1328: White Adjacent

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 2m
March 11th, 2021
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Executive Producers: Sir Truckdriver - Knight of the Open Road, Dame Susan of the Parkways, Baronet Sir Saturday Knight, Andrew Waugh, Kathryn Emery, Dan Kaufman, Zoe Hannan, Sir B-Loe, Umami Mama, Zoe

Associate Executive Producers: Keith Larson, Duke David Fugazzotto, Sir Addison, CEO of shitposts of Eables, Jonathan Sirski, Wes Olsen, Tony Travostino, Stephen Nix

Cover Artist: Tante Neel


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MK Ultra Activation Event
Meghan & Harry & Oprah MK Ultra Activation Transmission
What a nice little skit they put on for us
The Queen of England was attacked by the Queen of America
Oprah is the leading Wicken of Woke
Intent is to internationalize the racism accusation
Bring down "White Supremacy"
Another quick explainer is needed
New Elites kicking out the old
Totally believable except the bullshit chickens and Oprah's reaction
Little Mermaid
Princess stories
Little Mermaid
This Interview was about Oprah
Her delayed response to racist talk
The Firm and the invisible contract with the press
Who is the firm
Why the illusion is maintained
Piers Morgan quits 'Good Morning Britain' after Meghan Markle comments
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 15:28
Photographer | Collection | Getty Images
Piers Morgan is leaving ITV's "Good Morning Britain" morning show after facing backlash for comments he made about Meghan Markle on Monday.
The news comes shortly after U.K. broadcasting regulator Ofcom said it was investigating Morgan after more than 41,000 people complained.
"Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain," the network said in a statement Tuesday. "ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add."
Just hours earlier, Morgan was called out by co-host Alex Beresford on "Good Morning Britain" for his behavior towards the Duchess of Sussex. Beresford said Morgan relentlessly criticized Meghan in recent years and cited comments Morgan made that cast doubt on Meghan's truthfulness when she spoke about her suicidal ideations.
"I understand that you don't like Meghan Markle," Beresford said to Morgan. "You've made that so clear a number of times on this program. A number of times. And I understand that you've got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle or had one and she cut you off. She's entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don't think she has, but yet you continue to trash her."
The on-air incident caused Morgan to walk off set.
Beresford called after him, saying the move was "pathetic."
"This is absolutely diabolical behavior," Beresford added with Morgan off camera. "I'm sorry, but Piers spouts off on a regular basis and we all have to sit there and listen '• 6:30 to 7 o'clock yesterday was incredibly hard to watch, incredibly hard to watch."
Morgan reappeared on set later in the program and walked back some of the remarks he made about Meghan, saying that it was not his position to question her mental health.
The broadcaster's most recent comments about Meghan are related to an explosive interview she and Prince Harry gave Oprah Winfrey, which was aired in the U.S. on Sunday and in the U.K. on Monday. More than 17.1 million people stateside tuned in for the event and more than 12 million viewers watched the U.K. transmission, according to figures released by ITV on Tuesday.
The interview delved deeply into the reasons the couple decided to leave England and step away from their royal duties. Meghan and Harry addressed what they said was a lack of support Meghan received when she went to the palace for mental health issues, the denial of security protection for the family, and some royals' concerns over what their son Archie's skin tone would be once he was born.
Queen Elizabeth said Tuesday that the royal family will address Harry and Meghan's allegations of racism within Buckingham Palace.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
America is obsessed with Royals
Did they think the class wars was made up?
Their story is real
Allow me to establish my credentials
I have experience with:
I was married to an actress
Bullshit back to basics
The bubble
The tabloids
Royal families
Wealthy families
Socialist countries
UK racism
The New Woke Order made their first big move
Pharma Ads
Trulicity - Diabetes
Jardiance - Diabetes
Kisqali - Extends life HR cancer
Vraylar bi-polar
Skyrizi - psoriasis
Vaccines and such
Update from the former "essential worker" class
Short version...we're essential but NOT really.
It went from "essential workers" to a word salad of pandering. It was replaced with "front line" "at risk" and "vulnerable communities" I need to go ceck how far out of the stadium they moved the goal post this week so I can update my staff on Monday.
Last I looked may be available to us a week, maybe 2 head of the public...and I even doubt that at this point.
Reports that teachers are not showing up for vaccinations
As I write this I just got a message the city of Milwaukee is having its own issues, separate from us at UWM. It has 800 openings for teachers to get the jab that are not being filled currently. MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools) have not gone back to in person education at all.
Dame frontline workers sick report
ITM just sharing a quick vaccine anectdote as you guys have been discussing side effects - I'm a social worker and my team does homeless outreach, so we are considered from line health care workers and have therefore had access to the vaccine for a while now. Every single one of my staff who have had Moderna so far (about 10 of them) have been super sick on the 2nd dose and either had to be sent home or called in sick and couldn't even work. No one bats and eye and has just accepted it as something to expect. I am the team supervisor, and am in senior leadership meetings where the discussion has ranged from how to make the vaccine mandatory for all staff (which has thankfully been since nixed as not legal), to making staff sign a "declination form" for HR which feels a lot like a scarlet letter to me. I also found these fancy pins in a box in our office (the box hysterically stamped "MADE IN CHINA"), which I'm guessing staff are going to be asked to wear soon. In English and Spanish! I have clearly stated that I'm not going to get the vaccination anytime soon, as I'm nursing my 6 month old. When I said that, I was met with everything from silence, to sympatheitc nods, to someone even quipping, "Well they haven't said that it's actually bad for pregnant or nursing people." Uh, ok slave! Anyway just sharing a quip - you've been talking about how your daughter might have to just suck it up and get it if she wants to see you again. I sympathize so much. I love my job, love my work and my team, and love my boss and my agency and want to stay there! But I feel like I'm on an island in my school of thought on this. I fear I'm going to end up the vaccine pariah, or crush my kid's psyche and nurse him till he's 10 so I have an excuse.
Arm Shingles
A couple months ago John had brought up the Herpes Zoster virus being associated with vaccinations. Right around the same time, my girlfriend (a healthy 30 year old) was offered the Pfizer/BioNtek vaccine because she works in healthcare. Within 24 hours of receiving the first dose, she experienced radiating nerve pain within her forearm and wrist. She likened it to having a sunburn. Exactly a week later the typical rash of shingles appeared with patches of blistering lesions down her "jab" arm. The nerve pain lasted about two weeks.
Due to the appearance of the rash she was required to take a week off of work. She occasionally feels a "zing" in her fingers when quickly touching objects. Otherwise, she has since received the second jab with no significant lingering symptoms. I have provided a link to an article from February dismissing "Covid Shingles". They argue there is no direct link. I think that with our NA Nation case studies, we have a pretty good idea of something fishy going on...
Vaccine Side Effect Story from Teacher UNREAL
"Not Great News- The reactogenicity of the vaccine hit me so hard pulled muscles in my back and exacerbated some congenital and degenerative issues in my spine and hips: including spinal stenosis and epidural lipomatosis, sciatica, unilateral sacralization of the right hip, protruding disk at the L4L5, microtorn muscles in lower back, osteoarthritis, and bilateral radiculopathy (numbness and weakness) through both legs but significantly worse in the left. Also have to have my previous right hip injury (that was already operated on) reevaluated.
I was in the hospital for 3 days until my left arm became fully functional again and I could reliably walk with a walker and not fall (still fell the first night home ). So we're taking a break to manage pain and regain feeling in my leg before we begin the process to mend. We're looking at intensive physical therapy and occupational therapy. Lots of specialized visits with neurology (no emergency surgery needed- possible to happen in future if PT/OT does not reduce nerve compression) orthopedic specialty for spine and joint issues, rheumatology with probable corticosteroid injections, pain management, sports medicine/ physical medicine and rehabilitation. There's a long journey for recovery ahead but if hadn't thrown my back out from coughing/ vomiting from the vaccine, we wouldn't have found these issues in my skeletal, muscular, and ervous systems from mid-spine down.
Long Story Short: Fully vaccinated and working on improving nerve, spine, and muscular health after finding significant issues in these areas after throwing my back out!"
Can a moderna and a Pfizer vaxxed group get together?
The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Vaccines, Compared - The Atlantic
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 14:13
Yes, all of the COVID-19 vaccines are very good. No, they're not all the same.
Hilda BastianMarch 7, 2021 Adam Maida / Getty / The AtlanticPublic-health officials are enthusiastic about the new, single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, despite its having a somewhat lower efficacy at preventing symptomatic illness than other available options. Although clinical-trial data peg that rate at 72 percent in the United States, compared with 94 and 95 percent for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, many experts say we shouldn't fixate on those numbers. Much more germane, they say, is the fact that the Johnson & Johnson shot, like the other two, is essentially perfect when it comes to preventing the gravest outcomes. ''I'm super-pumped about this,'' Virginia's vaccine coordinator told The New York Times last weekend. ''A hundred percent efficacy against deaths and hospitalizations? That's all I need to hear.''
The same glowing message'--that the COVID-19 vaccines are all equivalent, at least where it really counts'--has been getting public-health officials and pundits super-pumped for weeks now. Its potential value for promoting vaccination couldn't be more clear: We'll all be better off, and this nightmare will be over sooner, if people know that the best vaccine of all is whichever one they can get the soonest. With that in mind, Vox has urged its readers to attend to ''the most important vaccine statistic'''--the fact that ''there have been zero cases of hospitalization or death in clinical trials for all of these vaccines.'' The physician and CNN medical analyst Leana Wen also made a point of noting that ''all of the vaccines are essentially a hundred percent'' in this regard. And half a dozen former members of President Joe Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board wrote in USA Today, ''Varying 'effectiveness' rates miss the most important point: The vaccines were all 100% effective in the vaccine trials in stopping hospitalizations and death.''
Recommended ReadingThere's a problem here. It's certainly true that all three of the FDA-authorized vaccines are very good'--amazing, even'--at protecting people's health. No one should refrain from seeking vaccination on the theory that any might be second-rate. But it's also true that the COVID-19 vaccines aren't all the same: Some are more effective than others at preventing illness, for example; some cause fewer adverse reactions; some are more convenient; some were made using more familiar methods and technologies. As for the claim that the vaccines have proved perfectly and equally effective at preventing hospitalization and death? It's just not right.
These differences among the options could matter quite a bit, in different ways to different people, and they should not be minimized or covered over. Especially not now: Vaccine supplies in the U.S. will soon surpass demand, even as more contagious viral variants spread throughout the country. In the meantime, governors are revoking their rules on face masks, or taking other steps to loosen their restrictions. It's tempting to believe that a simple, decisive message'--even one that verges on hype'--is what's most needed at this crucial moment. But if the message could be wrong, that has consequences.
The idea that all of the vaccines are pretty much the same, in that they're perfect at preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations and death, got its legs on social media. The USA Today op-ed by the former members of the Biden team illustrated this by linking to a data table found on Twitter. Created by the infectious-disease doctor Monica Gandhi, it showed a variety of trial results for six different vaccines. One column was rendered in canary yellow'--''Protection from hospitalizations/death'''--and every cell read ''100%.'' A similar table, tweeted out a few days earlier by the dean of Brown University's School of Public Health, Ashish Jha, conveyed the same idea through a grid of zeros'--as in, zero people hospitalized, zero people dead. The prominent physician and researcher Eric Topol followed with his own clinical-trial data summary featuring a column of 100 percents. ''That is impressive!'' he wrote across the top. All told, their posts would be retweeted about 15,000 times.
The data were indeed suggestive of an encouraging idea. Based on the numbers so far, we can expect the vaccines to provide extremely high levels of protection against the most dire outcomes. Still, we don't know how high'--and it's clear they won't uniformly cause hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 to disappear in vaccinated people.
The experts understand this, of course. Gandhi has been updating her table as more data come in, and now pegs Moderna's efficacy on that front at 97 percent; Jha has since tweeted that ''nothing is 100 percent '... But these vaccines sure are close''; and Topol told The Atlantic that the numbers in his tweet are not a sufficient basis from which to draw ''any determination of magnitude of effect,'' though the fact that they all point in the same direction is ''very encouraging.'' Still, the message of perfection that their initial tables and tweets spawned'--the gist, for many readers, of all those 100s and zeros'--has since been picked up far and wide, and misinterpreted along the way.
To grasp the shaky nature of these particular data, it's important to remember how the vaccine-development process began. Last April, not long after the pandemic began, the World Health Organization set out a target efficacy for vaccines of 50 percent, with options for how that value should be measured. A vaccine could be shown to reduce the risk of symptomatic disease, severe disease, or transmission of the coronavirus. The FDA offered similar guidance in June, and other regulatory agencies also followed the WHO's lead. Among these choices, symptomatic disease was the most feasible, because it's both a common outcome and one that's easier to confirm in a large-scale trial. An outcome that included asymptomatic infections would have been even more common, but screening for all infections would have been prohibitive, especially early in the pandemic. So that's how the vaccine trials were designed: Each would try to demonstrate at least 50 percent efficacy with respect to symptomatic disease as its ''primary outcome.''
The trials could have used severe disease, hospitalization, or death as primary outcomes, but that would have slowed things down. These events are far more infrequent'--there could have been 200 infections for each COVID-19 death in the U.S.'--and that means it would have taken more time, and larger numbers of trial participants, to generate enough data to be sure of a 50 percent efficacy. Developers did include ''severe COVID-19'' as a secondary outcome'--that is, one that would be measured and analyzed, but for which the trial might not have been designed to provide a definitive answer. Efficacy against hospitalization and against death, however, were not included as secondary outcomes for every trial.
Given that fact, the data can't support a claim that the vaccines are 100 percent effective at preventing these serious outcomes. (Topol highlighted this very issue in an op-ed last fall for The New York Times.) Out of the six vaccines included in the dramatic data tables that made the rounds on Twitter, the clinical trials for only two of them'--Oxford-AstraZeneca's and Johnson & Johnson's'--included hospitalization for COVID-19 as a secondary outcome, and reported that efficacy rate. The clinical research for one other vaccine, made by Novavax, had hospitalization as a secondary outcome, but that trial hasn't been reported in full yet. (On my website, I've provided more detailed information and analysis of the relevant data.)
Now, a casual reader of clinical-trial reports'--or their summaries on social media'--might take the fact that no hospitalizations of vaccinated people are mentioned to mean that none occurred. That's risky, given that pieces of the data have been published across various medical journals and via several different regulatory agencies rather than in full in one place; that the plans for some trials did not specify ahead of time that the vaccine's efficacy at preventing hospitalizations would be calculated; and that we've seen only minimal early data (via a press release from Novavax) from one of them. It would be just as risky to assume that all hospitalizations would be included in the analyses of people who developed severe COVID-19. Hospitalization and severe disease are not synonymous'--people could be coping at home even though COVID-19 has caused their oxygen levels to drop severely, and moderately ill people might be hospitalized out of an abundance of caution when they are at high risk of getting worse.
The two vaccine trials that did explicitly report hospitalizations as an efficacy outcome make this latter issue very clear. For the AstraZeneca vaccine, one person in the control group had severe COVID-19, but eight people were hospitalized; for Johnson & Johnson, 34 people in the placebo group had severe COVID-19, but only five people were hospitalized. It's true that zero vaccinated people were hospitalized in either study after the vaccines took effect. But with numbers that small, you can't draw a reliable conclusion about how high efficacy may be for these outcomes. As Diana Zuckerman of the National Center for Health Research pointed out about the Johnson & Johnson trial, ''It's misleading to tell the public that nobody who was vaccinated was hospitalized unless you also tell them that only 5 people in the placebo group were hospitalized.'' She's right. And you can't be confident about predicting effectiveness precisely in a wider population outside the trial, either. For example, some of the vaccine trials included relatively few people older than 60 as participants.
You can see how fragile these numbers are by looking at those compiled for severe disease. In the Pfizer trial, for example, just one vaccinated person developed severe COVID-19 versus three in the placebo group'--which meant that a single bout of disease made the difference between a calculated efficacy rate of 66 percent and one of 100 percent. For the Novavax and Oxford-AstraZeneca trials, there were zero people with severe disease in the vaccinated group versus only one in the control group, so adding or subtracting one would have been even more dramatic. The problem is even greater for deaths. For that efficacy analysis, only two of the vaccine trials'--for Moderna's and Johnson & Johnson's'--reported any COVID-19 deaths at all in the control groups.
It's also important to remember that these are early results: Some people who enrolled very late in the trials aren't yet included in reported data, and analysis is still under way. Indeed, the FDA pointed out in December that one vaccinated person in the Moderna trial had been hospitalized with apparently severe COVID-19 two months after receiving a second dose. That person was in a group still awaiting final assessment by the researchers, and was not mentioned in Moderna's formal readout of results.
We've learned a little more from the ongoing public vaccination programs. Four important reports have come in the past two weeks. In one, researchers compared about 600,000 people who had had a full course of the Pfizer vaccine in Israel with 600,000 people matched in age and other demographics who had not been vaccinated. The shots' effectiveness at preventing hospitalization was measured at 87 percent. (''This vaccine is fabulous in a real world setting,'' Jha tweeted in response.) A preprint from Scotland reported an efficacy rate against hospitalization of about 80 percent among people 80 or older, almost all of whom had received only one dose of either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine. Two reports from Public Health England estimated a reduction of hospitalization of about 50 percent and 43 percent for the same age group, again almost all after just one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. These are exciting outcomes'--those vaccines really, really worked! But they oughtn't lead anyone to think that the vaccines are all the same, and that protection will be perfect.
Where does that leave us for making decisions? As Anthony Fauci told The New York Times last weekend, ''Now you have three highly effective vaccines. Period.'' Again, you will get a lot of benefit from any of them, and your risk will shrink even more as those around you get vaccinated too. Whichever one you start with, a booster may be coming in the not-so-distant future, of the same vaccine or perhaps a different one. By taking the first vaccine you can get, you'll also avoid the risk of finding yourself without protection if infection rates surge where you live.
Efficacy is merely one layer, though. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have an edge at preventing symptomatic illness, but the Johnson & Johnson vaccine brings its own advantages. It has no demanding freezer requirements, which means it's easier to distribute and more accessible to many communities. It's more affordable than the other two'--the company is providing it at cost around the world. Then there's the fact that resources can be stretched a lot further when only a single dose has to be administered.
For individuals, too, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has benefits. As a one-and-done injection, it's more convenient. It also has a lower rate of adverse events than Moderna's. You can't compare results of these trials too precisely, but there are indications of a striking difference. About 2 percent of those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine recorded having reactions, such as fatigue, muscle aches, and fever, that were severe enough to interfere with daily activities. For those getting their second injection of Moderna, that rate was higher than 15 percent. People who are on the fence about getting vaccinated may find that this difference tips the scales in favor of getting a shot. Others who have doubts about the newness of the mRNA technology in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may appreciate the fact that Johnson & Johnson's approach has already been deployed in the company's Ebola vaccine, which got full drug approval in Europe last year.
Given these concerns, there's some danger in the message'--however well intentioned'--that the COVID-19 vaccines are all the same by any measure, or that they're perfect wards against severe disease. Vaccination is a public-health imperative, and going full tilt to promote uptake supports the common good. But it's a personal health decision too. People want to protect themselves and those close to them, and they are likely to care about outcomes other than hospitalization and death, no matter what anyone says now.
Still, raising these concerns in public can be fraught. In response to an inquiry about her data table, Gandhi affirmed the importance of looking at severe-disease outcomes and noted that ''careful, collegial and collaborative scientific discourse on the vaccines is imperative moving forward to help us get through the pandemic.'' Topol pointed out that he has emphasized the vaccines' measured efficacy against symptomatic disease many times before, so any isolated reference to his table ''takes that particular post out of context.'' Jha wrote in an email that he stands by the message of his original tweet, and notes that COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are so rare among the people vaccinated in these trials, to quibble over differences is akin to ''counting how many angels are dancing on the head of the pin.''
I can see why this might seem like quibbling, but I just don't think it's a trivial matter. It would be different if I thought the effectiveness of every one of those six vaccines against hospitalizations and death would really end up being close to 100 percent'--or if I bought into the idea, now widespread, that they have already been shown to ''nearly'' or ''effectively'' eliminate these outcomes. There is very good reason to be encouraged by the data, but to say right now that people who have been vaccinated face zero risk of serious outcomes'--that, for them, COVID-19 is no more dangerous than the common cold'--is sure to influence behavior. Imagine how people in high-risk groups would feel about going to the movies, or how their employers would feel about putting resources into workplace safety, if we all assumed that vaccines confer perfect protection against hospitalization or death. Now imagine how the same people and employers would feel knowing they were 85 percent protected.
Nor is there any reason to believe that the public or the personal interest will be served by hype. People who think the vaccines provide ironclad protection may lose trust in experts if reality falls short. Trust in coronavirus-vaccine information is already a problem, and could sink even lower. Activists who are opposed to vaccination may end up turning experts' ''super-pumped'' promises against them.
''The idea that people can't handle nuance,'' Jha tweeted at the end of February, ''it's paternalistic. And untrue.'' I couldn't agree more. The principle of treating people like adults is fundamental. We don't need to exaggerate. Talking about the trade-offs between different medicines and vaccines is often complicated, but we do it all the time'--and we can do it with COVID-19 vaccines too.
Oxford-AstraZeneca: Denmark suspends vaccine 'as a precaution' - BBC News
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 13:05
image copyright EPA
image caption Denmark's health authority says the hold on the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is temporaryDenmark has temporarily halted use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution, after reports of a small number of blood clots and one death.
The Danish health authority said it was too early to say whether there was a link to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Austria earlier stopped using a batch of the drug, prompting the EU medicines agency to say there was no indication the vaccine caused blood clots.
The company says its safety has been studied extensively in clinical trials.
"Patient Safety is the highest priority for AstraZeneca," a spokesperson said.
"Regulators have clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards for the approval of any new medicine, and that includes Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca."
Peer-reviewed data confirmed it had been "generally well tolerated", the statement added.
The Danish decision came days after Austria suspended use of a particular batch of the drug because a woman died 10 days after taking it. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxemburg have also stopped using the batch.
Danish authorities said they were pausing use of the vaccine for 14 days in what Health Minister Magnus Heunicke called a "precautionary measure".
Although no link had been established, he said "we must respond in a timely and careful manner" until a conclusion was reached.
The decision to put the vaccine on hold in Denmark and Austria is a setback for a European vaccination campaign that has stuttered into life, partly due to delays in delivery of the AstraZeneca drug.
The Danish authority said it was not an easy decision as it was during the biggest and most important rollout in the country's history.
The EU medicines agency EMA said its safety committee was reviewing the Austrian case, but made clear that "there is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine".
The number of "thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than that seen in the general population", it added.
How significant are concerns about the Oxford-AstraZeneca drug?
Officials say they have received reports of fatal or life-threatening blood clots in a small number of people who had recently received a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. That may sound worrying, but it is not yet known if there is any connection between the two things.
It was on Sunday that a 49-year-old woman in Austria died from multiple blood clots. She had been vaccinated 10 days earlier. Another person who received a shot from the same vaccine batch was also hospitalised for a blood clot in the lung.
As of 9 March 2021, two other reports of thromboembolism have been received for this batch, ABV5300. It contained a million doses and was delivered to 17 EU countries, including Austria and Denmark.
A full investigation into batch quality is ongoing, but a defect is considered unlikely.
Overall, 22 cases of thromboembolic events have been reported among the three million people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the European Economic Area.
Any approved treatment, including vaccines, carries a risk of some side effects for some people, but most are usually mild and severe ones are rare.
media caption Why do new variants of Covid-19 keep appearing? Laura Foster explains
Build Back Better
Emergency Relief for Farmers of Colour
A $60 billion surprise in the Covid relief bill: Tax hikes - POLITICO
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:20
It's surprising because Democrats were widely expected to put off their tax-increase plans until later. Many lawmakers are wary of hiking them now, when the economy is still struggling with the coronavirus pandemic. If anything, when it came to their stimulus plan, Democrats were focused on cutting taxes, not increasing them.
But they ran into problems complying with the stringent budget rules surrounding so-called reconciliation measures like the coronavirus legislation '-- especially after some wanted to add provisions like one waiving taxes on unemployment benefits.
If Democrats exceeded their $1.9 trillion budget cap for the plan, they would lose the procedural protections that were used to shield the entire measure from a Republican filibuster in the Senate.
The tax increases Democrats picked to help keep their plan's cost in check had the political benefit of being arcane. Unlike things like raising the corporate tax rate or upping the top marginal tax rate on the rich, the ones they chose won't produce many headlines.
They also fit Democrats' themes of fighting inequality by forcing the well-to-do to pay more.
Since the provisions were added late in the legislative process, lobbyists didn't have much time to rouse opposition to the plans.
''Everybody was caught by surprise,'' said a former Democratic aide. ''They picked obscure items '-- things that were not on the radar.''
Lawmakers are preparing to give final approval to the plan Wednesday. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it quickly, before an earlier round of expanded jobless benefits expires on March 14.
Of course, the real test for Democrats '-- who promised stiff tax increases on the rich during last year's campaign '-- will come later, when they face demands to pay for something big like Biden's plans for a major infrastructure package.
That will cost trillions, and lawmakers would need far bigger tax increases to defray its cost. Many moderates are less enthusiastic about tax increases, though, and it remains to be seen if lawmakers won't take the more politically expedient path of deficit financing their plans.
Some say the coronavirus package offers a hint of what's to come.
''Clearly it's a signal that Democrats will look to high-income people and large corporations for revenue for the investment package to come,'' said Seth Hanlon, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress.
Many Senate Democrats were concerned that millions of unemployed people would be surprised to learn this tax season that they have to pay taxes on their jobless benefits. They pushed through an amendment to the coronavirus plan exempting the first $10,200 in assistance.
To offset its cost, Democrats turned to a rule Republicans created as part of their 2017 tax cuts. It limits to $500,000 the amount of losses certain people who own unincorporated ''pass-through'' businesses can use to offset other income and thereby reduce their tax bills.
That issue became a lightning rod last year when lawmakers temporarily suspended that limit as part of a previous stimulus package. At the time, lawmakers were trying to get money into the hands of businesses owners in order to prevent layoffs by making it easier for them to qualify for tax refunds, and the $500,000 limit would have impeded that.
Many progressives criticized the move, calling it a giveaway to the rich.
Democrats' coronavirus plan stops short of undoing last year's provisions, though it does extend the $500,000 limit '-- which, like much of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2025 '-- by an additional year. The Senate Finance Committee says that will raise $31 billion.
Another provision generates $6 billion by going after executive compensation.
Businesses are normally allowed to deduct employees' pay on their tax bills, though there are rules limiting those deductions when a CEO and a handful of a company's other top employees earn more than $1 million. Democrats are doubling the number of officials, to 10, that would be subject to that restriction, which would hit businesses such as investment banks.
A third provision, which budget forecasters say will produce $22 billion, repeals an arcane provision giving multinational companies more flexibility in deciding how to account for their interest expenses when they do their taxes.
To be sure, the tax increases are dwarfed by the amount of tax revenue cut by the legislation '-- about $590 billion, according to the official Joint Committee on Taxation. Lawmakers are sending another round of stimulus checks to millions of Americans as well as temporarily expanding popular breaks like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the No. 2 Democrat on the tax-writing Ways and Means committee, complained Democrats could have done a lot more.
''While these modest Senate changes are welcome, they show the tremendous unutilized revenue potential that could be tapped to help families trying to make a comeback,'' he said.
''These revenues could be used for extending beyond this year the child tax credit or affording health insurance to more uninsured.''
This may not be the last time Democrats searching for cash turn to some of these particular provisions.
The one dealing with executive compensation could be squeezed even more. Banning altogether deductions for compensation exceeding $1 million '-- something Doggett has been pushing '-- would generate tens of billions of dollars in additional budget savings.
And Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who sits on the tax-writing Finance committee, said he hopes Democrats will further extend the "loss limitation" restrictions on unincorporated businesses in subsequent legislation.
"The latest relief bill contained only a small temporary fix, but I hope we make the loss limitation permanent," he said.
Black farmers will receive $5 billion of the stimulus package - The Washington Post
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 06:15
John Boyd, a fourth-generation farmer and president of the National Black Farmers Association, checks the condition of a soybean field for harvesting in Baskerville, Va., in January 2019. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
A little-known element of President Biden's massive stimulus relief package would pay billions of dollars to disadvantaged farmers '-- benefiting Black farmers in a way that some experts say no legislation has since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Of the $10.4 billion in the American Rescue Plan that will support agriculture, approximately half would go to disadvantaged farmers, according to estimates from the Farm Bureau, an industry organization. About a quarter of disadvantaged farmers are Black. The money would provide debt relief as well as grants, training, education and other forms of assistance aimed at acquiring land.
While it's a fraction of the $1.9 trillion bill that passed in the Senate on Saturday, advocates say it still represents a step toward righting a wrong after a century of mistreatment of Black farmers by the government and others. Some say it is a form of reparations for African Americans who have suffered a long history of racial oppression.
''This is the most significant piece of legislation with respect to the arc of Black land ownership in this country,'' said Tracy Lloyd McCurty, executive director of the Black Belt Justice Center, which provides legal representation to Black farmers.
Black farmers in America have lost more than 12 million acres of farmland over the past century, mostly since the 1950s, a result of what agricultural experts and advocates for Black farmers say is a combination of systemic racism, biased government policy, and social and business practices that have denied African Americans equitable access to markets.
Tom Vilsack's nomination as agriculture secretary reopens old wounds for Black farmers
Discrimination started a century ago with a series of federal Homestead Acts that offered mainly White settlers deeply subsidized land. Since then, local U.S. Department of Agriculture offices charged with distributing loans have frequently been found to deny Black farmers access to credit and to ignore or delay loan applications. Many Black farmers don't have clear title to their land, which makes them ineligible for certain USDA loans to purchase livestock or cover the cost of planting, and they have seldom benefited from subsidy payments or trade mitigation compensation '-- almost all of President Donald Trump's $28 billion bailout for those affected by the China trade war went to White farmers.
Today, the average farm operated by an African American is about 100 acres, compared with the national average of about 440 acres, according to the last farm census. The Center for American Progress found that in 2017, the average full-time White farmer brought in $17,190 in farm income, while the average full-time Black farmer made just $2,408.
Many civil rights advocates say the USDA's own practices have resulted in the loss of land and generational wealth for Black families.
''For generations, socially disadvantaged farmers have struggled to fully succeed due to systemic discrimination and a cycle of debt,'' Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement Saturday. ''On top of the economic pain caused by the pandemic, farmers from socially disadvantaged communities are dealing with a disproportionate share of Covid-19 infection rates, hospitalizations, death and economic hurt.''
Tom Vilsack confirmed for a second stint as agriculture secretary with strong Republican support
Of the 3.4 million farmers in the United States today, only 45,000 are Black, according to the USDA, down from 1 million a century ago. Black farmland ownership peaked in 1910 at 16 to 19 million acres, about 14 percent of total agricultural land, according to the Census of Agriculture. A century later, 90 percent of that land had been lost. White farmers now account for 98 percent of the acres, according to USDA data.
''It does my heart good to know that my 91-year-old father is alive to see what he's been trying to accomplish for the last 30 years come to fruition,'' said Abraham Carpenter, a Black farmer from Grady, Ark. He said this debt relief represents a lifelong dream for many Black farmers.
''We have been held hostage by the USDA for so many years,'' he said. ''Most people don't realize how it feels to be mistreated. They don't know what it feels like to be placed in a position where you cannot help yourself or your family.''
McCurty and others have used the word ''reparations,'' a term for financial restitution to the descendants of enslaved people, when speaking of these efforts to erase Black farmers' debt and provide access to land. Democrats have increasingly called in recent years for payments or other compensation to African Americans for the long-term effects of slavery and segregation.
Going it alone in two of America's agricultural towns
''It's reparations, but it's more than that. It is historic,'' McCurty said. ''When Black farmers did acquire land through our own grit and determination, the USDA did what they could to erode those gains. Once again, Black farmers, because of their dedication to organizing, have created liberation for farmers of color. Our farmers are due a field of flowers, not a bouquet, for the sorrow they've carried.''
But others, while acknowledging that the payments would be highly significant, say they do not constitute reparations.
William Darity, a professor of public policy at Duke University who has studied reparations extensively, says that a $5 billion allocation is a ''pittance,'' at most 2 percent of the lost wealth, and that it does not constitute reparations.
''The best estimates I have seen of the economic loss to Black farmers due to USDA policies and overall processes of land appropriation by Whites has been between $250 and $350 billion. This is approximately 10 percent of total Black wealth in the U.S., about $2.5 trillion,'' he said. ''The notion that this approaches a program of reparations is nonsense. Reparations for Black American descendants of slavery must be designed to eliminate the gulf in Black and White wealth.''
The relief for farmers of color did not go unchallenged in Congress, with 49 Republican senators voting against it.
GOP Sens. Steve Daines (Mont.), Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) wrote amendments to strike the $4 billion in debt forgiveness from the bill. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) filed an amendment to strike that section and replace it with $1 billion for rural broadband. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) offered an amendment to reduce the funding level for programs and to limit funding availability.
''This bill is not about responding to COVID. It is about exploiting the final stretch of a public health crisis in order to enact a longstanding liberal wish-list for years into the future [including] sending payments to farmers and ranchers equal to 120 percent of their borrowings, irrespective of their earnings, wealth or effects from COVID, and exclusively for ethnic minorities or immigrants,'' Toomey said in a statement.
Virus's unseen hot zone: The American farm
The provision also saw resistance in the House, with Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) filing an amendment to dramatically limit the scope of the debt forgiveness to debt incurred during the pandemic, and Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) offering an amendment to reduce the forgiveness from 120 percent of debt (which accounts for the tax consequences of debt relief) to 100 percent.
The framework for this part of the bill drew from the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, introduced by Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) and joined by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Ben Ray Lujn (N.M.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.). The legislation aims to pay off federal loans and expand land access and opportunities for historically underserved farmers of color. This bill in turn drew from the Justice for Black Farmers Act introduced by Booker.
''I've spent a lot of time in rural Georgia,'' Warnock told The Washington Post. ''I've heard firsthand from people in these communities how for too long they've felt left behind and discriminated against by our federal government '-- and these were some of the people I had in mind as we were working to pass this bold relief.''
This is not the first time the federal government has attempted to compensate Black farmers for decades of marginalization and systematic discrimination. Known as Pigford I and II, two class-action lawsuits against the USDA paid out $2.3 billion to Black farmers who alleged racial discrimination in the department's allocation of farm loans and assistance beginning in 1983.
The Pigford settlements, however, did not make Black farmers whole, according to McCurty.
''Only 4.8 percent of Pigford I settlement went to debt relief. The vast majority of Black farmers were left with unconscionable debt and no legal recourse to save their land,'' McCurty said.
House set to take up $1.9 trillion stimulus, putting Biden on track to sign this week
Lloyd Wright, who was director of the USDA's Office of Civil Rights during the Clinton and Obama administrations, describes Pigford as a big promise that didn't deliver much. And while he, too, said the stimulus is the most significant piece of legislation for Black farmers in more than half a century, he cautioned that how it's administered still leaves room for error.
''It looks like plain English: We're going to forgive the debt for people of color. But for people who don't want to do it? They will try to figure out how not to do it,'' he said. ''If they really forgive the debt with this bill, it's the greatest thing ever.''
The stimulus bill provides grants and loans to improve land access and address heirs' property issues (such as when a farmer dies without a will and his or her land is divided up between all legal heirs), establishes a racial equity commission to address systemic racism at the USDA, and provides financial support for research and education at historically Black colleges and land grant universities.
''Hopefully the money won't go to conducting studies '-- Black farmers have been studied to death,'' Wright said.
John Boyd plants winter wheat in one of his fields in Baskerville, Va., in January 2019. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
John Boyd Jr., a fourth-generation Black farmer in Virginia and president of the nonprofit National Black Farmers Association, said the lack of lawmaker support was a ''sickening realization.''
''It shows how disconnected half the Senate is from Black farmers. I've been trying to get this relief for 30 years,'' he said. ''Now we have to make sure Secretary Vilsack defines it in the same way it was intended, with outreach and technical assistance for Black farmers included. We as a group are going to have to get reintroduced to the USDA.''
The Purge
CALLED IT: WaPo calls anti-vaxxers ''domestic terrorists'' '' OffGuardian
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 15:14
Kit KnightlyBack in January I wrote about how the Capitol Hill ''insurection'' was laying the groundwork for Biden's administration to introduce a much-talked-about new ''domestic terrorism'' law.
The piece speculated that any definition of ''domestic terrorism'' will be very loose, and include essentially anybody the state finds problematic. Including those who spread ''anti-vaccine misinformation'' [emphasis added]:
What will ''Domestic Terrorism'' mean in this law? The answer to that is pretty much always ''whatever they want it to mean.''
It will probably be tied into the Covid ''pandemic'' in some way, too. After all, what is discouraging people from taking vaccines if not the very definition of ''terrorism'', right?
It took less than two months for the mainstream media to prove OffG right. Just last week the Washington Post ran an op-ed piece by California State Senator Richard Pam headlined:
Anti-vaccine extremism is akin to domestic terrorism
The article goes on to insist that ''Laws need to be strengthened'' to protect people administering vaccines from being ''harassed''. That ''Social media companies should not be complicit in this dangerous movement'', and caps it all off with glorious jingoism:
Getting vaccinated is a patriotic act. So is speaking up to support public health efforts. Let's not allow extremism, division or fear to slow the efforts to end this deadly chapter in our nation's history.
The message is clear: anyone who questions vaccination, especially the Covid ''vaccine'', is a threat to public health and national security. A terrorist.
The WaPo is the first mainstream outlet to make the parallel so blatantly, but they almost certainly won't be the last.
Be on the lookout for other examples. They'll probably start building up this narrative quite fast.
And we can likely expect a new false-flag.
Something along the lines of a ''lone wolf extremist'' who was ''radicalised online'' by ''militant anti-vaxxers'' and then allegedly does something crazy like mail Bill Gates a suitcase full of home-made explosives or drives a tanker truck into a vaccination centre.
Of course, that will mean we need to start shutting down and censoring ''vaccine misinformation'' which is ''encouraging violence'' and ''damaging public health''.
It's all very predictable at this point.
Let Us Out!
Netherlands 2.4 million mail in ballots
We don't work from home, we live at work
Clubhouse needs to pivot to a corporate conference call supplier. Its great for that!!
Clubhouse JSON data reveals a 'skintone' field in each profile with a number ranking
Build The Wall
UMMIES on the border. Mandatory vaccinations or proof is required by law
Biden let us in t-shirts
Noodle Gun
Mumford & Sons' banjo player 'taking time away' after praising right-wing pundit
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:22
Winston Marshall, the banjo player for British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, is ''taking time away'' from the group following social media backlash regarding a tweet in which he praised right-wing writer Andy Ngo.
In the since-deleted tweet posted over the weekend, Marshall '-- who is British '-- congratulated Ngo on publishing his most recent book, ''Unmasked,'' which looks at ''Antifa's radical plan to destroy democracy.'' ''Finally had the time to read your important book. You're a brave man,'' Marshall wrote.
In a statement posted to his Twitter account Tuesday night, Marshall apologized for the tweet and announced that he will be taking a leave of absence from the band ''to examine my blindspots.''
''Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed. I have offended not only a lot of people I don't know, but also those closest to me, including my bandmates and for that I am truly sorry,'' Marshall wrote.
''As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots. For now, please know that I realise how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behaviour. I apologise, as this was not at all my intention.''
Representatives for Mumford & Sons did not immediately respond to Variety's request for comment.
According to the Los Angeles Times' review of Ngo's book, ''Unmasked'' downplays the murders of Heather Heyer and Trayvon Martin, argues that communists in Weimar Germany should be scrutinized as much as Nazis and calls the Proud Boys a ''pro-Trump fraternity.''
Marshall is an original member of the band, which formed in 2007. Mumford & Sons most recently released a live EP, titled ''Delta Tour'' in November 2020.
New Teen Vogue editor apologizes for offensive tweets | TheHill
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 16:26
The new editor of Teen Vogue has apologized after a revolt among staff members over racist tweets she sent as a student in 2011.
Alexi McCammond, a former political reporter for Axios, was named editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue on Friday, in a move parent company Conde Nast said would showcase her ''powerful curiosity and confidence that embodies the best of our next generation of leaders.''
But in a statement by more than a dozen staffers at the magazine over the weekend, McCammond was criticized for tweets she sent as a teenager disparaging minorities.
''We've built our outlet's reputation as a voice for justice and change '-- we take immense pride in our work and in creating an inclusive environment,'' the statement from staff said. ''In a moment of historically high anti-Asian violence and amid the on-going struggles of the LGBTQ community, we as the staff of Teen Vogue fully reject those sentiments.''
In the tweets, which have since been deleted, McCammond
said she was "googling how to not wake up with swollen, asian eyes'' and referred to a teacher's assistant as a "stupid asian."
McCammond sent an e-mail to Teen Vogue staff on Monday, apologizing for the social media posts and saying they didn't represent her personal values.
''You've seen some offensive, idiotic tweets from when I was a teenager that perpetuated harmful and racist stereotypes about Asian Americans,'' she she said in the statement, which was shared with the Washington Post. Those tweets aren't who I am, but I understand that I have lost some of your trust, and will work doubly hard to earn it back. I want you to know I am committed to amplifying AAPI voices across our platforms, and building upon the groundbreaking, inclusive work this title is known for the world over."
McCammond said there was "no excuse" for her past comments.
McCammond left Axios weeks after former White House press secretary
TJ Ducklo, who McCammond is reportedly dating, was fired after he berated a Politico journalist reporting on the couple's romantic relationship.
''I will destroy you,'' Ducklo
reportedly told the female reporter and suggested she was "jealous" that an unidentified man was interested in McCammond and not her, The Hill previously reported.
The Post noted Jim VandeHei, a longtime political reporter in Washington, D.C. and co-founder of Axios, defended McCammond's character in a tweet of his own.
I worked w [McCammond] for nearly 4 years @axios," he said. "S he lived her true character: worked her ass off, constantly advocating 4 ALL individuals & groups. Actions = values & soul. She apologized long ago; grew bigtime. Big great, strong, caring leader."
China forcefully harvests organs from detainees, tribunal concludes
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 14:53
LONDON '-- The organs of members of marginalized groups detained in Chinese prison camps are being forcefully harvested '-- sometimes when patients are still alive, an international tribunal sitting in London has concluded.
Some of the more than 1.5 million detainees in Chinese prison camps are being killed for their organs to serve a booming transplant trade that is worth some $1 billion a year, concluded the China Tribunal, an independent body tasked with investigating organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in the authoritarian state.
''Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale,'' the tribunal concluded in its final judgment Monday. The practice is ''of unmatched wickedness '-- on a death for death basis '-- with the killings by mass crimes committed in the last century,'' it added.
In 2014, state media reported that China would phase out the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners and said it would rely instead on a national organ donation system.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday was not immediately available to comment on the tribunal's findings.
In a statement released alongside the final judgment, the tribunal said many of those affected were practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that China banned in the 1990s and has called an ''evil cult.'' The tribunal added that it was possible that Uighur Muslims '-- an ethnic minority who are currently being detained in vast numbers in western China '-- were also being targeted.
The tribunal is chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice, who worked as a prosecutor at the international tribunal for crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.
''Falun Gong practitioners have been one '-- and probably the main '-- source of organ supply,'' the judgment read, while ''the concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs is more recent,'' using a different spelling of the minority group's name. It warned, however, that the scale of medical testing of the Uighur Muslims meant they could end up being used as an "organ bank."
The tribunal that delivered its judgment in London was initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China '-- a not-for-profit coalition including lawyers, academics, human rights advocates and medical professionals.
Allegations of forced organ harvesting first came to light in 2001, after a boom in transplant activity was registered in China, with wait times becoming unusually short, the statement said. Chinese websites advertised hearts, lungs and kidneys for sale and available to book in advance, suggesting that the victims were killed on demand, it added.
On Monday, the tribunal concluded that there was ''numerical evidence'' of the ''impossibility of there being anything like sufficient 'eligible donors' under the recently formed PRC [People's Republic of China] voluntary donor scheme for that number of transplant operations.''
The tribunal added that witnesses, experts and investigators had told of how Falun Gong practitioners continued to be killed in order for their organs to be extracted. It added that forced organ harvesting was also being performed while victims are still alive, killing the person in the process.
The statement recalled how one witness, Dr. Enver Tohti, told of how as a surgeon in China he had been required to perform organ extractions. Referring to one instance in which he extracted an organ from a living patient, he said: ''What I recall is with my scalpel, I tried to cut into his skin, there was blood to be seen. That indicates that the heart was still beating '... At the same time, he was trying to resist my insertion, but he was too weak.''
Several survivors of prison camps told the tribunal of how they were subjected to physical examinations including blood tests, X-rays and ultrasounds, the statement said. ''Experts report that the only reasonable explanation for these examinations was to ensure that victims' organs were healthy and fit for transplantation,'' it added. A healthy liver, for example, can reportedly be sold for some $160,000, according to the statement.
The tribunal concluded that it was "beyond reasonable doubt" that crimes against humanity had been committed against the Falun Gong and Uighur Muslims but that it could not prove that the killing of the Falun Gong amounted to genocide '-- because of the tribunal's inability to prove 'intent' to commit 'genocide.'
In a statement accompanying the final judgment, the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China called on the international community to help bring an end to forced organ extraction.
''It is no longer a question of whether organ harvesting in China is happening, that dialogue is well and truly over. We need an urgent response to save these people's lives,'' Susie Hughes, executive director and co-founder of the coalition, said.
Saphora Smith reported from London. Dawn Liu and Ed Flanagan reported from Beijing.
Saphora Smith Saphora Smith is a London-based reporter for NBC News Digital.
Dawn Liu and Ed Flanagan contributed.
Dassault bad day wet get grass
VIDEO - Does wearing glasses protect you from COVID-19? | wkyc.com
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 15:43
Multiple studies show people who wear glasses at least eight hours a day catch COVID-19 less than those who don't wear glasses.
SAN DIEGO '-- If you wear glasses with a mask, you know the struggle to stop them from fogging up is real! But now there appears to be a big benefit to the frustrating fight. Multiple studies show people who wear glasses at least eight hours a day catch COVID-19 less than those who don't wear glasses.''If something lands in your eye, it can go through a duct that goes down into your nose and that's how it might infect you,'' says Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam of The New England Complex Systems Institute.
A study published this month in India looked at 304 COVID-19 patients. The author says about 40% of India's adult population wears glasses, but only 19% of the people infected with coronavirus wore glasses. The researchers concluded that "the risk of COVID-19 was about 2 to 3 times less in the spectacles wearing population than the population not wearing them."''Probably one of the main pieces is that the air particles will get deposited on your glasses as well as you might not touch your eyes a little bit, but it's really important to know that this is in addition to wearing a mask,'' Prof. Bar-Yam said, adding that these results mirror a previous study he saw from China.
While some jokingly call it ''nerd immunity'', researchers want to make it clear that glasses are not a full-proof protection because there is space between the frames and your face. Prof. Bar-Yam agrees saying, ''Of course, wearing goggles is even better than wearing glasses.''
Which leads to another warning: If COVID-19 particles are being blocked by your glasses, or other eye covering, you should assume that the virus could be on your glasses. ''You should definitely - if you're wearing glasses or goggles - you should wash them with soap after you use them,'' said Prof. Bar-Yam. ''If you go into a place where you might be exposed to virus particles.''
And, of course, even with glasses and a mask - health experts warn you still need to wash your hands regularly and social distance.
VIDEO - Opinion | I Asked the Head of Space Force What the Agency Has Done for Me Lately - The New York Times
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 15:40
kara swisherI'm Kara Swisher, and you're listening to Sway. If you enlist in the American military today you can be a sailor in the Navy, a soldier in the Army, an airman in the Air Force, or you can be a guardian in the Space Force.
archived recordingToday space is essential not only to our way of life. It's absolutely critical to the modern way of war.
kara swisherSpace Force is the newest branch of the military charged with defending American interests in space. It's teeny tiny, just 2% of the Pentagon's budget. But since Trump started talking it up back in 2018 '--
archived recording (donald trump)You know, I was saying it the other day because we're doing a tremendous amount of work in space. I said maybe we need a new force. We'll call it the Space Force.
kara swisher'-- the agency has been busy defending itself.
archived recording (stephen colbert)Who are we fighting, satellites? A bunch of frozen monkeys? Elon Musk's convertible?
archived recording (trevor noah)When Trump talks about Space Force, he makes it sound like we're going to be on a rocket riding to the moon, like, Space Force! Riding around and killing aliens, and ban-na-na ban-na-na.
kara swisherLast month when a reporter asked Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the future of Space Force, her answer wasn't encouraging.
archived recording (jen psaki)Wow, Space Force. It's the plane of today. I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I'm not sure who that is. I will find out.
kara swisherWell, I'll tell you who it is, US Space Force Chief of Space Operations John ''Jay'' Raymond, a four-star general and a 35-year Air Force veteran whose family has been in the military going back four generations. I asked the general to come on the show and tell me his plans for Space Force and how he deals with the haters. But first, the question of that awkward press conference.
