that large sports and entertainment venues with at least a 10,000-person capacity can reopen with a 10 percent capacity limit starting Feb. 23, and people will only be allowed to enter if they produce a negative COVID-19 test.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Twitter: "NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent. https://t.co/P4UywmWeuN" / Twitter
Wed, 03 Mar 2021 00:55
Gov. Greg Abbott : NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent. https://t.co/P4UywmWeuN
Tue Mar 02 20:10:21 +0000 2021
David D : @GovAbbott What a dumb shit you are Gov you can't make up for how you handled the super storm by appeasing MAgAts .'... https://t.co/bElvqb4DXL
Wed Mar 03 00:55:31 +0000 2021
Rick Lawð' : @GovAbbott Texas sure has a lot of dumb trash in important positions.
Wed Mar 03 00:55:29 +0000 2021
Jan Townsend-Smith : @GovAbbott I'm sure you could have come up with some other things to keep you busy, since you aren't governing. Are'... https://t.co/r7DvP3xOgM
Wed Mar 03 00:55:24 +0000 2021
Lisa Myer : @GovAbbott The blowback from this decision will be swift and fierce. Sad for sane, compassionate Texans. #WearAMask #AN95InTexas
Wed Mar 03 00:55:22 +0000 2021
Jerry Spurbeck : @GovAbbott Now you did it!I will not order curbside or shop anywhere that doesn't enforce their own mask mandate.'... https://t.co/at5UguPInF
Wed Mar 03 00:55:19 +0000 2021
JWells - Pissed Off FORMER Republican #BidenHarris : @GovAbbott https://t.co/G3BUG1Baqs
Wed Mar 03 00:55:19 +0000 2021
''¨Donald''¨ : @GovAbbott I don't believe it is time yet Governor.
Wed Mar 03 00:55:09 +0000 2021
Wayne T #disbarCruz/Paxton : @GovAbbott About damn time
Wed Mar 03 00:55:04 +0000 2021
Israel'²s '²Green Passport'² causes controversy
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 16:54
From concerts to plays, cultural events are taking place again in Israel '-- at least for those who have been vaccinated. Reactions to the opening are mixed.
When Israeli pop star Aviv Geffen took the stage at the Zappa concert hall in northern Tel Aviv, he was visibly moved. "What is happening here tonight is a miracle," he shouted to his fans. The singer hasn't performed for a year '-- since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Now, 300 people stood opposite him, real people, "not via Zoom," as he says. He can hardly believe it.
Everyone who came out for the show that night had already been vaccinated. At the entrance, they had to show their so-called "green passport," a digital vaccination certificate. For just under a week now, cultural events in Israel have been allowed to take place again under certain conditions.
A vaccinated visitor enjoys a play at the Khan Theater in Jerusalem
Left behindTheaters and concert halls are allowed to sell tickets for up to 300 patrons indoors and for up to 500 people at open-air events, provided they have a "green passport." Masks are mandatory, and physical distancing must be observed. The halls may be filled to a maximum of 75% capacity.
Geffen, a pop musician, was one of the first people to give a concert. At the the Khan Theater in Jerusalem, a comedy premiered, drawing audiences from far and wide eager to once again sit in a theater. It's about enjoying life again, said one elderly gentleman who had driven for three hours to see the show at the Khan Theater.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also in attendance. His message was clear: Life in Israel is slowly returning to normal, thanks to his vaccination campaign. Around half of the Israeli population has now received at least the first dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine. But the initial rush is now faltering. Although everyone over the age of 16can be vaccinated, many young people in particular are staying away from the vaccination centers. Per capita infection rates in Israel remain among the highest in the world.
Society divided For some, the idea of a Green Passportis good news, bringing a longed-for return to normality. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein put it this way: "Those who don't get vaccinated will be left behind. The pressure to get vaccinated is enormous," says Itamar Ben Yakir. The trumpet player in the Israeli indie band El-Khat is an anti-vaccination activist. He has not been vaccinated and does not plan to do so in the future. "I know so many people who were sick and it wasn't too bad, so I would prefer to catch the disease than get vaccinated," he told DW. He respects it if people see it differently, he says.
Trumpeter Itamar Ben Yakir was not allowed to perform for months, but is nevertheless a vaccination opponent
For Ben Yakir, the Green Passport divides society, friends, families and band members. Some bands have told him he can't play with them again until he's vaccinated. "That's not a nice feeling," he said. He experienced depression during the first months of the lockdown having gone from playing six gigs a week to none at all.
On the Saturday afternoon he met with DW, however, Ben Yakir was playing with his El-Khat bandmates in a restaurant in Jaffa. Not in front of an audience, but for a video clip shot for the "Tune in Tel Aviv" music festival. The festival is taking place digitally, despite the new rules, because it is meant to promote Israeli artists around the world. It's a collaboration with Liverpool, England, although at the moment, travel between the UK and Israel isn't possible. The country's only airport in Tel Aviv has been closed for over a month.
Music manager Doron Gabbay is now getting requests from international bands who want to play in Israel
Doron Gabbay, who manages the festival, hopes that things will change sometime in the next few weeks. "I am now getting requests from international bands to perform in Israel because things are possible here which are not yet possible in most other countries."
Light at the end of the tunnelHe can't wait, he says, to finally get back to what he calls "real work." "You have to see the artists in person; that's when the magic happens." He himself has been vaccinated and hopes that as many people as possible will do the same. He feels one has a social responsibility to get the jab. "It's been a tough year and now that we can now finally see light at the end of the tunnel, I welcome it with open arms." On the other hand, as a lawyer by training, he certainly understands that the division into vaccinated and non-vaccinated people is problematic from an ethical point of view.
Cafes remain closed, but many operators are creatively interpreting the "take away" rules and setting out boxes and crates for patrons to sit on
The artists and managers who meet to discuss the festival that afternoon in Jaffa have different views on the Green Passport. Yet all views are tolerated. The atmosphere is relaxed, though a bit subdued. There is little of the euphoria that marked the Aviv Geffen concert.
Bar Zavada explains why this might be. She is the manager of Israeli indie bands and the Israeli singer Rami Fortis, who is scheduled to play at the legendary Barbie Club in Tel Aviv at the end of March. But Zavada is skeptical that performances will take place as before. "For many smaller clubs, a 75 percent occupancy rate is simply not worth it, especially since they are not allowed to sell drinks." Besides, she says, there's still a long way to go before things are back to normal. Just a few days ago, the Jewish carnival festival of Purim was celebrated and the government imposed an evening curfew. She said she expects this to happen again for the Passover vacations, and that Rami Fortis's concert will have to be canceled once again '-- if the club's management doesn't do so beforehand anyway.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu is a staunch supporter of the Green Passport
Controversy surrounding Green Passport performancesTension is also mounting on social media, says Zavada. Every band that has announced concerts has gotten blowback, she says. "Many bands are considered protest artists against the government and now they are being told they are traitors who support the government because they join Green Pass concerts." But this is not true, she points out: "They are still against the government, but they don't want to put others at risk of infection," the music manager said.
"The government is putting us on the front line. Because they can't force people to get vaccinated, they solve it through artists." Artists, she says, have no choice '-- everyone wants to start working again.
Music manager Bar Zavada understands the skepticism of the cultural scene towards the Green Passport
Zavada says she would like to see rapid testing as a way to attend concerts, in addition to proof of vaccination. That would invalidate accusations of a two-tier society and still make concerts infection-proof. But she doesn't believe the government has any interest in that, she says '-- after all, there are still enough vaccines in Israel. For the time being, many musicians and performing artists continue to face the dilemma between rejoicing over the openings and morally indicting their fans.
Visual artists have it easier. Museums and galleries are allowed to sell tickets in time slots, which are supposed to guarantee enough distance between visitors, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.
This article was translated from German by Sarah Hucal.
Merck to help make Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine - The Washington Post
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 16:00
President Biden will announce Tuesday that pharmaceutical giant Merck will help make Johnson & Johnson's single-shot coronavirus vaccine '-- an unusual pact between fierce competitors that could sharply boost the supply of the newly authorized vaccine, according to senior administration officials.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a matter that has not been announced, said they began scouring the country for additional manufacturing capacity after they realized in the first days of the administration that Johnson & Johnson had fallen behind in vaccine production. They soon sought to broker a deal with Merck, one of the world's largest vaccine makers, which had failed to develop its own coronavirus vaccine.
Under the arrangement, Merck will dedicate two facilities in the United States to Johnson & Johnson's shots. One will provide ''fill-finish'' services, the last stage of the production process during which the vaccine substance is placed in vials and packaged for distribution. The other will make the vaccine, and has the potential to vastly increase supply, perhaps even doubling what Johnson & Johnson could make on its own, the officials said.
How does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine work? When is it available? What to know about the new shot.
''It's a historic partnership,'' said one of the officials, adding that the companies ''recognize this is a wartime effort.'' He praised their sense of ''corporate citizenship.''
The officials declined to provide details about how Merck's involvement will affect the projected supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the timetable for distributing it. It could easily take two months to get the ''fill-finish'' plant ready and a few more months to equip the other facility to make the vaccine, according to a person familiar with the process who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue.
The Biden administration's efforts to ramp up production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine suggest that it sees the vaccine playing a bigger role in addressing the challenges ahead, such as the eventual need for children's vaccines and possibly for boosters to counter virus variants, said a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it. Johnson & Johnson is conducting a trial of a two-shot vaccine regimen, with the doses given two months apart; results are not expected until at least May.
Johnson & Johnson did not respond to a request for comment. Merck did not comment on the deal but said it ''remains steadfast in our commitment to contribute to the global response to the pandemic.''
The administration officials indicated Biden would wield the powers of the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era law, to give Merck priority in securing equipment it will need to upgrade its facilities for vaccine production, including the purchase of machinery, bags, tubing and filtration systems.
In teaming up with Merck, Johnson & Johnson has a partner with a century-long tradition of making vaccines. In the United States, Merck is the sole supplier of the combination childhood vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella. It developed Gardasil, which protects against the human papillomavirus. And it won Food and Drug Administration approval for an Ebola vaccine in 2019.
But the company, which makes vaccines in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, encountered setbacks in its quest to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Merck announced Jan. 25 that it was halting work on two experimental shots for the virus. The vaccine did not stimulate enough antibodies in Phase 1 human clinical trials to justify continuing, the company said.
Catch up on the most important developments in the pandemic with our coronavirus newsletter. All stories in it are free to access.
Johnson & Johnson has been searching the world for manufacturing sites where it could produce doses of its vaccine on a global scale. It has publicly disclosed more than half a dozen manufacturing sites on four continents that it said were winnowed from more than 100 possibilities.
''While the science and the biology, the chemistry is certainly challenging '... the engineering feat of actually producing it is just as challenging, and we've been working very, very closely with partners around the world,'' Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC on Monday.
Johnson & Johnson's vaccine uses an adenovirus vaccine as a vector '-- a harmless cold virus that does not replicate in the body '-- to deliver DNA instructions into a healthy human cell. The cell uses the genetic instructions to create a replica of a coronavirus spike protein that triggers an immune response that can recognize '-- and respond to '-- the real thing. The U.S. government paid the company $2 billion for development and clinical trials and preorders at a price of $10 per dose just days after it received emergency authorization from federal regulators.
Catch up on the most important developments in the pandemic with our coronavirus newsletter. All stories in it are free to access.