All right, so what did you think of that moment? Because it wasn't rolled out. It was rolled out in a more political way.
john raymondFirst of all, let me just say she has a really tough job. I mean, as the press secretary you can get asked any question about anything that's going on in the world or in our country. When I prepare for just doing a podcast with you, for example today, on a subject that I am very, very familiar with, there's things that I have to phone a friend for. So I think I was very pleased that the next day the Biden administration came out and threw their support behind the Space Force. I think it's really important for the average American to understand access to space and freedom to maneuver in space is a vital interest. Space underpins our national defense. It underpins our intelligence capabilities. It underpins treaty verification capabilities. It underpins scientific exploration. The challenge that we have today is that that vital national interest cannot be taken for granted anymore. There is a significant threat. Adversaries understand just how important it is, and they're developing capabilities that keep us from accessing.
kara swisherHave you planned to meet President Biden yet?
john raymondI have had the opportunity to meet President Biden. And Vice President Harris came into the Pentagon, met with all the Joint Chiefs. I had an opportunity to talk about the strategic environment that we face today in space, and it was a really good conversation.
kara swisherYou're having to deal with everyone's fictionalized ideas about space, people floating around space and going pew, pew, pew. And even Mark Hamill tweeted at the director of ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' that they should sue Space Force. And his quote was ''So they grab the ''Guardians'' from your movies, they use the ''Force'' from our movies, then they have the gall to just steal their logo from ''Star Trek?'' Let's file a three-way joint lawsuit and really nail those larcenous bastards!'' He was kidding. So talk about exactly what Space Force does.
john raymondRight, so first I think it's very important to understand that the United States Space Force is a military service just like the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines. We now have a Space Force. Our mission is to organize, train, and equip. Build satellites, train operators to operate those satellites, launch those satellites, and provide those capabilities for our nation and for our joint and coalition partners. So we do everything from procuring satellites to launching those satellites like the Global Positioning System satellite which is probably the best well-known satellite across the world. We built those satellites. We operate those satellites when they get onto orbit. We protect and defend those satellites to make sure that they are always there, and we track thousands and thousands of objects in space.
kara swisherMany satellites, increasingly.
john raymondYes, and those numbers are increasing. If you look at it historically, we've tracked about 22,000 objects here over the last couple of years. And of those 22,000 objects, only about 1,500 were satellites. Everything else was debris. Today those numbers are getting up close to 30,000. We operate missile warning radars around the globe to provide our nation the unblinking eye to be able to protect from missile launches from anywhere on the globe.
kara swisherSo what is the military aspect of it? Protecting satellites makes sense. Is there an element of people being in space like police? People have that in their brain, I think.
john raymondAnd I think that's a fair construct to have in your brain. But we're not just building a service for today. We didn't build an Air Force back in 1947 for 1947. We built an Air Force that would continue today. As the barriers to entry to space are reduced and costs are reduced, what used to be great power competition between the United States and the Soviet Union has now been diminished to where students in universities and people are launching satellites. And so the strategic environment has completely changed.
kara swisherLet me go through some myths.
john raymondSure.
kara swisherAll right. Is Space Force sending armed military officers into outer space?
john raymondNo.
kara swisherAll right. Is it meant to protect us from aliens?
john raymondUh, no.
kara swisherOK. Will it protect us from giant asteroids that can collide with Earth like in the movie Armageddon?
john raymondWe can help with that. And in fact, we've signed an MOU with NASA. We have some sensors that can help track, and so we are committed to working very closely with the science and exploration folks to add our capabilities to that.
kara swisherShould someone join Space Force if they want to be an astronaut?
john raymondThey could. In fact, we have two astronauts today that are Space Force astronauts. In fact, Colonel Mike Hopkins who's on the International Space Station right now '-- he's the commander of the recent SpaceX launch that sent the first operational crew up to the Space Station. All the services '-- the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force '-- provide astronauts to NASA or provide officers that then get trained. And we'll do the same thing from the Space Force.
kara swisherOK, working with NASA or training them yourself?
john raymondWorking with NASA. Not only do we provide personnel to become astronauts that are trained by NASA and that work at NASA and do that NASA mission. We also protect the International Space Station. There's a lot of debris orbiting there. We act as the space traffic control for the world. We will warn folks that are operating satellites if they're about to potentially collide with another satellite. And we do that in partnership with NASA. So one of the things that we're also working with NASA is thinking through norms of behavior. Today's space is really the Wild, Wild West. And we both operate in that domain. They have a different mission set. They're exploration and science. We're a military service.
kara swisherOK, what's the biggest misconception about Space Force?
john raymondI think you alluded to it up front. It's the '-- we're zooming around outer space with lasers fighting aliens. It gets back to the challenge of understanding something that you can't see. And historically, space has been very classified. We do our business kind of quietly. When you walk in a room and you turn the lights on, the lights always come on? Space is always on. You don't have to think about it. It's always there. We need to make sure that's the case into the future. And that's really what we're all about.
kara swisherAll right, is Space Force working on sending a man to the moon or colonizing Mars?
john raymondThat's not our mission set. We are not NASA. There's three segments of space. There's a civil space segment. That's NASA. There's a commercial space segment, the most visible today is SpaceX, but there's lots of different companies.
kara swisherYeah, we can just call them the billionaires. But go ahead.
john raymondYeah. And then there's military, the national security space segment. They're completely separate missions.
kara swisherI want to ask you about the privatization of space. There's so many billionaires building rockets now. You've got Rocket Lab, Astra, Virgin Orbit, SpaceX. Does the private participation in space help or hinder US space security? Because they are all in there. Jeff Bezos wants to do a space colony that floats in the air with a giant cylinder. Elon, of course, famously wants to die on Mars, just not on landing which was his phrase. How do you see working with the private sector, and does it help or hinder U.S. space security?
john raymondIt's a huge help. It's a huge help.
kara swisherTell me why.
john raymondWell one, I would bet on US industry any day. If you look at how they are developing capabilities, they're developing kind of an assembly line approach.
kara swisherYeah, the reusable rockets.
john raymondYeah, the reusable '-- autonomy. I'll give you an example of how this is already paying dividends. We rely on commercial launch vehicles to launch our satellites, and we don't build our own rockets anymore. And so SpaceX, their rocket, they have designed it to be autonomous. So typically we have ranges in Florida, and we have our launch range out in California. And we have radars and telemetry dishes and optical telescopes. And we have what we call command destruct antennas that if a rocket were to launch and it were to go astray, then we have trained operators that collect all that data and then make a decision to push a button to blow that rocket up for public safety.
kara swisherYeah, I've seen that movie. Go ahead.
john raymondSo SpaceX came and said, we want to do this all autonomous. And they worked with us, and we certified their ability to destroy their rocket autonomously. So now, every time a SpaceX rocket launches, it takes off, and it can sense itself whether it's gone off the flight path. And if it does, it will blow itself up.
kara swisherSo you need their innovation, in other words.
john raymondWe need their innovation. And it has reduced costs. It has allowed us to launch significantly more rockets. That's just on the launch side. You'll hear this term ''proliferated LEO.'' That's smaller satellites in much greater numbers in low Earth orbit. We think there's great advantage there. All of our satellites today are really big satellites that are very expensive. They take years to build. And so what happens is if you have a satellite that's really nationally critical, that's really expensive, you put a lot of mission assurance on it to make sure it will survive launch and work. And that is a different business model than if you're popping them off an assembly line that says, you know what, if this one doesn't work tomorrow, it doesn't matter because another one's coming off the next day. And so what we see is probably a hybrid architecture developing where there'll be a mixture. But we really see significant advantage and innovation and lower costs in distributing our capabilities to be more defendable.
kara swisherSo last year Elon Musk's company, SpaceX, launched two crewed space flights. He seems to be a Space Force fan. I asked him about it. Have you spoken with Elon?
john raymondI speak with him quite frequently. In fact, when I was a young colonel back in the early 2000s, I was in an office in the Secretary of Defense staff called the Office of Force Transformation. And it was really trying to demonstrate new business models. And so I was given a task of trying to build a satellite and launch it for about $10 million and to do it in a year. And so when we got some spare parts and put it together and built a satellite, we needed a launch vehicle. And SpaceX had just started their company. And we gave Elon his contract for a launch of the satellite, and that was back in the early 2000s.
kara swisherI had no idea.
john raymondNow I'll also tell you it's just not Elon. I've met several times with Jeff Bezos. I've met with Richard Branson. I deal very broadly with all of commercial industry.
kara swisherWhat did you talk about with Jeff Bezos?
john raymondYeah, so the conversations I had with Mr. Bezos early on was '-- their company had really just started. I visited '--
kara swisherBlue Origin.
john raymondBlue Origin. I've visited the companies several times since that time. So we talked about their vision and what they're going to do. They operate capability off of Cape Canaveral down in Florida. And so I'm excited I could not be more excited to have this commercial venture. In fact, when I was a young captain, way long ago, I was the commercial space launch officer for Air Force Space Command. And one of my jobs was to support and encourage commercial industry. And we would give leases or licenses for real properties to allow commercial industry to come in and to allow them to compete. Back then, China was launching a lot of commercial satellites, Russia was launching a lot of commercial satellites. That's all now largely all come back to the United States in providing a significant economic impact for our nation.
kara swisherWhen I interviewed Elon, he told me mankind would evolve into a multi-planet species of a space faring civilization. Have you actually been to outer space?
john raymondI have not. I have had my feet firmly planted on the ground.
kara swisherDo you have any plans to go?
john raymondI do not.
kara swisherYou don't want to be a multi-planet species in a space faring civilization?
john raymondI would be happy to do that. But I'll tell you, I've got really important work to do on the ground to serve our country and protect our national interests, and that's really where I'm focused.
kara swisherDo you want to go, even like a vomit comet, that kind of thing? Have you done any of those things or not?
john raymondI have not.
kara swisherNo. Wow. There obviously was a show called ''Space Force.''
john raymondRight.
kara swisherWhich is you played by Steve Carell. What did you think about that?
john raymondI watched the entire series. I guess what I would say is they picked the wrong actor.
kara swisherOK.
john raymondThey needed to pick Bruce Willis. He had the right hair cut.
kara swisherBruce Willis?
john raymondYeah. I don't '-- you can't see me on the podcast, but I'm bald.
kara swisherHe's bald.
john raymondSo one of my daughters texted me and said, hey, you know, your Space Force is going big. I said, what do you mean? They're doing a show about you, and Steve Carell is playing you. And I said, at that time I said, the big joke was they picked the wrong guy. They need to have a bald guy. And then there was the big family texting back and forth on all the bald actors. My personal favorite was Bruce Willis.
kara swisherBruce Willis. Well he's been in space in ''Armageddon.'' I don't know if you know but he saved the world.
john raymondThat's right. Yeah. He did. [MUSIC PLAYING]
kara swisherWe'll be back in a minute. If you like this interview and want to hear others, hit Subscribe. You'll be able to catch up on ''Sway'' episodes you may have missed, like my conversation with billionaire-entrepreneur Elon Musk, and you'll get new ones delivered directly to you. More with General John ''Jay'' Raymond after the break. [MUSIC PLAYING]
So Space Force has gotten its share of mockery. The fact that its troops are called ''guardians'' hasn't helped. It's just too close to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which, of course, I love. You can't help thinking of Star-Lord. I asked General Raymond for context.
john raymondLet me talk a little bit about guardians. Let me put some of that to bed.
kara swisherOK.
john raymondSo in 1982, the Air Force set up a command called Air Force Space Command.
kara swisherYes.
john raymondAnd in 1983 there was a contest. And the contest was to come up with the official motto of Air Force Space Command. You know what that motto was?
kara swisherGuardians.
john raymondGuardians of the high frontier.
kara swisherOh, wow.
john raymondWe've been guardians of the high frontier '--
kara swisherThat's a better movie name.
john raymondWe've been guardians of the high frontier since 1983. The magazine that we published every month was ''High Frontier.''
kara swisherOK.
john raymondAnd so when we came up with this name '-- we crowdsourced this '-- we had 400 or so different names.
kara swisherWhat's another one?
john raymondOh, there's a ''troopers,'' ''astro,'' ''sentinels.''
kara swisherYeah.
john raymondWe went out to a linguist and said, hey, come up with '-- make up a name. And we focus grouped it. And more importantly, we got the input from the folks that are in the service and said, hey, what do you want to be called? The leading choice was ''guardians,'' both inside the service and outside the service. There was a link to our history. I know that they're saying '--
kara swisherI like that you're reclaiming it. I'm with you.
john raymondI mean, I got the fact that there's a movie years later that '--
kara swisherDid you like the movie?
john raymondI have recently watched the movie.
kara swisher[LAUGHS] Good. It's funny.
john raymondYeah.
kara swisherThere's a talking fox or whatever that is.
john raymondBut we have been the guardians of the high frontier since 1983.
kara swisherI'm going to give it to you.
john raymondThank you.
kara swisherAll right. Well I want to talk about actual threats in space and not the aliens and Martians and things like that. Well it's easy to picture the army defending us on land or the Navy defending us on sea or the Air Force in the air, obviously. How do you explain to people who might be asking themselves, what has Space Force done for me lately?
john raymondYeah. First of all, let me say that what space has done for you lately is it's fueled your way of life. Are you a coffee drinker?
kara swisherI am.
john raymondOh. When you got up this morning, before you had your first cup of coffee, did you check your cell phone?
kara swisherYes, indeed.
john raymondThat was enabled by space capabilities. If you did any kind of internet banking, that was enabled by space capabilities. If you went to the gas station and bought gas at the pump and didn't have to walk inside to pay, that was enabled by space station. If you got a weather report, that was enabled by space station. It is fused into everything that we do, and it also fuels the way we conduct our missions in the joint and coalition military operations. Almost my whole career, largely since Desert Storm back in 1991, has all been about integrating space capabilities into theater operations. So if you think back to Desert Storm when the coalition forces did the left hook through the desert at night on a featureless terrain, well, how do you do that? You use a very fledgling GPS system that wasn't even fully capable. When you look at Scud missiles that were launched, and we took strategic missile warning satellites that were designed to detect ICBMs from then Soviet Union, and we innovatively came up with a way to use those to detect very small missiles to provide warning for our forces and to countries in that region. And now you fast forward from there, from 1991 to where we are today, everything that we do is a military. Everything that we do is enabled by space. I was stationed in Japan back in 2011 during what we called Operation Tomodachi. They had an earthquake and a tsunami and a nuclear reactor disaster. And even in operations like that, for humanitarian assistance disaster relief, we integrated space capabilities into that operation. It provides us great advantage.
kara swisherSo you've also called space a warfighting domain, space itself. And you just said Wild West. But there are limits. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty basically says you can't put nukes in space. What do we know about our adversaries and their weapons in space? And do we have weapons in space?
john raymondLet me walk you through '-- and I'll use 2007 as a demarcation point, if you will. But in 2007, China launched a missile from the ground and blew up one of their own satellites and blew that satellite into 3,000 pieces of debris.
kara swisherAs a test?
john raymondAs a test. That debris is still largely on orbit today. And we track all of that debris and we provide warning to everybody in the world in a very transparent manner because we want to keep the domain safe for all. So that was kind of a, if you will, maybe a little bit of a wake up call that, hey, that this domain is shifting from a very peaceful domain where all you really had to worry about was launching a satellite, it would survive launch, it would survive what we call infant mortality. It could get on to orbit, and it would work. I will tell you, the threat that we're seeing today is very robust. And it's everything from reversible jamming of communication satellites and GPS satellites, for example, to directed energy systems. Think lasers that can blind or disrupt our capabilities. Both China and Russia have multiple ground-based laser systems of varying power levels.
kara swisherThis is to shoot assets in space, correct?
john raymondFrom the ground to destroy or damage or disrupt our ability to use our satellites. They also '-- I talked about the capability that China demonstrated in 2007. Russia also has that capability. They have a missile called the Nudol missile. It's the same type of missile that shoots from the ground. It's designed to kinetically destroy satellites in what we call low Earth orbit, the orbit closest to the Earth. And that's where the International Space Station operates in that regime. Both countries have capabilities on orbit that are concerning. And all these threats are here today. We're not talking future.
kara swisherSo let me ask you, General John Hyten, the vice chair of the Joint Chiefs, complained about the overclassification of military space. How do you convince the public there's this threat in space?
john raymondSo Russia has launched a satellite, and I describe it as a nesting doll. You're familiar with '--
kara swisherYes.
john raymond'-- doll inside of a doll inside of a doll? Well, they launched a satellite and put it very close to one of our satellites in low Earth orbit. And then that satellite opens up and releases another satellite. And then that baby satellite, if you will, has the capability '-- because we saw them demonstrate this in another part of space '-- we saw that satellite launch a projectile. And we know that that satellite is designed to kinetically kill or destroy U.S. satellites in low Earth orbit. And so they launched that first satellite, put it up next to one of ours. They opened up and released the second satellite.
kara swisherYou're essentially describing a gun pointed at our satellites up there.
john raymondThat's exactly right. And then we came out and said, this is irresponsible behavior. And they moved further away and then released that projectile. Similarly, and something that we have not talked a lot about at all, is that China has a satellite that has a robotic arm. And think about a satellite that has a robotic arm, how it could, in the future, reach out and grab a satellite.
kara swisherYeah, that was the plot of a Bond movie, just so you know.
john raymondWell, that's real today. And then there's cyber threats.
kara swisherYes. Let's talk about that. You have 1,300 cybersecurity professionals in Space Force in the next few months, right? Is that enough?
john raymondAdding civilians to it, we're up to about 1,900 both active duty and civilians that are focused on understanding the cyber terrain to be able to protect and defend those capabilities. When you're thinking about space, it's not just the satellite. You also have to be able to protect the ground station that sends commands to those satellites and then the link between the ground station and the satellite. So we have put on our operational crews, we have cyber professionals that are embedded with our space operations crews that understand that cyber training and can help us protect and defend those capabilities.
kara swisherFormer President Trump wanted Space Force to be a separate but equal branch of the military, but let's talk numbers. The Navy's fiscal 2021 budget was $161 billion, while the Marine Corps wanted $46 billion. The Air Force requested more than $153 billion. Meanwhile, Space Force has the budget of around $15 billion. That's 2% of the annual Pentagon budget. Elon Musk probably has that in his drawer somewhere. Should you have more?
john raymondI think every taxpayer dollar is precious. And we have stood up this Space Force largely with the resources that we had. There's no new personnel here. This is transferring folks from the Air Force. This is largely dollars that were programmed for space and the Air Force then transferred over. We have to compete for dollars like everybody else, and we have competed pretty favorably. I don't need to have hundreds of billions of dollars. I need to do what we need to do to protect and defend these satellites. I think we have great opportunities with partnering with commercial space. I think we have great opportunities with partnering with our allied partners. We had to launch two communication satellites, and Norway was going to launch two satellites. So we went to Norway and said, hey, can we just put a couple of our payloads to the business end of the satellite? Can we just put them on satellites? And we signed an agreement. That saved us almost a billion dollars. We just inked a deal with Japan where we're doing the same thing. We're putting another payload on a Japanese satellite that will save dollars, giving us some more capability sooner. And I really believe that as we design this force structure, we are going to do it in a way that we can leverage a new business model that's this commercial business model, and we can leverage international partnerships.
kara swisherYeah. This sounds very Star Trekky. So Space Force plans about 16,000 people. Again, the Marine Corps is 186,000. How many more people do you think you need? I mean, there's messaging in military marketing. You put out a 30-second ad that shows Space Force guardian wearing a space helmet. How do you get people to want to join Space Force?
john raymondI tell you, we had many more people volunteer to come in the service than we had slots for. I visited a few universities since the stand up, and there is an increased interest in space and in STEM degrees. And they're seeing more people enroll. I think that's going to be of great value. One of our opportunities is to develop a human capital strategy built for the 21st century that leverages talent that might typically not have been interested in joining the military. I don't know how many people have come up to me and said, my son or daughter wouldn't go in the military but, boy, they'll join the Space Force. And I have to remind them, hey, we are the military. We are an armed service. But there's an opportunity there to attract talent that might not have been inclined before.
kara swisherIt was interesting. You sounded for a second like an internet person or a tech person, for a second, leverage that.
john raymondI was a junior in college before I saw a computer with a mouse on it. So I'm a digital dinosaur. But '--
kara swisherYou had the words. You must be hanging out with tech people.
john raymondI'm hanging out with the tech folks.
kara swisherHow do you envision a fully functioning, fully mature Space Force operation in, say, 50 years?
john raymondI would like to drive a discussion on norms of behavior. You talked a little bit about the Outer Space Treaty, that there really are no rules, short of putting weapons of mass destruction in space. I really would like to see some rules of the road, and we're working that very closely with our partnerships. I would like to see the economic benefits of space continue to thrive. I would really like to see continued exploration with NASA. And I would like to make sure that the Space Force is capable of protecting and defending those national interests as the domain continues to evolve.
kara swisherSo behind you is a photograph of Lloyd Austin. He's the new Secretary of Defense for the Biden administration. Do you feel now that the Biden administration is going to continue to push this forward for you?
john raymondThat's what they've said. They came out and said it. They fully support the Space Force. It's too critical to our nation. I think it's a national imperative.
kara swisherI really appreciate it. I know I've given you little jokes about space stuff, but you're going to have to take it.
john raymondI really, trust me, I '--
kara swisherI think your patches are cool. I think your patches are cool.
john raymondI do as well.
kara swisherThe problem is, if I join Space Force, I'd have to be called Lord Vader. But otherwise '-- and I don't think I get that title, do I?
john raymondUh, no. I tell you, though, we'd love to have you. You're welcome anytime in the Space Force.
kara swisherOK. I'm going to come visit.
john raymondAnd I mean this. I would welcome the opportunity. And you have an open invitation. I would love the opportunity to '--
kara swisherI'm coming to get patches at the very least. Elon will fly me over in his drone.
john raymondI'd love to host you.
kara swisherAll right. Thank you, General John ''Jay'' Raymond. I really appreciate it. He is the head of Space Force.
john raymondThank you very much. [MUSIC PLAYING]
kara swisher''Sway'' is a production of New York Times Opinion. It's produced by Nayeema Raza, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong, Daphne Chen, and Vishakha Darbha. Edited by Nayeema Raza and Paula Szuchman with original music by Isaac Jones, mixing by Eric Gomez, and fact-checking by Kate Sinclair. Special thanks to Shannon Busta, Lirial Higa, and Kathy Tu. If you're in a podcast app already, you know how to subscribe to a podcast, so subscribe to this one. If you're listening on The Times website and want to get each new episode of ''Sway'' beamed into your smart device with the help of Space Force guardians, download a podcast app like Stitcher or Google Podcasts, then search for ''Sway'' and hit Subscribe. We release every Monday and Thursday. Thanks for listening.
VIDEO - Konfusha [TN]: "Pfizer, which is run by a [redacted] (like all th'..." - No Agenda Social
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 14:51
Pfizer, which is run by a [redacted] (like all the rest of the vaccine companies), is extorting countries for bank reserves, embassy buildings and military bases to secure a supply of their COVID vaccine.
VIDEO - Climate change: Kerry urges top polluters to cut emissions now - BBC News
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 14:41
By Roger HarrabinBBC environment analyst
media caption US climate change envoy John Kerry praises "ambitious" UK emissions targetUS climate change envoy John Kerry has urged the world's top 20 polluters which create 81% of emissions between them to reduce CO2 immediately.
He was speaking after meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior UK figures in London to plan two upcoming international climate summits.
He praised the UK for phasing out coal, and for its "ambitious" climate goals.
But he told BBC Newsnight that the UK - along with other major nations - must deliver their proposed emissions cuts.
"China, the US, Russia, India, the EU, Korea, Japan and others all have to be part of this effort," he said. "Twenty countries. Eighty one percent of the emissions."
Asked during the interview whether the UK should be planning a controversial new coal mine in Cumbria, he replied: "The marketplace has made a decision that coal is not the future.
image copyright No 10 Downing Street
"All over the world people have made a decision to move to cleaner fuel than coal, which is the dirtiest fuel in the world. In America and elsewhere '...most banks will tell you we're not going to fund a new coal plant."
Earlier after talks with Mr Johnson and other senior ministers, Mr Kerry hailed the UK as a "strong partner" in the fight to safeguard the planet.
And the prime minister said the two countries had an "exciting shared agenda" in driving down global emissions in the run-up to November's COP 26 UN summit in Glasgow.
Mr Kerry, a former US Secretary of State appointed to the role by Mr Biden in November, spent several hours in Downing Street with Alok Sharma, the cabinet minister who is chairing November's gathering.
Mr Kerry was also due to meet other senior UK figures, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
On Tuesday, climate diplomacy sees him in Paris and Brussels for talks with European leaders, who have been praised for their recent target to cut emissions 55% on 1990 levels.
Leaders are wrestling with gloomy news from China, whose recent five-year plan takes tiny steps to decarbonisation.
image caption John Kerry arrived in Downing Street with UK Minister and COP26 President Alok SharmaBut they will be heartened by President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package agreed by the Senate, which will support ''green'' economic growth.
There is positive news too, from Brazil, which '' under US pressure '' says its previous stance blocking climate talks was misunderstood.
Monday's meetings may go some way to helping the UK focus its objectives for the November gathering.
Ministers were accused recently by MPs on the Business and Energy Select Committee of failing to set clear goals.
The committee said the key areas identified by the UK for action - adaptation and resilience; nature based solutions; energy transitions; clean transport and switching the finance system to low-carbon investments - were too broad and "without clear measures for success".
'Up for grabs'
It said more focus needed to be given to the "overriding necessity" of agreeing deliverable policies that keep global temperature rises to as close to 1.5C as possible.
Nick Mabey, from the think tank e3g, told the BBC there was the potential to achieve multiple goals '' including banning new coal power plants, ending banks' fossil fuel investment and supporting poorer nations to adapt - and that these should be debated publicly.
''This debate is up for grabs'' he said. ''It should be a public debate because we're talking out how to change whole economies. A lot of the outcomes from Glasgow will be decided in the court of public opinion.''
John Kerry's meetings with the UK politicians who will be running the COP26 summit may help bring some much-needed clarity to efforts on this side of the Atlantic.
But he will also be assessing just how much political capital Team Biden should invest in Team Boris.
So far, the messaging from the UK on what COP26 can realistically achieve has been muddled. If every country is going to put a new climate plan on the table before Glasgow, what's the actual point of the meeting?
Mr Kerry will also be assessing how much diplomatic heavy lifting he should undertake on behalf of the Brits.
To give Glasgow a chance, both India and China will have to come up with significant advances on their current actions on carbon.
Others, including the Saudis and the Brazilians, will have to show flexibility. Kerry's involvement may be critical in delivering these outcomes.
But his impression of the British effort will also influence events back home. President Biden is organising a climate summit of world leaders for 22 April.
That meeting may become the bigger focus for the US if Kerry takes a dim view of UK's efforts on the COP.
Follow Roger on Twitter @rharrabin
VIDEO-(246) Krystal and Saagar: Brits Watching Markle Interview AGHAST At Big Pharma TV Ads - YouTube
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:37
VIDEO-Psaki confirms Biden's dog caused 'minor injury' - YouTube
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:25
VIDEO-German lawmaker steps down in scandal over face-mask deal - YouTube
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:16
VIDEO-Experimental Covid-19 pill shows promise in preliminary testing - YouTube
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:07
VIDEO-Tom Elliott on Twitter: "Fauci, asked ''what's the science'' for denying vaccinated Americans a return to travel, can't explain. ''When you don't have the data and you don't have the actual evidence, you've got to make a judgment call."
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 11:58
Tom Elliott : Fauci, asked ''what's the science'' for denying vaccinated Americans a return to travel, can't explain.''When you do'... https://t.co/3Ivn42oQsl
Wed Mar 10 12:18:34 +0000 2021
CH3CdCH3 : @tomselliott Science, Data, Judgement call. Heard all this bulldickory before. https://t.co/PUOtGWDvDr https://t.co/RGNqFLMfl7
Thu Mar 11 11:57:51 +0000 2021
VIDEO-How Asian Success Challenges the Woke Racial Narrative'--Kenny Xu & Kangmin Lee | CPAC 2021 - YouTube
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 01:06
VIDEO+MRCTV on Twitter: "This is the totally serious news organization @CNN: Using a Dr. Seuss riddle to hype up the pork-filled COVID relief bill and attack conservatives. https://t.co/kZpIa8Q4AN" / Twitter
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 14:38
MRCTV : This is the totally serious news organization @CNN: Using a Dr. Seuss riddle to hype up the pork-filled COVID relie'... https://t.co/qicVeReBiR
Wed Mar 10 00:25:00 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Harry & Meghan Interview Leaves Phillip Feeling Sympathetic For Royal Couple | This Morning - YouTube
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 22:16
VIDEO-PBS' Alcindor: Biden Admin Says ''There's Not A Crisis At The Border, But The Numbers Don't Lie'' - YouTube
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 21:37
VIDEO-New evidence triggers calls to 'restart' MH370 search - YouTube
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 21:16
VIDEO-Tom Elliott on Twitter: "White House's @PressSec: Immigrants are flooding the border in part to escape ''two hurricanes'' last Fall https://t.co/5aVBPrI0vV" / Twitter
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 20:23
Tom Elliott : White House's @PressSec: Immigrants are flooding the border in part to escape ''two hurricanes'' last Fall https://t.co/5aVBPrI0vV
Tue Mar 09 18:57:40 +0000 2021
barefootdave : @tomselliott @PressSec 🤣...that's the best they could come up with?...they can't be serious 👣ðŸ¤...ðŸ>>''‚¸
Tue Mar 09 20:20:57 +0000 2021
VIDEO-Several Olentangy schools closed due to substitute shortage after staff receives vaccine | NBC4 WCMH-TV
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 17:55
Karina Cheung and NBC4 Staff
1 day ago
LEWIS CENTER, Ohio (WCMH) '-- Several schools in the Olentangy School District were forced to close Monday after a substitute teacher shortage.
This is just a few days after teachers were vaccinated with the second COVID-19 dose. The big question is what will school look like for the rest of the week.
The Olentangy School District said it is planning a regular week starting Tuesday.
According to a Facebook post by the district, the following schools were closed Monday:
Berlin High School Freedom Trail Elementary School Indian Springs Elementary School Johnnycake Corners Elementary School Liberty Middle School Liberty Tree Elementary School Oak Creek Elementary School Olentangy Meadows Elementary School Orange High School Parents said they expected a closure to happen at some point.
One middle school, two high schools, and six elementary schools were closed Monday due to the substitute shortage.
''I think it would have been very hard for them to determine ahead of time,'' said parent Christine Norfolk, whose children are in the cohort for the second half of the week for in-person learning.
''This time around, knowing that the second round of vaccinations was going to take a little bit longer to recover, they decided to do the shot clinic on Saturday, which enabled teachers to have time to recover if they needed to, but it just seems they needed a little more time,'' said Paul Stokell, another Olentangy parent.
Olentangy schools said the vaccination clinic was held Saturday to allow for some recovery time. It contracts out substitutes, putting in a request for more teachers Monday, but there wre not enough to cover all of the district's buildings.
''It's hard to find subs even in a good year, so I think they've done the best that they can, trying to get word out, saying, 'Hey, we need subs,' and whatnot, but there's only so much they can do,'' Norfolk said.
The district says virtual learners weren't affected by this and only one portion (32%) of Cohort A were impacted. The other cohort, cohort B, was not impacted at all.
This time next week, there will be a full in-person return for everyone.
''Very glad to be getting back full-time,'' Norfolk said. ''My daughter didn't really have many friends in group, there were only like three of them that hung out together, so getting to see everybody again will be nice.''
VIDEO-Greta Thunberg slams Joe Biden for ignoring 'the science' on climate change | Fox Business
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 15:26
Swedish teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg says President Biden isn't doing enough to ''treat the climate crisis like a crisis,'' accusing him of being ''not nearly enough in line with the science'' on the issue.
The 18-year-old Thunberg '-- known for holding world leaders' feet to the fire on their environmental policies '-- was asked during an appearance on MSNBC Sunday night to grade Biden, whom she endorsed, on how his administration is handling climate change.'‹
'''‹Well, you shouldn't take that from me, I'm just a teenager, so I'm not '-- I don't have the mandate to sort of give grades like that. My opinions on this doesn't matter'‹,'' Thunberg began.
'''‹'‹You should rather look at the science and whether his policies are in line with the Paris agreements and to stay below 1.5 or even 2 degrees Celsius, and then you can clearly see that, no, it's not nearly enough in line with the science. That's not me saying, that's just black and white, looking at the facts'‹,'' she continued.
Host Mehdi Hasan noted that Biden has rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, named a climate czar, and started to roll back some of former President Donald Trump's environmental policies and then asked her what she would suggest Biden do.
''I would just like you to basically just treat the climate crisis like a crisis. They have said themselves that this is an existential threat,'' she responded, adding that Biden isn't handling it as such.
''They are just treating the climate crisis'‹ '‹as it was a political topic, among other topics and, yeah, treat it as a crisis, that's the No. 1 step'‹,'' she added.'‹
Thunberg declined to name one thing she would suggest the president do to fight climate change, but '‹said getting people involved is a top priority.
"So what we need now is to raise awareness and to create public opinion to treat the crisis like a crisis. Because if people are not aware of the crisis that we face, of course they wouldn't put pressure on the elected leaders. So I would just tell him to, to tell the situation as it is,'' she said.
Thunberg also said leaders who complain that they can't do anything to change environmental policy because they lack support need to build a backing for what they want to accomplish.
''Well, how can you expect support and pressure from voters if you are not treating the crisis like a crisis. Since the climate crisis doesn't exist, how can we expect people to want climate action,'' she said.
VIDEO-pokeman on the go on Twitter: "@Grand333 @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK amazing that this is such a constant slip up lmao" / Twitter
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 15:05
pokeman on the go : @Grand333 @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK amazing that this is such a constant slip up lmao
Tue Mar 09 13:15:13 +0000 2021
VIDEO-SerialBrain2: Trump's Visit to the UK and the Explosive Truth about Meghan Markle.
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 06:30
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VIDEO-Scuzz Twittly - Keep Yer Hands Off My PBR - YouTube
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 23:47
VIDEO-National Geographic TV on Twitter: "Paid Content for @Pfizer. Mission Possible: The Race for a Vaccine follows the bold, history-making mission to develop the first COVID-19 vaccine. Don't miss the premiere Thursday, March 11th at 10/9c on
Sun, 07 Mar 2021 21:43
National Geographic TV : Paid Content for @Pfizer. Mission Possible: The Race for a Vaccine follows the bold, history-making mission to deve'... https://t.co/c7Ih5gnLKL
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Denmark suspends use of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 15:01
The Oxford-AstraZeneca covid vaccine.
Karwai Tang | Getty Images
LONDON '-- Denmark announced Thursday it will temporarily suspend the use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
The Danish Health Authority said it would temporarily stop using the shot in its vaccination program as a precaution "after reports of severe cases of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca."
"Against this background, the European Medicines Agency has launched an investigation into the AstraZeneca vaccine. One report relates to a death in Denmark. At present, it cannot be concluded whether there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots," the health authority said in a statement.
It did not specify how many reports of blood clots there had been, or where they had originated.
The announcement comes after a similar move in Austria at the start of the week, where authorities are investigating the death of one person and the illness of another after they received doses of the vaccine.
Shares of AstraZeneca on the London market slipped 2.4% on Thursday morning. The University of Oxford would not comment on the announcement when contacted by CNBC.
A spokesperson for AstraZeneca said the company was aware of the statement made by the Danish Health Authority that it's currently investigating potential adverse effects related to the vaccine.
"Patient safety is the highest priority for AstraZeneca. Regulators have clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards for the approval of any new medicine, and that includes COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. The safety of the vaccine has been extensively studied in Phase III clinical trials and Peer-reviewed data confirms the vaccine is generally well tolerated," AstraZeneca said in a statement to CNBC.
S¸ren Brostr¸m, director of the National Board of Health in Denmark, insisted that the 14-day suspension was a precaution while investigations took place.
"It is important to emphasize that we have not opted out of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that we are putting it on hold. There is good evidence that the vaccine is both safe and effective. But both we and the Danish Medicines Agency have to react to reports of possible serious side effects, both from Denmark and other European countries," he said.
Austria concernsAustrian health authorities suspended the use of batch ABV5300 of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a person was diagnosed with multiple thrombosis (formation of blood clots within blood vessels) and died 10 days after vaccination, and another was hospitalized with pulmonary embolism after being vaccinated.
"The latter is now recovering," the European Medicines Agency said Wednesday.
However, the EMA added that "there is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine."
The EMA noted that the same batch ABV5300 was delivered to 17 EU countries and comprises 1 million doses of the vaccine.
"Some EU countries have also subsequently suspended this batch as a precautionary measure, while a full investigation is ongoing. Although a quality defect is considered unlikely at this stage, the batch quality is being investigated," the EMA said.
It added that its safety committee was reviewing the issue and "investigating the cases reported with the batch as well as all other cases of thromboembolic events, and other conditions related to blood clots, reported post-vaccination."
"The information available so far indicates that the number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than that seen in the general population."
As of March 9, "22 cases of thromboembolic events had been reported among the 3 million people vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in the European Economic Area," the EMA said.
U.K. and EU relianceLate-stage clinical trials found the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot to have an average efficacy of 70% in protecting against the virus. A more recent study by Oxford researchers found that the Covid vaccine was 76% effective at preventing symptomatic infection for three months after a single dose, and that the efficacy rate actually rose with a longer interval between the first and second doses.
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is being relied upon heavily in the U.K. and European Union's immunization rollouts.
The U.K. has so far vaccinated over 22 million people with a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and is currently only using the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech shot.
Did Meghan Markle dress like Wallis Simpson in the Oprah Winfrey interview deliberately? She donned Princess Diana's Cartier jewellery and a US$4,700 Giorgio Armani '' and viewers are wondering if there's a hidden message | South China Morning Post
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 14:37
When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down for the CBS special, Meghan wore Princess Diana's jewellery and a dress like Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson'sThe Duchess of Sussex also wore a custom-made Carolina Herrera dress in her pregnancy announcement photo '' originally made when she was pregnant with Archie Published: 6:00am, 9 Mar, 2021
Updated: 6:00am, 9 Mar, 2021
Wallis Simpson - Wikipedia
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 14:36
Wife of former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
"Duchess of Windsor" redirects here. For the ducal title, see
Duke of Windsor.
Duchess of Windsor (more)
Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (born Bessie Wallis Warfield; 19 June 1896[1] '' 24 April 1986), known as Wallis Simpson, was an American socialite and wife of the Duke of Windsor, the former British king Edward VIII. Their intention to marry and her status as a divorc(C)e caused a constitutional crisis that led to Edward's abdication.
Wallis grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Her father died shortly after her birth and she and her widowed mother were partly supported by their wealthier relatives. Her first marriage, to U.S. naval officer Win Spencer, was punctuated by periods of separation and eventually ended in divorce. In 1931, during her second marriage, to Ernest Simpson, she met Edward, then Prince of Wales. Five years later, after Edward's accession as King of the United Kingdom, Wallis divorced her second husband to marry Edward.
The King's desire to marry a woman who had two living ex-husbands threatened to cause a constitutional crisis in the United Kingdom and the Dominions, and ultimately led to his abdication in December 1936 to marry "the woman I love".[2] After abdicating, the former king was created Duke of Windsor by his brother and successor, King George VI. Wallis married Edward six months later, after which she was formally known as the Duchess of Windsor, but was not allowed to share her husband's style of "Royal Highness".
Before, during, and after the Second World War, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were suspected by many in government and society of being Nazi sympathisers. In 1937, they visited Germany and met Adolf Hitler. In 1940, the Duke was appointed governor of the Bahamas, and the couple moved to the islands until he relinquished the office in 1945. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Duke and Duchess shuttled between Europe and the United States living a life of leisure as society celebrities. After the Duke's death in 1972, the Duchess lived in seclusion and was rarely seen in public. Her private life has been a source of much speculation, and she remains a controversial figure in British history.
Early life [ edit ] Wallis Warfield before 1936
An only child, Bessie Wallis (sometimes written "Bessiewallis") Warfield was born in Square Cottage at Monterey Inn, a hotel directly across the road from the Monterey Country Club, in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania.[3] A summer resort close to the Maryland''Pennsylvania border, Blue Ridge Summit was popular with Baltimoreans escaping the season's heat, and Monterey Inn, which had a central building as well as individual wooden cottages, was the town's largest hotel.[4][5]
Her father was Teackle Wallis Warfield, the fifth and youngest son of Henry Mactier Warfield, a flour merchant described as "one of the best known and personally one of the most popular citizens of Baltimore" who ran for mayor in 1875.[6] Her mother was Alice Montague, a daughter of stockbroker William Latane Montague. Wallis was named in honour of her father (who was known as Wallis) and her mother's elder sister, Bessie (Mrs D. Buchanan Merryman), and was called Bessie Wallis until at some time during her youth the name Bessie was dropped.[7]
According to a wedding announcement in the Baltimore Sun (20 November 1895), her parents were married by C. Ernest Smith at Baltimore's Saint Michael and All Angels' Protestant Episcopal Church on 19 November 1895,[8] which suggests she was conceived out of wedlock. Wallis claimed that her parents were married in June 1895.[9] Her father died of tuberculosis on 15 November 1896.[10] For her first few years, she and her mother were dependent upon the charity of her father's wealthy bachelor brother Solomon Davies Warfield, postmaster of Baltimore and later president of the Continental Trust Company and the Seaboard Air Line Railway. Initially, they lived with him at the four-story row house, 34 East Preston Street, that he shared with his mother.[11]
In 1901, Wallis's aunt Bessie Merryman was widowed, and the following year Alice and Wallis moved into her four-bedroom house on West Chase Street, Baltimore, where they lived for at least a year until they settled in an apartment, and then a house, of their own. In 1908, Wallis's mother married her second husband, John Freeman Rasin, son of a prominent Democratic party boss.[12]
On 17 April 1910, Wallis was confirmed at Christ Episcopal Church, Baltimore, and between 1912 and 1914 her uncle paid for her to attend Oldfields School, the most expensive girls' school in Maryland.[13] There she became a friend of heiress Ren(C)e du Pont, a daughter of Senator T. Coleman du Pont of the du Pont family, and Mary Kirk, whose family founded Kirk Silverware.[14] A fellow pupil at one of Wallis's schools recalled, "She was bright, brighter than all of us. She made up her mind to go to the head of the class, and she did."[15] Wallis was always immaculately dressed and pushed herself hard to do well.[16] A later biographer wrote of her, "Though Wallis's jaw was too heavy for her to be counted beautiful, her fine violet-blue eyes and petite figure, quick wits, vitality, and capacity for total concentration on her interlocutor ensured that she had many admirers."[17]
First marriage [ edit ] In April 1916, Wallis met Earl Winfield Spencer Jr., a U.S. Navy aviator, at Pensacola, Florida, while visiting her cousin Corinne Mustin.[18] It was at this time that Wallis witnessed two airplane crashes about two weeks apart, resulting in a lifelong fear of flying.[19] The couple married on 8 November 1916 at Christ Episcopal Church in Baltimore, which had been Wallis's parish. Win, as her husband was known, was a heavy drinker. He drank even before flying and once crashed into the sea, but escaped almost unharmed.[20] After the United States entered the First World War in 1917, Spencer was posted to San Diego as the first commanding officer of a training base in Coronado, known as Naval Air Station North Island; they remained there until 1921.[21]
In 1920, Edward, the Prince of Wales, visited San Diego, but he and Wallis did not meet.[22] Later that year, Spencer left his wife for a period of four months, but in the spring of 1921 they were reunited in Washington, D.C., where Spencer had been posted. They soon separated again, and in 1922, when Spencer was posted to the Far East as commander of the USS Pampanga, Wallis remained behind, continuing an affair with an Argentine diplomat, Felipe de Espil.[17] In January 1924, she visited Paris with her recently widowed cousin Corinne Mustin,[23] before sailing to the Far East aboard a troop carrier, USS Chaumont. The Spencers were briefly reunited until she fell ill, after which she returned to Hong Kong.[24]
Wallis toured China, and while in Beijing stayed with Katherine and Herman Rogers, who were to remain her long-term friends.[25] According to the wife of one of Win's fellow officers, Mrs Milton E. Miles,[26] in Beijing Wallis met Count Galeazzo Ciano, later Mussolini's son-in-law and Foreign Minister, had an affair with him, and became pregnant, leading to a botched abortion that left her infertile.[27] The rumour was later widespread but never substantiated and Ciano's wife, Edda Mussolini, denied it.[28] The existence of an official "China dossier" (detailing the supposed sexual and criminal exploits of Wallis in China) is denied by historians and biographers.[29] Wallis spent over a year in China, during which time'--according to the socialite Madame Wellington Koo'--she only managed to master one Chinese phrase: "Boy, pass me the champagne".[30][31] By September 1925, she and her husband were back in the United States, though living apart.[32] Their divorce was finalised on 10 December 1927.[33]
Second marriage [ edit ] By the time her marriage to Spencer was dissolved, Wallis had become involved with Ernest Aldrich Simpson, an Anglo-American shipping executive and former officer in the Coldstream Guards.[34] He divorced his first wife, Dorothea (by whom he had a daughter, Audrey), to marry Wallis on 21 July 1928 at the Register Office in Chelsea, London.[35] Wallis had telegraphed her acceptance of his proposal from Cannes where she was staying with her friends, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.[36]
The Simpsons temporarily set up home in a furnished house with four servants in Mayfair.[37] In 1929, Wallis sailed back to the United States to visit her sick mother, who had married legal clerk Charles Gordon Allen after the death of Rasin. During the trip, Wallis's investments were wiped out in the Wall Street Crash, and her mother died penniless on 2 November 1929. Wallis returned to England and with the shipping business still buoyant, the Simpsons moved into a large flat with a staff of servants.[38]
Through a friend, Consuelo Thaw, Wallis met Consuelo's sister Thelma, Lady Furness, at the time the mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales.[39] On 10 January 1931, Lady Furness introduced Wallis to the Prince at Burrough Court, near Melton Mowbray.[40] The Prince was the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary, and heir apparent to the British throne. Between 1931 and 1934, he met the Simpsons at various house parties, and Wallis was presented at court. Ernest was beginning to encounter financial difficulties, as the Simpsons were living beyond their means, and they had to fire a succession of staff.[41]
Relationship with Edward, Prince of Wales [ edit ] The Prince of Wales and Wallis in
Kitzb¼hel, Austria, February 1935
In January 1934, while Lady Furness was away in New York City, Wallis allegedly became the Prince's mistress.[42] Edward denied this to his father, despite his staff seeing them in bed together as well as "evidence of a physical sexual act".[43] Wallis soon ousted Lady Furness, and the Prince distanced himself from a former lover and confidante, the Anglo-American textile heiress Freda Dudley Ward.[44]
By the end of 1934, Edward was irretrievably besotted with Wallis, finding her domineering manner and abrasive irreverence toward his position appealing; in the words of his official biographer, he became "slavishly dependent" on her.[17] According to Wallis, it was during a cruise on Lord Moyne's private yacht Rosaura in August 1934 that she fell in love with Edward.[45] At an evening party in Buckingham Palace, he introduced her to his mother'--his father was outraged,[46] primarily on account of her marital history, as divorced people were generally excluded from court.[47] Edward showered Wallis with money and jewels,[48] and in February 1935, and again later in the year, he holidayed with her in Europe.[49] His courtiers became increasingly alarmed as the affair began to interfere with his official duties.[50]
In 1935, the head of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch told the Metropolitan Police Commissioner that Wallis was also having an affair with Guy Marcus Trundle, who was "said to be employed by the Ford Motor Company".[51] Claims of an affair were doubted, however, by Captain Val Bailey, who knew Trundle well and whose mother had an affair with Trundle for nearly two decades,[52] and by historian Susan Williams.[53]
Abdication crisis [ edit ] On 20 January 1936, George V died at Sandringham and Edward ascended the throne as King Edward VIII. The next day, he broke royal protocol by watching the proclamation of his accession from a window of St James's Palace, in the company of the still-married Wallis.[54] It was becoming apparent to Court and Government circles that the new king-emperor meant to marry her.[55] The King's behaviour and his relationship with Wallis made him unpopular with the Conservative-led British government, as well as distressing his mother and his brother the Duke of York.[56] The British media remained deferential to the monarchy, and no stories of the affair were reported in the domestic press, but foreign media widely reported their relationship.[57] After the death of George V, before her divorce from her second husband, Simpson reportedly said, "Soon I shall be Queen of England".[58]
The monarch of the United Kingdom is Supreme Governor of the Church of England'--at the time of the proposed marriage, and until 2002, the Church of England disapproved of, and would not perform, the remarriage of divorced people if their former spouse was still alive.[59] Constitutionally, the King was required to be in communion with the Church of England, but his proposed marriage conflicted with the Church's teachings.[60] Additionally, at the time both the Church and English law only recognised adultery as a legitimate ground for divorce. Since she had divorced her first husband on grounds of "mutual incompatibility", there was a possibility that her second marriage, as well as her prospective marriage to Edward, would be considered bigamous if her first divorce had been challenged in court.[61]
The British and Dominion governments believed that a twice divorced woman was politically, socially, and morally unsuitable as a prospective consort.[62] She was perceived by many in the British Empire as a woman of "limitless ambition"[63] who was pursuing the King because of his wealth and position.[64]
Wallis had already filed for divorce from her second husband on the grounds that he had committed adultery with her childhood friend Mary Kirk and the decree nisi was granted on 27 October 1936.[65] In November, the King consulted with the British prime minister, Stanley Baldwin, on a way to marry Wallis and keep the throne. The King suggested a morganatic marriage, where he would remain king but Wallis would not be queen, but this was rejected by Baldwin and the prime ministers of Australia, Canada, and the Union of South Africa.[62] If the King were to marry Wallis against Baldwin's advice, the Government would be required to resign, causing a constitutional crisis.[66]
Wallis's relationship with the King had become public knowledge in the United Kingdom by early December. She decided to flee the country as the scandal broke, and was driven to the south of France in a dramatic race to outrun the press.[67] For the next three months, she was under siege by the media at the Villa Lou Viei, near Cannes, the home of her close friends Herman and Katherine Rogers,[68] whom she later thanked effusively in her ghost-written memoirs. On her instructions, according to Andrew Morton on the basis of an interview with Rogers's stepdaughter-in-law 80 years later,[69] the ghost-writer made no mention of her confession that Herman Rogers was actually the love of her life.[70] At her hideaway, Wallis was pressured by Lord Brownlow, the King's lord-in-waiting, to renounce the King. On 7 December 1936, Lord Brownlow read to the press her statement, which he had helped her draft, indicating Wallis's readiness to give up the King.[71] However, Edward was determined to marry Wallis. John Theodore Goddard, Wallis's solicitor, stated: "[his] client was ready to do anything to ease the situation but the other end of the wicket [Edward VIII] was determined." This seemingly indicated that the King had decided he had no option but to abdicate if he wished to marry Wallis.[72]
The King signed the Instrument of Abdication on 10 December 1936, in the presence of his three surviving brothers, the Duke of York (who would ascend the throne the following day as George VI), the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent. Special laws passed by the Parliaments of the Dominions finalised Edward's abdication the following day, or in Ireland's case one day later. On 11 December 1936, Edward said in a radio broadcast, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love."[2]
Edward left Britain for Austria, where he stayed at Schloss Enzesfeld, the home of Baron Eugen and Baroness Kitty de Rothschild. Edward had to remain apart from Wallis until there was no danger of compromising the granting of a decree absolute in her divorce proceedings.[73] Upon her divorce being made final in May 1937, she changed her name by deed poll to Wallis Warfield, resuming her maiden name.[74] The couple were reunited at the Chteau de Cand(C), Monts, France, on 4 May 1937.[73]
Third marriage: Duchess of Windsor [ edit ] Wallis and Edward married one month later on 3 June 1937 at the Chteau de Cand(C), lent to them by French millionaire Charles Bedaux.[75] The date would have been King George V's 72nd birthday; Queen Mary thought the wedding had been scheduled for then as a deliberate slight.[76] No member of Edward's family attended. Wallis wore a "Wallis blue" Mainbocher wedding dress.[77] Edward presented her with an engagement ring that consisted of an emerald mount in yellow gold set with diamonds, and the sentence "We are ours now" was engraved on it.[78] While the Church of England refused to sanction the wedding, Robert Anderson Jardine, Vicar of St Paul's, Darlington, offered to perform the service, an offer that was accepted by the couple.[79] Guests included Randolph Churchill, Baron Eug¨ne Daniel von Rothschild, and the best man, Major Fruity Metcalfe.[79] The marriage produced no children. In November, Ernest Simpson married Mary Kirk.[80]
Edward was created Duke of Windsor by his brother King George VI prior to the marriage. However, letters patent, passed by the new king and unanimously supported by the Dominion governments,[81] prevented Wallis, now the Duchess of Windsor, from sharing her husband's style of "Royal Highness". George VI's firm view that the Duchess should not be given a royal title was shared by Queen Mary and George's wife, Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother).[82] At first, the British royal family did not accept the Duchess and would not receive her formally, although the former king sometimes met his mother and siblings after his abdication. Some biographers have suggested that Wallis's sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, remained bitter towards her for her role in bringing George VI to the throne (which she may have seen as a factor in his early death)[83] and for prematurely behaving as Edward's consort when she was his mistress.[84] These claims were denied by Queen Elizabeth's close friends, such as the Duke of Grafton, who wrote that she "never said anything nasty about the Duchess of Windsor, except to say she really hadn't got a clue what she was dealing with."[85] Queen Elizabeth was said to have referred to Simpson as "that woman",[86] while the Duchess of Windsor referred to Queen Elizabeth as "Mrs. Temple" and "Cookie", alluding to her solid figure and fondness for food, and to her daughter, Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), as "Shirley", as in Shirley Temple.[87] The Duchess bitterly resented the denial of the royal title and the refusal of the Duke's relatives to accept her as part of the family.[17][88] Within the household of the Duke and Duchess, the style "Her Royal Highness" was used by those who were close to the couple.[89]
According to the wife of former British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley, Diana Mitford, who knew both Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of Windsor but was only friendly with the latter, the Queen's antipathy toward her sister-in-law may have resulted from jealousy. Lady Mosley wrote to her sister, the Duchess of Devonshire, after the death of the Duke of Windsor, "probably the theory of their [the Windsors'] contemporaries that Cake [a Mitford nickname for the Queen Mother, derived from her delighted exclamation at the party at which Deborah Devonshire first met her] was rather in love with him [the Duke] (as a girl) & took second best, may account for much."[90]
The Duke and Duchess lived in France in the pre-war years. In 1937, they made a high-profile visit to Germany and met Adolf Hitler at the Berghof, his Berchtesgaden retreat. After the visit, Hitler said of Wallis, "she would have made a good Queen".[91] The visit tended to corroborate the strong suspicions of many in government and society that the Duchess was a German agent,[17] a claim that she ridiculed in her letters to the Duke.[92] U.S. FBI files compiled in the 1930s also portray her as a possible Nazi sympathiser. Duke Carl Alexander of W¼rttemberg told the FBI that she and leading Nazi Joachim von Ribbentrop had been lovers in London.[93] There were even rather improbable reports during the Second World War that she kept a signed photograph of Ribbentrop on her bedside table.[94]
Second World War [ edit ] As the German troops advanced, the Duke and Duchess fled south from their Paris home, first to Biarritz then to Spain in June. She told United States ambassador to Spain Alexander W. Weddell that France had lost because it was "internally diseased".[95] The Duke and Duchess moved to Portugal in July. They stayed in Cascais, at Casa de Santa Maria, the home of Ricardo do Esp­rito Santo e Silva, a banker who was suspected of being a German agent.[96]
In August 1940, the Duke and Duchess travelled by commercial liner to the Bahamas where he was installed as governor.[97] Wallis performed her role as the governor's consort competently for five years; she worked actively for the Red Cross and in the improvement of infant welfare.[98] However, she hated Nassau, calling it "our St Helena" in a reference to Napoleon's final place of exile.[99] She was heavily criticised in the British press for her extravagant shopping in the United States, undertaken when Britain was enduring privations such as rationing and blackout.[17][100] She referred to the local population as "lazy, thriving niggers" in letters to her aunt, which reflected her upbringing in the Jim Crow South.[101][102] Prime Minister Winston Churchill strenuously objected in 1941 when she and her husband planned to tour the Caribbean aboard a yacht belonging to Swedish magnate Axel Wenner-Gren, whom Churchill said was "pro-German", and Churchill complained again when the Duke gave a "defeatist" interview.[103] Another of their acquaintances, Charles Bedaux, who had hosted their wedding, was arrested on charges of treason in 1943 but committed suicide in jail in Miami before the case was brought to trial.[104] The British establishment distrusted the Duchess; Sir Alexander Hardinge wrote that her suspected anti-British activities were motivated by a desire for revenge against a country that rejected her as its queen.[105] The couple returned to France and retirement after the defeat of Nazi Germany.[17]
Later life [ edit ] The Duke and Duchess of Windsor at the White House for dinner with U.S. President
Richard Nixon in 1970
In 1946, when the Duchess was staying at Ednam Lodge, the home of the Earl of Dudley, some of her jewels were stolen. There were rumours that the theft had been masterminded by the royal family as an attempt to regain jewels taken from the Royal Collection by the Duke, or by the Windsors themselves as part of an insurance fraud'--they made a large deposit of loose stones at Cartier the following year. However, in 1960, career criminal Richard Dunphie confessed to the crime. The stolen pieces were only a small portion of the Windsor jewels, which were either bought privately, inherited by the Duke, or given to the Duke when he was Prince of Wales.[106]
In 1952 they were offered the use of a house by the Paris municipal authorities. The couple lived at 4 route du Champ d'Entra®nement in the Bois de Boulogne, near Neuilly-sur-Seine, for most of the remainder of their lives, essentially living a life of easy retirement.[107] They travelled frequently between Europe and America aboard ocean liners. They bought a second house in the country, Moulin de la Tuilerie or "The Mill" in Gif-sur-Yvette, where they soon became close friends of their neighbours, Oswald and Diana Mosley.[108] Years later, Diana Mosley claimed that the Duke and Duchess shared her and her husband's views that Hitler should have been given a free hand to destroy Communism;[109] as the Duke wrote in the New York Daily News of 13 December 1966: "it was in Britain's interest and in Europe's too, that Germany be encouraged to strike east and smash Communism forever ... I thought the rest of us could be fence-sitters while the Nazis and the Reds slogged it out."[110]
In 1965, the Duke and Duchess visited London as the Duke required eye surgery for a detached retina; Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, visited them. The Duke's sister, the Princess Royal, also visited just 10 days before her death. They attended her memorial service in Westminster Abbey.[111] Later, in 1967, the Duke and Duchess joined the royal family in London for the unveiling of a plaque by Elizabeth II to commemorate the centenary of Queen Mary's birth.[112] Both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles visited the Windsors in Paris in the Duke's later years, the Queen's visit coming only shortly before the Duke died.[113]
Widowhood [ edit ] Upon the Duke's death from throat cancer in 1972, the Duchess travelled to the United Kingdom to attend his funeral,[114] staying at Buckingham Palace during her visit.[115] The Duchess became increasingly frail and eventually succumbed to dementia, living the final years of her life as a recluse, supported by both her husband's estate and an allowance from the Queen.[116] She suffered several falls and broke her hip twice.[117]
After Edward's death, the Duchess's French lawyer, Suzanne Blum, assumed power of attorney.[118] Blum sold items belonging to the Duchess to her own friends at lower than market value[119] and was accused of exploiting her client in Caroline Blackwood's The Last of the Duchess, written in 1980 but not published until 1995, after Blum's death.[120] Later, royal biographer Hugo Vickers called Blum a "Satanic figure ... wearing the mantle of good intention to disguise her inner malevolence".[121]
In 1980, the Duchess lost the power of speech.[122] Towards the end, she was bedridden and did not receive any visitors, apart from her doctor and nurses.[123]
Death [ edit ] The Duchess of Windsor died on 24 April 1986 at her home in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, aged 89.[3] Her funeral was held at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, attended by her two surviving sisters-in-law '' the Queen Mother and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester '' and other members of the royal family.[124] The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince and Princess of Wales attended both the funeral ceremony and the burial.[125]
She was buried next to Edward in the Royal Burial Ground near Windsor Castle, as "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor".[125] Prior to an agreement with Queen Elizabeth II in the 1960s, the Duke and Duchess had previously planned for a burial in a purchased cemetery plot at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, where the Duchess's father was interred.[126]
In recognition of the help France gave to the Duke and Duchess in providing them with a home, and in lieu of death duties, the Duchess's collection of Louis XVI style furniture, some porcelain, and paintings were made over to the French state.[127] The British royal family received no major bequests. Most of her estate went to the Pasteur Institute medical research foundation, on the instructions of Suzanne Blum. The decision took the royal family and the Duchess's friends by surprise, as she had shown little interest in charity during her life.[128]
In a Sotheby's auction in Geneva, in April 1987, the Duchess's remarkable jewellery collection raised $45 million for the institute, approximately seven times its pre-sale estimate.[129] Blum later claimed that Egyptian entrepreneur Mohamed Al-Fayed tried to purchase the jewels for a "rock bottom price".[130] Al-Fayed bought much of the non-financial estate, including the lease of the Paris mansion. An auction of his collection was announced in July 1997 for later that year in New York.[131] Delayed by his son's death in the car crash that also claimed the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, the sale raised more than £14 million for charity in 1998.[125]
Legacy [ edit ] Wallis was plagued by rumours of other lovers. Gay American playboy Jimmy Donahue, an heir to the Woolworth fortune, claimed to have had a liaison with her in the 1950s, but Donahue was notorious for his inventive pranks and rumour-mongering.[132] Wallis's memoirs The Heart Has Its Reasons were published in 1956, and biographer Charles Higham said that "facts were remorselessly rearranged in what amounted to a self-performed face-lift". He describes the Duchess as "charismatic, electric and compulsively ambitious".[133]
Fictional depictions of the Duchess include the novel Famous Last Words (1981) by Canadian author Timothy Findley, which portrays her as a manipulative conspirator,[134] and Rose Tremain's short story "The Darkness of Wallis Simpson" (2006), which depicts her more sympathetically in her final years of ill health.[135] Hearsay and conjecture have clouded assessment of the Duchess of Windsor's life, not helped by her own manipulation of the truth. But there is no document which proves directly that she was anything other than a victim of her own ambition, who lived out a great romance that became a great tragedy.[136] In the opinion of her biographers, "she experienced the ultimate fairy tale, becoming the adored favourite of the most glamorous bachelor of his time. The idyll went wrong when, ignoring her pleas, he threw up his position to spend the rest of his life with her."[136] The Duchess herself is reported to have summed up her life in a sentence: "You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance."[137]
Titles and styles [ edit ] 19 June 1896 '' 8 November 1916: Miss Bessie Wallis Warfield8 November 1916 '' 21 July 1928: Mrs. Earl Winfield Spencer Jr.21 July 1928 '' 7 May 1937: Mrs. Ernest Aldrich Simpson7 May 1937 '' 3 June 1937: Mrs. Wallis WarfieldWallis resumed her maiden surname by deed poll on 7 May 1937,[138] but continued to use the title "Mrs".[74]3 June 1937 '' 24 April 1986: Her Grace The Duchess of WindsorThe Duchess of Windsor was unofficially styled Royal Highness within her own household.[89]
Notes and references [ edit ] ^ a b According to 1900 census returns, she was born in June 1895, which author Charles Higham asserted was before her parents' marriage (Higham, p. 4). Author Greg King, noted that, though Higham's "scandalous assertion of illegitimacy enlivens the telling of the Duchess's life", "the evidence to support it is slim indeed", and that it "strains credulity" (King, p. 11). ^ a b Duke of Windsor, p. 413 ^ a b Weir, p. 328 ^ "Baltimore in Her Centennial Year", Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, Volume 43 (Frank Leslie Publishing House, 1897), p. 702 ^ Blue Ridge Summit referred to as "a fashionable summer resort ... then greatly patronized by Baltimoreans" in Francis F. Bierne (1984), The Amiable Baltimoreans, Johns Hopkins University Press, p. 118 ^ Carroll, David H. (1911), Men of Mark in Maryland, Volume 3, B. F. Johnson Inc., p. 28 ^ King, p. 13 ^ "Montague''Warfield", The Baltimore Sun, 20 November 1895 ^ Duchess of Windsor, p. 17; Sebba, p. 6 ^ Tombstone in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore; King p. 13; Sebba, p. 9 ^ Carroll, vol. 3, pp. 24''43; King, pp. 14''15; Duchess of Windsor, p. 20 ^ King, p. 24; Vickers, p. 252 ^ Higham, p. 4 ^ King, p. 28 ^ Higham, p. 7 ^ King, pp. 21''22 ^ a b c d e f g Ziegler, Philip (2004) "Windsor, (Bessie) Wallis, duchess of Windsor (1896''1986)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/38277, retrieved 2 May 2010 (subscription required) ^ King, p. 38; Sebba, pp. 20''21; Vickers, p. 257; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 59''60 ^ Higham, p. 20 ^ Duchess of Windsor, pp. 76''77 ^ King, pp. 47''52; Vickers, pp. 258, 261; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 79''85 ^ King, pp. 51''52; Sebba, p. 36; Vickers, p. 260; Duchess of Windsor, p. 85 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p. 22; King, p. 57; Sebba, pp. 41''43; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 100''101 ^ King, p. 60; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 104''106 ^ King, pp. 62''64; Sebba, pp. 45''53; Vickers, p. 263; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 112''113 ^ Higham, p. 50 ^ Higham, p. 50; King, p. 66; Sebba, pp. 55''56 ^ Moseley, Ray (1999), Mussolini's Shadow: The Double Life of Count Galeazzo Ciano, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 9''10, ISBN 978-0-300-07917-3 ^ Higham, p. 119; King, p. 61; Vickers, p. 263; Ziegler, p. 224 ^ Koo, Madame Wellington (1943), Hui-Lan Koo: An Autobiography as told to Mary van Rensselaer Thayer, New York: Dial Press ^ Maher, Catherine (31 October 1943), "Madame Wellington Koo's Life Story", The New York Times: BR7 ^ King, p. 66 ^ Sebba, p. 60; Weir, p. 328 ^ King, pp. 68''70; Sebba, pp. 62''64; Vickers, pp. 267''269; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 125, 131 ^ Sebba, pp. 62''67; Weir, p. 328 ^ Higham, p. 58 ^ Duchess of Windsor, p. 140 ^ Higham, p. 67 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p. 33; Sebba, p. 84; Vickers, p. 272 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p. 37; King, p. 98; Vickers, p. 272 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, pp. 37''41 ^ Edward sued one author, Geoffrey Dennis, who claimed that Wallis and Edward were lovers before their marriage, and won (King, p. 119). ^ Diary of Clive Wigram, 1st Baron Wigram quoted in Bradford, pp. 145''147 ^ Sebba, p. 98; Vickers, p. 287; Ziegler, pp. 227''228 ^ King, p. 113; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 195''197, 200 ^ Ziegler, p. 231 ^ Beaverbrook, Lord (1966), A. J. P. Taylor (ed.), The Abdication of King Edward VIII, London: Hamish Hamilton, p. 111 ^ King, pp. 126, 155; Sebba, pp. 103''104; Ziegler, p. 238 ^ King, pp. 117, 134 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, pp. 58 and 71 ^ Report from Superintendent A. Canning to Sir Philip Game, 3 July 1935, National Archives, PRO MEPO 10/35, quoted in Williams, p. 75 ^ Fox, James (1 September 2003), "The Oddest Couple", Vanity Fair (517): 276''291, ISSN 0733-8899 ^ Williams, p. 75 ^ Sebba, p. 119; Duke of Windsor, p. 265 ^ Ziegler, pp. 277''278 ^ Ziegler, pp. 289''292 ^ King, p. 173; Sebba, pp. 136, 141; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 237, 242 ^ Moore, Lucy (31 March 2002), "A wicked twinkle and a streak of steel", The Guardian , retrieved 3 January 2019 ^ Marriage in Church After a Divorce, Church of England, archived from the original (doc) on 15 September 2012 , retrieved 9 March 2013 ^ Beaverbrook, pp. 39''44, 122 ^ Bradford, p. 241. ^ a b Ziegler, pp. 305''307 ^ Sir Horace Wilson writing to Neville Chamberlain, 10 December 1936, National Archives PREM 1/453, quoted in Sebba, p. 250 ^ Ziegler, pp. 234, 312 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, pp. 82, 92 ^ Beaverbrook, p. 57 ^ King, pp. 213''218; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 255''269 ^ Duke of Windsor, p. 359 ^ Sexton, David (22 February 2018), "Wallis in Love by Andrew Morton - review: Did she ever love the Duke of Windsor?", Evening Standard , retrieved 5 January 2020 ^ Morton, Andrew (2018), Wallis in Love, Michael O'Mara Books, p. 247, ISBN 978-1-78243-722-2 ^ Tinniswood, Adrian (1992), Belton House, The National Trust, p. 34, ISBN 978-0-7078-0113-1 ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard; Evans, Rob (2 March 2000), "Edward and Mrs Simpson cast in new light", The Guardian , retrieved 2 May 2010 ^ a b Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, pp. 106''118; King, pp. 253''254, 260 ^ a b McMillan, Richard D. (11 May 1937), "Duke Awaiting His Wedding Day", Waycross Journal-Herald: 1 , retrieved 6 September 2011 ^ Howarth, p. 73; Sebba, pp. 198, 205''209 ^ Letter from Queen Mary to Queen Elizabeth, 21 May 1937, Royal Archives, QEQM/PRIV/RF, quoted in Shawcross, William (2009), Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother: The Official Biography, Macmillan, p. 422, ISBN 978-1-4050-4859-0 ^ Sebba, p. 207 ^ Cartier engagement ring for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cartier , retrieved 15 November 2018 ^ a b Hallemann, Caroline (2 June 2017), "Inside Wallis Simpson's Wedding to the Duke of Windsor", Town & Country , retrieved 30 November 2017 ^ Sebba, p. 213 ^ Diary of Neville Chamberlain quoted in Bradford, p. 243 ^ Home Office memo on the Duke and Duchess's title, National Archives , retrieved 2 May 2020 ^ King, p. 399 ^ Bradford, p. 172; King, pp. 171''172 ^ Hogg, James; Mortimer, Michael (2002), The Queen Mother Remembered, BBC Books, pp. 84''85, ISBN 978-0-563-36214-2 ^ Lawless, Jill (17 March 2011), "Move over, Kate: Wallis Simpson back as style icon", The Washington Post , retrieved 3 January 2019 ^ Bloch, The Secret File of the Duke of Windsor, p. 259 ^ See also, Bloch, Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931''1937, pp. 231, 233 cited in Bradford, p. 232 ^ a b Sebba, p. 208 ^ Letter from Lady Mosley to the Duchess of Devonshire, 5 June 1972, in Mosley, Charlotte (ed.) (2007). The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters. London: Fourth Estate, p. 582 ^ Memoirs of Hitler's interpreter Paul Schmidt, quoted in King, p. 295 ^ Higham, p. 203 ^ Evans, Rob; Hencke, David (29 June 2002), "Wallis Simpson, the Nazi minister, the telltale monk and an FBI plot", The Guardian , retrieved 2 May 2010 ^ Bloch, The Duke of Windsor's War, p. 355 ^ Telegram from Weddell to Secretary of State Cordell Hull, FRUS 740.0011 1939/4357 European War, National Archives, Washington, D.C., quoted in Higham, p. 323 and King, p. 343 ^ Bloch, The Duke of Windsor's War, p. 102 ^ King, pp. 350''352; Duchess of Windsor, pp. 344''345 ^ King, pp. 368''376; Vickers, p. 331 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, pp. 153, 159 ^ Sebba, p. 244 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p. 165 ^ When telling a story of how Wallis complained about blacks being allowed on Park Avenue (Manhattan), Joanne Cummings, the wife of Nathan Cummings, said of Wallis, "She grew up in the South, at a certain time, with certain prejudices." Source: Menkes, p. 88 ^ Howarth, p. 130; King, pp. 377''378 ^ King, p. 378 ^ Howarth, p. 113 ^ Menkes, pp. 192''193 ^ Menkes, pp. 11''48 ^ Ziegler, p. 545 ^ Higham, p. 450 ^ King, pp. 294''296 ^ Vickers, p. 360 ^ King, pp. 455''459; Vickers, p. 362 ^ Bloch, The Secret File of the Duke of Windsor, p. 299; Vickers; pp. 15''16, 367 ^ Conducted by Launcelot Fleming, Dean of Windsor (The Times, Monday, 5 June 1972; p. 2; Issue 58496; col. E) ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p. 216; Sebba, p. 272; Vickers, p. 26 ^ Sebba, pp. 274''277; Vickers, pp. 99''120; Ziegler, p. 555 ^ King, pp. 492''493 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p. 221; King, p. 505; Menkes, p. 199; Vickers, pp. 137''138 ^ Vickers, pp. 124''127, 165 ^ Vickers, pp. 178''179 ^ Vickers, p. 370 ^ Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p. 222 ^ Vickers, pp. 158''168 ^ Vickers, pp. 191''198 ^ a b c Simple funeral rites for Duchess, BBC, 29 April 1998 , retrieved 2 May 2010 ^ Rasmussen, Frederick (29 April 1986), "Windsors had a plot at Green Mount", The Baltimore Sun ; Vickers, p. 245 ^ King, p. 506; Menkes, pp. 198, 206 and 207 ^ Menkes, p. 200 ^ Culme, p. 7 ^ Wadler, Joyce; Hauptfuhrer, Fred (8 January 1990), "Egypt's Al Fayed Restores the House Fit for a Former King", People, 33 (1) ^ Vickers, pp. 234''235 ^ Wilson, Christopher (2001), Dancing With the Devil: the Windsors and Jimmy Donahue, London: HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-00-653159-3 ; King, p. 442 ^ Higham, pp. 452''453 ^ Sebba, pp. 280''281 ^ Sebba, p. 282 ^ a b Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p. 231; See also Weintraub, Stanley (8 June 1986), "The Love Letters of the Duchess of Windsor", The Washington Post: X05 for a similar view. ^ King, p. 388; Wilson, p. 179 ^ Ashley, Mike (1998), The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens, London: Robinson, p. 701, ISBN 978-1-84119-096-9 Bibliography [ edit ] Bloch, Michael (1996). The Duchess of Windsor. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-83590-5. Bloch, Michael (1982). The Duke of Windsor's War. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-77947-6. Bloch, Michael (1988). The Secret File of the Duke of Windsor. London: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-593-01667-1. Bloch, Michael, ed. (1986). Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931''1937. Summit Books. ISBN 978-0-671-61209-2. Bradford, Sarah (1989). George VI. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-79667-1. Culme, John (1987). The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor. New York: Vendome Press. ISBN 978-0-86565-089-3. Higham, Charles (2005). Mrs Simpson. London: Pan Books. ISBN 978-0-330-42678-7. Howarth, Patrick (1987). George VI. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 978-0-09-171000-2. King, Greg (1999). The Duchess of Windsor. New York: Citadel Press. ISBN 978-1-55972-471-5. Menkes, Suzy (1987). The Windsor Style. London: Grafton Books. ISBN 978-0-246-13212-3. Sebba, Anne (2011). That Woman: the Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-85896-6. Vickers, Hugo (2011). Behind Closed Doors: The Tragic, Untold, Story of the Duchess of Windsor. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 978-0-09-193155-1. Weir, Alison (1995). Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy Revised edition. London: Random House. ISBN 978-0-7126-7448-5. Williams, Susan (2004). The People's King: The True Story of the Abdication. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-6363-5. Wilson, Christopher (2001). Dancing With the Devil: the Windsors and Jimmy Donahue. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-653159-3. Windsor, HRH The Duke of (1951). A King's Story. London: Cassell & Co. Windsor, The Duchess of (1956). The Heart has its Reasons: The Memoirs of the Duchess of Windsor. London: Michael Joseph. Ziegler, Philip (1991). King Edward VIII: The official biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-57730-2. Ziegler, Philip (2004). "Windsor, (Bessie) Wallis, duchess of Windsor (1896''1986)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/38277, retrieved 2 May 2010 (subscription required)Further reading [ edit ] Birmingham, Stephen (1981). Duchess: The Story of Wallis Warfield Windsor. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-09643-0. Blackwood, Lady Caroline (1995). The Last of the Duchess. New York: Pantheon. ISBN 978-0-679-43970-7. Morton, Andrew (2018). Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy. New York: Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-1-455-56697-6. Mosley, Diana (1980). The Duchess of Windsor. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 978-0-283-98628-4. Silvin, Richard Ren(C) (2010). Noblesse Oblige: The Duchess of Windsor As I Knew Her. Nike Publishing. ISBN 978-0-615-50578-7. External links [ edit ] Wallis Simpson at the Encyclop...dia BritannicaWallis Simpson at IMDbThe Duchess of Windsor at 212 East Biddle Street '' Explore Baltimore Heritage
What happens if Cuomo resigns or is impeached and removed from office
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 14:34
Gov. Cuomo faces at least five sexual harassment allegations in the biggest scandal of his career. He could resign from office or be impeached and removed by the state legislature. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would take over in both scenarios. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is embroiled in the biggest scandal of his career, with five women coming forward in recent weeks to accuse him of sexual harassment while he was the state's chief executive and previously, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Three former officials who worked in the Cuomo administration in the past decade, Lindsey Boylan, Charlotte Bennett, and Ana Liss, said Cuomo sexually harassed them on the job, including making romantic and sexual advances in the workplace, commenting on their appearances, questioning them about their dating and sex lives, and touching them inappropriately. Boylan says she resigned in 2018 after Cuomo kissed her on the lips without consent.
Another former official who worked for Cuomo during his tenure as HUD secretary, Karen Hinton, told the Washington Post that Cuomo held her into a too-long "intimate embrace" in a hotel room in 2000. Other former aides told the Post that Cuomo cultivated a "toxic" and tumultuous work environment where verbal harassment and yelling were an everyday occurrence.
A fifth woman, Anna Ruch, told The New York Times that Cuomo touched her and asked to kiss her at a 2019 wedding. A friend also present at the event took photos of the encounter, which showed Cuomo holding Ruch's face.
Additionally, Cuomo is accused by his own attorney general's office of covering up the extent of nursing home deaths in New York from COVID-19 after his administration required nursing homes to take COVID-19 positive patients from hospitals. A report from Attorney General Letitia James accuses Cuomo of potentially undercounting nursing deaths by as much as 50%.
In a February 28 statement, Cuomo acknowledged that some of his comments to others in the workplace "have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation," adding, "To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that." He supports an independent investigation into his conduct and has directed state employees to fully comply with a probe.
Cuomo is facing a federal investigation over the nursing homes issue, and James' office is now tasked with selecting independent lawyers in private practice to conduct an independent investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations.
New York state Sen. Julia Salazar, D-18th District, has called for Cuomo's impeachment AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File Both conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats alike in the legislature are united in their disdain for Cuomo's leadership and have strongly condemned the compounding allegations of harassment. Democrats now hold supermajorities in both legislative chambers.
So far, Cuomo has rejected calls for him to resign, saying on Sunday, "I'm not going to resign because of allegations. The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic."
While Cuomo is known for the hard-charging and confrontational approach to politics that powered his rise to power, it's left him with few vocal allies in Albany.
A major shoe dropped on Sunday when Senate President Andrea Stewart-Cousins called on Cuomo to resign from office in a statement.
'--Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) March 7, 2021In a statement of his own, State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie called the allegations against Cuomo "deeply disturbing and have no place in government, the workplace, or anywhere else," stopping short of calling for his resignation but stating that "it's time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York."
The mounting scandals facing Cuomo have also left him in a weakened position during negotiations over the state budget, which is due on April 1.
There's no indication that Cuomo plans to resign yet, but doing so could enable him to avoid either a possible impeachment or a reelection loss in 2022.
The last time a governor resigned was in early 2oo8, when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer left office after he admitted to having extramarital affairs with sex workers. At that time, Lieutenant Governor David Paterson stepped in as governor and served until 2010, when Cuomo (formerly New York's attorney general) won election to the governorship.
If Cuomo doesn't resign and the allegations against him mount, he could also face impeachment. On Tuesday, six Democratic socialist state senators released a statement calling for impeachment proceedings against Cuomo, and the governor reportedly told Stewart-Cousins that if she wants him gone, she'll have to impeach him.
The impeachment process in New York is very similar to how the impeachment of federal officials works in Congress.
A simple majority in the state Assembly is required to impeach a governor, if the governor is impeached, the articles go to the state's impeachment court for trial, and the lieutenant governor takes over as acting governor while the trial plays out, according to Syracuse.com.
The impeachment court normally consists of the lieutenant governor, the state Senate, and the justices of the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, but the lieutenant governor and the state Senate president do not serve on impeachment courts for governors.
A two-thirds majority of the state Senate and the justices of the New York Court of Appeals would be required to convict Cuomo and remove him from office. The trial would be overseen by Chief Justice Janet DiFiore of the Court of Appeals.
The last time a New York governor was impeached took place over a century ago in 1913, when the legislature impeached and removed former Gov. William Sulzer after he got into a nasty political battle with the Tammany Hall machine.
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul speaks to reporters at a COVID-19 vaccination site at the Aqueduct Race Track, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York AP Photo/Mary Altaffer If Cuomo either resigned or was removed through impeachment, the state's Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would take office and serve out the rest of Cuomo's term until 2023. If this scenario plays out, Hochul would be New York's first female governor.
Hochul, who hails from western New York, cut her teeth in Erie County government before winning a 2011 special election for New York's 26th congressional district.
As a former staffer for the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Hochul earned a reputation as a well-connected and helpful ally for upstate issues in Washington.
In 2014, Cuomo named her as his running mate for reelection after Robert Duffy announced he would not run again as lieutenant governor. Lieutenant governors are elected separately from governors in New York.
Hochul has been a steady and vocal supporter of Cuomo since joining the administration, traversing the state in her characteristically packed public schedule to tout key initiatives.
Since the nursing home and sexual harassment scandals began drawing more press coverage, her schedule has been more limited, with only one virtual event listed for Tuesday.
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Can I Take Off My Mask? - My HealtheVet
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:55
In the SpotlightCDC issues new guidelines for when you've been fully vaccinated
Have you been fully vaccinated, but aren't sure what to do next? If you've been vaccinated, you've reduced your risk of getting COVID-19. But there are still some safety precautions you should follow.
CDC has new guidelines to help you understand what's safe to do now, and what hasn't changed.
What's changed?
If you've been fully vaccinated:
You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
You can visit friends and family from one other household who all live together without masks unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
If you're exposed to COVID-19, only get tested if you have symptoms.
If you live in a group setting and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don't have symptoms.
What Hasn't Changed
For now, if you've been fully vaccinated:
You should still protect yourself and others by wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
Take precautions whenever you're in public or spending time with anyone unvaccinated, especially if they're at an increased risk of severe illness.
Avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.
Delay travel. If you do travel, you'll need to follow CDC requirements.
Watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you've been around someone who's sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
Disclose.tv 🚨 on Twitter: "NEW - OVH, one of Europe's largest data center complexes, in France destroyed by fire ðŸ--¥, 3.6 million websites taken offline, no data is likely to be recoverable. https://t.co/SbsSotYTo1" / Twitter
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:51
Disclose.tv 🚨 : NEW - OVH, one of Europe's largest data center complexes, in France destroyed by fire ðŸ--¥, 3.6 million websites taken'... https://t.co/grpHbmvQ3H
Wed Mar 10 16:35:18 +0000 2021
Wuhan Lab Theory a Dark Cloud on China - WSJ
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:23
The WHO's inability to divorce itself from Beijing's propaganda doesn't help.
A lab accident in Wuhan is unlikely only in the sense that a pandemic virus's emergence is always the culmination of a series of unlikely events. If it weren't, we wouldn't be here as a species.
This trillion-to-one collision of circumstances can be simplified in one obvious way. Say, if a human agent collected the most dangerous viruses to study them in the middle of one of the densest population centers on earth. These experimenters would at least have been alert, if all other precautions failed, to a coworker developing...
A lab accident in Wuhan is unlikely only in the sense that a pandemic virus's emergence is always the culmination of a series of unlikely events. If it weren't, we wouldn't be here as a species.
This trillion-to-one collision of circumstances can be simplified in one obvious way. Say, if a human agent collected the most dangerous viruses to study them in the middle of one of the densest population centers on earth. These experimenters would at least have been alert, if all other precautions failed, to a coworker developing unexplained symptoms. Except that the Sars-Cov-2 virus, once it was loose in a human crowd, showed that it can be spread by people who never develop symptoms.
Preventing future pandemics, being better prepared next time'--these are the reasons given for trying to understand how the new coronavirus emerged. But one instance of a virus bridging the species gap the natural way might be an anecdote that doesn't tell us much about the next risk. The lab theory is the big fork in the road. We might have to reset our risk perceptions dramatically'--worry less about humans messing around in animal habitats, worry more about scientists messing around in labs.
On that basis alone, the lab theory is the most important informational chokepoint as we move ahead. But there's another reason. If the lab theory remains unresolved, especially if China's refusal to cooperate makes it unresolvable, it will hang over global politics for decades to come even without conspiracy theorists and demagogues taking a hand.
Alas, the World Health Organization mission is turning into a case of disaster foretold. A credible inquiry requires China's full cooperation, not just cooperation with those lines of inquiry that are consistent with its own propaganda. And couldn't somebody have put Peter Daszak, team member from New York City's EcoHealth Alliance, under permanent mouth quarantine?
To insist that human encroachment on nature is the great risk tells us nothing about what happened in this particular case. To insist, as he did on NPR, that China's manhandling of the delegation with greeters in full hazmat garb, its forcing of the visitors into 14-day quarantine, was merely testament to China's Covid rigor overlooks another possibility: China was seeking to intimidate and dominate the investigators because of the colossal importance it places on controlling the virus narrative.
The WHO's report, expected next week, need not be a failure if seasoned with proper skepticism. China would have been hard-pressed not to let some new information out of the bag, adding to our store of knowledge. That Beijing emphasized the theory that the virus entered the country in imported frozen food at least tells us about China's propaganda strategy. This is worth knowing but the WHO's own gratuitous nods to the frozen-food theory raise anew the question of who really controls the World Health Organization and to what end.
Mr. Daszak tweeted that the group's meeting with the Wuhan virus lab staff went swimmingly, ''key questions asked & answered.'' He might have expected a warm welcome since his organization channeled U.S. research dollars to the lab at one time. But assurances mean nothing without access to the lab's records. Deleted web pages have been recovered referring to experiments with rabbits and ferret badgers, animals seen as likely vectors for human infection. The lab is reputed to have engaged in ''gain-of-function'' experiments with bat viruses to which the new coronavirus is closely related.
China could have other reasons, of course, for keeping lab data secret. Its most implausible stonewalling is its unwillingness to supply ''highly confidential'' patient samples that might show where and when the virus was present prior to the Wuhan outbreak. And it's obvious why: China has latched onto the good work done in other countries to identify early unrecognized cases of Covid-19 to suggest the virus originated elsewhere and was brought to Wuhan by foreign devils, never mind the virus's close similarity to bat viruses found in China's Yunnan province.
It's time to be realistic. Mr. Daszak and most others long ago figured out there won't be an unimpeachable answer to the origin question, only a battle of narratives. Politics was destined always to swamp the hunt for Covid-19's beginnings. The global scourge has become too politically explosive. There was zero chance of China letting the chips fall where they may. There is little chance of the U.S. sacrificing its other dealings with Beijing to get to the bottom of the mystery. In that sense the big ''kick me'' sign the WHO has placed on itself may be convenient for all who want to get back to relations as usual. Yet I would not bet on the lab theory going gently into that good night. This would be another highly unlikely event given the longstanding fears voiced by so many scientists over the years that such an accident might be the world's biggest pandemic risk.
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 12:00
Editor's Note: Tom Quiggin is a former military intelligence officer and current court-qualified expert on terrorism. He has created a meticulous and extremely credible body of research that reaches deep into the world of scams that use Canadian taxpayer money to both directly and indirectly finance terrorist operations. His work is chilling as he alleges that such operations have proceeded beyond private manipulation to include support from Government of Canada agencies and personalities. The allegations are truly monumental and speak not only to the fraudulent use of taxpayer funds but also to the compromising of national security Accordingly, Mr. Quiggin has petitioned the RCMP to investigate his considered allegations in light of relevant Criminal Code of Canada provisions. His letter and research material follow::
Abstract: Canadian taxpayers' money has been used to fund terrorism for over two decades. Registered charities have frequently been the vehicles. As a court expert on terrorism, it is Thomas Quiggin's opinion that Members of Parliament are directing the cash flow. This 132 page report, published on October 9, 2018, includes a criminal complaint being sent to the Commissioner, RCMP.
Click here or on the graphic to the right to view and download the report, and supporting graphics are posted below. The supporting graphics are also available in a PPT file that you can download here .
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Apple denied Parler from going back on App Store - The Washington Post
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 11:24
Apple rejected Parler's attempt to get back on its App Store, dealing a blow to the right-leaning social media company. (Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO '-- Apple denied Parler's application to get back on its App Store, dealing a major blow to the right-leaning social media network, which reappeared online last month after going dark for several weeks.
Apple refused to let Parler back on its store in a recent decision, said a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private business matters. Getting back on the App Store is crucial for new users to download the social media app or for existing users to get updates.
Apple booted Parler from its App Store in January, citing concerns that posts on Parler could contribute to violence after posts emerged that supported the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Google similarly removed the app from its Play Store. Amazon then removed its web hosting capabilities from the site and knocked it offline.
(Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
Amazon suspends Parler, taking pro-Trump site offline indefinitely
Apple and Parler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bloomberg News first reported Apple's denial, saying Apple sent a letter to Parler outlining that its recent policy updates were not enough to satisfy Apple's guidelines.
Parler was founded in 2018 and rose to prominence last year when Republican politicians and conservative pundits joined the app after Twitter and Facebook cracked down on misinformation and began labeling posts from President Donald Trump. Parler pledged it would stay focused on ''free speech'' and not censor its users. It got a major bump in downloads after the 2020 presidential election '-- it was seen as a friendly platform as Trump and his supporters worked to sow doubt about the results.
The company had long taken a hands-off approach to content moderation, allowing pretty much anything that was legal and protected by the First Amendment. The Big Tech companies said Parler would have to employ more stringent moderation to meet their rules.
Parler relaunched its website in February but still wasn't able to add new users to its app or push mobile app updates. With its relaunch, Parler added slightly stricter content moderation rules.
The site's second act came after controlling investor and Republican megadonor Rebekah Mercer forced out the site's co-founder and former CEO, John Matze. Mercer appointed allies to serve on Parler's board and as interim chief executive, and sources told The Washington Post she is pulling the strings at the company.
Major Trump backer Rebekah Mercer orchestrates Parler's second act
Parler's interim CEO, Mark Meckler, said during an interview on Fox News Channel last month that the company was continuing negotiations to get back on the App Store. At the time, he said he was ''pretty positive'' the app would be back on the store soon.
But Meckler also said that the company wasn't interested in getting back on Google's Play Store. Apps can be loaded on Android devices from the Web, unlike on Apple devices, where circumventing the App Store is nearly impossible.
As a social media app styled somewhat as an alternative to Twitter, Parler's user base, which numbered about 15 million before it was knocked offline, probably relied heavily on the mobile app. Without a path back to the App Store, the social media network's growth will be hamstrung.
In the United States, where Parler's target audience resides, Apple is extremely important for the growth of any mobile app developer. While only about half of phones in the United States are iPhones, owners of the devices tend to be more affluent and therefore bring more advertising revenue to app makers. And some data show Apple's place in the U.S. smartphone market may be growing stronger. According to Counterpoint research, iPhones accounted for 65 percent of smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Reed Albergotti contributed to this report.
Weeks after freeze, Samsung's Austin fab remains shut down
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 11:20
Weeks after it was shut down amid power outages during last month's Texas freeze, Samsung's Austin fabrication facility still has not resumed operations. The situation is likely costing the technology giant millions of dollars, industry experts said.
Coupled with the simultaneous shutdown of NXP Semiconductors' two Austin fabrication facilities, the situation is turning into an "economic disaster for the semiconductor industry in Central Texas," said Ed Latson, executive director of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association.
Samsung, which is the biggest electricity user on Austin Energy power grid, and NXP were among several large industrial power users that were ordered to shut down their Austin operations the week of Feb.15.
More: Tesla is quietly plugging a mega-battery into the Texas power grid
Power was restored to Samsung's facility on Feb. 20, but the company confirmed it has not yet resumed work at its Austin fab.
"While we are currently making efforts to resume operations as soon as possible, the process may require more time to reach normal levels as we inspect and reconfigure the facility," Samsung spokeswoman Michele Glaze said. "Our primary focus is to ensure safety on-site for our workforce as well as our community."
In February, a consortium that negotiates with Austin Energy on behalf of the city's biggest users of electricity confirmed that the city had ordered the companies to idle or shut down as more than 180 power-generating plants failed across the state, bringing the Texas power grid close to collapse. The plant shutdowns came as many Austin homes were without power and residents were dealing with potentially dangerous conditions
NXP Semiconductors, which has two Austin facilities that powered down and saw its power restored about the same time as Samsung, had also not resumed operations as of Friday and had no estimate to share at the time, according to a report from the Austin Business Journal.
More: Austin area to remain in Stage 4, businesses must still require masks, local leaders say
"We are diligently working through product, equipment, and system assessments to resume our operations as soon as possible," company spokeswoman Jacey Zuniga said when the NXP facilities were shut down in February. "This process may require more time to reach normal levels due to damage caused by utility disruptions and other site impacts from the winter storm. Our focus is on the health and safety of our employees and the Austin community."
The facilities produce a notable percentage of the world's semiconductor chips. ExtremeTech, a trade publication, estimated that Samsung's Austin facility produces about 5% of the world's 300-millimeter wafers in a given month. Bloomberg Intelligence estimated that NXP's facilities account for about 37% of the company's total production.
Latson, of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, said some of Central Texas's semiconductor companies have been able to restart parts of their operations but others remain fully down. His organization works with about 1,700 companies with operations in Central Texas, including Samsung, NXP Semiconductors and National Instruments.
"This is the worst economic disaster for the semiconductor industry in Central Texas in my time" leading the association, Latson said.
It's not clear when the facilities will return to operations, or to what extent any equipment or products were damaged as a result of the shutdown. Estimates for the total cost of the shutdown vary, but experts agree it could be costing Samsung millions of dollars.
More: Austin Energy estimates it earned $54 million during Texas freeze
Matt Bryson, an analyst and senior vice president of research for Wedbush Securities, estimated that Samsung's Austin facility accounts for about a quarter of its output, which could mean the shutdown could cost the company about $10 million a day. He estimated the multiweek shutdown could cost Samsung hundreds of millions of dollars, not including any costs tied to damaged equipment.
"Chips coming from Samsung's fabs are oftentimes only a small part of the value of finished goods. Any inability to manufacture devices or systems due to Samsung's troubles could have far greater implications for their customers' customers," Bryson said.
Roger Kay, an industry analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, said the losses for the companies could vary depending on lost product or other damage, but said the number could potentially be as high as $3 million a day.
More: Samsung's Austin fab still quiet after outages; cost to company could be millions
The losses could also go beyond the loss of manufacturing time for the facilities, which normally run 24 hours a day for years on end without shutting down. The facilities manufacturer wafers, which are a thin slice of semiconductor. Once a wafer is in the production process, which can take 45 to 60 days a batch, shutting down can lead to loss of product and represent weeks of lost work.
Restarting a factory also takes time, not only to power back up to necessary levels, but to make sure everything is sterilized and working properly, industry experts say.
Patrick Moorhead, an industry analyst and founder of Austin-based Moor Insights and Strategy, previously said that he has never seen a fab return to operation without problems following a power outage. One molecule of water could completely halt production, he said, and on top of that, a fab uses very specific gasses, liquids and matter that is hard to store and bring out.
Generally, he said, any outage past a week or two could signal a major issue. This could range from anything from low efficiency to having to fix a liquid line that froze.
Latson said the Texas freeze caused a loss of water and power simultaneously to the fabrication facilities, and gave the companies little time to prepare.
"This was kind of a double whammy you lose power, and you have all the challenges with that goes with that and also you had a freeze which damaged a lot of facilities and equipment," Latson said.
Latson estimated the companies use about 150 megawatts of power a day, and therefore can't be run or idle fully on backup generators. Latson said because the facilities were completely shut down, clean rooms were flooded with particles and every piece of equipment was contaminated.
The shutdowns also came as Samsung says it is considering Austin for a significant expansion. In early February, Samsung officials confirmed that Austin is among a number of locations under consideration for a $17 billion state-of-the-art chip plant. The company is also considering other regions including New York and Arizona. The company is seeking more than $1 billion in taxpayer-subsidized incentives from local government entities, according to documents filed with the state.
Latson said he was confident in Central Texas's ability to retain and attract semiconductor facilities despite the problems related to the winter weather.
"I believe that the track record of Texas power grid has been very reliable. I think there's confidence that from a statewide perspective we're going to address the weatherization issues that caused this crisis," Latson said. "We're going to work with city leaders and utilities to make sure they understand what's critical for semiconductors to thrive. I believe if they can address those concerns, then Austin should still be a really strong candidate to win that business."
More: Austin tax breaks sought by Samsung among biggest ever
Weeks after it was shut down amid power outages during last month's Texas freeze, Samsung's Austin fabrication facility still has not resumed operations. The situation is likely costing the technology giant millions of dollars, industry experts said.
Coupled with the simultaneous shutdown of NXP Semiconductors' two Austin fabrication facilities, the situation is turning into an "economic disaster for the semiconductor industry in Central Texas," said Ed Latson, executive director of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association.
Samsung, which is the biggest electricity user on Austin Energy power grid, and NXP were among several large industrial power users that were ordered to shut down their Austin operations the week of Feb.15.
More: Tesla is quietly plugging a mega-battery into the Texas power grid
Power was restored to Samsung's facility on Feb. 20, but the company confirmed it has not yet resumed work at its Austin fab.
Texas AG threatens to sue city of Austin for defying governor on mask mandate
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 11:14
March 10, 2021, 8:01 PM EST
By Corky Siemaszko
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton threatened Wednesday to sue the city of Austin and surrounding Travis County after officials there, citing the continued threat of Covid-19, said they would continue to require residents to wear masks even ''when outside of their residence.''
Paxton's threat came on the same day the state's mask mandate, which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did away with last week, officially expired.
''City/county leaders must not be thinking clearly,'' Paxton said in a Tweet. ''Maybe it's oxygen deprivation from quintuple-masking. Whatever the case, they've tried this before. They lost. Travis County and Austin have a few hours to comply with state law or I'll sue them.''
Paxton, who like Abbott is a Republican, directed the threat at Travis County Judge Andy Brown, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and cc'd Dr. Mark Escott of the Austin-Travis County Health Authority. They were given until Wednesday night to comply.
Adler responded to the threatened lawsuit by saying he and Brown will continue enforcing the safety mandates. "We will fight Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Paxton's assault against doctors and data for as long as we possibly can," Adler told the Austin American Statesman in a statement on Wednesday.
"I believe leaders need to be clear and unambiguous in their communications and messaging about masking. Masks work! The Governor and Attorney General are simply wrong."