The FDA on Saturday authorized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use in those 18 and older. The company said it would immediately ship nearly 4 million doses in the United States, and a total of 20 million by the end of March, which is 17 million less than expected under its government contract. Its current schedule calls for a recovery from those delays, with the company saying it is on track to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June. A top company executive told Congress last week that it has a goal of manufacturing 1 billion doses worldwide by year's end.
Most of Johnson & Johnson's partners disclosed to date are contract manufacturing companies, but now it is moving to team with larger drug companies that have seen their own vaccine projects delayed or fizzled.
Sanofi '-- which had to reboot its clinical trials of a vaccine candidate after early stumbles '-- announced last week that it would help Johnson & Johnson with final production steps and bottling in vials in Europe. Projected capacity from a Sanofi plant in France is 12 million doses per month.
BioNTech, Pfizer's German partner on its mRNA vaccine, also announced deals in January for rivals Sanofi and Novartis to fill and finish vaccine vials in Europe.
The manufacturing process is time-consuming: Johnson and Johnson ferments large batches of its vaccine in vats at a contract manufacturing facility in Baltimore operated by Emergent, as well as locations in the Netherlands and India. That brewing step takes two months.
Then, the vaccine needs to be put into its final formulation and packaged into vials for shipping, which takes another five to six weeks, including testing for purity. In the United States and Europe, that final ''fill-finish'' process for vaccines has created bottlenecks across the industry, as manufacturers have flooded the supply chain with demand to finish hundreds of millions of doses.
Johnson & Johnson has agreements for fill-finish work to be done by two companies in the United States: Grand River Aseptic, with plants in Michigan, and Catalent, at a plant in Indiana. Catalent also is performing fill-finish operations for Moderna, which is obligated to deliver 300 million doses of its mRNA vaccine to the government by the end of July.
In Italy, Catalent also is helping Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca manufacture their vaccines.
Moderna said on Feb. 16 that Catalent had suffered short-term delays on final production of Moderna's vaccine, but that the disruptions would not affect monthly deliveries to the U.S. government. The Financial Times reported on Saturday that Catalent's system for automatic visual inspection of Johnson & Johnson vials had broken down, forcing staff members to inspect vials manually.
Catalent did not respond to a request for comment. The company told investors in an earnings call last month that it had sufficient, dedicated capacity at its Bloomington, Ind., plant to handle the vaccine volume for both companies.
Merck's help in making Johnson & Johnson's vaccine probably will require it to examine its product lines and decide what can be delayed or shifted, said John Grabenstein, a consultant and former executive director of medical affairs for vaccines at Merck.
''The question is, where is the bottleneck? The filling machines and the packaging machines are often the rate-limiting step,'' he said. From a technical standpoint, it's not too hard for other companies to help out, he said.
''It's not just a mechanical engineering problem. It's what products might get displaced to do this extra work,'' he said. ''Is there idle equipment? Oftentimes, there isn't.''
Merck continues working on a pair of coronavirus treatments. One is an antiviral pill it is developing with a small company called Ridgeback Bio. It purchased worldwide rights to the drug last year from Ridgeback and has entered a late-phase clinical trial in an ongoing collaboration.
The other experimental Merck drug is an anti-inflammatory protein that it received as part of the purchase last year of a smaller company, OncoImmune.
Isaac Stanley-Becker contributed to this report.
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UK Will Discuss Vaccine Passports With The EU After ''Digital Green Pass'' Is Announced For Europe
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 15:39
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen revealed plans for a "digital green pass" will be published later this month (PA)
3 min read 01 March
Downing Street confirmed UK officials will speak to their EU counterparts after Brussels unveiled plans for a coronavirus vaccine passport.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen confirmed on Monday that legislation for a "digital green pass" will be published later this month.
She said it will provide ''proof that a person has been vaccinated'' against Covid-19, as well as details of tests, and ''should facilitate Europeans' lives''.
The EU chief added: ''The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad - for work or tourism.''
Von der Leyen has previously cast doubt on whether a vaccine passport would be used for travel in and out of the bloc or to reopen the tourism industry.
''The time frame, the three months is regarding the technical development, so we do need at least three months for the technical development of an interoperable system on the European level'', she said last week.
''There is lots of work to do by the Commission on the European level and lots of work to do technically for the member states on the national level.''
The Prime Minister's official spokesperson confirmed that an ongoing work around vaccine passport proposals will include discussions with the EU to establish how such systems would work.
''You can expect DfT (the Department for Transport) will work [with], and do speak to countries across the world in terms of how they may look to introduce passports.''
We'll present this month a legislative proposal for a Digital Green Pass. The aim is to provide:'Proof that a person has been vaccinated'Results of tests for those who couldn't get a vaccine yet'Info on COVID19 recoveryIt will respect data protection, security & privacy
'-- Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 1, 2021The spokesperson said Michael Gove and the Cabinet Office are leading the research into ''Covid status certification".
''Of course you can expect them to speak to EU and other countries on how they may implement any similar to policies conversations on vaccine rollout,'' they added.
The European Commission's announcement of an EU-wide pass comes after Greece announced it would create its own vaccine passport system.
They and other member states who rely heavily on tourism have been pushing for ways to allow international travel again to help boost their economies.
The European Commission's chief spokesperson said: ''We're of the view that in collaboration with the WHO (World Health Organisation) there should be a way to scale this up globally.
''We work on a European solution now, this is where we start and then anything else would need to come after.
"We need to take this step by step. Certainly that's not the end of the story. There are lots of different angles that will need to be tackled.''