Escott made it clear on Tuesday that, as a public health expert, he disagreed with Abbott's decision to lift the mask mandate and said Austin's restrictions will stay in place until April 15.
''Wearing a face covering is one of the easiest ways to slow the transmission of disease in our community,'' Escott said in a statement released by the city of Austin. ''While vaccine administration is underway, we are still not in a place of herd immunity and people need to wear face coverings in public and around non-household members so we can avoid a surge of cases.''
People have breakfast at Bill Smith's Cafe, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a rollback of Covid-19 restrictions in McKinney, Texas, on March 10, 2021. Shelby Tauber / ReutersJust 8.5 percent of the population in Texas was fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, the latest statistics showed.
The city of Austin's statement also included the following line: ''In the City of Austin, an individual must also wear a face covering when outside of their residence.''
Austin, which is also the capital of the Lone Star State, is not the only major Texas city that is resisting Abbott's executive order.
But Austin's defiance appears to go further than that of Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, El Paso and San Antonio, all of which have vowed to keep mask mandates in place, but only on city property or in public schools.
The U.S. government is also continuing to require that Texans mask-up in all federal buildings and courthouses and on public transportation.
Abbott's surprise announcement last week that he was ditching the mask mandate and loosening other Covid-19 restrictions was harshly criticized by doctors, who warned it could spark another surge in new cases. Political opponents accused the the governor of trying to distract voters from the state's disastrous response to the deadly winter storm that shut down the power grid and left millions of Texans shivering in their homes for days.
President Joe Biden called the move by Abbott, as well as the similar move by Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, examples of ''Neanderthal thinking'' and a ''big mistake.'' Biden blasted both leaders for easing restrictions even after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned against complacency in the face of emerging coronavirus variants.
Abbott insisted the ''state mandates are no longer needed,'' although admitted ''Covid has not suddenly disappeared.''
''It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,'' he said.
Under Abbott's executive order, private businesses can fully reopen provided the rate of Covid-19 hospitalizations remain low.
Abbott's directive also states clearly that local governments won't be able to fine people who refuse to wear masks in the businesses that still require them.
Recommended''No jurisdiction may impose a penalty of any kind for failure to wear a face covering or failure to mandate that customers or employees wear face coverings,'' his order reads.
But Abbott's order also allows local officials to ''enforce trespassing laws and remove violators at the request of a business establishment or other property owner.''
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff in San Antonio said local law enforcement will not hesitate to do so.
''If a business calls and says, 'This guy is trespassing on my property and not following the rules that I have, will you come out and remove him' ... the sheriff said he would go out and remove them,'' Wolff said.
Masks will also be required for the already reduced number of people attending the NCAA women's basketball tournament, which San Antonio is hosting this year.
Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers cited Abbott's executive order in its announcement Wednesday that it plans to fill the stands this season at Globe Life Stadium in Arlington to 100 percent capacity. The Rangers are the first Major League Baseball team to do so.
But the team will still require fans to wear masks unless they are eating or drinking and will give them ''three strikes'' before they're penalized for non-compliance.
''We're fully confident that we can do this is in a responsible and safe way,'' team president and COO Neil Leibman said. ''There is so much pent-up demand for people wanting to go to events in a safe environment.''
Emily Berman, a Constitutional law professor at the University of Houston Law Center, said federal law protects Americans from discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, family status, national origin and citizenship '-- but ''not mask wearing.''
Still, Berman told NBC News and other local news outlets, businesses can require people to wear masks and customers ''do not have a constitutional right to enter a particular store or a particular place of business.''
''Businesses can have their own policies,'' Berman said. ''I mean, how many restaurants have you seen that say 'no shirt, no shoes, no service'?''
Texas continues to report nearly 3,000 new coronavirus cases per day and the troubling numbers have ticked upward by 1.6 percent over the last week, according to data compiled by The Covid Tracking Project, even as more and more Texans are getting vaccinated.
Public health experts have warned of another possible surge of new Covid-19 infections in the wake of the wintery blast that forced many Texans to abandon their homes and head to heated shelters where there was little, if any, social distancing.
Since the start of the pandemic, Texas '-- the second most populous state in the nation after California, with nearly 29 million people '-- has reported some 2.7 million cases and nearly 46,000 Covid-19 deaths, according to the latest NBC News figures.
The majority of those infections and deaths came after Abbott did not heed the advice of public health experts and, like Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida, reopened his state after only a short quarantine. Both governors shut down bars last June and issued other public health mandates after the pandemic began rampaging through their states.
In making Texas the largest state in the country to end the mask mandate, Abbott argued his state was now ''in a completely different position'' from last March when he reluctantly issued his first executive orders aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
''We now have vaccines,'' said Abbott, adding that Texas was now vaccinating people at a rate of 1 million per week.
Dr. Mark McClellan, a former Abbott advisor who previously served as U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner under President George W. Bush, disagreed.
"We need to remember that we're still facing significant risk of spread among people who are at risk for complications, so (we) just want to take the foot off the brake carefully," McClellan told the Austin American-Statesman earlier this week.
"There's still a lot of people who are at risk of serious consequences that aren't protected by vaccines yet.''
Texas has received 9.7 million doses so far, according to the most recent federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures, and has administered 7.3 million shots.
Corky Siemaszko Corky Siemaszko is a senior writer for NBC News Digital.
Will Mankind Be Extinct In a Few Years?
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 00:47
Will Mankind Be Extinct In a Few Years? By F. William Engdahl10 March 2021 Image: Unk Author: Unk License: CC0 public domain license Source: https://www.piqsels.com/en/public-domain-photo-jawoy
It's no secret that Bill Gates and the advocates of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 are also devout promoters of human eugenics, the ''thinning of the Human Herd'' as Britain's misanthropic Prince Philip once put it. Some such as Joachim Schnellnhuber, climate adviser to the Pope, openly welcome a human population below one billion as ''sustainable.'' Now serious research is emerging that one of the most effective reducers of the human population is being spread by so-called ''modern scientific agriculture'' through the select use of toxic agrochemicals, pesticides deemed safe which are anything but safe.
According to a new book by Dr Shanna Shaw, Count Down, the male sperm count in Western industrial countries, including the EU and USA, is falling at a dramatic rate. Shaw estimates that over the past four decades the average sperm count has dropped by 50% or more. In other words a young male today seeking to have a family has only half the sperm count his grandfather did, half the chance to conceive. Shaw estimates that unless toxic chemical exposures in agriculture and the environment are dramatically altered, we may not have the ability to reproduce naturally much longer, and that by 2050 most human beings in the industrial countries, including China, will need technological assistance to procreate.
Shaw's book is a further elaboration of a 2017 peer-reviewed scientific paper which Shaw and colleagues published. In the paper, Shaw carefully analyzed a total of 244 estimates of Sperm Concentration and Total Sperm Count (TSC) from 185 studies of 42 935 men who provided semen samples in 1973''2011. What they found was alarming to the extreme. But beyond a few media headlines, no changes of consequence resulted, as the powerful agrochemical corporations such as Bayer-Monsanto, Syngenta, DowDuPont (now Corteva) lobbied regulators to ignore the findings.
Shaw found that ''Among Unselected Western studies, the mean Sperm Concentration declined, on average, 1.4% per year with an overall decline of 52.4% between 1973 and 2011.'' The same group of males, had ''an average decline in mean TSC of 1.6% per year and overall decline of 59.3%.'' That is a sperm count decline as of a decade ago of more than 59% in men, unselected by fertility, from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. And it continues to decline year by year.
Because of lack of serious support for new studies, updated data is limited. Fifteen years ago, over half of potential sperm donors in Hunan Province, China, met quality standards. Now, only 18% do, a decline blamed on endocrine disrupting chemicals according to one study. A similar fall in sperm count was registered by researchers in Taiwan, as well as a similar result for Israel. Shaw concludes, ''male reproductive health, not just semen quality by the way, is in trouble, and this has consequences, not just for the ability to have a child, but it also impacts the health of the man.'' She cites as examples, ''low sperm count, infertility, testicular cancer, and various general defects. One of them is undescended testicles, another one is a condition where the opening of the urethra is not where it should be'...''
Endocrine Disruptors
Swan, today with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, believes the cause is to be found in the huge rise in toxic chemical exposures in recent decades, especially of chemicals known as ''endocrine disruptors'' or hormone disruptors. She points to ''chemicals that make plastics soft, which are phthalates, or chemicals that make plastics hard like Bisphenol A, or chemicals that are flame retardants, chemicals that are in Teflon, and so on, pesticides'...''
The last, pesticides, is the group that should send loud alarm bells ringing because it is proven to get into groundwater and the human food chain. Today the two most widely used pesticides in the world are Bayer-Monsanto's Roundup containing the probable carcinogen, glyphosate, and Azatrine made by Syngenta, which today is owned by ChemChina.
Atrazine effects
In 2010 a renowned University of California, Berkeley scientist, Tyrone B. Hayes, professor of integrative biology, led a major study of the effect of Atrazine exposure for frogs. He found that the pesticide, widely used on US corn crops and sugarcane, wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females. He found ,''These male frogs are missing testosterone and all the things that testosterone controls, including sperm.'' Moreover Hayes noted that the 10% of frogs exposed to Atrazine that ''turn from males into females '' something not known to occur under natural conditions in amphibians '' can successfully mate with male frogs but, because these females are genetically male, all their offspring are male.'' Hayes declared, ''I believe that the preponderance of the evidence shows atrazine to be a risk to wildlife and humans.''
Atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor. Atrazine is also the second-most widely used herbicide in the US behind Monsanto's glyphosate product, Roundup. Despite the evidence, in a controversial ruling the US Environmental Protection Agency, in 2007 ruled that ''Atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian sexual development and that no additional testing was warranted.'' End of story? Hardly. But in 2004 the EU banned Atrazine saying Syngenta failed to prove its safety in drinking water.
Another agrochemical that has been determined to be an endocrine disruptor is Monsanto's Roundup with glyphosate. Roundup is the world's most widely used pesticide, in over 140 countries including Russia and China. Its use on US GMO crops has exploded in recent years as almost 90% of US corn is GMO, and a similar percent of its soybeans. Between 1996 when GMO Monsanto corn and soybeans were authorized in the USA, and 2017, Americans' exposure to the chemical grew 500 percent. It has been tested in drinking water, cereals in stores and in urine of pregnant women. Almost all meat and poultry is saturated with glyphosate from animal feed.
A recent study carried out in Australia by researchers at Flinders University found that Roundup killed the cells that produce progesterone in women, causing their levels to drop. Glyphosate and Roundup have been ''linked to birth defects, reproductive problems and liver disease, and it has been shown to have the potential to harm the DNA of human umbilical cord, placental and embryonic cells.''
In 2015 scientists in Nigeria examined the effects of combined exposure to both glyphosate and Atrazine on rats. They found the combination was even worse with effects on sperm, testosterone synthesis and male reproductive organs.
In 2016 China's state-owned chemicals giant, ChemChina, bought Syngenta for a colossal $43 billion. At the time ChemChina had distribution rights in China and other Asian countries for Monsanto Roundup as well. On the ChemChina website it lists Atrazine among the herbicides it sells, calling it a ''safe and efficient herbicide for corn fields'...'' ChemChina is also the leading producer of glyphosate for the Chinese agriculture market.
Today China is facing, by its own admission, a major agriculture crisis and is also struggling with ways to insure food security. Reports are that an increased role for GMO crops with Chinese patents will be a central part of a new five year plan which would undoubtedly mean using glyphosate and Atrazine. At the same time the state is increasingly alarmed by the falling birth rate which has not improved despite relaxations on the One Child policy. With Chinese farmers using significant amounts of pesticide chemicals including glyphosate and Atrazine to improve yields, they are pursuing a disastrous combination that will not only not solve the growing food crisis, but also may destroy the reproductive potential of a major portion of its 890 million rural population, as well as countless millions of urban citizens.
Are these dangerous endocrine disrupting agrochemicals allowed worldwide because of bureaucratic ignorance of the damage caused by glyphosates, Atrazine and other endocrine disrupters on the human reproduction? Is it only because of corporate greed for hyper profits that they exist? A 1975 quote from Henry Kissinger, author of the eugenics document NSSM-200 during the Nixon-Ford era is instructive: ''Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.'' And from Bill Gates: ''The world today has 6.8 billion people'...that's headed up to about 9 billion. If we do a really great job on vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 to 15 percent.'' Or the grand old dog of eugenics, Prince Philip: ''I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.'' ~ Prince Philip, in his Foreword to ''If I Were an Animal'' '' United Kingdom, Robin Clark Ltd., 1986.
We are rapidly making the human species extinct as we continue to ignore dangers of these toxins to human and other life forms.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine''New Eastern Outlook''
Reuters and BBC Caught Taking Money for Propaganda Campaign
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 19:19
Operation Mockingbird,1 ,2 publicly revealed during a 1975 Congressional hearing, was a clandestine CIA media infiltration campaign launched in 1948 under the Office of Special Projects.3
The CIA reportedly spent $1 billion a year (about one-third of its entire budget4 ) on under-the-table bribes to hundreds of American journalists who in return published fake stories at the CIA's request. CIA-recruited journalists worked in most major news organizations, including CBS News, Time, Life, Newsweek and The New York Times, just to name a few.5 Later on, the campaign expanded to include foreign media as well.6 As reported by the Free Press:7
''In 1976, Senator Frank Church's investigation into the CIA exposed their corruption of the media. The Church Committee reported: 'The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda.
These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets' '...
The tactic was straightforward. False news reports or propaganda would be provided by CIA writers to knowing and unknowing reporters who would simply repeat the falsehoods over and over again.''
Reuters and BBC News Were Paid for Propaganda CampaignWhile Operation Mockingbird may sound like ancient history, there's plenty of evidence to suggest it's still in full swing. During the Cold War, CIA propaganda disparaged communist ideologies. Today, it promotes radical socialist ideas that support a technocratic economic system instead.
While the propaganda messages change with the times, the basic modus operandi of their dissemination remains the same. If anything, the system has only gotten more efficient and effective, as the number of major media outlets has shrunk over these past decades, and a vast majority of journalists and news anchors simply parrot what's reported by the three global news agencies.
The CIA also isn't the only intelligence agency using the media for its own propaganda purposes. Leaked documents8 reveal Reuters and BBC News have been involved in a covert program by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to weaken Russia's influence on its neighbors. In his extensive February 20, 2021, GrayZone article, Max Blumenthal writes:9
''Working through a shadowy department within the UK FCO known as the Counter Disinformation & Media Development (CDMD), the media organizations operated alongside a collection of intelligence contractors in a secret entity known simply as 'the Consortium.'
Through training programs of Russian journalists overseen by Reuters, the British Foreign Office sought to produce an 'attitudinal change in the participants,' promoting a 'positive impact' on their 'perception of the UK' '...
In effect, the British government was seeking to infiltrate Russian media and propagate its own narrative through an influence network of Russian journalists trained in the UK '...
'These revelations show that when MPs were railing about Russia, British agents were using the BBC and Reuters to deploy precisely the same tactics that politicians and media commentators were accusing Russia of using,' Chris Williamson, a former UK Labour MP who attempted to apply public scrutiny to the CDMD's covert activities and was stonewalled on national security grounds, told The Grayzone.
'The BBC and Reuters portray themselves as an unimpeachable, impartial, and authoritative source of world news,' Williamson continued, 'but both are now hugely compromised by these disclosures. Double standards like this just bring establishment politicians and corporate media hacks into further disrepute.'''
Reuters, BBC Hired to Promote Pro-NATO NarrativesThe leaked documents show both Reuters and the BBC received ''multimillion-dollar contracts to advance the British state's interventionist aims.'' The FCO funded:
The cultivation of Russian journalistsThe establishment of ''influence networks'' in and around RussiaThe promotion of pro-NATO narratives in Russian-speaking regionsIn its proposals, Reuters stated it has 15,000 journalists and staff within its global network, including 400 journalists within Russia. Reuters and BBC carried out their covert influencing mission in partnership with other high-profile media companies, including Bellingcat, Meduza and Mediazona.
Overseeing the operation was the Zinc Network, an intelligence contractor, which was also responsible for the establishment of a network of Russian and Central Asian YouTubers who were not registered as external sources. The Zinc Network also claimed to have the ability to ''activate a range of content; to support anti-government protests inside Russia.''
This isn't the first time Reuters and the BBC have been implicated in a Mockingbird-type media influencing operation. Documents declassified in January 2020 showed the British government funded Reuters ''throughout the 1960s and 1970s to assist an anti-Soviet propaganda organization run by the MI6 intelligence agency,'' Blumenthal writes.10 The BBC, meanwhile, was used as ''a pass-through to conceal payments'' to Reuters.
180-Degrees From the TruthIt's no small irony that most of the organizations claiming to promote truth and counter disinformation are in fact doing the exact opposite. The Counter Disinformation & Media Development (CDMD) group sounds very much like the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).
The CCDH is an opaquely funded group run by Imran Ahmed, who is also a member of the Steering Committee on Countering Extremism Pilot Task Force under the British government's Commission for Countering Extremism.
Ahmed has gone on record saying he considers anti-vaxxers ''an extremist group that pose a national security risk,''11 and admits tracking and spying on 425 vaccine-related Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter accounts.12
In addition to stating that medical and scientific professionals must ''convince the public that COVID is dangerous and give them confidence that a vaccine is safe and effective,''13 the CCDH is also calling for deplatforming anyone who questions vaccines,14 and to ''hold platforms accountable'' through fines, criminal sanctions and other measures that can impact the platform's bottom line.
So, just as the CDMD is actually not countering disinformation but, rather, creating it, the CCDH is not in the business of countering digital hate; it's actively creating and promoting online hate by baselessly labeling millions of law-abiding parents '-- whose only crime is to be concerned about their children's health '-- as extremist threats and enemies of the state.
Media Have Become Integral Part of Intelligence Spy NetworkOther media reports15 ,16 ,17 have also highlighted the role of intelligence agencies in the global effort to eliminate ''anti-vaccine propaganda'' from public discussion, and the fact that they're using sophisticated cyberwarfare tools to do so. For example, independent investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes:18
''British and American state intelligence agencies are 'weaponizing truth' to quash vaccine hesitancy as both nations prepare for mass inoculations, in a recently announced 'cyber war' to be commanded by AI-powered arbiters of truth against information sources that challenge official narratives '...
The UK's GCHQ [Government Communications Headquarters19 ] 'has begun an offensive cyber-operation to disrupt anti-vaccine propaganda being spread by hostile states' and 'is using a toolkit developed to tackle disinformation and recruitment material peddled by Islamic State' to do so.20
In addition, the UK government has ordered the British military's 77th Brigade, which specializes in 'information warfare,' to launch an online campaign to counter 'deceptive narratives' about COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
The newly announced GCHQ 'cyber war' will not only take down 'anti-vaccine propaganda' but will also seek to 'disrupt the operations of the cyberactors responsible for it, including encrypting their data so they cannot access it and blocking their communications with each other.'
The effort will also involve GCHQ reaching out to other countries in the 'Five Eyes' alliance (U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Canada) to alert their partner agencies in those countries to target such 'propaganda' sites hosted within their borders.''
Intelligence-Led Information Warfare Against the PublicClues that U.S. intelligence agencies '-- not just the CIA but also the FBI '-- support this cyberwar against the public can also be found in a white paper21 published in the InfraGard Journal in June 2019. InfraGard, a nonprofit national security group, collaborates with the FBI22 on educational and information-sharing initiatives ''that help mitigate threats'' to national security.23
The InfraGard paper24 claims the American anti-vaccine movement is being orchestrated by Russian government-aligned organizations seeking to ''sow discontent and distrust in topics and initiatives that serve U.S. interests,''25 and that ''The biggest threat in controlling an outbreak comes from those who categorically reject vaccination.''26
Primer's ultimate goal is to use their AI to entirely automate the shaping of public perceptions and become the arbiter of 'truth,' as defined by the state. ~ Whitney Webb
Other evidence includes the fact that the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command have awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to the U.S.-based ''machine intelligence'' company Primer, to develop ''the first-ever machine learning platform to automatically identify and assess suspected disinformation.''27
According to Webb, ''Primer's ultimate goal is to use their AI to entirely automate the shaping of public perceptions and become the arbiter of 'truth,' as defined by the state.''28
The self-appointed arbiter of truth NewsGuard '-- which rates websites on criteria of ''credibility'' and ''transparency'' '-- is also partnered with both the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Defense,29 which strongly suggests government support (if not direct involvement) of censorship.
NewsGuard is also funded by the PR firm Publicis, which also appears to have an important role in this information war. You can learn more about this part of the propaganda arm in ''The Web of Players Trying to Silence Truth.''
Most Mainstream Media Are Now PropagandistsWere it not for the mainstream media pumping out misleading if not flat-out false information on a daily basis for months on end, the COVID-19 pandemic would have been a mere blip on the public's radar. None of the draconian, freedom-robbing measures would have been remotely possible.
Considering the consistency of the narratives across the world this past year, it's inconceivable that there isn't some central ''agency'' of sorts directing it all. And, if so, there clearly must be a reason behind it. One does not fear-monger for no reason whatsoever. It has a purpose.
Historically, fear has been used by every would-be authoritarian and totalitarian regime you can think of, so there's every reason to suspect the same applies now. The main difference is that today's totalitarian ruler is more or less wholly unknown.
Who is it that wants to rule the world's population through fear? Who is trying to take control over the whole globe? Who is guiding and instructing virtually all government leaders? Intelligence agencies and their media partners undoubtedly play key roles, but they're unlikely to be the true core of the power structure behind it all.
No, the real power and leadership resides with the technocratic elite, the members of which have quietly and diligently worked to forward the agenda of a New World Order (NWO) for decades. What was once known as the NWO is now referred to as the Great Reset and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with a public focus on a ''green'' carbon-based economy.
The not so public focus is technological surveillance and control over every facet of everyone's life, from health and civic involvement to labor, education and economy. Unfortunately, members of the technocracy no longer carry member cards or pay membership dues, which obscures their affiliation, but certain organizations are so intimately involved in furthering the Great Reset agenda that you can safely assume a majority of their members play some role in this scheme.
The Council on Foreign RelationsAside from intelligence agencies, another key player behind the Great Reset is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). As explained by Swiss Policy Research, ''Executives and top journalists of almost all major U.S. media outlets have long been members of the influential Council on Foreign Relations.''30
Not to be confused with the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations or the European Council on Foreign Relations, CFR is a nonprofit think tank, the 5,000-plus members of which also include past and present presidents, politicians, secretaries of state, CIA directors, bankers, lawyers, academic professors and corporate leaders, just to name a few.31
CFR also operates the David Rockefeller Studies Program, which in turn advises the White House on foreign policy matters. Overall, the CFR wields incredible power and influence over the U.S. White House and its policies. As reported by Swiss Policy Research:32
''In his famous article about 'The American Establishment,' political columnist Richard H. Rovere noted: 'The directors of the CFR make up a sort of Presidium for that part of the Establishment that guides our destiny as a nation '...
[I]t rarely fails to get one of its members, or at least one of its allies, into the White House. In fact, it generally is able to see to it that both nominees are men acceptable to it.' It was not until the 2016 election that the Council couldn't, apparently, prevail.''
The Synchronization of Fake NewsCFR has two international affiliates: the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, both of which were established by CFR leaders ''to foster elite cooperation at the global level.''
Well-known names in the Trilateral group's U.S. branch include David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Michael Bloomberg and Google heavyweights Eric Schmidt and Susan Molinari, vice president for public policy at Google. Many of its board members are also members of the Aspen Institute, which grooms and mentors executives from around the world about the subtleties of globalization.
As you can see in the graphic below, major media are well represented in all three groups. As mentioned, CFR members also include current and former CIA directors. In his book, ''American War Machine,''33 ,34 Peter Dale Scott also documents the ties between CFR, the CIA, the national security apparatus and the banking industry. Taken together, these ties explain how a false narrative (whatever it might be) can be so widely coordinated and synchronized.
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Richard Stengel '-- Technocracy Poster BoyKnowing what you now know about the CFR, comments by Richard Stengel, the top state media appointee for President Biden's transition team, will probably make a lot more sense.
During a 2018 CFR forum on fake news, Stengel '-- a CFR member and Atlantic Council fellow, former State Department official for the Obama administration, former managing editor for Time magazine, strategic adviser to Snap Inc., which runs Snapchat and Bitmoji and a political analyst on MSNBC '-- insisted governments must use propaganda on their citizens.35
He repeated this sentiment in November 2020, after being appointed to President Biden's transition team, saying he's ''not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population. And I don't necessarily think it's that awful.''36 As reported by The GrayZone:37
''A committed crusader in what he openly describes as a global 'information war,' Stengel has proudly proclaimed his dedication to the careful management of the public's access to information.''
Stengel has even proposed abolishing '-- ''rethinking'' '-- the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of speech and press, ''for practical reasons in society.''38
Stengel's presence in the Biden administration may be an augury of things to come, considering he created a nonclassified government entity during his Obama years, specifically to combat Russian disinformation.39 This entity, the Global Engagement Center, now facilitates the U.S. government's efforts to spread its own propaganda around the world.
Stengel, with his close ties to several key centers of technocratic power '-- the U.S. government, the CFR, the Atlantic Council, mainstream media and Big Tech '-- is a veritable poster boy for modern technocracy, which makes his shameless promotion of censorship and propaganda more than a little understandable.
Pre-Mockingbird Media ManipulationWhile Operation Mockingbird has earned a place in history as a point at which the free press was compromised, in reality, the infiltration of the press occurred long before the 1950s.
In his February 9, 1917, Congressional remarks, Congressman Oscar Callaway explained the origin and execution of the plan to control and manipulate public opinion and mindset through media, which had taken shape just two years earlier:40
''In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press.
They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.''
Operation Mockingbird was essentially the CIA's effort to consolidate, while simultaneously expanding, this secret hold over the media some three decades later. It's a sobering thought to realize that virtually no one alive today has ever been informed by a truly free and independent press.
While the situation has surely deteriorated in more recent years, the covert use of mainstream media to manipulate and misdirect the public to protect the interests of the elite few has been par for the course for over 100 years.
The Propaganda MultipliersWhen it comes to the actual dissemination of fake news and propaganda, news agencies play a central role, and there's only three of them: The Associated Press (AP), Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP). As explained in the Swiss Policy Research post, ''The Propaganda Multiplier'':41
''The key role played by these agencies means Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.
A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports '... 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favor of a U.S. and NATO intervention, while propaganda was attributed exclusively to the opposite side.''
In short, until or unless at least one of these news agencies sends out a notice, national and local media are unlikely to report on an event. Even photos and videos are typically sourced directly from these global news agencies. This way, people hear, see and read the exact same message everywhere.
''This dependency on the global agencies creates a striking similarity in international reporting: from Vienna to Washington, our media often report the same topics, using many of the same phrases '-- a phenomenon that would otherwise rather be associated with 'controlled media' in authoritarian states,'' Swiss Policy Research writes.42
Even media outlets that have foreign correspondents on their payroll do not expect those correspondents to conduct independent investigations. They too simply report whatever the Big Three news agencies want covered, and from the angle they want it covered. What you end up with is a sort of echo-chamber where only one view is presented. As one might expect, this setup makes for a perfect propaganda machine.
As noted by Swiss Policy Research, ''Due to the rather low journalistic performance of the mainstream media and their high dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable format to a worldwide audience.'' Intelligence agencies and defense ministries are well aware of this and use it with regularity, as surely does the CFR and the rest of the technocratic apparatus.
In short, the current censoring and labeling of anything that threatens the technocratic agenda and the profiteering of its members as ''misinformation'' and ''disinformation'' is a top-down scheme. It's not random, by any means, and it's not driven by the opinions of private companies themselves. Social media companies, for example, are mere tools for the technocratic deep state, which operates worldwide.
The question then becomes, if propaganda is that deeply entrenched in our media structure, how do we know what is true and what is not? There's no easy answer to this question, but the solution involves first becoming aware of the fact that media lies, and that there is a reason for why the media narrative is what it is. One way to evaluate the news is to ask yourself, ''Why might they want me to think of this in this particular way?'' Eventually, patterns begin to form.
Ultimately, to find the truth, you must be willing to look for it, and to look in places outside the mainstream media consortium. You have to ask questions and reason your way through the information you find. If something doesn't make sense yet you're told to accept it without question, it's probably propaganda.
Any number of COVID-19 restrictions, for example, have been illogical in the extreme, which tells us they're not about protecting people from infection. It's about something else, and that something else has often been the purposeful destruction of small businesses to facilitate wealth transfer from the middle- and lower class to the top echelon. Ultimately, that is the plan, and to stop it, we have to stop believing the propaganda. It's just that simple. And that challenging.
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Wed, 10 Mar 2021 15:38
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Jessica Shaw on Twitter: "My mom's doctor wrote her a prescription to hug her granddaughter (1/2) https://t.co/bNtCtlcS0s" / Twitter
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 15:15
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China and Russia unveil joint plan for lunar space station | The moon | The Guardian
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 15:11
Russia and China have unveiled plans for a joint lunar space station, with the Russian space agency Roscomos saying it has signed an agreement with China's National Space Administration (CNSA) to develop a ''complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and/or in the orbit of the moon''.
The CNSA, for its part, said the project was ''open to all interested countries and international partners'' in what experts said would be China's biggest international space cooperation project to date.
The Roscosmos chief, Dmitry Rogozin, wrote that he had invited the CNSA chief, Zhang Kejian, to the launch of Russia's first modern lunar lander, Luna 25, scheduled for 1 October. It is Russia's first lunar lander since 1976.
Russia sent the first human into space but in the post-Soviet era it has been eclipsed by China and the US, which have both made strides in space exploration and research.
This year Russia celebrates the 60th anniversary of its first-ever crewed space flight. It sent Yuri Gagarin into space in April 1961, followed by the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, two years later. The US space agency Nasa launched its first crewed space flight a month after Russia, sending Alan Shepard up on Mercury-Redstone 3.
China '' which has sought closer partnership with Moscow '' in 2020 launched its Tianwen-1 probe which is now orbiting Mars. In December 2020 it brought rock and soil samples from the Mmoon back to Earth, the first mission of this type in over 40 years.
Chen Lan, an independent analyst specialising in China's space programme, said the joint lunar space station was ''a big deal''.
''This will be the largest international space cooperation project for China, so it's significant,'' Lan said.
Nasa's Perseverance rover last week conducted its first test drive on the planet. The US intends eventually to conduct a human mission to the planet, though planning is still preliminary.
Moscow and Washington are also collaborating in the space sector; however Russia did not sign the US-led Artemis Accord for lunar exploration spearheaded by Nasa. Under the Artemis programme announced in 2020 during the tenure of president Donald Trump, Nasa plans to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024.
Roscosmos in 2020 lost its monopoly on crewed flights to the International Space Station (ISS) after the first successful mission of the US company SpaceX. Elon Musks's SpaceX has become a key player in the modern space race and has announced plans to fly several members of the public to the moon in 2023 on a trip bankrolled by a Japanese billionaire.
With Agence France-Presse
NACI rapid response: Extended dose intervals for COVID-19 vaccines to optimize early vaccine rollout and population protection in Canada - Canada.ca
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 15:10
On this pagePreambleSummaryIntroductionMethodsRecommendationsSummary of rationaleAcknowledgmentsPreambleThe National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is an External Advisory Body that provides the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) with independent, ongoing and timely medical, scientific, and public health advice in response to questions from PHAC relating to immunization.
In addition to burden of disease and vaccine characteristics, PHAC has expanded the mandate of NACI to include the systematic consideration of programmatic factors in developing evidence-based recommendations to facilitate timely decision-making for publicly funded vaccine programs at provincial and territorial levels.
The additional factors to be systematically considered by NACI include: economics, ethics, equity, feasibility, and acceptability. Not all NACI Statements will require in-depth analyses of all programmatic factors. While systematic consideration of programmatic factors will be conducted using evidence-informed tools to identify distinct issues that could impact decision-making for recommendation development, only distinct issues identified as being specific to the vaccine or vaccine-preventable disease will be included.
This statement contains NACI's independent advice and recommendations, which are based upon the best current available scientific knowledge.
This document is being disseminated for information purposes. People administering the vaccine should also be aware of the contents of the relevant product monograph(s). Recommendations for use and other information set out herein may differ from that set out in the product monograph(s) of the Canadian manufacturer(s) of the vaccines. Manufacturer(s) have sought approval of the vaccines and provided evidence as to its safety and efficacy only when it is used in accordance with the product monographs. NACI members and liaison members conduct themselves within the context of PHAC's Policy on Conflict of Interest, including yearly declaration of potential conflict of interest.
SummaryNACI has considered evidence from recent scientific studies on efficacy and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing various health outcomes such as infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection.Short term sustained protection is consistent with immunological principles and vaccine science where it is not expected to see rapid waning of a highly effective vaccine in adults over a relatively short period of time. Extending the interval between doses was shown to be a good strategy through modelling, even in scenarios considering a six month interval and in theoretical scenarios where waning protection was considered.NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the interval for the second dose of vaccine up to four months.Extending the dose interval to four months allows NACI to create opportunities for protection of the entire adult population within a short timeframe. This will not only achieve protection of the adult population, but will also contribute to health equity.NACI will continue to monitor the evidence on effectiveness of extended dose intervals and will adjust recommendations as needed.IntroductionSince COVID-19 vaccines were first authorized in Canada in December 2020, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has been providing evidence-informed guidance on the recommended interval between vaccine doses. In the most recent update, January 12, 2021, NACI provided advice on extending intervals for mRNA vaccines to six weeks. In February 2021, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) asked NACI to address the following context and question: Due to limited vaccine supply and logistical challenges, jurisdictions need to implement COVID-19 mRNA vaccine intervals beyond six weeks. Given emerging evidence as mRNA vaccines are rolled out to populations in Canada and elsewhere in the world, what extended interval would be recommended in order to balance individual protection and population impact? Are extended intervals a particular concern for any key populations?
Guidance objectiveThe objective of this bulletin is to provide guidance for the equitable, ethical, and efficient allocation of authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the context of staggered arrival of vaccine supply. This guidance builds on the foundational framework of NACI's Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines. The goal of Canada's pandemic response is to minimize serious illness and death while minimizing societal disruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MethodsNACI reviewed available evidence in full Committee meetings (February 8, 2021; February 24-25, 2021) and Working Group meetings (February 19, 2021) on extended intervals for COVID-19 vaccines. This included evidence available from published peer-review studies, pre-prints, and data available from population-based assessments from within and outside of Canada. On March 1, 2021, NACI voted on and approved the revised recommendations by majority. Due to the urgency for provinces and territories to consider implementing extended dose intervals, NACI is providing an abridged rationale in this document. The complete analysis, including more detailed evidence summaries and references, will be provided in coming weeks as the NACI evergreen guideline is updated online in the Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines.
RecommendationsBased on emerging evidence of the protection provided by the first dose of a two dose series for COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in Canada, NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first. NACI will continue to monitor the evidence on effectiveness of an extended dose interval and will adjust recommendations as needed. (Strong NACI Recommendation)
In addition to emerging population-based data, this recommendation is based on expert opinion and the public health principles of equity, ethics, accessibility, feasibility, immunological vaccine principles, and the perspective that, within a global pandemic setting, reducing the risk of severe disease outcomes at the population-level will have the greatest impact. Current evidence suggests high vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease and hospitalization for several weeks after the first dose, including among older populations.This recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use in Canada.In situations where informed consent included assumptions about second dose timing, jurisdictions may consider offering second doses at shorter intervals for those who provided consent for the vaccine series prior to this recommendation.The vaccine effectiveness of the first dose will be monitored closely and the decision to delay the second dose will be continuously assessed based on surveillance and effectiveness data and post-implementation study designs. Effectiveness against variants of concern will also be monitored closely, and recommendations may need to be revised.Please note:
A strong recommendation applies to most populations/individuals and should be followed unless a clear and compelling rationale for an alternative approach is present.A discretionary recommendation may be offered for some populations/individuals in some circumstances. Alternative approaches may be reasonable.Summary of rationaleDue to the urgency for provinces and territories to consider implementing extended dose intervals, NACI is providing an abridged rationale in this document. The complete analysis, including more detailed evidence summaries and references, will be provided in coming weeks as the NACI evergreen guideline is updated online in the Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines.
Protecting individualsBy implementing an extended four month interval strategy, Canada will be able to provide access to first doses of highly efficacious vaccines to more individuals earlier which is expected to increase health equity faster. Canada has secured enough vaccines to ensure that a second dose will be available to every adult.As a general vaccination principle, interruption of a vaccine series resulting in an extended interval between doses does not require restarting the vaccine series. Principles of immunology, vaccine science, and historical examples demonstrate that delays between doses do not result in a reduction in final antibody concentrations nor a reduction in durability of memory response for most multi-dose products.Assessment of available data on efficacy and effectiveness of a single dose of mRNA vaccine was a critical factor in assessing the impact of a delayed second dose at this time. The two available clinical trials for mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) provide evidence that indicates that efficacy against symptomatic disease begins as early as 12 to 14 days after the first dose of the mRNA vaccine. Excluding the first 14 days before vaccines are expected to offer protection, both vaccines showed an efficacy of 92% up until the second dose (most second doses were administered at 19-42 days in the trials). Recently, real world vaccine effectiveness data presented to or reviewed by NACI assessing PCR-positive COVID-19 disease and/or infection from Quebec, British Columbia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States support good effectiveness (generally 70-80%, depending on the methodology used and outcomes assessed) from a single dose of mRNA vaccines (for up to two months in some studies). While studies have not yet collected four months of data on effectiveness of the first dose, the first two months of population-based effectiveness data are showing sustained and high levels of protection. These data include studies in health care workers, long term care residents, elderly populations and the general public. While this is somewhat lower than the efficacy demonstrated after one dose in clinical trials, it is important to note that vaccine effectiveness in a general population setting is typically lower than efficacy from the controlled setting of a clinical trial, and this is expected to be the case after series completion as well.Published data from the AstraZeneca clinical trial indicated that delaying the second dose to '‰¥ 12 weeks resulted in a better efficacy against symptomatic disease compared to shorter intervals between doses.The duration of protection from one or two doses of COVID-19 vaccines is currently unknown. Experience with other multi-dose vaccines after a single dose suggests persistent protection could last for six months or longer in adolescents and adults. Longer-term follow-up of clinical trial participants and those receiving vaccination in public programs will assist in determining the duration of protection following both one and two doses of vaccination. NACI will continue to monitor the evidence on effectiveness of an extended interval, which is currently being collected weekly in some Canadian jurisdictions, and will adjust recommendations as needed if concerns emerge about waning protection.Protecting populationsAlthough effectiveness after two-doses will be somewhat higher than with one dose, many more people will benefit from immunization when extending the interval between doses in times of vaccine shortage; offering more individuals direct benefit and also the possibility of indirect benefit from increasing population immunity to COVID-19 disease. Everyone is expected to obtain the full benefit of two doses when the second dose is offered after 4 months.Internal PHAC modelling reviewed by NACI based on Canadian supply projections suggested that accelerating vaccine coverage by extending dose intervals of mRNA vaccines could have short-term public health benefits in preventing symptomatic disease, hospitalizations, and deaths while vaccine supply is constrained. Even a theoretical scenario analysis in which intervals were extended up to six months and protection was lost at a rate of 4% per week after the first dose also showed that extending the mRNA vaccine dose intervals would still have public health benefits. External modelling results have also suggested that extending dose intervals can avert infections, hospitalizations and deaths.The impact on variants of concern by extending the interval between doses is unknown, but there is currently no evidence that an extended interval between doses will either increase or decrease the emergence of variants of concern. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and AstraZeneca vaccine have shown promising early results against variant B.1.1.7. As effectiveness of the first dose against other variants of concern is emerging, ongoing monitoring will be required.Vaccine distribution will be optimized through this strategy, and current vaccine supply projections will work well with an extended dose strategy that aims to immunize as many Canadians as efficiently as possible. Extending the dose intervals for mRNA vaccines up to four months has the potential to result in rapid immunization and protection of a large proportion of the Canadian population. Based on the expected supply of mRNA vaccines (six million doses in the first quarter of the year, some of which was used to provide two doses, and 23 million doses in the second quarter of the year), approximately 80% of the eligible population (16 years of age and over) could be offered a dose of mRNA vaccine by the end of June 2021 if a four month interval is implemented in March 2021. Second doses would begin in July 2021 when the additional supply of mRNA vaccines is expected in the third quarter of the year (55 million doses are expected at that time).AcknowledgmentsThis statement was prepared by: Dr. M Tunis, Dr. B Warshawsky, Dr. M Salvadori, Dr. R Harrison, Dr. S Deeks on behalf of NACI.
NACI gratefully acknowledges the contribution of: Ms. K Young, Ms. YE Chung, Ms. K Farrah, Dr. A Nam, Ms. MW Yeung, Dr. R Ximenes, Dr. G De Serres, Dr. D Skowronski, Dr. N Andrews, and the NACI Secretariat.
NACIMembers: Dr. C Quach (Chair), Dr. S Deeks (Vice-Chair), Dr. J Bettinger, Dr. N Dayneka, Dr. P De Wals, Dr. E Dub(C), Dr. V Dubey, Dr. S Gantt, Dr. R Harrison, Dr. K Hildebrand, Dr. K Klein, Dr. J Papenburg, Dr. C Rotstein, Dr. B Sander, Ms. S Smith, and Dr. S Wilson.
Liaison representatives: Dr. LM Bucci (Canadian Public Health Association), Dr. E Castillo (Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada), Dr. A Cohn (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States), Ms. L Dupuis (Canadian Nurses Association), Dr. J Emili (College of Family Physicians of Canada), Dr. D Fell (Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation), Dr. M Lavoie (Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health), Dr. D Moore (Canadian Paediatric Society), Dr. M Naus (Canadian Immunization Committee), and Dr. A Pham-Huy (Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada).
Ex-officio representatives: Dr. D Danoff (Marketed Health Products Directorate, HC), Ms. E Henry (Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases [CIRID], PHAC), Ms. M Lacroix (Public Health Ethics Consultative Group, PHAC), Ms. J Pennock (CIRID, PHAC), Dr. R Pless (Biologic and Radiopharmaceutical Drugs Directorate, Health Canada), Dr. G Poliquin (National Microbiology Laboratory, PHAC), Dr. V Beswick-Escanlar (National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces), and Dr. T Wong (First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada).
NACI High Consequence Infectious Disease Working GroupMembers: Dr. C Quach (Chair), Dr. S Deeks (Vice-Chair), Dr. Y-G Bui, Dr. K Dooling, Dr. R Harrison, Dr. K Hildebrand, Dr. M Murti, Dr. J Papenburg, Dr. R Pless, Dr. N Stall, and Dr. S Vaughan, Dr. M Miller, Dr. S Ramanathan.
PHAC Participants: Dr. N Abraham, Dr. O. Baclic, Ms. Y-E Chung, Ms. L Coward, Ms. P Doyon-Plourde, Ms. K Farrah, Ms. V Ferrante, Dr. N Forbes, Dr. SJ Ismail, Ms. C. Jensen, Dr. A Killikelly, Dr. R Krishnan, Dr. A Nam, Mr. M Patel, Dr. M Salvadori, Ms. A Sinilaite, Dr. R Stirling, Ms. E Tice, Dr. M Tunis, Ms. E Wong, Ms. MW Yeung, Ms. K Young, Dr. J Zafack, and Dr. B Warshawsky.
COVID-19 pill effective in preliminary testing may be 'holy grail' of pandemic, doctor says
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 14:55
NEW YORK - A new possible medication to treat coronavirus-positive patients could be enough to turn the pandemic on its head, Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel revealed Sunday on "Fox & Friends Weekend."
First-stage testing of the experimental COVID-19 pill called Molnupiravir, by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, showed promising signs of effectiveness in reducing the virus in patients.
"It may be the holy grail on this because it was just studied in phase two trials and it literally stopped the virus in its tracks," he explained. "And there wasn't any virus found in the patients that were studied."
The drug would function as an at-home, five-day treatment, similar to Tamiflu, to stop the virus from reproducing before causing major damage. Siegel said the therapeutic could come to market in as little as four to five months.
The doctor said even though only 182 patients were studied during testing so far, the pill could still be "very promising" for thousands of people.
"This might be the future once the vaccine really gets control over the pandemic and we just start seeing isolated cases," he said. "By then, this drug might be ready and this might be the drug for over the next several months."
Siegel predicted the U.S. will be free of the coronavirus pandemic by the summer, making the Molnupiravir treatment "very helpful" for managing isolated cases.
"This is the very first pill that we have that's something that we might be able to use in our armamentarium against COVID as a therapeutic," he said.
More @ FoxNews.com
China issues 'world first' Covid vaccine passport and plans to accept other countries' passes in boost for travel
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 14:28
CHINA has issued what's thought to be the world's first Covid vaccine passport.
In a boost to international travel, Beijing also plans to accept other countries' vaccine health certificates being used by passengers.
ðŸ... Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates...
China has rolled out what's believed to be the world's first Covid vaccine Credit: Getty Images - Getty 5
Beijing hopes the vaccination certificates will boost international travel Credit: AFP or licensorsThe Chinese health certificates show a user's vaccination status and recent coronavirus test results.
They're being hailed as the world's first virus passport, with similar schemes planed in Britain, the US and the EU.
The QR code-based digital certificate will "promote world economic recovery and facilitate cross-border travel," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said today.
Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: "The pandemic is still with us, but the world economy needs to be restarted and people-to-people exchanges resumed with no more delays."
TRAVEL BOOSTChina is also set to discuss mutually recognised systems for travellers' health codes with other countries, he said.
The passports are available for Chinese citizens to download on social media platform WeChat.
Travellers can use them to enter and leave the country.
But so far, just 3.65 per cent of China's population has been vaccinated.
China hopes the passports, which also show antibody test results, will be recognised by other countries and open up global travel.
China hopes the health certificates will help open up global travel Credit: AFP or licensors 5
The vaccine passports show a travellers's vaccination test status Credit: AFP or licensorsBut it isn't clear yet which countries will accept the electronic health certificate codes.
China has approved 17 vaccines for clinical trials, with seven now in phase three trials
It comes as the International Air Travel Association, which represents 290 airlines, is set to launch an app that allows immigration authorities to share travellers' Covid vaccination data.
Singapore Airlines will test run the app on its Singapore to London flights from March 15.
AIRLINE ROLLOUTUp to 30 more airlines will roll out the app over the next two months.
Denmark and Sweden are among other countries developing their own health passports.
Vaccine passport proposed by some governments would include an option which states if someone has had a negative Covid test 72 hours prior to travel.
The World Economic Forum and the Commons Project Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit group, are currently testing a version called CommonPass.
This would allow travellers to access their testing or vaccine information with a smart phone which would then display a QR code which local authorities in your destination of choice would scan on your arrival.
FINAL NAILMeghan DID complain to ITV over Piers but he refused to apologise & quit instead
SARAH RIDDLEServing Met officer arrested over missing Sarah is Westminster cop & dad-of-2
CUT AND CRYSchool forces pupil, 15, to isolate on first day back over two-tone hairstyle
VIRAL HOTSPOTSNew Covid 'epicentre' emerges in the South - is YOUR area on the list?
HOLS YOUR HORSESBrits told to hold off on booking summer hols abroad until April 12
SARAH ARRESTPolice officer arrested over disappearance of Sarah Everard, 33, in London
In the UK, the government is considering the vaccine passports for pubs and restaurants.
They could even be needed to go to the cinema and theatre under plans being pushed by some ministers to help get "dying" businesses open again faster.
Whitehall officials have been drawing up plans to use vaccine passports to let Brits jet off abroad for their summer holidays.
But some fear they could discriminate against people who are medically unable to have the vaccine.
China's passport system is believed to be the world's first Credit: AFP or licensors
Where are the surveillance videos of Sandy Hook?: conspiracy
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 13:33
One of the most powerful images from Columbine was this one showing Harris and Klebold in the act. The chilling silhouette of Klebold with the TEC-9 did more to advance the cause for tighter gun controls than 10,000 words of rhetoric could ever accomplish.
Where's the image of a remorseless Adam Lanza with his Bushmaster AR-15 walking down a Sandyhook hallway?
I don't want to see bodies, blood or gore. I have NO desire to see dead children or teachers. I don't even need to see the dead perpetrator.
I just want to see bullet holes in the walls. I want to see spent brass on tile. I want to see shattered plate glass and crime scene tape. (I understand not having this sort of evidence from the Aurora shooting. There is going to be a trial, there are survivors, witnesses etc. Even with this fact there were plenty of pictures of physical evidence outside the theater.)
Essentially, I want this tragedy treated JUST like every other shooting the macabre media splashes across the headlines and in continuous coverage. If the goal is gun control, why not use all imagery available just like they have in the past?
I don't want to believe that this is anything worse than it is. It is already one of the worst days in American history.
..but if they announce that there was a "system malfunction" and there is no video and seal the crime scene photos since there will be no trial and announce that Lanza's hard drive is unrecoverable because of the damage and the city demolishes the building because they "want the community to have some closure"....
They can shut a hell of a lot of people right the fuck up with the release of just a few bits of impersonal evidence that is respectful of the families and the community but yet totally debunks most if not all the conspiratorial hypotheses put forward. They could inspire real outrage and a groundswell of support for any laws they want to pass. An unstoppable wave of anti-gun fervor greater than what we see now could be stirred up by the images that should exist.
M.E. H. Wayne Carver said it himself
you can control the situation, depending on the photographer and I have very good photographers.
Will we ever see these images? Time will tell.
Edit: Formatting.
Audio Content Drives Unmatched Engagement - Radio World
Wed, 10 Mar 2021 13:22
Entercom study lays data foundation to ''make the case'' for audio's strength
By Idil Cakim and Devora Rogers '‹… Published: March 3, 2021
Idil Cakim is senior vice president, research and insights with Entercom. Devora Rogers is chief strategy officer with Alter Agents.
Idil CakimLife in our modern, always-on world has made for shorter attention spans as more options for information, entertainment, engagement and connection vie for our time. Today's audiences jump from one media source to the next in a flash, giving brands only a few seconds to tell their story and call consumers to action.
When Entercom set out to discover how audio content and advertising fit into this equation, we wanted to understand how audio amplified messages and engaged audiences compared to other media. We designed a study to measure the impact of audio on audiences and define ''engaged impressions.''
We employed a number of market research techniques to dive into how audiences consumed media and contextualize media choices they made as they: navigated their everyday activities; leaned in to get information about their communities; and sought entertainment.
Devora RogersTogether with market research firm Alter Agents, Entercom decided on an approach consisting of a survey of a nationally representative population of adults, coupled with an agile neuroscience study by Immersion of individuals from the major U.S markets of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. We compiled the data to examine consumer experiences with audio such as over-the-air (OTA), streaming OTA and podcast versus other mediums such as TV, video, social, and pureplay platforms.
Immersion, the key metric in our study, is a scientific measure of emotional connection and attention. It reveals what audiences truly love and predicts their future actions.
Using our neuroscience partner's platform, backed by 20 years of peer-reviewed science funded by DARPA, we measured variations in heart rate in order to understand what the brain values. We then coupled these findings with our survey results to create a multidimensional picture of media audiences.
TakeawaysOur findings fell into three core areas:
Immersion, which predicts sales: Our data indicated that audio has the highest level of immersion among all the platforms. Linear TV and social media scored significantly lower. Immersion is predictive of sales at a very high analytical accuracy rate, surpassing 80%. The findings suggest audio impressions, which are more immersive, will yield sales. (Immersion is scored from 0 to 100; the higher the number, the more immersive the experience.)Immersion Index:
Audio 57
Digital video 54
Linear TV 52
Social media 52
Impact, which is rooted in trust. When measuring variations in heart rate and brain activity, our researchers were actually reading biological signals of trust. Trust triggers memorability and action and is the underlying factor in audio impact. Our engaged impressions study found that the audio portfolio (69%), consisting of OTA, streaming OTA and podcasts, is significantly more trusted than other mediums such as TV (64%), social media (56%), YouTube (47%) and even Digital Pureplays (44%).Action, which moves business. Audio has a winning formula that moves people to take action. For example, we found that one-third of broadcast OTA listeners have taken action after hearing a host recommendation as part of a commercial (34%) or as part of their show (32%). Audio portfolios that blend local content and host recommendations to consumers create a ripe environment for advertisers and positively impact consumer action.The findings from this study are critical for the audio industry, as they lay a data-driven foundation to ''make the case'' for the strength of audio.
As more and more mediums compete for audience attention, this study proves that audio can effectively reach, engage and mobilize audiences. Audio leads all other media formats in its natural ability to guide listeners into spaces where they are hyper-connected, open and receptive. Immersive audio experiences trigger memorability, trust and connection. Listeners are drawn in with a sense of community and belonging. And advertisers see consistent results.
Comment on this or any story. Email radioworld@futurenet.com.
Idil Cakim is senior vice president, research and insights with Entercom. She has devised marketing and communication strategies for Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations for 20 years.
Devora Rogers is chief strategy officer with Alter Agents, a strategic market research consultancy. She has led research teams, developed the methodology deployed for Google's groundbreaking ZMOT research, and worked with dozens of global brands.
SubscribeFor more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to our newsletter here.
Vox Popoli: Retreat means more retreat
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 21:32
One of these days, Gab is going to have to seriously consider testing whether these banks actually have the legal right to politically discriminate against them. Because running from one converged bank to the next doesn't appear to be working very well.
Last month, Gab CEO Andrew Torba revealed that the New Tech site had been banned from three different banks in the space of three weeks. On Friday in a statement posted online, Torba confirmed that yet another bank had banned the site from its services. “It’s getting to the point where we are seriously considering buying our own bank,” Torba said. “Funny how this started happening right when Biden got into office,” he added.  Two of the four banks were identified as NBT Bank, which mostly operates in the northeast of the country, and City National Bank of Florida.
Another option is foreign banks and foreign payment processing systems, both of which are usually more than happy to establish footholds in the US market. For example, the new Chinese peer-to-peer direct pay system not only avoids the converged banks, but the US dollar as well. If they're going to kick you out of the system, then you shouldn't hesitate to utilize the existing alternatives to that system, even those that threaten the system.
Anyhow, all this is going to accomplish is to speed up the development timeline of the peer-to-peer payment alternatives. If it's happening to Gab today, it will happen to everyone who votes, speaks, or thinks against the imperial establishment tomorrow.
Litter pickers 'astonished' after finding sex toy near wine bottle and poo bag at beach - Daily Star
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 21:30
Litter pickers were left lost for words after they found a butt plug on a beach.
They discovered the sex toy buried in the sand as they swept the area for rubbish.
Volunteers admitted they were ''astonished'' and puzzled over how it ended up there, KentLive reports.
The litter picking group Friends of Botany Bay found it on a stretch of coastline in Thanet, Kent on Wednesday.
Other items recovered included a sanitary towel, poo bag and a bottle of wine.
Dog walker Barry Manners, who organises the beach cleans for the group, said he was stunned by the find.
Litter pickers found the sex toy buried in the sand (Image: botany_of/Twitter) Read MoreRelated ArticlesBoy, 8, swallowed whole by crocodile before locals rip open its stomachRead MoreRelated ArticlesCreepy video of robot dog exploring SpaceX crash site likened to apocalyptic scenesHe said: ''One of those was a first, the other things are fairly common, the sanitary products washing up, discarded bottles, glass.
''But it's the first time I've seen that.
''I was taking the dog for a walk and I just took a shopping bag with me to litter pick, just in case I pass anything.
''I was talking to one of our volunteers and I noticed a couple of bits and pieces.
They were left lost for words after making the strange discovery (Image: botany_of/Twitter) Read MoreRelated ArticlesExpert solves mystery behind ship 'floating on air' off the coast of Cornwall''We were both astonished, I mean what do you even say.''
He added: ''I honestly don't know where it came from, it was found near the lifeguards hut.
''Welcome to Thanet.''
Volunteers from the organisation frequently comb the shores to keep beaches clean and rubbish free.
The group dedicated around 2,000 hours last year to litter picking in order to protect the beaches and their marine life.
Last December, a resident in Plymouth, Devon found his neighbour's used vibrator in his recycling.
He described the ''big, purple'' device as the ''strangest thing I've ever found in my bin''.
Writing on local neighbourhood platform NextDoor, he asked others how to approach his neighbour about the matter.
He said: ''I'm mainly annoyed because that's just gross and it was in the recycling. You can't recycle that or even if you can, you definitely shouldn't.
"I can't even landfill it either because of the batteries, but I'm not touching it to remove it so mother nature will have to take yet another one for the team.
"How would you advise addressing this in a firm but legal and decent way?''
Navy SEALS Arrest Hillary Clinton - Real Raw News
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 21:22
The chant ''lock her up'' has finally seen fruition.
US Navy SEALS loyal to Donald Trump raided Hillary Clinton's Chappaqua, NY estate and arrested her on charges of treason, destruction of government property, and aiding and abetting the enemy, Real Raw News has learned.
The arrest happened on Tuesday night, according to a source in Trump's orbit, only hours after Trump had spoken to Rear Admiral Hugh W. Howard at US Special Operations Command and given him a ''mammoth trove'' of evidence of Clinton's criminality dating back to her days at the State Department. The evidence allegedly includes thousands of never-before-seen emails, which Clinton acid washed prior to the 2016 presidential election, as well as documents implicating her in plots to assassinate Republican legislators across the country.
The evidence was so compelling, our source added, that Adm. Howard had trouble believing that Clinton wasn't arrested years ago.
''Trump's been wanting to get her, and the rest of the Deep State cabal, ever since he set foot in the White House. It has taken him years to dig up the motherload. Once he had military support, he greenlit the operation. Trump's team, for lack of a better word, had been surveilling Clinton a long time, and he knew she was always alone on Tuesday nights. That's when the SEALS nabbed her,'' our source said.
Under cover of darkness, an eight-man detachment from Naval Special Warfare Group 3 infiltrated the Chappaqua mansion shortly after 2:00am. Mysteriously, Clinton's two-man Secret Service detail, which normally lives in a guest house on the property, was absent that morning. The SEALS cleared the main building, then silently breached the door to her bedroom, where they found her awake rehearsing a speech before a vanity mirror. They fired a single tranquilizer dart into her neck, our source said, before taping her mouth and sealing a black cloth bag over her head.
The SEALS also seized several laptops and reams of paper, our source said.
''I don't know where they took her; only Trump knows that. But this is proof that Trump and the military have started taking out the cabal. It took him longer than expected, longer than he wanted, but better late than never. Trump is doing what's right for America,'' our source said.
Trump will soon send her to Guantanamo Bay to face a military tribunal for her crimes against America and its people. GITMO, our source said in closing, is run by the Marine Corps. and the US Navy, both of which have forsaken Joe Biden and instead pledged to help Donald Trump vanquish the forces of darkness that have enshrouded the nation in corruption for decades.
Clinton Shipped to GITMO, Awaiting Military Tribunal
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Positive Vaccine Sentiment In UK Has Risen To 94% But More Than 40% Of Black Brits Report Hesitancy
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 20:42
The number of Black and Black British adults who are vaccine hesitant is 44% according to the ONS (Alamy)
3 min read 08 March
The UK has become significantly more positive about Covid-19 vaccines in recent weeks '' but more than four in 10 Black people are still hesitant about it, the highest of all ethnic groups.
The results of the latest sentiment study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 94% of people are happy to get a jab, up from 78% when they first collected data in mid-December last year.
Overall, between 13 January and 7 February 91% of adults reported ''positive sentiment towards the vaccine'', while 9% of adults reported vaccine hesitancy.
But there are large variations when broken down by age, race and other factors, with 44% of Black or Black British adults repeatedly hesitant, compared with 8% of white people.
This is despite specific campaigns being launched encouraging BAME communities to get vaccinated, including a video featuring a number of celebrities broadcast simultaneously by every main broadcaster.
In January a number of Black MPs from across political parties joined together for their own video encouraging others to get the jab.
It comes as the vaccine rollout continues apace, after two consecutive days of more than 400,000 first doses being delivered.
The total number of people who have had a jab now stands at 22,213,112, and the NHS is now inviting those aged between 56 and 59 to book their vaccines.
The ONS data also reveals around 1 in 6 (17%) adults aged 16 to 29 reported vaccine hesitancy, the highest of all age groups.
The figure is just 1% in adults aged 70 and over, which is also the group who are most likely to have had a coronavirus jab in recent weeks.
For parents of a child under the age of 5, the ONS say 16% reported vaccine hesitancy, double the 8% of non-parents or parents not living with a dependent child.
Similarly 16% adults in the most deprived areas of England are hesitant compared with 7% in the least deprived areas.
The ONS said the top three reasons for reporting negative sentiment towards the vaccine are ''side effects", "long term effects on health", and "how well the vaccine works'', and were consistent across all population groups.
Tim Vizard, principal research officer at the ONS focussing on public policy analysis, said: "Over the past three months, we've seen people become increasingly positive about the Covid-19 vaccines, with over nine in ten adults saying they would have it if offered, or having already had it.
''Of those who are hesitant about receiving the vaccine, it's younger and black adults who are most likely to say this, with concerns around side effects, long term effects and how well the vaccine works being the most common reasons.''The figures also show double the amount of renters (15%) reported being vaccine hesitant than those who own their homes (7%).
Those on the lowest salaries '' below £10,000 a year '' are almost three times as likely to have ''non positive vaccine sentiment'' than those earning more than £50,000.
But the ONS added it was ''important to note that the associations between characteristics and vaccine hesitancy in this bulletin may not necessarily reflect a causal relationship''.
The region of England with the highest level of hesitancy is London at 13% almost double the figure for the South West at 7%.
Read the most recent article written by Alain Tolhurst - NHS Boss Confirms Nurses Were Meant To Get More Than Double Government's 1% Pay Rise Offer
Prince Harry says 'racism' drove him out of UK and the Queen was too busy to see him | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 19:19
Prince Harry today claimed racism drove him and Meghan out of Britain and the Queen was too busy to meet him as he piled on new insults to his family in a series of unseen clips from his bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.
The Duke of Sussex accused the Queen of snubbing him after she was allegedly overruled by royal aides when she tried to invite him and Meghan on a trip to Sandringham after the couple announced they were stepping down.
Meanwhile, Prince Philip was cleared of making a racist remark about how 'dark' Archie's skin would be, with Oprah saying Harry had confirmed the comment was not made by the Duke of Edinburgh or the Queen.
Asked about the alleged comment at his Covid press conference today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: 'The best thing I can say is that I've always had the highest admiration for the queen and the unifying role she plays.
'And as for all other matters to do with the royal family I've spent a long time now not commenting on royal family matters and I don't intend to today.'
Harry refused to reveal the person's identity on Sunday night as did Meghan and claimed they wanted to protect whoever it was - leaving the rest of the family open to suspicion.
In one of the previously unseen clips released today, Harry said the Queen told him she wanted to see him and Meghan in Sandringham 'the moment' they returned from a trip to Canada in January 2020, but he then received a message from a royal aide saying the trip was off.
Harry claimed he then rang the Queen from Frogmore Cottage and she said: 'Yes, there's something in my diary that I didn't know that I had.'
The prince said the exchange showed that even the Queen could be overruled by aides, who he accused of giving her 'very bad' advice.
Meanwhile, the prince reignited his war with the press, claiming that racism 'was a large part' of his and Meghan's decision to leave Britain.
He said he was told by an unidentified person at a charity event: 'You need to understand that the UK is very bigoted,' to which he replied: 'The UK is not bigoted, the UK press is bigoted, specifically the tabloids.'
He added: 'But unfortunately if the source of info is inherently corrupt or racist or biased then that filters out to the rest of society.'
Meghan also discussed her own family with Oprah for the first time, claiming that she 'didn't have a relationship' with her sister, Samantha, and that she only changed her surname back to Markle when she started dating Harry.
It came as Tory MPs today led the backlash against Prince Harry and Meghan's 'appalling' accusations of racism against the Royal Family as they accused the couple of 'detonating a nuclear weapon' with the allegations.
Among the bombshell claims -
Harry says racism was 'large part' of why he and Meghan decided to leave UK and claims Queen snubbed him; Prince says Charles has made peace with being 'trapped' as part of the royal family but William 'can't escape'; Meghan claims the coverage she received in the media was worse than Kate because of the colour of her skin; Oprah says Harry told her neither Queen nor Philip made racist comment about Archie being 'too brown'; This afternoon Boris Johnson defended the Queen but refused to comment further on the alleged comment; In the main interview aired early this morning, couple reveal the gender of their baby - a girl due this summer; Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, made Meghan cry ahead of the royal wedding - but 'owned it' and apologised; Meghan describes meeting the Queen for the first time and having to learn to curtsy from Sarah Ferguson Sussexes say they speak to Her Majesty regularly on Zoom and called last week when Philip became ill; Duchess claims she was 'naive' when she joined the Royal Family - and never researched what it would be like; Says she was initially welcomed, but later 'silenced' and felt trapped by officials who 'took away her passport'; Duchess says at some points she felt that she no longer wanted to live and says she asked palace for help; Harry says his family failed to 'support' and 'understand' them and reveals Charles stopped speaking to him; Couple show off hens they rescued from farm as Meghan says they want to 'live authentically' in mansion; Share unseen picture of Archie at beach as Harry says he 'is hurt but respects' withdrawal of his patronages. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have insisted their interview with Oprah Winfrey would be the 'last word' on them quitting as senior royals
US breakfast show CBS This Morning aired unseen footage from Oprah Winfrey's bombshell interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex this morning.
Among the claims aired in the new clips -
'It was a large part of it': Harry claims he and Meghan left Britain 'because of racism' Asked by Oprah if the couple left the UK because of racism, Harry replied: 'It was a large part of it.'
Recalling a conversation he had at a Sentebale fundraiser, he said he was urged by someone who is 'friends with a lot of the editors': 'Please don't do this with the media, they will destroy your life.'
However, he did not identify who the person was.
Harry said: 'One of the people at that dinner said to me, ''please don't please don't do this with the media, they will destroy your life''. This person is friends with a lot of the editors. I said, so I just elaborate, what do you mean?
'He said ''you need to understand that the UK is very bigoted. I stopped and said, ''the UK is not bigoted, the press is bigoted, the tabloids. Is that what you mean?''
Harry claimed the person replied, 'No, the UK is bigoted'.
He continued: 'I said I disagree. If the source of information is corrupt or racist or biased, then that filters out to the rest of society.'
Harry says the Queen snubbed him by uninviting him to a trip to Sandringham after being overruled by an aide In another exclusive clip, Harry said he had been suddenly told he was no longer invited to spend time with the Queen at Sandringham in January 2020.
Harry claimed the conversation with the Queen happened after he and Meghan announced on January 8 that they were going to step down as senior royals.
He said: 'My grandmother had said 'the moment you land, come up to Sandringham, we'd love to have a chat, come for tea, why don't you stay for dinner because it's going to be a long drive and you're going to be exhausted?''
'Then the moment we landed in the UK, I got a message from my private secretary at the time.'
Explaining the terminology, Meghan said: 'A private secretary is sort of like a CEO role in the institution.'
Harry continued: 'The private secretary had cut and pasted a message from the queen's secretary saying, ''please passes on to the duke and duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The queen is busy, she's busy all week''.'
Oprah asked: 'After she just invited you?'
Harry continued: 'Yeah... so I rang her, and that night I said I was thinking about coming, but I hear you're busy. She said, ''Yes, there's something in my diary that I didn't know I had''.
'I said, ''Well, what about the rest of the week?' She says, 'That's busy now, as well'. Okay. I didn't want to push because I knew what was going on.'
Oprah asked: 'Doesn't the Queen get to do what the queen wants to do?'
The prince replied: 'No, when you're head of the firm, there is people around you that give you advice.
'And what has made me sad is some of that advice has been really bad.'
Oprah concluded: 'That was tough. It's the type of thing when someone says, I'm busy, I'm busy all week, that's a big sign.
'When it's your mother, your grandmother. That's tough.'
'I have tried to help them see': Harry says Prince Charles has made peace with being 'trapped' as part of the royal family '' and says 'My brother can't leave the system '' but I have' Oprah asked if anyone in the family had said they were sorry the couple felt they had to make the move out of royal life because they felt unsupported.
Harry said: 'No. Sadly not. The feeling is that this was our decision, therefore the consequences are on us. And despite three years of asking for help and seeing or visualising how this might end, it was, I don't know... it's been really hard because I'm trying, I am part of the system with them. I always have been.
'I'm very aware that my brother can't leave that system, but I have.'
Oprah asked: 'Does your brother want to leave the system?'
Harry said: 'I don't know. I can't speak for him. But with that relationship and that control and the fear by the UK tabloids, it's a really toxic environment. But I will always be there for him. I will always be there for my family. And as I said, I've tried to help them to see what has happened.'
Oprah asked: 'Do they think it's a toxic environment or do you all think it's a toxic environment because you're out of it?'
Harry said: 'I think he's had to make peace with it.'
Oprah said: 'Why couldn't you make peace with it? I'll ask that of both of you?'
'Because that is different. You know,' said Meghan.
'Different because of the race?' said Oprah.
'And social media,' said Meghan.
'And social media. Oh, yes, different time. Different time,' said Oprah.
'That didn't exist,' Meghan said. 'And so it was like the wild, wild west. It was spread like wildfire. Plus, my being American, it translate in a different way across the pond. So you had a noise level that was very different, but if they can't see that it's different.'
'You felt bullied on an international level,' Oprah said.
Meghan said: 'Look, I think the volume of what was coming in and the interest was greater because of social media, because of the fact that I was not just British.'
'Rude and racist are not the same': Meghan claims abuse of her was worse than Kate because of the colour of her skin Meghan said she and Kate's experiences dealing with the press were different, saying 'rude and racist are not the same'.
She said: 'Kate was called Waity Katy for waiting to marry William. While I imagine that was hard, and I do, I can't picture what that felt like, this is not the same.
'And if a member of this family will comfortably say we've all had to deal with things that are rude, rude and racist are not the same.
'And equally, you've also had a press team that goes on the record to defend you, especially when they know something's not true. And that didn't happen for us.'
Oprah said: 'You mentioned earlier, Harry, that you were hurt by the fact that there's been no acknowledgement on the part of your family that this was different because of race. Do you think there ever will be, and would that make a difference to you?'
Harry said: Yeah. It would make a huge difference. You know, as I said, there's a lot of people that have seen it for what it was.
'A lot of people. Like it's talked about across the world. Yet, the very people that don't want to see it or can't see it choose not to see it.'
The main bombshells from the Oprah interview - Harry and Meghan 'left UK because of racism'
Asked by Winfrey if the couple left the UK because of racism, Harry replied: 'It was a large part of it.'
Recalling a conversation at a Sentebale fundraiser, he said he was urged by someone who is 'friends with a lot of the editors': 'Please don't do this with the media, they will destroy your life.'
He said he was told: 'You need to understand that the UK is very bigoted,' to which he replied: 'The UK is not bigoted, the UK press is bigoted, specifically the tabloids.'
He added: 'But unfortunately if the source of info is inherently corrupt or racist or biased then that filters out to the rest of society.'
Harry did not identify the person who allegedly made the comments.
- 'Uninvited' to Sandringham trip
In another exclusive clip, Harry said he had been suddenly told he was no longer invited to spend time with the Queen at Sandringham in January 2020.
Harry said the Queen had told him to come and see her there after he and Meghan arrived back in the UK from Canada.
He said: 'My grandmother had said 'the moment you land, come up to Sandringham, we'd love to have a chat, come for tea, why don't you stay for dinner because it's going to be a long drive and you're going to be exhausted?''
He said 'the moment we landed in the UK' he got a message from his private secretary at the time, passing on a message from the Queen's private secretary.
He said it was 'basically saying 'please pass on to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The Queen is busy, she's busy all week'.'
Oprah said: 'After she'd just invited to you?'
Harry replied: 'She'd just invited me.'The Queen is busy, she's busy all week, do not come up here'.'
- Press 'rude not racist' to Kate
Meghan said she and Kate's experiences dealing with the press were different, saying 'rude and racist are not the same'.
She said: 'Kate was called 'Waity Katie' waiting to marry William. While I imagine that was really hard - and I do, I can't picture what that felt like - this is not the same.
'And if a member of his family would comfortably say 'we've all had to deal with things that are rude', rude and racist are not the same.
'And equally you've also had a press team that goes on the record to defend you, especially when they know something's not true, and that didn't happen for us.'
- Sister 'changed surname to Markle' after Meghan started dating Harry
In one of the new clips, Meghan spoke about her family for the first time, claiming that she 'didn't have a relationship' with her sister, Samantha, and that she only changed her surname to Markle after she married Harry.
- Meghan 'couldn't imagine hurting Archie' like her father hurt her
Meghan said there was an 'obsession' with anything in her world including tracking down her parents.
Asked if it felt like 'betrayal' when she found out her father Thomas Markle was 'working with the tabloids', Meghan said: 'I'm just trying to decide if I'm comfortable even talking about that.'
She later added: 'I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I genuinely can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can't imagine it, so it's hard for me to reconcile that.'
- Meghan's mental health
The Duchess of Sussex revealed she had suicidal thoughts and said: 'I just didn't want to be alive any more.'
She said she begged for help, and asked to go somewhere to get help, and approached one of the most senior people in the institution, but was told it would not look good.
The duchess said: 'I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that I've never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn't, that it wouldn't be good for the institution.'
- Baby Sussex is a girl
Harry and Meghan revealed they are expecting a baby girl.
The duke joined his wife in the second half of the interview, and told the chat show host: 'It's a girl.'
He said his first thought was 'amazing' when he discovered they were having a girl, adding: 'Just grateful. To have any child, any one or any two, would have been amazing.
'But to have a boy and then a girl, I mean what more can you ask for? Now we've got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs.'
Asked if they were 'done' with two children, Harry said 'done' and Meghan said: 'Two is it.'
She also confirmed the baby is due in the 'summertime'.
- Royal family accused of racism
Meghan said, when she was pregnant with Archie, an unnamed member of the royal family raised 'concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born'.
Asked whether there were concerns that her child would be 'too brown' and that would be a problem, Meghan said: 'If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.'
Pushed by Winfrey on who had those conversations, Meghan refused to say, adding: 'I think that would be very damaging to them.'
She added: 'That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him, and I think it was really hard to be able to see those as compartmentalised conversations.'
Today, Prince Philip was cleared of making a remark about how 'dark' Archie's skin would be, with Oprah saying Harry had confirmed the comment was not made by the Duke of Edinburgh or the Queen.
- Archie's title
Meghan suggested she and Harry wanted Archie to be a prince so he would have security and be protected.
The duchess expressed her shock at 'the idea of our son not being safe', and the idea of the first member of colour in this family, not being titled in the same way as other grandchildren.
Archie, who is seventh in line to the throne, is not entitled to be an HRH or a prince due to rules set out more than 100 years ago by King George V.
He will be entitled to be an HRH or a prince when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne.
As the first born son of a duke, Archie could have become Earl of Dumbarton - one of Harry's subsidiary titles - or have been Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, instead at the time of his birth, a royal source said Harry and Meghan had decided he should a regular Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
- The Prince of Wales
The Duke of Sussex said his father the Prince of Wales stopped taking his calls while Harry and Meghan were in Canada 'because I took matters into my own hands. I needed to do this for my family'.
He said Charles wanted him to put his plans in writing.
- The Queen
Harry denied that he had 'blindsided' his grandmother Queen with the bombshell statement about stepping down as senior royal.
The duke said he believed the report probably could have come from 'within the institution'.
- The Duchess of Cambridge
Meghan said Kate made her cry ahead of her wedding.
Reports circulated ahead of the Sussexes' nuptials that Meghan left Kate in tears at Princess Charlotte's bridesmaid dress fitting.
But Meghan told Winfrey the 'reverse happened'.
Meghan said she was not sharing the information to be 'disparaging', but added it was 'really important for people to understand the truth'.
'She's a good person,' the duchess added
'I can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child': Meghan hits out at father and claims her sister only changed adopted Markle surname when she started dating Harry The Duchess of Sussex said she cannot fathom hurting Archie the way her own father 'betrayed' her before the royal wedding.
Meghan said she has 'found it hard to reconcile' with Thomas Markle for insisting he had not been speaking to the media.
She said: 'I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I genuinely can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child.'
Meghan drew a contrast with her mother Doria Ragland, who she praised for remaining 'in silent dignity for four years'.
The clip also saw Meghan distance herself from her half-sister Samantha, who has released a 'tell-all' book about their relationship.
The Duchess retorted: 'I think it would be very hard to tell all when you don't know me.'
She even claimed Samantha only changed her surname back to Markle after Meghan struck up a romance with Harry.
In the fourth unseen clip, Meghan said of her father: 'There was such an obsession about anything in my world, including tracking down my parents, and I did everything I could to protect both of them in that media frenzy, but for over a year, the UK tabloids were trying to find my dad, offering people so much money to try to find his address.
'Once they did, I remember being told, there was a huge headline like ''We found him, we've got him''. Talking about someone's father.
'And from that point, the tabloids descended on this small town, were giving him gifts, the whole thing brings us to where we are today.'
Oprah asked: 'Did it feel like betrayal when you found that your father was working with the tabloids?'
Meghan said: 'I'm just trying to decide if I'm comfortable even talking about that. If we're going to use the word betrayal it's because when I asked him when we were told by the comms [communication] team this was a story that was going to be coming out which, by the way, the tabloids had apparently known for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama, which is also a key point in all this, they don't report the news, they create the news.
'We called my dad, and I asked him, and he said no, absolutely not. I said, you know, the institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we're not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our kids one day.'
Oprah said: 'He said no, absolutely not, he hadn't been talking to them. He basically lied to you.'
'I said we won't be able to protect our own kids one day, and I said, I just need you to tell me,' Meghan said. 'If you tell me the truth, we can help. And he wasn't able to do that. And that for me has really resonated, especially now as a mother.
'And also me saying ''Full stop, if we use this to protect you, we won't be able to protect our own children one day, I'm talking about your grandchildren''.
'So I can't, I mean, I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I go, I can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. So it's hard for me to reconcile that.'
Oprah said: 'So your father being hunted down, it seemed like you were saying in some ways that they did this to him.
'So I want you to be able to clarify this. That the tabloids, the media did this to him, they punted him. But they hunted him. But he has a responsibility, too.'
'Everyone has accountability,' said Meghan. 'They hunted my mom down.
'You never heard her say a word. She's remained in silent dignity for four years watching me go through this.'
Oprah then asked about Meghan's relationship with her sister, Samantha, who recently wrote a 'tell-all' book about the duchess.
Meghan said: 'I think it would be very hard to tell all when you don't know me.
'This is a very different situation than my dad, right.
'When you talk about betrayal, betrayal comes from someone that you have a relationship with.
'I don't feel comfortable talking about people that I really don't know.
'But I grew up as an only child, which everybody who grew up around me knows.
'And I wished I had siblings. I would have loved of to have had siblings.
'That's why I'm so excited to be pregnant, so Archie has someone.
'It was really interesting to - the last time I saw her must have been at least 18, 19 years ago. And before that ten years before that.'
Oprah asked: 'So you all weren't close, you didn't grow up together?'
'No,' Meghan replied. 'She changed her last name back to Markle in - I think it was early 50s at that time, only when I started dating Harry. So I think that says enough.'
Prince Philip was not the royal who allegedly concerns over Archie's 'dark' skin toneOprah revealed this morning that behind the scenes, Prince Harry told her it was neither The Queen nor Prince Philip who had concerns over Archie's skin color before he was born, but he would not reveal the identity of who it did.
Harry and Meghan revealed on Sunday night in their bombshell interview with Oprah that there was a 'conversation', before Archie's birth, about his skin and how 'dark' it would be.
It was a stunning claim that prompted Oprah and the millions watching to ask who it was who had said it.
Harry refused to reveal that person's identity on Sunday night as did Meghan. They said they wanted to protect whoever it was.
On Monday morning, Oprah said on CBS This Morning that when the cameras were down, Harry made it clear to her it was neither of 'his grandparents.'
'He did not share the identity with me but he wanted to make sure that I knew and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother nor his grandfather that were a part of those conversations.
'Neither his grandmother nor grandfather were a part of those conversations.
'He did not tell me who were a part of those conversations, as you can see I tried to get that answer. On camera and off. '
Meghan told 'it would be best if you could be 50% less', Oprah says The Duchess of Sussex was advised 'it would be best if she could be 50% less' shortly after she joined the Royal Family, according to Oprah Winfrey.
The talk show star said Meghan approached her in 2018 and confided in her that she had been told to be 'half herself', leaving Oprah 'disheartened'.
It it not clear who gave Meghan the advice or its precise meaning, but it appears to be referring to the need for the duchess to adopt a lower profile to fit into the royal pecking order.
Winfrey appeared on US breakfast show CBS This Morning to discuss her bombshell interview with Meghan and the Duke of Sussex and recalled a conversation she had with Meghan.
She told the programme: 'She had just joined the royal family and she shared a conversation with me then that made me feel somewhat disheartened.
'She said she had been told, been given advice, that it would be best if she could be 50% less than she was. That was the quote, if she could be 50% less.
'I remember hearing that in 2018 and I said to her, 'I don't know how you're going to survive, being half of yourself'.'
Meghan has previously complained about feeling constrained by royal protocol and having to run comments by palace officials before speaking in public.
Winfrey was a guest at the couple's 2018 wedding and given a prime seat at the ceremony.
She had reportedly been courting Meghan for an interview for a number of years before the couple stepped back from royal life.
She has also been photographed with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.
The couple's home in California is close to Winfrey's in the affluent neighbourhood of Montecito and Winfrey's best friend Gayle King, an anchor on CBS This Morning, was a guest at Meghan's baby shower.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared candid footage of Archie playing on a beach during their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey
Today, Tory MPs led the backlash against Prince Harry and Meghan's 'appalling' accusations of racism against the Royal Family as they accused the couple of 'detonating a nuclear weapon' with the allegations.
The Duchess of Sussex said 'concerns' were raised about 'how dark' Archie's skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white, but refused to say who made the alleged comments.
How Meghan and Harry's royal racism claims differed: Meghan said 'concerns over how dark baby's skin might be' were raised while she was pregnant but Harry said comments were before their marriage Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave differing accounts of when a mystery member of the Royal Family raised concerns about how dark their baby's son skin might be.
The Duchess of Sussex said 'concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born' happened 'in those months when [I] was pregnant' with Archie.
But later when Prince Harry was asked about the exchange he appeared to suggest he heard the alleged slur from a royal figure earlier, before he and Meghan got married.
He said: 'That was right at the beginning, when she wasn't going to get security, when members of my family were suggesting that she carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her, and all this sort of stuff.
'Like, there was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard.'
Today he doubled down on accusations of racism and said there was a lot of it in the UK in a clip aired on CBS.
The couple married on May 19, 2018, while Meghan revealed the news of her first pregnancy on October 15, 2018.
Meghan refused to say which royal had the conversation with Harry about Archie's skin colour, claiming it would be 'damaging' to the person in her husband's family who raised it.
She told Miss Winfrey that it was 'a pretty safe' assumption to suggest that the royal family member was 'concerned' that Archie being 'too brown' was 'a problem'.
When asked if it was 'important' for Meghan that Archie be called a prince, she said she doesn't have any attachment to the 'grandeur' of official titles.
But she said it was about 'the idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be.'
Prince Harry - who later joined his wife and Miss Winfrey for the last part of the interview - described the conversation as 'awkward', saying it left him 'shocked'.
But he declined to reveal anything more about what was said, saying: 'That conversation I'm never going to share.'
One Tory MP, who did not want to be named, suggested that the couple appeared to be 'telling the Royal Family I've got this nuclear weapon and I'm going to detonate it'.
Conservative MP Andrea Jenkins tweeted: 'Today's Commonwealth Day gives us all another reminder of Her Majesty's long life of service and duty, continuing to work for us all despite her husband being in hospital. Britain stands with our Queen.'
Meanwhile, Fellow MP Michael Fabricant said: 'Every family is dysfunctional one way or another. The holder of every high position will have personal little secrets they want hidden. We are all human. Only HM Queen seems to float selflessly above it all.'
In the first interview last night, The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah she 'couldn't be left alone' and told her husband she 'didn't want to be alive anymore' before claiming the Buckingham Palace HR department ignored her plea for help because she wasn't a 'paid employee'.
In the first broadcast, the Duchess of Sussex said 'concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born' happened 'in those months when [I] was pregnant' with Archie.
However, when Prince Harry was asked about the exchange later he appeared to suggest he heard the alleged slur from a royal figure earlier, before he and Meghan got married.
He said: 'That was right at the beginning, when she wasn't going to get security, when members of my family were suggesting that she carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her, and all this sort of stuff.
'Like, there was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard.'
Meanwhile, Meghan told Oprah she 'couldn't be left alone' and told her husband she 'didn't want to be alive anymore' before claiming the Buckingham Palace HR department ignored her plea for help because she wasn't a 'paid employee'.
Describing how she considered ending her life believing it 'was better for everyone', Meghan said: 'I knew that if I didn't say it, that I would do it. I just didn't want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. I remember how he just cradled me. I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that 'I've never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere'. And I was told that I couldn't, that it wouldn't be good for the institution'.
She said that after confiding in her husband, she was forced to go to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event in January 2019, claiming photos from that night 'haunt me'. She told Oprah she later reached out to one of the best friends of Diana, Princess of Wales, because she felt unsupported by the palace.
She said: 'When I joined that family, that was the last time I saw my passport, my driving licence, my keys - all of that gets turned over'. Meghan said Harry had 'saved my life' by agreeing to move to Los Angeles.
Meghan also sensationally claimed that a relative of Harry asked him 'how dark' their unborn child would be with the Duchess claiming Archie being mixed-race was a 'problem' for the royals after Oprah asked her if they were worried their son would be 'too brown'.
The former Suits star said she would not name the person because it would be 'too damaging' for them. But she confirmed that the duke was asked the question '' 'how dark his skin might be when he's born' '' 'by family'. She then said Archie may have been denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race, but has never been told. Harry was also asked to identify the culprit but said he didn't feel 'comfortable' discussing it.
In the most extraordinary royal interview since Diana spoke to the BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995, Meghan said her sister-in-law Kate made her cry in a row over dresses for the flowergirls, including Princess Charlotte, before her Windsor wedding. She said: 'She (Kate) was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised. And she brought me flowers'.
Harry also laid into his own family, claiming their 'lack of support and understanding', the couple's mental health problems and fears 'history repeating itself' with Meghan like his mother Diana, who died in 1997.
Harry also said he felt 'very let down' by his father Prince Charles, accusing him of refusing to take his calls and and then 'cut him off' financially when they emigrated.
He said: 'My father and brother. They're both trapped' and added that his mother Diana would be 'angry and sad' that he felt he had to leave the royal family, but 'she saw it coming'. Harry said: 'All she'd ever want for us is to be happy', adding that his wife had 'saved me', declaring: 'I myself was trapped, as well. I didn't see a way out'.
The prince said he had to sign multi-million dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify because he was spending his inheritance from Princess Diana and claimed the palace suggested that Meghan should go back into acting to pay the bills.
Asked about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said they were now speaking again, adding: 'There's a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he's been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie's his grandson. I will always love him, but there's a lot of hurt that's happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship'. When asked about if he remains close to William he replied: 'I love William to bits. He's my brother. We've been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we're on different paths'.
Oprah says Harry told her behind-the-scenes that it was NOT The Queen or Prince Philip who 'banned Archie from being a Prince because of concerns over how DARK he would be' - but would not reveal who DID say it Oprah revealed on Monday morning that behind the scenes, Prince Harry told her it was neither The Queen nor Prince Philip who had concerns over Archie's skin color before he was born, but he would not reveal the identity of who it did.
Harry and Meghan revealed on Sunday night in their bombshell interview with Oprah that there was a 'conversation', before Archie's birth, about his skin and how 'dark' it would be.
It was a stunning claim that prompted Oprah and the millions watching to ask who it was who had said it.
Harry refused to reveal that person's identity on Sunday night as did Meghan. They said they wanted to protect whoever it was.
On Monday morning, Oprah said on CBS This Morning that when the cameras were down, Harry made it clear to her it was neither of 'his grandparents.'
'He did not share the identity with me but he wanted to make sure that I knew and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother nor his grandfather that were a part of those conversations.
'Neither his grandmother nor grandfather were a part of those conversations. He did not tell me who were a part of those conversations, as you can see I tried to get that answer. On camera and off. '
Meghan claimed she had been completely 'naive' about what royal life was like, claiming she didn't know about needing to curtsy for the Queen and being taught by Fergie minutes before meeting Her Majesty for the first time in 2017. The Duke and Duchess said they speak to her regularly on Zoom - but hinted at little contact with the other royals.
The Sussexes also revealed they were already planning 'Megxit' just six months after they married in May 2018 and Meghan compared life in Kensington Palace to lockdown in the Covid world today because she was 'banned' from going to lunch with friends. But said their new life was a 'happy ending' for after a journey 'greater than any fairytale you've ever read.
The Duchess was greeted by Oprah as a friend when the show began and admired her growing baby bump, before the host said that while they knew each other none of the questions had been shared in advance.
The Duchess of Sussex sat alone as she claimed she entered the Royal Family 'naively' and didn't do any research about her husband or the institution before entering it.
Describing meeting the Queen for the first time at Windsor and that she was shocked when she was told by Harry would need to curtsy to Her Majesty, and was taught by her husband's aunt Fergie.
Describing her initial experiences of becoming part of the royal family, Meghan said: 'I will say I went into it naively, because I didn't grow up knowing much about the royal family.
'It wasn't something that was part of conversation at home, it wasn't something that we followed.'
Meghan said she did not research Harry or the family beforehand, and had little expectation of what becoming a working royal would involve.
She said: 'I didn't fully understand what the job was, what does it mean to be a working royal, what do you do?
'I didn't romanticise any element of it, but I think as Americans especially - what you know about the royals is what you read in fairy tales.
'It's easy to have an image of it that's so far from reality and that's what was really tricky over those past few years, when the perception and reality are different things and you're being judged on the perception but you are living the reality of it, there's a complete misalignment and there's no way to explain that to people.'
A tearful duchess also told interviewer Oprah Winfrey that the stress of her role became so bad that she felt suicidal as a result of the pressure she was under. I didn't want to be alive any more -this was a very real and frightening constant thought,' she said.
She said she didn't want to tell Harry at first because of the loss he had suffered as a result of his mother's death, but she did and he 'cradled me'.
Meghan said she begged a senior member of the royal to assist her get help for mental health issue but she was left to suffer alone.
Meghan then denied making Kate cry before her wedding in 2018 '' and said the opposite had happened. Oprah asked the Duchess: 'Was there a situation where she (Kate) might have cried? Or she could have cried?'
But the Duchess of Sussex replied: 'No, no. The reverse happened. And I don't say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding. And she was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised.
'And she brought me flowers and a note, apologising. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it.' Meghan added that it was 'shocking' that the 'reverse of that would be out in the world'.
She continued: 'A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining - yes, the issue was correct - about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.
'And I thought, in the context of everything else that was going on in those days leading to the wedding, that it didn't make sense to not be just doing whatever-- what everyone else was doing, which was trying to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.'
Meghan also said: 'It wasn't a confrontation, and I actually think it's'... I don't think it's fair to her to get into the details of that, because she apologised.
'What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn't do but that happened to me. And the people who were part of our wedding were going to our comms team and saying: 'I know this didn't happen. I don't have to tell them what actually happened'.'
But the Duchess of Sussex also insisted that she has now forgiven Kate Middleton and said she bought her flowers to apologise about the incident.
It then got even more uncomfortable for the royals when Meghan Markle accused the Royal Family of having 'concerns' about 'how dark' Archie's skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white.
Harry said he loved his brother William but they were now on different paths and said their mother would be 'angry and sad' that he felt he had to leave the royal family, but 'saw it coming' herself
The Duchess of Sussex also described her 'pain' that officials had denied Archie the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect him by denying him 24/7 security.
Meghan refused to say which royal had the conversation with Harry about Archie's skin colour, claiming it would be 'damaging' to the person in her husband's family who raised it.
She told Miss Winfrey that it was 'a pretty safe' assumption to suggest that the royal family member was 'concerned' that Archie being 'too brown' was 'a problem'.
Harry and Meghan did NOT secretly marry three days before the royal wedding as vicar questions 'if rest of claims are BS' Meghan Markle did not secretly marry Prince Harry three days before their spectacular Windsor wedding, despite claims in their bombshell Oprah interview.
It had been said the couple and just the Archbishop of Canterbury had been present in a low-key union before the televised ceremony.
But a marriage has to have two witnesses and be solemnised by a member of the clergy in a church or licenced place.
It means the pair exchanging vows in a space outside Kensington Palace was not legally binding and they became man and wife in Windsor days later.
Doubts had already been expressed over whether such a ceremony would have even been legal with one clergyman insisting the Archbishop of Canterbury '' who Meghan said had conducted the wedding '' should explain.
A spokesman for the Archbishop today said he would not comment on personal or pastoral matters.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in the States overnight mentioned a secret earlier marriage for the first time.
Meghan told Winfrey: 'You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that', before Harry later insisted it had been just them and Justin Welby present.
But Reverend David Green, Vicar of St Mary's, West Malling and the Rector of St Michael's, Offham, said it was impossible to have had two weddings, adding: 'I think the Archbishop needs to clarify what did or did not happen three days before.'
When asked if it was 'important' for Meghan that Archie be called a prince, she said she doesn't have any attachment to the 'grandeur' of official titles.
But she said it was about 'the idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be.' Prince Harry described the conversation as 'awkward', saying it left him 'shocked'. But he declined to reveal anything more about what was said, saying: 'That conversation I'm never going to share.'
After Meghan spoke to Oprah alone, she was joined by Harry where they celebrated on screen as they announced to millions watching they were having a baby daughter.
Harry then said the couple left because of the media in Britain and because of a 'lack of support and lack of understanding' from his family, and revealed that his father refused to speak to him after they left for Vancouver. And in a sign that his relationship with his brother William is strained, claiming he 'didn't have anyone to turn to' and was 'ashamed' to admit his wife struggling.
He said: 'I love William to bits. He's my brother. We've been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we're on different paths'. Harry added: 'My family literally cut me off financially. Members of my family were suggesting that she [Meghan] carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her. There was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard'.
He also claimed that he was asked by his father, Prince Charles, to put his request in writing 'before he stopped taking my calls'.
Asked by Oprah Winfrey during their televised interview about why they left, Harry blamed a 'lack of support and lack of understanding'.
The chat show queen said she wanted 'clarity' and asked Harry: 'Was the move about getting away from the UK press...because the press is, you know, is everywhere, or was the move because you weren't getting enough support from the firm?'
He replied: 'It was both.'
Winfrey asked 'did you blindside the Queen?' with the announcement they were leaving the family, and Harry replied: 'No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.'
Asked where that story came from, Harry said: 'I hazard a guess that it probably could have come from within the institution.'
As Oprah wrapped up the interview the couple insisted that they had had a 'happy ending' by moving to LA, with Harry saying he had 'no regrets'. But his wife added: 'My regret is believing them [the Royal Family] when they said I'd be protected.'
Meghan then called their journey 'greater than any fairytale you've ever read' and said Harry had saved her life. Harry replied: 'Without question, she [Meghan] saved me.'
The Duchess of Sussex, who brokered the interview, has already accused 'The Firm' of 'perpetuating falsehoods' about her and Harry and said they refused to be 'silenced' any more.
The Sussexes have been branded 'selfish' and 'disrespectful' to go ahead with the shown when Harry's 99-year-old grandfather Prince Philip is in hospital recovering from heart surgery.
The interview, expected to be viewed by tens of millions of people in the US and millions more around the globe, is considered the most important piece of royal TV since Harry's mother spoke to the BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995 after she separated from Prince Charles.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have today insisted that their Oprah interview would be the 'last word' on their rift with the Royal Family. The couple, who will have their second child later this year, said they felt they 'needed to have their say' but now want to 'move on'.
'It's a GIRL!' Harry and Meghan reveal sex of their second child as they confirm their family but say 'two is it'
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry today revealed their second child is a girl and is due to be born this summer, during their bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who now live in Montecito, California, said they are preparing to welcome a sister for their 22-month-old son Archie later this year.
Harry, 36, joined his 39-year-old wife for the second half of the bombshell interview on CBS with Oprah, and excitedly told the chat show host: 'It's a girl.'
He said his first thought was 'amazing' when he learned they were having a girl, adding: 'Just grateful. To have any child, any one or any two, would have been amazing.
'But to have a boy and then a girl, I mean what more can you ask for? Now we've got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs.'
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry revealed their second child is a girl during their interview
Asked if they were 'done' with two children, Harry said 'done' and Meghan said: 'Two is it.' She also confirmed the baby is due in the 'summertime'.
'For me as a black woman, it made me feel sick to my core': Alexandra Burke responds to Meghan Markle's 'heartbreaking' racism claims about the Royal family Alexandra Burke felt 'sick to her core' after hearing Meghan Markle's claims that a member of the Royal family expressed concerns over the colour of son Archie's skin.
The X Factor winner, 32, was speaking during an appearance on Monday's Lorraine when talk soon turned to Prince Harry and Meghan's explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in the US overnight.
Alexandra told how as a black woman she felt 'sick' at hearing Meghan's 'heartbreaking' racism claims, stating her shock that 'we're in 2021 and still having these conversations'.
Meghan, 39, used her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview to accuse the Royal Family of having 'concerns' about 'how dark' Archie's skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white.
The girl will not be entitled, at this stage, to be an HRH nor a princess due to rules set out more than 100 years ago by George V - but this is the same as what would have happened pre-Megxit.
The baby is entitled to be a Lady, but Harry and Meghan will again opt to style their second-born a plain Miss, with the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.
The couple announced on Valentine's Day last month that they are expecting a second child, saying they were 'overjoyed' at their pregnancy.
If born in the US, the baby will be entitled to US citizenship as an automatic right.
To celebrate the news last month, the couple released a black and white photograph which showed them beaming with delight.
Meghan lay with her head in her husband's lap, her hand resting on her visible baby bump.
Barefoot Harry cradled her head in his hand as the couple relaxed together under a tree on a sprawling sunlit lawn.
The picture was shot by photographer Misan Harriman, a friend of the duke and duchess.
It was believed to have been taken in Montecito, California, where the pair now live after deciding to leave Britain and step down from their roles in the Royal Family.
A spokesman for the couple said at the time: 'We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child.'
The announcement comes after Meghan, 39, suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage last year.
Harry, 36, is expected to return to the UK this summer to see his family for the first time since 'Megxit'.
Meghan was already said to be unlikely to join him for 'personal and practical' reasons, according to sources.
Mr Harriman said last month that being asked to take the photograph felt especially poignant after the duchess's miscarriage.
He said: 'To be asked to help share this absolute joy after such an unimaginable loss and heartache is a marker of true friendship.