Read the most recent article written by Alain Tolhurst - Cutting UK Aid To Yemen By Half Is A ''Strategic Mistake With Deadly Consequences'', House Of Commons Told
Oklahoma House Passed Bill to Let State Declare Biden Executive Orders Unconstitutional
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 15:36
The Oklahoma state House has passed a bill that would allow the state attorney general and legislature to declare federal laws and executive orders issued under Democratic President Joe Biden as unconstitutional.
The bill, HB 1236, would allow the Oklahoma attorney general to review any executive orders, congressional laws or federal agency rules to see if they violate the U.S. Constitution. If the attorney general doesn't oppose them, then the state legislature could do so through a majority vote.
The bill was approved last week through an 80-14 vote in the Republican-led state House. Republican Senate Majority Floor Leader Kim David has not publicly said whether she supports the measure, according to KOCO.
The bill's author, Republican Representative Mark McBride, said that he created the bill not because of Biden's political party but rather because of the high number of executive orders Biden has issued just one month into his presidency.
"I think this president has just taken a direct stab at Oklahoma," McBride told The Oklahoman. Specifically, he said Biden's executive orders and plans to champion green energy technology took aim at the state's fossil fuel industry.
The Oklahoma state House has passed a bill that would allow the state attorney general and legislature to review all federal laws and executive orders issued under Democratic President Joe Biden for constitutionality. In this February 24, 2021 photo, Biden signs an executive order on securing critical supply chains while he sits in the White House in Washington, DC, Saul Loeb/AFP/GettyMcBride's bill is part of a larger push to assert the state's sovereignty. On February 10, state Republican Representative Jay Steagall introduced a resolution, HR 1005, reasserting the state's sovereignty under the 10th Amendment.
The 10th Amendment says powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states. However, the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause also states that federal law generally takes precedence over state laws and even state constitutions.
Nevertheless, Steagall has said he intends for the bill to stop federal overreach into Oklahoma. Simultaneously, House Republicans have revived the chamber's State's Rights Committee which also seeks to prevent federal orders from infringing on constitutional and states' rights.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Emily Virgin has criticized HB 1236 as partisan and unrealistic.
"It's interesting to me that the States' Rights Committee only seems to exist when there's a Democrat in the White House, and that these issues only come up when there's a Democrat in the White House," Virgin told The Oklahoman.
She added that courts, not state legislatures, typically take up challenges to federal laws and executive orders. She said HB 1236 itself may be unconstitutional and challenged in court, if it becomes law.
"We're saying we have the power in this building to declare what Congress did unconstitutional. Folks, that's not how it works," Virgin told KOCO. "We don't get to magically say in this building, 'That's unconstitutional, so we're not going to follow federal law.' That's not how it works."
Newsweek contacted David's office for comment.
Biden Administration Won't Allow Media To Tour Migrant Children Facility 'Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic' | The Daily Caller
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:44
Members of the media will not be able to visit migrant detention centers holding minors near the southern border due to COVID-19, a spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Reporters will not be allowed inside the Carrizo Springs facility for unaccompanied minors that was recently opened under the Biden administration in Texas, a Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) spokesperson told the DCNF.
''The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is not hosting media tours of unaccompanied children (UC) facilities currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic,'' an ACF spokesperson told the DCNF. ''If media tours resume, we will send a media advisory,'' the spokesperson added.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he would look into why an ABC News reporter was told they would not be allowed to tour migrant facilities in Texas due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during a White House briefing Monday. (RELATED: Biden's Child Detention Centers Are Now Bursting At The Seams)
''I'm happy to take a look at that, I owe it to my people to understand the situation and the reasons why access was denied,'' Mayorkas said. ''Let me share with you what I communicate to the workforce and we'll leave it at that because it's in the service of openness and transparency. Don't shrink from criticism, just work very hard not to deserve it,'' Mayorkas said.
Carrizo Springs is privately operated and does not have to comply with the standards set for other government-owned facilities leading to criticism from immigration activists, The Wall Street Journal reported. The facility once housed oil field workers and was remodeled to accommodate unaccompanied migrant children.
The Carrizo Springs facility was originally opened in June 2019 under the Trump administration and received criticism from Democrats, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) refused to say how the migrants would be treated differently under the Biden administration, the DCNF reported.
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China's electoral reform 'earthquake' set to upend Hong Kong politics | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:39
Tue Mar 2, 2021 / 3:27 AM EST
James Pomfret and Clare Jim
HONG KONG HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's plan to dramatically reform Hong Kong's electoral system, expected to be unveiled in a parliamentary session in Beijing starting this week, will upend the territory's political scene, according to more than a dozen politicians from across the spectrum.
The proposed reform will put further pressure on pro-democracy activists, who are already the subject of a crackdown on dissent, and has ruffled the feathers of some pro-Beijing loyalists, some of whom may find themselves swept aside by a new and ambitious crop of loyalists, the people said.
"It will be an earthquake shaking up local political interests," said one person briefed on the impending changes.
The measures will be introduced at the annual meeting of the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp parliament, which starts on Friday, according to media reports.
The plan was signalled last week by senior Chinese official Xia Baolong, who said Beijing would introduce systemic changes to only allow what he called "patriots" to hold public office in Hong Kong.
In a full transcript of his remarks published this week by the pro-Beijing Bauhinia Magazine, Xia said Hong Kong's electoral system had to be "designed" to fit with the city's situation and shut out what he called non-patriots, some of whom he described as "anti-China agitators" that would bring destruction and terror to the city - a reference to pro-democracy campaigners who took to the streets in sometimes violent demonstrations in 2019.
Xia did not announce any specifics, but the plan will likely include changes to how the 70-seat Hong Kong legislature is elected, and the composition of a committee that will select Hong Kong's next leader, according to the person briefed on the plan and local media reports.
Veteran democrats have been quick to condemn the plan.