'Meg reminded me that had I not introduced her to a mutual friend then she wouldn't have met Harry. I'm grateful for whatever small part I played.'
It came almost exactly 37 years after Princess Diana was confirmed to be pregnant with her second child - Prince Harry. Buckingham Palace made that announcement on February 13, 1984.
Harry and Meghan chose to put out a statement themselves on Valentine's Day, in keeping with their decision to move away from their traditional roles within the Royal Family.
In what appeared to be a hastily prepared response, Buckingham Palace said at the time that Her Majesty, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and 'the entire family' were 'delighted'.
Kate made ME cry: Meghan Markle says Duchess of Cambridge made HER cry in bust up over flower girls before she married Prince Harry and later bought her flowers to say sorryMeghan Markle today claimed in her interview with Oprah Winfrey that the Duchess of Cambridge made her cry before she married Prince Harry.
But the Duchess of Sussex also insisted that she has now forgiven Kate Middleton and said she bought her flowers to apologise about the incident.
Meghan, 39, was asked about a row with Prince William's wife that made headlines around the world after a falling out over dresses for the flowergirls.
Meghan then denied making Kate, also 39, cry before her wedding, which took place at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and said the opposite had happened.
The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte and other bridesmaids arriving at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan in May 2018
Oprah asked Meghan: 'Was there a situation where she (Kate) might have cried? Or she could have cried?'
But the Duchess of Sussex replied: 'No, no. The reverse happened. And I don't say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding. And she was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised.
'And she brought me flowers and a note, apologising. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it.'
Meghan added that it was 'shocking' that the 'reverse of that would be out in the world'.
She continued: 'A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining - yes, the issue was correct - about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.
'And I thought, in the context of everything else that was going on in those days leading to the wedding, that it didn't make sense to not be just doing whatever everyone else was doing, which was trying to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.'
Meghan also said: 'It wasn't a confrontation, and I actually think it's'... I don't think it's fair to her to get into the details of that, because she apologised.
'What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn't do but that happened to me.
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex in the Royal Box on Centre Court at Wimbledon in July 2019
'And the people who were part of our wedding were going to our comms team and saying: 'I know this didn't happen. I don't have to tell them what actually happened'.'
Meghan also said reports she had reduced the Duchess of Cambridge to tears were a 'turning point'.
The Duchess said 'everyone in the institution knew that wasn't true' and she hoped Kate 'would have wanted that to be corrected', adding 'she is a good person'.
Meghan was also asked whether a trip to watch tennis at Wimbledon with the Duchess of Cambridge was 'what it looked like ... helping you adjust'.
But the Duchess replied: 'My understanding of the past four years is it's nothing like what it looks like.'
Royal experts blast 'self-indulgent and selfish' Harry and Meghan as they say Queen will be 'absolutely devastated' by their 'astonishing' Oprah interview Royal experts today blasted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as 'self-indulgent and selfish' and said the Queen would be 'absolutely devastated' by their interview.
Commentators have been giving their views following the bombshell two-hour chat Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave to Oprah Winfrey, shown on CBS.
The interview saw Meghan make of a series of astonishing claims, including that conversations were held about how dark the skin colour of their son might be.
The Duchess also confessed she had suicidal thoughts at the height of her crisis in the monarchy and asked the palace to seek professional help for her.
During their televised chat, which will also air on ITV tonight, Meghan also claimed that the Duchess of Cambridge made her cry ahead of her wedding.
Among those giving their views were Angela Levin, author of Harry: Conversations with the Prince, Robert Jobson, who wrote Diana: Closely Guarded Secret.
Russell Myers, Daily Mirror royal editor and a commentator on ITV's Lorraine editor, also gave his views on a Facebook live event hosted by True Royalty TV.
This is the verdict of the three royal experts:
This was a performance from beginning to the end. Self-indulgent and selfish. They have disrespected to our country.
They have both made some very serious allegations and know they Monarchy can't fight back. The entire interview did not respect the Queen. They have attacking the institution of the monarchy. It is not showbiz. This is a gross insult to the British people.
They have thrown a big hand grenade into the Royal Family and the monarchy.
They have accused the Royal Family of being racist, but they have not said who. That is cowardice. You cannot make that slur. They are saying the British Press are racist. Where is the evidence?
It is just appalling that they have been allowed to say those things without singling out who it was. They should never have raised this.
So much of what she said is astonishing and I am not sure I believe it.
They have said duty does not mean anything and that they were not able to leave and if they had the option to leave, they would.
The Queen has been devoted to service. It is just outrageous.
He is saying they are trapped and basically saying Prince Charles does not want to be King. That is just wrong. You cannot say that. They have become slightly deluded.
The only winner here is Oprah Winfrey.
That was the most extraordinary piece of television I have ever watched. The number of bombshells were extraordinary.
They will come a cropper, but there are elements of what they said that need to be taken seriously. Meghan was a young, vulnerable woman and what she said she went through is distressing and there are questions that need to be answered.
On the backdrop of a global pandemic their lack of awareness is breath-taking.
They have just bought a £10million home. There is no correlations to their experience of most normal people who were watching. They will be absolutely staggered.
When the Queen wakes up reads what has been said she will be absolutely devastated.
They have slammed almost every single member of the Royal Family.
They have said duty does not mean anything and that they were not able to leave and if they had the option to leave, they would.
The Queen has been devoted to service. It is just outrageous.
I was just so absorbed by all the attacks. It was quite astonishing.
Meghan made it sound as if she was in prison. That was her narrative. She said there was no one there for her, but Harry was by her side. One of the Queen's most trusted assistants was given to her. It is hard to say there was no one.
People care about the Queen and the Royal Family and to her someone come in and smash the lot of them, and they are so forceful in their comments, that it made me feel very easy.
She says they were furious about losing their security, but they were out of the country.
It is distressing to hear her say she was suicidal and traumatic that she asked for help. Prince Harry sought help after his mother died. I can hardly believe that Harry did not help. That is a catastrophic thing to say.
I am sure in a few years' time Harry will very much regret doing this interview. They have no emotional intelligence.
The Palace will say the minimum. It is too much to take on.
Other commentators gave their views elsewhere.
Entertainment journalist based in Los Angeles, speaking on BBC Breakfast.
I'm still processing all that I heard. I expected to hear some revelations, but i never imagined I would hear that many revelations.
I mean there were so many bombshells, I don't know which one to focus on. Surprising, shocking, it really didn't go over well here in terms of the monarchy and the image that we had of them.
It really made us look somewhat differently at the monarchy, but when it comes to Prince Harry and Meghan, we feel much more sympathetic to them now. I think we have a better understanding of just why they felt they had to cut ties with the British Royal Family.
And I think some people here really feel sorry for her, especially the issue about her feeling suicidal. The fact that she brought up the possibility that they were talking about the skin colour of her unborn son.
I think that in a million years we would have never thought she was experiencing that, and so it will be hard, I think, for us to change now from what we've heard and see the monarchy in a positive light.
I think that from the moment that she was engaged to Prince Harry, we all thought very flattering things about the British monarchy, we were happy to see her introduced and welcomed into the family.
But now with all these allegations and these bombshells, it's just hard to see them in the same way. I do believe their image has been tarnished and from what I'm even seeing on social media, especially here in America, I haven't seen one sympathetic viewpoint siding with the Royal Family.
'I'm hearing now Oprah will appear live on the CBS Morning Show to reveal and show clips of the interview that we have not seen, so there's even more. There could be more bombshells that we see. It's just the gift that keeps on giving, and it's quite shocking. So I will be surprised to see what else she can drop on us.'
ITV's royal correspondent spoke on Good Morning Britain about Meghan Markle's claim that someone in the Royal Family had 'concerns' about 'how dark' Archie's skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white.
Mr Ship said:
I should be clear here. Now I have been told it is not Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, or the Queen.
We are left with two family members.
You are left with either his father Prince Charles, or his brother Prince William, or their wives.
They have protected the Queen throughout this.
They have Zoom calls with the Queen, but equally, they are being very critical of the organisation of which she is the head of. Therefore you ARE criticising the Queen.
I do not know why they've done this. This is Harry's family, his flesh and blood, and this seems to have lobbed a hand grenade into the family home. I worry that there will be no coming back from that.
It is a very serious attack on an age-old institution that has served this country extremely well for centuries - and why? Why damage it?'
I think we have just to wait and see what the ultimate fallout of this interview is. It may that it's today's sensational news but that by next week, next month, it has faded. I think overall the monarchy is strong enough to withstand it.
On the Palace's response:
I think we have just to wait and see what the ultimate fallout of this interview is. It may that it's today's sensational news but that by next week, next month, it has faded. I think overall the monarchy is strong enough to withstand it.
If they say anything my guess is they would express sorrow rather than anger. Traditionally they have kept their mouths closed and kept a dignified silence. I'm sure they are having discussions about how they do respond, but a dignified silence is maybe the best route.
It's a real downer on everyone in the royal family apart from the Queen. It's probably the most damning condemnation of the royal family and how they operate that I've ever heard. It struck me that he (Harry) wasn't completely comfortable with what he was saying.
I think the monarchy is definitely strong enough to withstand it. They have withstood so many scandals and so many difficulties over the years. This will - I know it doesn't seem like it now - but this will pass over.
The majority of British people do not like to see the institution of the monarchy attacked in this way.
Today royal experts Penny Junor and Ingrid Seward argued that monarchy was strong enough to survive the bombshell interview
Prince Harry's rift with Charles: Duke of Sussex feels 'really let down' by his father after he STOPPED taking his calls he tells Oprah as he laments he and brother William are 'on separate paths' and Diana would have been 'upset'Prince Harry said he feels 'really let down' by his father Charles and told Oprah the bitter rift in his family would have 'upset' his late mother Princess Diana.
In a series of astonishing claims, Harry revealed the Prince of Wales cut off contact with him in the wake of his decision to step away from the royal family.
He told how, during his time in Canada, his father refused to answer his calls as tensions within the family rose and their relationship soured.
In the extraordinary interview watched by tens of millions of people around the world, Harry told Oprah he would always love Charles but said, 'there's a lot of hurt that's happened.'
The two-hour interview was the biggest royal tell-all since Harry's mother princess Diana detailed her crumbling marriage to Prince Charles in 1995.
Harry, 36, revealed the deep divisions within his family, saying he felt 'really let down' by how his father had handled the situation.
But he also said Charles and Harry's older brother William were 'trapped' by the conventions of the monarchy.
'They don't get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that,' he said.
Harry also alluded to an alleged rift with his older brother, but signalled his aim to repair their relationship.
'The relationship is space at the moment,' he said, 'and time heals all things, hopefully.'
He added: 'I love William to bits, he's my brother, we've been through hell together, we have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.'
Prince Harry with his brother Prince William, father Prince Charles and Sir David Attenborough in 2019
In 2019, the rift in the royal family was laid bare when Harry said in an ITV documentary that he and William were on 'different paths' and had good and bad days in their relationship.
The Duke of Sussex also described himself, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge as being 'trapped' within the system.
Harry claimed he was 'trapped' before he met Meghan but, a sked if he would have left or ever stepped back were it not for his now-wife, Harry replied, 'No.'
In the candid sit-down, Harry added: 'I wouldn't have been able to, because I myself was trapped, as well. I didn't see a way out. You know, I was trapped, but I didn't know I was trapped.
'But the moment that I met meg, and then our worlds sort of collided in the most amazing of ways. [I was] Trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are.
'My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don't get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.'
In the most extraordinary royal interview since his mother spoke to the BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995, Harry also laid into his own family claiming Prince Charles had stopped stopped taking his calls and 'cut him off' financially when they emigrated.
The prince said he had to sign multi-million dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify because he was spending his inheritance from Princess Diana and the palace wanted Meghan to go back into acting to pay the bills.
Harry added: 'My family literally cut me off financially.
'Members of my family were suggesting that she [Meghan] carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her. There was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard'.
He added that his mother Diana would be 'angry and sad' that he felt he had to leave the royal family, but 'she saw it coming'.
Harry said: 'All she'd ever want for us is to be happy', adding that his wife had 'saved me', declaring: 'I myself was trapped, as well. I didn't see a way out'.
Asked about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said they were now speaking again, adding: 'There's a lot to work through there, you know?
'I feel really let down, because he's been through something similar.
'He knows what pain feels like, and Archie's his grandson. I will always love him, but there's a lot of hurt that's happened.
'And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship'.
In the most extraordinary royal interview since his mother spoke to the BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995, Harry also laid into his own family claiming Prince Charles had stopped stopped taking his calls and 'cut him off' financially when they emigrated. Pictured, the family in 2019
Asked by Winfrey why they stepped back from the royal family to forge their own family life, Harry blamed a 'lack of support and lack of understanding'.
Winfrey asked 'did you blindside the Queen?' with the announcement they were leaving the family. Harry replied: 'No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.'
Asked where that story came from, Harry said he could 'hazard a guess' that it may have come 'from within the institution'.
Harry said while in Canada he had 'three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father, before he stopped taking my calls'.
He also revealed Charles had asked for him to put his plan 'in writing'.
Harry said he had to act for the wellbeing of himself, Meghan and Archie, adding: 'He asked me to put it in writing, and I put all the specifics in there, even the fact that we were planning on putting the announcement out on the 7th of January.'
Oprah asked: 'So, you just said that your dad stopped taking your calls. Why did he stop taking your calls?'
Harry replied: 'Because... by that point, I took matters into my own hands. It was like, I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody.
'It's really sad that it's gotten to this point, but I've got to do something for my own mental health, my wife's, and for Archie's, as well, because I could see where this was headed.'
He added: 'I feel really let down because he's been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, (and) Archie's his grandson.
'But at the same time - I will always love him - but there's a lot of hurt that's happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.
'But they only know what they know, or what they're told.'
'I was trapped until I met Meg': Harry says he was desperate to quit royal life before Megxit and he has 'compassion' for Charles and William who CANNOT escape, but reveals his father stopped taking his calls during MegxitThe Duke of Sussex has described himself, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge as being 'trapped' within the system of the monarchy.
In his bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry sensationally revealed his family 'literally cut me off financially' and said he was only able to step away from royal life thanks to money left to him by his late mother Princess Diana.
He claimed he was 'trapped' before he met Meghan as he revealed his father Charles 'stopped taking my calls' during the build-up to the announcement that he and Meghan were leaving the royal family.
Asked if he would have left or ever stepped back were it not for Meghan, Harry replied, 'No.'
In the candid sit-down, Harry added: 'I wouldn't have been able to, because I myself was trapped, as well. I didn't see a way out. You know, I was trapped, but I didn't know I was trapped.
'But the moment that I met meg, and then our worlds sort of collided in the most amazing of ways. [I was] Trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are.
'My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don't get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.'
Discussing his fractured relationship with Prince Charles, Harry also revealed he and his father Charles were not on speaking terms after his father stopped taking his calls.
He added: 'There's a lot to work through there. I feel really let down.'
Discussing his fractured relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said his father stopped taking his calls, adding, 'There's a lot to work through there. I feel really let down.'
Asked by Winfrey why they stepped back from the royal family to forge their own family life, Harry blamed a 'lack of support and lack of understanding'.
Winfrey asked 'did you blindside the Queen?' with the announcement they were leaving the family. Harry replied: 'No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.'
Asked where that story came from, Harry said he could 'hazard a guess' that it may have come 'from within the institution'.
Harry said while in Canada he had 'three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father, before he stopped taking my calls'.
He also revealed Charles had asked for him to put his plan 'in writing'.
Harry said he had to act for the wellbeing of himself, Meghan and Archie, adding: 'He asked me to put it in writing, and I put all the specifics in there, even the fact that we were planning on putting the announcement out on the 7th of January.'
Oprah asked: 'So, you just said that your dad stopped taking your calls. Why did he stop taking your calls?'
Harry replied: 'Because... by that point, I took matters into my own hands. It was like, I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody.
'It's really sad that it's gotten to this point, but I've got to do something for my own mental health, my wife's, and for Archie's, as well, because I could see where this was headed.'
He added: 'I feel really let down because he's been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, (and) Archie's his grandson.
'But at the same time - I will always love him - but there's a lot of hurt that's happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.
'But they only know what they know, or what they're told.'
Meghan Markle reveals FERGIE taught her how to curtsy before she met the Queen and claims she was so naive she never even Googled Harry
Meghan Markle had no idea she had to curtsy to the Queen and was taught by Sarah Ferguson outside Royal Lodge moments before meeting Her Majesty for the first time.
Fergie - as Meghan referred to the Duchess of York - is renowned for her trademark deep curtsies to Her Majesty (pictured with Princess Beatrice at Ascot)
The Duchess claimed she 'never looked up her husband online' when they first started dating and knew little about the British Royal Family growing up.
She told how she first met Prince Harry's grandmother in a very informal manner at Royal Lodge, the Yorks' home in Windsor, but was stunned when her husband revealed during the car journey there that she was expected to curtsy.
Meghan said that was the moment 'the penny dropped' that her perception about the Firm was 'very different' to the reality, and she had to learn how to perform the royal custom 'very quickly'.
'Right in front of the house we practised and ran in. Fergie ran out and said, 'Do you know how to curtsy?' she recalled.
'Apparently I did a very deep curtsy, I don't remember it, and then we sat there and we chatted. I grew up in LA, I see celebrities all the time. it's not the same. This is a completely different ball game.'
She added: 'Thank God I didn't know about the family, thank god I didn't research, I would have been so in my head about it.'
Fergie - as Meghan referred to the Duchess of York - is renowned for her trademark deep curtsies to Her Majesty.
Meghan makes sensational claim that Royals banned Archie from being a Prince because of concerns over how 'DARK' he would be and told her he would get no police protection but Harry refuses to reveal who made racist remark
Meghan Markle accused the Royal Family of having 'concerns' about 'how dark' Archie's skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white.
The Duchess also described her 'pain' that officials had denied him the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect their son Archie by denying him 24/7 security.
Meghan Markle today used her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview to accuse the Royal Family of having 'concerns' about 'how dark' Archie's skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white. Pictured: Archie with his parents in South Africa in 2019
Meghan refused to say which royal had the conversation with Harry about Archie's skin colour, claiming it would be 'damaging' to the person in her husband's family who raised it.
She said it was 'a pretty safe' assumption to suggest that the royal family member was 'concerned' that Archie being 'too brown' was 'a problem'.
When Oprah asked if she was denied the title because of he is mixed-race, Oprah asked if the palace had concerns Archie would be 'too brown', Meghan said: 'In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, we have in tandem, the conversation of 'He won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title,' and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born'.
Oprah then interrupted and said: 'Hold on. Hold up. Stop right now. There's a conversation... about how dark your baby is going to be?'
Meghan replied: 'Potentially, and what that would mean or look like'.
'And you're not going to tell me who had the conversation?', Oprah asked.
Meghan replied: 'I think that would be very damaging to them. That was relayed to me from Harry. Those were conversations that family had with him'.
Oprah asked if ? Are you saying that?
Meghan replied: 'I wasn't able to follow up with why, but if that's the assumption you're making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one, which was really hard to understand, right?'
Harry and Meghan claim they secretly got married three days BEFORE their royal wedding - exchanging vows in a private backyard ceremony with Archbishop of Canterbury and NO guests (but was it just their rehearsal?)Prince Harry and Meghan Markle claimed they were secretly married three days before they tied the knot in front of the world.
In their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night, Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, revealed they held a private 'union' in their backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury and no other guests.
Meghan said 'no one knew' about the secret ceremony, in which the pair shared personal vows for 'just the two of us'.
The couple say the private union took place three days before their much publicized royal wedding on May 19, which Meghan described as a 'spectacle for the world'.
However rules on Church of England weddings are strict. They require at least two witnesses.
And, according to the church's own rulebook, the public must have 'unrestricted access' to the building during any marriage ceremony to allow for 'valid objections against the marriage'.
It is not clear if the Archbishop of Canterbury - the head of the Church of England - can override the rules.
Speaking about the secret union, Meghan said: 'You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that.'
Secret: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed that they were married in secret three days before their royal wedding on May 19, 2018
Could Harry and Meghan have wed in private? Here's what the rules say:Though the act of marriage is a moment of love and devotion, there are still ground rules within Church of England weddings that must be followed.
In an official rule book for clergymen, it states that it is their responsibility to ensure that the legal requirements of marriages are solemnized in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of the church.
There are bans on marrying anyone under 16, as well as in cases of polygamy and close family relations.
But Church of England marriages also require at least two witnesses.
The public must also have unrestricted access to the building during any marriage ceremony to allow for valid objections against the marriage.
There are other particular rules, such as a permanent type of black ink should be used when registering marriages, preparing quarterly certified copies and issuing certificates.
It is not clear if the Archbishop of Canterbury, who Meghan and Harry said had privately wed the pair, has the power to override the rules.
Meghan went on to reveal that she and Harry phoned the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby - who performed the ceremony at their official wedding - and asked him to marry them in private days before the event that was watched by millions around the world.
'We called the Archbishop and we just said, 'Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us,' she said.
The couple revealed that they exchanged personal vows during their private backyard ceremony, which they now have framed in the bedroom of their $14.5million Montecito mansion.
'So, like, the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury,' she continued.
Harry then jokingly interjected by singing: 'Just the three of us, just the three of us.'
The couple had no guests or spectators at their private wedding - and it is unclear whether anyone in the royal family knew that the secret ceremony had taken place.
At the time, Harry and Meghan were living in a private home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, Nottingham Cottage, which is where they got engaged.
Speaking about the royal wedding, Meghan said that she felt as though the star-studded event - which was attended by dozens of high-profile figures, including Oprah, 67, herself - 'wasn't our day'.
However, the Duchess insisted that she was not particularly nervous before the big event, revealing that she slept through the night before her wedding day, and then marked the occasion by listening to Chapel of Love by The Dixie Cups before heading to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
During the wedding, the couple exchanged traditional vows, which were viewed by millions of people around the world - as well as 600 guests, including several of Meghan's former Suits co-stars, and celebrities like James Corden and George and Amal Clooney.
Asking about the wedding, Oprah said: 'I remember sitting in the chapel, thanks for inviting me by the way. I recall this sense of magic I'd never experienced anything like it. It seemed like you were floating down the aisle.'
Meghan responded: 'I thought about this a lot because it was like having an out of body experience I was very present for.
'And that's the only way I can describe it because the night before I slept through the night entirely, which in and of itself is a bit of a miracle.
'And then I woke up and started listening to that song Going To The Chapel, and just tried to make it fun and light and remind ourselves that this was our day - but I think we were both really aware, even in advance, that this wasn't our day.
'This was the day that was planned for the world'.
'Back to basics' at their $14.5million mansion: Harry and Meghan show Archie enjoying the beach and reveal his Chick Inn hens they rescued from a factory farm as Meghan says they want to 'live authentically' Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gushed about their new life in Los Angeles as they shared candid footage of son Archie playing on a beach and showed off the hens they rescued from a factory farm during their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Meghan told the talk show host how their move to California was 'greater than any fairytale you've ever read' after she was left feeling suicidal while living as senior Royals in the UK.
The couple's son, who turns two in May, made a cameo appearance at the end of the tell-all interview as they told the chat show host he loves the LA lifestyle and is always 'chatting', with his latest words being 'hydrate' and 'drive safe'.
Meghan claimed she and Harry want to 'live authentically' and get back 'down to basics' as they offered a rare glimpse into life in their $14.5 million mansion by showing Oprah around Archie's chicken coop.
This came as the couple, who announced they are expecting a girl in the summer, accused the Royal Family of raising 'concerns' about 'how dark' Archie's skin would be before he was born and said the boy was denied 24/7 security and the title of being a prince by Buckingham Palace.
The couple showed off the hens they rescued from a factory farm as the duchess said the couple want to 'live authentically' and get back 'down to basics' at their $14.5 million mansion
In the artful black and white footage, Archie is seen running along the beach in the direction of the camera followed closely behind by his mom.
The little boy then runs beneath the legs of his dad who is filming the cute encounter.
Meghan revealed their son has already developed an impressive vocabulary and is 'on a roll' learning new words, with his latest penchant being to tell people to 'drive safe' when they leave home and to stay hydrated.
'In the past couple weeks, it has been 'Hydrate', which is just hysterical,' she said.
Harry added that his son tells everyone to 'drive safe' whenever they leave the house, to which Meghan proudly added: 'Drive safe. He's not even two yet!'
Harry described the last year as 'crazy' as he spoke of his favorite times being able to spend time with his son and go on bike rides with him - something he said he was 'never able to do' when he was young.
'This year has been crazy for everybody, but to have outdoor space where I can go for walks with Archie, and we can go for walks as a family and with the dogs, and we can go on hikes,' he said.
'We'll go down to the beach, which is so close - all of these things are just - I guess, the highlight for me is sticking him on the back of the bicycle in his little baby seat and take him on these bike rides, which is something I was never able to do when I was young.
'I can see him on the back, and he's got his arms out. And he's like 'whoo,' chatting, chatting, chatting, going, 'palm tree, house,' and all this sort of stuff.'
Meghan and Harry also took the talk show host around the grounds of their lavish home in Montecito and introduced her to their rescued birds which live in Archie's chicken coop.
A plaque on the side of the hut reads 'Archie's Chick In. Established 2021'.
In the footage, the trio are uncharacteristically dressed down with Harry sport a pair of wellies and jeans and t-shirt as he fed one of the rescue birds.
Meanwhile, Oprah and Meghan, who were both dressed casually in jeans, appeared to be deep in conversation.
A plaque on the side of the hut reads 'Archie's Chick In. Established 2021'
Viewers reacted on social media to the moment with some saying they were 'obsessed' with the revelation.
'I LOVE the fact that Meghan and Harry's chicken hut is called 'Archie's Chick Inn',' one person tweeted.
'Obsessed with the fact that Meghan and Harry own chickens that they rescued from a factory,' added another.
One person shared a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants smiling with the comment: 'Meghan and Harry's chickens have a tiny picnic table in their coop!'
Others cited Harry's absence from the interview so far - but for his outing to the chicken coop.
'So far, all Harry's done in this interview is feed a chicken,' they tweeted.
'I love that Oprah and Meghan are having this deep discussion in Meghan's chicken coop and Harry is in the background clucking like a chicken. I love them,' added another.
Later in the show, the three are seen again standing in the coop as Meghan likens herself to the Disney character The Little Mermaid.
'I was sitting in Nottingham cottage and The Little Mermaid came on,' Meghan said.
'And who as an adult really watches The Little Mermaid but it came on and I was like, 'Well I'm here all the time I might as well watch this.'
'And I went, 'Oh my God she falls in love with the prince and because of that she loses her voice.' '
The footage of the chicken coop and family time on the beach came as Meghan told Oprah the couple are embracing a more 'authentic' life since they quit the Royal Family as senior working Royals last year.
'I think just being able to live authentically [has been the most important thing],' she said Meghan.
'This kind of stuff is so basic, but it's really fulfilling and about getting back to basics.'
This 'back to basics' lifestyle comes after they set up home in their sprawling nine-bedroom and 16-bathroom mansion in upscale Santa Barbara back in June, where their neighbors include Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.
Prince Harry says he was forced to flee Canada and make a lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify to 'pay for security' after being CUT OFF by royals
Harry and Meghan claimed that they 'had no plan' to ink multi-million-dollar deals with the 'streamers' when they first quit the royal family, but said that they were forced to find ways of making money when the royal family cut Prince Harry off, and took away his security.
Insisting that their deals with Netflix and Spotify - which are believed to be worth upwards of $100 million - were 'never part of the plan', Harry said: 'We didn't have a plan. That was suggested by somebody else by the point of where my family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us.'
The Duke of Sussex revealed that his family stopped all financial support in the 'first quarter of 2020', likely soon after Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping down as working royals, adding that had he not had the money that had been left to him by his mother Princess Diana, the couple would not have been able to afford to move to the US.
'I've got what my mum left me, and without that, we would not have been able to do this,' he said.
'During COVID, the suggestion by a friend was, 'What about streamers?'' Harry continued, while Meghan added: 'We genuinely hadn't thought about it before.'
In the Netflix series, Charles is portrayed as growing jealous of Diana's rising popularity during the trip, something that Harry suggested was echoed when he and Meghan visited the country themselves in 2018, hinting that the Duchess faced envy from other members of his family
'We hadn't thought about it,' Harry continued. 'So, there were all sorts of different options. And look, from my perspective, all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security to keep my family safe.'
When asked about controversial series The Crown - which Harry defended during an interview with James Corden last month - the couple revealed that they 'have watched some of' the show, but gave little other hints about their feelings over it.
However they hinted that they have seen some of the most recent episodes, which focus primarily on Harry's parents, including Diana's battle with bulimia and her very turbulent relationship with Charles, with Oprah asking specifically about the show's depiction of Prince Charles and Diana's tour of Australia in 1983.
In the series, Charles is portrayed as growing jealous of Diana's rising popularity during the trip, something that Harry suggested was echoed when he and Meghan visited the country themselves in 2018, hinting that the Duchess faced envy from other members of his family.
'You know, my father, my brother, Kate and and all the rest of the family, they were really welcoming,' he said of his wife's introduction into the royal family. 'But it really changed after the Australia tour, after our South Pacific tour.'
He continued: 'It was the first time that the family got to see how incredible [Meghan] is at the job.'
Prince Harry admits he was 'hurt' by the Queen removing his royal patronages but insists he 'completely respects' her decision
Prince Harry said he was 'hurt' by the Queen's decision to remove his royal patronages and honorary titles, but insisted he 'completely respects' her decision.
Harry and Meghan attend the Royal Albert Hall in March 2020, which the Duke of Sussex attended as, Captain General Royal Marines and the ceremonial head of the Royal Marines
The Duke of Sussex said he would 'still love for us to be able to continue to support those associations, albeit without the title or the role'.
The interview was filmed before Buckingham Palace announced on February 19 that Harry and his wife Meghan Markle would lose all their remaining royal titles.
Oprah asked Harry about the decision which was 'coming up at the end of this month', and he said it would be that 'they will be removing everything'.
Harry replied: 'I am hurt. But at the same time, I completely respect my grandmother's decision.
'I would still love for us to be able to continue to support those associations, albeit without the title or the role.
Oprah also asked the couple: 'Could you be as satisfied now, doing this through your own organisation, Archewell?'
And Meghan replied: 'Well, we'... this is what we're doing, right? We're still doing it. We're still going to always do the work.
'But I also think it's important for you or everyone to know this decision that was made about patronages and all of that was before anyone knew that we were sitting down with you.'
Oprah added: 'I heard a story that you're getting punished now. Those were being taken away because you did sit down with me.'
But Meghan said: Those letters, those conversations, that was finalised before anyone even knew that we were going to sit down. So, that's just not true.'
'It's better than any fairy tale': Meghan hails her 'happy ending' with Harry and Archie in California after revealing that life as a senior royal left her suicidal
Meghan hailed her 'happy ending' with Prince Harry and Archie now the family are in California - calling their escape from the UK 'better than any fairy tale'.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they are 'thriving' in the US after having 'been through a lot' during their time as senior royals.
Meghan hit nerves across the world in 2019 when she said 'it is not enough to just survive something' and instead 'you've got to thrive and feel happy' when speaking about her struggles with life in the Firm.
The duchess said she, Harry and Archie (pictured together in 2019) are 'on the other side' and circled back to her earlier comments, triumphantly declaring 'we've actually not just survived but are thriving'
And now, the duchess said she, Harry and Archie are 'on the other side' and circled back to her earlier comments, triumphantly declaring 'we've actually not just survived but are thriving'.
But it their joy followed hardship, with Meghan revealing she was suicidal when she was pregnant and had warned Harry 'I don't want to be alive anymore'.
Harry also revealed that his father Prince Charles stopped taking his calls after they decided to quit while his wife said an unnamed member of Harry's family was 'worried' about how 'dark' their son Archie's skin would be when he was born.
But Meghan said: 'Now, because we're actually on the other side, we've actually not just survived but are thriving.
'I mean, this is miracles. I think that all of those things that I was hoping for have happened, and this is in some ways just the beginning for us. You know, we've been through a lot. It's felt like a lifetime. A lifetime.'
Oprah asked: 'So, your story with the prince does have a happy ending?
Meghan replied: 'It does.'
'Palace lied about me to protect other royals': Meghan claims aides refused to stand up for her
Meghan said Palace officials failed to protect her and 'were willing to lie to protect other members of the Royal family.'
She opened up about life in 'The Firm' and the struggles she faced adjusting to life in the Royal family.
She revealed she was 'silenced' by Buckingham Palace officials, who told her to always answer 'no comment', adding, 'because it was also through the lens of 'And we'll protect you.'
Meghan added: 'It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.'
The Duchess of Sussex also described her 'pain' that officials had denied her first born son the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect Archie by denying him 24/7 security.
She said: 'I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.'
Oprah asked, 'Were you silent? Or were you silenced?'
Meghan replied: 'The latter.'
Oprah said: 'So, how does that work? Were you told by the comms people or the-- I don't know-- the institution, the-- were-- were you told to keep silent? Were you-- were you told to say nothing?'
Meghan told her: 'Everyone from-- everyone in my world was given very clear directive from the moment the world knew Harry and I were dating to always say 'No comment.'
'That's my friends, my mom and dad. And we did. I did anything they told me to do.
'Of course I did, because it was also through the lens of 'And we'll protect you.'
'So, even as things started to roll out in the media that I didn't see but my friends would call me and say, 'meg, this is really bad,' because I didn't see it, I'd go, 'Don't worry. I'm being protected.
'I believed that. And-- and I think that was-- that was really hard to reconcile because it was only-- it was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.'
Me and the Queen: Meghan says Queen was 'wonderful' to her and gave her 'beautiful' pearl earrings and says she phoned to 'check in' when she heard Prince Phillip was ill
Meghan praised the Queen saying she had been 'wonderful' to her and had once asked her to share a blanket which sits across her knees for warmth.
The Duchess also said the monarch had given her some 'beautiful' pearl earrings and a matching necklace.
Meghan went on her first trip with the Queen on the royal train to Cheshire in June 2018, a month after her wedding, which saw them open a bridge and visit a theatre.
She told Oprah: 'The Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me. I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together. She asked me to join her.
'We had breakfast together that morning, and she'd given me a beautiful gift, and I just really loved being in her company. And I remember we were in the car.'
Oprah asked her what the gift was, and Meghan replied: 'She gave me some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace.
'We were in the car going between engagements, and she has a blanket that sits across her knees for warmth.
'And it was chilly, and she was like, 'Meghan, come on,' and put it over my knees, as well.' Oprah replied 'nice'.
And Meghan continued: 'Right? Just moments of'... and it made me think of my grandmother where she's always been warm and inviting and really welcoming.'
Now strip them of their titles: British viewers call on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to lose Duke and Duchess rank for being 'disrespectful' to the Queen during bombshell Oprah interviewBritish viewers called on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to be stripped of their royal titles following their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, with some accusing the couple of being disrespectful to the Queen.
In the biggest royal interview for decades, Meghan made racism claims about Harry's family whom she claims were worried about how 'dark' their child's skin would be.
The Duchess of Sussex also claimed Kate Middleton made her cry before she married Harry in a row over flowergirl dresses, while Harry said his father Charles stopped taking his calls after he began 'taking matters into his own hands'.
Harry also branded the institution a 'trapping' environment and claimed he felt he had 'no where to turn to' when Meghan admitted she was struggling and having suicidal thoughts while pregnant.
Several viewers took to Twitter calling on the couple to be stripped of their Duke and Duchess rank - while Piers Morgan branded the interview an 'absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen'.
Piers tweeted: 'This interview is an absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen and the Royal Family. I expect all this vile destructive self-serving nonsense from Meghan Markle - but for Harry to let her take down his family and the Monarchy like this is shameful.'
Piers Morgan branded the interview an 'absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen' in a series of tweets
Susanna Reid, Piers' co-host on Good Morning Britain, tweeted: 'Well this is pretty devastating - the way Meghan & Harry describe their experience, and the impact their interview will have on the Royal Family'
Several viewers took to Twitter calling on the couple to be stripped of the Duke and Duchess titles, accusing them of being 'disrespectful' to the Queen
He followed it up with: 'Harry wants America and the rest of the world to hate his own family, hate the Monarchy and hate his country. I suggest everyone waits for the victims of his wife's rampage to have their say on her outlandish claims before they do so,' - citing the bullying claims made against the Duchess last week was prompted Buckingham Palace to reveal it is launching an investigation.
In response to the tell-all Oprah interview, another outraged royal fan wrote: 'Has Meghan just basically called the Royal Family racist? She's proper trying to stir the pot in this interview isn't she, that's Harry's family. Personally, I think Harry and Meghan's titles need to be removed. They have gone too far with this.'
Another commented: 'The Queen needs to strip Harry & Meghan of their titles, remove Harry from the succession, ban them from all State events and deny them any financial support. The family should cut them off. Harry doesn't care about his family at all. Meghan only cares about attention and money.'
And one remarked: 'I also feel that both Harry and Meghan should indeed be stripped of their Royal Titles and all benefits associated therewith. End.'
'Meghan and Harry are an affront to this country, Her Majesty and should have titles stripped immediately,' tweeted another.
Susanna Reid, Piers' co-host on Good Morning Britain, tweeted: 'Well this is pretty devastating - the way Meghan & Harry describe their experience, and the impact their interview will have on the Royal Family.'
Bill Gates Says that Bitcoin is bad For the Planet
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 19:18
image Source Google - wired
Bill Gates is targeting Bitcoin for the accessive use of Planet Energy for validation of its transactions.
In a live-streamed Clubhouse session, Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder and chair of the Breakthrough Energy Ventures Investment Fund said Bitcoin swallows planet energy due to the highest transactional energy consumption. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind, and so it’s not a great climate thing,”
In a broader perspective, Bill Gates is not giving a false warning. Let’s see how Bitcoin cryptocurrency actually works. Bitcoin is an encrypted, public, shared form of money generated by a longer Blockchain code. Blockchain is a set of collective records, also known as Ledger, which stores cryptocurrency transactional records as we do in Excel spreadsheets.
Bitcoin's model is to store transaction data on volunteer computers for transaction verification. A volunteer computer runs software to verify transactions made under certain rules that involve mutual agreement between both parties, and the buyer has enough money in his Bitcoin wallet.
The volunteers are known as Miners. Miners are rewarded for their hardware and the energy that computers consume by kickbacks. These kickbacks are in the form of cryptocurrency.
Bitcoins don’t rely on single computer verification. If the system gets enough verified results from different Miners then the transaction joins the recent transaction of the world as “Block”.
The math required for the transaction requires so much computing power that it cannot be validated by a single computer or group of users, which prevents the system from generating fake currency.
Bit mining requires dedicated machines.
This whole process requires dedicated hardware and consumes a lot of power. In addition, more cooling systems are needed to keep the temperature of the machine low for complicated mathematical processes.
A huge amount of energy is wasted for a single transaction. Bill Gates’s concerns are not just for the headlines. The world is concerned about the waste of Energy. So many countries are facing an energy crisis. Our current ways of generating energy are subject to Climate Change. This currency is not good for Green Planet.
Warning for America: The Four Steps of Marxist Takeover Were Activated in 2020
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 19:14
Lenin addressing vsevobuch troops on red square in moscow on may 25, 1919. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
Back in July 2020 Scott McKay at American Spectator wrote an amazing piece on the Four Stages of Marxist Takeover.
McKay's report is based on the words and warnings of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov.
It's been seven months since the report was published and the situation today is even more dire than predicted. Even McKay would never have predicted the antics of the Marxist left during the 2020 elections. The Marxist takeover of America is well on its way.
Here are the four steps of Marxist takeover of America.
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The first goal of revolutionary propaganda, particularly the Marxist variety, is to demoralize. It's to depress you and make you believe your civilization is lost. Once you succumb to that, you are, in the words of Ming the Merciless, ''satisfied with less.'' Why do you think ordinary white people are so willing to apologize for the sins of their ancestors and to confess to being racist without even knowing it? Why do you think corporate America is blindly endorsing a Marxist revolutionary organization that openly declares war on the nuclear family?
That's demoralization, and according to Bezmenov it's the first step in engineered societal collapse.
What's the second step? Destabilization.
Bezmenov describes that as a rapid decline in the structure of a society '-- its economy, its military, its international relations. We've discussed in this space the unquestionable impetus on the part of Democrats to keep the economy as hamstrung as possible with COVID-19 shutdowns, and those continue despite a precipitous decline in death rates as testing ramps up across the country. It's clear the virus is no longer a significant threat to the health of Americans who don't already have serious medical issues, and yet COVID hysteria is increasing, rather than decreasing. Just Wednesday the Ivy League shut down all its sporting events planned for the fall semester, an absurd decision that is nonetheless likely to be copied by other universities dominated by leftist political activists (the Big Ten, ACC, and SEC are all in various stages of planning conference-only schedules this fall, which makes no sense whatsoever). The virus is the perfect platform by which to impose the economic destabilization the Left has wanted all along.
No, that isn't a conspiracy theory. They're telling you it's what they're after. Do you believe Ilhan Omar was off-script when she suggested dismantling America's economy as a system of oppression earlier this week? Ilhan Omar, who paid a political consultant $900,000 in fees last year, money that came from somewhere, isn't smart enough to say these things without having the script written for her. She's being trotted out to introduce them because she's already radioactive and a lightning rod for criticism, and also because she's (1) black, (2) Muslim, and (3) an immigrant, and even an illegal one. To criticize her statements as cracked bears the signature not of incisive reasoning but rather racism. So when other Democrats join her call you are no longer allowed to object.
Google Omar's statements and what you'll find is a loud cacophony of gaslighting by left-wing media outlets like Common Dreams, The Nation, the Washington Post, and others attacking Republicans for reacting to what they saw and heard on video as ''meltdowns'' and ''losing their minds.'' Even Snopes, the left-wing site purportedly acting as a fact-check operation, declares that Omar didn't actually say what she said.
That's destabilization. They're fully engaged in it, whether you believe they've been successful or not. But ask Mark McCloskey, for example, whether or not he thinks it's outlandish to suggest the American order has been destabilized. McCloskey told Tucker Carlson that after the police told him they couldn't protect him after the incident where he and his wife used guns to protect their property from a mob of Black Lives Matter trespassers, he called around to private security firms for help and was given advice to get out of his house and let the mob do what they would. Does that sound like a stable society to you?
The third stage is crisis, the catalyzing event that builds on the first two stages to bring on the change the revolutionaries are looking for. Looking for a crisis? Take your pick. We barely even remember the fact that we just had only the third presidential impeachment in American history half a year ago, a constitutional crisis that was wholly and completely manufactured directly out of thin air. We progressed immediately from that to COVID-19, which was unquestionably a manufactured crisis '-- not that the virus itself isn't deadly to a certain portion of the population, but if you think the panic and destruction it's caused doesn't smack of manufacture then it's clear you've been demoralized.
And then the George Floyd riots and the paroxysms of violence and virtue-signaling those have brought on, complete with the current campaign to bowdlerize American history and culture in an increasingly indiscriminate fashion. That's a crisis, everybody, and it's a completely manufactured one. The speed of the cultural collapse that followed Floyd's death '-- when the legal system moved very swiftly against the police officers responsible for it '-- makes it undeniable this was planned and only needed a catalyst.
What's the fourth stage? Normalization. As in, a ''new normal.'' The statues and monuments are gone, the ball games are out, or at least you aren't allowed in the stadium to watch them (and you've got to watch them on TV interspersed with commercial spots and in-game messaging pushing whatever memes and narratives the ESPNs and NBCs of the world and their Madison Avenue partners wish to implant in your mind), the schools have purged American history and culture, the Universal Basic Income checks have replaced your job, which you can't do because the small business where you used to work has gone under thanks to the virus.
And Biden is president. For a little while, until it's clear he's incapacitated per the 25th Amendment, and then somebody else that you didn't vote for is in charge of the country.
Out goes Kerensky. In comes '... who knows what?
Scott McKay ends his history lesson with this nugget. This was back in July, before Democrats locked doors for two days to manufacture ballots, and drove in vans full of ballots at 3:30 AM, and pulled out suitcases of ballots hidden under tables to steal the landslide 2020 election from President Donald Trump.
Let's hope your confidence none of this can happen is well-placed. Let's hope Bezmenov was a crank like people think G. Edward Griffin is.
But just to be sure, let's make damned sure Biden and the Democrats take an historic beating in November. We don't want to find out what's behind the curtain in Biden's basement. Too many nasty things are already peeking out at us from there.
The revolution is upon us.Pray to God that it is not too late for America.And plan accordingly.
How Humans Eating Insects Could Help Save the Planet | Time
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 18:54
Sylvain Hugel is one of the world's foremost experts on crickets of the Indian Ocean Islands. So when he received an email from a fellow entomologist in March 2017 asking for help identifying a species in Madagascar that could be farmed for humans to consume, he thought it was a joke. ''I'm working to protect those insects, not eat them,'' the French academic responded tartly.
But the emails from Brian Fisher, an ant specialist at the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco, kept coming. Fisher had been doing fieldwork in Madagascar when he realized that the forests where both he and Hugel conducted much of their research were disappearing. Nearly 80% of Madagascar's forest coverage has been destroyed since the 1950s, and 1-2% of what remains is cut down each year as farmers clear more trees to make room for livestock. The only way to prevent this, Fisher told Hugel in his emails, was to give locals an alternative source of protein. ''If you want to be able to keep studying your insects, we need to increase food security, otherwise there will be no forest left,'' Fisher wrote.
His proposal was insect protein. More than two-thirds of Madagascar's population already eat insects in some form, usually as a seasonal snack. If there were a way to turn that occasional snack into a regular meal by making it easily available, it could help ease pressure on the island's threatened forests. Crickets, which are high in protein and other vital nutrients, were already being farmed successfully in Canada for both human and animal consumption. Surely Hugel, with his vast knowledge of Indian Ocean crickets, could help identify a local species that would be easy to farm, and, more importantly, might taste good?
For Hugel, his scientific curiosity competed with squeamishness. He knew that crickets were healthy, and that they were high in protein, iron and vitamin B-12. But the psychological barriers were equally high. He started with a roasted, salted cricket. It took three attempts before he could relax enough to actually taste, chew and swallow the cricket. To his surprise, it was good. Really good. Three years later, he laughs at the memory of his first foray into entomophagy. ''It changed my life,'' he says via video chat from his home in France.
Insects are now a regular part of his daily meals. He spoons cricket powder over his morning yogurt, sprinkles larvae over his salads like bacon bits, and fries up frozen crickets for supper. It also changed the direction of his academic research. While he is still discovering new cricket species, he now regularly publishes papers on the nutritional value of edible insects and findings about best farming practices.
Meanwhile, the cricket farm he helped Fisher launch is up and running in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo, producing several pounds of ground cricket meal a day. The protein-packed, fiber-rich powder is now being used by international aid agency Catholic Relief Services for country-wide famine relief projects, as well as in school lunch programs and tuberculosis treatment centers where patients often struggle to get adequate nutrition.
Sylvain Hugel, a cricket specialist, collects specimens in the Menabe Antimena dry forest area in Madagascar on Nov. 22, 2019.
Andy Isaacson
In June, Valala Farms, named after the local word for cricket, will expand onto an even bigger campus, with 25,000 square feet dedicated to cricket cultivation (enough to produce 31,000 pounds of powder each year, or about 551,000 meals), as well as an educational program to train future cricket farmers. The attached research center is tasked with identifying which of Madagascar's 100 or so edible bugs have the right combination of taste, healthiness and farmability. ''For me entomophagy is the very solution for Madagascar,'' says Hugel. ''There is no way to save the forests without taking care of the people who live near them, and that means giving them food security.''
A six-legged solution to world hungerIn seeking to protect Madagascar's forests, Fisher and Hugel may have found a solution to one of the world's most pressing problems. The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] says that agricultural production worldwide will have to increase by 70% in order to feed a global population expected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050. Yet agriculture is one of the biggest drivers of natural destruction, threatening 86% of the 28,000 species most at risk of extinction, according to a new report by the UK-based policy institute Chatham House and the UN environment program.
Demand for animal protein in particular is increasing the strain on the environment: 80% of the world's farmland is used to raise and feed livestock, even though animals only account for 18% of global calorie consumption. Decreasing meat production, says the report, would remove pressure to expand livestock operations while freeing up existing land to restore native ecosystems and increase biodiversity.
There is a sustainable alternative to going meat-free, the FAO says: edible insects. Grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms are rich in protein, and contain significantly higher sources of minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium than beef. Yet pound for pound they require less land, water and feed than traditional livestock. Insect farming and processing produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. Not only do insects produce less waste, their excrement, called frass, is an excellent fertilizer and soil amender. Agnes Kalibata, the UN Secretary-General Ant"nio Guterres' special envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, says that farming insects could provide an elegant solution to the intertwined crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, hunger and malnutrition. ''Insects are 60% dry weight protein. I mean, honestly, why wouldn't we use them?'' she says. ''But we have to be able to put them in a form that is acceptable to different cultures and different societies.''
Just as in Madagascar, there are technical and cultural barriers to overcome before bugs compete with beef (or any other meat) for space on the global dinner plate. While two billion people, mostly in Africa, Latin America and Asia, already eat insects, in Europe and North America bugs are more likely to be associated with filth, not food. But attitudes are starting to change. Canada's nationwide grocery chain Loblaws has been stocking locally produced cricket powder since 2018, and in January the European Union food safety agency declared yellow mealworms safe for human consumption, allowing producers to sell insect-based foods throughout the continent. Analysts at Barclays Bank now estimate that the insect protein market could reach $8bn by 2030, up from less than $1bn today. Still, that's a fraction of beef's $324 billion.