"It totally destroys any hope for democracy in the future," said Lee Cheuk-yan, a pro-democracy former member of Hong Kong's legislature. "The whole concept of Xia Baolong is that the Communist Party rules Hong Kong and only those that support the party can have any role."
Lee learned of the impending reform last week, in the middle of his trial, along with a group of eight other pro-democracy activists, for unlawful assembly charges related to a protest in August 2019.
"It's no longer for people to decide," Lee told Reuters on a lunch break from the trial last week. "It's one party rule, completely."
The prospect of further bending the electoral process to China's liking has also worried some pro-Beijing figures, who think it may be going too far and ultimately hurt Hong Kong.
"Don't go too far and kill the patient," Shiu Sin-por, a pro-Beijing politician and former head of Hong Kong's Central Policy Unit, told reporters after a briefing session with Xia on the matter. The opposition camp has already been neutralised by last year's national security law, Shiu said, allowing the government to "push forward policies smoothly."
China's main liaison office in Hong Kong, and China's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, did not respond to requests for comment.
The Hong Kong government said in a statement that it was prioritising the implementation of the principle of "patriots ruling Hong Kong" and improving the electoral system, and that it will continue to listen to views on the matter.
Electoral reform is the latest political tremor to hit Hong Kong, a former colony that Britain handed back to China in 1997, which retains some autonomy from Beijing and whose status as a global financial hub was built on the rule of law and civil liberties not allowed in mainland China.
The city's atmosphere has changed radically in the past 18 months. Mass street protests in 2019 against China's intensifying control prompted Beijing to impose a sweeping national security law last June, which authorities have used to jail activists and stifle dissent.
On Sunday, Hong Kong police charged 47 pro-democracy campaigners and activists with conspiracy to commit subversion for their roles in organising and participating in an unofficial primary election last July, the biggest single crackdown under the new law.
Even though such arrests have already marginalised the pro-democracy camp, China wants to exert greater control over a voting process largely unchanged since 1997, and is still afraid of democrats winning a majority in the legislature at the next election, said the person briefed on the electoral reform plan.
"They did the mathematics and it was seen as too risky to do nothing," said the person.
Two senior pro-Beijing politicians told Reuters the electoral reform plan, coming on top of the broader crackdown that has already provoked international criticism, would ultimately damage Hong Kong, potentially destroying its unique character, pluralism and attractiveness for investors.
"It's really sad that Hong Kong has degenerated to this stage," said one of the politicians, on the electoral reform. "We're handing Hong Kong over to the next generation in a worse state than we inherited it."
The two pro-Beijing politicians spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, due to the sensitivity of the matter. It is rare for pro-Beijing politicians in Hong Kong to voice any doubt about China's moves, even anonymously.
"Nothing is normal anymore,'' said the second pro-Beijing politician. ''It's a new abnormal."
One faction that appears ready to benefit from electoral reform is the new Bauhinia Party, formed in May by Charles Wong and two other mainland-born, pro-Beijing businessmen, pushing policies that Wong says will help revive Hong Kong and its leadership.
"They (Beijing) never really have any opposition to what we do," Wong told Reuters in his 12th-floor seafront office last week.
Wong, 56, was born in mainland China but came to Hong Kong as a youth and speaks fluent Cantonese, the local dialect. Describing himself as a "patriot," Wong embodies China's declared wish to have Hong Kong run at all levels by people with closer ties and sympathy with the mainland.
"We are Hong Kong people," he told Reuters. "We love Hong Kong."
(Reporting by James Pomfret and Clare Jim in Hong Kong: Additional reporting by Sharon Tam in Hong Kong: Editing by Bill Rigby and Neil Fullick)
Bill would rename I-35 stretch to mock Austin mayor over homelessness
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:28
An East Texas Republican wants to name a portion of Interstate 35 in downtown Austin with language mocking Mayor Steve Adler for the city's homelessness problem.
State Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, filed a bill, HB 2471, Monday to designate the stretch of the interstate from Fourth Street to 11th Street the Steve Adler Public Restroom Highway. The area has been a magnet for tent encampments since the Austin City Council voted two years ago to repeal the city's ban on public camping.
In an interview with the American-Statesman, Slaton, a rookie lawmaker, said he came up with the idea after speaking with lobbyists, Republicans and Democrats who all told him they were fed up with Austin's homelessness problem. He said he recently moved to Austin for the session and had a hard time finding an apartment in an area he felt was safe.
"All they're talking about is the overall safety in Austin, and no one's excited about it," he said. "They think Austin's way different now and not for the better."
Slaton said the "public restroom" part of the proposed name relates to complaints he has heard about an increase in people relieving themselves outdoors in the downtown area.
"A good joke requires some truth in it, and this has truth in the name," he said.
Adler has consistently said Austin's homelessness crisis is the biggest issue facing the city and has lent his support to a plan to buy hotels to house unsheltered people. The city purchased its third and fourth hotels earlier this year.
Adler released a statement suggesting he does not take Slaton's proposal seriously.
''We need real solutions and serious resources to address the housing crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic," he said. "Let's start with state support for mental health interventions and a program to address the anticipated tsunami of evictions caused by the pandemic-related unemployment. We need more adults in the room.''
Slaton was a Baptist youth and family minister for 13 years before he began working with his father in financial services, he said. In November, he defeated a Democrat in the Republican-reliable District 2, securing 81% of the vote. Before then, he was in a Republican primary runoff and defeated longtime district representative Dan Flynn.
More: Austin City Council approves purchase of hotel to house homeless despite backlash
More: Answers to Austin's homeless crisis are in Houston, new strategy officer says
His official House biography says he likes to hunt and shoot and is passionate about "helping the people of East Texas obtain and maintain a government that is transparent, protects liberty, defends the sanctity of life and fulfills the will of the sovereign people of Texas."