Lemurs in Kirindy Forest, a private reserve along Madagascar's west coast that has suffered profound deforestation in recent years, on Nov. 23, 2019.
Andy Isaacson
In order to compete, manufacturers will have to figure out how to successfully market bugs to consumers. The sustainability halo and health aspects may be enough for some, but are unlikely to work on a wider scale, says Cortni Borgerson, an anthropology professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey. ''You can't just say, 'this source of protein you've been eating all your life? Well you can't have that anymore. Here's another source, and it's got six legs instead of four.' That will never work.'' The goal, she says by video chat from New Jersey, should be ''to find something that people would rather be eating, or would like just as much.'' In other words, insects have to taste at least as good as what they are meant to replace.
In the taste stakes, crickets still come up short. Fried and dusted with chili lime or nacho spice, they don't taste much different from say, corn nuts or extra crispy shrimp. In powder form, it has a mild, nutty flavor and is best used like a protein boost, sprinkled over porridge, stirred into a vegetarian chili or folded into banana bread batter. Devotees say they can't get enough, but even they admit that crickets may have a hard getting past that most damning of descriptions'--a meat alternative. Madagascar, however, has a better contender: the bacon bug.
A bug fit for a tacoThirteen years ago, while working on her PHD dissertation in Madagascar's Masoala Peninsula, Borgerson encountered a problem. Locals in the UNESCO World Heritage Site were eating lemurs and other endangered animals to add protein to their otherwise spare diets. In search of sustainable substitutions, she canvassed residents about other meats they liked to eat. Chicken and pork often came up, but so did an unfamiliar item: sakondry. When Borgerson asked what it was, a few of the locals came back with a plate piled high with plump fried bugs. As a Midwesterner with a rather tame palate, to Borgerson the idea of eating them was appalling. But her prohibition against refusing a meal soon kicked in, she recalls. To her surprise, they were delicious, with a taste and consistency not unlike cubes of pork belly she would fry up back home'--''crunchy on the outside, with that fatty meatiness of bacon in the middle.'' Even her kids like it, she says, ''which is saying a lot for American children.''
The villagers loved sakondry, but the bug wasn't always easy to find. The solution to stopping lemur hunting, Borgerson realized, was not ''four legs bad, six legs good,'' but rather, how to make something the villagers already wanted to eat easier to get. Sakondry had never been studied, so Borgerson started working with entomologists like Fisher and local conservation groups to figure out the insect's life cycle and feeding habits. Once they discovered the ideal host plant, a kind of native bean, the villagers started planting it among their crops and along local pathways. With a ready supply of tasty protein growing just beyond the front door, villagers had less reason to go to the forest to hunt. Two years on, says Borgerson, who plans to publish a paper on her findings, lemur poaching in the area has gone down by 30-50%.
Farming insects is not the only solution for Madagascar's threatened forests, says Tiana Andriamanana, Executive Director of the Malagasy conservation organization Fanamby. Education and stronger environmental protection laws are equally important. But it's a start. ''We need to consider alternatives. The number of people in Madagascar, in the world, is growing. We can't continue to eat meat at this rate, but we don't all want to be vegan either.''
Sakondry's taste profile seems tailor-made for the American palate; Borgerson recommends it as a filling for in tacos. Yet she is not suggesting that midwestern ranchers switch from bulls to bugs anytime soon. Instead she is pointing to what will reduce overall meat consumption globally: not prohibition, not guilt, but finding alternatives that are equally delicious. ''You want to make it easier for individuals to make the choices that they would rather be making,'' she says. In Masoala, that was sakondry. Other communities and regions have different preferences and, especially in drought-stricken areas, needs. That's where Fisher, the ant-specialist-turned-cricket-farmer comes in.
A staff worker harvesting mature adult crickets at Valala Farms in Antananarivo, Madagascar on Nov. 20, 2019.
Andy Isaacson
Though he set out to save forests, Fisher's cricket powder is doing more to alleviate famine and improve nutrition in Madagascar. His production facility is in the country's urban center, far from the forested regions where locals struggle to find alternatives to hunting and clear cutting grazing grounds. To really have an impact, he says, farmed insects not only have to be as good as meat, they also have to be easy to grow, and hyper-local. At the Valala Farms research center, scientists, biodiversity specialists and entomologists are working together to identify the most promising edible insects for each climatic region, and figuring out how to farm them at scale. His goal, he says, is to develop an ''insect toolkit'' that can be adapted to local needs, whether it's protein powder to address malnutrition, a meat alternative, grubs for a chicken farm, or something that can turn brewery waste into an additive for depleted soils. ''We are trying to take advantage of 300 million years of insect evolution,'' he says. ''We want that whole spectrum in our toolkit so that we can go and offer solutions wherever we go, in Madagascar and across Africa'--wherever you have poverty combined with malnutrition and biodiversity issues.''
And why stop in Africa '-- or Earth, for that matter? People are so quick to imagine themselves going to other planets if things get really bad here on Earth, he says. ''But what would you eat on Mars? You would have to design systems to produce protein, and insects are the most efficient.'' He pauses his rapid-fire delivery to make a mental note: ''I should write a proposal to NASA to do research on what insect would be the most efficient for converting protein in space travel.''
The hatching of a trendIt may be a while yet before sakondry are sent to space. In the meantime, entomophagy advocates say a cultural shift is already in the works, particularly among the young and adventurous urbanites who will be setting food trends for generations to come. ''It's not going to happen overnight, and it's never going to 100% replace meat, but those of us who are health conscious and environmentally aware have already started making that transition,'' says biologist Jenna Jadin, who wrote Cicada-licious, a cookbook featuring cicada dumplings and other treats, just in time for the 2004 hatching of Washington D.C.'s 17-year cicada cycle (the next hatching is this summer. Get your skillets ready).
The cookbook was semi-satirical, penned in part to demystify the phenomenon. At the time the idea of eating bugs was outrageous. These days, her local organic grocery store has a whole aisle dedicated to insect products: chocolate-covered mealworms, cricket pasta, peanut butter-cricket balls and a line of cricket chips called Chirps. And one of America's most famous chefs, Jos(C) Andr(C)s, has been serving chapulines, sauteed grasshoppers, at his Mexican restaurant Oyamel since 2004.
Food culture does change. Five hundred years ago, Italians thought tomatoes were poisonous. In the 1800s, Americans considered lobsters to be trash food and fed them to prisoners. Few cultures ate raw fish 50 years ago; now sushi is ubiquitous. Insects are likely to follow the same trajectory, says Fisher, who suggests salt-roasted crickets served with beer as the ideal ''gateway bug.'' The sustainability factor, the health aspects, those are the angles that will make people want to try edible insects, he says. The rest is easy. ''If it's done right, they will keep coming back for more, because it tastes really good.''
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U.S. says Russian-backed outlets spread COVID-19 vaccine 'disinformation' | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 18:29
Sun Mar 7, 2021 / 7:39 PM EST
WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has identified three online publications directed by Russia's intelligence services that it says are seeking to undermine COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, a State Department spokeswoman said on Sunday.
The outlets "spread many types of disinformation, including about both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as international organizations, military conflicts, protests, and any divisive issue that they can exploit," the spokeswoman said.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) first reported on the identification of the alleged campaign on Sunday. A Kremlin spokesman denied the U.S. claim Russia was spreading false information about vaccines to the WSJ.
Russia's embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Russia approved its Sputnik V vaccine in August, before a large-scale trial had begun, saying it was the first country to do so for a COVID-19 shot. Peer-reviewed trials months later proved it was almost 92% effective in fighting the virus.
Pfizer, headquartered in New York, and Germany's BioNTech, produced the first vaccine that was authorized in the United States, which regulators approved in December. The second, made by Moderna, headquartered in Massachusetts, was authorized later that month.
The State Department's Global Engagement Center, set up to counter propaganda and disinformation campaigns, identified the three outlets, the spokeswoman said.
News Front is controlled by Russia's federal security service, the center found. New Eastern Outlook and Oriental Review are directed and controlled by the Russian foreign intelligence service.
A fourth outlet, Rebel Inside, controlled by the Russian army, was also named by the center but is largely dormant, the spokeswoman said.
"The Department will continue to expose Russia's nefarious activities online," she added. "We will also continue'¯to work closely with our allies and partners to provide a global response to countering disinformation."
(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Heather Timmons and Lincoln Feast.)
S.F's budget will be saved from painful cuts thanks to federal stimulus. What about in the next one?
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 18:27
The federal stimulus package likely to be signed by President Biden this week will erase the majority of San Francisco's projected $650 million budget deficit over the next two years, saving City Hall from having to make painful service cuts and layoffs '-- for now.
While the federal stimulus is a boon for the economy in the short term, it will not solve all of the city's financial woes. San Francisco's ultimate recovery heavily depends on how quickly parts of the local economy bounce back, from tourists visiting the city to employees returning to downtown offices.
Without a substantial comeback in hotel, sales and business taxes, City Controller Ben Rosenfield said that Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors will likely grapple with a fragile budget over the next few years.
''That's going to be the big uncertainty over the next two years,'' Rosenfield said in an interview last week. ''How quickly will the economy recover? And, in the short term, that's largely based upon how quickly health conditions will improve.''
The state and local aid is part of a $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package that will also provide money for public transit, vaccine distribution, extended unemployment benefits and $1,400 stimulus checks for those who make $75,000 or less.
The stimulus package '-- which the House may vote on as early as Tuesday '-- will inject about $600 million into San Francisco's coffers over the next two years, Rosenfield said. That leaves Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors with a $50 million hole to fill, a fraction of what they were preparing to deal with.
''We still have a problem,'' said Jeff Cretan, spokesman for the mayor. ''We just don't have a problem right now.''
San Francisco's economy has slowly recovered over the past few months, as activities like indoor and outdoor dining resumed. But downtown San Francisco remains desolate and devoid of office workers, showing how the city's local economy has been battered by the pandemic.
Rosenfield said business taxes will likely take a large hit this year as downtown office workers continue to work remotely. Tourism will probably not return to pre-pandemic levels for a few years, he said. He also expects to see some downtown offices, hotels and retail properties appeal their property assessments this year, which would impact the amount of tax revenue the city has to spend.
''It matters,'' Rosenfield said. ''Property taxes are our single largest tax source.''
Regardless of the challenges ahead, the stimulus is welcome news for city leaders who were preparing to make substantial budget cuts this year.
City Hall learned in December that it could face another $653.2 million deficit over the next two years, after already filling a $1.5 billion deficit in the fall. That was because of weaker-than-expected revenue growth in the business and tourism industries, raises for city employees and increased expenses needed to respond to COVID-19.
The city learned in December it had a $125 million surplus for the current year due to higher-than-expected property tax revenue, increased federal reimbursements and lower expenses. But that was only for the current year.
Breed ordered every city department to propose cuts to trim budgets by 10% over the next two years. Those cuts could have had noticeable impacts, from fewer 911 operators to fewer trial attorneys in the public defender's office.
If it had to slash its budget by 10%, the Department of Emergency Management said it would have had to reduce its overtime budget. The department said that would impact its ability to answer 911 calls in less than 10 seconds, and some people would have to wait over a minute for a dispatcher to answer their call.
The public defender's office said in its proposal that it would have to lay off about 23 trial attorneys, which would cause ''a significant reduction in representation and provision of legal services to indigent people of color.''
Now, those cuts will likely not have to happen at such a dramatic scale. But Supervisor Matt Haney, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, said he will still consider some of the departments' budget proposals to see where the city can save some money.
''I expect that most of the stimulus, assuming it is flexible, will be used to address our deficit, which will absolutely reduce the level of cuts that are needed,'' Haney said. ''But some reductions are still needed and should happen.''
The budget process, which will play out over the next few months, will likely be fraught with tension between the mayor and board, who often clash on politics, priorities and funding decisions.
The mayor and board have already clashed on how this year's $125 million surplus should be spent.
While they agreed on how the majority of it should be spent '-- like a small business grant and loan program, and a business fee and license deferral '-- they disagreed on a big piece.
The mayor wanted to spend $50 million to offset the Department of Public Health's projected budget cuts, which may not be as urgent due to the stimulus. Meanwhile, the board wanted to spend the money on other projects like free summer camp for all public elementary school kids and a package of reforms to address the city's opioid crisis.
Haney said those proposals reflected the urgent needs of the city. But Breed wasn't thrilled about them, as some of the proposals would require ongoing funding.
''We can't keep introducing supplementals with pet projects and everything that is on everybody's fantasy Christmas list that doesn't necessarily serve the purpose of taking care of the people of this city,'' Breed said last week.
She said her priority is to make sure that San Franciscans don't feel the impact of the city's budget woes. With the stimulus looming, she said the city will likely be in a ''good place'' to stave off any painful cuts.
''If the board cooperates,'' she said, before turning to another question.
Trisha Thadani is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: tthadani@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @TrishaThadani
9 Signs That Chess Pieces Are Being Moved Into Place For A Major War In The Middle East
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 17:51
The American people are really going to regret putting the warmongers back in control. Joe Biden has been in the White House for less than two months, and the warmongers that Biden has surrounded himself with have been feverishly setting the stage for the next war in the Middle East. I do not believe that it will start within the next week, but I do believe that it is inevitable. While President Trump was in the White House for four years, the U.S. didn't start any new conflicts, but now the Biden administration is quite determined to start projecting ''American influence'' all over the globe once again. Most Americans don't understand the bigger picture, but the truth is that this is going to have very serious implications over the next few years.
In this article, I would like to examine some of the chess moves that have been made since Joe Biden entered the White House. As you will see, a very troubling picture emerges once you start putting all of the pieces together.
#1 Literally one day after Biden was inaugurated, a massive U.S. military convoy rolled into Syria'...
A large US military convoy entered northeastern Syria on Thursday, Syrian state news agency SANA reports, citing sources on the ground.
According to the report, the convoy included some 40 trucks and armored vehicles and was backed from the air by helicopters.
President Trump had tried very hard to disengage from the war in Syria, but Biden has made it crystal clear that the U.S. will be heavily involved in that conflict moving forward.
#2 Just a few weeks later, Joe Biden conducted his first airstrike against Iranian-backed forces inside Syria'...
The US has carried out an air strike targeting Iran-backed militias in Syria, in the first military action undertaken by the Biden administration.
The Pentagon said the strike destroyed ''multiple facilities'' and was ordered in response to attacks against US and coalition personnel in Iraq.
Militia officials said one person had been killed but a war monitor reported at least 22 fatalities.
#3 Of course it was inevitable that Iranian-backed forces would respond, and they retaliated by launching rockets at a military base in Iraq where U.S. forces are stationed. Just a couple days ago, new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that there will be a U.S. military response ''at a time and place of our own choosing'''...
Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin tells @MarthaRaddatz the U.S. is still assessing who carried out recent rocket attack on base in Iraq housing U.S. troops'--and that if the U.S. decides to respond, it will be ''at a time and place of our own choosing.''
#4 More U.S. airstrikes may come sooner rather than later. In fact, it is being reported that the U.S. has just sent six B-52 bombers to Diego Garcia'...
The U.S. Air Force is sending six B-52 Stratofortress bombers to Diego Garcia, a military hub that acts as a strategic location for operations in both the Middle East and the Pacific.
Citing a U.S. official, CNN on Monday reported that the Cold War-era bomber will be ''available for operations against Iran if ordered.''
#5 The Biden administration is also sending approximately 10,000 more U.S. troops to the Middle East'...
Once the amphibious assault ship Bataan, which is moving toward the Middle East, arrives, the U.S. will have added roughly 10,000 personnel to the area within the last week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
#6 Russia has been busy making moves in the region as well. On Friday, Russia conducted an air strike on an oil-loading facility in Syria that is used by opposition forces that are backed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Biden administration'...
A suspected missile strike on an oil-loading facility used by Turkey-backed opposition forces in northern Syria sparked a massive blaze across a large area where oil tankers are normally parked, aerial and satellite images show.
Syrian opposition groups and at least one war monitor blamed Russia for the strike Friday night near the towns of Jarablus and al-Bab, near the border with Turkey. In a report, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said Russian warships in the Mediterranean had fired three missiles that struck primitive oil refineries and tanker trucks in the region.
#7 Meanwhile, Israel continues to hit strategically important targets inside Syria on a regular basis. The following comes from a news report that was published in late February'...
Syrian air defenses were activated in the capital Damascus and its southern suburbs Sunday night to repel an Israeli missile attack, state media reported. There was no word on casualties.
State TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that most of the Israeli missiles were shot down before reaching their targets near Damascus.
#8 Israel is particularly interested in keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In an interview with Fox News, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz just stated that Israel is ready to attack Iran without any U.S. help'...
The Israeli military is updating plans to strike Iranian nuclear sites and is prepared to act independently, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Fox News.
Israel has identified numerous targets inside Iran that would hurt its ability to develop a nuclear bomb.
''If the world stops them before, it's very much good. But if not, we must stand independently and we must defend ourselves by ourselves,'' Gantz said in his first sit-down interview with an American outlet.
#9 During a phone call last Thursday between Kamala Harris and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister made it exceedingly clear that his nation is ready to do whatever it takes to prevent the Iranians from developing their own nukes'...
''The prime minister said we would continue to strengthen our intelligence and security cooperation and said during their conversation that as prime minister of Israel, he is totally committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons that are meant for our destruction.''
Of course the Iranians have no plans to back down, and that makes a military conflict between Israel and Iran inevitable.
There will be war in the Middle East, and the horror of that conflict will shock the entire planet.
And once that war begins, it will greatly accelerate our economic problems and the ongoing political turmoil in this country.
So enjoy this brief period of relative stability while you can, because our world is about to start changing in dramatic ways.
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Brits call American pharmaceutical ads 'post-apocalyptic'
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 17:47
British people questioned why Americans can advertise for medicine during Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's bombshell interview Sunday night. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images Brits questioned American drug ads that aired during Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Most countries have banned direct to consumer advertisements for prescription medicine. "American adverts make me feel like I'm in some post-apocalyptic world," one tweet read. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. British people cannot wrap their heads around American advertising for prescription drugs.
British viewers took to Twitter during Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's bombshell interview with Oprah last night to question why pharmaceutical companies advertise directly to viewers.
Ayesha A. Siddiqi, trend forecaster, writer, and editor at The New Inquiry, compiled a Twitter thread cataloging tweets by Brits who called advertising for prescription drugs "wild," "surreal," and "dark." The thread shocked Americans, for whom drug ads on TV are routine.
"American adverts make me feel like I'm in some post-apocalyptic world," one tweet read.
"American medical adverts are some real dystopian s*** how you gonna tell me I might die," read another.
The US and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to consumers.
Siddiqi said she noticed Brits she followed talking about pharmaceutical ads during the broadcast, and decided to show her American followers how "banal," common drug advertisements could be worth questioning.
"One of the most interesting recurrences in the British reactions to American live TV was shock at the idea of 'advertising medicine' '-- to have even phrased it that way was so conspicuously not American," Siddiqi told Insider in an email. "In the US people are tasked with being informed customers, rather than simply beneficiaries of a healthcare system '-- with all the inequalities of access that implies."
The health industry spends $30 billion on ads and promotions annually, according to an analysis out of Dartmouth College. Pharma companies have expanded beyond television to social media ads and celebrity partnerships.
Pharma ads are controversial even in the US. In 2015, the American Medical Association '-- the country's largest physician trade group '-- called to ban drug ads.
The Food and Drug Administrations allowed drug makers to run ads in 1985, according to STAT. After the agency relaxed regulations around the advertising in the late 1990s, spending for direct-to-consumer advertising swell from from $360 million in 1995 to $5 billion in 2006.
Critics of drug ads have asked the FDA for greater regulation, calling to stop firms from running distracting music and animations. The FDA states if a drug maker overstates the drug's benefits or misrepresents the data in an advertisement, the agency can ask to the company to remove or re-publish it.
NOW WATCH: Popular Videos from Insider Inc.
NOW WATCH: Popular Videos from Insider Inc.
Why popular YouTubers are building their own sites - BBC News
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 16:45
By David MolloyTechnology reporter
image copyright Getty Images / Corridor
Whether he's showing off astronomically expensive computer gaming hardware or dumpster-diving for the cheapest PC builds possible, Linus Sebastian's videos always strike a chord, and have made him one of the most popular tech personalities on YouTube.
But Google-owned YouTube gets most episodes of Linus Tech Tips a week late.
Now, they debut on his own site called Floatplane, which attracts a much smaller crowd.
"Google has been very, very good to me," Linus says. "But it's a lot of eggs in one basket."
And with a staff of two dozen, he cannot rely on the company to continue being what he calls his "benevolent overlord".
He is not the only YouTube star looking for alternatives.
For a long time there have been tensions between those creating content on YouTube and the company providing the platform, ranging from disputes about ad revenue, to copyright problems, and even rows about the way videos are recommended to people,
Many successful YouTubers are now sizeable companies in their own right, and are seeking to safeguard their futures.
For the fans
For the last few years, Linus and co-worker Luke Lafreniere have been investing in their own platform called Floatplane.
The pair stress that it is not - and never will be - a YouTube competitor.
But they hope to provide a platform for existing video creators with a loyal audience, who might be willing to pay a few dollars a month to directly support the video-makers they love.
image copyright LTT
image caption Linus Sebastian (left) and Luke Lafreniere are building their own community"It's only going to be your really hardcore fans", Luke explains. "There is no algorithm, they're going to be served everything you make."
Mostly focused on technology video-makers for now, the platform is not open to everyone.
The duo say it is growing slowly, and they are putting any profit back into building the site.
Figure caption Warning: Third party content may contain advertsCreating an enthusiastic, tight-knit community around a topic has its advantages, says Luke.
On Floatplane "a lot of the toxicity that exists on public platforms such as Twitter and YouTube, in the comments, just does not exist", he explains.
A crew of your own
Nurturing a community is part of why LA-based visual effects studio Corridor Digital built its own fan-powered site.
Its founders Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer are film-makers - but started publishing on YouTube a decade ago while they toured the LA "circuit" to get film projects made.
Today, their multi-person studio is hugely popular on YouTube for its videos that break down the best (and worst) Hollywood visual effects and stunts, and show their audience how they make their own short films.
The company also produces its own digital-effects clips, including one that asked what might happen if Boston Dynamics' bipedal robots fought back.
Figure caption Warning: Third party content may contain adverts"YouTube has been our path. And it's been a great path," says Christian Fergerstrom, one of the studio's producers.
But he said success eventually led the company to ask: "What is stopping us from doing this ourselves?"
image copyright Corridor
image caption The Corridor Crew: Christian, Clinton, Wren, Niko, Sam, Jake, and NickOn the Corridor Digital site, fans earn "producer points" with their monthly $4 (£2.80) subscription, which they can put towards "funding" videos they would like to see made.
The audience can decide whether to back an instructional course on how to make videos, or lend support to a visual effects-laden Dungeons and Dragons campaign instead.
"We're also only presenting the stuff that we're really interested in and passionate about making," Christian says.
"The producer points you get on the website is a math equation for us, of how to make the shows with the budget that we can work with."
image copyright Corridor
image caption "Producer points" can be used to back several options - all of which the team is keen to makeBut in terms of income, the site is "definitely not at that level of what we're getting on YouTube," he adds.
That is partly because of how lucrative brand sponsorships are - and big brands prefer big YouTube audiences.
Corridor Digital's platform is designed for a much smaller audience of loyal fans, run alongside its YouTube channel.
The company sees it as a sort of insurance policy.
"In the back of our heads, we've always said... one day, YouTube could be gone. And it's not under our control," Christian explains.
The smart YouTuber mafia
One of the most successful rival platforms, Nebula, was built on a simple premise: giving creators independence from YouTube's algorithms.
"Starting a business on YouTube is like opening a brand new store in a shopping centre," founder Dave Wiskus explains.
"Except you might come in to open your shop one day, and the shopping centre has just moved you to the other end where there are no customers, there's no foot traffic. And you'll never know why."
image copyright Dave Wiskus
image caption Dave Wiskus says Nebula surpassed all expectations after its launchOn Nebula, subscribers get access to everything for $5 (£3.60) a month.
There are no content-recommendation algorithms, and video-makers are not penalised if they do not publish the "right kind" of content.
One of Nebula's creators, Jordan Harrod, describes herself as a "part-time YouTuber, full-time PhD student" at the Harvard MIT Health Sciences and Technology faculty.
She makes videos about artificial intelligence, AI ethics, and medical tech - not always the "right kind" of content for YouTube.
"There are definitely topics that I've come across that I think would be challenging to cover on YouTube," she explains.
As an example, she suggests a video exploring how algorithms moderate hate speech online. Ironically, YouTube's algorithms might flag the content as hate speech, she suggests.
And once a video has been restricted, it is unlikely to ever recover the "lost" views.
image copyright Lindsey Michelle Williams
image caption Jordan Harrod's videos focus on how AI interacts with everyday lifeSomething similar recently happened to Nebula video-maker Lindsay Ellis, who made a video about transphobia in popular culture. It was "mistakenly flagged" by YouTube's automatic systems.
Jordan estimates her subscription income from Nebula is "roughly the same" as what she gets from Google's AdSense programme, which places video ads before and during videos on YouTube.
Nebula has other benefits, such as help with production from its studio team.
But Jordan admits YouTube brand sponsorships are where the most money is made, by a long way - even if, as an academic, video-making isn't her "day job".
Once famously derided as an elitist "smart YouTuber mafia" by one critic, Nebula has adopted that term with pride. Dave Wiskus displays it on his Twitter profile.
"If we were to just open up the floodgates and let anybody sign up for an account and start publishing videos, we lose the flavour of the service," he says.
And on top of that: "YouTube has a whole bunch of problems we never want to have."
image copyright Nebula
image caption A grid of Nebula creators taken from the company's site"We refuse to be an accidental vehicle for right-wing, neo-Nazi propaganda. And it's really easy for fringe platforms to turn into that if you leave the doors open," he says.
Several challengers have tried and failed to build a viable alternative to YouTube.
In 2016, subscription service Fullscreen launched with original content from popular YouTubers, including British comedians Jack Howard and Dean Dobbs.
But despite attracting hundreds of thousands of subscribers, it announced it was closing in 2017.
Vessel, which offered "one week early" access to YouTube stars' videos lasted just under two years before it was shut down.
Linus says his Tech Tips series was one of its few success stories, which inspired Floatplane's development after Vessel's demise.
The trick, he says, is to grow slowly and not spend too much.
Linus says Floatplane originally got its name from an unofficial motto: "It might not take off, but if it doesn't, it won't sink".
The Fed's Money Supply Measures: The Good News'--and the Really, Really Bad News | Mises Wire
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 15:44
Last week the Fed announced that, retroactive to May 2020, its M1 money stock measure would include savings deposits, which were reclassified as transaction accounts similar to other deposit components of M1 such as demand deposits and other checkable deposits (i.e., NOW accounts and ATS accounts). Previously, savings deposits were considered to be nontransaction accounts and relegated exclusively to the broader monetary aggregate M2, which included, in addition to M1, other nontransaction accounts such as small-time deposits (CDs of less than $100,000) and retail money market mutual fund shares (MMMFs). Savings deposits were previously considered nontransaction accounts, because some (but not all) types of withdrawals and transfers of funds were restricted to six per statement cycle. But in December 2020, the Fed announced that, pursuant to the changes in Regulation D announced in April 2020, this limit would be permanently abolished on February 23, 2021. Thus savings accounts are now combined with other checkable deposits into a new category of M1, ''other liquid deposits.''
As you can see in the graph below, the reclassifying of savings deposits as transaction accounts caused a retroactive tripling in the quantity of M1, from $4.898 trillion on April 27, 2020, to $15.994 trillion on May 4, 2020. This surge in M1 was merely the outcome of an accounting operation and, therefore,
did not affect the Fed's broader monetary aggregate, M2. Existing savings deposits were simply shifted from nontransactions to transactions deposits, both of which are included in M2 (not shown on the chart).
Ironically, this revision in M1 brings it much closer to the ''True Money Supply,'' or TMS, the Austrian definition of the money supply developed by Murray Rothbard and the present author in the mid-1980s. TMS includes savings deposits, along with demand and other checkable deposits, while excluding small-time deposits and MMMFs. Rothbard and I recognized that savings deposits were ''transaction accounts,'' that is, immediately spendable dollars, because they were interchangeable dollar for dollar on demand for either cash or demand deposits. Even under the unrevised Regulation D, the limitation on withdrawals and transfers did not apply to all withdrawals. Withdrawals made through a bank teller and, later, from ATMs were always unlimited. Furthermore, some banks linked checking and savings accounts and permitted ATM transfers between the two accounts with a debit or ATM card. So M1 is now a much better reflection of the actual money stock in existence. This is the good news.
Now the only remaining differences between M1 and TMS are US government deposits and time and savings deposits due to foreign banks and official institutions, both previously relatively minor items included in TMS but oddly excluded from M1 and all broader Fed measures of the money stock. The exclusion of, for example, US government deposits from official monetary aggregates never made any sense, because they are used to facilitate federal tax receipts and spending in the same way as state and municipal deposits, which are included in the money supply.
Nevertheless, despite its reluctance to include them in its official money stock measures, the Fed duly reports these deposit series as ''memorandum items'' in its H.6 Release, Money Stock Measures'--or at least it did until February 23, 2021, when both series were abruptly discontinued. And herein lies the bad news: buried deep in the Technical Q&As addendum to the Fed's December 17 H.6 Release announcing the reclassification of savings deposits and concomitant revision in M1 is an ''answer'' indicating that ''several memorandum items on US government deposits and deposits due to foreign banks and foreign official institutions will be discontinued.'' No explanation is given for this change, but the prospective inquirer is directed to ''other sources'' where ''data on these release items are available.'' These other sources mainly refer to FFIEC (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council) schedule RC-E, which is an obscure report available only on a quarterly basis, whereas the Fed had been providing updates of the series on a weekly basis.
The key question'--for which no answer is provided'--is why. Why has the Fed suddenly and without explanation become less transparent in providing information about vital monetary data? Perhaps the answer is related to the fact that, over the past year, both US government deposits and savings and time deposits due to foreign banks and official institutions have sharply spiked. The graph below indicates that from December 30, 2019, to February 1, 2021, US government deposits have more than quadrupled from $373 billion to $1.626 trillion. As can be seen from the chart below, the latter figure is more than two and a half times the previous historical high of $604 billion, reached during the financial crisis in November 2008.
In the case of time and savings deposits due to foreign banks and official institutions, as the chart below shows, the spike has not been nearly as sharp but has still been significant. These deposits have increased from $62.2 billion to $91.9 billion, or by almost 50 percent, between April 2019 and October 2020.
In a post in November 2020, two mainstream monetary economists unwittingly hinted at the reason why the Fed may have decided a month later to suppress its US government deposits series. Noting ''the explosion of the Treasury's account at the Fed,'' they pointed out, ''it fuels perceptions of monetary finance, or even helicopter money [and] suggestions that the Fed is directly financing the government foster uncertainty about central bank independence.'' Under such modern monetary theory (MMT) policies, the Fed would directly lend newly created money to the Treasury, which would, of course, be instantly revealed in a spectacular increase of Treasury deposits held at the Fed and commercial banks.
I suggest that the Fed needs to add one more question (and a truthful answer) to its Technical Q&As about its latest revisions to its money stock measures:
''Is the discontinuation of the US Government Deposits series the first step by the Federal Reserve in gearing up to implement helicopter money in the expectation that Congress will emend the Federal Reserve Act, which prohibits the Fed from lending money directly to the US Treasury?''
We were right to laud Cuomo: Don't let scandals distract from pandemic competence - New York Daily News
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 15:32
No touching allowed? (Mark Lennihan/AP)
The rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated. No, Gov. Cuomo is not a dead duck or even necessarily a lame duck '-- and he shouldn't be. He may not be perfect, but he has been the perfect man for our perilous pandemic times.
How quickly the pols calling for his ouster over unproven sexual misconduct allegations have forgotten that New York was, at the onset of the pandemic, COVID central.
In fact, New York in April of 2020 had not just the highest rate of COVID positivity of any state, but the highest rate of COVID positivity of any country!
New Yorkers were dying and suffering all around us like some dystopian play about the end of the world. We were confused, we were panicked, we were out of toilet paper.
The morgues were so full of the dead that hospitals had frozen food trucks parked in back to hold the overflow of corpses. We started with a 31% positivity rate for those tested, and six months later in October it was down to under 1%. Yes, the COVID positivity rate fluctuated due to holiday travel and gatherings, which Cuomo had warned us against, but on March 5 it was back down to 2.80% '-- the lowest since Nov. 21.
Have people forgotten how the whole country tuned in every day to watch Cuomo's honest pandemic updates '-- and how he gave us the only hope we had that somehow we'd get past it?
These numbers are due to his mandates, measures, closures and the systematic vaccine rollout '-- with the highest number of vaccinations administered of any other state in the country. It hasn't been pretty, it certainly hasn't been easy, but it has been effective.
Despite all of this, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said he should step down, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie stopped just short of saying it. Both Democrats suggested that the sexual harassment allegations are distracting him from the business of running the state. Ever notice how, with sexual misconduct allegations, Democrats seem to immediately want to destroy the man and Republicans seem to immediately want to destroy the woman? What happened to waiting to condemn until all investigations have been done?
Distractions? This is a guy who has steered us through the worst of times by keeping laser-focused on the task at hand. The pandemic is a distraction, as are the deaths of nearly 48,000 New Yorkers; the loss of billions in revenue; businesses, schools, cultural and arts venues closing, and the accompanying loss of tourism.
Ironically, calling for his resignation because he's supposedly distracted is in itself a distraction.
He has shown us he can multi-task as he continues to deal with all of the overwhelming horrors that have beset us as a state. Yes, he's been a bully. But damn '-- it took a bully to deal with a bully. Remember, he was one of the few governors who managed to stand up to the biggest bully in the country, former President Donald Trump when he was threatening to withhold emergency aid to what he deemed poorly run states '-- with Democratic governors.
He set out to prove how focused he remains on righting this ship of state, again, on Monday when he held a vaccination progress event at the Javits Center. He did so without the press '-- which wasn't the right thing to do politically '-- but it was the right thing to do in order to refocus on the most right thing right now: getting all New Yorkers vaccinated.
Look, as a single mother who needed a job and faced and stood up to bullies and sexual predators in newsrooms for all my working life, I understand just how serious allegations of harassment should be taken. But 15-year-old allegations that weren't either reported then, or were in fact dealt with correctly back then, should not be causing this uproar now that the news has shifted away from the pandemic and we begin to emerge from the darkness of quarantine.
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As for the allegations, let the very competent and tough Letitia James do her investigation, and while it's ongoing, let the governor continue to do his job. On Monday, 21 female members of the Assembly even signed a statement asking that she be given the time to do just that. That's common sense and sensibility.
I'm not saying that these allegations aren't real, and that the governor never figured out that in this day, that a boss just can't go around hugging and kissing people '-- no matter how Italian he is. I'm a hugging and kissing Italian-American myself.
Meantime, and almost ridiculously, the pols calling for his head have themselves become distracted by the hugging-kissing scandal.
Right now what we don't need is herd mentality '-- we need herd immunity.
Stasi was a Daily News columnist.
Figures Don't Lie, But Liars Figure - LewRockwell
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 15:32
It's an old saying, but never truer than today, when profoundly false figures are being used to fuel the COVID hysteria.
In less than one year, the rulers of the US and many other countries have successfully closed down businesses, decimated social interaction, shut down those who sought to seek group solace in their faith, trashed economies and forcibly seized power, replacing democratic structure with executive edict.
This has been achieved solely through the creation of fear over a flu virus.
Mother Jones has stated, ''The staggering death toll was both preventable and entirely predictable. Even aside from his vast personal incompetence'... Trump blithely put into practice cherished conservative principles that are incompatible with a decent pandemic response. Castigating and de-legitimizing government institutions, demonizing minority communities, and playing into white grievances may help Republicans win elections, but when it comes to beating back a massive public health catastrophe, what's paramount is robust public agencies, a strong health care system, and special attention to the vulnerable. In many ways, we were doomed from the start.'' How Not To Die With Tr... Henriques, Tiago Best Price: $18.23 Buy New $17.97 (as of 08:00 EST - Details )
Pretty scathing. As we can see, the media are not just commenting, but handing out pitchforks to the villagers. As in all irrational calls to arms, the former president has already been convicted of genocide in the court of public opinion. By comparison, Dr. Fauci, who has served as the government's expert physician has been left off the hook entirely; yet no eyebrow is raised.
Some people in the US will swear by the above statements, whilst others will say that they are exaggerations and misinterpretations.
Interestingly, however, most all Americans seem quite willing to accept the 400,000 death count as being accurate.
And yet we can obtain the A.M.A. and/or CDC/NCHS annual All-Cause death statistics and both sources offer up a very different picture.
Let's have a look:
YearDeathsPopulation20102,468,435309,346,86320112,515,458311,718,85720122,543,279314,102,62320132,596,993316,427,39520142,626,418318,907,40120152,712,630321,418,82020162,744,248323,071,34220172,813,503325,147,12120182,839,205327,167,43920192,854,838329,110,43920202,916,492332,103,290 . We can see that the death count seems to increase by about 1% each year '' predictably, as the population also increases. Therefore, if there had been no coronavirus, we might have expected an all-cause death count of about 2,883,386, but the actual count for 2020 was 2,916,492, or an increase from the norm of 33,106, not 400,000. Based upon a total population of 330,849,169, if every single one of these additional deaths was due to covid-19, this would mean a death rate of .01%. The Miraculous Cure Fo... Bowles, Jeff T. Best Price: $7.71 Buy New $10.68 (as of 04:34 EDT - Details )
This death rate is clearly not in keeping with a pandemic. But it is, in fact, very much in keeping with a standard flu season rate.
The only way that the coronavirus could be responsible for 400,000 deaths in the US in 2020 would be if at least 367,000 people conveniently ceased dying of other causes, such as heart failure, car crashes and cancer.
Researcher Thomas Di Ferdinando, in reviewing the extraordinary increase in claimed death count, has commented,
''Without those added deaths, there would be no evidence of a Covid pandemic. This triangulation of facts: essentially no excess deaths beyond the normal annual background count; absolutely NO relationship between Covid ''confirmed'' cases and Covid ''confirmed'' deaths; and the mysterious, last-minute dump of 268,259 all-cause deaths into the 2020 end-of-year all-cause death totals; completely demolish any pretext of their having been a 2020 viral pandemic, whether caused by a novel coronavirus or by anything else and that therefore there is no rational reason to be putting masks on children, isolating elders, destroying businesses, locking down populations and shattering the public trust.''
Quite so. I couldn't have phrased it better.
But if all the misery that has occurred in the past year has been unnecessary '' that is, if this was just another in the series of coronaviruses that have caused a periodic nuisance for over sixty-five years '' why have all the lockdowns, loss of jobs, loss of personal liberties, etc., been forced upon people?
Well, in fact, that question may be easily answered. All we really need do is to ask ourselves what a government would accomplish by imposing such draconian requirements.
What we see all around us is a people who have been subjugated. ''Inalienable'' rights that we are supposed to enjoy have been removed. In their place is a state of tyrannical rule. Any demands that have been made by the government, no matter how irrational, have been instituted through force and the populace have caved in to it all. Extreme Dose! Melatoni... Bowles, Jeff T. Best Price: $13.97 Buy New $12.99 (as of 03:35 EST - Details )
What might otherwise have taken decades of incremental depreciation of rights has been accomplished in a very short time.
And just in time, too. For dramatic changes are in store in the form of rule that the country will live under very soon. A litany of new plans has been put forward that will effectively eliminate freedoms of every type.
In the place of the old system will be a state of totalitarian collectivist rule. Out of a job? The state will provide universal basic income. Can't afford your education? The state will forgive all student debt. Can't afford your health plan? The state will provide universal health care.
I doubt that it would be a rash prediction to make, that an all-encompassing collectivist plan will be unfolding very soon. And that the fear that has been manufactured will be maintained until the plan is well under way.
Reprinted with permission from International Man.
After DSA Candidates Win Seats, Nevada Dem Party Staff Quit
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 12:12
Photo: David Becker (Getty Images)After a group of progressive candidates backed by their local Democratic Socialists of America chapter swept all five elections for leadership roles in the Nevada Democratic Party, every single staff member in the party quit.
News of their resignations came shortly after Saturday's elections, according to the Intercept, at which time the party's executive director emailed the incoming chair to announce that she and all of her colleagues would be resigning. The other vacated positions are the party's directors of operations, communications, research, and finance.
''We weren't really surprised, in that we were prepared for it,'' Judith Whitmer, the new party chair, told the Intercept. ''But what hit us by surprise and was sort of shocking is that for a slate that claimed that they were all about unity, and kept this false narrative of division going on throughout the entire campaign'--in fact they kept intensifying that'--that's what was surprising about it, was the willingness to just walk away, instead of working with us.''
The Democratic machine...not as unflappable as they would have us think!
The former party staff argued that they were simply preempting the inevitable: Whitmer, they said, would have fired them anyway. And Whitmer's predecessor accused her of being difficult to work with, and uninterested in building a consensus.
G/O Media may get a commission
But there's plenty of history here worth considering. In Nevada, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the invisible kingmaker, and the unofficial head of the state's party operations. And when he was putting his well-oiled Democratic machinery to work to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 primaries, Bernie Sanders's supporters came within just a few points of spoiling his plans. Since then, progressives'--who have only become more numerous and well-organized over the last five years'--have been a thorn in his side, and tensions run high on both sides.
Of course this dynamic has played out much the same way in national politics, with establishment Democrats and party leaders often using every tool at their disposal to thwart progressive candidates and maintain fine control of the party's agenda .
This is only the most recent example of the Democratic Party's willingness to self-implode rather than cede any power to the left.
After Finding Shredded Ballots in the Dumpster Earlier Today - A Mysterious Fire Breaks Out at Maricopa County Official's Farm
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 11:57
The Arizona Maricopa County election coverup continues. These crooks are doing all they can to obstruct justice and tamper with evidence because they know they can get away with it.The Arizona Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (MCBOS) on Wednesday loaded its 2020 Election ballots on a truck for delivery to the Arizona Senate. After months of attempting to obtain access to the ballots, the Senate won a court case where the judge ordered the ballots to be produced to the Senate. So immediately before being told when and where to deliver the ballots, the MCBOS loaded the ballots onto a truck even though the Senate had not yet asked for the ballots. It is not believed that this move of the ballots was performed under the proper chain of custody.
The newspapers somehow got ahold of this story and claimed the Senate was not ready for the truckload after months of asking for the ballots. They have consistently declared Joe Biden won the election and that there is no evidence of fraud. AZCentral reported:
For two months, the Arizona Senate has been demanding that Maricopa County turn over the 2.1 million ballots cast in the November election.
TRENDING: BREAKING: Supreme Court Dismisses President Trump and Attorney Lin Wood's Final Election Challenge Without Comment
Now, the Senate doesn't know what to do with them.
If this is how the Republicans' ''full forensic audit'' begins, get ready for a train wreck, Arizona.
But this wasn't close to the truth. The below video explains the entire mess nicely:
The video is very accurate. The ballots were moved without direction from the Senate. This was likely illegal.They were loaded on a truck without having a location to ship to.There is no evidence the ballots were moved under the proper chain of custody which is also illegal.The media was called to make up a story about how the Senate wasn't ready for the ballots.The ballots were then stored in an open warehouse where it looked like anyone could get into.Individuals in the county found shredded ballots at this location today (Saturday, March 6th).
And now tonight two barns on the farm of one of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors caught on fire.
Again, AZCentral reports:
Two barns were destroyed and an estimated165,000 hens died Saturday in a fire at the Hickman's Family Farms location in Arlington, about an hour west of Phoenix, according to officials.
Firefighters responded to a report of the fire at the farm around 1 p.m. and were able to contain the second-alarm fire by about 4 p.m., said Sarah Mendoza, a spokesperson for Buckeye Valley Fire District.
An unidentified man was hospitalized in stable condition for smoke inhalation, Mendoza said. No firefighters were injured.
There better be a good investigation into these fires. Did any shred catch fire in the chicken coops?
Slow progress towards reaching 'unrealistic' gas-free home targets - DutchNews.nl
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 11:50
Solar panel owners are doing good business this weekend. Photo: DutchNews.nl
Plans to have removed 100,000 rental homes from the national gas network by 2022 are not realistic, according to research by current affairs tv show Nieuwsuur.
Housing corporations, building firms and alternative energy and heat providers agreed make tens of thousands of rental properties gas free as part of the government's climate change plan. That plan states that by 2030, 1.5 million homes should have been taken off the gas grid.
However, the target is unrealistic, experts told the programme. 'At the moment there is a lot of experimentation but little structure,' Joep Rats from construction sector lobby group Bouwend Nederland said.
Housing corporation association Aedes has also described the plan as unrealistic, but said plans have been drawn up to remove 100,000 homes from the gas grid within five years.
The problems are being caused by complex rules and high costs, which are not adequately covered by subsidies, the organisations say. Five large building companies also described the plan as 'a challenge' or 'not achievable'.
So far the state has set aside '‚¬57m to make 23,711 homes gas-free but those projects are scheduled to take five years. Given that, 'the expectation is that the target of making 100,000 rental homes sustainable will not be fully realized by 2022,' a government spokesman said.
In total, 614 homes have been removed from the gas grid, the ministry said.
The Volkskrant reported in January that 27 trials to make homes gas free were started in 2018 but technical problems, spiralling costs and reluctance on the part of home owners is holding the project back.
In The Hague and Utrecht, housing corporations are trying to persuade their tenants to opt for a city heating network, which would be a quick fix for large number of homes, but these have not proved popular, despite offers of a free set of pots and pans and electric cooking workshops.
Even in Loppersum, in Groningen, where many homes were damaged by earthquakes caused by gas extraction, a project aimed at installing such a network hit a brick wall and locals have rejected biomass plants and wind turbines as new energy sources.
Richer areas
Meanwhile, the Financieele Dagblad pointed out at the weekend some of the worst insulated houses in the Netherlands are in the richest local authority areas, like Heemstede, Laren and Bloemendaal .
In fact, seven of the eight local authority areas with the highest property values have more poorly insulated homes than the national average, and there has been little improvement in the past five years, the paper said.
In Heemstede, more than 35% of homes have an E, F or G energy label, while the same is true for 30% of the homes in Laren and Bloemendaal. The national average is 16%.
Romantic homes
Real estate economics professor Dirk Brounen told the paper that the owners of the 'romantic, chic detached homes' in Bloemendaal and Wassenaar are not keen on putting solar panels on their thatched roofs and installing double glazing.
He says the government should do more to stimulate home owners to boost energy efficiency by using tax measures. 'Current policy is not working in richer places, that much is clear,' he told the paper.
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DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.
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China's Role in Global Lockdowns: The Smoking Gun '' AIER
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 20:28
'' March 5, 2021
Reading Time:
2 minutes This time last year, Americans were blindsided by a shocking policy to shut down the US economy to control a virus. The presumption of the officials who enacted this policy is that it would be far more deadly than it turned out to be. They further presumed that the virus could be controlled using state power, precisely as China had claimed to have done in Wuhan.
There are so many problems with all these presumptions, and AIER has covered them almost daily since January 2020. What we've lacked until now is an inside look into how US officials, the architects of the lockdowns, went about their decision making. What were their influences? Who was pushing for these policies?
For the better part of a year, evidence has been mounting that the Chinese Communist Party played an outsized role. We have Dr. Fauci on the record praising the Wuhan response, and many World Health Organization officials as well. AIER has published much of this evidence already. Our December 8, 2020, article on the topic prompted a steady torrent of DDoS attacks on our site that continue to this day.
Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request initiated by Judicial Watch, we now have 300 pages of emails that landed on Fauci's email account. They are a picture of chaos. Within that chaos, there is one dominant influence: China. We learn that a US delegation actually went to China to learn about pandemic response in mid-February. We see US officials praising the Communist Party and the ''lockdowns'' while plotting them right here in the US.
There is much more to discover within the Fauci emails, which are revealing despite all the redactions. For your reading pleasure or disgust, we offer them here.
faucifilesAIER StaffFounded in 1933, the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is one of the oldest and most respected nonpartisan economic research and advocacy organizations in the country. With a global reach and influence, AIER is dedicated to developing and promoting the ideas of pure freedom and private governance by combining advanced economic research with accessible media outreach and educational programming to cultivate a better, broader understanding of the fundamental principles that enable peace and prosperity around the world.
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1902: The Boston trucker who founded the firm that swallowed up CBS and Viacom is born - Jewish World - Haaretz.com
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 19:59
April 11, 1902, is the birthdate of Michael ''Mickey'' Redstone, the hard-driving founder of the family entertainment empire now headed by his ailing 92-year-old son Sumner. Sumner, until his ''retirement'' this February, was the executive chairman of both Viacom and CBS, and the center of a noisy and squalid legal struggle over his condition and the future of his holdings.
1524: Cairo vizier who plotted against the Jews loses his head
1980: Lovelorn school principal murders the Scarsdale Diet doctor
2013: The original 98-pound weakling turned Master Blaster dies
The saga of Sumner Redstone, however, begins with his father, who was born Max Rothstein, in Boston, Massachusetts, 114 years ago.
Ties with the mob
Mickey left high school before graduation and bought his first truck, a used one, when he got a carting contract from the city of Boston.
Boston politics at the time was largely controlled by an Irish mafia. Those with whom Rothstein had to do business included the city's former mayor John ''Honey Fitz'' Fitzgerald, whose grandson, John F. Kennedy, would become U.S. president.
Rothstein also became close with the Jewish gambling boss Harry ''Doc'' Sagansky (a dentist by training), who invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Mickey's expanding business organization. It was with the assistance of Sagansky that Redstone bought his first drive-in movie theater in 1934, in Valley Stream, Long Island.
Two years later, Redstone founded the Northeast Theater Corporation, later National Amusements, which by the time of his death, comprised some 400 cinemas across the United States.
Mickey married Belle Ostrovsky, daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants. The couple had two sons '' Sumner Murray, born in 1923, and Edward Stanton, five years later.
Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of Viacom Inc and CBS Corp, at an event at the Milken Institute Global Conference, 2012. Credit: Reuters
In 1940, Mickey changed the family name to ''Redstone.'' It meant the same thing as ''Rothstein,'' but was less Jewish-sounding, and wouldn't make people wonder if he was related to the well-known Jewish-America gambling boss Arnold Rothstein.
Sumner, the older and favored son, attended Boston's prestigious Latin School, and then Harvard University, for both college and law school. In the mid-1950s, after having done service in World War II applying his mathematics skills to crack Japanese codes, Sumner began working for his father.
Driven by fire
So ambitious and hard-driving was Sumner, though, that Mickey Redstone began to feel as if it was he who was working for his son. Gradually, according to Judith Newman, Sumner eased his father out of the business empire he was growing. Similarly, Mickey's other son, Edward, was gradually divested of a role in National Amusements, and in 1972, he sold his shares back to the company, setting the scene for intra-generational lawsuits of the future.
In the 1970s, even as he was running the family cinema business, Sumner was involved in politics (he managed Senator Edwin Muskie's 1972 campaign for president, and was touted as a possible U.S. attorney general, in the event of a Muskie win). As late as 1980, he was still teaching entertainment law in the evenings at Northeastern University.
Something changed, however, after the 1979 fire in the Boston hotel where Sumner was staying. He nearly lost his life, and suffered third-degree burns on nearly half of his body. It was after that that he began assembling a global communications conglomerate.
In 1987, after a long and hard battle in which Sumner put up $400 million of his own money, National Amusements took over Viacom '' at the time the parent company of MTV Networks and Nickelodeon, among other things. Acquisitions of Paramount Pictures and CBS followed, in 1994 and 1999, respectively.
Mickey Redstone died on April 4, 1987, in Bal Harbour, Florida, just a week short of his 85th birthday.
Just a concise list of the family legal struggles that have played out in three decades since his death would take up the space of another column, if not two. The most recent, however, has been the most squalid, as it has raised serious questions about the mental competency of Sumner, as it has pitted his daughter Shari against at least one of her father's former caregiver-companions, who claimed that he had planned to leave her some $50 million, in addition to his $20 million mansion. (A settlement was apparently worked out in this case last week.) Beyond the juicy personal story, there is the more significant fact that Sumner's consistent refusal to name his successors in the businesses he controls opens the door to many more years of legal wrangling after his death.
ratladymom: Say No to Oprah Winfrey's New World Order - O.W.N. spelled backwards)
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 19:43
Dear Friends,With the upcoming launch of Oprah Winfrey's new network, O.W.N., I wanted to share some...interesting...information with you. If you are wondering what OWN will be broadcasting, let me get down to the nitty gritty for you!I quote from "The Week" - 'Best Opinion,' Brian Lowry in 'Variety Magazine' (http://theweek.com/article/index/210555/oprahs-real-job-manufacturing-experts, December 20, 2010): "The talk show queen's true power and worth lies in her ability to endorse — and essentially create — other authority figures,' says Brian Lowry in Variety. (Oprah wants to give us the opportunity to have a thorough understanding of ourselves as individuals so we can act independently of societal norms as well as the citizens of our communities, so she creates powerful TV icons such as Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, etc., for us to "learn from."~C. Goehring) "Winfrey has been crystal clear about the messianic aspect of her [mission]. As she told Barbara Walters during a recent ABC special ostensibly timed to help launch OWN, "'I am seeking the fullest expression of myself as a human being on Earth.' (Huh? I thought networks provided a service to their advertisers!~CG)Oprah's proclaimed mission is to fill her network with "her favorite things." Well, in my humble opinion - who cares? What makes her qualified to fill my life with HER favorite things? Giving away billions of dollars of material goods? Joining forces with the likes of John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, Michael Jackson and Tom Cruise (notice a theme there? http://www.adherents.com/largecom/fam_scientologist.html)? I never cared about her favorite books, either, and still question her literary background as she showers us with her opinion of what makes a book worthy of reading. (Eckhardt Tolle? Really?)Oprah has gained followers by being a marketing genius. Period. Where did she learn these marketing skills? Read on...Oprah's theme for OWN is to fill the network with the kind of "learning" that makes each of us a powerful individual by personal truth. Personal truth is, in my humble opinion, nothing more than egoism and greed. For instance, If I learn enough about me, I don't have to depend on you, or anyone or anything else for that matter. God included. Be fearfully aware of the similarities of this type of thinking with the doctrines of Scientology.According to The Church of Scientology itself: "Scientology is about the individual man or woman. Its goal is to bring an individual to a sufficient understanding of himself and his life and free him to improve conditions in the way that he sees fit." (http://www.whatisscientology.org/) Why Oprah! How nice that you have billions of dollars to improve world conditions in the way that YOU SEE FIT through your very own TV network. Pour it on. Tell us what you want us to know.In "General Report on Scientology", Jonathan Caven-Atack says, "In a lecture, still sold as part of a Scientology course, Hubbard said 'But what kind of a government and what kind of a weapon is really serious? Not a weapon that destroys mud. A weapon that destroys minds, that's serious. Out of the body of knowledge which lies before you [i.e., Scientology] a sufficient technology is [sic - exists?] to take over, seize and handle any government on the face of the Earth ... You can control men like you would control robots with those techniques ... Contained in the knowable, workable portions before your eyes there are methods of controlling human beings and thetans [spirits] which have never before been dreamed of in this universe. Control mechanisms of such awesome and solid proportions that if the remedies were not so much easier to apply, one would be appalled at the dangerousness to beingness [sic] that exists in Scientology ... This universe has long been looking for new ways to make slaves. Well, we've got some new ways to make slaves here." (JCA-74). In private papers revealed to a California court in 1984, Hubbard said "Men are my slaves" (JCA-75).' Friends, if you believe in God and in our Savior, Jesus Christ, I urge you to educate yourself about Oprah Winfrey's new network and her motivations behind it. If I lose friends because of what I wrote here, I am sorry. I love you and I pray for the best God has for you. My heart feels too strongly about this issue not to say something to the people I love and care for. Scientologists believe in taking in as many people (through their persuasive and hypnotic techniques) and their money as possible in order to have a single-world order. I believe God wants His children to be with Him. Keep your eyes on the prize, friends, and be aware of the road you travel! We don't need Oprah's New World Order.In the meantime, God Bless us Everyone!
A Corner of the World: The Art of Lois Ireland Zwettler
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 18:36
August 6, 2007 Back to Press Releases WEST BEND, WI, August 6, 2007 '' For Immediate Release -- The art of Lois Ireland Zwettler will be on exhibition at the Museum of Wisconsin Art from Friday, August 10th through September 30th. A very special exhibition with a new catalog produced by MWA in conjunction with Michael Hall, seventy-nine-year-old Ireland will attend the opening reception and gallery talk at MWA on Sunday, August 12th from 1:30 '' 4:00 p.m. (talk at 2:30 pm with Michael Hall).
In 1936 the University of Wisconsin-Madison began a bold artistic experiment to help alleviate the rapid modernization of urban Wisconsin that was polarizing life in their state. Social progressives within the University agriculture school determined that the arts might provide a corrective for this transformation and proposed that the University employ a nationally prominent painter to draw Wisconsin's rural amateur artists into a campus based cultural interface with their city brethren. They hired the famous American Scene painter, John Steuart Curry, to serve as its first ever ''artist-in-residence.'' One of his responsibilities was to be a mentor for the painters and craft workers brought together in the newly formed Wisconsin Rural Art Program '' a cohort of largely self-taught artists comprised of teachers, blacksmiths, mail carriers, farmers and housewives residing in various small agricultural communities around Madison.
The star pupil of the RAP was a girl from Waunakee called Lois Ireland whose work was discovered in a Westport steak-house by Curry as he dined there. Lois's luminous moment in the twilight of the American Scene is only now attracting the attention it deserves and the present exhibition is, in fact, the first solo exhibition ever accorded to her paintings.
Between 1943 and 1948, Lois displayed twenty paintings in the annual Rural Art Show in Madison. From the start, her style possessed a kind of freshness typically associated with folk and na¯ve art '' a visual simplicity that remained constant even as her technical and design skills became more sophisticated. With Curry's support and mentoring, Lois found her own voice as a painter of Wisconsin landscapes. Between 1945 and 1948 Ireland sold numerous paintings from the Rural Art Annual and won prizes and cash awards for other works submitted to museum exhibitions in Milwaukee and even as far away as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
After graduating from high school in 1947, Lois entered the University of Wisconsin where she learned lithography from the noted Wisconsin printmaker Alfred Sessler. In 1949, however, she left Madison to enroll at the Art Students League in New York where for the next year she studied painting with Frank DuMond and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. A good student, Lois, nevertheless, had her own ideas about her art. She recounts at least one New York critique in which an exasperated Kuniyoshi branded her ''a stubborn Midwestern.'' After a year in Manhattan, Ireland returned to Waunakee in 1950. There, she resumed painting in her old bedroom studio on the second floor of her parents' home.
By the time she turned twenty-four, Lois Ireland had created a significant body of paintings that uniquely texture and enrich the great collage of locally inspired art images from the 1930s and 40s known as the art of the American Scene. Painting in her own largely self-taught style, Lois became a late master of the regionalist idiom that she first encountered in Curry's work and later admired in the paintings of Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Reginald Marsh, Aaron Bohrod and others.
The decade of the 1950s, however, was not an auspicious time for regionalists of any stripe '' especially a small town, female regionalist from Wisconsin. By 1950 Curry and Wood were both deceased and abstract expressionist painters like Jackson Pollock had taken center stage in the American art world. Frustrated and discouraged Lois began to turn away from her art. In 1958 she married John Zwettler and moved to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin where John worked as the town barber. Lois soon became a mother of two and found her time totally consumed by her responsibilities as a homemaker.
In the late 1970s Lois rediscovered the painter within herself. In 1978 she even exhibited some of her pictures at a commercial gallery in Madison. Her newer works continued to address the American Scene subjects she had first portrayed in the paintings she submitted to the Rural Art Shows of the 1940s '' farms, barns and daily life in agricultural Wisconsin. More recently, a cultural and academic reevaluation of the American Scene that began in the 1990s has prompted some museums to take a fresh look at Lois Ireland and her art. Consequently, one of Ireland's early pictures was prominently included in the exhibition Illusions of Eden - an extensive survey of regionalist paintings that toured museums in both the U.S. and Europe between 2000 and 2001.
Today, at seventy-nine, Lois Ireland Zwettler lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota and remains the self-possessed ''Midwestern'' that Kuniyoshi encountered at the Art Students League in 1950 ''In New York, they hang a chair by a rope and call it art,'' she chuckles.
Retrospectively assessed, the best Ireland paintings epitomize the populist and democratic spirit of the American Scene. Unswerving in her adherence to John Curry's dictum, ''paint what you know,'' Lois Ireland Zwettler painted a crystal clear record of the world she knew as a teenager and as a young woman living in rural Wisconsin. These paintings, in turn, are indelibly marked by the democratic vision of the Rural Art Program that first shaped Lois' worldview as an artist.
The Museum of Wisconsin Art is proud to host the first retrospective of this significant Wisconsin artist. Special thanks are extended to Jack and Marion Bolz, John and Fanny Garver, Pat Glascock and Michael Hall and, Ken Marx, Daniel Shogren, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jim and Randi Williams, Williams Galleries of Nashville, TN, Chris Zwettler, and, of course, Lois Ireland Zwettler.
Lois Ireland will be present at an opening reception on Sunday, August 12th, 1:30 '' 4:00 p.m. with a gallery talk by noted collector Michael Hall at 2:30 p.m. An illustrated catalog of the exhibition is available.
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 16:34
Scroll down for campaign directions.
Join the campaign as we call on the public to play a crucial role in the COVID-19 vaccine trials - The Control Group. Shortly after receiving Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Pfizer and Moderna chose to unblind their placebo participants by offering them the vaccine, citing ethical concerns. In doing so, they have obstructed the vaccine development process and diminished the potential to conduct long term studies to determine true long term safety and efficacy.
''In a scientific study, a control group is used to establish a cause-and-effect relationship by isolating the effect of an independent variable. Researchers change the independent variable in the treatment group and keep it constant in the control group. Then they compare the results of these groups.''
Without a true control group, vaccine makers do not have the data to draw meaningful conclusions about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines long term. As members of the public and believers in science, we are becoming the control group in order to ensure proper vaccine development and it's true safety and efficacy.
To participate in the campaign, post a picture of your face or family, and use one of the captions for your image below along with the hashtag #wearethecontrol.Vaccine trial protocols cannot be compromised at the expense of individual health and safety.
This campaign is SOLELY MEANT to provide awareness about the ethical questions surrounding unblinding placebo patients and the integrity of long term data and is NOT part of any clinical trial.
Official Merchandise All proceeds will benefit Freedom Keepers United. No other merchandise exists for #wearethecontrol campaign. Freedom Keepers United is an inclusive global community dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of informed consent, medical freedom, and patient rights. Our mission is to provide valuable resources and education that empowers individuals to make informed decisions for their health and livelihood.
More color + garment options available...
More color + garment options available...
Choose one of the captions below for your photo and tag #wearethecontrol
The FDA issued their Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the mRNA vaccines'--Pfizer on 12/11/2020 and Moderna on 12/18/2020.
With lightning speed, by 12/16/2020 (Pfizer) and 01/14/2021 (Moderna.) Shortly after receiving their EUA's, citing ethical concerns, both Pfizer and Moderna chose to unblind their saline placebo participants, and offer them their EUA vaccine. This irreversible decision was made less than only 6 months after they had started their clinical trials. In doing so, they have obstructed the vaccine development process and diminished the potential to conduct long term studies which determine legitimate safety and efficacy.
We are calling on those who wish to volunteer, to ''participate'' as the control group and play a crucial role in bringing awareness to the COVID-19 vaccine trials. With thousands receiving EUA vaccines and plans to make them widely available, the knowledge that these are not yet FDA approved vaccines and have not completed clinical trials leaves thousands without proper informed consent and diminishes our chances at learning the true long term safety and efficacy of new mRNA vaccines.
Less than 6 months after beginning clinical trials, both Moderna and Pfizer cited ethical concerns to support the unblinding of their COVID-19 vaccine trials. In doing so, placebo participants were given the option to receive the vaccine while the trial has yet to conclude.
This rush to unblind the trials undermines the scientific process and diminishes the small window of opportunity to study long term outcomes of these experiments. In light of the now-shrinking size of the placebo recipients, we volunteer to take over as the control group.
We will ''risk it all'' for the greater good; sacrificing our chance at the COVID-19 vaccine so a group of intact individuals will remain as a long-term comparative group.You're welcome.
The FDA issued their Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the mRNA vaccines'--Pfizer on 12/11/2020 and Moderna on 12/18/2020.With less than 6 months after beginning the trial and shortly after receiving their EUA's, on 12/16/2020 (Pfizer) and 01/14/2021 (Moderna) both Pfizer and Moderna chose to unblind their saline placebo participants, and offer them their EUA vaccine, citing ethical concerns.
''In a scientific study, a control group is used to establish a cause-and-effect relationship by isolating the effect of an independent variable. Researchers change the independent variable in the treatment group and keep it constant in the control group. Then they compare the results of these groups.''
Without a true control group, vaccine makers do not have the data to draw meaningful conclusions about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines long term.
We are calling on the public to play a crucial role in the COVID-19 vaccine trials - the control group. With thousands receiving EUA vaccines and plans to make them widely available, the knowledge that these are not yet FDA approved vaccines and have not completed clinical trials leaves thousands without proper informed consent and diminishes our chances at learning the legitimate long term safety and efficacy of new mRNA vaccines.
It is deeply troubling that both Pfizer and Moderna, less than 6 months after beginning their clinical trials, unblinded their saline placebo group. These actions have ruined any hope of gleaning meaningful data re: long term safety and efficacy of this never-before-used mRNA technology.
As such, please join me in restoring what is now lacking in this breach of scientific methodology: abstain from the vaccines and become a part of the control group.#wearethecontrol
Resources for Further Reading
FDA Approves EUA's for COVID-19 Vaccine
Vaccine Makers Unblind their Placebo Participants
Should Corona Virus Vaccine Trials be Unblinded?
Texas launches 'Operation Lone Star', sending National Guard & state troopers to secure border after Biden opened floodgates '-- RT USA News
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 16:28
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is taking border security into his own hands, sending National Guard troops and state police to combat drug and people smuggling as Biden administration policies spur a surge in illegal immigration.
The new 'Operation Lone Star' initiative will send ground, air, marine and tactical security assets to high-threat areas of the state's border with Mexico to stop cartels and other smugglers from bringing drugs and illegal aliens into Texas. Abbott announced the strategy late on Saturday, one day after former president Donald Trump blasted President Joe Biden for creating a ''spiraling tsunami'' at the border that is ''getting worse by the minute.''
Today Texas launched Operation Lone Star to respond to the border crisis.It deploys Nat'l Guard + DPS Officers + air, ground, marine, & tactical border security assets to deny Mexican Cartels & smugglers the ability to move drugs & people into Texas.https://t.co/r68J2laDpH
'-- Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 7, 2021''The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,'' Abbott said. ''Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open-border policies that cause '' rather than prevent '' a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans.''
We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront the crisis.
Also on rt.com Trump accuses Biden of creating 'spiraling tsunami' at US-Mexico border as migrant situation spins 'totally out of control' More than 100 illegal aliens who have been released by the Biden administration into Texas since late January have tested positive for Covid-19, a spokesman for the border city of Brownsville told local Fox News affiliate KFOX on Thursday. The positivity rate for migrants tested at Brownsville's main bus station after they're dropped off there by Border Patrol agents is 6.3 percent. Those who test positive are advised to self-quarantine, but the city has no authority to stop those people from traveling anywhere they want in the US.
The surge in illegal border crossings has been especially acute among minors. Axios reported on Thursday that an average of 321 unaccompanied children a day were transferred by the Border Patrol to the US Department of Health and Human Services custody in the last week of February, up from 47 in early January, before Biden took office.
Despite being embroiled in energy and water crises brought on by winter storms that caused power plants and pipes to freeze, Abbott has found time to clash with Biden. Abbott announced last Tuesday that he's ending a mask mandate and other Covid-19 restrictions in Texas, prompting Biden to say, ''The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking.''
Also on rt.com It's not 'kids in cages,' Biden White House insists, saying it uses 'facilities' with 'Covid-safe' standards to lock up children Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
UK royals absorb shock of revealing Harry, Meghan interview
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 11:44
LONDON (AP) '-- Britain and its royal family absorbed the tremors Monday from a sensational television interview by Prince Harry and Meghan, in which the couple said they encountered racist attitudes and a lack of support that drove the duchess to thoughts of suicide.
In a two-hour soul-baring interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple painted a deeply unflattering picture of life inside the royal household, depicting a cold, uncaring institution that they had to flee to save their lives.
Meghan told Winfrey that at one point ''I just didn't want to be alive anymore'' and had uncontrollable suicidal thoughts. She said she sought help through the palace's human resources department, but was told there was nothing they could do.
Meghan, 39, admitted that she was naive at the start of her relationship with Harry and unprepared for the strictures of royal life.
The former television star, who identifies as biracial, described that when she was pregnant with son Archie, there were ''concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born.''
Harry confirmed the conversation, saying: ''I was a bit shocked.'' He said he would not reveal who made the comment.
The pair, known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced they were quitting royal duties last year, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. That split became official earlier this year, and the interview was widely seen as their first opportunity to explain their decision.
The implications for the interview '-- which was broadcast Sunday night in the United States and will air in Britain on Monday night '-- are only beginning to be understood. Emily Nash, royal editor at Hello! Magazine, said the revelations had left her and many other viewers ''shell-shocked.''
''I don't see how the palace can ignore these allegations, they're incredibly serious,'' she said. ''You have the racism allegations. Then you also have the claim that Megan was not supported, and she sought help even from the HR team within the household and was told that she couldn't seek help.''
Anti-monarchy group Republic said the interview gave a clearer picture of what the royal family is like '-- and it's not pretty.
''Whether for the sake of Britain or for the sake of the younger royals this rotten institution needs to go,'' Graham Smith of the campaign group said. ''Some people will say 'well you would say that,' but this interview has only served to highlight what a lot of people have known for years: The monarchy is rotten to the core and does not reflect British values.'"
Harry, born a royal prince, described how his wife's experience had helped him realize how he and he rest of the family were stuck in an oppressive institution.
''I was trapped, but I didn't know I was trapped,'' Harry said. ''My father and my brother, they are trapped.''
Meghan, he said, ''saved me.''
The younger royals '-- including Harry, Meghan, Harry's brother, Prince William, and William's wife, Catherine '-- have made campaigning for support and awareness around mental health one of their priorities. But Harry described a royal family completely unable to offer that support to its own members.
''For the family, they very much have this mentality of 'This is just how it is, this is how it's meant to be, you can't change it, we've all been through it,''' Harry said.
The couple had faced severe criticism in the United Kingdom during the run-up to the interview. Prince Philip, Harry's 99-year-old grandfather, is in a London hospital after recovering from a heart procedure, and critics saw the decision to go forward as being a burden on the queen '-- even though, CBS, rather that Harry and Meghan, dictated the timing of the broadcast.
In the United States, sympathy for the couple poured in after the interview. It will be shown later Monday in Britain, where some see Meghan and Harry as a couple who put personal happiness ahead of public duty.
Tennis star Serena Williams, a friend who attended Harry and Meghan's wedding, said on Twitter that the duchess's words ''illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced.''
''The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal,'' Williams added.
Meghan '-- then known as Meghan Markle, who had starred on the American TV legal drama ''Suits'' '-- married Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son, Archie, was born the following year.
Holding hands, Harry and Meghan sat opposite Winfrey while she questioned them in a lush garden setting. The couple lives in Montecito, California, where they are Winfrey's neighbors.
Harry said he had lived in fear of a repeat of the fate of his mother, Princess Diana, who was covered constantly by the press and died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.
''What I was seeing was history repeating itself, but definitely far more dangerous '-- because then you add race in, and you add social media in,'' Harry said.
Both Meghan and Harry praised the support they had received from Queen Elizabeth II, Harry's grandmother.
''The queen has always been wonderful to me,'' Meghan said.
But Harry revealed he currently has a poor relationship with his brother, William, and said things got so bad with his father that at one point Prince Charles stopped taking his calls.
''There is a lot to work through there,'' Harry said about his relationship with his father. ''I feel really let down. He's been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like. And Archie is his grandson. I will always love him, but there is a lot of hurt that has happened.''
In a rare positive moment in the interview, Harry and Meghan revealed their second child, due in the summer, would be a girl.
Blinken offers plan to bolster Afghan peace process, report indicates - POLITICO
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 11:39
Secretary of State Antony Blinken. | Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images
WASHINGTON '-- Secretary of State Antony Blinken is proposing a series of steps to help jumpstart Afghanistan's stalled peace process between the government and Taliban, according to a letter from Blinken to Ashra Ghani, Afghanistan's president, published Sunday by Afghanistan's TOLONews.
The letter calls for bringing the two sides together for a U.N.-facilitated conference with foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States ''to discuss a unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan.''
Blinken also calls for holding talks between the Afghan government and Taliban in a senior-level meeting in Turkey in the coming weeks to hammer out a revised proposal for a 90-day reduction in violence. The secretary of state has also called on special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to share with both the Afghan government and Taliban written proposals to help accelerate discussions, according to the TOLONews report.
Blinken also made clear in the letter that the Biden administration continues to consider a ''full withdrawal'' of the roughly 2,500 U.S. forces in the country by the May 1 deadline negotiated by Trump administration.
The State Department declined to comment on the TOLONews report.
''We have not made any decisions about our force posture in Afghanistan after May 1,'' the State Department said in a statement. ''All options remain on the table.''
Afghanistan presents one of the new administration's most difficult foreign policy decisions. The U.S. public is weary of a war nearly 20 years old, but pulling out now could be seen as giving the Taliban too much leverage and casting a shadow over the sacrifices made by U.S. and coalition troops and Afghan civilians.
Blinken urged Ghani to quickly embrace the proposal and underscored his concern that the security situation in the country could quickly deteriorate as the weather warms in Afghanistan
''Even with the continuation of financial assistance from the United States to your forces after an American military withdrawal, I am concerned that the security situation will worsen and the Taliban could make rapid territorial gains,'' Blinken wrote in the letter.
Fire at homeless camp in south Austin leaves bridge in need of minor repairs | KXAN Austin
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 11:38
Russell Falcon and Alyssa Goard
19 hours ago
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- A fire at a homeless encampment beneath a flyover bridge in south Austin left some damage to the bridge which will require minor repairs, the Texas Department of Transportation said Sunday. The fire happened at the median where the encampment is: beneath the bridge which connects E Ben White Boulevard to I-35.
Correction: a previous version of this story said that tents were destroyed in the fire, Austin Travis County EMS updated KXAN to share that no residences were destroyed in the fire.
The Austin Fire Department said its crews were first called to the fire just before 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Drivers nearby could see flames billowing from the median and upward to the bridge above. AFD crews were able to extinguish the flames and said no one was injured there.
According to AFD, investigators have ruled the cause of the fire as accidental, they believe this fire is the result of a candle kept too close to something combustible.
Austin Travis County EMS told KXAN one of its Community Health Paramedics responded to this fire. ATCEMS said this paramedic didn't treat anyone for injuries and didn't observe any damage to people's residences on the median. An ATCEMS spokesperson explained that no residences were damaged because the fire appeared to be concentrated not where people were living, but in an area ''where the trash collection is.''
ATCEMS said because no residences were damaged, no one had to be rehoused or moved to find other options.
When KXAN went to the site, we saw burned debris and shopping carts, but the fire impact did not appear to touch the area where tents had been erected.
A fire broke out Sunday at a homeless encampment along E Ben White in South Austin underneath the flyover bridge which connects to I-35. Most of the damage appears to be concentrated at a portion of the camp where people were not living (right), the tents remaining at the camp did not appear to be burned (left). March 7, 2020. KXAN Photo/ Alyssa Goard.A photo of the portion of a South Austin homeless encampment which caught fire Sunday. Austin Travis County EMS said no one was injured and no residences were damaged. March 7, 2021. (KXAN Photo/ Alyssa Goard).
Austin Fire Department said one person was arrested at the scene for interfering with a public official. Austin Police, however, told KXAN on Sunday afternoon that they had not arrested anyone there. In video from KXAN photojournalist Mariano Garza, a man can be seen walking through the charred debris, then talking to firefighters, then being handcuffed by Austin Police, though it is unclear what happened afterward.
For several hours Sunday, the flyover from East Ben White to southbound I-35 was closed while TxDOT bridge investigators worked. Eventually, they opened the bridge back up to traffic once they determined it was safe. A TxDOT spokesperson told KXAN that minor repairs will need to be done to the bridge as a result of the fire.
The City of Austin does have a program in some areas to help people experiencing homelessness in the city to better address the buildup of trash: the Violet Bag Program.
''The act of throwing away trash and having access to citywide trash services is something that most housed residents don't think twice about, and often take for granted,'' said Taylor Cook, Program Manager for the City of Austin Service Design Lab in a press release about the Violet Bag Program back in 2019. ''We've seen a lot of support from individuals in these encampments that want to keep their areas clean, but simply don't have access to solutions.
Crews extinguish a fire at a homeless encampment on I-35 and East Ben White Boulevard on Sunday morning (KXAN/Mariano Garza)Crews extinguish a fire at a homeless encampment on I-35 and East Ben White Boulevard on Sunday morning (KXAN/Mariano Garza)Crews extinguish a fire at a homeless encampment on I-35 and East Ben White Boulevard on Sunday morning (KXAN/Mariano Garza)
Fauci: New York COVID-19 variant not widespread yet, but serious | wfaa.com
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 11:07
The new variant in New York has reportedly shown resistance to vaccines and antibody treatments, and is said to be 'spreading pretty efficiently,' Dr. Fauci said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci again cautioned the public about a new coronavirus variant that has been seen in the New York City area, and is "spreading pretty efficiently," the nation's top infectious disease expert said.
On a conference call with reporters Sunday, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the state's vaccine roll out so far, even mentioning success where the state has tried out 24/7 vaccine sites. But, as New York decides to loosen restrictions on certain mitigation behaviors to curb the spread of the coronavirus, this new variant could prove to be a challenge.
As the Associated Press reported on Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York had decided to let up on restrictions regarding private gatherings, making way for some public performances which had been banned for almost a year, with authorities citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Cuomo wasn't heard emphasizing the recently discovered virus variant on his Sunday call with reporters.
This came after reports that the Biden administration was taking the newly discovered COVID-19 variant in the New York City metropolitan area "very seriously," according to Dr. Fauci earlier this month. According to a CNBC report, Fauci said experts had found that the new virus strain most likely originated in the city's Washington Height's neighborhood, which is in the upper end of Manhattan.
Fauci confirmed that the variant has spread to other boroughs in the city, but said Sunday on CBS that it isn't "widespread yet." He did confirm on CBS's "Face The Nation" that the variant is showing a resistance to antibody treatments and vaccines.
As the New York Times reported, researchers are calling the new strain B.1.526, and say its spread through New York City has been rapid. Experts say the mutation it carries has the possibility of weakening the effectiveness of vaccines.
Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University said it was not ''particularly happy news,'' but reassured the public saying that knowing about the variant means that experts and researchers now have the chance to do something about it.
French billionaire politician Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash | France | The Guardian
Mon, 08 Mar 2021 03:23
The French billionaire and politician Olivier Dassault has died in a helicopter crash in Normandy. The 69-year-old rightwing MP was the grandson of Marcel Dassault, who founded the aircraft manufacturing company Dassault Aviation.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, paid tribute to Dassault, tweeting that he ''loved France''. ''As a business leader, MP, local councillor, a reserve commander in the air force, throughout his life he never ceased to serve our country, to promote what was great about it. His brutal death is a great loss. Our thoughts go to his family and his friends,'' Macron wrote.
The helicopter transporting Dassault crashed shortly after taking off from the Normandy coastal resort of Deauville, where the tycoon had a holiday home, at about 6pm on Sunday. The cause of the crash, in which the pilot was also killed, was not immediately known.
The Dassault family boasts one of the biggest family fortunes in France. Olivier Dassault was the eldest of the four children of Serge Dassault; he inherited his father's estate along with his two younger brothers and sister in 2018. He was reported to have a personal fortune of about '‚¬6bn (£5.2bn).
He was a keen photographer and had been MP for the Oise department in northern France for the centre-right Les R(C)publicains (LR) since 2002.
Damien Abad, president of the LR group in the French National Assembly, said Dassault was a man with ''a big heart who was a great defender of industry''. ''His kindness and humanity will remain forever in our memory,'' Abad tweeted.
The French air accident investigation bureau (BEA) reported that the aircraft, an A(C)rospatiale AS350 ‰cureuil, had crashed ''on take off'' from a private ground. The BEA has opened an inquiry and said it was dispatching five investigators to the scene.
The French justice minister, ‰ric Dupond-Moretti, wrote on Twitter that he was ''extremely saddened'' by the death. ''The Republic has lost one of its great servants,'' he said.


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All Clips

PM Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins give a Covid-19 update BBB.mp3
BBC - Kerry urges top polluters to cut emissions now.mp3
Greta vs Joe Biden - Climate Change Doesn't Exist.mp3
China 2050 Army Taiwan.mp3
China torture rpt NTF.mp3
China Vaccines Phil and pakistan.mp3
Chinese director punished NTD.mp3
COVID Shot then disease BS ONE.mp3
Dem-socialists take Nevada party.mp3
e-Yuen One.mp3
e-Yuen Two.mp3
Farage quiiting Reform Party.mp3
guy on truck story.mp3
it's over AC ISO.mp3
Mask On Competition China.mp3
Migration Mess One.mp3
Migration Mess TWo.mp3
Mike Lindel starts website.mp3
NYD versus YouTube.mp3
Twitter versus Texas.mp3
Vaccine in Philipines follow up NPR.mp3
Vaccine in Syria.mp3
Victimhood BS ISO.mp3
Asian Hate story.mp3
baseball team suspended for team photo.mp3
Biden dementia Jim Bohannon Show.mp3
Biden Forgets secretary of def.mp3
Borders open in Spanish.mp3
Abbot Yell.WAV
ABC This Week - Dr Rashid Zia - opening up to soon so close to finishline (34sec).mp3
CBS Face The Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan - Gottlieb not wearing mask sooner biggest mistake (1min11sec).mp3
NBC Meet the Press - anchor Chuck Todd - 4th wave - spiking football too soon could lead to spike in cases (15sec).mp3
NBC Meet the Press - anchor Chuck Todd - Osterholm we are in the eye of a hurricane (1min22sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Kyra Phillips - brits shocked at amount of drug commercials on US tv (31sec).mp3
CNN does Dr Seuss styled rhyme over covid relief bill.mp3
Kenny Xu Incovenient minority - White Adjacent.mp3
CBS Face The Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan - NJ Gov Phil Murphy segregated i mean seperated (20sec).mp3
M5M Cuomo Praise Supercut.mp3
Ontario MP Randy Hillier cancelled over this video from Candadian Doctors.mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Andrew Dymburt - new CDC guidlines - grandparents can hug again (31sec).mp3
ABC America This Morning - anchor Megan Tevrizian - Dollar General vax sites (15sec).mp3
ABC GMA - anchor George Stephanopolus (1) - Dr Rochelle Walensky CDC guidlines (37sec).mp3
ABC GMA - anchor George Stephanopolus (2) - Dr Rochelle Walensky vaccine protection fading (25sec).mp3
Bill Gates Vaccine Super painful.mp3
CBS Face The Nation - anchor Margaret Brennan - Fauci 4th wave - plateauing too high (1min25sec).mp3
CBS Face The Nation Radio - anchor Margaret Brennan - panel asked about trust in vaccine (1min5sec).mp3
CNN Fauci explains the science behind vaccinated restrictions.mp3
ESPN First Take - LeBron James plans to keep decision on C0-I9 vaccine private.mp3
General Perina update son vax roll out EXECUTING the elderly.mp3
Indian TV - Phizer wants miltary bases as collateral for Argentina.mp3
Oz Health Minister Greg Hunt admitted to hospital for infection, Andrews to remain in ICU.mp3
Phizer documentary National Geographic.mp3
Psaki on TikTok APPROVED vaccines fact check false.mp3
Several Ohio schools closed due to substitute shortage after staff receives vaccine.mp3
Shep Smith PREP for CPVID old med for SARS.mp3
Study finds wearing glasses protects against COVID-19 NERD IMMUNITY.mp3
Team Halo Dr Noc on the new corona pill Monupiravir.mp3
ABC GMA - anchor George Stephanopolus - Dr Jen Ashton flu gone - will it come back - end-demic (1min4sec).mp3
  • 0:00
    Unknown: Hey, look at me. I
  • 0:01
    John: got a Ferrari rubber.
  • 0:03
    Unknown: Adam Curry Jhansi devora
  • 0:05
    Adam: Thursday, March 11 2021. This is your award winning gitmo-nation Media assassination Episode 1328.
  • 0:12
    Unknown: This is no agenda.
  • 0:15
    Adam: Broadcasting under emergency use authorization live from opportunity zone 33 here in the frontier of Austin, Texas capital of the drone Star State. morning, everybody.
  • 0:24
    John: I'm Adam Curry, and I'm from Northern Silicon Valley where the sun is peeking out. And all I'm waiting for is the Zephyr about three minutes away. I'm Jhansi devorah.
  • 0:35
    Unknown: buzzkill.
  • 0:38
    Adam: Well, john, when it rains, it pours is poured? No, when it rains, it pours as a metaphor. We got lucky. We got lucky. Imagine. What if we had problems with this past week and half, two weeks with two of our important websites? No agenda show dotnet and the nogen art generator calm. And you know, we've been resolving all these issues and looks like things are getting back to normal. And then what do I read yesterday, all of a sudden, I get an emergency message. Our data center was on fire. In fact, one of them burned
  • 1:19
    John: around hundreds of data centers. But okay,
  • 1:21
    Adam: well, we easily could have had our servers there. We didn't have them at that particular location, we have them spread out. But that how does that happen? It shouldn't that never happen. a data center burned to the ground.
  • 1:35
    John: I was thinking about this. By the way, they're very creative to use cargo containers to
  • 1:43
    Adam: like, Well, okay, but then when we had a date is when I had a data center, we had the was that stuff that just sucks all the oxygen out of the room within two seconds. And if you're in there, you're dead. It's like some Halo Halo. Yeah, Halo. Thank you. So they didn't they couldn't deploy that. I mean, that's odd to me very
  • 2:00
    John: I'm reminded of the 1860s 1850s or 60s.
  • 2:05
    Adam: Yeah.
  • 2:08
    John: Back in the day, there were all these different telegraph companies. There was a bunch of American Telegraph and Western Union, there's a whole slew of them. And one of the things they used to do, very consistent, consistently, it was always being written up in the New York Times. They used to chop each other's poles down.
  • 2:28
    Adam: Oh, right. I forgot about that.
  • 2:33
    John: So one company would shop the other does competitors poles down, and then he would and that's when they think a lot of the times they went to metal poles. I know telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, which still has the old telegraph poles, from the 1800s. right down the street, people don't even notice them. But when you go down telegraph Avenue on either side, I think it's on the left side, as you head toward the campus. You'll see these tall metal poles that go way up in the air, they're very thin, and they come way up they are no higher than the regular telephone pole knows that the old telegraph poles there's nothing hooked to them anymore, but the poles are still there.
  • 3:12
    Adam: Interest Yeah,
  • 3:13
    John: but you'd never notice them unless somebody points them out. And then when you see me go Wow, that's cool. And I think they're painted green just to be more
  • 3:22
    Adam: you could you could deploy some of your own technology on those poles since they're
  • 3:27
    John: recognizable wire Sure.
  • 3:29
    Adam: Oh, nine like the camera transmitter ham radio relay. Oh,
  • 3:33
    John: if that's not already being done, I'd be surprised to be honest.
  • 3:35
    Adam: Yeah, pirate radio station a tons of ideas I can come up with
  • 3:43
    John: so I so I'm thinking to say I'm thinking what is this possible that we're gonna start seeing this sort of thing? And I'm, you know, Amazon, I'm
  • 3:52
    Adam: looking at you. You know, it's not much different than the pirate ships off the North Sea. In the 60s and 70s, who wound up bought firebombing each other's ships. There's something about communications and and adversaries or competitors.
  • 4:13
    John: Well, there's different ways to take out a competitor. One is with good honest work. Prices, please.
  • 4:20
    Adam: That's not the way VA that's not the only way
  • 4:24
    John: is the is the best price Chinese style.
  • 4:27
    Adam: Totally best. Yeah, totally.
  • 4:30
    John: Yes, totally the best way if you want to go over the h.com You didn't even set up shop using all dollars. They all stuff that Amazon gives you. ovie I think it's Oh vh.com everything Amazon gives you Ovie h gives you cheaper. That's what I and it's what we use. Yes. Our infrastructure. Yeah,
  • 4:51
    Adam: it's void zero approved, in fact.
  • 4:54
    John: Yeah. And he's the guy deployed zeros demand.
  • 4:58
    Adam: He's doing a lot of work void zero, the man And Tim is working to everyone's working hard. And Eric's working hard. Everybody's working hard. And meanwhile, we got a showdown in the Lone Star State.
  • 5:13
    John: I have a bunch of clips about Texas.
  • 5:15
    Adam: Oh, well, let's roll them out. Then let me hear what you got, bro.
  • 5:18
    John: Well, what do you got? You had a you get to set up go?
  • 5:21
    Adam: Well, I Well, I was just going to give some color and play this quick clip moves this week by governors of Texas and Mississippi really do two things, I think they can slow down our timeline of when things get back to normal. And then also the obviously put a lot of people in those states at risk of getting infected and dying. And given how close we are to the finish line. Anybody who gets infected today and dies in three or four weeks, if somebody would have gotten vaccinated a month from now, this is why it's urgent to just keep going for a little bit longer. I think a lot of these restrictions can start coming down later. April, certainly by May. Right now. Oh, yeah. Meanwhile, before I even forget, we need to blow the horn because today marks the one year anniversary of the pandemic, john, congratulations.
  • 6:11
    John: Well, we flatten the curve we
  • 6:13
    Adam: have we though. So we have the situation where the governor said, Hey, Texans can determine for themselves what they want to do. If you want to keep your business within certain limitations. That's up to you. But there's no need for that to be an order. Our Mayor Adler in the democratic blue spot of, of Texas, responded with from the people who brought you no electricity, and no and no water. Now no masks, and he refuses he refused to meet the deadline last Wednesday at 6pm. And now the state is going to sue the mayor and it's going back and forth. And
  • 7:00
    Unknown: And meanwhile,
  • 7:03
    Adam: I heard I had dinner with the former New York banker on Tuesday. And and I'm hearing this from more people that the ultra wealthy in Austin, they they are paralyzed. They're they're now privately saying amongst each other. Wow, we got to get our kids back. This has to stop we have to open up. But they are paralyzed, cannot say anything for fear of being shunned from their social circles, and even from their work. But the rich people, it's from their social circles. They're afraid of their businesses being targeted. It's so sad.
  • 7:45
    John: It personally,
  • 7:47
    Adam: hold on a second and this is how it's being addressed in this is NBC Meet the Press. And now even as the case and death rates have fallen in the past few months, new variants are threatening to produce a fourth way now fourth way governors are loosening restrictions for the fears. spiking the football too early here will lead to a new spike
  • 8:05
    John: a spike in a football.
  • 8:07
    Adam: No, that's it. I don't think anybody spiked. And once a day, be careful, you know, do your thing. So not that anyone's paying any attention to it here in Austin that I can tell. I went to spin class again yesterday just as full as it was and there was an okay put on the mask or no one cares. And our guy is still out there. He I have to give again props admiration for osterholm, who is still still keeping to his his hurricane metaphor that is coming soon any day now. He said I think four weeks ago that it would be six weeks. So it's coming. Dr. osterholm. You and I were talking earlier this week. And we are it does feel as if we are at a fork in the road here. The vaccines are there. The supply is coming. We're so close. We are seeing this lifting of restrictions. You're concerned about these variants coupled with spring break. how vulnerable are we? Good morning, Chuck. And let me just say we are in the eye of the hurricane right now. It appears that things are going very well. He will see blue skies went on through a terrible terrible year. But what we know is about to come upon us is the situation with this V 117. variant lucid rare in the United Kingdom that today. In parts of Europe 27 countries seen significant cases with this 10 really hitting hard. The many of these countries have been locked down now for two months just to try to control this virus. Last time I was on your show four weeks ago, the be 117 variance panel for about one to 4% of the
  • 9:45
    viruses we were seeing this country today it's up to 30 to 40%. And when we already 40 whatever cent Mark you'll see cases search. So right now we do have to keep America as safe as we can from this virus. By not letting up on any of the public health measures we've taken, and we need to get people vaccinated as quickly as we can. Nothing this guy has said has come true since a year ago when I met him at Rogen studio. And he was talking about two and a half million dead Americans. Nothing this guy has said his country and I know people after about 10 or 20 years, at least two and a half. This year, we'll see an end we'll still be carrying the counter. And I know a lot of people are, you know, it was like, why do we have to hear more COVID News. You need this. It's not news. We're deconstructing it for you
  • 10:31
    John: cheeky about that most people The only reason that people have to be on the shows because the COVID News, well, then the note
  • 10:37
    Adam: that actually came in was, Hey, I'm a douchebag. You've never donated, but I'd really like you should consider moving that to number two. And I said my reply. Yeah, you get what you pay for. Anyway,
  • 10:49
    John: back to Texas,
  • 10:51
    Adam: everyone. Well, almost a Texas, everyone's being discredited. And then I want to hear your thing. And this is probably in mountain nothing. But Fauci is going to maybe come under a crosshair for this comment that he said back in last year, and we've heard it many times right
  • 11:11
    John: now in the United States. People should not be walking around with masks.
  • 11:15
    Adam: Okay. So we know that and that was on 60 minutes. And now we have Scott Gottlieb on Face the Nation saying we look
  • 11:21
    Unknown: back at some of your remarks from a year ago, you've been pretty on the money with your predictions. But at this time, a year ago, we weren't wearing masks. We weren't told to until April by the federal government,
  • 11:32
    Adam: we were told not to.
  • 11:34
    Unknown: Now we're being asked to continue wearing them. From where you sit. Is that the biggest mistake? I mean? How would you grade our performance as a country?
  • 11:45
    I think the masks are the single biggest mistake because it was the easiest intervention that we could have reached for early to prevent spread. This was a real failure to detect all of the asymptomatic spread, we overestimated the role of fomites of contaminated surfaces and strains virus, because we weren't recognizing all the spread that was happening from asymptomatic individuals because we weren't doing good tracking and tracing. We were using a flew model to detect COVID spread and it wasn't applicable. So CDC was very slow to recognize this. If we had recognized earlier all this spread racing automatic transmission and the fact that this is spreading not just through droplets, but also aerosolization. In closed environments, we probably would have recommended masks and high quality masks much earlier. So that was probably the single biggest mistake largely because it was the single easiest intervention that we could have reached for early and then we have to
  • 12:33
    Adam: cancel stylesheet so will not stand it was his mistake. So that's the only thing that's left here.
  • 12:39
    John: They think it may be going outside and getting go to the beach into the parks and get out of the house. They said enclosed spaces. Right now getting outside would have been a good idea instead of being locked down.
  • 12:53
    Adam: You know, it's kind of weird here in Austin. is now that this spat is going on between the state and the city. And the in the county I should say. What keeps coming out of the mayor's office here is tech austinites have to mask up whenever they're outdoors in the public. This is new. This is new. So now you You are indeed expected to wear your mask just walking down the street. Yeah,
  • 13:27
    John: I know somebody pointed out is just like a Nazi armband.
  • 13:31
    Adam: Yes, it's hilarious. And I love meeting the fellow travelers because they're never who you expect.
  • 13:37
    John: Did you see you know that are the shop no agenda shop. They sent a mask out to us. Oh, I haven't been if you look at it, I said this thing's backwards because I thought the black was gonna be that side, but you're supposed to flip it around. And the no agenda logos on the side and it makes it look like there's two or three masks. It's printed to look like there's two or three masks.
  • 14:01
    Adam: Oh, that's hilarious. Yeah, I got it. So do you get two of them or just one maybe mine's Nikes got
  • 14:06
    John: one, but it's but I looked at it at first as to why they put the logo on the inside because it's black on the other side. So you could wear just a black mask but if you flip it around, it's all printed to look like there's two or three masks
  • 14:20
    Adam: larious Alright, what do you got on Texas? Now? I will deconstruct it for you.
  • 14:27
    John: There's not much to it is so beautiful about the lawsuit between Twitter in Texas.
  • 14:32
    Adam: Yes, I do. I've heard of that. See? Where's it Where's?
  • 14:36
    John: Where's your clip? Oh, here it is Twitter vs Texas.
  • 14:40
    Unknown: We're badass. Now jumping to big tech Twitter is suing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The social media giant accuses Paxton of abusing his authority, intimidation and harassment. Twitter claims Paxton is targeting the company in retaliation for exercising their first amendment rights. At Issue our Twitter's moderation practices, including the decision to suspend former President Trump's account. Paxton says D platforming Trump has had a chilling effect on free speech. He also says social media companies operate like monopolies and should be regulated like utilities.
  • 15:17
    John: Normally as a your rights private company can do what they want. And the end consumers have choices. Here. consumers don't have a choice. They have no choice. And so we have to regulate that and make sure that free speech is not being controlled by a few very wealthy tech people.
  • 15:33
    Unknown: Paxton is now demanding information on Twitter's moderation policies and practices. Twitter's as in the lawsuit that disclosing its moderation policies could undermine their effectiveness. The company also says pakhtuns demands run afoul of the First Amendment. Twitter argues it has the right to make decisions about what content to disseminate on its platform. The company is asking the court to block Pakistan's efforts to obtain the information or otherwise probe Twitter's internal decisions.
  • 16:03
    Adam: I don't know how you how you can. I think it's virtue signaling. But this is virtue signaling. There's nothing they can really do about it. And what are they going to
  • 16:14
    John: do with the whole thing? The whole thing is a scheme to get into the memos.
  • 16:19
    Adam: Right, right. Covering Right, right, right. Right, right. But even so what a waste of time to me. And I just, I I'm a broken record. But I gotta keep saying you, this is not the internet, no agenda, social calm, which by the way, you can't sign up for any more closed down locked up. We reach 10,000. What happens when someone quits? periodically, Aaron, and I will be scanning and then we will make any debt accounts dead will be presumed inactive for two years. And we have a couple 1000 already. I think we'll open that back up and then we'll close it down again. And what I'm trying to encourage is for people to create their own mastodon and just federate with us same experience, except you don't have ad no agenda, social calm. Because imagine you got 10,000 people now if we let this thing grow when it's 50,000, and then it goes down. And it's not free to run.
  • 17:22
    John: You had to make excuses for this. Okay, this just say this arbitrary decision. onerous decision is not arbitrary.