Slaton's attack on Adler was not the first time this year he made a political statement about changing the name of a road. In January, the House met to adopt legislative rules, and Slaton offered a proposal to ban consideration of naming a highway system, including a bridge or street, before a vote on a bill to abolish abortion.
"Members, I ask you to consider as you vote here, would you rather name roads and bridges, or would you rather make sure we at least get a vote on abolishing abortion in Texas?" Slaton said at the time.
The amendment failed, as 41 House members voted yes and 99 voted no.
Among the bills Slaton is co-authoring this session are removing fees for obtaining a license to carry a handgun and prohibiting reassignment surgery or gender transitioning for children. He's also co-authoring a bill allowing a referendum on Texas reasserting itself as a sovereign and independent state.
Slaton said he'll announce additional bills in the coming days, but none that would change the name of any other Austin streets or bridges.
And what does he think about the chances of getting a Steve Adler Public Restroom Highway?
"We'll see. I'm going to talk to some of my colleagues, and if they're on board, we'll go forward with it," he said. "I think it should pass because it fits that area."
An East Texas Republican wants to name a portion of Interstate 35 in downtown Austin with language mocking Mayor Steve Adler for the city's homelessness problem.
State Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, filed a bill, HB 2471, Monday to designate the stretch of the interstate from Fourth Street to 11th Street the Steve Adler Public Restroom Highway. The area has been a magnet for tent encampments since the Austin City Council voted two years ago to repeal the city's ban on public camping.
In an interview with the American-Statesman, Slaton, a rookie lawmaker, said he came up with the idea after speaking with lobbyists, Republicans and Democrats who all told him they were fed up with Austin's homelessness problem. He said he recently moved to Austin for the session and had a hard time finding an apartment in an area he felt was safe.
"All they're talking about is the overall safety in Austin, and no one's excited about it," he said. "They think Austin's way different now and not for the better."
Tot nu toe 87 overlijdens gemeld na vaccin, klachten als koorts en rillingen bij AstraZeneca heviger | Coronavirus | gelderlander.nl
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:26
WHO Opposes COVID-19 'Vaccine Passports' Idea - SchengenVisaInfo.com
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 23:16
While many countries are planning to implement ''vaccination passports'' to facilitate the movement faster, the Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization Committee (WHO) has stressed that the impact of vaccines on reducing transmission is not yet known and current vaccine availability is too limited, urging countries to refrain from imposing such requirements.
WHO called on the governments not to introduce vaccination or immunity requirements as a condition of entry for international travel, as according to the organisation, there are still some uncertainties regarding the effectiveness of vaccination, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
''Being vaccinated should not exempt international travellers from complying with other travel risk reduction measures,'' the WHO committee stressed during its meeting held on January 14.
However, the President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen has recently supported the idea to establish such a document which could be used by the EU Member States as a joint certificate to identify all persons who have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus pandemic and make their life easier.
''It is a medical requirement to have a certificate proving that you have been vaccinated,'' the President of the Commission said in this regard.
Still, she believes that EU countries should first discuss such a plan.
European Union Commission President's comments followed a letter addressed to her over a week ago by the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urging the European Commission to create a vaccination document that would facilitate the travel between the bloc, at the time when many countries are imposing restrictions to halt the further spread of COVID-19.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health of Denmark revealed that it is attempting to create a ''vaccine passport'' for its citizens, which could be available for Danish citizens.
Authorities in Spain also supported the proposal of creating this common document, even though WHO experts do not believe that this plan would be useful.
Back in April 2020, an EU official told SchengenVisaInfo.com that those wishing to travel to the Schengen Zone once the vaccine is confirmed and available, the Member States would make proof of vaccination a requirement for those wishing to enter the borderless territory.
Throughout its meeting, the WHO Emergency Committee also discussed the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 found recently in many countries.
The committee urged for ''a worldwide expansion of genome sequencing and data exchange, together with greater scientific collaboration to address critical uncertainties''.
The committee also called on the WHO to develop a new standardised system to name new variants of the COVID-19.
WHITE HOUSE Declares War on Middle East
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 18:37
February 16 2021, Biden's Secretary of State, Blinken, removes Houthis from the designated terrorist list '' less than 10 days later Houthis launch multiple massive separate drone ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, all of which have been thwarted. As of today, more attacks! One such missile targeted a civilian district.
Secretary of State, Blinken's reasoning? He hopes that removal of the designation will cause warring sides in Yemen to have a nicey nice dialogue'...
Where did Blinken come from? He served in the Clinton administration, Bush administration, and the Obama administration, advocating for destabilizing in the Middle East, Iraq War, and supporter of all things hawkish wars. His claim to fame: helping 'craft' US policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Iran Nuclear Program, ie giving Iran suitcases of cash!
Blinken is also a fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies '' a veritable Swamp of hawks and Cabal members. Originally formed in 1963, its focus was delineated in a 1000 page book which cited its agenda as: National Security: Political, Military and Economic Strategies.
Since then, they unilaterally decided that they were the foremost experts on '' everything: Defense and Security, Economic Development and Reconstruction, Energy and Climate Change, Global Health, Global Trends and Forecasting, Governance, Human Rights, Technology, Trans-National Threats, and Trade and Economics. Regions include Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Russia and Eurasia, and South Asia.
QUITE an over-reach.
CSIS programs on Global Health surround such innovations as global vaccinations, abortion, family planning, and nutrition '' following the guidelines of the Sustainable Development Goals as set forth in Agenda 2030. Of course their Global Health Center wouldn't be secure unless its Board included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation president, Trevor Mundel.
What is the real reason Biden lifted the terrorist designation? The UK, US and Saudi's have been battling the Houthis for nearly 2 decades. The Houtis represent a militia 200,000 strong. They have access to oil, tankers, missiles, drones, tanks and weapons.
Medi reports claim the Houthis are supplied weapons from Iran that are smuggled through Somalia on ships crossing the Red Sea. Recruiting local fishermen with cash makes the smuggling a lucrative venture. Selling oil on the black market is where they get their money.
The ramped up rhetoric against Iran is eerily similar to the prelude for the Syrian war. Assad was an ally until the US Cabal decided he wasn't '' at which point a long demolition began utilizing CIA contrived fake video footage and a propaganda plagued false narrative to justify eliminating the country completely.
As such, it would appear that the military regime that has taken control of the White House intends to use the same proxy measures to annihilate Iran. ''you were our friend, we gave you money, now you are my enemy''.
In each country, Iran and Syria, the turn would seem to stem from annoyance. The Complex wanted control and the leaders of said countries were not willing to relinquish their power to the Cabal. When this occurs, the Cabal simply destroys the country. The US and Europe are in the final stages of internal destruction, the Middle East will simply be bombed.
Given the level of deception, it becomes questionable whether the Houthi's bombing Saudi Arabia are doing the bidding of Iran or of the new White House Cabal in order to bring down the Trump supporting Saudi Prince bin Salman while blaming Iran. Taking out TWO Middle East countries simultaneously would appear to be the mix.
Recent allegations resurfaced by the White House against bin Salman, claim evidence that he ordered the assassination of Khashoggi. The assault calls for human rights violations to be levied and the desire to have the Prince step down so as to enable the former Clinton anointed Saudi rulers to be reinstalled, including Prince Al Waleed bin Tal '' a huge donor to the Clinton Foundation who was isolated and fined by bin Salman in the 2017 purge.
SO '' Why Would Biden Lift The Terrorist Designation On The Houthis?
So that the White House could legally sell/give weapons to the Houthis to target Saudi Arabia's ruling bin Salman, and blame Iran. The War Complex is angry. They have been left out of the equation for four years and time means ramping up the AGENDA.
Air Force Base Prepping for EMP Vulnerability Tests - Nextgov
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 18:07
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Teachers' Union Boss Claims Private In-Person Preschool For Own Son is "Personal Choice" - Blunt Force Truth
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 18:02
Things are heating up in Berkeley where parents are fed up with teachers' unions and their pet politicians keeping schools closed. But since it's Berkeley, there's more of a radical edge to it.
A group of Berkeley parents are preparing to stage a sit-in at Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' elementary school to demand that schools reopen ''as soon as public health officials deem it safe,'' according to a news release.
The protest, slated for the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 13, at Thousand Oaks Elementary School in Berkeley, is framed by advocates for reopening schools as a call against ''discrimination in the access of education in California,'' the release said.
But Berkeley teachers continue to remain wary of a wider school reopening, especially as the pandemic once again reaches a breaking point in the Bay Area and the state at large. Intensive care unit capacity in the Bay Area has dropped to just 0.7% as of Monday.
Read the full story from Front Page Mag
Want more BFT? Leave us a voicemail on our page or follow us on Twitter @BFT_Podcast and Facebook @BluntForceTruthPodcast. We want to hear from you! There's no better place to get the #BluntForceTruth.
Vaccine Deaths Com | Vaccine Deaths '' Vaccine Deaths Coverage
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 16:31
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Who is Kimberly Ann Goguen, aka ''Kim Possible''? | Just Empower Me
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 14:47
Kimberly Ann Goguen wears many hats and is one of the most important people on the planet. Kim and her role is unknown by the majority of the people around the world. However, she is very well known by members of the Deep State. One of the reasons for this is because she replaced their malevolent predecessor, Marduke over a decade ago. Her predecessor was the Cabal's leader, not the peoples' leader by any stretch of the imagination. But in reality, he wasn't their leader either. They too were his slaves, but they didn't see it that way. In fact, many still don't see it that way.
Kim is the first person to hold this seat who wants to end the human enslavement that has existed on our planet for over sixteen thousand years, not perpetuate it. This has gained her many enemies and few friends. But that surely is going to change as humanity finally starts to really wake up to the facts of how, when, why and by whom human enslavement was imposed on our planet.
I base many of my blog posts on information I obtain from weekly calls Kimberly Ann Goguen has been providing for the last few months. She delivers intel for the Life Force Team in these weekly reports and is now delivering live via their new platform that she and her team created called United News Network.
Kim Wears At Least 7 HatsI say she wears at least 7 because she mentioned a recent promotion, but she didn't want to share what this role was on the last intel call I listened to. The hats she wears and roles she fills are listed below:
Universal Protection Unit CommandCommander of Earth Races '-- Galactic Council Ambassador for EarthHuman Ambassador to All Earth RacesController of the Planetary Quantum System '-- Original DNA Representative of HumanityRepresentative of Humanity for Disbursement of Planetary Assets '-- Trustee, Manna World Holding TrustRanking Bloodline Royal of All Earth Kingdoms '-- Czar of RussiaQuantum Physics Executive(Source: To the Heart of the Matter, THI Source to Action Book Series Vol 1, page 34)
Kim has caused major upheaval on all levels of the so called elites, and they have been doing everything possible to bring her down and regain control of the Quantum Mapping System (QMS). The QMS holds all the above ground assets, below ground assets, and human assets on planet earth, and a slew of other things that are beyond my scope of understanding. But from what I understand, every asset is mapped based on its origin. Humans are considered assets to the cabal. Actually they consider humans as 'live' stock and we are literally traded (our birth certificates) on the stock exchange. They consider us food and covet our life force energy which is highly valued by beings who are (or believe they are) unable to manufacture life force energy themselves because they are cut off from the soul matrix.
January 21, 2021 is Liberation Day!Yesterday marked a truly glorious day and Kim delivered on her previous week's report where she said January 21st 2021 will be Liberation Day. I truly am so incredibly grateful to have learned about Kim a few years ago, the role she has on this planet and her immense heart. The following press release was delivered by the United News Network.
For some background on the Global Intelligence Agency (GIA) that Kim refers to in the above press release, you can refer to my blog post entitled, The Enforcer, Our Central Sun & The End of the Loosh Farm (Kim Goguen '' Part 3).
For more information about Kimberly Ann Goguen, aka 'Kim Possible' please visit the Speak Project website.
Opening Up the Value of Podcasting
Mon, 01 Mar 2021 12:08
The first 16 years of podcasting took what we can now see as a predictable path, as advertising became the dominant source of revenue for podcasters. In that environment some have thrived, many have struggled and most have just bailed out. It's media after all. And, it's what we've come to expect over generations of honing this familiar broadcast and print revenue model. It seems like the only way.
But, that tired model has some major drawbacks. For one, listeners already feel there are too many ads in podcasts, even though podcasting revenue has yet to top $1 billion. At this trajectory, we're looking at podcasting becoming an ad-filled dumpster fire similar to what YouTube has now become. (Hey Google, my 10 year old doesn't care about the new Ford Bronco pre-roll when she's trying to watch a Minecraft video.) I frequently hear the new era of YouTube described as "unwatchable". Nobody wants podcasting to become "unlistenable."
Another big issue here is that it's only the podcast creators themselves that enjoy the wildly top-heavy spoils of advertising. Every other link in the podcast chain (hosting companies, analytics, app developers, etc.) must eek out an existence some other way, even though they are critical pieces of the ecosystem.
Just as predictably as the advertising model showed up to embrace this young medium with it's Lovecraftian tentacles, there has been, every few years, another big entrant into the market promising that their "platform" will level the revenue playing field and broaden the pool of ad money so that smaller participants can get a sliver of the pie. The result has been even more tired, empty host reads within podcasts for products that neither the hosts nor the audience care that much about. In the future this will morph into more and more canned pre, mid and post roll ads. It's as predictable as death and taxes.
One encouraging trend that has emerged is the rise of "memberships", where podcasters sign up with a membership management service to allow, and encourage, their audience to support them directly through those platforms. This is definitely better than advertising, and the inherent self-censoring it brings with it. But, it now puts a middle-man between the podcaster and the audience. And, it's yet another point of de-platforming, where your money pipeline can be snatched away from you if someone complains about your content - no matter if what they say is accurate or truthful.
And, what about the high fees (minimum of 5% plus transaction costs)? What about the privacy (maybe your audience doesn't want to expose their data)? Are these services looking out for the best interests of the listener, the podcaster or themselves? Not to mention that, the idea of "private" member feeds, where your content is intentionally knee-capped for most of your audience is kind of gross. It's an ugly bolt-on to what is inherently an open system.
So, what to do? Is there an alternative?
We think there is.
From day one at Podcast Index we've had two missions: preserve podcasting as a platform of free speech. And, to transform podcasting into a platform of value.
Mission number one is well underway. We are giving away our full index of podcasts (now in sqlite format) as a free download, updated every 24 hours over IPFS. And, we will continue to explore more ways to decentralize our directory, and our API so that there is no single point of failure.
Mission number two (the getting people paid part) has been harder, but it's now working. Using the <podcast:value> tag to interop with the Bitcoin Lightning network, listeners are today, on a minute by minute basis, streaming value back to podcast creators in a purely open world of RSS with no arbitrary limits, no middlemen, no tracking, and no barriers to entry. It's not theoretical. It's not just a whitepaper. It's fully functional right now.
Last month, we saw more than 10,000 minutes of streaming micro payments being sent directly from listener's wallets to podcaster's wallets using Lightning's "keysend" protocol. And, for once, developers like Sphinx.chat and podStation (with more on the horizon) are firmly in this value chain, taking part in the value flow just like the podcasters. The total value right now is still small. But, in time this will scale to real, life-changing money.
Apple taught app developers early on in the smartphone era that their product was only worth $.99 on an app store. Spotify is now telling podcasters that the hours they spend on their product is worth about $2.99 a month, or maybe $4.99. Perhaps as high as $7.99. Maybe... if you sign up for a licensing agreement that includes god knows what. And, just like the silo'd app stores, guess who gets screwed again this time: app developers. They get no cut of that $7.99, because they're not invited to the party.
But, what if I truly love your podcast? What if, to me, it's worth $50 a month? Or, $100? Or, $1000? What if a single episode (or even a clip) is so enlightening or entertaining that I want to drop you $25 even though I don't intend to ever subscribe as a regular listener. I should be able to do that with a single tap in an app. And, the app that created the clip that was shared with me? They should get a cut of that $25 as well.
With this new open, decentralized <podcast:value> marketplace, developers take a percentage of all the payments that leave their app, which is exactly how it should be considering that without a podcast app there is no such thing as Podcasting.
It has taken lots of work to get to this point, and there are still a mountain of bugs to be fixed, on-boarding hurdles to be solved and documentation to be written during late nights and coffee fueled lunch breaks. But, in the end we will (and already do) have a working system that finally allows podcasters to escape from the advertising revenue model and connect financially to their audience using modern, programmable money.
Just like the "podcast" namespace was needed to make sure the open, RSS-based ecosystem could compete, feature-wise, with the big closed systems, there has to be a similarly open source way for podcasters to get paid. A podcaster has to be able to spin up a Lightning node (even at home on a Raspberry Pi), drop that payment address into their RSS feed, and start getting paid immediately. No third parties. No gate-keepers. Just a direct link to your listeners through RSS. It's powerful stuff.
If we don't create this together, podcasting will never be truly open. Those who control the money will ultimately always control the message. We want to make sure it's the creators (and their audience) who are the ones in control.